The Prosperity Gospel: A simple exaggeration.
Tim Philips posted a video that shows the sort of crazed frenzy that results from the Prosperity Gospel. Most of us will see it and think, "I'd never fall for that!" Sadly we do every day...
Here's how the Prosperity Gospel creeps into our thinking in the most mundane of ways. Any time we consider what Christ can do for us, we're tapping into the same theme that drives the Prosperity Gospel. I see it in myself all too often: Have you ever said the following?
- I got a lot out of that worship service.
- That church is nice, but they don't have a lot to offer me.
- I get as much out of (being in the woods, time with my kids, watching TV, whatever) as I do (being in church, reading the Word, going to Small Group).
- Jesus is the answer to my problems.
Certainly, God blesses us in many ways-- and yes, he blesses some financially, too. But we're here for His glory. If we're blessed, it is so that we will bless others and point the way to Jesus Christ. Christ is not the answer, solution, handyman, band-aid, or whatever metaphor you want to use. He will often provide the answer or solution, fix what's broken, or offer relief from our pain-- but those acts are secondary to His mission of reconciling us to God.
Abraham is my favorite example of this concept. he was indeed blessed, but not for his own sake. See Genesis 3:1-2 (NIV)-
"I will make you into a great nation...and I will bless you... and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
So, why has God blessed you?