Monday, November 17, 2008


There is one group of people that I was never able to reconcile with the "name it and claim it" message or the "prosperity gospel". Martyrs! Let's think about it a moment. If God wanted us all to live these comfy cozy lives driving all these nice cars, flying in private planes, and never having to deal with the issues of life on earth, then why did almost all of his own disciples get martyred? How come they didn't live "the Good Life" and let others come to them saying' "WOW, you are so rich. How did that happen?" Former pastor used to always quote from Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I change not..." Well, former pastor, history does not bear out this gospel of greed, but the American Dream does.

Can we really look at the martyrs through the ages and say that they were just misinformed. Can we really look at the martyrs and say if only they knew Isaiah 54:17. They could have quoted it like 20 times really fast and would have been spared. Can we really look at the lives that were affected by their obedience to God even to the point of death and say "How sad that they were misinformed. God wanted them to live like kings, not die like dogs."

How come areas where Christianity is persecuted the most seem to be areas where Christianity is exploding the most, and here in America where we have this wonderful "revelation" about how God wants us all to be filthy stinkin' rich, Christianity is in decline?

Maybe God's definition of prosper is a bit higher than we have made it out to be. Maybe God's definition of prosper isn't talking about money. Maybe God's definition of prosper includes your soul and your spirit. Maybe God wants us to live out rich (in family and friends) and fruitful (in our obedience to God) lives.


Tammy said...

I totally agree, but I have a question. I got involved with a comment on my facebook that a friend made. He went to RBS so he does tend to lean that way in thoughts. His comment was in regards to the election and he said that he was trusting God because he was going to be safe because God saves the righteous. I am not quoting him exactly. He actually quoted a portion of a verse when he did. Anyway, I responded to him that I hoped we would be safe as well, but we had to understand that Christians in other cases are persecuted and killed everyday for their faith and I didn't think that we were persecution exempt, so I felt the best thing to do was be full of faith for protection, but also prepare myself and my children how to be strong and stand firm in the face of persecution. Afterall, we have all read the end of the Bible and we could find ourselves just as the prophets of old, the disciples and the rest of the church around the world. He agreed that there was persecution, but he said basically that he couldn't compromise his faith in Christ for circumstances around him and that he holds to Psalm 91 and he believes that if that is true, then he is safe.
Well, I understand where he is coming from. I have wondered this myself, but somehow, we must be misunderstanding something n scripture. I have wondered if maybe that was just a promise for David. I can believe that more than I can believe that I have more faith than even the disciples and that is why I don't have to die for the cross. Doesn't scripture say BLESSED are the persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. I haven't seen a blessing for anyone who escapes death due to persecution because they had a faith that protected them. We live in a fallen world where bad things happen to good people, where Satan wishes to kill and destroy us and where God has ways for us that are not our ways in order to draw the WHOLE picture. We are just one portion of his great plan. Our difficulties can grow the kingdom of God more than our rich long lives here on this earth. My question to you is, being from your former church and knowing truth now, how would you handle his response? Thanks!

re-Barr said...


Without knowing exactly what he said I can't really speak to specifics, but I will do my best to answer your question in more general terms.

None of what I read in Psalm 91 suggests that we won't face persecution for our faith. In John 15:20 Jesus is talking to his disciples and He says that if the world hated Him and persecuted Him, then it will do the same to his disciples. Are we not his disciples? Do we not strive to learn and follow the teachings of Jesus? Then the world will hate us too.

I do believe that God will protect us from dangerous situations like animal attacks, accidents, etc. Psalm 91 says things like “rescue”, and “Be with him in trouble”. But the qualifier is that we have to be walking in that personal relationship with Christ and to call out to him in times of trouble. For some people they have been spared from even being injured at all. Others, have been brought back from the brink of death. I don't know why there is this difference in the way God has rescued people. Quite honestly, I don't care why. Sometimes asking why only gets in the way of seeing the bigger picture. Some people are persecuted while others are martyred. Well... okay. These are things that we can't control. God says he will be there with us in trouble. God also says we will face persecution. Facts of life. All we can do is work on the things we can control, like our personal walk with Christ, and let God handle the rest.

Hey but here is one last thought I had, a sure fire way to avoid persecution: Never tell anyone about your faith in Christ. Never share God's love. Never be a light in a dark world. And from the voice of experience, that works wonders. Doesn't really speak well for your relationship with God though.

Hope that helps.

Tammy said...

Thanks Rebarr. Hey, have you read "The Shack"?

re-Barr said...

No, but I read on another blog that it was quite good. I take it you recommend it?