The Prosperity Theology versus The Hell and Damnation Theology
Last week I covered rebuking the devourer and tithing. Many people will not discuss tithing. The Holy Spirit lead me to past prosperity teachings that I had not heard. I grew up hearing the "hell and damnation" sermons. The sermons that said we were going to hell if we even breathed the wrong way.
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I lived a large part of my life in fear of God. I needed to know God loved me and once I accepted that understanding, I was able to eliminate the dangerous thinking of not being saved. I was ready to embrace the truth that Jesus came so I could experience life with God. What an honor! Life with Abba! Life with Yeweh and Yeshua or a life that's more than putting our faith into empty material possessions.
I know following God does not leave me exempt from trials. But I also know that God uses the trials to refine us and make us holy. We are becoming.
Prosperity preaching says someone is blessed if they have money. And if you use the money you have, you can virtually "buy" your blessing for more money. So many people fell into giving more than they could give. Or making large purchases out of "faith" to make more money. The season of "fake it until you make it." blossomed. And many people purchased items they could not afford (on credit), and many believed anyone who did not make these same purchases had the spirit of poverty. Does this sound familiar? (Rich-minded mindset)
As an accountant, I could not wrap my head around giving away more than 50% my money without reason. I give under the direction of God. The response to not giving was damnation to hell. Holy Spirit was not leading me in this direction. Abba wanted me to steward my money resources well. I could pray for more resources, and the bible says to pray with expectation. I didn't desire to tell God what I wanted. I ask according to the desires He created in me. Who am I to try and command God. And who am I that God is mindful of me? God loves me, and if he sees it is beneficial to my assignment, He will give when I ask in Jesus name.
Thus, breaking the prosperity gospel theory. I am not punished if I do not have money and God still loves me regardless of the amount of money I have or give away. I have lost money for making poor decisions and not seeking God for guidance. I am now Holy Spirit lead, and God directs me to spend, tithing, giving and saving.
I desired to find a healthy balance. The Hell and Damnation sermons point to curses if you don't give or tithe. I believe in blessings and curses, but I don't believe in being forced to give out of fear. God is interested in directing us in the way we should go. Therefore, in the 3:10 passage God is saying this is one way you can honor me. Tithing and giving are all part of a system God has created to help us. God doesn't need money. We require it in this human system.
Let's look at this passage differently. What if we look at it through a loving relationship between a loving Father and child. I imaging Abba saying, "Tithing and giving are how you show thanks for what I have given to you but my dearest children because you make money your god (the love of money) you will bring all of the things that pierced you (1 Timothy 6:10 NIV)." A curse....so yes...the curse of poverty is real. And it can be broken but by becoming more like God. Therefore the hell and damnation sermon does not reflect the loving God that I have come to know.
By allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us. Tithing says I trust God to supply my needs. And because I trust him, he will bless me in many ways and not because of the amount of money I spend or give!! We can't buy God.