If you’ve read my stuff for any length of time, you’ve no doubt caught me defending the message of prosperity being taught in some Christian circles today (and on TV), and encouraging you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. However, after a recent event at Books-A-Million, I’ve come to realize that maybe my exposure to certain teachings in this doctrine have been limited. I don’t watch Christian TV (TBN, etc), and my views on God’s plans for prospering his people have largely come from my own study, and from my pastor. Because my Pastor is so Biblically sound, and makes so much sense, I assumed everyone else did as well, and were being unfairly criticized due to the loud, but few, flakes out there.
Maybe I was wrong . . . I overheard an apparently lonely, middle-aged, obese man acosting a Books a Million Employee in between the Christian Section and the Comic Books (I was in the Comic Books, thank you very much).
Fat Christian: “Churches have really gotten away from reaching out to people and from being mission-oriented, and instead have built large mega-churches”
Employee: “That’s right.” (While putting books up on the shelf)
At this point, I thought the Fat Christian might be a good Christian, and was making a point about Charitability.
Fat Christian: “But God doesn’t want to make us rich just for Mega-Churches, he wants to make us rich so we can use our mega-churches to reach out to people… tell them how to become rich also.”
Employee: “Uh…Yeah, God wants us to help people.” He was clearly uncomfortable, and left a sitting area and walked to my aisle in the comic books…Fat Christian followed
Fat Christian: “People think that we’re preaching that we’re all supposed to be like super-rich billionaires, but I don’t think that’s really the case. I think God just wants us to be well off. God may not give me millions, but I could sure use 100,000 or so! God wants to give his people money, so that while everyone around us is losing their jobs, and getting their homes repossessed, we can come right in and buy them up for really cheap.”
The Employee the left and the Fat Christian followed close behind, clearly ambivalent to the fact that the guy just wanted away from him. I finished making my comic book selections and went to other side of the store, with a new understanding of why Christendom, at large, hates the prosperity preachers. Jesus wants us to teach people to be rich, so we can really screw the people who are already victims of the predatory bank lending. YAY JESUS!