Does God Want us to be Poor?

As I was researching information on an upcoming article I will be blogging about televangelist lifestyles, I came across a very interesting article describing the Prosperity Doctrine and the question of whether God wants us to be Poor.  I encourage you to read the entire article as it is intriguing, it helped me to understand some of the teachings of Creflo Dollar, T.D. Jakes, Paula White, Joel Olsteen and Kenneth Copeland, more on them later:

Does God Want Us To Be Poor?
This is in no way to subscribe to the theory that God wants his people to be poor and needy. God is not opposed to wealth and the Bible never once condemns those that have money, just because they have money. In fact some of God’s finest… Abraham, David and Job for example, were men of substance. Although he eventually fell rather badly from early on King Solomon was wealthy by any standard.

The problem arises because of our tendency to equate success with wealth. Because we want to see ourselves as successful, we want to be wealthy. However, God does not does not define success in monetary terms. It is possible to be rich and be a failure, or to be poor but yet counted a success in God’s kingdom. Our financial standing has no relationship to our standing with God.

Besides which we have to pay very careful attention to answer to the question of why God warns against wanting to be wealthy and focusing on the material in this world. ?

What could possibly be wrong with wanting to be prosperous?

The Link Between Love and Desire
Even the tele-evangelists themselves, pretending that there is no kinship between desiring money and loving money, point to 1 Timothy 6:10 that says it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. But, as usual, the preceding verse has been glossed over. It says [Emphasis Added]

But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9).

The author of the book of Hebrews himself correlates love of money with wanting more than you already have.

Be ye free from the love of money; content with such things as ye have: for himself hath said, I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee. [Hebrews 13:5]

So, according to the proponents of the prosperity doctrine, God’s wants me to prosper materially in this lifetime, In order to do so I have to see myself “rising to new levels”. I have to take the time to learn the techniques that will cause God to ‘increase me financially’. I have to see my dreams coming to pass. In other words I must have the desire to obtain more than I have now.

So why then does God warn that this desire is likely to plunge me into ruin and destruction?

Front and Center Stage
The answer is simple. As the Word says.. the “deceitfulness of wealth” can choke out the Word of God..

“Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:18-19) does telling

Has anyone noticed that, from cover to cover, the entire Bible, revolves around the theme of sin and salvation. It is the thread that around which the entire fabric of the Bible is woven… the one subject that under-girds virtually every one of the sixty-six books of the Bible.

Yet, when prosperity teachers ascend their stages, there is a distinct lack of preaching on the Bible’s Raison d’être … Sin, The Wrath of God, and His judgment, Repentance and Salvation. None of which appeals to the modern generation who prefer to have their ears tickled rather than put up with sound doctrine, even though their very lives depend on it.

What was that again about the “deceitfulness of wealth” choking out the Word of God? What was that again about those who want to get rich fall into traps and being plunged into ruin and destruction?

Since so many Christians love the messages of Being all you can be, Achieving all you can achieve, and Getting all you can get that pander to self, is it any wonder that these churches, along with those that preach to ‘felt needs”, have so many followers and grow like weeds? While we might mourn the fact that so many have fallen into the snare set by the wolves in the church, we cannot deny that we were warned that this would happen.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. [2 Timothy 4:3]

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End note: Time Magazine. Does God Want You To Be Rich? David Van Biema And Jeff Chu Sunday, Sep. 10, 2006.,9171,1533448-7,00.html