Ok so i am starting to think that the term prosperity gospel is up there with the credit crunch. My boyfriend has come up with a good way to prevent the credit crunch...charge everyone a pound for every time they flipping say it!! Rich Mcrich you would be.
Same goes for this prosperity gospel term that I keep hearing.
I'm good with the gospel just being the gospel to be honest.
I'm a bit worried and saddened that us followers of Jesus here in Ireland have started disagreeing over more theology.
I reckon the only theology we really need to agree on is that God is love. That Jesus died to prove that and that we can have eternal life if we trust him.
Recently there has been a bit of debate...not just here but in the world I guess as to the idea of prosperity and suffering. I hold my hands up and say I am not that well informed in all this stuff that is floating around but I do have a few things to say about the issue which you may like or loath or be indifferent to.
I have been reading some of this stuff and basically it appears that there is a belief that as Christians we should not have to go through suffering, that healing is a must for every illness and that it is our faith and belief that determines the outcome of our prayers.
If we don't get healed it is because we don't have enough faith...
Whatever enough faith is.
I personally struggle with this. Not that long ago I, we lost a friend to a brain tumour. Of course God did not give it to her, of course God did not want her to die, Of course God was not just trying to build character in those who suffered loss...but to say that if we had more faith then...
I am aware of the damage that that could do to the minds of those who have laid it all on the line for those they love and have not seen the result they so desperately wanted. I refuse to allow the enemy to condemn you through all this and that is partly why I write and stand in prayer in all of this.
Faith in my opinion is a weird old thing...yes it comes from within us. We must actively utilise it.
But as my friend pointed out to me tonight Hebrews 12 12 says "It is he who initiates and perfects our faith". The very faith we take ownership of belongs to God...It is a gift.
It is not measured on a scale..It is measured by the motive of our heart.
God does not care how much we believe in him....even a mustard seed is enough...he cares why we believe in him...
Because he is the all knowing, all powerful, all present God who is good in his very nature.
Who do you say i am??
I don't know how you can get more faith. How could my friend who fasted and prayed for yonks that his wife would not die...How could he have had more faith. If I am relying on having more faith than the most I could ever have in order for God to answer my prayer I am a bit screwed.
We can only be what we can, do what we can, pray what we can. It is God who takes our seeds and makes them grow. How dare we take on the role of God in answering our own prayers.
Yes God provided the ultimate sacrifice in Jesus. Yes it covers all the sin of all of humanity. And all the sickness and sorrow and pain. We will not live with these things for eternity and we are free from their claim on our life.. Our life is hidden with christ in God.
However we live in a dirty messy world. While our shoes still get covered in mud we will always have things to deal with. Jesus walked the streets with dignity and love as the very son of God yet he himself sweat drops of blood...As a psychiatrist these days I can confirm that he was pretty stressed out...as stressed out as you can be really.
We cannot live in this world and not carry some of the wounds from the battle. But why is that such a shameful thing. By his stripes we are healed. Yes. However it is inevitable that we will face troubles and if we are putting all the pressure on ourselves to control the healing we receive we will end up bitter and disappointed and even more self loathing and condemning than ever. That is not edifying. That is not encouraging and that is definitely not God.
God is God. He is not a conditional being.
How can we with conditional minds expect to get inside his and say that we will receive according to how much we believe...That's law. I believe in a God who is outside of logic and condition. A God who is God no matter what. How can we say that if we don't go through the no matter what stuff, the stuff that hurts and burns and purifies.
In the middle of heaven is a lamb covered in blood as though it was slain...As our pastor said a couple of Sundays ago...some would think it should be a fluffy lamb without blemish..
Why are his wounds in glory?..
His wounds are his glory..
The wounds that we may acquire on this journey of life in the battle field are the wounds that like a soldier who has been to war will become our Glory.
I obviously do not ask for or want suffering but I realise that before I get to heaven where there is no battle, i remain in world that is dangerous and dirty and in dire need of Love.
I will have ups and downs...its a healthy rhythm. I hope for more ups but I trust God for whatever.
The main aim of the game is to see as many people in the kingdom as flipping possible, not to see how blessed we can be, not even to see how God can heal those we love...that's important but unfortunately not as important as the dream of salvation.
If we make this our first priority...which by the way i really need to work on then we will find a unity in our walk. If we seek individual and corporate prosperity more than this dream then that's when we will begin to see cracks and division.
I have more to say about this I just haven't in any shape or form processed it yet. I am not ranting back at anything or trying to cause a fuss....I just love the gospel.. I feel we need to realise that its not about us...Its about Jesus and the two guys either side of the cross (the lost) first and foremost. What happens to us in our lives matters a lot but its not guaranteed to always be Rosy no matter how much faith you muster up...if you can muster faith...I am not sure its even doable.
Foy Vance sang the other night that the world killed Jesus but the church killed love.
I am praying that things like this do not add to the hostility the church has reputed. A spotless life is a myth and it alienates the broken hearted of the world from church. In fact it would alienate me from church because I am broken hearted in many ways...people identify with us in our most weak states.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God so I will try that for now.
Until part 2...please don't think I am just joining some debate...this stuff has properly grieved me and shaken me this week.
Lets all try to believe as much as we can for as much as we can and then leave the rest to God.