So I turned over to another channel and found a really slick performance going on. 'Let me have a BIG AMEN', they said - strutting up and down. They went on to repeat this little mantra:
'If you believe in your heart and say it with your mouth, it shall come to pass. God is Faithful'
Interestingly, or perhaps not, I know many who deeply believe stuff and proclaim it and it's never happened.
Perhaps God is unable to do what He is supposed (but being God, don't you think He'd know His job?).
Perhaps the people just didn't believe it enough (after all, belief is not the easiest thing to have now, is it?)
Perhaps they didn't say it enough and, like hits that generate money on a blog, there's a certain number of times that it needs to be said before you get it!
But fortunately the large gentleman in the shiny suit answered my question (perhaps God told Him I was wondering about it):
'And some of you do not receive because of your sin!'
Bazinga! There it is, the small print that says you aren't going to get it. That's it then - game over man, I know I'm a sinner and even though I've confessed it, repented of it and seek to sin less, it seems I'm not going to get what I want because of it. *
And because God was talking to him he heard what I have just written and continued:
'But you say to me, 'I've confessed my sins, why don't I receive?' and I have to tell you that what's getting in the way is your unconfessed sins, those sins you don't even know are there. They are stopping you from getting that job, From getting that house, From being healed.'
'Oh, no,' think I, 'There goes the farm! After all I have confessed, repented and work at living a right life (I haven't managed to rest in my redemption and celebrate Grace just celebrate yet), I'm doomed!'
And the bloke on the TV does it again:
'But you can give God your unconfessed sin and open the doors to the riches God wants to give you . . . let's pray ."
So he prays and they sing a song and I wonder whether the way forward is the next sermon in the series when, Hallelujah, I find the answer is already available and mine, all In need to do is send a donation and in return I will receive 'free of charge' the book:
'How to confess stuff you never knew was there so you can get all the stuff you really deserve because after all that was the reason Jesus died - to make you healthy, wealthy and ....'
No, it's not the name of the real book (for that would tell you who this snake oil salesman was) and the final word of the title most certainly wasn't 'wise' either. Perhaps it should be, 'Look how rich He has made me!'
Now, can someone explain how on earth there is any integrity (worldly or Christian) in what I saw on my TV and how I can have any confidence in the proof texting, they hype and the misquotes?
As a pastor my desire is to see people in union with God, living for God because of the cross of Jesus, the Christ, and enabled by the Holy Spirit. I don't want to see people bound by law and weighed down by restrictions and demands upon them they can't keep. I know God provides and heals and blesses, but that, like Grace is a gift, not a right and I cannot comprehend a God who is a cross between Santa, the easter Bunny and the Genie from the bottle.
Now you don't need to send me money for that (but if you do :-) )
I'll have to give it away!
*This would explain how, even though the Arsenal have been in the top spot of the English Premier League for longer than any club this season, they've fallen to fourth place - it's not Arsene Wenger's fault - it is my sin what took them there before it was accomplished!