Thursday, July 30, 2009
Show Me the Money!
This is such a great article. Be sure to read the whole thing.
It basically takes a census of the prosperity movement. Who are these people that go to these churches? The study surveyed 35,000 people that are a part of this (largely Pentecostals) and they found that on the average, these people that are told if they will give their money to the church then God will make them wealthy and they will have God's favor, make less per year than other Christian groups!
The results show that Pentecostals have the most high school dropouts, the fewest college graduates, and the fewest post-graduates. But the most interesting thing is that they earn the least annual income of any other Christian tradition polled. This is shocking, considering that a main feature in popular Pentecostalism is the Prosperity Gospel, where church members are promised that God will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams if they tithe generously and believe that they will receive the money.
So do they lack God's favor, or do they lack faith? And what about prosperity proponent Paula White, who, I believe has a church in San Antonio (or at least used to). She and her husband (who she is now divorced from) are millions of dollars in debt. Where is the favor of God?
Answer: There never was favor from God - just manipulation from greedy false teachers! Here is my favorite paragraph in the article:
My point is that while the world howls at the scam artists who fail to deliver on big promises, Christianity has its very own Ponzi scheme that’s alive and well. At least when Bernie Madoff promised big returns he actually delivered (if only for a moment); the prosperity gospel doesn’t even do that much. When Joel Osteen, Ken Copeland, Paula White, or Benny Hinn take your money, you’ll never see it again (unless you happen to glimpse one of their private jets leaving a runway for Bermuda).
I know, I know: Judge not, lest you be judged Pastor Phil! (If I had a dollar for every time that verse is used out of context, I could start a prosperity TV ministry and finally make some SERIOUS money!)
We should be outraged at this in the same way we are outraged at corrupt politicians. Our Senators and Congressmen are supposed to be in Washington for the good of the people, but many times they turn it into what is good for them personally. This is no different, except a lot more is riding on it! Ministers are supposed to be God's voice to the people, rightly interpreting God's Word to deliver God's message and to steer His Church in the right direction. Unfortunately, just like corrupt politicians, they make it into what is good for their bottom line.
C'mon Church! Discern, discern, discern! Don't exchange the Truth of God for a lie.