Sunday, February 1, 2009

Become a Christian and be Fat, Happy and Rich.

So when you become a bonified, true blue, born again Christian all your sufferings, problems and troubles will disappear. And if you send some money to those fellows in shiny suits and polyester hair on TV, you'll get rich and prosperous because "you can't out give God" and Jesus came "to give you life more abundantly".

Well, if you think that then you haven't been reading the Bible. 
It's true Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (King James Version). But He wasn't talking about owning bigger homes and cars and nicer clothes.  He wasn't promising we'd have money to iron. He was talking about our spiritual life. Here is more of the passage: 

Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:7-10 (New International Version)
(The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (King James Version)
I cringe at these "prosperity preachers". They do harm to Christians and insult God. They are the thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. We can certainly see how they steal by distorting the Word of God, but they also kill people's faith and they put up stumbling blocks to people who might be seeking, but seeing these charlatans. Someone who is an outright crook is bad. Someone dressed in faux-righteousness promising false hope is much worse. They steal souls.
Does Jesus's life read like a how to succeed in business biography? What did he say to one man who asked to follow and live like him? "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20 and also Luke 9:58 KJV) Yes, it certainly sounds as if following Jesus is living the fat, happy and rich life.
There was another time when an already rich man asked how he could follow Jesus.
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother."
"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
 Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
 At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  Mark 10:17-24
I came to Christ in September 1975 a few months after we had lost our seventh child. Something changed immediately after I'd prayed. It would be difficult to explain and harder yet for others to understand unless they have also experienced it. It was not a change to my circumstances, it was a change in me, inside.
And then, of course, I became fat, happy and rich.
Well, maybe a bit fatter. Happier, that too, but not in the way people would usually describe happy. Rich, I'm still waiting. In fact, I got poorer.
Next time, I will explain what happened and answer the question whether Christians suffer. 


  1. Yep! I am still waiting for those riches also Nitewrit! LOL! Great post!

  2. I thought I traded all my "Tales of the Crypt" comics for all of your Scrooge McDuck comic books. You were holding out on me. Hand it over.