It's Called 'Prosperity Gospel,' And It's A Dangerous, Growing Sect Of Christianity

It's Called 'Prosperity Gospel,' And It's A Dangerous, Growing Sect Of Christianity

Jesus came to save, deliver, and sanctify believers. The gospel is not a get-rich quick scheme.

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Any typical Christian has likely heard of pastors such as Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and other individuals who push an ideology of faith that is so outrageous it is quickly rejected by many. Anyone who has read the Bible can easily debunk their claims on prosperity and "God's provision," as many of these men's views are unbiblical. However, these ideologies are no longer quarantined to the massive Southern megachurches.

Prosperity Gospel is seeping into churches around the nation, strangling believers and leading them astray.

What is prosperity gospel? It is the idea that if you follow God's commandment's correctly, he will literally reward your bank account. Ironically enough, pastors that preach this mentality often encourage their members to give large offerings because "God will give it right back to you tenfold in your bank account." Proponents of this belief often cite verses such as the following:

"And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." — Hebrews 11:7
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." — Matthew 7:7
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance." — Psalm 33:12

It is understandable to see where followers of this ideology obtain their justification. The problem, however, is that they are taking these verses completely out of context. The Lord has rewarded believers with eternal life, through the death of his son Jesus Christ, and with the fruits of the spirit to act in the image we were created in.

That is the reward.

Not riches. Not money. Not cars. Not nice houses. Some proponents will even go as far as to say that poor individuals must not have strong enough faith, otherwise God would have blessed them with money.

What kind of worldly lie is that?

Jesus called the rich man to drop everything to follow him and said many times that one cannot serve two masters: God and Money. If the motive for serving Christ derives for a hope of monetary reward, do you really think God doesn't see right through that? If your purpose for following God is in the effort of financial gain, you have completely missed the point of the gospel.

Christ came to save, deliver, and sanctify believers. The gospel is not a get-rich-quick scheme or something to be used to our own advantage. At that point, it's no longer the gospel, but our own sinful nature implementing a self-serving philosophy.

If your church holds these ideas, test them against scripture. If it doesn't stand against scripture, maybe it's a place you shouldn't be.

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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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My View On Religion Changed When I Got Closer To God

Understanding that God loves me and protects me has encouraged me to be honest with myself and the choices I make.

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I was not raised Christian or any religion of any sort, but since I was in elementary school I always wondered what religion meant and why people practiced it. The problem is people are so verbal about stereotypes that all Christians are homophobic or believe that women should not have the right to abortions. These are both common beliefs practiced in Christianity, but it does not mean that all Christians think this way. Hearing those things that went against my beliefs scared me away from practicing any type of religion.

When I entered my junior year one of my friends said that the church she goes to, "Journey Of Faith" is welcoming of all people no matter what their race, gender, and sexuality was. I decided to try it out and I felt so welcomed and taken care of. I started to realize that the whole point of going to church is to worship God and nurture your relationship with him.

The pastor explained how God created everyone and that God loves all of his sons and daughters no matter what. That comment meant a lot to me and it still sticks with me today. Being a good Christian is loving and forgiving people no matter what because that is what God does. When people are hateful towards people who are part of the LGTBQ+ that just means that they are ignorant and intolerant, they are not preaching God's words because God is loving.

I loved the bible verses I would hear in church. I felt so uplifted after each service and applied the sermons I learned to my daily life. I learned the importance of loving others and yourself. I was taught to always go with my gut and to challenge myself. It just felt so relieving to know that God will always be here for me and have my back no matter what I was going through.

I always believed that things happen for a reason and I realized that is God. I feel like ever since I have gone to church I have a better understanding of life and what things mean. Since I am such a curious person always looking for answers, I felt that I was able to find some of those answers in the Holy Bible.

My journey of faith was confusing and a lot of people would make fun of me for going to church and still do, but I don't let it get to me. I have been a much happier person and have been able to set and accomplish more goals for myself it doesn't matter what people say about my faith. Church and just reading bible quotes is my therapy.

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