The Fight Against Charismatic Prosperity And Miracles Gospel: Carefully Avoid Falling Into Either Of The Two Dangerous Extremes!
For the past good years, charismatic movement has been on rise and terrifying and, as many reformed theologians have warned, this movement is very dangerous to the very gospel of Jesus that saves. According to many Bible defenders and preachers (I inclusive, I guess), this movement has put forward prosperity, miracles, and material success as the pillars of the gospel they preach and this is totally not the whole mission Jesus came and died for on earth!
Jesus came to save the world from sin and all its effects, including suffering and pain. However, as the Bible clearly states, man cannot totally be free from suffering and pain while still on earth, the earth that is full of sin and also still under the rule of evil one (Satan). In other words, Christians are on a journey to their final victory and success and that shall come true when Christ comes again (the second coming of Jesus).
NB: Details of prosperity gospel and surrounding controversies and actually what the Bible Says about YOU in relation to Christian prosperity can be found in the e-book In Defense of Total Christian Prosperity! Get it here now
The problem of Charismatic and prosperity gospel movementsThe problem with the recent movements in the church is one sided gospel that teaches people to seek God in exchange of material prosperity, healing of bodily diseases, and all sorts of miracles and break-throughs that make physical life here on earth a successful and pleasant one. According to many theologians, especially reformed theologians, this gospel (commonly termed as prosperity gospel) is very dangerous.
This kind of message is dangerous in the sense that it diverts people's attention from the real chase, which is to think and contemplate about the things of heaven and spiritual success and makes many focus their energy and attention to attaining earthly success. While attaining earthly success is not bad itself, followers of prosperity gospel are intoxicated to a level that they start to identify pain, suffering, poverty, and earthly 'failures' with signs of either God not working, being evil and non caring or simply the Christian being a fake (not serious) one.
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Precipitated worse problem! Two Dangerous ExtremesThe above scenario is yielding out another dangerous concept! Which one is this? Read on.
As the charismatic and cults Christian movements with false and deadly message of prosperity, miracles, and material success keep growing up and misleading many, some Christian and Bible defenders have taken it to another level of preaching and speaking exactly opposite message and gospel.
Yes, some churches, in the move to disregard and fight the excitement, loud music and preaching, crazy expressions of Holy Spirit within the charismatic churches, have gone far towards the opposite way of preaching the gospel. Some of them (churches) are cold and silent as tombs, prohibit any form of excitement and expression of happiness and works of Holy Spirit, regard suffering, pain and poverty as means of showing loyalty to God, and so many other forms of sacrifices and carrying cross moves. The result is still a doomed religion with nothing progressing whether in spiritual or physical life.
Others have specialized to criticise others (not the formal criticism of false doctrine as done by apologetics and reformed theologians especially the Baptist Church across the world but the ugly kind of fight between churches A and B, pastors A and B, ministries A and B and so on. Some churches, in opposition to offertories and building of churches (buildings), have opted to have gatherings in open air (God does not need our church buildings or even money). All these are terrible and heretic messages that have no biblical truth.
The worst end! Lost In Criticism And Proof-Preaching!The worst end is that nobody is preaching the true, both-sided and balanced gospel of Jesus. A certain side is busy deceiving people through miracles, promises of physical healing and prosperity, and another side is busy criticising such message and quiet doing and preaching the opposite. And people (the sheep) are left with nowhere to turn to. And the slogans sound; they (Christians) are all thieves, wrong, time wasters, and none is right. And so people live in darkness for none of us is showing light but just we are busy fighting each other.
Way forward: Reconciling the two extremes.In John 10:10, Jesus says that unlike Satan whose goal is to steal, kill and destroy, Jesus comes to us so we can have life, life in its fullness (see details at The Complete You Ministry, www.nemvicx.com). The easy interpretation of that message is that Jesus and God is everything to us. He is not here for either our physical prosperity and success or spiritual growth and mastery BUT for both, for everything!.
God can bless us with miracles, healing, a lot of earthly things and success, but the same God can allow diseases to hit us, poverty to swallow us, and even extreme injustices to entangle our land. In either case, He is still God, righteous, merciful and full of love for whatever happens happens for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) and for God's glory.
It is thus important to balance this message out. To quote inspirational, encouraging and kind of motivational messages as unbiblical is seriously to miss the point for these inspiring, motivating, encouraging and morale uplifting words and verses are in the Bible, and yes, in some contexts, they are seriously and specifically for encouraging, inspiring, motivating and making a Christian experience daily life challenges with good attitude and spirit of winners and not losers. And seriously, we have so many issues in our lives (both spiritual and physical) simply because of lack of this inspiration that comes from God.
A preacher preaching that our God is interested and willing to make us happy, healthier, successful and very great and famous is not preaching the wrong gospel or false doctrine for these things God came unless this same preacher limits Christ's coming to only this life and its pleasures.
Read also: Should a Christian expect something in return from the God He serves?
On the other hand, a preacher emphasizing that God's concern is more of our spiritual well-being and submission to His will is not wrong too for it is when our spirits are healed that we can receive even other material and physical successes. Jesus says, "seek God's kingdom first and other things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). In other words, clothes, money, healthy body, fame, success in all dimensions of our lives are also God's concern but He advises us that true greatness and fame should build on saved or healed spirit.
The above preacher is alright and his message of pain, sacrifices, and seeing God's love and majesty even amidst life tragedies is true and biblical unless he limits our God's services and operations to only that side and see miracles, pleasures, and physical prosperity as agents of evil one.
In other words, our God is God of everything and life in all its forms is His duty. God's desire is to make man prosper or succeed or conquer in all areas of life (conquering in the area of physical wellness and success may not necessarily mean too much money, health body or even fame-this has been explained in my book, In Defence of Total Prosperity Gospel!-buy the book from here http://payhip.com/b/uNbI)
Finally, can we pause for a moment and concentrate on what is important?
The message of Christ; He came into world to die for sins so that those who receive and trust His love and forgiveness shall inherit the kingdom of God (Kingdom of God is His enduring walk with us, comforting, helping, healing, and strengthening us through this deadly and sinful world and the Final victory over Satan and world and dwelling with Him in paradise). That is the message.
Otherwise, "whether we are rich or poor, alive or dead, powerful or weak, young or old, it is for God's glory and our good" (Romans 14:7-8 and 8:28). God Bless You.
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