Friday, June 12, 2009

Proprietary Attitudes?

It must be a byproduct of our materialistic culture. Or maybe it is more universal. I am speaking of our proprietary attitude... sometimes called our greedy desire to make a buck.

Someone told me this week about a nationally known speaker who published books and materials without copyrighting them - thinking that he would let others use them freely. All was well until the day when someone ELSE copyrighted the speaker's materials and made him pay to use his own things!

WOW!

I like to read books - especially books about the Bible, Christian living, and Ministry. What amazes me is the constant production of new books. Some of these are really helpful. Some are not so helpful. Many great books are written that are TRUE. They are true to the Word of God and true about the application of God's word to life. Often these books have a limited appeal. Many other books are just plain FALSE. They are a pablum of rehashed psychobabble that appeals to carnal people's pride and passion for earthly prosperity. These books are (guess what) VERY POPULAR - even best sellers.

Prosperity Theology - the teaching that God's desire is that every child of His should have health and wealth in this world - is wildly popular. No matter that its only relationship to the Bible is the misapplication of misinterpretations of misquoted proof texts.

Is this just sour grapes? Could it be that I am just jealous of the megachurch stars who preach such drivel and live in million-dollar homes and wear silk and diamonds?

My heart is certainly sinful enough, but I don't think that is the case here. I am carnal enough to envy someone for coming up with a great book that has the potential to help many people understand the truth of God's word. But not because of the money. I just wish I could be that insightful. I wish I could be that effective in ministry.

But not for the fame and fortune - and I think that is true for the authors I envy too. They are not doing what they do for fame and fortune. They are doing it because it is their ministry from God. It is the outworking of their gifts for God's glory. Praise God!

As for the flagrant frauds - the snake oil salesmen - the purveyors of false hope - I know I don't envy them. But I do pity the poor souls who are deceived by them. These false prophets will someday answer to God. At that point their earthly luxuries will seem to be a curse, rather than a blessing.
(2Corinthians 2:17) For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

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