I saw this on someone’s facebook status update recently:
Open your eyes to all the possibilities around you…. Never give in, trust in God and you will always WIN!!!! the power of ACHIEVING is BELIEVING!!!!!
I restrained from commenting but what I wanted to say is “this is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad theology”!!
If you check out scripture it seems like the most faithful “good guys and gals” had a lot of troubles – some had to constantly flee for their lives, others were beaten, stoned or flogged, many were ridiculed and rejected, some were homeless and poor … these are not experiences that are usually associated with “winners”!
Yeah, yeah, I know, you (or someone) will be tempted to make an excuse and say that being a winner doesn’t necessarily equal a comfortable life … I agree with that statement, BUT we all know that the status update WAS referring to comfort and happiness and prosperity. Which brings me to my point …
When we send out messages which basically say “if you trust God your troubles will all be resolved to your liking” we are preaching a prosperity gospel and imo that is a false gospel and baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad theology.
I’m not saying that following in the way of Jesus is always painful – there are blessings – but the longer I live and the more I learn I would say “it’s no picnic”. The kind of individualistic gospel message that so many churches proclaim distorts the message of scripture. People begin to think that everything that happens is all about themselves when it is obviously about everything but self. In many ways, it’s a hard pill to swallow, but once you look at the big picture the suffering to be endured is tempered (somewhat) by the purpose and hope that is embedded in the story.
I think a more accurate status update would be something like this:
The good news is that the kingdom of God is at hand. The bad news is that you probably will have to sacrifice and suffer in order to take hold of it.