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- EverVigilant.net -
"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


A Most Dangerous "Gospel"

In my latest editorial for EverVigilant.net, I asked the question "Are we a Christian nation chosen to lead a holy war on terror?" The issue I was addressing is the tendency of many evangelical Christians to over-spiritualize our war on terror, assuming that since God may be using the United States as an instrument of divine judgment against terrorism, we are somehow exempt from that judgment.

Such thinking is completely unsupported by Scripture. I realize that no God-fearing believer would openly admit that he or she believes we are beyond judgment, but I believe that many of us think that on a subconscious level. We seem to be taking for granted the mercy God has shown us over the years, succumbing to a false sense of security that we are somehow entitled to a life without burden or pain.

It is important for us to realize that any blessing we have enjoyed has been a sign of God's mercy. God is not obligated to do anything for our benefit. In fact, He has every right as a holy and just God to destroy us in the blink of an eye. Every moment He withholds His hand of judgment is a blessing we do not deserve.

Many churches in America seem to have abandoned the God of the Bible to embrace a false god of their own creation. Their god is always kind, always loving, always compassionate, slow to anger and quick to shower material wealth on those who simply open their arms to receive what he has to give.

The "prosperity gospel" being preached today is far from biblical, and it is doing more harm than good. The crusaders for this kind of heresy are people like Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar, among many others. Their styles may differ (though only slightly), but the message is the same: "God will bless you with riches and health if you simply have faith."

These charlatans present faith as something that can be used for great gain as long as you know exactly what to say, what to do and how much money to send in to their "ministry." They are able to sell this "gospel" here in America because we've reached the point where we think that worldly happiness is our God-given right. This isn't true in other parts of the world. The notion that Christians can learn to harness the health- and wealth-generating power of faith in order to escape life's difficulties is a concept completely foreign to those who know true persecution.

I would like to see these ministers of prosperity take their "gospel" to the Sudanese Christians who live under the daily threat of rape, torture and death. Do those poor people serve as examples of what a lack of faith can do? Could their situation be improved if they simply cast aside all doubt and believed that God can grant them anything they wish? It doesn't work that way.

The apostle Paul, for example, prayed for his "thorn in the flesh" to be taken from him (2 Cor. 12:7-9); the Lord merely replied, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Would anyone dare to make the accusation that Paul lacked faith?

The "gospel" that teaches financial security is only a $1,000 faith pledge away, that physical healing was Christ's gift to us on the cross, or that divine chastisement for wickedness is a thing of the past, is a dangerous one indeed. It steers us away from Scripture and compels us to glorify man over God. Rather than allow us to rely on God's strength, it convinces us that our human weaknesses (e.g., greed, pride and selfishness) are what make us strong.

It's time to get back to basics and immerse ourselves in the Word. Forget the false teachings of prophets seeking profits—only God's grace is sufficient for us.

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