The World According to kcillini77

September 18, 2006

Does God Want You to Be Rich?

Filed under: America,Christianity — kcillini77 @ 10:59 pm

It’s probably already off newsstands, but if you get a chance, read the cover story in Time Magazine’s September 18, 2006 issue. Somewhat surprisingly, it does a good job of getting viewpoints from both sides of the debate and presenting some of the more common scriptures cited by people in both camps. I challenge anyone to mull over the case presented by those who think God is some kind of cosmic ATM based on convenient readings of assorted verses. I think even a cursory reading of this article, the verses presented, and the quotes from proponents weighed against an understanding of God’s nature as presented in the whole of scripture will lead you to this conclusion: Those who use the pulpit to give people in poverty false hope for riches in this life and pad their own pockets with donations from these same people are nuts at best – liars, manipulators, and frauds at worst. Instead of finding a way to twist Luke 6:38 (“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” NIV) into a promise of a Cadillac for the family gives their food budget to the church, they should be reading carefully over the whole of scripture, which says plainly that our reward is not here on earth. True, the pleasures of this life are gifts from God – a foretaste of what is to come in the new heaven and the new earth, but they are not what our hope is based on.

In the Time article, one of Joel Osteens parishoners, after describing how he’s on his way to a six figure income, and plans to have 25 acres with a pond, ponies, and a dreamhouse says, “I’m dreaming big – because all of heaven is dreaming big. Jesus died for our sins. That was the best gift God could give us. But we have something else. Because I want to follow Jesus and do what he ordained, God wants to support us. It’s Joel Osteen’s ministry that told me. Why would an awesome and mighty God want anything less for his children?”

This family may end up with a dream house. They may not. God allows riches for some, and relative poverty for others. Unless you pick and choose the verses you want completely out of context, God never says he will reward your faithfulness with the kind of riches that this churchgoer is dreaming of. In fact, Jesus cautions that riches make it hard for us to enter heaven, expressly because the tendency is to place our hope in these things and not on him. An awesome and mighty God wants eternity in heaven for his children, not (necessarily) a six figure income.
The preachers who are lining their bank accounts with bad theology derived from esoteric readings of scripture should take a few minutes to ponder a passage that isn’t too hard to understand:

Matthew 7

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Sept. 18, 2006 Time

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1 Comment »

  1. I think that you make me smarter. Good stuff here Matt. I was in a Bible study once that was talking about all this with false teaching and the leaders quickly pulled it…it was nuts all the bad scripture referances and the like. I don’t get it. I would like to point out though that when you do start talking about money and how we are all crazy about it that people refuse to look at themselves…(and I have said this before on Anne’s blog)I read not too long ago that only 8% of us “Bible beliving Chistians” are faithfully tithing and giving back to God. So why in the world would HE~Almighty God give back to us if we aren’t being faithful to Him? If we can’t be trusted with a little…we won’t be trusted with much! Not that I think or believe that we will GET anything back if we tithe…but I do think riches mean way more then “cash”! Bla bla bla…that is just my little mis-spelled two cents worth. Get it? Two cents worth? Nevermind.

    Comment by kristiapplesauce — September 19, 2006 @ 7:16 am | Reply


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