Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Word of Faith Leaders in Trouble?

Anyone who watches any news is sure to know that several prominent Word of Faith leaders are being investigated by the Senate for excessive spending and other "crimes that will make the politician doing the investigation look really good for exposing."

I would note that I grew as a Christian in the Word of Faith movement and I still find many of the core principles to be completely consistent with the Bible (contrary to the claims of many Christian leaders). That said, I had a growing discomfort with the ostentatiousness exhibited by many in the movement that became even more pronounced with the Money Cometh message's growth in the late 1990s.

A big problem for me personally was that money wasn't coming, or at least it wasn't staying. It flowed out about as fast as it came in, and it was coming in at a good pace during those years! The main reason for this was that I didn't tightly control my spending and focus intently on getting out of debt. Instead I focused on living high on the hog and enjoying life, a key tenet the movement pushed during those years. Of course, getting and staying out of debt was always a core principle, but it was drowned out by the idea of really enjoying life.

I am firmly convinced that the generosity of my wife and I is what kept us from serious bad times during those years, but I lament how much better I could have done if I had instead focused intently on debt reduction and elimination.

As I noted in a previous post, I am once again seeking to focus on that goal, but I face the common trouble most in my generation hit: consumption! It is a lot harder to change habits than many think.

Getting back to the current scandal, I would note that this has been going on for many years, why is anyone surprised? While I have serious issues with the flagrant waste of the things given to these ministers, I see completely political motives in pursuing them now. If Congress would start really investigating its own waste and foolishness I might take their self-righteousness a lot more seriously.

I am reminded though that judgment begins at the house of God. I expect this is only the beginning of some cleaning. Unfortunately, it will likely also serve as ammunition for those who claim you cannot trust what God has written, including those within the church who are the most loudly proclaiming false prophets in this context. These people fail to take God's promises of provision and blessing above that seriously. Instead they claim that we can never know what God is going to do.

If God hadn't written it, they might be right, but they ignore countless confirmation of the blessing nature of God. I plan on writing more on this in the future, so I will leave this argument incomplete now.

I do wonder if I am one of the few people who believe as I do though. I a firmly convinced it is God's will for people to prosper and I believe it is sin for so many Christians today to not do so. Most of this failure to prosper is more due to slavery to debt than the will of God that many claim. People do struggle, but how many of those are spending hours in front of the television instead of improving themselves? How many are working 6 days as noted in Genesis? (The sixth day could be spend building a business idea improving themselves for a promotion, etc.)

More to come on this....


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