I stumbled across some people on Youtube hating on prosperity teaching and
what I want to know is...
Where were all these people when the church was teaching poverty for 100's of years?
I'm not endorsing the obvious flagrant abuses of prosperity teaching but as far as prosperity goes,I see it like this.....
For centuries the Roman Catholic church conspired with the Roman leaders to teach poverty gospel everywhere the Romans conquered to keep people, passive, docile and poor while they pillaged the riches. The Protestant churches continued in that very same false doctrine for mostly the same reasons and also out of sheer ignorance because they held onto the teachings of the Catholics. Even to this very day, the Vatican is awash in wealth yet still teaching the poverty gospel.
It's the height of hypocrisy to decry prosperity when even the poorest Americans are living in prosperity relative to many people around the world. In other words, If you have a car less than 5 years old please be quiet, if you live in a nice apartment with 3 or 4 rooms, a house larger than 1200 square feet, please be quiet, you're living in prosperity.
If you have running water and indoor plumbing, pretty please be quiet and quit trying to take people on a guilt trip. Instead, why not go on a missions trip and help other people in poverty around the world live the type of life we're living in the USA or pipe it down and quit hating on those of us who actually understand the bible.
The fact of the matter is, in the world money is a means of exchange. Since it's of the world it belongs to the world. Since it belongs to the world, just like an unsaved person, it's unrighteous, hence Jesus called it the unrighteous mammon (Luke 16:11).
But the Good News is, just like you, your money doesn't have to remain unrighteous because God has provided a means of sanctifying it, that's called tithing!
The Bible says; "If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches." Romans 11:16
Tithing is a way of sanctifying that which remains out of what you give, it makes the remaining part "righteous" because the part you have given represents the whole. I'm not here to debate the amount of tithing, whether it's 1/10th or whatever but what I am discussing is the principle. It's the principle of representation. We see this principle at work throughout the bible but one of the most glaring examples is found in this verse
"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."1 Corinthians 15:22. That verse tells us that while we're counting in billions of people, God is only counting two, the 1st Adam and the 2nd Adam, Christ Jesus. God is not looking at you or I per say, He's looking at who you and I are represented by, Adam or Christ.
This same principle applies to money. Money is not evil, but the love of money is and if you're holding onto it so tight that you can't seem to let it go and rarely if ever bless others, you dear friend are a lover of money! If you're a lover of money it also means you're not operating in faith and the problem with that is, just as money is a means of exchange in the world, faith is the means of exchange in the Kingdom. Hence the bible tells us; "without faith it is impossible to please God" Hebrews 11:6
Just to drive the point home and give you a clear picture of how money and faith are counterparts and actually different means of exchanges; one can also say, "without money it's impossible to please Walmart"
Never one to voice my spiritual concerns based on the wisdom of men and without substantial scripture to support what God gives me to teach, here are several scriptures that confirm the truth that prosperity in and of itself is not evil and not of the devil.
1. Jesus was supported by people with money
Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
2. Roman soldiers gambled for his robe because it was well made
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided His garments into four parts, one for each soldier, with the tunic remaining. It was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
3. How could Judas steal from a money bag that had very little money without it being easily notices and why would they need a treasurer to hold a bag of pennies and trinkets?
Judas did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag, he used to take from what was put into it.
4. Jesus was buried in a rich man's tomb and that rich man himself was a disciple of Jesus
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.
5. Zacchaeus was very wealthy, yet he had a repentant heart and truly desired to see Jesus and be justified by Him.
2 And there was a man named Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, who was very wealthy.
3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but could not see over the crowd, because he was small in stature.
4 So he ran on ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Him, since Jesus was about to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came to that place, He looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down, for I must stay at your house today.”
6 So Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed Him joyfully.
7 And all who saw this began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinful man!”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, half of my possessions I give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will repay it fourfold.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
In closing, while the flagrant abuse of prosperity teaching is clearly wrong, it also seems to me that incessant teaching of poverty doctrine is and still remains to be highly abusive to the hearts and minds of believers. The bible does not teach excess but it also does not teach that poverty is good, only that dependance upon God will give us contentment whether in abundance or lack. The bible clearly doesn't teach against prosperity, only against the love of money, allowing money to master us rather than us mastering it.
If anything the bible clearly teaches us that God desires for us to "prosper in health and all things, even as our souls prospers." 3 John 1:2
If we deny He wants us to prosper in "all things," we also have to deny He wants us to prosper in health, but if you do that remember, Jesus spent about 2/3rds of his ministry healing people.