Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bible study tonight was rough.

I have issues with Happy, Healthy, Wealthy philosophies. I don't really think that God calls everyone to have good health, money, and easy times when they become Christians.

I went to a conference with Heather on Friday. The speaker was Creflo Dollar. I was a bit leary of him because I was afraid it was just going to be a show, but he was a good speaker. I was a little amused when he shouted "Somebody say power" and "Say Hallelujah twice". Whatever. I may not be used to it, but there is nothing wrong with being demonstrative. It was when he said "Turn to your neighbor and say 'I'll never be broke another day in my life'" that I got my feathers a little ruffled. He is obviously a devoted servant of the Lord, but that part did NOT sit well with me.

I expressed that I didn't agree with that to Heather and her mom, and while they agreed that not everyone was called to be wealthy, they did agree that God wants to bless his people financially. I just don't know how I feel about that. I agree with this verse out of Proverbs 30:

8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread

I feel that it takes a lot of spiritual maturity to handle having money without it damaging your relationship with God, and I honestly at this point in my life want desperately to never forget from whom my help comes from.

I know that God blesses and protects his children. I don't always think it is monetarily. I know that Paul was a man after God's heart, and that he lived a life full of danger and severe persecution. I envy his relationship with and his dedication to serving God.

Heather, Tiffany and I were the only ones at Bible study tonight, and Tiffany asked about the Creflo Dollar conference, and I told her that I liked it, and that he was funny, but that I wasn't sure I agreed with everything he said. Heather got frustrated with me because she knew that part of my hesitation came from a conversation that I had with my friend Julie the day after the conference, and Julie kind of affirmed what I was feeling about the money issue. That doesn't mean that she's right or that I'm right.

Maybe I don't have enough faith in God. Maybe I feel like I am not spiritual if I have money when so many others don't, or that I want to have a relationship with God where it doesn't matter what I have as long as I am living in his will. All I know is that I got very defensive and I really wanted to walk out when we were talking tonight because I felt a little ganged up on (Tiffany was agreeing with Heather).

I will be in the Scriptures about it, and just to let you know, we were able to get past being confrontational. I am open to revising my way of thinking if it means living God's best for my life. I know that God's best is not what the world would call "best". I pray that God would open my eyes and direct me to his heart on this matter.


Pinkshoelady said...

Hey Girl,
I too get a leary at that kind of thinking.
There are many times when serving God continually and with a fervant heart has still left me or my family since I've been married with little finacial blessings.
Oh but the other blessings are phenominal....not material things. Abundant faith, closeness with the Savior, being closer to His children, a joy that can only be desribed but from the hand of God.

Some of my most faith filed and abundant times has been when I felt the needs from trhe world but felt the care from God.

Love you girl.

Stephanie said...

Hey Angela,
You know, I've been thinking about these kinds of issues over the past few months as they've come up in a Bible study taught by a family friend. Lets just say that I've had to disagree a LOT.
I don't have any specific Scriptures in mind, but this whole "Health, Wealth, and Happiness" philosophy couldn't be farthur from what Jesus showed Christianity to be. He never promised things would be easy - He instead warned that we would have to pick up our cross in this life, deny ourselves, often suffer for the sake of the Gospel...He also seemed to have many warnings about riches - "It's hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God", etc.
And as for health, this whole well-being thing, just look at how the Apostle Paul suffered in his lifetime, and how most of the disciples died.
This is such a critical issue, because obviously a lot of people will suffer financially or healthwise in their life, if they aren't already, and they need answers, not guilt because the whole health and wealth thing isn't working out for them.

I STRONGLY suggest that you try and get a hold of John MacArthur's book, "Hard to Believe". Amazing book - it will definitely give you an entirely different picture of Christianity than you probably received at that conference. :)

Blessings to you, your walk is encouraging to me.

DidiLyn said...

How did you get so wise so young? And I don't say that to flatter you. Really. I agree with the Prov.30 theory. I don't want $$ to draw me away from God, either.
Two other things,
I had to add a big P.S. on my blog today, so for fairness for all sides, please go back for the rest of the story. :-)
Also, how can I get all my favorite blogs to pop up on the side bar of my blog when they write a new post like you have up there? Is there a widget I can get somewhere? What the heck?

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Wonder what Mother Theresa would say to someone who said, "I'll never be broke again."

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

I too get a creepy feeling when that subject is talked about. A good post.

Be sure and drop by my blog and sign up for the giveaway.

Kathy S. said...

I just heard somewhere (about this very question/conundrum) that if you can't say it in China, or India, or Africa, or Indonesia...

You get the picture!

I wonder if Creflo, or Benny, or the Copelands read Voice of the Martyrs magazine and what they would say to those serving in prison camps for their faith...

Your writing is refreshing~always! Beautiful girl!

Julie Massie said...

I'm sorry you felt ganged up on. Unfortunately, being in a room full of "Christians" doesn't mean (at all) that you will all agree. The important part is that your bible study friends also love and worship the same God.

I'm proud of you for standing your ground...even though you were the minority. You know your riches are in heaven.

Now...Somebody say POWER!

(does this mean I'm allowed to read your blog now? I won't if you still don't want me to)

Edie said...

Hey Angela!

First I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I wish I would have know before so I could have posted it with my other friends.

Your thinking is not off track as I'm sure you know. God's blessings are great to those who love and obey Him but He never promises He will make us rich. He is not a genie that we can command but a Father that we can trust to do what's best for us.

It's the definition of Faith that your friends are not understanding. We are to have Faith in God not in what we believe He will do for us. That means we Trust (Faith) Him to lead us, love us, and care for us even when things are not going as we planned or expected, including financial difficulties.

That "wealth mentality" kind of *faith* is like a child that believes her parents will feed her only sweets all the time because it makes her happy and they love her.

Ok I've said more than enough. :) I know you already know all of these things. Just wanting to encourage you. You are on the right track.

Search it out and seek His counsel then show your friends what He has shown you. You may just plant seeds but God will cause them to sprout at just the right time.

Now go have a Great Birthday!

Beverlydru said...

Happy Birthday Angela! I came over from Edie's to say that I hope you really FEEL THE LOVE on this special day. Blessings to you!