In a recent expose, Charlotte Eyewitness News took a hard look at televangelist Todd Coontz. His “ministry” encourages people to give money so that they can receive a double, even a triple blessing. One donation amount that is asked for repeatedly is $273. It is meant to bring divine favor because 2 = agreement, 7 = divine completion, and 3 = the number of the trinity. It is also the number of his million dollar suite in a luxury condo building…
Coontz is on record as owning multiple luxury cars that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Coupled with his condo and many vacations, we can see were most of the ministry dollars are spent. Sad, just sad. He says that these items were paid for by his book sales – but since his ministry headquarters is a little office in a strip mall that no one goes in or out of – I dare say his “ministry” has little else to pay for than his salary.
In a world where the Good News, in its pure form, is needed now more than ever, how these people are allowed to continue is beyond me. We need ministers who are devoted to the poor, the dysfunctional, and their Christ – rather than their comfort and pocket books. If God called televangelists to live in opulence while their flock lived in misery – I have been talking to the wrong God all these years.
Why the Prosperity Gospel and Todd Coontz are wrong:
Here is the basic logic, as I see it, of the world that God set up. This is a training ground. It is designed to prepare us for an eternity of administering the Kingdom of Light. This world is not our home. It is a temporary environment suitable for preparing us.
Why? It puts a veil between us and the stable, eternal world. It gives us the ability to fail, faulter, and learn from our mistakes. This world is the crayon and papers of a child’s art room as we learn how to eventually paint masterpieces.
But what if God just handed us everything we needed without effort, failing, trying, and loosing? What if all of our material needs were provided for by simply handing over $273? Sure, we have to overcome the anxiety of giving up a couple hundred dollars, but with the reward of thousands looming large, who, in their right mind, wouldn’t give up that amount?
The truth is, the Proserity Gospel just doesn’t make sense in the world that God created. Yes, God, in the Old Testament, ties His blessing to the conditions of the Covenanent. But He promises “to bless … the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 28:12), not to give willy nilly just because you fork over some cash.
The conditional blessing of the Old Covenant was meant to reinforce why this world was built: as a nursery, a school, a training ground. It was meant for us to work hard, build loving relationships, and keep our desires in bounds – and be rewarded for it. The opposite would incur punishment and thus we learn the laws of the eternal world by the fail/succeed system of this world.
To teach or proport anything else is to go against the laws and reasoning of God Himself. If God has established the rules of our upbringing – who are we to teach otherwise?
What to do with the Prosperity Gospel preachers and Todd Coontz:
So what do we do with these televangelists? What do we do… turn them off. Refuse them access into our homes and minds. Encourage others to turn them off. People need to understand that God wants more that to be our Sugar Daddy – He wants to be our Father and Friend. He wants to shape us into the image of His Son. He will use both prosperity and famine to do so. So “Boo” to those that teach cheap blessing. “Boo” to those that flaunt the wealth of others as their own.
God has given me this world to mold me, shape me, prepare me for an eternity of reigning, worshipping, and communion. I choose that over cheap rewards. He has given me this blue spinning terrestrial marble to teach me that what is real, solid, and lasting has nothing to do with a buck, but has everything to do character, skill, relationship, and the bonds of love.
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