Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Response to a Health and Wealth Gospel Christian

On the facebook group Catholics Are Christians! a person will occasionally post an invitation to listen to a preacher from their particular sect. Today an individual posted a sermon from a "prosperity gospel preacher."  Not only is this a heresy, but it robs Christians of the ability to face their tribulations in truth and benefit redemptively from the suffering they are experiencing.   It is not unlike Christian Science and has its roots in the gnostic teachings of the second century.  Here is my response:
  " I read the testimony of this pastor with his near-death experience. This pastor is from the "health and wealth" school of theology which is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nowhere in the true gospel of Jesus Christ does it say that we will always be wealthy. Nor will we always be healed and have a guarantee of vibrant health. The Scriptures tell us that we must conform ourselves to the fellowship of His sufferings. It also says we must take up our cross and follow Christ. Christ suffered so, we too, must also suffer at times. The health and wealth gospel that is taught by pastors such as the one you posted is a heresy. Christ modeled for us in the garden of Gethsemane how we should request things of God: "Not my will but yours."
       Many Christians are led astray by these false teachings and often times their disappointment will cause them to turn from God. This teaching gives the Christian the false notion that he is entitled to live a life full of material wealth and physical wholeness. Human experience tells us this is not so. The holiest and greatest saints struggled with physical problems including the beloved Saint Paul. My suggestion  is that you obtain a Catechism of the Catholic Church to find out what the Gospel is truly about and what God truly desires for those He loved and died for. I realize this sounds harsh but I cannot tell you in stronger terms that you are at risk for being deceived if you continue to follow and adhere to the teachings of false teachers like this individual you posted.
      As Catholics we believe that Christ Jesus indeed still heals his flock and we have 2000 years of carefully documented miracles to prove this. Catholics are not against supernatural healing. Just "google" Our Lady of Lourdes if you wish to see the testimony of many who were miraculously restored to health. As Catholics we trust the Lord for what he may bring into our lives and if he chooses to heal us we will accept that with joy. However if we are not healed we are given the opportunity to unite our suffering with His, for the sake of the body of Christ, as St. Paul talked about in Colossians (Chapter 1).
     I go to Haiti on a regular basis to participate in a medical mission for the Haitian Christians there. They have more faith than I could ever muster and I believe that God's grace is fully with them.  They have an immense joy that is overflowing to those around them! Yet they are poorer than the poorest in the world and they suffer many illnesses and almost constant misfortunes. It's not because of a lack of faith. The faith and prosperity teachings would never be preached or take hold in countries such as Haiti or anywhere where there is as much suffering and poverty. The true gospel of Jesus Christ is universal and should pertain to all people of all economies throughout the world, forever. The faith and prosperity gospel of Pastor McCauley is a false teaching and brings nothing but sadness and false hope. This teaching springs not from Christ, but a spirit of greediness and entitlement. I would appreciate in the future that you do not share his teachings on our Facebook page. Thank you very much for coming to CAC and I pray our dialogue can inspire you to seek the Truth always. God bless you. "


Blogger George @ Convert Journal said...

That's an excellent reply Russ!

April 09, 2013 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Renée said...

Jesus, theologically speaking, did not have to be born in a cave and laid in a manger. He could have just as easily been born into an upper middle class family. His foster father could have been a rabbi. Just think – money, connections, advantages – none of it sinful in itself, and Jesus could have shown us all how a godly man deals with the temptations inherent in such positions – kind of like Siddhartha Buddha! But when He chose His earthly circumstances, He chose just about as low as you can go. Jesus chose deliberately to be born into unsanitary, uncomfortable, unpleasant, unsafe conditions for “no good reason.” He grew up poor, and without social advantages. His life from Day One was undeniably uncomfortable. The difference between the conditions that He lived in and the conditions we live in is vast.

I suspect He may have been trying to tell us something about the Health and Wealth Gospel.

April 09, 2013 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here, here, Russ. You are a gift to us Catholics. Keep being the Lord's instrument.

April 11, 2013 8:37 AM  

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