Prosperity Gospel #2

In my previous post on this topic Prosperity Gospel, I discussed the dangers of a money orientated gospel. I would like to touch on this topic again with a bit more shocking information. I would also like to show you why I hate the prosperity gospel.

When I used to go to church when I was young, I attended a church that was spiritually competitive. A spiritually competitive church will never be spiritually edifying. It was the type of church that if you were the richest, then you were the closest to God and that’s why you were blessed. So if you drove a Mercedes or a BMW, it’s because you were spending a lot of time with God. Which is strange because non-Christians also drive those cars and so do thugs!

I remember reading prosperity books that members of the congregation recommended and sold. I would pray and read my Bible. Pray and be as good as I can be so that God would bless us. Spending money for school was a rare privilege. We sometimes walked to school. We couldn’t do what the other kids did because I couldn’t afford it. We were just happy with the plate of food we had on our table every day. I would pray for clothes, shoes and money. It was like talking to a brick wall. My uniform would get small and I would need new school shoes hoping that God would provide but nothing seemed to happen. Eventually, I would get what I needed but what about the abundant blessings that God spoke about in His word?

I remember walking 4Km to church while I saw other people with cars never show up. I never had money to godly things but others had cash for alcohol and club nights. God, why are you so unfair?

I remember when I stopped praying about all these things. I just believed and trusted God irrespective whether He ‘blessed’ me or not. I didn’t care whether he provided or not, my allegiance is not conditional. If I die today, I know where I’m going. I’m not living for here and now, I’m living for the mansion that Jesus is preparing for me. We should pray more for our eternal destination rather than temporary things. Don’t get me wrong, God does provide our needs, and wants! However, you have a problem if you only want to get close to God so that you can get what you want. You go to God to get God!

I have no respect for churches who have chosen leaders based on their paycheck. Wearing suits and expensive dresses doesn’t bring you closer to God. Owning that mansion won’t take you to heaven and driving that Ferarri won’t take you closer to God.

One of our leaders said this: “Are you still successful if you excel at your workplace but fail God and your family?”

 

Now to the scary part. The real scary part. Revelations 13:

16And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name

 

According to Revelation 13, The Bible predicts that unless you accept a mark in exchange for your soul, you will not be able to buy or sell. That means that you cannot work or own a business. No income. No way to pay for your house. No car debit orders. No way of purchasing food or water for your family. It is practically choosing to be a hobo on the street! You can beg all you like but no one can give you money because the mark is what the economy runs on. People will be told not to give you any food, besides in a world like today, people don’t help the poor. Why would they help Christian people that they hate? Farming would be illegal by then. Christians would have to live in jungles or on mountains, anywhere that has water nearby. And you would probably be hunted for breaking the law.

The question is: If the mark were enforced into the economy today, would you leave your job, your bank accounts, your home, your car? Would you leave everything for the sake of eternal life?

The prosperity gospel preachers are preparing people today to receive that mark! People are chasing the dime instead of drawing close to God. And when the mark of the beast comes out, people will take it because they believe in a God who wants them to be wealthy. How many Christians will be taking that Mark? How many will sacrifice their eternity for the sake of status and comfort? Who will tell these prosperity preachers to shut up?

Just My Thoughts…

I don’t like this world that we are living in. I don’t know if it’s just me or is there others out there? So much of brokenness around us and what are we doing? Those who complain about this sick world are probably the ones causing the problems or doing nothing about it. We live in a world that will grab a Ferrari at the expense of your bread and butter. Giving is better than taking but no one believes that anymore. We live in a society that aims high, so high that they will trample others to get there. Morals are out the window and what’s left in the room apart from chaos? We think we are good people because of what we have as if we worked for it but did we? We just acted shrewdly to obtain things without batting an eye. That’s the world we live in and sadly some people get into the rat race and they never get out of it. The rat race is when we strive to have a better lifestyle. So we get that car, we get that house, and all the luxuries that you can’t afford because it’s all on credit. Then you have a promotion and you earn more. So what do you do? Because you earn more you decide to upgrade your life. This results in you getting more in debt and you still have no money. So what has changed? Nothing! You still in the same situation, your life hasn’t improved! You still chasing money because of the debts and you still can’t sleep at night. We then compromise our morals because we are afraid of losing our jobs so we will do anything we are told to do. Hence, we are slaves…

Money has destroyed people by its existence and by its absence…

What about the Church? What are they doing? They are also in the system. Are they not? They preach promotion and money and blessings! You hardly hear about Christ and what He has done for you anymore. It’s all about what He can do for you if you pay more tithes. All those people who dress wealthily are handsomely welcomed but if a beggar came in, would they be treated Christlike? I don’t know. They probably would look down on them and think that God was punishing that person for their lack of faith. I remember being in a prosperity church when I was a kid. Everyone looked down on you as if you were a sinner. Strange enough, I probably knew the Bible more than them. I’m not boasting, they were. I remember when a man told my Dad during a meeting that the reason why he was battling financially was that he hardly spent time with God. Strange though, my Dad always had devotion every night. He attended church services religiously but that doesn’t matter, right? I would pray for God to bless me and provide all the things I needed but all I heard was my voice echoing off the ceiling and coming back to me with silence. Where you at God?

Some people treat God like He’s an ATM

‘Draw’ me close to you is what we say to Him

I stopped praying for blessings a long time ago. My good works don’t qualify for God’s grace. Yes, He provides but He gives because of His grace, not because He owes you. Not because you are a Christian. Not because you pay tithes. God is God and He is above all things. He cares for you. I learnt a lot during those times of struggle. It showed me my true friends and sadly, they are extremely few.

 

I wrote a book and wanted to publish it but I didn’t have the finances. I eventually got a job but now I don’t have time to edit it. I don’t have time to write anymore. I got a old laptop that takes long so I can’t do it when I come back from work. I write my poetry free style on the internet. I create these quotes for Instagram but that comes from my thoughts in my head. Sometimes I’m unable to write that thought down and so I forget it, never to return again. I said things to people that made them cry yet on the other side of the world someone is hating me for telling the truth. I encourage one person and then switch to someone who is debating against the Gospel. Atheists, Calvinists and people who believe that I’m too religious. Currently, 32% of my followers say that I’m too judgmental. I guess that’s what they call those who tell the truth. I write poetry for the Church and I know they not going to like it. But the day is coming when I will say what I need to say, and they will have to hear the truth.

pexels-photo-459688.jpeg

 

Enough of the past and the present. Let’s go to the future. I’ve been thinking about a lot of the One who I will be spending my life with. I haven’t met her yet and I’m starting to question her existence. It’s hard searching for something rare but it’s even harder waiting for something that you expect to be coming. Especially when the clock is ticking. Many of my friends are already married or are thinking about it. I have never dated before because I’m waiting patiently for the One. People ridicule me, I don’t care but what if she isn’t real? I want a godly woman but it’s hard to see some in my church! I guess my standards are too high or they just succumbed to the status quo of church women? Maybe I’m too religious or self-righteous but I’m not willing to compromise who I am for the sake of infatuation. I’m not saying that these women are low standard but I’m not going to be in a relationship where there is no compatibility.

“Don’t worry Kristian, you will find a nice godly woman who you will marry.”

“Thanks, but I stopped believing in fairytales a long time ago…”

I’m someone with logic. I won’t give it up for emotions. Too many people let down their morals for beauty. But I rather find beauty in someone who leads me to Christ. You would be surprised to find how many people who regret marrying who they are married to right now. They hate men/women and trash talk marriage. I don’t want to end up like that. To marry someone is to dedicate your entire life to that person so you have to make the right decision! If you are interested in someone, don’t go hitting them up over text, they can hide who they are with those emoji’s. Spend time face to face and then you will know who you are dealing with. Because if you are having a relationship over a mobile device, chances are you will one day marry that stranger!

I have to admit that I have like girls in the past. Girls that I had admired or maybe I was just infatuated with but I never pursue them because I knew I wasn’t ready. The question is: How will I know when I am?

I feel in love with someone. Or probably the illusion that I have created in my mind of who she is or will be like. Chances are, my dreams will come true or I’ll be greatly disappointed…

Prosperity Gospel

Now, many are going to be offended by what I am going to say but this message has been stirring in my mind for quite some time now and indeed I must tell the truth. There is a gospel which is really no gospel at that is being preached a lot to the masses. Preachers all around the world are getting paid to preach this fine mirage that tickles the ears of the lukewarm congregation that never does anything for the kingdom of God. They wouldn’t, of course, because they don’t worship Jesus, they worship Mammon. They bow down low to money and that is all they live for. In my previous post Tithing, I mentioned that most people give tithes not because they are thankful for what they have but for what God is going to give them because they are tithing. I have read the Bible many times but nowhere in the scriptures does it say that God is our ATM. Nowhere does it say that He is our personal genie or Santa Claus. In fact, if I read correctly, it states that we must submit to Him and place our trust in Him.

You can’t serve both God and money…. (Matthew 6:24)

Does not God want us to be prosperous? Yes, absolutely! Does He want us to be rich? No, out of the question. You may think I’m crazy but guess what? Scripture states that 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 19:24). Yet in Proverbs 28:25, he who trusts the Lord will prosper. God wants us to prosper but not to be rich. There’s a difference. Prosperity is having an abundance, you have what you need and you give away the extra only for it to be replaced constantly. It is a repetition of God’s grace in your life. Being rich is having what you need and what you want and a ton more sitting in the bank, dormant. It is a repetition of greed. 

Every time we choose money over Jesus, we betray him like Judas…

So what’s wrong with being rich? In Matthew 19:16-24, we find the story of the rich young man. He had everything he wanted. He was young and he had a lot of money, he could whatever he wanted, any girl he wanted, any possession he wanted to attain was his. But he couldn’t have Jesus???? And it was his own choice???? You see, when you become rich, you live for yourself, your desires, your affections. You believe in God but just don’t need Him anymore, your money brings you all the things you don’t even need to pray for. Your trust in God diminishes and eventually, you begin to forget Him. You spend more time chasing money, now you no longer have time for Him. You have a different circle of friends so you compromise your godly standards for gratification. Everything we aim for is the fickle things of this earth. Nothing is worth it, it’s all meaningless goods. And with the millions in the bank, you still won’t be happy…

If the devil can’t stop the Church with persecution, he will use seduction…

2 Timothy 3 states that in the last days, people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money ….. lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Today, we have false teachers preaching about having a good life. This was prophesied 2 Peter 2:3. They lie to you, tell you that God wants you to be prosperous, to have a good life. To be blessed and wealthy.

“Make sure you give us your money otherwise you won’t get blessed. You gotta give in order to receive!”

Prosperity Gospel basically demands what is rightfully yours. That’s blasphemy! We don’t deserve anything. What we have been given is by grace and by grace alone. We never earned anything, what we have is freely given by God. God owes us nothing. He died to save us from sin, not so that you could be rich! Preachers out there are making everything about money. It’s time to rise up and live a life of purpose, not chasing the wind…

The real Gospel states that we must surrender and submit to God. Prosperity gospel states that God must submit to us.

I don’t think Jesus followed that motto. He loved us while we were sinners. Died for us when we were still dead in our sins. He loved us unconditionally. God wants you to be blessed and prosperous. But do we even know what that means? And maybe we already are? What about those who are poor? Those with no food? Those who have no shelter? Have these people sinned? Maybe, maybe not, but we are sinning if we are not sharing our blessings with them.

Last Christmas Message

I got a few questions. it might annoy you. It might make you think. It might make reprioritize your life. It might offend you and cause you to shrug it off, having no change in your life whatsoever…

But I have to ask these questions. I just have to…

If Christmas is about peace and joy, where is it? if it’s about family and friends, where is it? Why is no one happy? I just stopped by my local supermarket to buy a few things and I had to wait in the queue. I whipped out my cellphone to check any messages when a loud voice boomed from behind. “HELLO!”

I turned to see a middle-aged man who was also waiting in line, his eyes were directed to some of the cashiers. He had a load of grocery products in his arms. “I see you talking stories over there. We waiting here to be served here while you waste our time!”

So much for the happy season. People venting their frustration in a jolly time as Christmas. Why?

Why is that the very same season that is supposed to bring the family together is the same season that has so many fights and conflict? They are fussing and moaning on what theme they want, what gifts to buy, what food to prepare and what clothes they should purchase.

While we moan about the preparations, some don’t even have anything to prepare. While we complain about spending so much, some don’t even have money at this time of the year. While we complain about the family members that we cannot stand, there are people who have lost loved ones this year.

So, it is extremely obvious that our priorities have been shifted to something that’s not even important. But what is exactly? What is this pandemonium that has slipped into our lives? Is it selfishness? Is it Pride? Or is it the comparison between us and others?

How is it that we push down doors to get in shops for a better sale? How can saving a quick buck be more important than humanity? There are people trampled by hordes of greedy people?

Why is that the death toll is exponentially high in these times? Why is that some don’t live more carefully? Is this not the season about Jesus? Why is it that many engage in drunkenness? Vouching for fun but no responsibility is on the to-do list. And as they drown in their vulnerability, they miss most of the best parts of their lives…

And in the end, when the turkey is eaten, the bottles empty, and so are we. Because our happiness wasn’t based on what we had for Christmas but in what we give, who we are and what we were made to be….

 

Tithing

Truth Series Part 7

With the number of sermons that we have on tithing, it is pointless to prove this by scripture. Hands down, the Bible says that 10% of your earnings must be given to God. What I want to get across here is my perception of tithing. My view on it. I am not infallible but I believe that the Bible is. So if you disagree, that’s fine, but I can tell you now, most of the people who will disagree with me are probably pastors!

In the book of Acts, or in the entire New Testament for that matter, there is no mention of the 10% tithe. Why? Because the Christians at that time gave everything they had. They gave all their wealth which was distributed to those who were really in need. They also gave their lives to the cause of God’s kingdom. Needless to say, Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 never end well when they held back a portion of the funds they had claimed to have given. 

C.S. Lewis quoted in his book ‘Mere Christianity’:

C.S. Lewis

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity


Therefore, we give a certain amount and this eases our conscience. We think we have done enough and that should be alright. We live in a culture where we are not really concerned about giving or helping another. Rather, we use our ‘hard earned money’ to buy things we don’t need that give us comfort. We spend our finances on luxuries so that we can show off on social media and just fit in the trend of the modern world. Don’t feel guilty. We all do it. Giving a buck to a beggar easing our aching conscience of spending thousands on something that we could have done without. No doubt, that amount of money could be used for better use, like feeding 10 people for a week!

But anyway, let’s continue tithing…

So, in the Bible, the Jews would bring the 10% of their produce or earnings and give it to the priest at the temple. Of course, the Levite priests would receive a certain amount of this tithe. The priests had no job or means of earning a living. hence, that’s what the tithes were for. So the priests would take what they needed and the rest was distributed to orphans, to the widows and of course, the poor.

Today, we find millions of dollars are received into churches and what does the pastor do with it? Just think about that for a second…

The pastors buy Mercedes and mansions for themselves. They adorn their lavish lifestyles with unnecessary things and proclaim that God has blessed them. They make their wealth a sign or evidence that God is using them or blessing them. 

Now nobody tithes to thank God for what they have, they tithe in the expectation that God will give them more money as if tithing was a huge gamble…

Some pastors boast of their private jets. For what? Some even have a fleet! All this will pass away. it is clear that they are building their own kingdom instead of the kingdom of God. Your heart is where your treasure is. Surely it is upon this world which will fade away soon…


Case Study

A non-Christian was selling a car. One Saturday, a pastor approaches him with the intention to buy the vehicle. After the seller had told him the price, the pastor replied: “I’m having a church service tomorrow morning, I’ll check my funds and come back to you…”


The money that is received into the church is to pay for all its cost and also for the pastor to live on. Whatever is left over should be used to help the poor. How many people are going to church, listening to a prosperity gospel as the preacher receives a fat lot of money, then go to a home without food?

So let’s think a bit here, out of the box. If the preacher is not doing what is right with the tithes we give, why can’t we refrain from giving money to the church and use that same money to help the poor? It would still be tithing! The only difference is that we will start being the Church for a change. Instead of sitting in the pews like spectators, we will be extending God’s kingdom…