Thursday, January 27, 2011

Piper answers: Can a True Believer be Fooled by the Prosperity Gospel

Our current youth series is called "Demolishing Strongholds" and it's essentially about reclaiming a biblical worldview... think The Truth Project geared towards a teenage audience.

Anyway, this past Sunday evening we focussed specifically on how Christians have allowed doubts to seep in to our minds about the Old Testament accounts: "Did God really create the world in 6 days?"; "Did Jonah really spend 3 days in the belly of a fish?" or "Did the walls of Jericho really fall down simply because Joshua and company walked around the walls a few times and started shouting?"

Our premise was, when you start doubting anything in the bible, how and when do you start to draw a line? It's a slippery slope.

I was really happy with the discussion that followed. The teenagers began to point out areas in our culture and lives that are affected by such doubts. For example, favouring evolution instead of a 6 day creation can lead to defending abortion. That seems like a large leap to make, but there is a caption at the Smithsonian Museum that reads: "Human DNA closely resembles the DNA found in the average fruit fly, reminding us of our common ancestry."

The question then becomes: WHat do you do with a bothersome fruit fly? Destroy it. (Usually with your thumb) What do you do with unwanted babies? Destroy them.

Before I continue in to a full rant, how I came across this video by John Piper was when I was asked something along the lines of: "What did we start to doubt in order to get such a skewed version of the gospel?"

Great question. The gospel the young man was referring to was the "health, wealth and prosperity gospel", which I make sure to teach against whenever I am trying to remind a group of teenagers that they are sinners in need of a saviour.

The discussion that followed was fantastic. I allowed time and room for the teenagers to navigate through the idea and they concluded that Genesis tells us what our purpose is: to glorify God, and what we needis : Reconciliation to God.

When we begin to doubt our purpose and our needs, or begin to think our purpose is something other than what God's word says than we begin to think differently about our needs. It becomes less about glorifying God and more about glorifying ourselves. It becomes less about finding Him as the treasure, and more about using Him to obtain our treasure.

The question was then asked: "Are people who believe the prosperity gospel truly Christians?"

Another great question.

I love my group of teenagers.

That's how I came across this video, and what I love about the video is when Piper says: '...we need to teach. Because it's amazing how many people, when they hear solid teaching, wake up! They don't say, "I just got saved!" They say, "I knew deep down something was wrong. I just couldn't articulate it. It just didn't feel right.'

Perhaps there are alot more elect that have been truly led astray, and we're leaving them in the hands of the enemy because we are too scared, uneducated or uneasy teaching truth.

I am constantly encouraged at the very real conversations I have with these teenagers... sometimes I wish their parents were more open to hearing truth.

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