Kamis, 05 Juni 2008


To Prosper - or Not
Systematic Theology - Sound doctrine is no more or less that a correct understanding of God that allows us to naturally gravitate toward his will and Favor. Over time we've seen mainstream Christianity reject various streams over theological issues. We threw the baby out with the bath water in some cases. Here are a couple of examples:
The Social Gospel - (Wikipedia.org) is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The movement applied Christian principles to social problems, especially poverty, inequality, liquor, crime, racial tensions, slums, bad hygiene, poor schools, and the danger of war. Theologically, the Social Gospel leaders were overwhelmingly post-millennialist. That is because they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort. For the most part, they rejected premillennialist theology, according to which the Second Coming of Christ was imminent, and Christians should devote their energies to preparing for it rather than addressing the issue of social evils. Social Gospel leaders were predominantly liberal politically and theologically.
Why we threw it out - As young believer 30 years ago, I can still remember categorizing these folks as having a form of Godliness but denying the power (2Tim 3:5). Although it addresses various categories of society (analogous to the 7 Mountains terminology now popular), It was plagued by a liberal, intellectual approach that repulsed anyone that had seen spiritual gifts in operation. It's also interesting that most of the spirit-led camp was pretty busy with rapture theology... preparing to be part of the remnant and keeping the church holy. (A few decades of introverted church programs, splits, and boredom have taken the rapture edge off those folks - forgive the humor! I was one of them!)
Prosperity theology - (Wikipedia.og) is the teaching that authentic religious belief and behavior will result in material prosperity for the believer. That is, the doctrine holds that material prosperity, particularly financial prosperity and success in business and personal life, is to be expected as external evidence of God's favor. This favor may be preordained, or granted in return for efficacious prayer, merit-making and/or appropriate faith.
Why we threw it out - Prosperity theology was repulsive to the mainstream because it has been directed more accumulating personal possessions (watches, Mercedes, boats, and motorcycles) than expanding the Kingdom and reaching the lost.
Sound Doctrine - is really in the middle. "Rapture" is not a predominant theme of scripture. Yes, there may be one - but in terms of big events our hearts are focused on doing the work here and now. Jesus will return, but His heart is yearning for a bride that will fill the earth with His glory and goodness. Similar to one aspect of the social gospel, we should be touching every part of the marketplace - all seven mountains (religion, family, education, media, arts & entertainment, government, and business). It's really nothing more than new language for the great commission... we're going into all the earth.
Should I be prosperous? - Let's define our terms. Prosperity is not a Mercedes, nor an external measure of your spiritual maturity. Not everyone needs or wants wealth and that's OK. What if we define prosperity as sufficient abundance of finances for you to do the will of God? We're not requiring everyone to be a King. But if you want to join the party, we'll show you how.
Here's a sad reality; the same folks that rail against prosperity make all kinds of decisions based simply on the lack of finances - regardless of what they may think God's will is. God wants your spiritual and financial cup to run over so that you can minister to others... starting with your own family. We break the cycle of poverty at home first. Listen to what God has to say on the topic.
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Tim 5:8 NIV

After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 2 Cor 12:14 NIV
A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children... Prov 13:22 NIV
Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous. 22 A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children Prov 13:21-22
I've said "yes Lord" to enough prosperity to do the whole will of God. How about you?

John & Sue 

Rememberance of Benny Durant

Rabu, 04 Juni 2008



Not long ago I got my eyes on me instead of on Jesus. Confusion and feelings of doubt and insecurity grew within me. I honestly did not know what my problem was. For months I been experiencing the most peaceful spiritual state of mind that I had enjoyed in years, then slowly it all began to ebb away.

"What have I done, Lord?" I cried. " Where is my sin that I may confess it and find forgiveness?" Having had a background of tons of legalism and works oriented theology, I found it easy to condemn myself with the thought that I was not doing all I should be doing to maintain a spiritual frame of mind. This usually leads me into fasting. Nothing wrong with fasting, but for me, when fasting is introduced, I begin a perfect circle of agony. No matter what the nature or extent of the fast, I usually come short of my goal, so I find myself under more condemnation. This compels me to try harder and off I go again toward more fasting and more defeat and more condemnation.

While in the midst of this struggle, I went by a friend's house and without my mentioning to him my spiritual battle, just casually, out of his mouth came the light I needed. "Bob, God spoke to me today as I was praying about my healing rally at the Holiday Inn. I said, 'Lord, what can I tell the people that will help them receive their healing?' The Lord said, 'Just tell them to look at Jesus and that will be enough.' I was reminded of how Moses lifted up the brass serpent in the midst of the camp and those who were dying from snake bite, when they looked at the brass serpent were healed on the spot."

As I heard those words, I knew the Lord had spoken to my own need. In my case, it was not a physical healing that I needed, but release from a spirit of condemnation that kept me ever looking inward at my shortcomings, mistakes and weaknesses rather than looking to Jesus for a life of victory over the world, the flesh and the devil.

"PRAISE THE LORD, JIM!" I shouted. "God just opened my eyes! You have given me just what I needed. There is nothing more simple and easy than a look. There is no work or effort involved. It is just a matter of which way we point our eyes."

The simplicity of faith broke upon me and I suddenly saw that it didn't require a conscious meditation on a verse of scripture or on a certain truth in order to be walking in faith. I didn't have to be audibly confessing or praying or praising, though all of that is right and good. All we have to do is keep our eyes on Jesus as our life, our healer, our helper, our Savior! Paul said, "You are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." God both justifies and sanctifies through faith in the finished work of Christ, and that faith is a constant attitude of trust in the indwelling Christ who will live his victorious life in us and through us.

God's plan is not to prune back and reform the old man, but to put on a new man which is created in righteousness and true holiness, and that new man is Jesus! Our tendency is to always be looking at ourselves and what we are doing for God, or what we are not doing; to measure our worth before God in accordance with how well we are doing in our Bible reading, praying, witnessing, church attendance, giving, going, doing, doing, doing. But the question is, what are you looking at?

Robert & Joni Fitts

Where it all Starts
All fruitfulness flows out of intimacy. Out of the womb of prayer, praise and worship all things in the kingdom of God are conceived, nurtured, and brought to birth to the glory of God and for the good of mankind.

A Declaration of Unity
I belong to everything that belongs to Jesus and everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to me! It's not us and them. It's just us! There's only one Body of Christ, and the problems of the church, the whole church, are our problems, for we are the church and we can do more united than we can do divided! So let's unify, simplify, and multiply!

Divine Appointment Prayer
Father, give me a divine appointment today with someone who is hungry for God, or sick, or in need, and give me grace to minister the love of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

A Prayer for More Workers and More Miracles
Father, send more laborers into this harvest and grant us boldness to speak your word, by stretching forth your hand to heal and that signs and wonders be done in the name of Jesus.

Winning the War on Terrorism Through Prayer
"Father, give every terrorist in the world an encounter with Jesus like Saul of Tarsus had on the road to Damascus."

The law demands, demands, demands, but gives me neither feet nor hands.
Now Grace and Truth are better things, they bid me fly and give me wings!