Wednesday, June 23, 2010
We've all read Jesus saying something to the effect of how it will be better for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than a certain town who's hearts were hardened to the gospel.
And that's astonishing. I mean we regard Sodom and Gomorrah as ground zero for sexual perversion. And yet Ezekiel doesn't directly mention this aspect when he rebukes God's people.
Instead he says:
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)
I suppose the abomination might have been the sexual perversion they are so known for, but God seemed more concerned with their spiritual pride and lack of compassion in light of the suffering of others, in such stark contrast to, and in spite of, their own "prosperous ease".
So what of a gospel that is preached that offers "prosperous ease"? What of a community of believers that has excess food and everything else while millions go without? What of a modern church who's heart is hardened to this truth, that pure religion before God undefiled is to take care of the orphans and widows? What of a haughty people who think they deserve to live like king's while so many live as slaves?
I believe God is giving the first world church a very small window of time to repent. And if we don't, if we won't renounce these prosperity teachings and spend ourselves on behalf of the poor, all the ease we have known is going to disappear like water vapor and wind-blown smoke.
I believe God will do it, cause if He doesn't, well then I suppose he'd have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
There are very few things that make me see red. I mean, blood boiling, teeth grinding, white knuckle rage red. Add to that list : The Prosperity Gospel. Specifically the preachers that preach it, the stations that let them, and the publishers that disseminate that shite. Pardon my French.
So I don't have a television. I haven't had one in close to a decade. But my dad and brother's do and love sports. So it was on the occasion of being at my parent's yesterday and waiting for a World Cup match to start that one of the Christian networks was on.
This preacher. This shepherd of God's flock. This man entrusted with caring for the bride of the Son of God was spewing such contemptuous vile that I was physically nauseated. He began by saying God wants you to be blessed. After making the audience repeat it several times he chastised them by saying they weren't getting it. But, to make sure they realized just how filthy rich God wanted them to be, he began to give an exhaustive list of his many possessions. This included, but was not limited to, 3 corvettes, all that had been miraculously donated to him by someone who had heard from God to give them to him. Apparently God had forgotten the first two Corvettes when he charged his servant to give the preacher yet another one. Silly God. He went on to mention another time when someone called him out of the blue to tell him they wanted to give him yet another Corvette, but of course that was just silly, silly! He already had 3!! So a BMW, of his color preference, was shipped directly from the factory in Germany to his mansion. Glory!
Then he began to tell the audience, Christ's beloved, that they should tithe one month's mortgage payment and that God would pay off their entire mortgage very quickly, just as God had so graciously done for him.
To be honest, that was as far as I made it. The ensuing aneurysm that I would have suffered if I watched another second of that perversity dictated that the channel be changed immediately.
If this were just a very isolated case, Youtube fodder that had a couple hundred views, we could laugh and dismiss it. But it's pandemic. The prosperity gospel is a cancer on the Truth. It must be irradiated, poisoned, cut out with severe prejudice. The world is watching us and we are showing them what god we worship. What motivates us, what our hearts desire.
How can we ever be forgiven for allowing this to be preached. There are thousands of families across the world living ON GARBAGE DUMPS!!!! That's me yelling so my head doesn't explode.
There are 300 million people that live on less than a dollar a day. That's the same number of people that live in ALL of America. 1 out of 5 childhood deaths are related to poverty or unclean water. 30 million people live in REAL slavery because poverty creates such favorable circumstances for evil men to exploit them.
Are all these people God's discards? Are they the refuse of Heaven? Does He not hear their cries? Perhaps it's because they don't realize God wants them to be blessed. If they would only just pay one month's mortgage, er....um...well I guess they could panhandle for some change, pay it forward to God and within a few short months they too could be navigating the streets of poverty ravaged sub-Saharan Africa in their new sports car, a sure testimony to God's approval of them.
What?!!! Really?!!! These people are dying because the rich first world church is letting them die!!! We spend their portion on every whim of our calloused hearts. Christians give around two billion a year for world missions, about what they spend on chewing gum and scrap-booking. We spend ten times that on lawn care. 20 times that on potato chips. I could go on and on and on.... Suffice it to say it's reprobate and we are derelict in our responsibility to the poor. And then, with no fear of God, we pervert the gospel with the love of Money. I mean what else would cause a man to want 4 sports cars and talk about wealth with every breath. He loves it and so do we. Look at the Country Clubs we worship in. Look at the precious metals that drip off of us while we raise our hands in praise. Look at the espresso bars and the big screen televisions with the PS3's and the sports complexes out back. My God what have we become!?
Jesus said the love of money is the root of ALL evil. WOW!!! He said love your neighbor as your self. If you have two corvettes, er...coats give your neighbor one. In fact he said if they ask for your coat, give em yer shirt too!! But seriously. Put your family on that garbage dump, what would you think of the prosperity gospel then? What would you think about Christians that didn't spend their wealth to save you from your desperation?
We must divest ourselves of the things of this world. Before it's too late.
I'll shut up now. I'll let the Prophet speak. Forgive me, but please listen to the word of the Lord.
1The word of the Lord came to me: 2“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
7“‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.
11“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
And for the people of God:
17“‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. 18Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
20“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.