Sunday, February 14, 2016

It stole more than it gave

Saw this last night (via By Faith We Understand)
The prosperity gospel has taken a religion based on the contemplation of a dying man and stripped it of its call to surrender all. Perhaps worse, it has replaced Christian faith with the most painful forms of certainty. The movement has perfected a rarefied form of America’s addiction to self-rule, which denies much of our humanity: our fragile bodies, our finitude, our need to stare down our deaths (at least once in a while) and be filled with dread and wonder.—Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me in the NY Times
<idle musing>
Indeed. The prosperity "gospel" is not good news. It puts humanity back on the throne and once again makes God the servant. How does that differ from what the serpent offered in the garden?

It's an empty promise. Humanity is indeed destined to rule and we are heirs of the promise, but it is under God. It is a cruciform reign—shaped by the cross, self-emptying, not self-directed. It is only as we die to self that we can truly live.

The prosperity gospel says the exact opposite. It reads more like that old beer commercial from the 1970s, "You only go around once in life, so grab all the gusto you can!" (or some such).

Is that the bible you want to live by? Is that the theology you want to stand before God with?

If so, I pity you, for you have missed the true joy of the resurrection. But, you can only experience the resurrection after you've experienced the crucifixion. There is no shortcut. None.

Just an
</idle musing>

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