The ying-yang(+fold) of altruism(not). What I give I will get back(+fold) – don’t give and get back(-fold). It’s a no-brainer – even the bible says …
(sell everything and) Give it to the poor (editor’s note: make that “to those who are my sanitised-interface unto the dirty, smelly, uneducated, talk-funny and very loud “poor””) – and I will receive the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth (editor’s note: park the “Heaven” bit – too far away to make sense now). So the “here on earth Kingdom” takes centre stage: bigger houses, bigger cars, better holidays, membership of the right clubs – because God is Good – He wants to see the Faithful Doing Well! Don’t question it – The Bible says right here … see!
The Prosperity Gospel is a bad thing. Bad theology. False Teaching. Of Mammon and Man.
So “true teaching” teaches (real) God – just read The (real) Bible (properly) ...
We have “The Rich Man” (The Bible says) who went away downcast when invited to give up all his stuff – who turned down the prize of eternal life for mere “stuff” right now … We also have (The Bible says) “Don’t Store Up Riches Here On Earth” true teaching – all my energy keeping it safe, counting it hasn’t been nicked – all my “focus” on the “wrong stuff”. Only one verdict – poor is good and rich is bad.
Every time I smile (richly) at someone I dismiss them from my life if they don’t smile back … every time I let someone (richly) into a line I expect visible gratitude … every time I give real money richly (even though I’m NOT rich) to a “good cause” I don’t expect them to use it for mega-salaries, etc …
How different is that to the give-to-get-back(+fold)? How different the expected return(+fold) on “my giving” – just in everyday life and living?
Don’t we all “give” every day (through the sanitised-interface of “social-etiquette”) and expect back(+fold) on our “giving”? Don’t we steer clear of those who are “negative” – who are “boring” – who “suck the air” out of a room – who don’t use the “sanitised-interface” of social-etiquette?
Isn’t that why “All Are (not feeling very) Welcome” when “they” step foot through “our” church-door – isn’t the same “sanitised-interface” evident within … ?
That infamous “Christian Smile” switched off and on with practised ease … That “Mature Christian” pecking-order maintaining a comfortable hierarchy … That “Volunteering Measurement Scale” never mentioned but always applied … Doesn’t church-life come with the same social-etiquette and sanitised-interface as any “life and living”?
And isn’t it usually just as embedded as the “institutions” we see challenged time and again in the Gospels. Challenged for their “prosperity teaching” of Love (as Transaction) … Love (as Conditional) … Love (as “switch on-and-off” – dependant on who is in the room).
We all do it. We call it the “University of Life” … the “School of Hard Knocks” … the “Look after Number One because No One Else Will” …
Yet it’s “the
religious institution” Jesus challenged time and again. Challenged because “the institution” taught this “ religious-social-interface” was of God … That “God demanded and commanded it” … That the Law was of God .. That challenging the institution of God was to challenge God Himself … (and taught “the consequence” of challenging the institution God).
Jesus challenged the obvious “loophole”. And the institution rose to the challenge with scorn and dismissal (and then a show-trial and death).
We would never do that.
We would never teach that you must be saved or will suffer eternal damnation. We would never teach that a ceremonial baptism with all the right words and “stuff” is necessary. We would never formulate the right words to be said (publicly). We would never insist that sin was greater than Love. We would never teach the need for the weekly sacrificing of our sin on the altar of local church. We would never teach that to fit-in with the institution one must be qualified in God (“qualifications” the institution created, maintains and tests). We would never teach that “the bible says” I mustn’t mess with God – which means don’t mess with the institution – locally, nationally and/or globally (because we all know the consequences of doing that)!
We are enlightened and born-again. We are the first fruits. We are of the vine. We are the sheep that follow faithfully. We know our Father’s voice!
I love the Prosperity Gospel.
The theology’s extreme – so we make it a “spiritual smokescreen” – a “bogeyman” – and then stay safe in “the mainstream” of
qualified true teaching –
Not realising we are STILL those who Jesus challenged.