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  • The "prosperity" gospel

    First off, I want to say that I've been saved for 2 years and I still have a lot to learn. I'm very glad I found this forum recently. What I like is that I can post some of the questions that have accumulated in my head over the last 2 years and immediately have some input.

    My question in this thread can be a touchy one. It's about the so-called "prosperity" gospel. Many people would say Creflo Dollar preaches this style (himself included). I watch him every single morning while getting ready for work and his program has been a blessing.

    I have heard some arguments for and against the "prosperity" gospel. To put it briefly:

    Against: The gospel is not about us gaining material wealth, it's about us serving the Lord. He gives us what we need to survive and we shouldn't desire more than that. When we seek to gain material belongings, we are looking to satisfy our own wills.

    For: The whole King Solomon argument, the fact that Jesus came to give us life more abundantly, etc.

    I guess I just want to hear what some thoughts are on either side of this issue.

    I guess 2 of the most interesting things I've heard in favor of material prosperity are as follows:

    I believe it was Dr. Fred Price that said something like (paraphrasing), "Yes I drive a Bentley. I drive a Bentley! First of all, the Lord has led me to give away about 99 cars to those in need during my lifetime, so I don't believe He's mad that I have a Bentley. Secondly, I was GIVEN the Bentley by a friend who felt led to give me the Bentley."

    My church had a visiting pastor who has planted and oversees something like 100 churches in the Philippines and surrounding areas. He also keeps a residence in the United States. He literally works all over the world. He said something like, "In order to travel to these various parts of the world, money is necessary. In fact, it takes quite a lot of money for myself, my team, and my family to go keep these things going and to do the work the Lord has called us to do. So, my heart is not in the money. The money is just one of many tools, but it's a tool that is very necessary. In many cases, without money, certain things can't get done."

    Pros/cons of these statements? Other thoughts?

  • #2
    How much money did Peter have when he said "Silver and gold have I none. But that which I have I give thee. Stand up and walk."?

    Jesus preached pretty hard against love of money. How are we to deal with Job? And what happened to Solomon after he had all that money?
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

    Comment


    • #3
      That visiting pastor concluded by saying, "So if you're working for the Lord and your efforts, your heart, and your resources are in God's possession and are going towards spreading the gospel, don't EVER let ANYONE make you feel bad for having money because there's nothing to feel bad about."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
        How much money did Peter have when he said "Silver and gold have I none. But that which I have I give thee. Stand up and walk."?

        Jesus preached pretty hard against love of money. How are we to deal with Job? And what happened to Solomon after he had all that money?
        Thanks for the reply, BrotherMark! I guess my response to that would be we certainly do not NEED money or material possessions to advance the gospel. We can walk our local neighborhoods and spread the word. Absolutely. But there are, indeed, many ways to advance the gospel. Now I'm not in a position to argue whether the two men I mentioned actually have a heart for the Lord or not, but it would seem that with 100 successful church plantings that he has dedicated his life on this planet to spreading the gospel. His heart is most definitely in the right place I would think. The thought that occurs to me is, "God might very well give him many MORE millions in order that he may plant 100 MORE churches."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by merjorg View Post
          That visiting pastor concluded by saying, "So if you're working for the Lord and your efforts, your heart, and your resources are in God's possession and are going towards spreading the gospel, don't EVER let ANYONE make you feel bad for having money because there's nothing to feel bad about."
          Having money is not sinful. Loving money is!

          1 Tim 6:9-10
          9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.
          NASB

          However, that is balanced a few verses later with..

          1 Tim 6:17-19

          17 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
          NASB
          Matt 9:13
          13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
          NASU

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by merjorg View Post
            Thanks for the reply, BrotherMark! I guess my response to that would be we certainly do not NEED money or material possessions to advance the gospel. We can walk our local neighborhoods and spread the word. Absolutely. But there are, indeed, many ways to advance the gospel. Now I'm not in a position to argue whether the two men I mentioned actually have a heart for the Lord or not, but it would seem that with 100 successful church plantings that he has dedicated his life on this planet to spreading the gospel. His heart is most definitely in the right place I would think. The thought that occurs to me is, "God might very well give him many MORE millions in order that he may plant 100 MORE churches."
            God doesn't need money to advance his kingdom. Though he can use it. The question should not be how much money do we need, but how many Pauls, or Peters, or Elishas do we need. One might well ask, where can we get the money for such works. But Jesus, he said "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few". Jesus wasn't ever concerned about raising money for his efforts. But he was concerned about raising laborers.
            Matt 9:13
            13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
            NASU

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
              God doesn't need money to advance his kingdom. Though he can use it. The question should not be how much money do we need, but how many Pauls, or Peters, or Elishas do we need. One might well ask, where can we get the money for such works. But Jesus, he said "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few". Jesus wasn't ever concerned about raising money for his efforts. But he was concerned about raising laborers.
              Thank you for the wisdom, sir! That was very nicely put...

              Comment


              • #8
                Proverbs states that the LORD is the maker of the rich and the poor. 'However' God prospers you as an individual, its always important to REMEMBER the SOURCE of your prosperity... He Paid for it all by giving His own life on the tree.

                I've been around the 'prosperity people'.. when I've had very little and was almost looked down upon by them because I wasnt driving a fancy car, or wearing 400 dollar suits or ordained in a 500 dollar Rolex.. I felt a whisp of condemnation almost coming from them. Thats not right. And not all of the 'prosperity' people were like this. Some have been very good friends with me.

                God is not against us having things to enjoy. He's not against wealth either. He 'freely' gives us those things thru the 'provision' of His Son and what He did. The problem arises when people 'make their wealth and materials' a 'status' symbol as a Christian. They make it a
                'benchmark' in order to be an 'approved Christian'. That's when it becomes dangerous.

                You can't put God in a prosperity formula... I see alot of that on TV..... it's really nonsense and I'll stand by my convictions. God prospers according to His will. He knows how much you can handle and He knows when it could get dangerous for you. He'll direct and give you wisdom accordingly as far as prosperity.

                Just remember ... however how much God prospers you.. is to REMEMBER the Source of it.. and Its His Son and what He sacraficed.
                To Him be the glory!

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's really good stuff, Archer.

                  As a relatively young Christian, I suppose many of my viewpoints are still being shaped. The wisdom I take from your guys' posts is that one shouldn't seek to gain money so that he can use it to work for the Lord. One should simply continue serving the Lord and if the Lord chooses to prosper him in that particular way, then it will happen anyways.

                  I sometimes still get stuck in that mode of thinking where I feel like I have to go out and make certain things happen so that I can serve the Lord better. I need to think more grace and less works. More Him and less me!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
                    How much money did Peter have when he said "Silver and gold have I none. But that which I have I give thee. Stand up and walk."?

                    Jesus preached pretty hard against love of money. How are we to deal with Job? And what happened to Solomon after he had all that money?
                    The Love of money is the problem, not money. Money is great if used properly. What happened with Job? His wealth was restored how many fold? The story did not end with him poor.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by merjorg View Post
                      First off, I want to say that I've been saved for 2 years and I still have a lot to learn. I'm very glad I found this forum recently. What I like is that I can post some of the questions that have accumulated in my head over the last 2 years and immediately have some input.

                      My question in this thread can be a touchy one. It's about the so-called "prosperity" gospel. Many people would say Creflo Dollar preaches this style (himself included). I watch him every single morning while getting ready for work and his program has been a blessing.

                      I have heard some arguments for and against the "prosperity" gospel. To put it briefly:

                      Against: The gospel is not about us gaining material wealth, it's about us serving the Lord. He gives us what we need to survive and we shouldn't desire more than that. When we seek to gain material belongings, we are looking to satisfy our own wills.

                      For: The whole King Solomon argument, the fact that Jesus came to give us life more abundantly, etc.

                      I guess I just want to hear what some thoughts are on either side of this issue.

                      I guess 2 of the most interesting things I've heard in favor of material prosperity are as follows:

                      I believe it was Dr. Fred Price that said something like (paraphrasing), "Yes I drive a Bentley. I drive a Bentley! First of all, the Lord has led me to give away about 99 cars to those in need during my lifetime, so I don't believe He's mad that I have a Bentley. Secondly, I was GIVEN the Bentley by a friend who felt led to give me the Bentley."

                      My church had a visiting pastor who has planted and oversees something like 100 churches in the Philippines and surrounding areas. He also keeps a residence in the United States. He literally works all over the world. He said something like, "In order to travel to these various parts of the world, money is necessary. In fact, it takes quite a lot of money for myself, my team, and my family to go keep these things going and to do the work the Lord has called us to do. So, my heart is not in the money. The money is just one of many tools, but it's a tool that is very necessary. In many cases, without money, certain things can't get done."

                      Pros/cons of these statements? Other thoughts?
                      i just have one question about the prosperity gospel, feel free anyone if u have the answer to this....
                      do the Christians in Africa and these tiny villages not have enough faith to become as rich as the bible says( according to every pastor i see on tv.) they are supposed to be? Are they not sowing enough seed? The Bible says He will supply all our needs according to His riches and glory. do we really need a mansion or a hundred thousand dollar car? Or a suit that costs two thousand dollars? I dont know, maybe i am not spiritual enough to have those things. God never promised we would be rich. just wondering what old creflo dollar and rod parsley or maybe even binny hinn would say to that question? i mean according to them, if they sow enough seed regardless of their circumstance they will be blessed how every many fold, depending on which day you watch them, they give.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by merjorg View Post
                        That visiting pastor concluded by saying, "So if you're working for the Lord and your efforts, your heart, and your resources are in God's possession and are going towards spreading the gospel, don't EVER let ANYONE make you feel bad for having money because there's nothing to feel bad about."
                        Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. I guess God disagrees with this guy.
                        "Few men are born brave. Many become so through training and force of discipline"
                        -Flavius Vegetius Renatus

                        "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." - James 2:26

                        Watch This! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyheJ480LYA - Christian Artist Lecrae

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by merjorg View Post
                          Pros/cons of these statements? Other thoughts?
                          About property and daily needs:

                          Matt 6:31 Then do not be full of care, saying, What are we to have for food or drink? or, With what may we be clothed?
                          32 Because the Gentiles go in search of all these things: for your Father in heaven has knowledge that you have need of all these things:
                          33 But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition.

                          And as a related side-note: IMO it's no accident the West (still) is and for centuries has been the richest part of the World, it might be not related to the actions of nations as a whole but due to the number of devout Christians serving God and praying for their government.

                          Ed

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rebel777 View Post
                            And as a related side-note: IMO it's no accident the West (still) is and for centuries has been the richest part of the World, it might be not related to the actions of nations as a whole but due to the number of devout Christians serving God and praying for their government.

                            Ed
                            I think thats drawing a long bow.
                            "Few men are born brave. Many become so through training and force of discipline"
                            -Flavius Vegetius Renatus

                            "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." - James 2:26

                            Watch This! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyheJ480LYA - Christian Artist Lecrae

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion. (Prv. 30:8)

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