Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Prosperity Gospel is No Gospel

There is much wrong with American Christianity. I am thankful that our pastor speaks with surgical precision against some of it. I stumbled upon this clip the other day:

3 comments:

Doug Fish said...

Take a look at Job 4. Job's friend is giving him the mirror image of this message: if bad things are happening to you, you must not be right with God. It was a bad message then (Job 42:7) and it still is today. I think it persists because thats how we imagine people should be dealt with. Fortunately our ways are not Gods ways. I am sorry to hear this message is being perpetuated by American missionaries. Its right for John Piper to speak out against it.

That being said I have a very hard time ever praying for suffering or personal tragedy so that Jesus can be glorified. Maybe one day I'll grow up!

Joel said...

I don't know if praying for one's own suffering or tragedy in order to glorify God is biblically supported.

I'll need to think on that.

It sounds a little like the wrong conclusion that early Christians came to which Paul was trying to correct: ie that if God's goodness/graciousness is shown by His forgiveness of our wrong doings(sin), then God/s goodness could more greatly be shown if there were more sins to forgive. Therefore, because God's goodness will be evidenced in proportion to the sin He forgives, let's do more sin! In fact, let's become experts at it.

Doug said...

Certainly suffering for being a Christian and sharing the Gospel is a good thing (2 Timothy 1, 1 Peter 4).

I'd agree there is no benefit to suffering caused by my own stupidity. I can't suggest a verse to support that, but it seems intuitive to me. I don't think God is glorified if I make a set of bad decisions and the suffer because of them.

I'm not sure I really think its a good idea to pray for suffering either. I read the suggestion in a book by an author I respected ... I can't remember the book ... it might have been something by Piper. I have wrestled with the idea for a while, I guess that why I'm throwing it on you here! It seems like a logical step from what the video suggested (if Christ can be better glorified in my suffering than my comfort, wouldn't praying for suffering be good), but I am uncertain of the biblical support for praying for suffering too.