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Poverty Gospel Promises too little Print E-mail
Written by Oshea Davis   
Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Mohler’s Poverty Gospel Promises too little.

I saw this quote the other day by Albert Mohler.

“"(a)The problem with Prosperity Theology is not that it promises too much, but that it aims for so little. What God promises us in Christ is far above anything that can be measured in earthly wealth – (b)and believers are not promised earthly wealth nor the gift of health."

 

This is so bad, and it reeks of false humility. Does he really expect Christians to fall for this type of religious sophistry and rhetoric? 


(a) It is misleading in that if one preaches health and wealth they exclude teaching forgiveness of sin and eternity spend with God as sons. He is making the same mistake of the people whom he is critiquing. What God promises us does include health and wealth. His statement appears to imply not seeking all of God’s promises, but only the ones you cannot see, such as a cleansed soul and a future heaven. Even if these eternal promises are superior, than a healing promise today--it is irrelevant to the argument, they are all promises secured by our faith in God to sovereignly keep His word. God was sovereign when He made promises, whether about heaven or healing. It is unbelief and disobedience to not seek God's promises, period. To exclude promises of God is to exclude them. If there are 10 promises and one kills 6 of them so that only 4 remain, then their gospel is defective, being based upon human speculation. Thus, Moher's poverty gospel promises too little. He guilty of the same thing he condemns in others. Hypocrite. False humility. 



As for (b) he is flat out mistaken. “Give us our daily bread.” The mercy given to Job after his testing by God, (James 5) in context is not a spiritual blessing, but a double portion of health and wealth. James instructs us to apply Job's story to us; James does the same with Elijah's prayer for rain in to O.T. to be moralized for us to pray for healing now. 


(b)Also, the “gift of health,” looks to be a misleading equivocation if originally meant as "healing" from a broken body. Who denies that we suffer and are born with a broken body? Healing is health. I am sure Jesus meant it that way. I am sure the people He healed took it that way too. "In this world you will have trouble, but cheer, up I have overcome the world."

The issue, is that that Bible is simply not humble enough, for some people; they feel the need to help out the Bible and make it more humble according to a man centered view.

 

 

Be Good Stewards of Pain? OR is Christian Ethics Being Good Stewards of God's Promises and commands?

I read this irritating quote from Jerry bridges the other day.

 

"....We usually think of Christian stewardship in terms of money. Some churches have 'stewardship campaigns' during which they seek to get their membership to pledge toward the annual church budget. Then the concept of stewardship was broadened to include our time and talents---or as one slogan puts it, 'Be a good steward of your time, talents, and treasure.' The idea behind these concepts is that whatever resources God has given us, He has entrusted them to us as stewards to use for His glory.
"Now apply that idea to pain, either physical or emotional. If we believe God is sovereignly in control of all circumstances of our lives, then our pain is something He has given to us just as much as our time or talents or treasure. He has entrusted the pain to us as stewards to be used for His glory.
"How can we be good stewards of the pain God gives us? One way ... is to trust Him even though we don't understand the purpose of the pain...... "
“Joy of Fearing God.” Jerry Bridges. pg. 225 .

 

(1) There are a few problems with this. The first main “if…then,” argument only in essence says, “ If God CAUSES all things, then God CAUSES this thing.” It is a broad but correct deduction. So far so good. It is only dealing with causality or ontology that is; and so, the conclusion he makes that pain is like stewardship, is an implied “ought.” We ought to obey God to use pain is such and such away. This is now a category or ethics—a different category. Ethics is what God commands. However, Jerry provides no command from God (in what I read) clearly showing we “ought” to treat pain the way he seems to imply.

(2). Overall this is an inductive argument in the form of arguing from analogy, which is invalid. [ That is, X, R, T, and F all have characteristic 1, 2, and 3. Also, X, R and T have characteristic 4. Thus, F has characteristic 4 as well. ]
The problem with the invalid argument from analogy is when one takes it further. If we take the analogy further to see where it leads it would imply that pain is not merely something to “steward,” but a “gift.” I surely take my “talent” to play music for God as a gift – and money, and time. Some theologies treat pain like a sick religious fetish. Christian masochists.

(3.) Lastly, we do in fact know –broadly speaking—what to with suffering GOD CAUSES. Hannah knew what to do when she dealt with the pain of not having a child -(which God caused), she asked for a miracle and received one – a gift. She did not like the pain and wanted it to go away. God gave her a son, as a gift. The pain stopped. God has commanded us to believe in His promises. God's commands is real Christian ethics. Christian ethics is not an inductive conclusion taken from some nebulous notion of what one thinks God's causality is doing at a given moment. 
Hanna lived out true Christian ethics. She was a hero of faith and ethics. Hannah after speaking of God’s sovereignty ("God kills and makes alive") proclaims that for the humble who believe in Him, (1 Sam. 2:9,8) “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.” 
Hannah, therefore, was a faithful steward of the promises of God by believing in them – and giving glory to God as a “GOOD” Father by receiving the very thing she asked from Him (a fish for a fish, bread for bread, an egg for an egg, and a son for a son).

 
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