The Christian church in general has been a source of false and unbiblical theologies and doctrines such as the claim that when you have lived together (lived in fornication) with someone and then becomes a believer, the church requires you to marry that person, because, according to their teaching, you have already become “one” with that person. The church tells that you can never divorce, even if you are being abused emotionally or physically, because “God hates divorce.” The church considers any marriage, whether evil or not, holy before God. The church foolishly tells you that you are disqualified from being a pastor or minister if you have been divorced and remarried, since, according to their ridiculous teachings, you can only have been married to one woman. These church leaders also tell you, that you must tithe 10% of your income to the church, or be accused of robbing God and being cursed.
The irony is, that many of these church leaders don’t do themselves what they teach you. The Bible says the following about these religious hypocrites: “Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it.” Romans 2:21-23 NLT
It is no wonder that so many believers in the Body of Christ are confused, spiritually, emotionally, and financially totally messed up, and end up giving up on God all together.
In the early year 2000, I was invited to go hear a financial teacher who is well known in the Christian charismatic circles. The meeting was held in a church that was jam-packed, with about 2000 people present. After bragging for two hours about all the blessings of mansions, boats, cars, and even an airplane God gave him, he started saying that all Christians are supposed to walk in the blessings of Abraham and be wealthy. He went on to say that if you are poor that means you are cursed and the blessing of God is not resting upon you. He kept on hammering away the fact that Christians should pay tithes and sow financial seeds, just like Abraham did in order to become rich, and that this is the time to do it. NOW!!! He would say: “Do not hesitate while the anointing is flowing!” The pressure was really on! He cleverly gave three options for giving; one for those who must give $1000, another for those who were to give a $500 seed, and the third, was a $200 minimum option. He promised that this seed was our “financial turnaround miracle blessing” and that it would become effective immediately after the sowing!
And so it went on and on. In the meantime, the ushers were passing out the offering envelopes, which everybody was reaching out for at this point. I also took one, because how can you refuse such a deal, right? I wrote a check for $200, but after putting it in the offering bucket, I heard a voice asking me: “Did I tell you to do this?” I instantly knew it was God speaking to me. His conviction was all over me. I became extremely nauseated and felt like I wanted to throw up. I ran outside the church and heard that same voice speaking to me again, saying: “Edwin, that $200 seed you just gave is cursed, because you have given it to a greedy liar and a thief, who is not My servant!” As I was hiding behind a car in the parking lot, I broke down and wept bitterly, asking God to forgive me for allowing myself to be fooled!
God started making it very clear to me from that day on, that these so-called prosperity preachers are nothing more than con-artists, who are preying especially on the poor African American and Hispanic believers, who are desperately longing for a better life, stealing their hard earned money to live lavish lifestyles of luxury. These false teachers despise the poor for being so-called cursed, and yet they shamelessly squeeze whatever little money these people have out of them, just to enrich themselves.
The Bible makes it very clear that there are poor Christians who are good, loving, joyful people who are blessed and honored by God!
“Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” 2. Corinthians 8:1-2 NLT
“Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.” James 1:9 NLT
Even the apostle Paul said about himself and his team: “We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2. Corinthians 6:10 NLT
There is no doubt where these lying, greedy prosperity teachers, who slander the ways of God’s truth, will end up unless they repent from their evil deeds. God warns us not to participate in what these false teachers do, or associate with them! In other words, DO NOT PARTNER WITH THEM!!!
“And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” 2. Peter 2:2-3 NLT
“You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do.” Ephesians 5:5-7 NLT
“I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.” 1. Corinthians 5:11 NLT