Standing Against a Vicious "Gospel"

I recently had the pleasure of joining a group of people that included a Christian man from Ghana. He loves Jesus and holds tightly to the promises of God in ways that are beautiful and humbling. He has been evangelizing, mentoring, and teaching for years in Western Africa, including some very dangerous places.

Last year he lost his daughter to an illness. She was a beautiful 21-year-old young woman about to finish college. He and his wife have suffered greatly. The response from some of the Christian "leaders" he knows made me sick. Confess your sins, they told him. "If you confess your sins she will be made well." Others even said they had received a prophetic word that God had heard his prayers and she would leave the hospital. There was so little compassion, so much presumption. And where was the Bible?

Yet, this brother knows that God is sovereign and good.

In fact, he spent most of the time talking about the dangerous advance of the health, wealth and prosperity "gospel." Too many "pastors" are selling God as little more than a robot programmed to respond to human requests. Stuff like "if you need money, give the church more money and it will be returned to you in blessings" and "if you experience sickness, it is your fault because you don’t have enough faith."

There is no talk of the suffering Jesus told us to expect. No talk of Jesus being a greater treasure than all earthly goods. No mention of seeking God above all things. No hope in future grace.

He told me that disability was presented as God’s curse on families. Prosperity preachers don't talk about disability serving the greater purpose of God's glory. They say nothing about the good God intends for his church. They don't say what the Bible actually says about God's sovereignty in disability within this present age.

Yet, this brother stands on God's promises and clings to Jesus. He talks of God’s mercy and grace and peace even in the hardest of circumstances, like the death of his precious daughter. I want to be like him.

And I want the cruel, viciously unbiblical, Satanic prosperity gospel to go away, forever.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

________

Recent posts from "The Works of God" —

John Knight is Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children: Paul, Hannah, Daniel, and Johnny. Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments, and a seizure disorder. John blogs on issues of disability, the Bible, and the church at The Works of God.