Jesus died so you could get wealthy, healthy, famous, successful, etc. on earth. You need to “claim what is yours”. Your best life is on earth (rather than in heaven).
Of course, this teaching tickles the ears of many, which amounts to more financial profit for the false prophets leveraging the prosperity gospel message.
In my opinion, the new liberalism is basically the Church Growth Movement. Where everything is done on marketing strategies. Tell us what kind of church you want and that’s what we’ll give you, instead of asking God what kind of Bride He desires.
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
Why are the so-called “brothers” – the wolves disguised as sheep – not being removed from the church?
Among other reasons, because that would cut profits.
Much of the organized church today is a conglomeration of highly “successful” businesses.
Successful at bringing about true conversions? Hard to say.
Successful at healing people within? Promoting spiritual health and wealth? Not necessarily.
But that’s not what they care about.
The organized church today is largely a collection of businesses with a coating of Christianity.
What are retail stores? Businesses through and through, with a coating of desirable merchandise. They give the customer what they want so that they’ll keep coming back and feel a sense of loyalty to the business.
So how do you make money off of the Christian demographic? Create a “church”, of course!
Make them feel good about themselves because they’re “attending church” every Sunday.
Guilt trip them into tithing (take advantage of their desire to please God), entertain them with music, and sell them lots of cookies, coffee, and books.
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
To clarify, I’m not saying that it’s wrong to give ten percent – or more or less than that (an offering) to something or someone to which God is leading you to give it.
It may or may not be to the organized church.
Realize that the organized church is largely infiltrated by Satan, and that many of his workers are in prominent positions in the church.
Perhaps God is leading you to give to a specific person or need within the body – or specifically to a teacher who is truly called by the Spirit to teach and, most importantly, is teaching the truth.
The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
1 Timothy 5:17-18
Just because someone is teaching and preaching, however, does not mean that they are teaching righteousness.
We must examine all things and be prepared to question and test all leaders and the words that come from their mouths.
We must realize that it is not only okay – it is right – to expose wicked teaching (which includes a 98% correct gospel – which is deadly teaching).
And it is not only okay – it is right – to refrain from financially supporting teaching and preaching that is not Christ-centered but promotes the lies of Satan, however subtly it does so.
Give as the Spirit leads you. Listen to your conscience. Do not sear it.
So what if your giving isn’t tax deductible? Is it not better to give in secret – off the record – to someone who fears the Lord than to support an unholy organization or system?
It is better to give according to your conscience – even if your method and target of giving are unconventional – than to give to wickedness because doing so is conventional or more financially convenient.
And yes, it is good to support those who preach and teach the truth.
It is good to support an elder who is walking humbly with God and encouraging others to do the same.
But there is nothing wrong with giving to such people in a less recognized or personally rewarding method.
There is nothing wrong with giving to meet a specific need within the body, or with giving directly and privately to elders, teachers, and preachers rather than to a slick business (er…”church”), if that is what God is leading you to do.
“But what about overhead?” you ask. “Someone’s gotta cover that!”
I propose a few solutions. We might:
A) Meet in people’s homes. Form small fellowships and share the cost of facilities (through donation) or accept the graciousness of the hosts who have invited people into their homes.
B) Find a church body where giving to support the overhead, etc. is at no risk of also promoting a false gospel message or a false prophet. A church body where only the truth is preached, and deception and wickedness are swiftly exposed. Remember, even Satan can appear as an angel of light, so ask God for discernment. Sometimes, all is not as it seems in a church body.
C) Prayerfully attend an apostate church body/business as a missionary – with the goal of ministering to and encouraging the few believers there – and of exposing the deeds and words of wickedness and sharing the true gospel. But give nothing (unless to specific individuals/needs to whom/which you are called to give). Such a business deserves to die. Hop on a sinking ship. But realize it’s a sinking ship, and don’t put anything into it, or it will only sink faster into the ocean of wickedness.
God may lead you not to give to a certain church for a season. Or He may lead you to give a large sum at a body that is seeking the will and truth of God. You have to dance with Him to know what He’s saying. To know where His feet are moving. To follow His eyes.
You have to have a close relationship with Him, and not listen to the unbiblical shaming that many preachers pour upon the flock regarding tithing.
Desire His way and His will, and you will not be sucked in by the sensual appeal of the prosperity gospel.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.
We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:1-6