Does Prosperity = Right Relation with God


Have you ever been left wondering where is God when you can’t pay a bill, or your car won’t start, or when someone in your family gets sick? Have you ever asked the question, “God, how could you have let this happen to me?” If you have, then you aren’t alone. I have asked similar questions myself. Many other Christians have also. I have a feeling that this type of thing is a stumbling block to many would-be Christians out there today. They have tried on the armor of the Christian God, and found it to be wanting. In other words they went to church, they sang the hymns, and they took communion – but in their life they still had suffering.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Gospel of Prosperity may be the culprit here. This is an idea that many popular preachers are preaching today which essentially says “if you are in right relation to God, then He wants you to be completely and totally happy, therefore you should have health, wealth, and prosperity.” It sounds silly to say this out loud, but I have a feeling that this untruth lies at the heart of many people’s frustration surrounding God. The problem is we have an incorrect view of what God has promised mankind. If we actually read the accounts of the Bible we find that there was in fact suffering, even among the great martyrs of Jesus’ time.

Look at St. Paul for example. Often he was imprisoned, on occasion he even asked God to remove a physical suffering (he referred to this as the thorn in his side), and God refused. He ended up tortured and killed for his faith. Was this because he wasn’t in right relation with Jesus? What about Job, Elijah, or just about any of the prophets or people of the Old Testament. Guess what, they had difficulty also. And if we turn to Christ himself, we see someone devoid of the items listed in the definition of the Prosperity Gospel above. Christ was neither rich, pain-free, or prosperous in a worldly sense. Upon further reflection, I think you can see that this type of preaching is not beneficial to either Christians or non-Christians. It simply creates confusion and wounded hearts. It does not allow people to ‘count the cost’ of following Christ. It is not realistic.

Now hold on, don’t ask the question “so why follow God at all” just yet. Anyone alive on planet Earth today can see that we have some degree of suffering in our lives; with or without God. There is no escaping it. My point is simply that the Bible is more than a self-help book or a manual for positive thinking. It is a book for grown-ups, full of historical figures (included Jesus Himself) which contains both suffering and joy together. But the followers of Christ have at least the following things in common: 1.) they are fighting for the right things, 2.) their suffering has purpose, 3.) they have eternal salvation, and 4.) there can be no separation from the Love of God – Christ’s atonement lifted that barrier once and for all.

If you have stumbled with regard to Christianity because you believed (either overtly or latently) in the Prosperity Gospel, then you need not be ashamed or downtrodden. You can cast off that layer of false teaching that says if God loves you, He will never let you suffer. Once this issue has been dealt with properly, you can then begin to live the more realistic Christian life. You will have pain from time to time, we all do. But you will also have God, if you ask for Him.


.



Comments

  1. Thanks. It was vry enlightening to me. victor. india

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts