BETWEEN THE CHINESE GOD OF WEALTH AND THE
CHRISTIAN GOD OF WEALTH?
The Chinese, on the occasion
of the Lunar New Year flocked to catch the "gold coins"
which the god of wealth showers on them in the River Hongbao show.
You see them in the newspaper how excited these people were putting
out their hands, over turning their umbrella to catch as many
"gold coins" as possible. The more they catch, the more
"luck" they will have in 2014. Their fortune will increase.
They will be "blessed" in the year. Do you see Christians
going for this catch too? Who doesn't want to be "lucky"?
What is the god of wealth in the Bible? Who is he? The prophet
Isaiah told Israel, "But you who forsake the LORD, who forget
my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of
mixed wine for Destiny" (Isaiah 65: 11 ESV). Isaiah reminded
the children of Israel never to forget the LORD. Instead the people
of God went after the 'gods' of the heathen. The name "Fortune"
is the god named "Gad". This is the god of good luck
which the world goes after. Luck and fortune are the most sought
after deities. The people of the world want to have luck and fortune
with them always. You will always hear them use this word "luck."
"I am so lucky."
As Christians we must be reminded once again that this deity has
nothing to do with our faith and belief system. We do not go after
luck and fortune. If we do that we will be no different from the
people of the world. We might as well leave our God and worship
the god of fortune and luck, which is the heathen god, "Gad".
Now are you ready for this? Is the Christian God the same as the
heathen god of wealth? I am afraid our God has been made to be
like that too by Christians who come and seek God for wealth and
prosperity. A theology of health and wealth has been espoused
by these churches.
Sure, our God is rich, powerful and mighty to perform any miracles.
He heals and restores the sick and diseased. He is God, the true
and living God (1 John 5: 20). But is that all that we want from
God? A healthy and prosperous life on earth? What about the matter
of sickness and pain, sufferings which affects all of mankind,
and even the Christians suffer. Is this unbiblical that we have
to suffer and be poor too? The prophet Samuel said, "The
LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich
." (1 Samuel 2: 7).
What if God does not heal our sickness and disease? What if I
am poor and greatly in need of money? Does it mean I am in the
wrong church? Is the Pastor preaching the right sermon? Am I at
fault with God that I am not blessed with the plenty in life and
thus am suffering? I have seen many Christians of fundamental,
conservative churches going over to these health and wealth churches.
Many talked about the positive messages they received and have
been "blessed." One person said he isn't happy with
the negative preaching of "you can't/should do this or that."
I asked the person if he ever look up the Bible and see if the
preacher has given a correct interpretation of the message. He
said he is not capable of doing so. I said "just read the
passage to see if what the preacher said is correct." I suppose
many Christians don't have time to do so, or can't be bothered
to do so. We must be like the Berean Christians (Acts 17: 11).
They searched the scriptures daily, as they listened to Paul and
Silas, and see if what they said is in accordance to God's Word.
That's our responsibility.
The Christians have a wealthy God and a God who is concern for
our health too. But our God is different from the heathen god
of wealth and health. He is the God who blessed the life of Job
with plenty. How do we know that? Satan tells us so in Job 1:
Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and
his substance is increased in the land." God is also concern
for our health too. The apostle John wished his friend, Gaius,
these words: "
that thou mayest prosper and be in health"
(3 John 2). Nothing wrong to wish a person success and good health,
but do not go overboard in these matters. Let us be people of
the Word and not follow after the world and their beliefs.