WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE
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: 10, "… 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.

Pastor