Monday, April 9, 2012

A Therapeutic Gospel-A. Moore

            This sermon falls under the “Therapeutic Gospel,” but in a slightly different category: “God as the Vending Machine.” This particular video is an excerpt from part of a series on how to acquire wealth. The basic premise of the message is that in order to get anything from God, an exchange must be made. He discusses the story of Elijah and widow with the oil in 2 Kings 4. He points out that in order for the widow to receive the miracle, she had to offer up the little oil she had. She had to give something in exchange for what she wanted. He says that Christians today must do the same thing. If Christians want to receive anything from God, they must offer him something physical in exchange, instead of simply just hoping and praying that God will provide. His last statement in this video sums up the message well: “Ain’t nothing free in the Kingdom of God.”
            This gospel is attractive because it gives people a sense of control. If they are obedient and play by the rules, God is obligated to give them what they want out of life. Trevin Wax would call this gospel counterfeit, but I would go a step further and call it an outright lie. God does not owe people anything, no matter how obedient they attempt to be. He provides for the needs of his children out of his love, but not because of anything they have done. If people embrace this type of gospel, they will eventually become frustrated when they try to be obedient but God does not give them exactly what they want. They will pursue God for what they can get out of Him and miss out on the joy of pursuing God himself. They will miss a relationship with the creator in favor of pursuing cheap material gain. That is the opposite aim of the true gospel.

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