By Adam Becker
I heard a minister the other day talking about people leaving Christianity. He mentioned that some people have an awakening and shed a religious spirit or something and then exit the faith. He did not necessarily say it was a bad thing. He did, however, go on to say that the judgment and condemnation Christians and leaders bring to people who are struggling is a reason some leave.
As he was speaking this, I was thinking it isn’t just the judgment and religiosity of some that is a problem. The problem is some of this stuff does not work for everybody. If you have Christians on facebook you will often see posts with pics of new stuff people have gotten or family pics saying just how blessed they are. I have even seen posts of people claiming to go about physically healing everyone they come in contact with. When I look at my life it doesn’t look like that. While I may live in a house that is nicer than some of theirs, I am not super blessed. I don’t have the perfect family; my kids are not going to Harvard after high school. I don’t even have a spouse as I am divorced. I also can’t relate to all these people being supposedly healed. I personally have a disability that I am not healed of. Yet, all these people are prospering so much and seem to have the perfect life. And the Christian gurus and preachers say you too should be prospering, be healed and have the perfect family.
I think if I were to ever leave Christianity it would be over that. Yes, there is so much judgment in the church, elitism and religiousness but all this everyone should and can prosper stuff sure makes one feel like a failure as a Christian. If Christianity is all about prosperity and the abundant life then I guess it isn’t working for me. And I am not alone. There are many that come to my ministry that are struggling and nothing they do works, and they are not prospering. Their families have fallen apart and they are not healed. They need help. I could try and peddle to them that if they only believe, visualize and sow seed they would have the abundant life but that doesn’t work for everyone. Don’t get me wrong I have prospered at times, been healed and had a family and was very happy well almost anyways. So, it is possible but it has almost become a standard that if you’re a Christian you should have these things and if you don’t you are second rate or something. It leaves you upset with God wondering what His problem is? Which will lead to ultimately walking away from Christianity all together. Yes, some do walk away because of the judgment and religiousness of others but I think all this prosperity stuff is a real problem.
Now, should we want to prosper? Yes, of course we should. You should have a prosperous mindset and believe you deserve to prosper or you wont have much, so nothing wrong with believing you should prosper. And we should try and prosper but some of us are not going to prosper. Some of us are not going to have that perfect family that everyone flaunts at church and on facebook. Some of us are not going to get our healing. The abundant life that Christ was talking about didn’t really mean a prosperous life on earth. He was talking about having an abundance of life as in eternal life. Before Christ, there was no eternal life. But Christ came so that we could live forever with Him in the next life. It had nothing to do with having the perfect life here on earth. I think this prosperity and abundant life illusion is dangerous. I can say that my life did get better after coming to Christ. A whole lot better but it’s not the life that so many Christians peddle, and it leaves people like me feeling depressed and like we need to find a new religion or not one at all. But then again, the focus of Christianity is not on abundance it’s on love. Love for God and one another. If it wasn’t, I would have left Christianity a long time ago. And the purpose of abundance and wealth is not to brag about how blessed you are or hoard it, its to use for the kingdom of God and to bless others. Smart people do what works and if something isn’t working in your religion why continue on? If that’s you and the prosperity and abundance thing isn’t working don’t leave Christianity just leave the prosperity standard and focus on love. You can’t go wrong with love.