Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Casting off Churchianity

I recently had a conversation with a middle school student that got me to thinking about orthodoxy and orthopraxy - right beliefs and right actions, loosely defined.  We were talking about some work that I would like some of our groups at church to do.  He was saying that he could just do it himself, and I was trying to explain how that can stunt someone's spiritual growth.

For too long in the church we have read this scripture Ephesians 4:11-16 incompletely. We read verse 11 with gusto - "It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers," and we stop there. We stop because most of us can say "God didn't give me to that calling" and we move on. The problem is in the remaining verses: "12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature. 14 So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. 15 But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. 16 From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love."

The purpose of some being called is "to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ."  For too long we have professionalized things and left these jobs that were designed for the lay people to be done by the clergy.  We are doing no favors when clergy does jobs that God has for the laity.  It stunts the spiritual growth of the laity, it doesn't build up the body of Christ as it should be, and it burns out the clergy.  This has been going on for way too long - more than 1000 years.  The good news is that it seems to be changing.

In our little tribe we have people who are volunteering to visit the sick and the shut-ins. We have people working in the nursery.  We have groups of young adults and teens looking for service opportunities in the community.  And we are working to find those opportunities so they can grow their faith.  James declared that faith without works is dead.  That is so true. We need to have our beliefs drive our actions which reinforces our beliefs which drives new actions.  It is how we grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We are committed to helping all believers achieve their God-ordained potential in Christ. Sometimes that means we don't do the easy thing and do things for them.  We have to let them work through the bumps so they can grow their faith and become the people God wants them to be.  It also means that those who have chosen to sit and do little and not fulfilling what God has for them.

Tough stuff, but good stuff.  Let's reclaim biblical Christianity and cast off Churchianity

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How long would you stay under this man's leadership?



I cannot imagine this happening in a service where the Good News of Jesus Christ is supposed to be preached.  Evidently something is going on there, and it appears that it isn't good. A step back to reassess the situation might be in order here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I am proud to be a Nazarene


This General Assembly we have elected 2 great men to be General Superintendents. Dr. David Busic was elected on Tuesday, and Dr. Gustavo Crocker was elected on Wednesday. Both are Godly men with very different backgrounds. Dr. Busic
Dr. David Busic
is a pastor who comes to the Board of General Superintendents from the presidency of Nazarene Theological Seminary. Dr. Crocker is a Guatemalan who has been serving as the Eurasia Regional Director. This makes the 2nd General Superintendent who is not an American citizen, and the 3rd multi-lingual General Superintendent. We truly are a global church. Praise God for His faithfulness to us as it took 53 ballots to finish the elections.
Dr. Gustavo Crocker

Monday, April 15, 2013

Love = Obedience

Our text this week was John 21:1-19 and there are some great lessons in it.  When Jesus restores Peter, he asks him three times if he loves him.  After each of Peter's responses, Jesus gives him a task to perform - feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep - that is clearly linked to Peter's love for Jesus.  It is strikingly similar to the three denials of Christ that Peter uttered during Christ's Passion.

It follows on a theme from John 14 where Jesus told Judas:
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Too often in this life we equate words with faith.  We confess that we believe certain things, but our lives do not show evidence of that faith.  We are caught in a trap where we have orthodoxy - right beliefs but we do not have orthopraxis - right actions- in our life.  We talk a good game, but like Peter, when the rubber hits the road, we fail.  We fail to do that which we claim to believe.  We fail to be the hands and feet of Christ.  We fail to avoid the sins that ensnare us.  We fail to do that which Christ has commanded us:

Great Commission

Great Commandment

Good Samaritan

This is a year to put actions to our words.  A year to be the people we are called to be.  We no longer have a privileged position in society.  We have to go out and earn that position by our actions that show the love of Christ to a hurting world.  

Let's be that people.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Saying goodbye to a good and Godly man

This week we will lay to rest Rev. Gerald Walworth, a pastor for more than 50 years, and a good man.  Jerry was my friend, my mentor, my congregant all wrapped up in one joke-telling, people-loving, and church-loving bundle

As a first-time solo pastor, one could view having your predecessor still in your congregation to be a challenge.  Jerry and Jean never made it an issue.  He had retired after serving the Hobart congregation for 37 years, and he was retired.  He was also battling the disease that ultimately claimed his life.

In the 2 years I knew him, I was able to laugh, cry, tell jokes, and run ideas past him.  I valued his counsel on things in the church and in the town.  I also appreciated having someone to talk to about ministry.  Being a solo pastor is hard because you have to work to find people with whom you can share some of your ideas, fears, burdens and frustration.  Jerry had already been there, done that and had a couple of T-shirts to prove it.

Jerry, you fought the good fight and made a difference in the lives of many.  Well done good and faithful servant.  I will miss you.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pat Robertson has done it again

Pat Robertson and Joe Biden suffer from the same disease - terminal foot in mouth - because more often than not they end up regretting opening their mouths to speak in public.

This one just makes me cringe and shake my head at the same time.



So dating a woman who has adopted children internationally is akin to taking on the United Nations?  Will someone at CBN please tell the emperor that he has no clothes?  And then take his microphone away?

As Kenny Rogers said, you have "know when to walk away..."

Friday, August 03, 2012

Political Chicken

This week has been interesting to say the least with the Chick-Fil-A controversy.  I know the Hobart location was crazy busy all day long, and it was almost a rally atmosphere.  People would cheer in line, cars would honk in support, which elicited more cheers.  Then the rhythmic clapping started and it reminded me of waiting in line to ride the Beast at midnight at Kings Island near Cincinnati.

What I find interesting about all of this is the way certain folks reacted to a private citizen saying the same thing that President Clinton said when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s.  President Obama also espoused the same view when he was campaigning in 2008.


It is interesting that Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Boston, and Chicago aldermen did not attack candidate Obama they way they have attacked Dan Cathy for espousing his views on marriage.

In my opinion, this is a battle that is going to go on for a long time, just like abortion has.  It will raise millions of dollars on both sides, and little will be done to resolve the issue in the political arena.  What needs to be done is for the church focus on teaching what the Bible says in a POSITIVE manner and not engage in Westboro Baptist tactics that do not show the love of Christ in any way.

If we are going to change the culture, we are going to have to be the shining city on the hill that calls people to seek forgiveness and grace as they repent of behaviors that are sinful.  That is what the First Century church did, and it changed the very corrupt and highly-sexualized Roman culture over time.  The church needs to be the church and remain a voice that can speak to all parties in politics.  It's hard to watch your country go down some of the paths it has chosen, but God is not an American, and not all Americans recognize God's authority.  That is an unfortunate reality.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Heaven and Earth

This article really sums up nicely the idea that heaven isn't our focus of the Christian life.  Doing the will of God and living in communion with Him is our focus.  As you read it remember that a new heaven and a new earth are coming (Revelation 21).  I suspect that we will be living with God there, and I look forward to what that work entails

Jesus and me, Jerry Sandusky and (Un) Happy Valley


If we ever needed another reminder that our sin affects more than just us, just look at Penn State University. The sins of a few men in leadership have injured many who had nothing to do with the actions there, and had no idea it was happening.

Some of those injured include:

The players who cannot play in bowls through no fault of their own

The victims of Mr. Sandusky

The people who idolized Paterno and PSU

The non-revenue sports at PSU who may see a reduction in funding given the reduction in $$ from the football program

And the list goes on and on.

 It is a good moment for us to remember that our sin can potentially affect many around us. And that is why God's grace is there to help us overcome the power of sin and death. We are called to live in community, not as Lone Rangers. Our actions, however big or small, affect others whether we want to admit it or not.
 
Lord make it so.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Helping your pastor

I know last month was Pastor Appreciation Month, but let me offer another idea for all of you who want to help your pastor.  Pray that he/she will find a good friend and confidant in whom they can talk and be honest.  It's hard to do that with parishioners, and most pastors don't want to bring the church "stuff" home to their spouse and weigh them down with it.

Pray for a Godly friend to come alongside your pastor so that he/she can have someone they trust to confide in.  It makes a huge difference in the lives of clergy members.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Communion

I have never understood the devotion some people have to the plasticized wafers that pass as communion bread in so many churches.  There are times, such as large General Assembly-type gatherings where it makes sense. But for the typical church of less than 100 congregants, why  on earth would you use the chiclet-type bread instead of baking a real loaf of unleavened bread and cutting it up?

I just don't get it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to the King James Version of the Bible

Here is a nice, brief history of the King James version.  It's worth a listen.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I guess I should prepare for this

They have figured out something that even Jesus didn't know.  I guess I will hold next month's mortgage payment.


I don't know how to reconcile this with "“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father…” [Mark 13:21]"


But it must be true.  I saw it on the internet.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A shaming book and television show

This article speaks about one of the sins of the church that goes largely unpunished and most practitioners of it are unrepentant.

GOSSIP

It is no wonder that the secular media believes that Christians are fair game.  We provide them with both the target and the ammunition.  And we wonder why they take shots at us?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why are we punishing the poor and middle class here?

This article has a good take on the current energy policy of the United States.  Interestingly, the author is a Democrat who is taking the current administration to task for their tightened regulations on deep water drilling.  The rise in energy prices punishes those at the bottom of the economic ladder the hardest, since they have the least amount of flexibility in their budget to deal with sudden spikes in gas prices.

I really don't understand why we are refusing to harvest our own resources and insist on importing oil from countries that do not have our best interest at heart.  I'm sure this will be a presidential campaign issue,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Things I love about Kansas City

Over the weekend I was in Kansas City for the commencement exercises at Nazarene Theological Seminary, where I received my Master of Divinity degree. Kansas City is a neat city with a lot going for it. Here is my list of things that I love about Kansas City

10. McGonigles Market on Ward Parkway - Good BBQ and meat at reasonable prices

9. The friendly folks and open air feeling of the city.

8. Smokestack BBQ.

7. Christ Church Anglican - I went there for my worship class and was hooked.

6. Jacob's Well - same story. I love the evening worship there.

5. The faculty at Nazarene Theological Seminary - they made me feel like a part of the community even though I as an in-service student.

4. Jack's Stack BBQ - fine dining and BBQ. What more could you ask for?

Country Club Plaza
3. Country Club Plaza in downtown Kansas City. It is a wonderful mixture of shopping, dining and scenery that I truly enjoyed.

2. Oklahoma Joe's BBQ- great BBQ served in a gas station. Need I say more?

1. Nazarene Theological Seminary - I am a bit wistful thinking about completion of my degree. I made some great friends there and greatly enjoyed the interaction with students and faculty. I will honestly miss being there.

Monday, May 09, 2011

This is a merger well worth considering

As a former member of the Wesleyan Church and a current member of the Church of the Nazarene clergy, I would love to see this idea explored in great depth. I know there are some governance issues, and some college overlap issues, but it is worth a look.

A tax on people who are bad at math

Yep. he got that one right

Monday, May 02, 2011

Mixed emotions

Osama Bin Laden is dead. I heard that news right before I went to bed last night. It caught me

by surprise and created a number of conflicting thoughts and emotions. My first visceral reaction was to celebrate. The man who ordered the murder of thousands of Americans is dead. He finally got what was coming to him. And that is true.

I also wondered if this will trip some wire in the Al Qaeda organization that will bring on a new series of attacks set in place in the event of his death. Do we really want to go through that again? Endless lines at the airports. Gas prices climbing through the roof (even more than they already have).

As a Christian, I find the conflicting emotions to be more troubling. I don't think we should celebrate the death of one of God's children. But I do understand the reaction of those who have lost loved ones in the attacks and ensuing wars who may be finding relief, closure, and even some joy in this event. The advent of terrorism is just a reminder of how fallen our world is and how we need to continually say "Come Lord Jesus Come" in our own hearts and minds as well in the world around us.

Bin Laden is gone. I pray that this marks the unwinding of the terrorism activity that has dominated our country's thoughts for the past 10 years. I hope it does, but I suspect the battle will go on.

NY Daily News

NazNet Discussion

Fox News Headline

Thursday, March 31, 2011

More on why we flagellate ourselves

Why do Christians naturally assume the worst about ourselves? Read this article. It is an eye opener.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Future NFL Halftime Acts

Since the NFL has decided to use AARP members for its halftime shows at the Superbowl, you might hear some of these songs in the future.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why do we like to think the worst about ourselves?

What is it about American Christians that causes us to think the worst about ourselves?  Do we have some kind of innate inferiority complex that causes us to believe any statistic that comes down the pike if it expresses a negative view of Christianity?

Take a look at this piece in Christianity Today.  The author makes a valid point that the statistics we love to go around quoting are all negative statistics, and many of them are flat out misleading if not fabricated falsehoods. I remember sitting in a meeting watching a video of a prominent teen evangelist who was breathlessly telling us that only 4% of American kids will be Christians in the next generation.  I leaned over to the pastor sitting next to me and said "I know how to lie with statistics too" and we both smiled.  That number comes from an informal survey (read nonscientific) done by a seminary professor more than 10 years ago with a sample size of just over 200 people.  More on that here.   Yet people keep running around repeating it as if it were inscribed on stone tablets found found on Mt. Sinai.  It's wrong people!  Get over it!  Stop repeating the lie.!


Maybe Christians should try this form of therapy.



Let's try something new for a while.  Let's only say positive things about the church that are true.  Let's declare a fast from criticalness.  Let's speak positively about the Body of Christ, and see if it becomes more attractive to people.  How about that for a change.

I realize this will crimp the fundraising plans of many who make their living out of scaring Christians into thinking they are under siege.  But this too shall pass.  And the world may just be a better place afterward.

It's worth a shot, don't you think?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

Take a look at this clip and remember those who gave all for our country.  I tear up every time I watch it, specifically at the scenes of soldiers loading into their landing crafts.  It reminds me of my dad, who was a landing craft driver during the Normandy invasion.  I cannot imagine the terror, the chaos, or the valor required to do that job.  Those were amazing men.

The other scene that just tears me up is the two WWII vets in the cemetery, one missing part of a leg.  I can't imagine standing there where brave young men who you went through training with are buried.  Why did you live and they die?  Fate?  Luck?  Divine intervention?  We may never know.

Watch the clip and remember those who gave all for our freedom.

Friday, May 21, 2010

How do you celebrate Pentecost?

For Christians there are four major religious holidays:

Christmas

Good Friday

Easter

Pentecost

The first three receive quite a bit of attention, but the last one receives scant attention outside the church, and not much more inside the church. Pentecost celebrates the arrival of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. This was the Comforter that Jesus had promised to the disciples.  It was the fulfillment of the Emmanuel - God with us - idea.  Jesus was the incarnation of God and walked with us on the earth.  But he was limited by time and space and the human body.  The Holy Spirit is not limited by time, space and the human body.  The Spirit can be with all of us at the same time,and he can, and will, indwell in our soul and shape our character into the Christlikeness that we are called to.

This Sunday, take some time to celebrate Pentecost.  If your church doesn't celebrate Pentecost, encourage your pastor to do so.  The Spirit of the Living God dwelling with us gives us the power of God in our lives.  It is the greatest gift of God this side of heaven.  The Spirit is there to guide us, comfort us, encourage us, enlighten us and so much more.

Celebrate Pentecost and thank God for his Spirit who lives with us. It is the greatest gift we can receive until we see Jesus face to face.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Existential Questions for Christians



Admiral James Stockdale's opening questions during the 1992 Vice Presidential debate are good questions for all of us to consider as we travel through our journey of this life as we prepare for the next life.  Who am I?  Why am I here?  These are great existential questions for us to consider as we live each day.

Who am I?  Am I the person I born to be?  Am I the person who had bad things happen to them previously in their life?  Am I the person who did many bad things to myself and others?  Am I a child of the King?  Am I a victorious Christian? Am I a guilt-ridden Christian lamenting my life and the way it has turned out?  Am I someone who looks forward to what each day brings?  Or am I someone who looks forward to each day as a way of getting one day closer to the end and receiving my eternal reward.  Am I someone people turn to for guidance and comfort?  Am I someone that people don't turn to unless they have to?

I don't have easy answers because each of us is in a different place.  But, for those of us who are in Christ Jesus, we know that we are brothers and sisters of the King.  In Mark 3:35 Jesus said "whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."  Emotionally we may not be there, but that is the reality of what Christ has given to us.

Why am I here?  I'm not going to list all of the possibilities for this, just meditate on the question.  Why am I here?  Do I have a purpose?  Has God shared with my my raison d'etre?  Go read the beginning of Exodus or Isaiah 6 to see examples of God-given purpose.  Read Mark 3 where Jesus calls his disciples.  Read the accounts of Jesus and his mission.  Ask God what your purpose is.  Pray, and sit quietly and listen as he speaks to you.  Let the Lord speak to your soul and it may help you answer some of these questions.

Friday, April 30, 2010

What to do about illegal immigration

The recent Arizona law allowing police to check the status of illegal immigrants has once again brought a vexing issue to the forefront.  What should we do about the flood of illegal immigrants that are in our country and continue to pour over our borders?  The federal government response has been feckless at best, and Arizona is taking steps to secure its own borders and get some kind of control over the people who are overwhelming.

Last summer I wrote this paper on the issue, and I think it is worth revisiting.


When Doing Good May Be Breaking The Law -

Christians are in a particularly difficult spot with this issue. We are commanded to look out for the "least of these" and we are also commanded to obey the law.

I encourage you to read the paper and offer your thoughts here.  It's not that long and an easy read.  But is is a vexing issue for our country.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sitting with Job

This has been a very trying 14 months in the life of my family.  We have experienced the usual ups and downs of life as well some very unusual events that just have me scratching my head.

My business has been battered by the disaster that is the Michigan economy. I'm still waiting for the recovery that has been talked about some time.  But it is what it is.  I knew there was a risk when I went out on my own.  There is a high risk and a high reward in a venture such as self employment, and I'm in the risk phase right now.  I'm praying that the reward phase is just around the corner.

But the real struggle has been in the health of our family.  Last year I tore my rotator cuff and labrum in an unfortunate incident.  The recovery from the surgery has taken many months and much hard work.  Today is the first day I have been able to throw a tennis ball without any tightness or hitch in my motion.  It's a small victory, but I need a victory.

My kids have both had their share of issues.  One has developed POTS, and the other has a spinal malformation that has just come to light.  I know you never want to ask the question "What else can go wrong" but I'm about there.  I know that my issues are not life-threatening but they are potentially serious medical issues that have turned our lives upside down in the past year.  I long for the days when I awoke and assumed that everything was going to be OK that day. I say this not to evoke sympathy or pity, but to bring up a point.

I have gained a great appreciation for people who have been through periods of suffering.  I have had a taste of what it is like to have the concerns of life just grind you down and suck the joy out of your day.  I've seen the depressive effects of losing hope that things will return to normal.  I've seen the bills that chronic illnesses can generate.

If you have been suffering and I have been indifferent to you, please accept my apology.  Sadly it has taken some ugly life events to open my eyes to the suffering of others.  I pray that God will use this with me in ministry to help others during their time of sitting with Job.  If you haven't read Job lately, open your Bible and take a look at a story of suffering and redemption.  It's a good, but difficult at times, read.  You will also learn that good, Godly friends are invaluable because Job's friends were next thing to useless.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How is this even a good idea?

I can't begin to tell you how wrong this story is.  And sadly, they use the same hymnals that we use.  Memo to self - do not purchase used hymnals.

Friday, December 25, 2009

In Hoc Anno Domini (So the light came into the world)


This is printed every year on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. It is a powerful testament to what this day is about.

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.


Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.


But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?


There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?


Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.


And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.


So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.


But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.


Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.


Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.


And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:


Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.


This editorial was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster and has been published annually since.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

At the end of Slavery




I am really looking forward to showing this at church. I think it will be an eye-opening experience for the community and all of us who do not see what is happening around us.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Slavery in our time


If you haven't seen the movie, At the End of Slavery, I encourage you to do so.  Slavery is alive and well across the globe, and here in the United States.  Here are some links to stories about the problem here in the United States:


Forced labour and rape, the new face of slavery in America


Sex trafficking: An American problem too


CNN has been running  a series on human trafficking and the issue is gaining more attention in the media and among law enforcement agencies.  But it is still around, and we can help.  Our church is planning a showing of the movie soon, and we have asked federal law enforcement to send a speaker to address the issues as they pertain to us locally.  I'll keep you posted on when that will happen.

In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the International Justice Mission, which addresses this issue across the globe. Learn, then get involved, Encourage your church to become involved in this fight.  This is an issue that is very close to the heart of God - the protection of the innocent and powerless.


Monday, November 30, 2009

More on the Prosperity Gospel heresy

Here are a couple articles on one of the more popular heresies of our day:  The Prosperity Gospel.



Some Thoughts on the Prosperity Gospel


Did Christianity Cause the Crash?


Quoting from the Simple Dollar:

First of all, if the prosperity gospel were true, every single person of faith would be showered in material wealth. I know some well-off people of faith. I also know some very poor people of faith. At the same time, I know some very financially poor atheists and some very well-off atheists.
Second of all, it implies a nonsensical quid pro quo. The entire idea of a prosperity gospel is based on an idea of direct reciprocity – if you believe in God, you will directly be given material wealth. This implies that God is some kind of spiritual ATM – deposit some faith and you can withdraw some cash.
This implies a very direct connection between our spiritual choices and the material world. Yet, if that direct connection were true, people of faith would have all the material wealth and people without faith would have none of the material wealth. As I pointed out above, a cursory examination of the world shows this not to be true.
Do not be seduced by these false teachers. Heed the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:
 3If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. (emphasis added).