Yep – the smiling ‘positive-thinking solves all’ preacher is at it again. All we need to do is not worry – don’t do anything and just pray, as “God has it covered.” Why am I not surprised by this ridiculous statement? Well why would I be, these folks have a building to ‘up-keep’ and 1000’s Christians to pack into his football stadium in need of hearing the ‘word’ according to Joel, to fleece – I mean preach to on how giving generously can make you into a wealthy, healthy and happy person – something Jesus never taught. And in any case, flood victims might dirty the carpets in our 4-story mega-complex.
Woah that’s harsh 101?! OK – to be fair to Joel, no he didn’t say that (he did say “pray as God has it covered”) but he might as well have said the rest. One thing is for sure; its not hard to see why Jesus said that in the end-days Christians would be hated by everyone – with spokes-persons like these what hope have we got? We were called to love our neighbours and friends, not speak kind words and positive wishes over them. God warned us about sorcery – the gaining of power and creation of ‘wealth’ through special knowledge and by uttering certain words, using this to do the same for ourselves and others and not sticking to the simplicity of faith in Christ for ALL our needs. This was the very first deception in the Garden – men wishing to be ‘Christ’s’ in their own lunch-breaks is what got us all banned from God’s presence in nigh-on the first chapter of the Bible!
So what is loving someone really?
Love is giving of oneself the things of real value – not tossing out an old TV we don’t want, not positive ‘energy’ or lip service which is of no value. Loving your neighbour is giving of that most precious things; ones time, ones energy, ones ear and of course where we can’t do those thing because of physical location or circumstance (remember Jesus said focus our love on local friends family and neighbours, not Facebook ‘friends’ a 100 miles away) one’s money to those in need and probably in that order.
Pray yes – but pray with action (when possible of course!)
The prayers of a righteous man are always going to be super-powerful, not in a new-agey way but in a deeply spiritual way that will always result in God answering in any way he chooses which may NOT involve financial gain for any party and may still involve suffering as we see over and over in the Bible. But love is not just the prayer of a righteous person (someone that loves God) but also physical action – not inaction with a veneer of words. There is no love sitting on one’s hind end and there is no love in saying “The Lord loves you” without action when action can be taken. Love is that thing that costs us – physical service – something we don’t hear much these days at church. Love may be words, but as Jesus showed us on the cross – it was followed by action.