Christians and The American Dream

I’d like to start by saying that a person who is against prosperity is against biblical salvation.  Kind of an incendiary statement, eh?  Well, let me explain…

If you look into the words salvation, save, or saved in the New Testament, you’ll discover those all come from the Greek word, “sozo.”   You’ll also find that the word prosper is one of the primary defining words.  That’s why I can start off today’s post with such a radical statement.  But, there’s more…

First of all, I am definitely pro prosperity.  There’s just too much scriptural evidence that it’s a quality of the Kingdom of God.  But now…here’s the rub…and a question.

Is Kingdom of God prosperity a mirror image of the so called American Dream?  To be clear, I’m speaking of God’s government or rule in the Earth today…not an after the last heartbeat afterlife.

Truth be told, we are heavily influenced by the conscious and subconscious message or indoctrination of our culture.  More often than not it is easiest and most logical to define the word prosperity with what our culture has told us it looks like.  What that often means for a Christian (or Christ follower) is a “churched-up” version of the same.

Challenging our own thinking.  Probing our own priorities.  Those are good and healthy things to be engaged in.  That’s what I’ve been doing to myself again of late.  That’s also what I’m proposing in this brief article.

Prosperity is a core value of God’s Kingdom.  What does it look like for you?  The best Kingdom answer and action will bring the greatest good and satisfaction in life.

Gary

 


 

  • http://makemeamary.com/ Amy@Make Me A Mary

    My view of prosperity is quickly changing. I’m reading all these books lately that are messing with me … David Platt’s RADICAL, Jen Hatmaker’s INTERRUPTED, Katie Davis’s KISSES FROM KATIE. I’m starting to feel like an ambitious pursuit of the American Dream is an effort that would be much better spent carrying out His command to love others, to care for the least of His children, and to spread the message of His grace to lead the lost to a saving knowledge of Christ. I’m feeling like I’ve wasted quite a bit of time already. Suddenly the retirement and savings accounts and pretty houses and cars make me a little sick to my stomach.

    • Gary

      A good friend of mine has a lot of nice things; But, he hasn’t gotten them by pursuing the American Dream.  He’s been “heaven bent” on pursing the Kingdom Dream.  To love mercy and do justice for “the least, the last, and often misjudged.”   His seems to be a story of, “you can’t out give God.”  The thing is, the more that comes to him, the more he gives away.  But, that whole story began several years ago when he personally paid for the “mercy actions” when he didn’t really have it.  He also doesn’t just “throw money at the needs.”  He gets down and dirty personally involved.  He’s a Christ Follower with dirt under his fingernails.

      • Gary

        Amy, I saw this YouTube video today that really is in this whole stream of thought.  I think I can put  the link here and it will be a hotlink.  If it doesn’t work, let me know.  http://youtu.be/2v0RhvZ3lvY

    • Gary

      Btw, Amy.  I don’t know how many subscribers you have on “Make Me A Mary.” However, you consistently get a lot of comments.  I think it’s because of the transparency of your style and the way you’ve found and write with your own “voice.”  But, I think there’s something else that’s a real factor here.  You respond to nearly every comment.  You keep the connection going “after the post.”  Oh, yea…and one other thing I forgot to add to my original response, I am reading INTERRUPTED as well as her husband, Brandon’s, “Barefoot Church:  Ministering to the least of these in a consumer culture.”  Finally, as my wife says, “Neat houses are for boring people.” :)

      • http://makemeamary.com/ Amy@Make Me A Mary

        Haha! I have a magnet on my fridge that says “Dull women have immaculate houses.” You know … Barefoot Church may have to be my next read. 

        I don’t have all that many subscribers, mainly because I started over not long ago when I moved my blog. But thank you for your kind words. I’m really kind of amazed that people read, but I’m glad they do!

        One more thing I wanted to say. My father has always been a huge giver. He says that if we will just be the vessel through which the Lord moves money, our blessing will be increased greatly. At least that’s proven true with him. And me, come to think of it. I definitely don’t think it’s a sin to have things. I just kind of feel sick at the thought of making that my focus anymore. That is no longer my end goal. My objective now is to honor the Lord with what I have, period. 

        Oops, that was more than “one more thing”. :)