Friday, May 15, 2009

The True Prosperity Gospel

“Health, Wealth, Fame and Pleasure.” “Name it, Claim it.” “If you have enough faith God will heal you.”

We have heard the slogans and they call out to our hungering souls. Yet when we drink of this pseudo prosperity Gospel our thirst is starved. Nearly as dangerous as this pseudo gospel is the philosophy that God desires his children to live in misery. As Christians, we are tempted to polarize either toward ascetic masochism or the philosophy of physical merriment. Paradoxically, the true Gospel is one of prosperity: it fulfills our deepest desires, it fuels the flames of life, and satisfies the soul.

I have come to realize that sharing the gospel is as life giving as hearing the gospel. Living a gospel-centered life (God’s Perfect Will) is a life which FREES – a life which is LIFE – a life which is more than we can imagine. In dying we live. In emptying ourselves we are filled. In giving all we are, we receive more than we could desire.

Oh, the beauty of the paradox of the gospel-centered life.

At the bottom of a Philippian prison cell sat Paul and Silas. With mangled bodies and emotional torment they began to pray. Soon their spirits were raptured into the presence of the Ancient of Days. The joy of their spirits conquered the agony of their bodies and weariness of their souls. Before long they broke into a symphony of praise.

In the darkness of their trial Paul and Silas praised God. And their gospel-centered lives experienced LIFE. Their bonds were loosed – doors were opened - and morning was soon to dawn on a very dark night. As we live the gospel-centered life we are prosperous. And in our darkest hours, we can praise God for the coming morn.

While the pseudo prosperity gospel has nothing to offer those in trials, the true gospel ushers in the morning simply by praising God (James 1).

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing, fresh from His Word
(Words by Eleanor Farjeon, made popular by Cat Stevens)


selahV said...

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go.

brad reynolds said...

Heaven will be so sweet. I co long to hear the words "Well done..." Oh that I might be faithful and then enjoy the presence of the audience of one

selahV said...

Until then, we persevere with joy in our hearts and continual love for our Savior Who has overcome it all.

Anonymous said...


WAY WAY off topic, but I ran across an article that had the following quote

"A friend of mine who has previously served as a field supervisor for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary students taking supervised ministry won't be doing so any longer.

In recent years, Southeastern has asked field supervisors to agree that their work with students would remain within the parameters of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message Statement, though they were not required to affirm the statement for their own life and work.

That has changed.

At a recent orientation session, my friend was told that he not only had to agree to work within the guidelines of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement, but he had to sign an affirmation that he supported it.

But that's not all. He would also have been required to sign a statement indicating his support for the Abstract of Principles, the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, and the "Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood." Think that's narrow enough?"

This was from Tony Cartledge's blog Baptists Today Blog.

1. Is this true
2. does this leave any room for any sort of theological diversity/inquisitiveness among the SEBTS faculty. Im not as concerned about the innnerrany issues as I am the CBMW stuff which to me codifies an interpretation.
3. How much will the screws be tightened before a seminary education will be nothing more than an indoctrination - slight hyperbole - but I would rather have this stuff dealt with while an individual is a student at one of our seminaries than when they get into the big wide world and dont have answers for tough questions..

Jim Champion

brad reynolds said...

I am unaware of any of what you shared. I could certainly understand asking file supervisors to agree to the official positions at the school, since the supervisors are serving in somewhat of a mentoring/teaching role.

This is one of the reasons I affirm the Trustee system and our presidents.

The concern you have is legitimate. At what point can the Trustees narrow those whom they employ? What if one day all profs had to sign they believed in Post-trib? Sure there is a danger but I think the Trustees are wise enough men to know the difference.

I assume every seminary has a student/employee book which has dress codes which are not contained in the BFM2000. This is different that a statement all SB agree to at a convention.

Hope that helps

Anonymous said...


I think that the danger will be that one day there will be those will want the pretrib view inserted into the BFM...

Post-trib is a minority view that many pretribbers have a hard time tolerating....

brad reynolds said...


I have good news for you. I don't think we will ever see that day. There are scare tactics and fearmongering in the blog world but the reality of the SBC is something wholly different than described on some of the blogs.

I have been going to the SBC since 1988 and I know many of the leaders on a personal level and such discussion has never nor would ever take place.

So let not your heart be troubled my brother:)