Some things we need to keep to ourselves, like dirty secrets and diseases. I need to add another to that list: heresy. Unfortunately, the American heresy of the prosperity “gospel”, which is no gospel at all (cf. Gal. 1:6-7), for the true Gospel delivers people from bondage to sin (Rom. 6:15-23) and to the fleeting treasures of this world to seek the surpassing treasures of knowing Jesus and seeing the radiance of God’s glory in all things for all eternity(cf. Phil. 3:7-11; Col. 3:1-4). That’s good news. The prosperity heresy keeps people in bondage to the corruptible treasures of earth and produces a lifestyle that would rather live in the ease of suburban luxury than suffer for the sake of the Gospel in the ghettos, projects and war-torn areas of our world, where the Gospel is so desparately needed. Prosperity heresy says, “God has told you to spend $600 for that new iPhone. Believe and receive!” Jesus says,
Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions… The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, “What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?” And he said, “I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have amble goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, adn the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:15-21).
May the American church seek God’s mercy in forgiveness, both for her own covetousness and for being a stumbling block for the Church-at-large, lest she face a judgment so great that it would be better for a millstone to be hung around her neck and be cast out into the sea (cf. Luke 17:1-2 or any mafia movie/TV show). And may the true Gospel triumph over such an evil imitation for the joy of all peoples, including Hispanics and sub-Saharan Africans.
(HT: Justin Taylor)