When money, material possessions, salaries, and retirement accounts are the central focus of what is preached, believed, and hoped in… the result is foolish heresy in prayer! This is what happens when a prosperity “gospel” is followed.
Reading this I couldn’t help but think about Elijah and the foolish prayers of Baal’s prophets (1 Ki 18:20-40). In a Detroit church the same kind of foolishness took place as it did in Elijah’s day, only this time it masqueraded as Christian prayer.
Click here to read an article about a church in Detroit that had three SUVs on stage at church. Here are some quotes from the article. I will offer a few thoughts as commentary afterward.
“We have never seen as midnight an hour as we face this week,” the Rev. Charles Ellis told several thousand congregants at a rousing service at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple. “This week, lives are hanging above an abyss of uncertainty as both houses of Congress decide whether to extend a helping hand.”
Since when is the “midnight hour” Christians are concerned about related to finances? Shouldn’t a Christian’s concern be related to salvation, holiness, and God’s glory? Compare Rev. Ellis’ prayer with the prophet Habakkuk (3:17-19), “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.”
Ellis said he and other Detroit ministers would pray and fast until Congress voted on a bailout for Detroit’s embattled automakers. He urged his congregation to do the same.
When did the object of a Christian fast become something other than knowing God more intimately… asking Him to glorify His name in whatever way He deems best? Praying and fasting for money and financial blessings is heretical!
“We have done all we can do in this union, so I’m going to turn it over to the Lord,” Holiefield told the congregation.
(Tongue in cheek) Now I get it… we do all we can first THEN turn things over to God? That is contrary to Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
At one point, Ellis summoned up hundreds of auto workers and retirees in the congregation to come forward toward the vehicles on the altar to be anointed with oil.
Did I read this wrong? I hope it was the people who were anointed and not the vehicles. If it was the cars, how much worse can it get? Anointing cars with oil?! I wonder if the oil was 10w/30, 10w/40, or some other kind? Nowhere in Scripture is anything such as this suggested, mentioned, or commanded. This is bad theology of the worst kind.
“It’s all about hope. You can’t dictate how people will think, how they will respond, how they will vote,” Ellis said after the service. “But you can look to God. We believe he can change the minds and hearts of men and women in power, and that’s what we tried to do today.”
CLICK HERE! Since when is Christian hope placed in anyone other than God? Since when do we put any security, peace, or hope in man… political parties… or how people vote? This minister is attempting to use God as a tool for temporal gain. And I can’t help but wonder if he is actually more concerned about a drop in giving (And thus his salary) if the enconomy goes south and people lose their jobs. JAMES 4:2-4
Maybe… just maybe… God is in the process of destroying America’s idol… money. Maybe… just maybe… God is pulling the rug out from under America’s god (Little “G”)… money. Maybe… just maybe… God is showing the world how easy it is for Him to exert His power. Maybe… just maybe... God is through all these things calling us back to Him!
You cannot serve both God and money… (Matthew 6:24).
Along this line, I read an article about church this week that had some great thoughts. “While church may seem to be experiencing a season of growth and prosperity, it is failing to move people to commitment and sacrifice. For most of us the church is the building where we assemble to worship; its ministries are the programs that we get involved in; its mission is to meet the needs of its parishioners; and its servants are the professional clergy we hire to shepherd us. Church growth has come to refer more to location, marketing, architecture, programs, and head counts than the maturity of the body of Christ. There is a critical task of recovery and restoration of the biblical view of the church.”
Well, I hope they did use so much oil that prices of gas go up again. It will be interesting to see if the ‘prosperity’ preachers grow in popularity during this recession. Thanks for the blog and keeping me up to date on the world.
I am afraid this is an example of how a lot of “Christains” have come to think. That God is OUR servant and all we have to do is call on his name and make our wishes know and he will grant them. We were put on earth to have a meaningful relationship with God and to glorify HIM! This means total submission to his will.