David W. Jones and Russell S. Woodbridge have served the church well by writing Health, Wealth & Happiness. It is probably no secret to my readers and those within my church community that I absolutely abhor the prosperity “gospel”. It’s not just some little error to be trifled with, it’s dangerous heresy that breaks people and churches. I was even more convinced of this after reading the work of Jones and Woodbridge.
One of the most helpful things in their book is in the conclusion they give five questions to diagnose our openness to the prosperity gospel:
- Why does God exist and what does He control in the world? Does God exist to serve us and grant our wishes? Or is He aboutHis purposes in the world? Do I control my own future? Or does God direct my steps?
- What is the purpose of suffering and how do I react when I suffer? Do you see suffering as your failure to utilize divinely designed means of blessing? Or do you see suffering as the good purpose of God?
- What do I deserve in life? Do you believe you are entitled to a good life, good health, and overall success? Or do you see that everything beyond condemnation is grace?
- Why did God save me? Does He need you on His team? Did He save you to fulfill your dreams and longings? Or did God save you so that you might enjoy Him and extend His glory?
- Why do I give to God? Do you give to get something? Do you give out of guilt? Or do you give out of love?