Smythe is the preaching and writing site of Peter Smythe. Here you'll find a stout gospel, one that emphasizes the believer's identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection, and life in the Spirit.

The Circle of Superabundance

Blessings and the offering plate.

This past Sunday my wife and I went to a Word-of-Faith megachurch to hear a friend of ours preach on the subject of prayer. We got to the church a bit late, but not late enough to miss the offering.
   Towards the very end of worship, the pastor jumped up to the podium and announced that it was offering time. That conjured some hoots and whistles from the crowd. He asked everyone to turn to Luke 6:38, and began preaching before anyone had time to turn a page.
   "Unlimited supernatural provision from heaven," he announced. "We've been living under the open window of heaven, and need to get the connection between tithing and sowing for the supernatural. If you aren't tithing and sowing you aren't living in the supernatural." He went on to say that tithing, sowing, and reaping all occur in a circle—tithing and sowing beget reaping which begets more tithing and sowing. "As we do this, the circle just gets bigger and bigger, and so big that your giving will affect nations." An unending circle of superabundance.
   If that were the case in the Word, I'd be all for it. But I just don't see it.
   Paul tells us in Ephesians that we have been seated with Christ and so have been blessed, past tense, with all spiritual blessings. 

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ.  

   This means that all the privileges of redemption are immediately available to us with nothing more than faith. We don't have to do anything to earn the blessings of God; we only must believe. As for needs, the redemption promise is that he will meet all of them, not according to our prior tithes or offerings, but according the riches we have in Christ.
   An unspoken element with current prosperity theology (I don't know what else to call it) is the implication of desire or want. The believer is to sow (or tithe) maybe to promote the gospel, but primarily to receive some corresponding material blessing. This flies in the face of Hebrews 13:5.

Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with that you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you and I will never abandon you." 

   We are to be content with what we have, not "sowing" to receive more. If we have needs, he has already made provision. Our giving, therefore, should be driven by our love for the Gospel, not the love of ourselves.

Note: A primary plank of the original Word of Faith movement was the finished work of Christ. What ever happened to that?

Solitude

Having Died, He Yet Lives

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