Q&R with Greg Albrecht – “Does God Bless Financial Vows?”
I watched a television ministry that claims if you make a financial vow unto the Lord it will change your circumstances. When you’re seeking answers, you just want to believe that something will work, almost like looking for a sign. I want to have faith in God, but at times I’m tempted to transfer my faith to human promises.
The program you watched may base its “theology” in the Word-Faith movement, which, among other unbiblical teachings, teaches the health-wealth or Prosperity Gospel. The teaching is based upon human effort and performance. Obey, and you will be blessed—disobey and you will be cursed.
But the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a “you do this and then I will respond and do that” message. The new covenant God offers to us is not a covenant of physical prosperity, but instead a covenant of adversity. We are asked to take up our cross and follow him, to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, to serve others rather than ourselves, to think of the needs of others as equal to our own.
Some Word-Faith teachers seem to promise the moon to people who are in desperate straits in terms of finances and health. These poor and sick people have no hope, and Word-Faith preaching holds it out—in exchange for the little money these people have. God does not work that way. God’s grace is absolutely free. Paul calls it the riches of God’s grace. God’s promises to us are far more focused on the spiritual and eternal, rather than the here and now. For that reason, many who will be called great in the kingdom will have been the least here on earth. The parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man teaches us that.
Don’t be taken in by false teaching—however attractive it may sound. The authentic gospel of Jesus Christ is not proclaimed by infomercial-like programs, where people wave money and promise cars and new houses to those who simply buy their tapes for six easy payments of $19.95 or make a “love gift” of more than $100.
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