Before I post anything about a subject I start with studying the subject by researching the scriptures, commentaries, historians and much more.
I go over the subject in my mind repeatedly until I feel confident to put my thoughts in written form. I do not write something and post it just for the sake of having posts on my blog.
When it comes to using a blog I started late and didn’t quite understand how to do it. It along with many other tools of social media I take quite awhile to become comfortable using the certain tool.
Let me start this post with a preface, for this post and several more to come, when I speak of Christians/Evangelicals I will be speaking about those in North America.
I believe Christians/Evangelicals have become like spoiled children. They have come to believe a fallacy, fantasy, and lie. They were told that a certain message that, ‘ The Prosperity Gospel’, is a true Biblical doctrine. I am hear to say that there is no scriptural basis for this teaching.
It started back in the early 1900’s with an lady evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson. Her organisation was beginning to feel the pain of the lack of finances. She began to expouse that God wanted His children to blessed, to be prosperous. Soon she locked unto the one scripture that all prosperity preachers use as their basis for their teachings. The verse found in 1 John 1, ‘Beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health….’. Except they took this verse out of context for the true translation was like how we use the saying ‘wish you God’s speed’. Basically it was a type of blessing for when someone was setting out to travel.
Having crusades across a nation is very expensive. The cost of travel, the renting of a hall, and the staff behind the scenes that does the bulk of the work.
Then along came the 50’s and the emergence of tent revivals with preachers such as, Jack Coe, A. A. Allen, R. W. Shambach, and many more. These were the pioneers of developing the ‘prosperity gospel’ using it as a springboard to raise great offerings. Yes, these offerings paid for the obvious expenses, but quite a bit of it went into the wallet of the preacher.
The ‘prosperity gospel’ came of age in the 70’s and Jim and Tammy Bakker polished it and sold it to their listening audience. The message was quite simple, ‘God wants you to be rich’. The message equated money and nice things to having God’s favor and blessing.
This message hit home to the most base and crass area of humans and stirred to the surface the hideous character flaw called ‘greed’.
Christians also began to believe that if a preacher had tremendous growds gather at an event, it meant that the preacher had God’s blessing. This is so far removed from the truth.
While I was active in the ministry I joined an ‘Miracle Evangelist’ as his organist, and a junior pastor of his’ church. One day I was asked to fly to another Canadian city to fill in for the preacher and his’ guest because the city they were in, the crusade had been extended. I had never conducted that type of service. I was taken to the airport, this would be my first time flying, and set out for that city. I began to gather my thoughts and how I would handle the service. When I arrived at the hall I set it up and went and sat at the piano. I was confident about my music, and semi-confident in my preaching. Near the end, which I felt that things went smoothly, I decided to raise an offering. I had the people bow their heads and began speaking what I felt was in my heart. To my surprise it went better than anyone could have thought. That offering was so large that the preacher and his guess asked how I did it. From that time on they had confidence in my ability to handle a meeting and the ability to raise finances
When Christ spoke to his’ disciples and taught them what they should pray the first part spoke of God meeting His’ childrens needs. Notice it says daily bread. Nowhere can it be found that God wanted His’ saints to live wealthy.
Many preachers who expouse the ‘prosperity message’ use one verse found in 3 John – “Beloved I wish above all things, that thou mayest prosper and be in good health, even as your sould prospers.’ This is not as it is being described, it is actually an benediction, like when someone says to another ‘Gods speed’.
So when it comes to a Christians right, prosperity is not on the list.
Also, I have a mirror site of my blog at: www.rethinkingscripture.wordpress.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @dmbourne