Tuesday, July 20, 2004

SEEK GOD FIRST...

In my last post I ranted about how many in the church are abusing God's word for personal gain. How our "leaders" are mis-representing God by offering promises in exchange for blessings and how scriptures are used to justify these practices and therefore used out of context. One scripture that is used quite extensively is Matthew chapter 6 verse 33, it states:


"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
This verse is constantly used as a means to justify giving tithes and offerings to the church to get something in return from God. Is that what this verse is saying though? That if you give to God, he will give back to you? If we follow this line of reasoning then we could reverse the order and state that God only blesses us when we first give him money. We could even conclude that if I don't give God something then I will not get anything from Him. Yet this completely discounts reality since God has already given us everything that we need, even above what we need. If the chapter is read in it's entirety, we find that this is exactly what Jesus was saying. That worrying about our needs is useless since God has already provided for our needs. Problems will arise, but we ought to not worry given the initial premise; that God has already supplied our needs. In this passage Jesus was speaking against the very thing that these prosperity teachers and Pastors promote by using Matt. 6:33 ouf of context. I've even heard many preach a Gospel of receiving the "Annointing" by first giving a seed offering or by tithing, yet the concept that we can obtain such blessings by giving God material things is refuted in Acts 8:19-20.
 
As I mentioned above, if we were to continue along this line of reasoning then it would follow that salvation as well came to us by us first giving to God. If the nature of our relationship with God is predicated on the notion that to be blessed by God one has to give to God first, and, as many would agree, salvation is a blessing from God, then it would mean that we have somehow earned our salvation by giving something to God first to get that salvation. In this case it is moneyBut, is this true? Can one earn salvation through giving money? (remember Acts 819-20). The bible doesn't say so, in fact in 2 Timothy 1:9 it states that our salvation was established before the world began and that it is not based on our works but the grace of God alone.
 
Essentially, by promoting and preaching a Gospel of prosperity by first giving to God to get from God, these purveyors of "truth" are ultimately implying a "works based" theology. A theology that is based primarily on what you have done for God to get from Him. What develops is a mentality that those who are blessed the most are the ones who have given the most, which in all actuality is not true. If that were the case then that would mean sinners are out giving Saints. From my own experience, in retrospect, most of the "rich" people that I've met have not given any more than myself or any other average man or woman of God, and in many cases, relatively speaking, it was the giving of those with the least that surpassed the giving of the ones who seemingly have the most.  I've seen and experienced this many times, where a church panders to those with money while ignoring those without. Many christians flock to the mega-televangelist-lead churches, thinking these institutions have given much to God, which account for their size and success. I am sure many of us have heard preachers attest to receiving an annointing from God after giving, sacrificing even, large sums of money, yet this speaks against the very nature of God, in that, it implies that God can be persuaded or even bought by material things.
 
It is a very dangerous thing to play with God's word for it opens the door to all kinds of diverse teachings that will continually stray from the truth. Not only that, but for those who are truly seeking the truth, this type of reasoning from scripture will cause them to miss the mark so to speak. They will believe that they have salvation, yet may never know the true love and peace of God. We have to get back to the truth of God's word from the beginning in order to curb this teaching and hopefully save some.
 
More to come...







3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You and Goug Giles must be on parallel wavelengths :)

The other day, Doug just posted "Pastors, Priests, and Politics – Part II" @ www.townhall.com/columnists/douggiles/dg20040724.shtml.

The clash point is identical: "It is a very dangerous thing to play with God's word for it opens the door to all kinds of diverse teachings that will continually stray from the truth. Not only that, but for those who are truly seeking the truth, this type of reasoning from scripture will cause them to miss the mark so to speak. They will believe that they have salvation, yet may never know the true love and peace of God. We have to get back to the truth of God's word from the beginning in order to curb this teaching and hopefully save some."

Both messages need to be "pounded" home at the Belivers, because Satan is like a restless lion constantly pacing, seeking to devour as many as possible and we need to be studying and praying without ceasing.

Like Paul's runner (or Lance Armstrong), just because we know the race will soon be over, is no excuse to opt out and let "God sort 'em out". We still have to give our best effort, whether re-engaging politics or correcting false teachings of prosperity.

For God is not willing that any should perish, especially when the gospel is so freely available in this day and age.

Keep on preachin'

God Bless

Andy

Anonymous said...

Amen, Jerry! It feels good to declare the word of God. I get angry when I think of men like Jesse, a supposed man of God, deliberately deceiving the lost for his gain. It's sad that my sister had to point this out to me the other day: Jesse's probably not saved.

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