Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church/
The Prosperity and Word of Faith Doctrines

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Chapter VII - God and Money

This piece opposes greed and false teachings, but does not subscribe to the theory that God wants his people to be poor and needy. God is not opposed to wealth per se.

Carol Brooks

    All Nine Chapters - Index and Summary

    Chapter 1 -  Introduction To The Prosperity and The Word-Faith Gospels. HERE
    Chapter 2 - Alleged Biblical Support For The Prosperity Doctrine. HERE
    Chapter 3 - The Never Mentioned Verses. HERE
    Chapter 4 - Uninformed People in The Scriptures?
    Chapter 5 - The Word of Faith Doctrine and New Thought. HERE
    Chapter 6 - Joel Osteen - The Blind Leading The Blind. HERE
    Chapter 7 - How Words Precede Form. HERE
    Chapter 8 - God and Money.
    Chapter 9 - The Crown Without The Cross? HERE


    Is God Opposed to Wealth?
    Although this article is about the false teachings and rank greed that accompanies so many ministries. However, it does not subscribe to the theory that God wants his people to be poor and needy.

    In the Old Testament the Israelites were promised a good and prosperous life. They were told that God would set them high above all the nations of the earth and protect them from their enemies. They would lack for nothing. Their own offspring as well as that of their beasts would be blessed along with their baskets, kneading bowls and the produce of their land. They would lend to many nations, but never borrow.

    However, something we should never forget that all these blessings were conditional. Whether or not the people lived comfortable and happy lives depended solely whether they were careful to do all that the Lord had commanded. The penalty for not keeping His commandments would bring curses down on their heads that were the exact opposite of the blessings.

    Additionally, the Bible never once condemns the wealthy just because they have money. In fact some of God's finest... Abraham, David and Job for example, were men of substance. And although he eventually fell rather badly, King Solomon was wealthy by any standard. However, notice that virtually all the wealthy men mentioned in the Bible lived in Old Testament times- the New Testament emphasized spiritual not material prosperity.

    In complete contrast to the core teachings of the Prosperity Doctrine, God does not define success in monetary terms. Why else would Jesus have told the rich young ruler to sell what he had and give to the poor? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does not give the thinnest kind of whatever about what our bank account says. Our financial standing has no relationship to our standing with God - it is possible to be rich but fail even to gain entry into God's Kingdom, or to be poor but a resounding success in the Father's eyes. The Bible also warns us that the

      "the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things" can choke out the Word of God. (Mark 4:18-19).

    And so it does.

    Note how when most prosperity teachers ascend their stages, there is a distinct lack of preaching on the Bible's Raison d'Ítre. Although these are the threads around which the entire fabric of the Bible is woven - the subjects that under-gird every one of the sixty-six books of the Bible - nothing, but nothing is said about the Wrath of God, Sin, Repentance, Salvation and Holiness.

    Week in and week out, most of what you hear is how to achieve your own financial breakthrough and good health. The only Biblical passages quoted will be the ones that they claim support their doctrine. The entire service is centered around motivating the congregation to give financially so that they can be "blessed".

    Does God's Work Take Millions of Dollars?
    There is some truth to the statement made by Kirbyjon Caldwell, 

      "it depends on how you define prosperity. I am not a proponent of saying the Lord's name three times, clicking your heels and then you get what you ask for. But you cannot give what you do not have. We are fighting what we call the social demons. If I am going to help someone, I am going to have to have something with which to help." [01]

    No doubt one cannot give what one doesn't have, but exactly how many people desire money just so that they can give it away and do others some good?

    God Funds His Own Projects
    To those that claim that it takes exorbitant amounts of money to take the Gospel into people's homes all around the world, thus justifying the constant begging for donations, I will tell you that you know nothing about your God. If the Father gives you a job to do or sends you on a mission it is His responsibility to provide for you and to make sure that you have everything needed to carry out the assignment.

    On two occasions when Jesus sent His disciples out to preach the Gospel, He told them not to take anything with them for the journey not staff, wallet, bread, money .. not even two coats (Luke 9:1-6, 10:1-30). The world was turned on it's head by a bunch of Jewish nobodies who didn't have a penny to their name between them.. "Silver and Gold I have none"...

    Stations like TBN and Daystar etc. constantly warn that they will not be able to stay on the air if their viewers will not give generously. While this is true to a certain extent, let us not forget that part of the reason they resort to fund raising, begging, and endless gimmicks to raise money is to fund man made projects - to say nothing of their own extravagant lifestyles.

    In fact, the best proof that God is behind a ministry is if said ministry never asked for a penny from any human. If they took all their requirements to God in prayer then miraculously had all their needs met. Who, even in the secular world, would not eventually realize that 'something' is going on there.

    The Bible Clearly Tells Us They Shall Make Merchandise Of You!
    Are you paying attention?

    The Bible has already warned that you will become a means for their gain. ...

      And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:3 NASB)

    And if you are wondering how the Lord is going to respond to this, let me remind you that Jesus said

      "Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:23-24 NASB)

      "But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. "Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way. (Luke 6:24-26 NASB)

    Tragically, the modern church seems to be under the impression that they cannot be fooled. Perhaps those simpletons and uneducated peasants of the first century needed to be warned about the wolves among the flock and reminded that it is wise to check everything by the Word of God.

    But times have changed. Today's modern, ultra smart tech savvy generation apparent does not believe they can they cannot be taken in so easily. So, we continue in our conceit, totally oblivious to the fact that the path we are on is pointed down, not up. That the fangs are well concealed behind the facade of ornate and expensive stages, slick even engaging personalities, and brilliant smiles. 

    A day of judgment is coming when we will be asked, not how much money we had, but whether we lived a faithful life, and in that day the wolves and those that heard and supported them, will not fare very well.

    The 'Poor' Servants of God
    A.W. Tozer: Although Tozer was completely off-track when it came to Catholic mystics, the Christian world could do with a few hundred more tell-it like-it-is, straight talking men like him. I can certainly see why he is one of the most quoted and respected Christians in Christendom today. However, money was extremely tight in the early days of his ministry.

    The Tozers made a pact to trust God for all their needs regardless of the circumstances and never swayed from this principle. Material things were never an issue - the family never owned a car, but opted instead to take a bus or train. Many have said if Tozer had food, clothing, and his books, he was content. Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, Tozer signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need.

    George Mueller lived by prayer and faith alone, feeding and housing thousands of homeless children in England. Yet he advertised his financial needs to no one but God. He never asked for a penny from any one and his prayers were answered in seemingly impossible situations. In fact, in 1856 he wrote to a man who had sent him 100 pounds for the maintenance of him and his family. Mueller turned down this offer saying (Emphasis Added)

      "I have no property whatsoever, nor has my dear wife; nor have I had one single shilling regular salary as a Minister of the Gospel for the last twenty-six years, nor as the director of the orphan house... " He added that he thought that any provision for himself and his family "...would be displeasing to my Heavenly Father who has so bountifully given me my daily bread hitherto."

    Since there is not enough space nor time to go in to the lives of other servants of God like Hudson Taylor, the reader would do well to research it for themselves. None of them sought money or prestige and many died almost penniless. They knew the Word of God through and through, but never 'claimed the promises' that God make them wealthy. The only prosperity they sought was the prosperity of seeing many souls converted to Christ.

    Although poor by the world's standards, they were rich in what is far more important.. faith in God, which made them heirs of much greater riches than this world can give... they were heirs to the Kingdom. See The Message of The Bible

    Or is it possible that they, like Paul, had it all wrong, or did Time magazine hit the nail on the head when they equated what is preached by Joel Osteen and others with

      "the latest lurch in Protestantism's ongoing descent into full-blown American materialism" - that much of Protestantism has quietly adopted the idea that "you don't have to give up the American Dream. You just see it as a sign of God's blessing," [02]

    In other words - The Christian faith clashed with American greed ... and greed won hands down

    Continue On To Chapter 9 - The Crown Without The Cross. Jesus said "take up" your cross, which means it does not apply to simply accepting a bad situation, but is something we do voluntarily. His warning about counting the cost and denial of self in Matthew 10:34-39 is diametrically opposed to the Prosperity Doctrine's mantra of "Your best life now". In fact, I am not sure if self-denial has any part in the faith of all too many modern Christians, who want salvation with as little personal sacrifice as possible. HERE

    End Notes
    [01] David Van Biema and Jeff Chu.. Does God Want You To Be Rich? Part 8/8.

    [02] Time Magazine. Does God Want You To Be Rich? David Van Biema And Jeff Chu Sunday, Sep. 10, 2006. Part 7/8.


    Return To Chapter 7  - How Word Precede Form