Fraudsters are among us. On Easter Sunday, Televangelist Paula White Hawks announced s he would send you a “Resurrection Life” seed which would miraculously save you from a spiritual death sentence. For the amazingly low price of $1,144. White then promised that in return for sowing the resurrection seed, donors would receive special prayer cloths that could possible cause special miracles, signs and wonders. Inspired by John 11:44, she explained that this story of Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead was the essence of the whole thing. She did add that you shouldn’t expect God to act like a “sugar daddy” if you sent the money. Well, thank goodness she said that. Oh, yeah. God told her to do it.
Last March, aptly named Creflo Dollar, a prosperity preacher from World Changers Church International, put out to the world that he would like 200,000 people to send him $300 so his ministry could purchase a new Lear jet. Explaining that his current jet had logged over four million miles and one of the jet’s engines failed him on a recent flight, had sent Dollar to the public for funds. In exchange for the three hundred bucks, Creflo vowed that God would fill your life with money and joy. And…God told him to do it.
Robert Tilton taught that poverty was sin. A prosperity guru from Dallas later got into big trouble with the government. It seems he was telling people who were sending him money that he would pray for their requests. Diane Sawyer investigated and found Tilton’s ministry dumping the prayer requests into the round file (trash can). When I say they were sending him money, I’m talking 85 million dollars a year money. He was later brought up on fraud charges. What are the chances God told him to do it?
While there are many things that come to my mind when I think of this teaching and these people, I find one that has to be mentioned. One day, all of these people will die. When they die, they will stand before God and give an account of their time on earth. These people will have to explain how they took millions of dollars from people who couldn’t buy food, for causes that were so anti-Christian it makes the devil stand up and cheer. They are so far from God and what Jesus stood and died for that it brings tears to my eyes. One day there will be a reckoning.
Look, Jesus was poor. His whole life. He certainly didn’t make a big deal about it. If anybody “deserved” to live a prosperous life, it was him. After all, he did make everything. There is no one fill in the blank doctrine that proves God only works in one way. Everybody has their own cross to bear. If I’m poor, then no amount of money I send in is going to make me rich. That doesn’t make sense, does it?