Sunday, June 21, 2009

What kind of prosperity?

I'm not for preachers who yell...but this one may truly have something to yell about.

Keith Green, one of my personal heroes, certainly would have objected to promises of material wealth and prosperity as a swap for Christianity. His life was a prayer, and he lived it with passion. He gave away his material possessions, and even refused to charge the poor for his albums, doing many free concerts and donating nearly a quarter of a million records to the poor and imprisoned. I was blessed to see him in concert while in high school (thanks, Nelson!) and while the night itself was a social disaster that still lives in infamy in our family, the music and message were amazing. (Even though it was thirty years ago, I think of that concert often...especially at how his heart broke to watch starving children on tv as his wife sat beside him, nursing their son.)

Here's an excerpt of Keith Green's article "What's Wrong with the Gospel?," available in its entirety here.

If people come to Jesus mainly to get a blessing, or only to get forgiveness, they will ultimately be disappointed. But if they come to give Him their lives in honor and worship, then they will truly have forgiveness and joy - more than they could ever imagine! (I Cor. 2:9)...Our gospel reduces the good news to a "come and get it while you can" sale. We make every effort to take all the bones out - everything that might offend someone, might make them hesitate or put off their decision. Jesus didn't do this. He never lowered the requirements for anyone. One had to be completely sincere, totally humbled, having counted the cost, willing to leave everything, family and property, "count all things loss" so that they might "gain Christ." (Phil 3:7-8) When that same rich young ruler "went away sad, for he had many possessions" (Matt. 19:22), Jesus didn't go running after him shouting, "Hey, wait a minute! Let's talk this thing over, it isn't as bad as it might sound. Maybe I was a little too harsh!"

It was so good for me to read this. As the new house encounters problem after problem, as Karen and I struggle with bills, as we fight is good to be reminded of what's important...


Bluebonnetgirl said...

You show great spiritual growth since that time you told me that you could not bring yourself to sing the second verse of the song, "Would You Be Poured Out Like Wine Upon the Altar?" because you could not honestly answer, "Yes, I'll be poured out like wine upon the altar for You, yes, I'll be broken like bread to feed the hungry." You are seeing your life through eyes of faith now, and I'm proud of you. I pray that your faith will continue to increase!

Lone Star Lifer said...

Thanks for coming by my blog, reading posts and leaving a comment. Can you believe it's been 3 years since we first "met" thru Ira?
Reading this post reminds me of what my friend Sharon Washburn said in her blog (as she fights breast cancer). A quote from Max Lucado: It's not about me, it's not about now. That phrase will be my current touchstone as it speaks so intimately to me.
Happy Holiday and I am still going to come for Barbq one of these days!