Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Seek God's Kingdom, Rather Than Kingdoms of Your Own Making


Last night I watched, for the first time in many years, some "Christian TV." On two of the shows I saw tele-preachers raising money for their ministries.

One of them was using the old strategy that goes like this:
If you give money to my ministry (you "sow a seed of faith" by sending me money), then God will see that you get multiplied monies in return. This person was quoting all kinds of Bible verses, out of context.

I felt upset. Which is why I don't watch Christian TV. Some of it is helpful, and needed. Some of it is self-serving tele-preachers building their own earthly kingdoms.

If the televangelist's strategy for getting lots of money really worked, and if they really believed it worked, then they should get off TV and just starting "sowing seeds" into other televangelists' ministries. They would bring in so much money they wouldn't know what to do with it. As a result, they would no longer need to appeal to gullible people for support.

C.S. Lewis wrote: "Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is “finding his place in it,” while really it is finding its place in him." (The Screwtape Letters)

Jesus said, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." (Luke 12: 15)

If the "prosperity gospel" is about acquiring wealth for one's own luxury and benefit, then it is surely anti-Jesus.

Richard Stearns writes: 

"How can we hold in one hand the truth that Jesus loves the poor, the widow, and the orphan yet hold in our other hand the tickets to our upcoming Disney vacation? Disparity makes us uncomfortable, especially when we know we could do something about it. So what does our faith mean in the face of this kind of disparity? Again, if we are to build our lives on the foundation of God’s truth, we must learn to see the world as he sees it. Should we not weep for what he weeps for and treasure what he treasures? Should we not “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness rather than kingdoms of our own making?" (Matt. 6:33) (Unfinished, p. 45)