Friday, March 21, 2014

What is so wrong with prosperity


I have been looking at the many objections to prosperity teachings among Christians. I did a word study of the word prosperity and found some interesting information.
Prosperity comes from the Latin word prosperitas and means good fortune and success. The word prosperity was first used in the 13th century. So what happened in the 13th century?
The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380's AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe was well known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe.
I looked at John 1:1  in the handwritten English version. Old English.
Today, the word prosperity means "the condition of being successful or thriving; especially:  economic well-being." (www.merriam-webster.com)  I am thinking that the association with economic success is what causes Christians to pause.  In the Word, we are cautioned: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV).
However, many people forget that it is the love of money, and not the wealth itself, that is the root of all evil. There are many scriptures that point out how riches are deceitful, and those that trust in them trust in vain. Trusting in wealth is foolish. Wealth can come in many forms: a wealth of talent, a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of beauty-trusting in any wealth instead of trusting in God can create a heart of pride and self-confidence.
God wants Christians to be prosperous. God wants His children to be rich in spiritual knowledge, wisdom, spiritual gifts, and in love. He wants His children to thrive. Throughout the Old Testament, God tells Adam, Noah, and the Israelites to be fruitful (abundantly productive, thriving). In the New Testament the Word says: That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Colossians 1:10-11 (KJV)
Our lovely English language, which gave birth to the word "prosperity", has many meanings for the same word. Fruitful, an adjective, means productive, rich, abundant, successful and profitable.  Prosperity, a noun, means success, richness, and wealth.  Each is part of the same theme God has for His people- that we would be abundant in the riches and wealth of His Spirit and multiply the Word of God (Jesus) in the earth.  For the heavens and the voices of angels are “saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”  Revelation 5:12 (ESV)