Lifestyle Abundantly?

Posted: June 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

prosperity1I was surfing the “God channels” on my TV a few weeks ago and after skipping through a couple of the regular faces, I ran into an individual I generally enjoy, and though I only caught a snippet of what was said, John 10:10 was mentioned, followed by some pretty heavy prosperity doctrine.

Here is the verse in several translations:

NIV: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Message: “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

NKJ: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The last version was the one used.

I have taken the time recently to listen to some of this theology (names like Dollar, Meyer, White, Roberts, and Robertson (I love how some of their websites are .org)) I would like to pose the question, Is Jesus saying that if we follow Him, we will have “life abundantly,” or “lifestyle abundantly?”

The consensus I have come to is that these individuals are teaching “lifestyle abundantly.”

prosperity-gospelHonestly, I’m glad they have succeeded in making some money, and I would say they are definitely gifted fund raisers, but do they honestly believe that is what God wants for his people?  Is it wrong for followers of Christ to have wealth? By no means do I believe that.  I just think that these preachers (as well as parishioners) need to be more prudent in explaining that in the Bible, God’s blessing is not equal to an overflowing checkbook.

Looking in the Old Testament, you can clearly see that one sign of God’s blessing is wealth.  The short list contains Abraham, Job, David, and Solomon, who all had wealth that few today have achieved.  But it is just as clear that wealth does not always follow a faithful servant of God.  I think this list is just as long, including most of the prophets and disciples.  Clearly individuals like Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter, and John the Beloved were following the ways of God, yet their life in no way reflects this monetary blessing.  I still believe however that they did have the “abundant life” that Jesus says will follow his disciples.

With titles like 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want, Your Best Life Now, Total Life Prosperity, Miracle of Seed Faith, and Rich Church Poor Church it’s pretty clear the message that is being sent.  Why they are pushing this agenda for personal gain, or out of a misinterpretation of what Jesus says of abundant life, I am not sure of their motivation.  God alone knows their heart.  But it is clear that they need to bring some balance to the message.

The blessed abundant life that Jesus speaks of is one of relationship, joy, suffering, obedience, and service. See Matthew 10, Mark 10, and John 15 to start with.

I don’t believe it is wrong for Christians to have wealth, but don’t let it be your ambition.  Seek God first, and He will provide your needs.

prosperity-dummiesAnd unless it wasn’t already obvious to you, sending some minister on TV your first paycheck of the month, sowing a seed of $500, and becoming a “Gold Member” of someone’s ministry will not guarantee you any sort of return or Godly influx of cash.  Listening to the Father and obeying Him will however keep you in His blessing, and I am sure that whatever He decides your blessing will be is worth it.

Lastly, Abraham first left all, Job first lost all, David first suffered all, and Solomon, well you can read Ecclesiastes to know his thoughts on wealth.

Thanks,

- mooney


Obama declared June Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month

Posted: June 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Political | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

In a press release given yesterday, Obama has declared June Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

My thoughts: Why is it not listed with the other press releases at WhiteHouse.gov? I had to search for it to confirm it wasn’t a scam.  Somehow this doesn’t surprise me.  Though Obama doesn’t support gay marriage, he will declare them a “Pride Month” to keep them somewhat happy.  If I were in this group, I’m not sure how I would take that.

Please leave your thoughts.

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

___________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                     June 1, 2009

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009
- – - – - – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration — in both the White House and the Federal agencies — openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Presidential-Proclamation-LGBT-Pride-Month/