Thursday, December 31, 2009

An example of local prosperity teaching

(One of the Daily Devotion from Joseph Prince. The material changes everyday on the site. This copy is referred for personal and non-commercial use. The definition of 'prosperity teaching' is here.)

"Pastor Prince, forget about having dominion over the sea, air or earth. I want dominion over my backache which has robbed me of my time with my children. I want dominion over my financial situation."

My friend, because God's purpose for you is to have dominion on earth (referring to Gen 1.26), He will keep you healthy. After all, it is hard to rule the earth when you are sick and lying on your bed. And God will prosper you because it is hard to want to do things when you are poor.

We need to understand that since God's greater purpose is for man to have dominion on earth, it would include the lesser blessings such as health and prosperity. Then, we will see ourselves as God sees us, walking in dominion, and we will walk in victory over our negative circumstance in the natural realm. (Italics added)

11 comments: said...

Ha, and what do you think of what he said? :)

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Jonathan, thank you for the question.

I think the emphasis on God "will" keep us healthy and we "will" walk in dominion does not correspond to many other Christian bro & sis who are not experiencing this.

Yet I understand from the church leaders that I spoke to that there is a unspoken understanding within most of the members of the church that even when the person does not get healthier or wealthier, the person is encouraged to continue to be faithful and believe as if it "will" happen.

For example, during one service, a young pastor of NCC (if I'm not wrong is Benjamin Lim) guided the congregation to pray and claim the promise to live until 100+ years. After the service, I asked two of the leaders (forgot their names) what if that does not happen. They said something like, "That's fine, we just pray and claim for the best."

This is in a way giving some sort of dubious (though not false) hope to members. This approach to engage with life's struggles has cross over to self-help rather than staying within a grace-oriented faith that able even to sustain believers' aspiration to join in God's project for humanity regardless of health and wealth barriers. That means the pursuit for health and wealth does not equivalent to pursuing God's agenda. The latter has more to do with what can we do in our current givenness, despite of our limitation in health and wealth.

That's my two cents of thoughts.

cybeRanger said...

You can preach to everyone but not not everyone will be saved. What does it mean? :)

How do you interpret Roman 4:17?

Sze Zeng said...

Hi cybeRanger, thank you for the question.

"You can preach to everyone but not everyone will be saved" means the person can preach to everyone but not everyone will receive the preaching.

If you imply that this is similar with claiming health and wealth welfare from God, then I don't see the similarity.

Preaching the gospel to everyone does not guarantee everyone will receive it. This is universally clear in all Christians' experience across time and place, as well as those recorded in the New Testament.

Claiming that health and wealth welfare as God's purpose for everyone is not a universally shared experience across time and place, and neither the reality of those Christians' experience recorded in the New Testament.

Concerning Romans 4.17. I think it is was Paul's trying to convince his readers that even though they were not of the direct descendants of Abraham, nonetheless, they were craved into the bloodline through their theological imagination (that is 'faith').

Make sense?

cybeRanger said...

Hi Sze Zeng,

Thanks for your precious views.

Seriously, do you really want to be poor and sick? :-)

Romans 4:17 says that God made Abraham a father of many nations. As you are probably aware, Abraham had to call those things that be not as though they were. And God tells us to follow in the footsteps of Abraham (see Romans 4:12).

Sze Zeng said...

Hi CybeRanger,

I hope you don't establish a connection between my or our aspiration with and identify that with God's agenda.

Me and you not wanting to be poor and sick is a whole world of difference from saying that God has promised and guaranteed a life of health and wealth for us.


Abraham was called to call certain things and not any other things. And in that passage it is specifically his descendants. So we shall not confuse that just because Abraham has called certain things to be as his, therefore anything follows. If we do, we are putting there what was not there in the first place.

cybeRanger said...

Hi Sze Zeng,

Blessed New Year to you and your loved ones. May you enjoy the blessings of Abraham in the days ahead.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi cybeRanger,

Happy New Year to you & family as well :-)

I've look through the article and find many problem in the author's interpreting some of the Bible's passages on one hand, and making those interpretation into theology on the other.

cybeRanger said...

Hi Sze Zeng,

Have you read this?

Above all, I pray that the Lord will bless you with good health.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi cybeRanger,

Thank you your prayers.

I haven't read that. Thank you for sharing the link. I find the article very uninformed in many of the root causes of health problem. For eg. it is kind of ignorant and uninformed to say that Alzheimer's disease has root in the vague term 'self'.

cybeRanger said...

With God all things are possible, all problems can be resolved by His promises in Christ.

Crisis? Only Christ can cease.. :-)