The cause; a need for "spiritual" financial and material gain. The effect; apostasy in Gods church.
It happened before in the early church, and is happening once again. And it all began with Malachi 3:10 "10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.". From that one scripture the likes of Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyers, Kenneth Copeland, Juanita Bynum, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes and others have themselves built massive churches or "ministries" that take in millions of dollars annually and who espouse the same "prosperity message" that is based upon Malachi 3:10. But what does Gods word say about "prosperity"? Are they preaching a truth or is the prosperity message actually a false doctrine? Here's one mans opinion:
I found this web site called city-data.com. It is a very unique web site that collects all kinds of data that you and I can access. It also hosts many forums on various subjects. Some of the comments that I came across in the "Christianity" forum were both reassuring, interesting, and frightening! When asked the questions: "Do you believe in tithing? Do you believe God wants you to prosper ( In all things not just $). Do you feel tithing produces results?" one person wrote "Why shouldn't a person expect reward? This baffles me when I know in the bible it says that if we tithe God will open the windows of heaven and pour out many blessings. It also says give and it shall be given to you. It says that by the measure you give, it shall be given to you. So why wouldn't a person expect a reward especially when God tells you to. God rewards us with eternal life if we accept Jesus as our lord and savior. Should we walk around not expecting to be rewarded with eternal life.". Another wrote "The key word is "reward". And I used the example of Salvation to show that God gives rewards even for that and how it coinside with the fact that God is not one sided. I never thought of God as one sided or selfish. He was shown over and over again he is a loving and giving God. As for Tithing, giving, money, time, God says in his word word that there are rewards. ex. Give and it shall be given to you etc. Don't get me wrong, I don't look for man to reward me but knowing my Great and Awesome God will bless me for being obedient to his word and that he keeps his word." Someone with a different perspective wrote "Hi, I don't believe that instructions are given to believers in the NT concerning tithing, but I believe that God does bless us as we give and even beyond that. God will take care of us and give us what we need. I think that for some a problem may develop if we only give to receive a reward. Would we be content in knowing that God may not bless us in the way that we expect? For example, he may bless us in other ways, building our character and developing the the fruits of the Spirit as we go through trials, hard times, ect. I think about Paul saying that he had learned to be content in whatever circumstances he was in. He knew how to get along with humble means and he knew how to live in prosperity. (Philippians 4) This to me seems to be one of our goals as a believer who trusts in God in all things. Thanks and God bless." And finally the comment that I most identify with said, on Malachi 3:10 "I took God up on this offer and and I did test Him and He proved faithful yet again. My life is over flowing with His blessings, and it's not money I'm talking about, it's peace, joy, contentment that obeying the Lord brings."
I know about prosperity, but is THIS what God had in mind for His heirs..HERE ON EARTH? Where's the giving in all of this? Mind you, this is only one example.
What do you think? Is Christianity on the brink of losing it? Is the Church today asleep and apostate?