Thursday, 19 June 2014
Open Letter to 21st century True Church
This is a warning to all people within a church, especially those in the Word Faith or name-it-claim-it movement – the health, wealth and prosperity “gospel”. The health, wealth and prosperity “gospel” teaches that God will give you all you want if you have more faith or obedience. The prosperity “gospel” can be very blatantly obvious to extremely subtle. Many Christians think they are not influenced by this “gospel” because they do not attend a Pentacostal, Hillsong or Charismatic church. However, the prosperity “gospel” can be as subtle as the teaching that God will give those who are obedient to Him, all their basic material needs, that is, the needs of the person on their own terms. If this is the case, why does God allow true Christians to suffer persecution? Why did He allow Paul to suffer and go to jail, to be eventually beheaded? Why did He allow Jesus to suffer, eventually to die as a criminal when he was sinless? Are you saying that Jesus died so we could live a good earthly live? No! He died for the sins of the world so that it could be reconciled with God and saved from eternal damnation.
No where does the Bible say that God is guaranteed to provide ‘all the basic material needs’ of those who are obedient to Him. What are “basic material needs”? Who determines what a “basic material need” is? The human flesh which feels it is entitled to its needs. By claiming that God blesses those who are obedient by giving them their “basic material needs” such as a safe home, freedom legal challenges, financial security and sufficient food, the person is elevating oneself above God. It is essentially a teaching that God needs to submit to people by their works. This is idolatry, breaking the 3rd Commandment that ‘thou shall not make any graven images of God’ since it creates a false image of God.
Christians need a reminder of what brought sin into the world. It is humans who wanted to be like God, by convincing themselves after satan told them that they could, that they can create their own false image of God. This is an attempt to usurp God’s Sovereignty by challenging His rightful authority as Creator of the Universe. Any slight twisting of the one true Bible, no matter how minor it seems, is against God. It is an attempt to usurp God’s authority over all humans. God, as such, is treated like a Santa Clause, or a life-enhancer who is subject to human demands.
Many people today, even many Christians do not fully appreciate how Sovereign God is. This is owing to the ungodly, arrogant and often hypocritically tolerant secular humanistic doctrine that each human is sovereign over their own ways. The selfish secular humanistic culture, although, it may claim to speak against capitalism in some cases, is a materialistic mammonised one. It believes that material things such as money, friends, romance and careers are that which determines a person’s worthiness to respect. These things are what mammon provides. Mammon is a spirit which is against God. Mammon is not money itself. Money, in this world can buy anything the world provides – except for salvation from Lord Jesus Christ. It is a spirit which seeks to satisfy the flesh by material earthly things and tempts people away from seeking God through feeding the carnal flesh. Jesus said that no one can serve God and mammon. One will hate one and love the other. This is because the flesh and God are diametrically opposed to each other.
Serving material things means to pursue these things as though they are of worthy value. This is the underlying doctrine of capitalism, and because the world serves mammon, capitalism is dominant. Where capitalism is criticised by the world, it is with ulterior motives of jealousy against the rich because they have more, indicating that these critics of capitalism who are of the world, are under the spirit of mammon.
So why do Christians need to be concerned about capitalism? Capitalism is a stronghold of the devil. It is evil and speaks to the lost that they are “sovereign over their own destiny”. Christians are called to be discerning, as well as expose and fight evil. This is not to say that it is capitalism that takes people away from God. Rather, it is to say that mammon controls the world and seduces people away from seeking God, and serve their own flesh instead. Mammon needs to be exposed so that people can see how evil it is, whether lost or saved.
The “churches” that teach the prosperity “gospel” are influencing many Christians including many who do not attend such a church. Subtle forms of the prosperity “gospel” are spreading many churches in the modern world. The true church is the only thing that came lead an unsaved world to the Way, the Truth and the Life. Thus, if the church itself is trying to serve mammon, or giving in to its seductions, its love for God is growing cold, and unable to be the salt and light of the world. As David Platt said, “you literally cannot tell the difference between the end of the world and beginning of the church”. Worldiness is something from the heart, which leads to actions that leads to damnation. It is not that abstaining from doing certain things or doing certain things makes one not unworldly and godly.
1 John 4:8 says that “whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love”. Therefore a godless world is a loveless world. Jesus warned the Church of Ephesus that because its love for God has grown cold, as is the modern church in attempting to serve mammon, He would take away its lampstand. The lampstand is reflection of God’s Truth. Thus, having a lampstand being taken away is to fail to reflect God’s Truth.
The Church of Laodicea became lukewarm in its faithfulness towards God. It was self-sufficient and proud in its possessions like the Woman on the Beast in Revelations. Jesus was angered at them and rebuked them saying “you are lukewarm. I wish you were either hot or cold”. It was compromising and apathetic in its love for God because of the deceitfulness of wealth, which is the epitome of worldliness, making it unfruitful.
The church must be reminded that love for the world is diametrically opposed to love for God. The more we love to the world, we more our hearts grow numb towards God.
The church needs to return to zealous fervent love for God and wake up to the truth that one cannot love the world or mammon and God. It needs to stop being proud and shun mammon. Then only will there be a revival and the world might repent and come to faith in Jesus.