The rest of the story…

I wasn’t going to post any more of the conversation between myself and the prosperity gospel advocates, but these comments give so much insight into what they really believe that I think they’re worth sharing. For clarity’s sake, the comments by Erin are actually from her husband Jim who is a prosperity gospel evangelist. You can find his website here. Tim Vaughn is a good friend from the church, as is Collin.

Erin Hockaday at 7:39am February 3
Hi Drew, this is Jim, Erin’s husband. I found your thoughts very interesting. They bring back many memories that I have, as I have argued from the same perspective. This is too big a subject to address on a facebook, I agree. I will comment briefly, I used to believe also that the troubles of life including sickness and poverty were apart of the suffering that must be endured by the Christian life. We always prayed “according to your will” when trying to believe in something good from God. Those prayers never worked! From this we then accepted our trouble as God’s will. Interesting however, we would turn right around and seek help from man to reverse what we had just accepted as Gods will. For instance, if I accept that this sickness is from God, why then would I go to the doctor to try and get well? A contridiction don’t you think?Really Drew, understanding what Redemption is and what it is not is what we are discussing.

Erin Hockaday at 7:50am February 3
Before commenting further I do want to make an observation. If I were not saved and looking at this facebook and had listened to the message of John Piper I would certainly be turned off from Christianity and the Idea that maybe God was a good God. That message was the most appalling message that I have heard in a very long time. The idea that God is glorified by a child flying through the windshield of a car, are you kidding? Of course we always find comfort in God and we never wander from our love and devotion to serve Him no matter what. But come on here, nothing about the child dying is good. So, don’t blame God for that. Yes, God is always good, He never changes, but that child dying is not of God. Can’t you see from an outsiders point of view that John Piper and even your comments are fighting for the right to suffer through the disasters of life and accept this as God’s will? We have been presenting to you the goodness of God experienced in this lifetime as evidence to

Erin Hockaday at 8:02am February 3
His resurrection. And this again is why understanding what Redemption is is really the topic. If you believe that being poor is a blessing then so be it. If you believe that being sick is sometimes of God, then you will need good doctors to help. Thank God there are some good doctors now adays. However, God created us to live a supernatural life. One where He was evidenced in all that we do and say. One where the finished work of Jesus was portrayed through the life of the believer. Everything about a christian should be different. From the change of heart through our salvation to the way we conduct ourselves to the way we handle adversity. Lay down as a door mat and let the devil walk all over us? I don’t think so. Resist the devil and he will flee! Now we are sounding like new testament christians. I have cast devils out of people growling like a lion or having a fit on the floor just to see them in there right mind moments latter accepting Jesus as their savior. I have

Erin Hockaday at 8:15am February 3
personally witnessed thousands healed from all types of sickness and disease before my eyes. I have witnessed the magnificence of the real prosperity message as people have increased financially. From not paying bills to paying them with something left over to walking in abundance. Just because someone spends two hours taking up an offering doesn’t mean I do that. Sure there are excesses in the body of Christ. But that should not minimize the truth of the word of God from working in each one of us. Being in Love with Jesus for who He is connot be separated from what He has done. He is the savior, the redeemer, the deliverer, the healer, our sustainer, our comfort and even our abundance. Time doesnt permit how much could be written and quoted from scripture to validate the few things that have been said. I could tell you testimonies all day long and wouldn’t exhaust them all of the real goodness of God. One thing I do know, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Mark Boer at 8:48am February 3
Drew, your comments about this so called prosperity gospel and Jesus being simply a means to that end is not something I’m familiar with. I am curious if you (or John) personally know anyone who believes and walks in Biblical prosperity. I think if you did, you would not find the money hungry people you envision. Prosperity is certainly a perk of the covenant, but not the primary reason we serve Him. Eternal life is knowing the Father and the Son. As I’ve come to know Him, I’ve discovered that He is an abundant provider. He does exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think. Most people that believe and live in God’s provision (prosperity) do so in large part so they can be a blessing to others. You can’t give what you don’t have. If we want to win the world to Jesus, it sure helps to have the financial means to fund the spreading of the gospel.

Tim Vaughan at 9:30am February 3
I suppose Luke 18:22 might add some clarity to this debate; when Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still need to do one thing. Sell everything you have and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.”He isn’t promising the young ruler health and wealth while still on earth, but that his wealth will be found in heavenly treasures (if he obeys Jesus’ command). A good friend once noted that nowhere in the NT does it promise us happiness here on earth. On the contrary, we will be deemed a peculiar people, worthy of persecution and ridicule. Does Jesus want us to find joy in this life? Yes, but joy in Him and in knowing that we will be free from poverty and disease for eternity as we reign with Him in heaven. Jesus only wants us to be obedient to Him. Obedient in trying to live a righteous life, obedient in sharing the gospel, obedient answering the effectual call. We have no part in our salvation. We cal only calle

Drew Buell at 11:01am February 3
Seeing as this comment thread has grown to well over 20 comments, I’d like to kind of close things out here, not because I’m not enjoying myself but it seems obvious that we’ve reached the real point of impass between the prosperity gospel and what I would call the gospel according to Jesus. The issue is the sovereignty of God. As Jim noted, the prosperity gospel does not allow for a God who allows or even causes suffering and this is the great impass. I believe that for God to truly be sovereign, He must reign over health and sickness, prosperity and poverty. As Job noted, “shall we accept good from the hand of the Lord and not adversity?”Like we’ve all noted, facebook probably isn’t the best place to flesh out the details of our view of the nature and character of God or redemption (although Jim, I do believe that is a critical issue in the discussion). Perhaps at our next family gathering, we can chat in person and make some more progress (as long as I’m still invited :-).

Collin Vander Ark at 11:56am February 3
Awesome video Drew.

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February 04 2009 02:54 am | Blog

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