Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Goodies From God: "Did Christianity Cause the Crash?"

I just read the article, "Did Christianity Cause the Crash?" from The Atlantic, and it left me with a few thoughts.

1. Truth matters. The first problem with the prosperity gospel is that it is not the Gospel, it is not Truth. God promises nothing of the sort. In fact, the New Testament, both implicitly and explicitly, tells us to expect suffering as we live for His glory. Secondly, it promotes idolatry, i.e., the love of Money and the Stuff it buys. Furthermore, it insinuates that the Christian's Identity, worth, and spiritual value are established out of the material success of the individual, instead of the person and work of Jesus Christ. These are tenets of paganism, not biblical Christianity. Truth matters, because lies lead people away from God.

2. Leave God out of it. Materialism is Sin. The good news is that when we sin, we have an Advocate with God the Father, it's God the Son, Jesus Christ (1John 2:1). Too often, we want to christianize our sin, by connecting it to the Will, Plan, and Mission of God, and this is classic “Taking God’s name in vain.” We must learn to recognize the traps that lie ahead, if we are not already in it up to our necks (in which case, seek your Advocate). However, if you really want to live in rebellion against God, serving your own fleshly desires, go right ahead, but leave God's name out of it.

3. You’ll know them by their fruit. What is the fruit of a life that is fully surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ? What is the fruit of a life devoted to goodies from God? Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). The fruit of a true follower of Jesus is Christ-likeness. It is to be like Jesus. The prosperity gospel is not only not the Gospel, it is not Christianity, it is a false religion. We can know this, because Jesus said that we’ll know His followers by their fruit.

4. Why it all matters. Our actions, goals, desires, and pursuits, say allot about our faith, i.e., what we love, what we believe, and who we follow. As representatives of Christ, are we representing Christ? The World is watching us Christians, and they are listening to what we say. Are we really Christ’s disciples, or will Jesus say, “I never knew you?” Many saying "Lord Lord," today will be saying it as they stand before Christ on that day. Know the Truth, for the Truth will set you Free!

To read the referred to article, see http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912/rosin-prosperity-gospel