Friday, February 22, 2013

Prosperity Gospel - Learning from GLCC Dr Paul Choo's Sermon

What is the Prosperity Gospel? What are their claims, behavior and supporting biblical verses? Most importantly, are they right? What is the true gospel? What should be believers' attitudes towards wealth and health? Base on the sermon by Dr Paul Choo we can learn, reflect and draw our conclusions. As Chinese, we also look up the teaching of Ancient Chinese Classics. We find the key concept is "Righteousness" and "Wealth" and the key first is Mat 6:33. Put God's righteousness first and wealth will come as the by-products. We then use the wealth to promote more righteousness. Then we shall be master over wealth and not be enslaved by wealth.

It is just nice that during this period of Chinese New Year where the main wish used is "恭喜发财" "Wishing you a Prosperous and Happy New Year", we have a discussion on the "Prosperity Gospel".  first hear the sermon by GLCC's Dr Paul Choo on this subject. It is available at Youtube-Click here.

I will use the question and answer format to recap the sermon and add in our own thoughts.

1 What is Prosperity Gospel? 
  • Give to Get More for Yourself, in particular  wealth & health.
  • Ah Long(Money Lender) O$P$ - Owed Money pay Money 
  • Prosperity Gospel: P$G$$$$$$$$$$$$.... Pay Money Get Money... Money 
  • God becomes the slave to your desires 
  • Do you find that in most Church Fund Raising Program also uses such similar preaching ?
2 What are the key verses of their belief? 
  1. Mal 3:8-10 : Tithe and heaven will be opened to pour down great blessings on You
    • Mal 3:8 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, 'How have we robbed you?' In your tithes and contributions. 
    • Mal 3:9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 
    • Mal 3:10  Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 
    • And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need
  2. 2 Cor 9:6: Give More to Get More 
    1. 2Co 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 
  3. Mat 13:8 Parable of the Sower: Sow Seed Money to get 100 folds return 
      • 30, 60, 100 folds returns
      • for seeds planted in good ground 
  4. 3John1:2 :Believers should have all wealth & health 
    • 3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 
3 What do those verses really mean?
  1. Mal 3:8-10 Must support God's house – Tithe and Trust God to provide for your needs. 
  2. 2 Cor 9:6 Context: Taking a group offerings for the poor christian elsewhere . Don't be afraid to help others; God will supply your needs. 
    • give little get little 
    • Not for you to give and then buy car and houses 
    • not to have more things 
  3. Mat 13:8 Parable of the Sower - Words not Money
    • sowing of words that result in victory & success in life 
    • not sowing of seed money.
    • freely share the Words of God that many people got saved 
    • God has ways for multiplying His words 
  4. 3John1:2 Greetings ... well wishes only. 
    1. Not a promise.
    2. It is from John to Gaius and not you. 
4 Could we generalized from the specific? When can or cannot?
  1. Are there other verses elsewhere in the Bible that teach the same thing. 
  2. Tithe- Mal 3:10.
    1. Proverbs 3:9 Honor the LORD with your wealth & with the firstfruits of all your produce; (10) then your barns will be filled with plenty, & your vats will be bursting with wine. 
  3. 3John 1:2 
    1. Blessings of Wealth & Health as your soul prosper( Godliness) 
    2. this matches with Mat 6:33 - Spirit first then Wealth & Health 
    3. see also Proverb 3.
5 What are their typical practices? 
  1. Dress Well to show success 
  2. Music 
    • Charge Up 
    • dumb idea: music is neutral; only the lyrics count 
    • Truth: music is the language of the souls 
  3. Testimonies 
    • Before Offering ... Give Give Give 
    • Testimony of Giving to Great Success from poverty 
  4. After Offering Sermon
    • ... feel good message 
    • God is great 
    • God owns everything 
    • God want you to be rich 
    • Why do you want to come by bus? 
      • No faith; no blessing. 
      • No giving no blessings 
    • Seed faith ... 30, 60, 100 times 
  5. Word of Faith - Positive Confessions 
    • Visualisation - Fourth Dimension 
    • Have Faith 
      • No result = lack faith ; Need to have more faith
      • if not making money, then you should give more!
      • If bankrupt, then leave church 
    • God must give to you because you exercise faith 
      • Who is the master? God or you?
    • If recession come, people go church more and give more 
    • if you give the church, pastor takes all and let God give you all 
      • the richer the pastor become, it is his faith and blessings of God. No one should complain.
  6. Get rid of people that does not agree with the doctrines. 
    1. Self Filtering Selective Club 
6 Why people like to attend such prosperity gospel church?
  • the seemingly sure and hopeful way to get rich 
  • if it doesn't work, it means you have no faith .... failure proof 
7 If Prosperity Gospel is wrong, does that mean that Christians should be poor and not rich? 

The blessings of God are health, long-life, richness not just for ourselves but for sharing with others.
But the foundation must be on righteousness and godliness. Wealth & Health are by-products.
  • 1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 
  • 1Ti 4:8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 
for a detailed study on Proverb 3 see The True Gospels of Blessings including Prosperity using 5WH2.

8 What should be the right understanding of a believers towards wealth and health?
What does the Chinese Classics teach us?
As Chinese, it is good to have a look at the teachings of the Ancient Classics Book and saying of the Sages for our reference. You can see that the teaching is same as the Bible. We shall use the teaching of PRC most famous Sinology and Chinese Management Master Zhai Hong Sheng. More of his teachings can be found at Learning from Sinology Master Zhai HongSheng 1 Success FormulaLearning from Sinology Master Zhai HongSheng 2 The Dao of Business.



Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
                       and all these things shall be added unto you.
  1. Seek Righteousness first and it brings wealth …and then… 
  2. Use your wealth to promote righteousness
Lim Liat (c) 23 Feb 2013

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