61% of Christians believe God wants people to be financially prosperous.
48% of Christians believe Jesus was not rich, and we should follow his example.
Those stats come from a very interesting Time Magazine article:
"Does God Want You to be Rich?" by David van Biema and Jeff Chu
It's a year old but still quite timely.
And I never thought I'd say this, but here's Saddleback's Rick Warren goin' all prophetic and what-not:
"This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy?", he snorts. "There is a word for that: baloney. It's creating a false idol. You don't measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn't everyone in the church a millionaire?"
Naturally because they lack faith, Rick. :-)
Nah, he's right. It's baloney. It's worse than that -- it's idolatry.
Does God want you rich? He might. He also might want you poor.
"Nuts to that," says Joyce Meyer.
Well, okay, she didn't say that. But she did say this:
"Who would want to get in on something where you're miserable, poor, broke and ugly and you just have to muddle through until you get to heaven?" asks Joyce Meyer, a popular television preacher and author often lumped in the Prosperity Lite camp. "I believe God wants to give us nice things."
Beautiful. This is of course why Meyer ministers in AIDS and famine and poverty-ravaged Africa.
Yes, that was a joke.
But none of this is funny.
These people are killing Christians. Killing them.
Jesus didn't die on a dollar sign, you charlatans.
Btw, our friend The Internet Monk is quoted in that article. Way to make the big time, Monkeyboy.
Here's why I hate the prosperity gospel: not just because it's a lie, a false gospel, but because it is a lie that damages people. It places the focus of their faith on stuff and circumstantial happiness. So if you don't have nice stuff, more stuff, better stuff, you naturally doubt your faith.
Why isn't the grace of God in the work of Jesus Christ enough for these people? Why isn't the glory of the atonement -- reconciliation with God! -- glorious enough?
Woe to anyone who preaches dissatisfaction in Christ alone. Woe to anyone who preaches Christ plus stuff. May they repent or perish rather than continue leading the sheep astray.