I am the sort of person who likes to examine my beliefs. I like to look at what I believe and the arguments against such beliefs. Whether it be theological or political, I want to know the truth. I need to be able to answer the critiques of my beliefs, because if I cannot maybe what I believe is not true. That is what I have done when it comes to the Prosperity Theology. Whenever I think of a problem with a Prosperity Theology viewpoint, I would try to think of something that would be said to justify such a position. Despite what is said I think Hebrews 11:39-40 says the opposite of what many faith teachers tell us.
However my rejection of the Prosperity Theology leaves me with questions, questions like: Am I being negative? Am I just being pessimistic? Am I a hypocrite? Am I a discourager? One thing I do not want to be is a divisive cynic who is always looking for a problem. However I do not want to be gullible, I do not want to be someone who accepts what preachers are saying as true just because they says it.
A couple of weeks ago I heard this sermon and I questioned what was being said. The Pastor was telling those listening that things will get better for them. He was not being mean and nasty, he was trying be an encouragement. But I had a problem with it. Just like I have a problem with some of what Joel Osteen says. I did not mention him along with Joseph Prince in my previous piece of writing because I did not read anything directly by him, that indicated his teaching to be on the same level of prosperity teaching as Prince. A lot of what Osteen says seems to be: life will get better, God has promised it will, just do not give up. It is encouraging but is it truthful? Is it giving people a false sense of hope? Hebrews 11:39-40 seems to be saying: for some life will get better but for some it will not, it has nothing to do with their lack of faith, it is that God has something greater planned for those who are suffering (in eternity). I know that Pastor was trying to be an encouragement to his audience but was he being realistic?
Am I being miserable or a killjoy? Sometimes I question if I am. But I do still believe we need to be realistic about faith – having faith does not mean our life will be prosperous or easy.
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