Sunday, September 24, 2006

Does God want us to be rich?

That was the question the lead story in last week's Time magazine asked. What do you think?

According to the article,
...a full 61% [of Christians] believed that God wants people to be prosperous. And 31%—a far higher percentage than there are Pentecostals in America—agreed that if you give your money to God, God will bless you with more money.
Wow, 61% is almost a majority. Proponents of this message are often called purveyors of what's called the 'prosperity gospel'.

Examples of preachers in our era who at least partially claim this credo include Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and Creflo Dollar. It's a message that has its roots in the Pentecostal movement.

All evangelicals definitely do not agree with this theology. The 'money' quote finds Rick Warren correcting,
This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy? There is a word for that: baloney. It's creating a false idol. You don't measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn't everyone in the church a millionaire?
Nicely put. Luke 6:20 says,
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Jesus goes so far as to say in Matthew 19:23,
I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
What does this mean for our country? I have recently been reading a couple books--The Irresistable Revolution and Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger--that argue we certainly will be held accountable. We live as and among the wealthiest people in the world. Does God want us to be this rich? It's a question we must ask ourselves.


Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know about you suckers, but I think that God wants me to be rich. Otherwise, He wouldn't have given me all this bling, my rocked out crib, and my pimped out whip.


Tom Cleland said...

Here is my open letter to conservative Christians: