Spiritual prostitution is an illustration frequently used by God to describe those who claim Him with their lips while openly and unrepentantly embracing worldly passions and idols. Chasing after everything from power, fame and wealth for one’s own glory and benefit is a theme of human history because it is a theme of unregenerate human character. Modern American culture only amplifies these factors, and greatly so, as a part of keeping us all down with a program that is designed to entice us into controlled bondage. (See: Fiat $lavery: We have been bought and paid for…with nothing.)
Christianity Today offered up a timely (if unsurprising) reminder this situation when it posted Creflo Dollar will get $70 million plane – says ‘necessary’ for ministry earlier this week. The article treats readers to some pretty big (and mucho expensive) news:
“The popular US televangelist Creflo Dollar is to get the $70 Million Gulfstream G650 jet plane because it is “necessary” for his ministry, his church board has decreed.”
Unfortunately for the pressing travel needs of the Dollar Ministry/Empire’s Dollar-in-Chief, there may still be a wait for this much “needed” $70-million-ish item:
“However, even now it could be many years before the plane lands because the waiting list is so long and even second-hand Gulfstream jets are difficult to source.”
With human nature already inclined toward spiritual prostitution and American culture saturated in Candy Christianty, Magic Christianity and “Gospel in a Bottle” religion that centers on a Mr. Potato Jesus approach to savior crafting, it should come as no surprise that spiritual prostitution is the best paying kind…and is wildly popular with many of those who claim the name of Christ in America.
Okay, so pointing out the problems with Creflo Dollar – a well known purveyor of a counterfeit gospel centering on material prosperity – is easy. Very easy. Way too easy, you might even say.
And anytime something is that easy, we need to be careful.
In this instance, there is danger in critiquing things that are in and of themselves not inherently problematic or sinful at all. Things like material wealth.
Having wealth – even extreme wealth – is not sinful. Having a jet airplane is not inherently wrong. What makes these things sinful and wrong is our zeal, adoration and desire for these things above our zeal, adoration and desire for God. It is the sinful human heart that spawns sinful human motives which then inspire sinful pursuits – like wrongly obsessing over the acquisition of a shiny new $70 million jet to meet our “travel needs”.
But the jet is not the problem. The high price of the jet is not the problem. The human heart and its idolatry of otherwise wonderful tools like jets and money is the problem.
And make no mistake: Materially poor people can be just as dominated by these lusts. Just because a “poor person” doesn’t have a $70 million jet or a Rolex doesn’t mean that they cannot be consumed by covetous lust for these things, even to the point that they hate those who have things like jets and money just because they have jets and money.
We all need to be careful about these things when considering cases such as Creflo’s.
We need to understand that money and power are not something that Christians are called to avoid. They are things that we are called to master – like everything else. We are to be content with whatever God has given us and we are to use whatever He has given us for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom. Whether we have one dollar and barely enough to eat or $100 million and a thriving business network to draw upon is not the issue. Our happy, content obedience to Christ as King in practice is the issue. (See: The devil only holds what we leave in his hands.)
It’s all a matter of the heart, as Scripture makes plain:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” ~ Jesus (the real One) in Matthew 6:19-24 (emphasis added)
Money is not the problem. Things are not the problem. They are tools – tools whose use will be determined by the true condition of our heart:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. ~ 1 Timothy 6:10 (emphasis added)
So let’s not fall for the trap that Creflo’s problem is that he wants an expensive jet. Let’s not tag the pursuit of cutting edge (and therefore expensive) tools as inherently sinful. And let’s not imagine that there is inherent virtue in being materially poor or poverty stricken.
Let’s strive to wisely use whatever it is that God has given us so that, if it suits His perfect plans, He might give us more and more to work with, more and more opportunity to impact the world for the Great Commission, and more and more happiness, joy and gratitude toward Him. Let’s pray and strive to be increasingly well-equipped and empowered with the best tools possible as we go about the business of applying His Nature as revealed in His Word to every realm of His creation, all by His grace, all for His glory, and all to our eternal, ever-increasing benefit.
If you know of anyone who might appreciate this post, please share it. If you’d like to help support the Fire Breathing Christian mission, please click here.
Please also “like” us on Facebook, “+” us on Google+, follow us on Twitter and feel free to sign up for new articles by email using the buttons in the upper right corner of the FBC home page. Also feel free to check out the latest designs at Fire Breathing Tees. Thank you for your support!
© 2015 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.