God Desires Above All Things That Your Prosper, Video
November 08, 2007
This is the first episode in a new series, God Wants You Rich. In this first program I briefly deal with the origin of the Christian idea that material things are bad, or that material things are not as important as spiritual things.
The Apostle John wrote that he desired above all things that we prosper and be in health even as our souls are prospering. In spite of this most Christians think that prospering is a bad thing or at best a not very important thing. If they ever hear this scripture, 3 John 2, most Christians conclude that it must not mean what it obviously says. In fact the opposite is true. John is trying to be direct and to the point. I believe John wrote this specifically to counter gnostic ideas that were already effecting Christian thought toward the end of the Apostle John's life. John links prosperity and health with having a prosperous soul to make the point, a point so radical to modern Christians, that material well being is just as important as the prosperity of your soul.
John was a Jew. In fact, all of the founders of Christianity were Jewish. Jesus was Jewish. Mary was Jewish. Joseph was Jewish. Peter, James, John, Matthew and the Apostle Paul were all Jewish.The Bible is a Jewish book. But this idea about the evil or the unimportance of the material world is not a Jewish idea. The Jews believed that the material world was good. That gold was good. That the things of this life were good. That the pleasures of this life were good. They believed this because the Bible said that God had created the world and said it was good. (Check out this link to Amazon's page for Thou Shalt Prosper a book written by a Jewish rabbi. Or search the book yourself for the word "Gold" and read pages 26 and 27)
On the other hand Greek philosophy assumed that material things were evil or inferior or imperfect. (For a little background on that check out this link to Amazons page for Our Father Abraham, or search the book yourself for the word "Plato" and read pages 168 and 169.)
So here's the long and the short of it. Modern Christianity's attitude toward material things has much more in common with the Greek philosophical attitude toward material things than it does with the Jewish, i.e. Jesus', Peter's, James', John's, Paul's, attitude toward material things. How did this happen?
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