Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Is it wrong for a Christian to Prosper?

Of recent, I have come across some write-ups by Christian brothers and sisters arguing that it is wrong to teach that a Christian can be prosperous. To me this is going too far and the stand has no basis in the scripture. Whether we like it or not, brethren will keep on remembering the fact that Abraham was made prosperous by God Himself (Gensis 12:2 The word translated bless - Berakah (ber-aw-kaw') is defined by Strong's dictionary as prosperity). Job was a prosperous man, after his travails in the hand of the devil, God did not just restore him back to his former level of prosperity but He made Him greater.

The scripture clearly stated that it is wrong for a Christian to "run" after money (Mathew 6:24-33) or turn money into his/her god. One cannot faithfully serve God and money at the same time. But that is not the same thing as saying that a Christian should be poor (3 John 1:2) .
The scripture teaches about prosperity (which is much more than accumulation of material things) while it condemn running after material things (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

In reality, a poor person is more of a liability to those around him/her. If a brother in our fellowship cannot pay his house rent. Won't we be burdened to collect free will donation to help him out of the situation lest he is thrown out by his landlord into the cold. Now, imagine what it will be like if 99% of the fellowship are in such state of finance such that they cannot cater for their basic needs.

To the best of my understanding, what we need to emphasize is the truth that "money" "material accumulation" does not bring fulfillment to a man. Rather, it is godliness that brings satisfaction and fulfillment. If this is settled in the mind of a Christian, then he/she will not find it difficult to live by the admonition of 1 Timothy 6:6-8 and devote more attention to the issue of pleasing the Lord.

It is not okay to just tell brethren that it is wrong for them to run after money, we need to explain why it is wrong, and what they ought to be running after. I will appreciate it if you can share your views on this topic. Shalom