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From the Pastor

From the Pastor

It’s fashionable in certain circles to criticise the ‘prosperity doctrine’. I want to begin by affirming the many truths of thriving. God begets Adam and Eve in a garden that is teeming with fish and producing vegetation and living creatures. He then commands mankind to be fruitful. God’s original design was very good. Even outside the garden after the flood God commands Noah and his sons to be fruitful and increase.

Israel’s movement in the Old Testament is one away from slavery and towards prosperity. Be it the numerical growth, the political rise of Israel, or the journey towards a land flowing with milk and honey – there is movement towards overcoming.

Three key characters in the Old Testament are Abraham, David and Job. Each of these men are extremely blessed in terms of wealth, land, influence, and offspring. And these blessings somehow correlate with an obedient and godly life.

Our eternal destination – the new heaven and earth, is pictured as having streets of gold, pearly gates and no more weeping or tears. Jesus and his apostles healed the sick, and cast out demons.

There is a strong biblical theme of the godly life as a blessed one. I wish to affirm this. The godly life is better than the ungodly life. We are right to expect that obedience and living as a disciple brings rewards in this life and the next.

Why then the criticism of the so-called prosperity doctrine? Biblical flourishing is first and foremost relational. In the garden we walked with God, in heaven we dwell with him. Inside a fallen world creation becomes something humans quickly idolise, ignoring God. Suffering brings a refocus and hope beyond the physical. You were made for him, nothing less.

God prospering you is beautiful. It’s better than anything you could imagine.

              David Rietveld

          Senior Pastor