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You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. -- Deuteronomy 8: 18 (ESV)
The above link is to a new article entitled, "7 Discernible Signs the Spirit of Poverty Is Attacking You." I have never heard of the author, Dr. David Williams. His bio sounds nice. Over 30 years as a pastor, over 500 outreach ministries, and over 40 million dollars given to missions through the church over his many years of service. Assuming these missions and ministries were presenting the correct Gospel, this is all very commendable. This article however is not. It is more of the pro-money arguments that continue to infect the church at large today. When people ask me if I think God wants them poor then my answer is yes. If that is the question on your mind and in your heart the answer is a resounding yes because wealth has become an idol unto you. I understand where we get it from. Most in church "leadership" still present wealth as something to pursue despite the numerous warnings in Scripture. This article summarizes some of the faulty thinking that continues to lead to false teaching within the church today regarding money. Let us reason together beloved as we go through Dr. Williams' arguments.
"The poverty spirit is the biggest scammer of all time. I believe God Himself planted into the human heart a desire for wealth. After all, in Deuteronomy 8:18a (KJV), we were told to "remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth." And, in context, it was referring to physical, material wealth." -- Dr. David Williams
Let me start with the obvious. There is no "poverty spirit." Not as it is being presented within Charismaniacal circles. There is no reason to super-spiritualize the human condition or over-spookyfy it. Rain falls on the just and the unjust. Furthermore the notion that God planted in the hearts of man a desire for wealth is contradicted by the Word of God. Repeatedly God warns us about wealth. He even goes as far as to bemoan how difficult it is for a rich man to even enter the kingdom of heaven. This highlights the church's obsession with earthly prosperity when what we ought to be reinforcing is the eternal prosperity only found in Christ Jesus. Notice here he only quotes half of the key verse today because the second half of the verse reminds us that this is part of the Torah. This is God giving His law to His people. The covenant the key verse refers to is the Abrahamic Covenant. We as the church are under the New Covenant. Now, all good things still come from the Lord so if you happen to find yourself wealthy then praise the Lord. If you happen to find yourself impoverished -- praise the Lord. The thing that should be constant is praising the Lord and godly contentment:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -- Philippians 4: 11-13 (ESV)
Plenty, hunger, abundance, need. It matters not when we are in Christ. By all accounts the Apostles were not rich men. They left everything they had to follow Jesus. The church needs to stop pointing people back to this world and get back to the Gospel and pointing people to heaven. Dr. Williams continues:
'"Do you think God would rather see the false cult leaders, the whiskey producers and drug dealers enjoy wealth rather than His people who love Him? Do you believe God chooses some to be wealthy and others to be poor? Jesus said in Matthew 7:11 (MEV), "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"' -- Dr. David Williams