Preaching a Prosperity Theology
|I encourage the use of Prosperity Theology. That is theology
that stresses to underdeveloped areas as well as poor peoples the
truth that God does not wish for people to be poor. The Gospels
show that the compassion of Jesus was so great He changed a few
loaves of bread and fish into enough to feed a hungry multitude.
Jesus had great compassion. He did not wish to see the people
gathered to hear Him go hungry. He performed the famous
miracle of multiplying the loaves and fishes so there
would be enough to feed the hungry and the poor in Matthew
It is now up to the churches as the physical body of the Spiritual Christ to do likewise. It is not the will of God that people should be poor or go hungry. The church should teach people how not to be poor. It must teach a work ethic, the principles of honesty in doing business, insights into economics, and how to manage thriftily and wisely. It is up to the churches as the physical bodies of the Lord to do these things because Christ does not wish that anyone go hungry or be slavishly poor. Blessed be His name.
The first thing Prosperity Theology must teach is to have a work ethic. That is God should be glorified not only in a personís personal life but also at work and labor. God is to be glorified in a Christianís work. (Today as most of you realize, this is almost a lost point of view in our slack and decadent society but for a very few Christians having sincere companionships with God.) Whatever work you do, do it for the Lord. And you must be honest in business, remembering an invisible God is on your right hand watching, waiting to be made proud of what you do.
Second a theology of reasonable prosperity should teach all people who are poor that God does not wish them to be poor. Poverty is a freak of nature and not the will of God. Bring nature under control that it may be used for God and the godly.
Materialism is far from being everything, as the world has a spiritual identity that haunts it. Grace is blown about in it everywhere. The reality of Christís Spirit walks the earth meeting people who are good and people who are not good. In material things as well as non-spiritual things Christ is revealed. So we must not deny material things, but accept them as a part of life, enjoy them and use them to better humanity, according to His Will. We are wrong only when it is said that everything is only materialism and then we forget the spiritual side of creation.
I argue for a sanity point about money, economics and material things. Sometimes it takes money to keep body and soul together. Therefore we try to have enough money to live morally with dignity and honour. But when people get too much money, they often lose their common sense, live ostentatiously and wastefully, and thus become gluttonized and brutalized through material goods.
A good gospel of prosperity in Christ warns people first not to just accept poverty. It also warns people successful in accumulating material goods not to commit spiritual suicide through materialistic obsessions.
Christ has seen the rich waste and the poor starve and He is not happy with either. Prosperity Theology helps the poor rise above poverty. It also warns the rich that prosperity is harder to live with honorably than poverty. Do not be held down by lack of money, but do not become a waster or excessive when having money. Remember as you waste how much a little bit may help a poor man. Consider the poor and God will be more inclined to consider you.
Churches have an obligation to teach their members about the principles of money as well as sound economic principles. Economic principles cannot be disregarded in religion because to disregard money is to disregard the glaring needs of humanity. It also disregards some of the better ways to glorify and praise God. He who shares his money shares himself.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.