Will we get it?

When will we get it? When will we awake and realize that following God has more to do with losing than with gaining? It is no surprise to me that people flock to hear a preacher preach the theology of prosperity, mindless drivel that it is. What is a surprise is that these same people claim to read the same bible I read.

For some reason, there is an entanglement between the culture driven life and the Bible these days. The result is a watered down theology that would make Jesus hide his head in shame. The largest church in America, Joel Osteen’s church, is probably one of the greatest examples of this trend.

There is something about a preacher telling people that if you just smile enough, whatever you want will come your way. Well, what happens when it doesn’t? What happens when she dies? What happens when he cheats? What happens when the bill collector comes? What happens when the smiles fail…

I would imagine that the fall hurts tremendously.

When the fall happens, who picks up the pieces? Does Joel, or does he stand behind the hand-blown glass panes in the windows of his mansion that he smiled his way into and wave at those below him? I know there are some good things about his church; at least I want to believe that all of the 30,000 people are not vacuous mindless drones of the “don’t worry, be happy” theological disaster waiting to happen.

However, I could be missing a verse or two in one of the gospels. The ones where Jesus says: “Blessed are those who get theirs, for they shall have whatever they want.” Maybe I missed the part where Jesus smiled his way out of Pilate’s audience and skipped down the main street throwing out blessing upon blessing to the wealthy middle-class of Jerusalem.

With what happened in London today, I can understand why this empty-headed theology works for some people. In a world inhabited by people who enjoy killing other people, why not run out and get what is coming to you? Why not hoard and smile and live behind gated fences and drive suburban assault vehicles? Why not loathe your neighbor as you loathe yourself?

When you can go to church and not hear about the devastation of sin on this world; when you can enter into this plastic society of “I am just faking this smile so that I can get what is coming to me;” when you can leave a worship service feeling uplifted every single Sunday, why not buy into it (literally and figuratively)?

If you can convince yourself that faith does not have to deal with what is happening in this world, then more power to you, just don’t bring that crap to my front door.

This world is a chaotic mind-blowing mess. Ever since the first soldier entered a concentration camp during World War II, we have realized that as an “enlightened” race we have it within ourselves to destroy each other. From that point on, there is no use denying the role and power of sin in our lives, globally, communally, and individually. To believe and teach otherwise is irresponsible and reckless...

grace and peace



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