Автор: Chris Wigram
Category: Евангелие процветания
Cole Moreton in his amusing book ‘Is God Still an Englishman’ (I’m sorry about the title but he makes some universal observations so bear with me!) charts the course of Christianity in Britain with special relevance to the Anglican church for the years 1970-2010 more or less. His account is a poignant personal one of walking away from Christian faith but on the way he leaves us with some very important reasons of why people leave the kingdom. He describes very clearly and with great candour some of the ‘fads’ that have rocketed through British and worldwide Christianity over these years. These include the rise of the charismatic movement and the emphasis on speaking in tongues. (The Chapter entitled ‘Shecameonahonda’ is side-splittingly funny but also shows how ridiculous and unthinking some versions of Christianity has become). The Power Evangelism of John Wimber. The Marches for Jesus. The Toronto Blessing. Alpha courses and The Decade of Evangelism. I would add to this the Prosperity Gospel although this might be a little more enduring.
Having outlined these movements in which Cole was personally involved he makes a vital point. Christians in the UK had been made new offer after new offer as to what would improve their spiritual experience and he identifies the main problem with all this when he writes insightfully,
‘If you promise someone a good time but they don’t get one, they become angry and walk away. If you deliver the first time, but not the second or third or thirty-third time, they become disappointed and walk away. If they get bored or someone else offers a new distraction, they walk away. Whatever you do, in the end, a large number of people are going to walk away’. (p. 158)
He has hit the nail on the head. When anything but the message of Jesus Christ becomes the focus then you are walking away from the kingdom. The experience-soaked Christianity of the recent past has led many astray. To emphasise anything in the place of Jesus Christ is to pull the foundation from under the feet of believers. I can remember visiting a Morris Cerullo campaign at Earls Court in 1993 and thinking that the 8,000 people who turned up deserved better than hearing what they heard that night. Instead of being given foundational, inspiring Bible teaching they were treated to a heady mixture of pop psychology and biblical quotes that purported to be Christian.
When we lived in the Philippines we used to be assaulted by banners across the street and at every available traffic intersection proclaiming the imminent arrival of the ‘Miracle Healing Crusade’. Underneath the title there was a whole list of diseases that you could be cured from. ‘High blood’ was the favourite but it also included AIDS, nervous problems, anxiety as well as the more mundane healings of cancer and other chronic illnesses. They were outrageous claims and of course many flocked to these events thinking that they were kingdom events. What happened? Apart from one or two usually unverified claims of healing the majority left the campaign feeling disappointed because the ‘gospel’ had not worked. What was the result of that? We would meet them in the course of our regular ministries. They were disillusioned because God had not done for them what had been promised. Let me be plain here. They had rejected what they thought was the gospel when it wasn’t and now they were further away from the gospel because they thought they already heard the gospel, tried it and it had failed. This is why the Prosperity Gospel is yet another dead end.