August 28, 2010

Prosperity Always, Everyday...?

I was having a pity party this week and then I took my prayer loop (where I drive in my car praying primarily for my family) Friday morning and had a little sit down with the Lord. The focus of my party--this time--was my consternation over God’s promises about rebuking the devourer in Malachi 3:10 to those who are faithful to bring forth His tithes and offerings unto Him. We have lived by that promise and seen God’s faithfulness to that promise throughout our lives.

Lately, we seem to be having a spate of rather crummy—if not expensive “luck.” From vehicles, to computers and refrigerators, to grape vines, to our dog, to our house falling down, I was inquiring about His promise. O.K. I was complaining basically that I was getting the shaft!

It “occurred to me” that perhaps if God allowed me to peer into the unseen realm I would see the myriad of “devourers” that God HAS indeed rebuked—that never touched us—but that we are unaware of them precisely because they never touched us. Hmm… Faith is believing God even when circumstances seem to contradict what we know about God. Okay Lord, I hear you…this time. Prosperity doesn't guarantee that we will be sheltered from the result of living in a fallen world. Cf. Asaph's complaint in Psalm 73

August 20, 2010

"Soon" to be published (I hope) "The Proper Pursuit of Prosperity" excerpt

If you’ve seen one, you truly have seen them all. A preacher is sitting at his desk holding what he calls the "Green Prosperity Prayer Cloth." He prays a prayer of faith for the viewers and then testimonies about the prayer cloth follow. Selecting people from the audience their stories of prosperity flow.

One woman followed the instructions after receiving the green prosperity prayer cloth and God gave her a $7000 financial windfall. Another woman went from a job paying $10/hr. to over $32/hr. "How many of you would like to triple your income?" The preacher asks--"In Jesus' name?"

Camera switches to another couple. Two days after receiving the "Green Prosperity Prayer Cloth," the man got a better job, they now drive a Lincoln Continental, and they just got a brand new home. More testimonies about the amazing prosperity prayer cloth flow. A woman with congestive heart failure took her prayer cloth and slept on it. She went to her cardiologist and he confirmed that she was healed. (TV broadcast Feb, 2 2010 12:19 pm.)

The preacher is shown back at his desk talking softly and somberly his words dripping with "faith." He holds the prayer cloth up on the screen and asks viewers to put their hand on it "for your health and for your prosperity." He tells the camera that he will pray. He scrunches his eyes shut with a posture of deep faith and prays "releasing God's blessing of prosperity and health…" "My friend," he says, "I feel so good; start looking for your answer…"

The show concludes with some announcer spouting all the ministry gibberish you hear at the end of a broadcast concluding with, "[We're] spreading the Gospel of Jesus around the world…" It was the only time I heard His name uttered except as a trite ending to some demand sent God's way. (TV broadcast Feb, 2 2010 12:19 pm.)

Are people just gullible or are they desperate? In The Proper Pursuit...I clearly delineate Biblically the flaws in the prosperity message. Every Christian needs to read it! Stay tuned for availability--you can also follow me on Twitter--sign up to follow 1rightrev

August 18, 2010

Truth devoid of context is, well misleading at best

I wonder if pastor Osteen can see a single verse of Scripture through a Biblical grid rather than a prosperity grid.

Here is his thought for the day--

Today's Verse: "From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another" (John 1:16, NIV).

Today's Word: God wants to pour out His blessing and favor upon you each and every day. It says in the Psalms that He daily loads us with benefits! So many people miss out on all that God has for them because they are weighted down by guilt and condemnation. But notice what today's verse tells us about where His blessings come from—the fullness of His grace.

God's grace is His unmerited favor. If this is true how do we understand Jesus who was full of "grace" and truth--John 1:14?

Osteen continues--

That means we can't earn it. We can't work for it, and we can't change His mind about it. He pours out His blessing on us not because of what we do, but because of who He is. His blessings are based on His goodness, not ours.

Today, receive His grace. Receive His forgiveness. Let go of guilt and condemnation. Open your heart and mind to what God wants to do in your life and get ready because He is pouring out His goodness upon you with one blessing after another!

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, I choose to receive Your grace today which is Your supernatural empowerment. I release guilt and condemnation and receive Your love and forgiveness. Search my heart, O God. Renew me and cleanse me by Your Word. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Okay there is plenty of "truth" in what he writes but he is a master of avoiding context. So when he speaks of "supernatural empowerment" he means empowerment to "prosper;" empowerment to "get it all now;" empowerment to do what YOU want to do with God's blessing. That is not the experience of Jesus' followers in the pages of Scripture, the pages of history, nor the experience of Jesus' followers in third world countries. Think about it...

August 13, 2010


(My latest column from the syndicate for which I write. Your local newspaper) can acquire this column for free at the Amy Foundation web site.

The voters of our fair state recently rendered a well deserved set back to the foes of common sense, decency and what were once commonly understood to be "traditional values." I am certain that even if the most liberal ones of our culture could be transported back into time only a scant few decades ago, they would be appalled by the caliber of issues that have gained respectability in our culture.

But the frog in the kettle went belly up years ago in the boiling waters of social degradation when the settled question over when life begins suddenly became a scientific enigma. Since then, we are no longer certain when a male is a man and when a female is a woman. Because of our collective, social insanity, we are having to open bathrooms to anyone who perceives themselves to be a particular gender, anatomy and physiology not withstanding.

So now, future generations--called "children" are being indoctrinated into the mores of a culture whose ideologies were, once upon a time, at least informed by, if not grounded in a book called the Bible. Now those ideologies are informed by nothing more than personal preference.

Never-the-less, as secularism took hold, we were still governed by the rule of law where Lady Justice wore a blind-fold indicating the administration of her craft was without fear or favor, regardless of money, power, race, or prestige. But everything has changed. The new values of America have no objective mooring to anything outside one's personal convictions and the future of America is being squeezed into an amoral vacuum devoid of reason.

In the words of the Book which once informed our political, social and scientific foundations, the children of our nation are being "stumbled;" tripped up in their God given opportunity and inalienable right to be taught inviolate truth. For everything else gone wrong, this may be the most egregious infraction of the culture at large. Why? Because the God of the Bible, not the god of one's creation--promises severe repercussions to anyone who puts obstacles in the way of the most impressionable of our land. These are the ones with immature minds and who lack longevity--who are prohibited by cultural, legislative and judicial decree, from meeting and establishing a friendship with the very Creator who made them. And the Creator does not take that lightly.

"…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)

The assault on Christians in this land-of-the-free has become routine. Children for whom Sunday school and church are part of their family pattern are singled out in the classrooms of our "public schools" for ridicule by teachers or staff and are often judged by a separate standard of performance than other students.

It is treated as the height of bigotry to "impose" the morality of a God-informed world- view on students who have been shaped to question their sexual identity despite what their anatomy clearly reveals. Yet imposing the immorality of a godless culture on students who are Christian, is deemed tolerant and sensitive. But the God many wish to ignore has the last say.

"Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!" (Matthew 18:7)

At the end of the day there will be a time when consummate justice will not be mediated through human agency, but through the Law Giver Himself and those who stumble the little ones will be dealt with as only God can.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;