Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is God pleased with the churches we build ?

Note:= An interesting article, from a pastor of a local US church, taking an issue with those mega-churches pushing the prosperity gospel. Ever wonder why these prosperity preachers seldom or never push their messages in really poor areas of the world? One line in this article stands out to me, and its this: If your message won't work for all of mankind, then it's not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Think about this, and read on. God bless.

Local pastor wonders if God is pleased with churches we build

Founder of Church on the Rock of Jasper,
in Texas,USA

You can watch it on the History Channel, hear it described in a lecture with a slide presentation, or as in this case read about it. My best efforts not withstanding, you still won't have a clue until you have been there and seen it with your own eyes.

The abject poverty, the empty stare of hopelessness in children's eyes, and the never to be forgotten stench of raw sewage and filth openly exposed.

You will still be relatively uninformed after reading my futile attempt to communicate the enormity of the degradation and decadent existence of the multiple millions of vanquished hungry people who would be eternally grateful to one day have hope of aspiring to America's poverty level.

This was my first trip to the country where my older brother, a missionary evangelist, had sown seed for the past 12 years.

I went as his guest to preach at several of the many churches in the country of Ghana, Africa. He warned me to get prepared for the enormous 'culture shock.' There was no way to prepare myself for what I experienced.

I had been teaching and preaching over the radio to this and 37 other foreign countries for several years. After recently preaching in person to large and small, established as well as newly planted churches in the city, suburbs and bush country of this third world country I stand amazed.

To my chagrin I seriously question just who should be doing the teaching and who should be the student. In our affluent society of modern conveniences and luxury living with sky high credit-limits, even our very poorest are considered rich by third world standards.

I am convinced we as Americans hardly qualify as experts on faith and commitment in light of these incredible people.

They have little choice but to exercise their faith for they have to depend on God for their next meal, clothes for their children, transportation, and protection from disease. So, its no big thing for them to trust in God for healing miracles, signs and wonders of which rival the Apostolic age of the New Testament. Rev. 3: 17 - 19 certainly brings to mind the USA.

With all due respect I wonder what would happen if some of America's prosperity teachers that stand in their "seeker friendly" positive thinking motivational churches would make the trip and stand before the congregation of the proletariat claiming to all that God will make them rich and prosperous.

Never forget, that even a weed needs a seed and sufficient soil. When there is absolutely no monetary base for financial growth, positive thinking won't change it.

I have witnessed the same positive thinking prosperity doctrine except with no mention or belief in God work the the same wonders in America that some are claiming in religious circles today.

This is not to say that God can't prosper us but in the context of the Hebrew and Greek definition balanced with I Timothy 6:5 and I Timothy 6: 9-10.

Remembering John the Baptist's question, "Are you the Christ or should we look for another?" Jesus' reply is Matthew 11: 4-5.

"Go back and report to John what you hear and see: [5] The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor."

Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor."

If your message won't work for all of mankind, then its not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One thing is for certain, the Apostles sure didn't embrace this popular itching ear doctrine prophesied to be popular in the final days. (II Timothy 4: 3-4)

I wonder if God is pleased when we build these multimillion dollar churches when only half that extravagance would have been sufficient while masses go hungry. Consider Matthew 25: 44-45; "In as much as you didn't do unto the least of these you also neglected me."

So, this Thanksgiving as my family gathered around the dinning room table to devour our feast fit for any king, before we gobbled down the gobbler and hurried to the den to watch football, their was a sincere and fervent prayer of praise and thanksgiving remembered that it's in Him we live and more and have our being.

Acts 17:28 and never forget America, "He that giveth can also take away." Job 1:21

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