Friday, February 27, 2009

Against the Prosperity Gospel

Here are some of the verses that I was told to memorize when I first became a Christian through the Navigators. The Nav leader instructed me (or interpreted for me) that these verses are clear that God would protect me from all harm and only his perfect, loving will would happen to me . . . as long as I did what the Navigator told me to do . . . woops, I mean as long as I did what “God” told me to do. If I didn’t obey God, then his protection would suddenly disappear. Somewhat like gang extortion would do to businesses in south LA.

These are some of the foundational verses for the prosperity Gospel. Just listen to any TV Evangelist and they will quote one of these if you listen to them long enough.

Jeremiah 29

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Proverbs 21

1The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

Matt: 10

29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

Job 1

10"Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.

I certainly don’t have the time or the expertise to give an expose on these above verses but I’m sure some great theologians have.. However, I . . . and many Evangelicals . . . have been deceived.

If you simply go back and read these passages in narrative as well as historical context you will see that it is saying something very differently than what I was led to believe. We were taught a Gnostic interpretation. For example, we were taught that the Jeremiah verse was a direct promise to me personally from God. A promise that he was going to make me prosperous . . . as long as I did everything that the Nav leader . . . er I mean that God told me to do.

But the promise in Jeremiah is to the nation of Israel in very precise historical times. If you read the Matt verse in context, you will see too that it is talking about something very differently than the fact that God controls every cell in our bodies and will prevent them from becoming cancerous . . . unless, for some odd reason, he wants the cell to become cancerous.

More to come . . .

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