Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Mythical Spiritual Realm...

One of the tenets of life for the follower of Christ pertains to one's involvement in this "life." It is too easy, too common place for the Christ follower to relegate personal convictions to a "conscience closet" where it is contained at a personal level but never sees the light of day the rest of the time. Let's face it, that is precisely where the enemy of our souls and the enemies of Christ want us to keep our faith. Thank God there have been a few faithful "Lights" willing to be shown for the darkness to see--and at great cost. "A major theme for Dietrich Bonhoeffer was that every Christian must be fully human by bringing God into his whole life not merely into some "spiritual" realm. To be an ethereal figure who merely talked about God, but somehow refused to get his hands dirty in the real world in which God had placed him was bad theology." Bonhoeffer by E. Metaxas p. 361 The Proper Pursuit of Prosperity (Tate Publishing)explains.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

More "Prosperity" Deception

America's Pastor of positivity tweeted this yesterday: "There is a direct correlation between declaring favor and receiving favor. Declare that you are expecting "unprecedented favor!” This is the old "Name it, Claim it" theology of the hucksters of charlatans like Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagen, Paula White, and too many to list. When one wonders, "Where does this come from in Scripture," one must answer--"It doesn't."

I read the Bible through cover to cover nearly every year and have been studying it for over 30. I can say, this is NOT from the Bible and yet from the affirming tweets I read replying to Pastor Joel, people love it! And it will be the death of their spiritual life, their faith walk and perhaps even the church if it doesn't get a clue.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Comments on The Proper Pursuit...

"I just finished reading The Proper Pursuit of Prosperity by William E. Cripe, Sr. It was a breath of fresh air. Many seem to treat God like a magic genie where all wishes come true. Sin has many negative effects. I was reminded that we truly can not trust our heart, but need to use Scripture as our life compass. Thanks Bill Cripe, let me know when you publish your next book."

Gary Morin

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Words From One of the Past's Greats

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran Pastor who was executed for participating in a plot to assassinate Hitler. He was a theologian in his own right. His words below reminded me--yet again--of the waywardness of the prosperity preachers and the god they have created; a god who is always there when and where one wants him to answer their beck and call. The God Bonhoeffer describes is NOT the god of the prosperites.

"If it is I who determine where God is to be found, I shall always find a God who corresponds to me in someway, who is obliging, who's connected with my own nature. But if God determines where he is to be found then I'll be in a place which is not immediately pleasing to my nature and which is none at all congenial to me. This place is the cross of Christ and whoever would find him must go to the foot of the cross as the sermon on the mount commands. This is not according to our nature at all; it is entirely contrary to it but this is the message of the Bible."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bonhoeffer on the lack of theology in America circa 1930

On coming to Union Theology Seminary Bonhoeffer already a PhD noted, "There is no theology here… We talk a blue streak without the slightest substantive foundation with no evidence of any criteria. Students--on the average 25 to 30 years old are completely clueless with respect to what dogmatics is really about. They're unfamiliar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, laugh at the fundamentalist and yet basically are not even up to their level.

Paul tells Timothy that the believer in Jesus is a soldier with loyalty and complete focus on the mission, remembering there are rules in this endeavor of Faith,--it isn't an "anything goes," benign spirituality and through hard work and wise application of knowledge there is a payoff. (2 Tim 13-11)

But never forget:

The mission is about Jesus Christ risen from the dead; that is the foundation of it all and if that is ever lost through distraction, ever corrupted by false preachers, ever diminished through pseudo-scholarship or reinterpreted to some candy lozenge as a nicety rather then necessity, we will forfeit eternity and our promise of being with Him!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Reason AND Faith

"God has put enough into this world to make faith in Him a most reasonable thing; but he has left enough out to make it impossible to live by reason." Ravi Zacharias (Introduction to "Why Jesus?")

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another example of the way Scripture is twisted

Recently a local prosperity preacher posted the following on Face Book:
Poverty is not next to Godliness. In scripture it's most often associated with sin, disobedience or ignorance of the Word. I wonder why it's so strongly defended in so many pulpits?

I posted the response
: I'd be surprised if poverty is "defended" in any pulpit as much as the presumption or demand of wealth is being advanced as if it is "next to godliness" or is some indicator of holiness or faith. Let's face it, He who was rich became poor... Thanks be to God!

The following comment was posted by a man from Texas:

It's amazing that just about all the Godly men of the Bible were also men who God blessed with great wealth! It's also amazing that when Jesus asked his disciples about feeding the multitude.. they said they only had about 200 pennyworth of money on them.. Mark 6:37

In that day a penny was a days wages, that's 200 days wages Jesus ministry had... depending on what you set the national average... Jesus would of had. So in today's wages the average worker in America gets 16 and some change an hour times 8 hours equals 168 times 200 = 33,600.00

That's a lot of money for a ministry to carry around with them... I sure wish I had that much money in my billfold!!! So don't tell me Jesus was poor... That phrase has nothing to do with money... Just saying... ;>D

Then the original poster submitted the following:
He became poor that we might be made rich. Prosperity is no sin, nor is it achieved by scripture coercion. Prosperity is a tri level thing: Natural, Soulical & Spirit. Our spirit becomes prosperous thru the act of salvation. Natural prosperity occurs as we come into agreement with our New & Better Covenant. But, as John pointed out it hinges on how willingly we direct our soul (mind, will & emotions) to prosper in the things of God. Prosperity is never a sign of spiritual maturity any more than renouncing it is. It is simply a benefit of relationship and a tool for spreading the kingdom.

The remark about the disciples in Mark 6 is a very interesting way to read that passage.
Here is what Mark 6 says in the immediate context:

Mar 6:34ff When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, "This place is desolate and it is already quite late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But He answered them, "You give them something to eat!" And they *said to Him, "Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?"
And He *said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they *said, "Five, and two fish."
And He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass.
They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.
And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all.

Note, there is nothing in the text indicating the disciples had 200 Denarii with them. Rather the statement was made somewhat sarcastically showing they were baffled as to how they were supposed to feed the multitudes. In other words,they were saying, "Do you have any idea what it would cost to feed such a crowd? Like we're going to come up with the 200 Denarii to feed this bunch." "The ministry" wasn't cash flush as the Texan stated. The disciples statement reflects where their own heads are at concerning Jesus. As we know, they didn't exactly have it all put together that Jesus was who he said He was. Jesus of course had other plans.

The Texan also overstates asserting that "…about all the godly men of the Bible were men God blessed with great wealth." Some were certainly rich, at least in the Old Testament but as you move into the New Testament we see a working class pretty much trying to make ends meet as being the norm.

The sad aspect of such a prosperity emphasis is that the over whelming majority of the world, many of whom are Jesus loving people, live very meagerly to say the least. According to the precepts of prosperity gospel, this would indicate that the majority of believers in the world aren't very faithful, and certainly aren't very blessed by God.

Don't misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with great wealth in and of itself, that is why my book is called "The PROPER Pursuit of Prosperity."

Finally--The statement the original poster put up is a bit disturbing: referring to the "blessing" of prosperity he writes: "It is simply a benefit of relationship and a tool for spreading the kingdom. Implicit in this statement is that any believer who is not experiencing prosperity is somehow deficient and that outward prosperity is to be an attractor of people to want to come to Christ. THAT is troublesome indeed.