Don’t Say Amen to the Money Gospel
This showed up on my Facebook feed today, along with the instruction to “type Amen and SHARE” and then the money would be all mine within 24 hours!
Look at that fat roll of moolah!
And do you know how many people shared that photo! Over 1 million people! I bet they each got a fat roll of moolah because God can bless people with as many fat rolls of moolah as he wants, right?
Jesus must love to give people money. I’m sure it’s in the Bible somewhere, like this passage:
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:13-15.)
Oops, Jesus said God detests the things people value, like money. Maybe I was thinking of this passage:
Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:24-25.)
Nope, not that one either. Maybe it’s this one:
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12: 33-34.)
OK, I’m stumped. Where’s the passage where Jesus said he wants to give everyone a lot of cash?
You can search and search, but you won’t find it. And here’s the kicker: the outfit that posted that photo isn’t a Christian ministry. In fact, when I checked out their Facebook page I found out that they post nothing but photos and videos designed to get people to share them, no matter what the message, including photos and videos with profanity and sex. It’s nothing but a click-bait site.
Shame on Name It and Claim It Prosperity Preachers
The responsibility for the popularity of a photo like that one can be laid in part at the feet of those who preach a name-it-and-claim-it gospel. Creflo Dollar made headlines recently when he asked his followers to send in enough money to buy him a jet (his board of directors later decided they already have enough money on hand to buy the $65 million aircraft) while Victoria Osteen told her followers it’s best to focus on themselves when they worship rather than on God:
When the focus is on yourself and on getting money to buy jets that billionaires line up to acquire, it’s easy to understand why people see a photo like the one posted on Facebook and think, “Why not me? Why shouldn’t I get vast wealth like Creflo and Victoria?”
After all, prosperity preachers like Leroy Thompson tell their followers that the Bible teaches “God said: ‘it is time to tell the money you don’t belong to the wicked, you belong to us.’ .. Money come to me now!” (See the article “10 Crazy Quotes” from The Christian Post for the source of that quote and more.)
Again, though, Jesus told his followers the opposite.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:57-58.)
I suspect some name-it-and-claim-it prosperity preachers will try to explain that away by insisting Jesus said these things just for those who were with him as he traveled across the land, and that there is a different blessing of wealth for us who follow him after the Holy Spirit came to be with God’s people.
They’d be wrong. Look at Peter and John, two of the biggest leaders of the church:
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. (Acts 3:1-8.)
These are two of Jesus’ closest personal friends – filled with the power of the Holy Spirit- and they didn’t have a penny to give the man. Oh, he looked to them for wealth sure enough, but they set him straight.
A fat roll of moolah is worthless in comparison to the real gospel of Jesus Christ.
Can someone say amen to that?