We had a good chat with some of the small groups leaders last Friday. It was exciting to hear their enthusiasm for reaching Chinese students with the gospel.
However, one person quoted Romans 8:19 and how we are “manifest sons of God” (KJV) which pricked my ears because someone (from the same country) had handed out some stuff called the “Manifest Sons of God” in a meeting some months ago which was a variant on the prosperity gospel.
I remains unclear whether this guy deeply believes in the prosperity gospel, or has simply been poorly taught, and under good teaching will change his thinking.
Anyway, here are a couple observations from this incident:
– There is so much potential for International Students here in Beijing to do a lot of good. It just needs someone to help teach the truth to prepare God’s people for works of service. (I think Paul mentioned this somewhere…)
– I need to think more about why the Gospel is BETTER than the prosperity gospel. It would be easy to simply look through a list of verses in the Bible that point out the error of the prosperity gospel. And it might convince people. But all I would be saying is that the real gospel isn’t quite as good as what you once thought it was. That would leave people knowing right things about the gospel, but feeling God isn’t as good as they thought he was: which is surely not true! They’d be replacing one lie for another.
How the real gospel is better than the prosperity gospel is something I need to think more about. The answer has to lie in the cross. Christ invites us into his mission following his pattern for doing mission. Somehow God invites me to share in the glory of the Son – which is a much greater glory than the glory which earthly trinkets can provide.
Will be doing some more thinking about this – meanwhile do pray for the small group leaders at our church, that they would keep their eyes on Christ and be willing to walk in his footsteps