Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Psalm 19      Genesis 48:8-22     Romans 8:11-25      John 6:27-40

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” (John 6:35)  Hmm.  What if you really believe that?  Really.  Literally.

Then you may lose sight of the promise Jesus made to his disciples   “that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”  (John 6:40)  Instead you may be a confident supporter of the ‘Prosperity Gospel,’ and believe in their doctrine that financial blessings are the will of God—and, to put it bluntly, “if you have it, God blessed you with it.  And if you don’t, well,  what does that say about you?”  In this doctrine, poverty is a curse that can be broken by faith. So, obviously. . . .

And if you are among the unfortunate, you may have listened to proponents of this prosperity doctrine long enough to actually believe that you deserve your plight.  No safety net for you; just pray harder.

I have great difficulty and dislike for proponents of the prosperity gospel.  They do not reflect the teachings of Jesus.  What to do?  Maybe I need to spend more time and effort towards an increase in the minimum wage, show more activism for social justice, and lobby for more English teachers—to explain the difference between literal, figurative, parable, allegory, metaphor, illogical conclusions, and perhaps most importantly, selfishness.

  Diane Wakat

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