Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Prosperity Theology

I do my best to not judge how others worship God, or the type of Christian Church they attend because as Ravi Zacharias poignantly said "unity of faith doesn't mean uniformity of expression," and ultimately how one worships isn't results-oriented towards pleasing a humanly 3rd party, but rather towards praising God.

However, Prosperity Theology crosses me as distinctly American. Embracing the assumption that God always physically heals or protects trusting, praying believers from tragedies stands in bold contrast to the history of the Christian church marked by martyrdom and sacrifice of its believers.

Not to mention what the Bible teaches:
  • [W]e rejoice that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rm 5:3-5)
  • Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. (Jm 1:2-4)
  • The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation; but the one who is rich should boast in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a flower of the field. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities. (Jm 1:9-11).
None of us want to suffer, and C.S. Lewis said along the lines that it is easier to talk about the problem of pain until you have a toothache, however to expect life to be magically easier when one accepts Christ is simply mistaken. True, we ought to be the most joyous people on Earth, but that doesn't mean that we are guaranteed a life of pain-free luxury. Rather, the biggest difference when one accepts Christ's eternal gift is the ability and the strength to view things from a Godly perspective.

1 comment:

  1. If you like this sort of things, you should read Epictetus' Discourses and Selected Writings (in all your spare time :D ).