Archives For new covenant

I’ve ripped on health & wealth theology (also called the prosperity gospel) for a long time.

What I’d like to do here is slow down and examine the intent behind health & wealth theology, what parts are true biblically, and what parts come from reading the Bible incorrectly.

When the New Testament gives verse after verse promising Christians we will suffer, and most of the early Christians did suffer and die for their faith, beating up on the caricature of health and wealth theology has always felt too easy.  That caricature being something along these lines:

If you start this video from the beginning you’ll hear the theology that goes along with these sort of antics, which is essentially that you have to give money to the church (and already very wealthy pastors in a lot of these cases) in order to get blessing, a.k.a. money from God in return.  So this brand of health-and-wealth theology serves as a get-rich-quick scheme to pastors and offers God as a slot machine to churchgoers.

So this brand of health-and-wealth theology serves as a get-rich-quick scheme to pastors and offers God as a slot machine to churchgoers.

I’m beginning this article with the worst (and most notorious) form of prosperity gospel so you can see why it’s been so easy to beat up on it using basic and obvious Scriptures.  But this type of caricature is not the whole picture behind health and wealth theology.  Let’s first look at where adherents of H&W theology draw from in Scripture, followed by looking at a more complete way of understanding these texts.

The video above covers the “wealth” side of health and wealth, with the other side being “health.”  This one is more self-explanatory, that God wants you to be healthy, and has a lot more New Testament scripture to back in up.  These Scriptures focus around the miraculous healings Jesus and his disciples did and how healing is listed in the New Testament church’s spiritual gifts inventory in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.  Another vein of New Testament scripture you will find prosperity preachers using are New Testament verses on prayer where it makes it seem you can demand something of God by having enough faith, and he must give it to you.  So you demand money or health, and he must give it to you. Continue Reading…

What does the Bible say about tithing and money?

Does Tithing Apply to New Testament Christians?

It was a good week to skip church a couple weeks ago: the tithing sermon!  Just kidding, of course, but it can certainly feel that way can’t it?

 

Tithing (giving 10% of your income to the local church) has become a debated issue in some church circles and theological circles.  New Testament (new covenant) Christians are not under the Old Testament (old covenant) law, so can churches teach tithing based on the Old Testament commands for it? Continue Reading…

This is part 2 of the old covenant Q&A asked via text messages following my March 1st sermon: (You can read Part 1 here)

 

Q: Why did the Council at Jerusalem (in Acts 15) choose a few commands from the law that Gentile believers had to follow?  Do those laws still apply to us & why?

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This past Sunday, my sermon was about the old covenant the Israelites made with God in Exodus 19-24.  I asked for people to text in questions they had throughout the sermon and I attempted to answer them at the end of the teaching.  Due to time restraints, we only got through two questions, so I promised I’d answer the rest online.  Below is a video of the sermon followed by all of the questions that were sent in, including the two I already answered verbally in the sermon’s Q&A time:

 

Q: Do we still need to obey the Ten Commandments?

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(Post renamed from “Aren’t Muslim Radicals & Christian Radicals who commit violence the same?”)

What is the difference between Islamic radicals such as ISIS/ISIL, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, etc. and Christians who bomb abortion clinics, the Westboro Baptist Church people who hold up “God Hates Fags” signs, and the litany of Christians throughout history who have done horrific acts in the name of Jesus and the Bible such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, torturing Anabaptists, genocide, or burning women at the stake as witches?

Don’t both holy books (the Bible and the Qur’an) contain commands to do such things?

Don’t both radical groups feel they are simply being faithful to their God and their holy book?

radical islam terrorist christian god hates fags westboro baptist

One thing I can do is talk about the Bible, a book I have studied at length and know well.  Please read my interview with an ex-Muslim for his view on the Qur’an’s passages about killing, an interview he received death threats because of.

Continue Reading…