Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Show Me the Money!

By: Angela Lee Price

Because some preachers are mishandling the Word of God, many Christians think God owes them riches simply because they accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They view God as a genie, butler, chef, maid, and ATM machine. We see them all the time with their hands on their hips, rolling their eyes, and pointing their fingers at God shouting with attitude, "Yo, Jesus! Show me the money!

Beware the prosperity preachers. Their gospel is a distortion of the Word of God. We can't just demand what we want, and expect Him to give it to us. If that were the case, we'd all be rich. Jesus doesn't "owe" us anything, except a beatdown when we're disrespectful. The book entitled When Cultist Ask: A Popular Handbook On Cultic Misinterpretations by Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes will help those truly seeking knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to properly interpret the Word of God. I highly recommend this book. I cited it previously in the August 2006 post, I Fold At A Hundredfold.

Below is how Geisler and Rhodes explain, on page 245, the misinterpretation of 2 Corinthians 8:9, the passage often use to prove that God purposed for you to be rich.

2 Corinthians 8:9 – Does this verse indicate that financial prosperity is in the atonement, as Word-Faith teachers argue?

Misinterpretation: Second Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that through he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich” (NIV). Word-Faith teachers cite this verse in support of their view that financial prosperity is provided for in the atonement.

Correcting The Misinterpretation: If Paul intended to say that prosperity is provided for in the atonement, he was offering the Corinthians something that he himself did not possess at the time. Indeed, in 1 Corinthians 4:11, Paul informed these same individuals that he was “hungry and thirsty,” “poorly clothed,” “homeless.” He also exhorted the Corinthians to be imitators of his life and teaching (1 Cor. 4:16).

In 2 Corinthians 8:9, it seems clear that Paul was speaking about spiritual prosperity, not financial prosperity. This fits both the immediate context in 2 Corinthians and the broader context of Paul’s other writings. For example, if financial prosperity was provided for in the atonement, one must wonder why Paul informed the Philippians Christians that he had learned to be content even when going hungry. (Phil. 4:11-12). One would think he would have instead claimed the prosperity promised in the atonement to meet his every need.

Don't let Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, and their prosperity croonies creep up on you and those you love. Add When Cultist Ask to your library today. This resource will help you to defend the faith.

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!

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