Watching Creflo Dollar skate on someone else’s hard-earned money really saddened me. You can see a version of the video here.
It’s sad that Christians, today, have given in to the need to be entertained. To the point that they will cheer on a guy running over their money. I mean, where do the likes of Creflo Dollar, T. D. Jakes, et al, get their teachings from? What they are doing, regarding this approach to being blessed, just isn’t biblical.
The main thing is, what they are doing isn’t in line with how the Church should operate. Understand that, when I refer to the Church, I’m not talking about Christianity as a religion. Neither am I talking of people gathered in a building, on Sunday, or the building itself.
The Septuagint uses the Greek term ‘Ekklesia’. The Hebrew word is ‘Qahal’. A close English translation would be ‘The called out ones’. So, when I say ‘the Church’, I’m referring to individuals that have been called out. Christians (Real ones!).
The Bible gives us templates of how we should operate and how we should approach things. When the Holy Spirit was gifted in the Upper Room, in Acts 2, Peter wasn’t seen encouraging material wealth. In fact, Acts 2:45 reads, “And sold their [The first Christians. Or, early Church] possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” Acts 2:42-47 is, in fact, the template Christians should have as a base for their operational lives. Interestingly, verse 47 tells us that, as the early Church gathered and praised and developed a relationship with God, and each other, it was THE LORD that added to the Church. This falls in line with what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9, which reads, “(8)For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9)Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It is here that these entertainers begin to lead the sheep astray. It is here that they attempt to stand in the middle of the relationship between God and his children. Not as mediators or connectors but in the form of a god and decision gate. It is here that the cart is put before the horse.
Jesus’ words, in Revelation 22:13, read, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” God is timeless. EVERYTHING that happens within ANY time frame is within the existence of God. As he is timeless, my faith in him also becomes timeless.
Matthew 6:8 reads “Be not ye therefore like them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” As he is timeless, he already knows, not only what I need now but what I will need in the future. If I agree with Ephesians 2:8-9, I am blessed by God, who knows what I need before I ask him for it (Note, there is a time to still ask) and it is HIM that blesses me. That makes anything else taking place to facilitate my blessing either false or mere fanfare. I STILL don’t see where skating on money facilitates a blessing and, if the skating on money was to celebrate the receiving of it, I’m reminded of Matthew 6:19-24, where we are told that we cannot serve God and money or, material wealth.
When it comes to living in accordance to my beliefs, I base myself on Psalm 51.
Psalm 51 is a moving towards simply wanting a relationship with God. No chasing after blessings. No serving to receive. Just serving with gladness.
The template of prayer, aka The Lord’s Prayer, starts with “Our Father”. Before anything, God is a father. Not a judge or jury (That isn’t to negate these facets exist), not a bank account, not an ever-present help when we get ourselves in to problems. He is dad.
Psalm 51:16-17 reads “(16)For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. (17)The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
In the Old Testament, sacrifices were carried out in order to receive something in return, for the most part. They were carried out, according to written rules, to obtain a written consequence. But God doesn’t want that for us. He just wants a relationship with his kids.
I was going through some really hard times, during 2015. One night, I came home from work, sat in the middle of my living room floor and asked God where he was. I’d had enough. I spoke to him as though he was there in the room with me, “I’m trying to do everything you say in your Word and still I struggle. Why?!”
I’d only spoken like that, with him, a few times previous. I got my answer, though.
Before I go into the answer, I want to say this. There is a common experience of God’s presence. There is a peace and stillness like no other. It’s a feeling you get while snuggling into bedding, straight from the dryer. Or, after having all your bones fall into place, after seeing a massage therapist. The air is quiet and, even though it is a thick atmosphere, there is a freedom to breathe, like you’ve just left hot yoga. There is a need to just shut up and listen. It’s almost like you fall asleep. Descriptions fail me, seriously.
“You know of me but you don’t know me.”
Straightaway, I was faced with the fact that I knew lots ABOUT God but I had no clue who he was, personally. Granted, I could refer to a scripture to answer questions or to someone else’s stories but no personal testimony. No relationship. THAT was why I lacked blessing. Nothing else.
I began to memorize Psalm 51, which happened to be my reading for that day and watched my relationship, with Him, begin to develop.
I could go on about the blessings that ensued. There are many. But that isn’t the point of this blog. The point is, it is your relationship with God that blesses you, not some guy dancing on your money, not the act of giving money or time to someone that doesn’t even know you. It’s not even doing because you’ve been told to. Your blessings are mere by-products of a relationship with your Heavenly Father, who already knows what you need. THAT is putting the horse and cart in the correct order.