Hello boys and gals,
Before you decide to say/ think mean things towards me OR jump on the bandwagon and pat me on the back concerning the title of this blog post…
Let me clarify exactly what I mean by the Prosperity “gospel”
In a nutshell, the prosperity “gospel” proclaims that financial blessings and/ or physical well-being are always the will of God concerning Christians.
In other words, if you are a Christian, God is obligated to bless you with great riches and success whiles on Earth.
You can look into the topic deeper here.
And notice that I use quotation marks when using the term prosperity “gospel”, because this “gospel” is in fact not the Gospel at all…
For sake of simplicity I will emphasize on the financial aspect of this “gospel”
Now that that’s defined, let me disclose my passionate dislike towards it.
1) I Don’t Need to be a Christian
God is sovereign over all things, good and evil.
However, it is clear to see that one does not have to become a Christian in order to be wealthy.
Steve Jobs – Buddhist
- Networth: $10.2 billion (at time of death in 2011)
Muhammad Ali – Muslim
- Networth: $50 million (at time of death, 2016)
Seth MacFarlane – Atheist
- Networth: $200 million
Jay Z – Non-Denominational Monotheistic
- Networth: $810 million
^^^^^ I think you see the point that I’m making.
There are clearly several individuals who are filthy rich yet do not identify with the Christian faith. Some are atheists, or believe in other religions. Being a Christian is not a fundamental requirement for one who is trying to become financially successful.
So how come this “gospel” is presented in a manner to draw men and women to pursue riches when they can very well attain it without Christ?
All I’m saying here is, from a logical point of view, if money is all that I’m after, I won’t worry myself about Christ but rather study the habits of wealthy individuals such as the ones I mentioned above.
2) It Takes Away from God’s Glory
Imagine I owned a restaurant called “Philly Dee’s LIT Jollof Machine”, where I sold the best of the best GHANIAN jollof anyone has ever tasted 😉
After years of preparation and hard work, the restaurant is complete and I’m in business.
One day I decide to look up the ratings and reviews of my business online and see the following comments.
- “Amazing drink selections”
- “Beautiful floor plan and fancy utensils!”
- “Great service, food comes quick and workers are all friendly”
Although all of these are great comments, my first thought is….
“Ok, what about my jollof doe?”
Moral of the story
Number 1: Ghana Jollof > Nigerian Jollof
Number 2: many of us are so concerned about the accolades of Christianity that we completely disregard what we gain.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
John 1:12 ESV
The Bible did not say as many who received “entrance into heaven”, “repentance of sins”, “freedom from hell” or “life full of riches”
It states as many as who receive Him.
Christ IS the ultimate treasure.
He died and rose, so that through His Spirit we may enjoy the riches of knowing Him and partaking in His presence (John 17:3).
He may put you in various places where you begin to flourish but the ultimate goal in life is to bring glory to God through these avenues.
What makes Christ stand alone, is that without Him, no man can fully enjoy the privilege of knowing God. No amounts of effort or self-righteousness can attain this privilege, which is why we all need Christ.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me
John 14:6 ESV
The problem is that we have replaced Christ, with lesser joys and idols such as sin & financial stability and other worldly pleasures; convinced that this is the way of self-fulfillment.
3) Excluding God from Our Finances
Stay with me here…
Due to some of the teachings in this “gospel”, those who are strongly opposed to it (such as myself) often feel the need to completely exclude God when dealing with things like money, career goals, etc.
They often believe that God is only concerned about “spiritual things” such as praying, reading the bible and going to church.
But in reality, God wants us to fully surrender our lives to Him in everything that we do (Romans 12:1).
And yes, this includes our finances.
There is nothing wrong with placing our trust in God in situations or thanking Him for a promotion of some sort or any other form of blessings.
We just need to be drawn to God himself rather than His attributes.
At the end of day, we are called to live according to the will of God (Matthew 7:21), which may be discerned by conforming to His image through the transformation and renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
The question we as Christians must ask is:
What does the Bible say concerning my work/ finances/ education, etc, such that everything that we do is conformed to His will?
Why should we think this way?
Because we love Him, and his commandments are not burdensome.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3 ESV
In concluding, consider this thought;
If God was not in heaven, would you still want to be there?
A life of no suffering, no crying, no death, no pain, many mansions.
Seeing the angels and awing in their beauty
………..…..but no God.
I realized that answering yes to this question implies that I have a greater desire in God’s blessings than God himself.
The greatest challenge in life, is understanding and believing that God is enough to sustain your greatest voids from now until all of eternity.
In pursuing this truth, we will come to the understanding that no highs or lows of life can ever replace the completeness of joy that comes from knowing Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria