lurking 1: health and wealth
One of the best things about blogging is lurking round other people’s blogs to get a good sense of what’s going on in nutty corners of the world. I follow a wide variety of blogs, including a mixed bag of Christian blogs. According to my advanced intellectual classification system, some of them are nasty and stupid, some of them are well-meaning and stupid, and some of them are well-meaning and intellectually sound (to a degree). As with all other blogs, if they state something foul, I comment, if they say something interesting, I ‘like’ and comment if appropriate, and if they say something blah, I move on to the next blog. But sometimes lurking around the post-post comments section, one finds little nuggets of delight worth savouring. So, I’m going to start a ‘lurking’ series to share these these gems with a wider audience.
I hope this series will help illustrate the millions, nay billions, of interpretations available of the divinely inspired word of a clever god. Remember, we can’t draw any conclusions about what an excellent book it is from people’s inability to understand it correctly!
Today’s gem comes from someone who believes their deity saved them from certain death because they prayed correctly (even explaining how dead people failed in their prayers), and their deity makes them rich so they can share their wealth with poor people. Enjoy!
I would be dead if not for the teachings of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland (who you picture there), and for the “name it and claim it” theology you’re condemning as heresy. “Name it and claim it” is a gross understatement of what acting on faith really is, but the core theology is correct.
Didn’t God Himself “name it and claim it” when He spoke the very world into existence?
He asked the children of Israel to claim it in the Old Covenant:
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19
Choosing and claiming aren’t all that different.
The act of speaking words of faith to bring forth God’s power is a proven theology is scripture time and time again.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” ~ Proverbs 18:21
As for prosperity … which circumstance would bring more people to God? A poor person who can’t even feed their own family, and can’t promise a potential convert the comfort of that for their family should they choose God, or the person who is prosperous, yet choose to give away everything to care for the needy?
How are we supposed to give if we have nothing?
What about 3 John 1:2?
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
What about Jesus Himself, who NEVER turned away anyone who came to Him for healing? Not even the Phoenician woman, who was content to take the crumbs from under the table rather than “go hungry”.
Not even me. Because when I said I should be dead, I meant it. I was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition when I was 15 years old. The cardiologist recommended that I get pacemaker. After much prayer, God told me He would give me a miracle, if I was willing to pursue Him for it.
Three years later, all tests came back that my heart was perfectly NORMAL.
That is only one of the instances where satan has tried to steal my life.
It wasn’t a matter of “coercing” God into enacting my will. It was a matter of bringing myself – spirit, soul, and BODY – into submission to God’s will.
For those who have prayed and not been healed? I would first ask this:
Did they pray IF it be God’s will, or did they pray believing it WAS God’s will, no matter what the circumstances said? Because I’ve seen it both ways many times in my life – both in myself, and in others. Almost always, in the first case, it ends in not receiving a healing.
As for the first Christians – their faith was not less, or different, than ours. Do you really think Christ would have denied healing to one of the twelve, were they to come to Him needing it? He didn’t deny Peter’s mother-in-law. And in His ministry, well … they had enough money to actually NEED a treasurer. Jesus never left anyone to go hungry, either. Remember the loaves and fishes?
We should not be surprised at trials and tribulations in our own lives. But many times God has a way of escape out of them. There is an enemy seeking to destroy us, and to destroy our witness in the world. Why are we going to let him destroy us before we can finish God’s work?
We do agree on one thing, though:
“Clearly, God, not the words some person speaks, holds power. No amount of “positive confession” is acceptable as an excuse to order God to do whatever a person wants.”
Yes, the power is God’s – and God’s alone. But He has given us access to that power through Jesus, and since we are His ambassadors in the world, it is our responsibility to speak His word.
It’s not about getting what we WANT. It’s about getting what God has promised to us so we can reach more people for Him.
God has already made good on His promises. It is up to us to receive them now.