With social media, as your circle of contacts gets larger, the more you get exposed to different stuff. Some stuff is helpful, some is amusing but a lot of it exposes the dangerous nonsense that is being taught to people who don't but should know better. I came across this post, 2 Reasons WhyMany Christians Are Broke, while scrolling though my news feed and had to check it out. In fariness it was posted to a friends news feed by someone else that I don't know so I don't blame the individual who is in my contacts. It was pretty much the malarkey I expected and when I read the bio of the author, Kyle Miller, I was likewise not exactly shocked:
Kyle T. Miller has been called to the marketplace as a musician, play producer and educator. Kyle has been prophesying and interpreting dreams for almost 15 years. Kyle is also a scholar, obtaining a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Kyle's theater production company, Positive Images in Christ, has directed and produced over a dozen shows since it was founded in 2004. Please visit his website at prophetkyle.com.
Well when your personal webpage is "prophetkyle.com", I guess you are not being terribly subtle about how highly you think of yourself. I might add that having an M.A. in "Intercultural Studies", whatever that means, from Fuller and a PhD. in Higher Ed Admin are lovely and all but I am not sure they qualify you as a "scholar", especially not a Bible scholar.
Anyway what does our resident "scholar", the self-proclaimed "Prophet Kyle" have to say about why lesser Christians are "broke"? Well he gets his prophecy on with this opening paragraph:
The Bible has a lot to say about money and prosperity. Although in the last 20 years there have arguably been wrong motives of some teachings on money, prosperity is biblically supported.
Well he is sort of right, the Bible DOES have a lot to say about money and prosperity but none of it implies that we should be seeking after it or that it is a sign of faithfulness if we are prosperous or lack of faithfulness if we are not. I had to laugh out loud at his begrudging admission that maybe, just possibly, at some place somewhere someone might have had less than pure motives when teaching about "prosperity", I guess buying a dozen mansions and private jet might or might not qualify as "arguably wrong motives". He goes on (emphasis mine):
Some preachers and teachers have taught on money in order to manipulate people to give. These ministers have used Scriptures—sometimes out of context—as a means of twisting people's arms into raising big offerings. Because of these abuses, honest Bible teachers have shied away from teaching on prosperity, in fear of being accused of being a "money preacher." Yet we cannot throw away the baby with the bathwater. Just because there have been abuses by some preachers and teachers concerning prosperity does not mean we should stop preaching and teaching on biblical prosperity.
Sometimes out of context? Sometimes! Well that is quite an admission from "Prophet Kyle"! Perhaps we should " stop preaching and teaching on biblical prosperity" because the teaching you are espousing is false? Just a thought. Never fear though...
Thanks to many pioneers in the faith who suffered resistance, ridicule and opposition from religious scoffers as they made gallant efforts to teach biblical prosperity, many people in the body of Christ do not have a problem with Christians being financially comfortable (or dare I say, rich). Many would agree that when God trusts someone with prosperity, that person is in a fantastic position to help others.
Why would God not want us to be able to comfortably provide for our families, live in nice houses, drive nice cars and enjoy ourselves? However, many saved, born-again believers are living by barley getting by. But why? If God has promised us that we will "eat the good of the land" (Is. 1:19) why are so many Christians broke? Although this is not an exhaustive list, I will share with you five reasons why some Christians are broke and how we can shift from poverty to prosperity.
I assume these "gallant pioneers" include folks like Benny Hinn and of course "Prophet Kyle". Dare I say rich, he sez? Oh yeah, he dares! After all he is a prophet. Then there is this: "Many would agree that when God trusts someone with prosperity, that person is in a fantastic position to help others." If by "help others" you mean "buy expensive cars, mansions and private jets for myself" then yes. Of course what would any erroneous teacher be without a random, out of context and completely inapplicable Old Testament quote? " If God has promised us that we will "eat the good of the land" (Is. 1:19) why are so many Christians broke?" Has good promised Christians that we will "eat the good of the land"? Sure, it is right there in the Bible bro! Of course Isaiah is written about "...
Judah and Jerusalem
in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." (Isaiah 1:1), speaking
of a specific nation under a now obsolete old covenant that is not
transferable to Christians in American living under the New Covenant in a
secular nation. It sometimes helps us to correctly interpret and apply (or not
apply) Scripture when we bother to read it in context, but I am just some schlep
on the internet and "Prophet Kyle" is both a prophet and a
scholar, so what do I know?
So why does "Prophet Kyle" think Christians are broke (you only get two reasons here, you have to wait on the edge of your seat for the other three)? The first reason I expected, the second was a little kookier.
His first reason? Christians ain't tithing! You don't tithe, you don't get no blessings man! It says so right there in Malachi 3:9-10:
You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Malachi 3:9-10)
Chalk Malachi 3:9-10 up in the pantheon of most often misused and abused verses in all of Scripture. It warrants yet again pointing out that Malachi was written to a specific nation under an obsolete Old Covenant. While tithing appears before the Old Covenant, the context here is of "the whole nation of you", i.e.
We are told to bring the full tithe into the storehouse. What is the storehouse
for Christians? Well the church bank account via the offering plate of course!
Where does it make that link in the New Testament? Well it doesn't but
"Prophet Kyle" has seen it revealed to him so it must be true. It is
kind of a huge leap to go from a national blessing based on an Old Testament
practice to an individual blessing based on giving sufficiently and cheerfully
to a local religious group but that is why I am not a prophet apparently.
His second reason? Um...
2. Christians who have participated in the occult are broke. People who consult psychics receive a curse of poverty. Isaiah 8:19-21 says: "When they say to you, 'Seek after the mediums and the wizards, who whisper and mutter,' should not a people seek after their God? Should they consult the dead for the living? To the law and to the testimony; if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. They shall pass through the land hard-pressed and hungry; when they are hungry, they shall be furious and curse their king and their God as they look upward."
This Scripture clearly states that people who consult psychics and mediums (consulting the dead) suffer poverty and lack. If you have ever been to a psychic or consulted mediums, palm and/or tarot card readers, or played with Ouija boards, you are under a curse that includes poverty. You should have someone who is skilled in deliverance to lead you through cleansing prayers so that you can be set free.
Not even sure what to do with that one. I wonder what to make of people who faithfully "tithe" to the local church joyfully and have never been to a psychic or medium and yet are poor by American standards? Maybe they are really not sincere enough because obviously if you are less than prosperous it is your own dang fault. Also I missed the part where there are certain curses that are permanent unless a specialized "skilled deliverer" lifts it for you. You read stuff like this and posts on the sidebar praising Jan Crouch and Joyce Meyer and people wonder why most of the church doesn't take charismatics seriously.
Here is (one of many reasons) why this teaching is so dangerous. What does it mean to be prosperous? The term "prosperous" in some charismatic teaching is like the term "fair" in leftist politics. No ever says how much is "fair" but it is always more. However much a "rich" person pays in taxes, in order for it to be "fair" it needs to be more. To the average American, being prosperous seems to mean having more stuff than you have now. Do you have a
Toyota? You should have a Lexus. Do you have
a 2000 square foot home? You should have one that is 3000 square feet. It is a
teaching based on envy and on coveting. It says to
Christians in America
that the incredible prosperity essentially every single American has compared
to people in the vast majority of the rest of the world is not enough. That is
unhealthy and unbiblical.
The second reason it is so dangerous is more insidious. This sort of unbiblical teaching says to people who are not sufficiently "prosperous", an amorphous term, that they are somehow to blame by being insufficiently pious. Look at he garbage in this article. If you are not "prosperous" it is because you don't give enough at church or perhaps because you have been involved in the occult. If you ever went to a psychic you are not gunna be prosperous according to "Prophet Kyle" because you are under some sort of curse. Good news though, you can get out of this curse: " You should have someone who is skilled in deliverance to lead you through cleansing prayers so that you can be set free." Want to bet "Prophet Kyle" is one of those "skilled" individuals? Want to be bet he can "deliver you" via "cleansing prayers" for a small fee? After all, prophets gotta be prosperous too! If you are someone who is poor by American standards but faithful by God's standards (often mutually exclusive), you don't need to be scolded by "prophets" because you are not rich enough.
The history of the church from the earliest days to present has been that most of the church has been anything but prosperous. In fact the more faithful the church has been, the greater the persecution and the less the prosperity. Ask the Anabaptists in
prosperous they were. According to "Prophet Kyle" they must be not
giving enough at church or maybe were consulting psychics without the benefit
of having a "prophet: around to "lead them in cleansing prayer".
Most Christians now and throughout history have hardly been prosperous. More
important, and more Biblical, is that they be faithful and I see no connection
anywhere in the New Testament between being faithful and monetary blessings.
"Prophet Kyle" should stick to "Intercultural Studies".