Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bishop Noel Jones: Prosperity Gospel Partially to Blame for Economic Crisis

By: Min. Angela Lee Price
In the May 19th article, Black Church Memberships Increase-Offerings Decrease by Hazel Edney, Bishop Noel Jones, pastor of the 17,000-member City of Refuge Church in Los Angeles makes profound statements concerning the prosperity gospel’s negative effect on the current economic crisis and the decline in church giving. I truly appreciate his comments. I have heard Noel Jones warn audiences on several occasions over the past six years about the negative effects of the prosperity gospel. It was his willingness to do that that helped change how I saw him, eventhough as he has said, he runs in those circles. I have been praying for his ministry. I have said for some time, that if only certain preachers would repent from prosperity preaching, they would make great expositors of sound biblical doctrine. I hope they are listening to their colleague now.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

In addition to scriptures, tangible know-how to correct and add balance to some of what has been taught in churches over the years will be key, says Bishop Noel Jones, pastor of the 17,000-member City of Refuge in Los Angeles, which he says is down only 6-10 percent on income.Jones says unbalanced teachings in the church are partially to blame for the crisis.

“We have endured 25 years of health, wealth and prosperity preaching and the prophet should have told us that we were going to be in this kind of situation and circumstance since they have such prophetic words,” Jones says. “What happens is the church has capitalized the gospel and we have preached Americanism for gospel and ultimately we ended up crashing because there is no credulity and authenticity in the whole presentation.”

He continues, “The only people who were making any real money were those who were expostulating the theology that left the psychology that debilitated the minds of those who were involved. The debilitation is that everybody expected to bring an offering in church and just get rich though nobody participated and partnered with God. Because at the end of the day nobody receives a check in an envelope postmarked from heaven.

It’s your participation that makes it happen…The ministry and the preachers have taken so much money from the church and lived lavish lifestyles. We need to put something back. We need to equip our people. As James puts it, very explicitly, ‘Faith without works is dead’. We co-create, we perpetuate God’s creation by functioning responsibly.”

Jones said many Christians have basically lived on credit and owned nothing.

“So, what everybody was talking about as God’s blessing was people living on credit. And the Bible says that the borrower is subject to the lender. So, Christian America simply joined the capitalistic bandwagon - and in the name of God - articulated a theology that has no credulity.”

Read two of several related posts on this blog:

I Fold At A Hundredfold!
Bishop Noel Jones: Word of Faith Theology Crippling the Black Church

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

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