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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

>The Cancer in the "church"

>I recognize this may bother some, to include some I love. But truth can’t be compromised to avoid bothering someone…

The “prosperity gospel” is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sacrifice, inconvenience, undergirdded by great joy remain key words of the genuine gospel. Health-and-wealth are not part of His sacrificial atonement. I make no apology if that offends or infuriates. It is truth. We who follow the living Lord do prosper; but not (usually) in tangible, financial, problem-absolving ways.

Here are important words:

During the second panel discussion at T4G2010, Mark Dever asked John MacArthur about his concerns for what is known as the “prosperity gospel” or the “health/wealth gospel.” The discussion followed Al Mohler’s message, “How Does It Happen? Trajectories toward an Adjusted Gospel.” Here’s an excerpt of the exchange:

Mark Dever: I think I heard you say recently in a conversation that you are more concerned about the prosperity “gospel” than you have ever been before, that you see it as an increasing problem. Do you want to talk about that for a moment? John MacArthur: I think it is a far greater threat than the intellectual issues of modernism and postmodernism, because most people don’t live in those categories. I think it is the single greatest lie being propagated by so-called Christians today, in the sense that it overpowers all other lies. Promising people they will feel better [therapeutically] will only get them so far. But if you promise them they will get rich—that will trump feeling better every time because you can feel better once you’re rich. I think it is a Satanic doctrine… It preys on the weak and the weary and the broken and the sad and the poor and the desperate, and it promises them something God will never deliver. Jesus will never deliver. And it is a Ponzi scheme; the guys at the top get rich and everybody else is left in rags shredded everywhere in the name of Jesus Christ. So I think that is the most marketable commodity of all of the trajectories that you were talking about today. The therapeutic one is always there, but I think we have been through and out the other side of the psychology thing. And I think the people who try to make their ministry some kind of pulpit therapy have probably already changed their approach to that and maybe they have gone off and opted out for the marketing thing. “The poor you will always have with you,” Jesus said [Matthew 26:11, Mark 14:7, John 12:8]. The desperate are always going to be there. And if you prey on those people, you are going to always have a wide audience.

You can download the entire discussion here.

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