9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.” John 9:1-7
Lately Ive really been thinking of the real problem with the “prosperity gospel”. More… How can it exist, when the above scripture flies in the face of it? This is a problem that has crept up in Christianity the last 50 or so years. It was birthed in the non denominational pentecostalism of the late 19th century, and it flourished in the advent of evangelicalism. However, it goes much further back.
As we can see in the scriptures, its routed in fundamentalism. We try to explain the why’s to our lives. If we fail, surely God must be angry. Truly, he seemed in the Old Testament, to be a vengeful God, who would match eye for eye our transgressions. But Jesus changed all that.
The God in the old testament, was dealing with a stiff necked people whose “Hearts had turned to stone”… Its amazing any of them survived at all, (especially that period after the 1st and Second Judges, I digress) – Time and time again, till they lost their land, kingdom and temple, the people of God were Disciplined.
God showed and desires mercy though, not sacrifice. The sacrificial act of Calvary, forever set a different standard. God Became man, and shared all our weakness including death (with the exception of sin). We now could totally relate to our God, and we had the ultimate atonement for our sins. So the game changed. It was no longer Eye for an Eye.. But, just like we are to love our enemies, God Loves us even when we sin –
Are we disciplined yes. Do bad things happen though solely because of some sin. No. Thats not how God works. We aren’t punished in a temporal way for sins. Sin is a separation from God’s love and mercy. That in itself, can be punishment enough.
Christ came to show the world mercy, the cross itself is mercy. Our Faith, is based on the fact that “God so Loved the world, that he Gave us his only Son, so that all who believe might not perish but have eternal life” – So it takes me back that the VERY DENOMINATIONS THAT LEAD WITH THIS VERSE (see fundamentalism, evangelicalism, pentecostalism), embrace prosperity Gospel, which either shows itself in the more classical “Health and Wealth approach” (God favors you..thats why you prosper), or in its more sinister form , God is angry… so he chastises you”. Neither of these are very true, if you read this Scripture.
So the next time you see yourself thinking, I messed up,,, thats why my life is bad, rather then fall into the Prosperity Gospel Heresy (in any form), rather remember the Blind Man and Jesus. The man was Blind, so that God’s glory can be manifest. Everyone of our trials as mortals, can be an opportunity. We might not even be healed, but our steadfastness in itself, can be a remarkable witness in itself.
Bottom line, God Loves us. Anything that ever hints that he doesnt, is not what the Man taught on earth. Those are pharisees, who are so caught up in the letter of the law, that they have forgotten the core of the Law. God is Love.
“Where Charity and Love abide, There, God is Found”