So I Fired off Some Tweets Last Week about Prosperity Gospel...

Last week I wrote this on twitter,



Then shortly afterward I received a text from a friend at the church I use to attend,

  ..God is not Alladin's lamp and specifically say that we are pray, ask, seek and knock for others.  The primary focus of prayer is worship of God not making requests of God. No voodoo Christianity... I think faith involves expectation but ultimately says not my will but your will be done. Didn't know if you were addressing hearsay HPC theology or secondhand theology. I know first hand!!  Mike is speaking on when God doesn't answer prayer the way you expect him to answer this Sunday. He spoke on your personal responsibility the 2nd weak. Nothing magical or prosperity driven in it at all.

I responded to him that no, I wasn't referring to anything to do with HPC, my tweets were prompted by discussions with co workers, some who believe in prosperity gospel.

I thought it was strange that this friend messaged me concerning this.

Fast forward to today, I was bored, scanning facebook and I saw a link to this on the HPC page,



And like a lightning strike I got it! "Oh Sh#%! It looks like my tweets were in response to this sermon series HPC is in! Crap!"   But, God as my witness, I had no idea they were talking about "Expecting" in their new sermon series. I guess I should of gotten a clue last Sunday when Melvin Hardnet spoke on Expecting at the Dream Center, but it still didn't connect. I'm kinda slow I guess.

But now I understand why I received that text.

So since this has happened I'd like to clear up a few things concerning what I feel about the church I use to attend and since we are on the subject, Prosperity Gospel.


Healing Place Church

I love the people of HPC. I have many cherished memories from our 13 years there. Gosh, my kids lives were defined by that environment. When it all fell apart over the last two years my heart was broken into a million little pieces. My grief played out here on the blog, it's no secret the process I went through. The very painful process.


Some people think I left because of the Dino stuff, only the ones who don't read this blog I would guess. But actually I had not attended the main campus for over a year before he fell. We were solely going to the Dream Center Campus long before all of that.

I have nothing but love and respect for my HPC family.  My issues with HPC were not that I thought they taught a prosperity gospel, I want to make that clear, I don't believe that to be true of their theology.



Prosperity Gospel

After I posted those tweets last week, I had an exchange concerning them with a couple people on facebook, here's how I explained what I believed to them.  

The idea put forth of expecting this or expecting that from God, material things, events, etc.Is what I don't believe in.  I have never, that I can remember, expected God to do something other than just be God. I ask for things and desire things but I don't expect him to do things or give me things, I believe we humbly ask and expect Him to do his will, that's it. With our adoptions I asked of course but I said "your will be done". I guess for me it's more about a philosophy, a belief system, like I said, mine is to focus on being with Him, not getting things from him and also, loving people as best I can, give to others when in the natural it seems I would be better off thinking of myself first. But God always blessed those that give, always, and give not expecting a return. I just never want to lose site of how much others do for me, I don't want to expect more people to give me things or bless me, but rather always look for ways I can give and bless them, which is WAY more gratifying. Probably why "it is better to give than to receive". I think about Mr James who gave me a great job, believed in my gifts and I pray God blesses him for doing that, and I believe he will bless him because he gave. 

Voodoo Christianity to me is the belief that if you say it and don't doubt than you get it, like you treat God like a spell or a ritual to achieve a goal. I think when Jesus spoke of believing and not doubting he was talking in context of His time on earth, miracles of healing, surviving persecution, growing closer to him, believing for strength to persevere, etc. because Jesus spoke about how blessed the poor and hurting where and said what we DO for the least of these we do for Him, he didn't say the poor just need to expect riches, or the orphan needs to expect parents or the naked to expect clothing, He said for us to do to them what we would do to Him so I think the scriptures that refer to expect from God or ask and believe scriptures are about expecting and believing for more of him in every situation. 

And to expand on what I responded to them on Facebook I would say I also believe the biggest problem with prosperity gospel is it's prevalence in inner city churches. We have to stop preaching a "get what you can from God" gospel and start preaching a "be with God" gospel to the poor and hurting. Telling those caught in the cycle of poverty, crime and fatherless to just "go get your blessing" is damaging and perpetuates the cycle they are already in. Blessings are not earned, grace is not earned, but reaping and sowing are natural laws and supernatural laws. Working hard, getting a good education, believing in your self worth, teaching children how to get out of the poverty cycle, are lessons needed in the inner cities, lessons that need to be seen in their leaders, leaders who lead in word and in deed, not more teaching about how to manipulate God into "giving" you a blessing. Don't go get your blessing, go help others, go BE a blessing, and work hard, trust God to provide your needs and ask for a deeper relationship with Him, not a blessing. Being with Him is a blessing, He changes us, there needs to be less prosperity gospel taught and more real gospel taught if we want to see real change occur within inner city congregations.
 
I could go on and on, maybe one day I will but for now I just wanted to set the record straight on those tweets. They were NOT a response to the HPC sermon series, I didn't even know they were doing one on Expecting. 

I have nothing but love for my HPC family and friends.  

Peace out.

 

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