Saturday, February 20, 2010


          In her best selling book on the law of attraction, The Secret, author Rhonda Byrne maintains that Jesus was a prosperity teacher and a millionaire. She came by this notion from reading, among other sources, Catherine Ponder’s series of prosperity texts called The Millionaires of the Bible. Oh my! Jesus Christ preaching prosperity and living a “…more affluent lifestyle[s] than many present-day millionaires could conceive of.”
         Anyone remotely familiar with the New Testament will have heard many of Jesus’ pronouncements on the subjects of prosperity and poverty. I will list a few of the more famous of these here:
  1. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God  (Matthew 19:24) 
  2. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. (Luke 17:22)
  3. As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. (Luke 21:1-4)
  4. Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God… But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. (Luke 6:20,24)
That should be enough to give you the idea of Jesus' real take on riches and prosperity. Jesus was not a prosperity teacher. Jesus preached detachment from riches. He blessed the ‘poor in spirit’ and the poor in fact. Jesus was all about storing up riches in heaven as opposed to earthly treasure. Furthermore, anyone who believes Jesus lived a life of ease and comfort that modern day millionaires could scarcely conceive of is bringing an awful lot of spin to the life of someone who went to his death possessing a single homespun cloak and a pair of sandals. Honestly, this doesn’t sound to me like a guy who was furiously working the law of attraction to get what he wanted out of life. I think suggesting that Jesus was a prosperity teacher and a millionaire sounds rather more like a load of heretical claptrap.
This is how I think the law of attraction really works. Hucksters and charlatans cherry pick and misinterpret Bible verses to attract money from hapless saps who are too easily persuaded that Jesus wants them to have a big house and a new Mercedes when a thorough understanding of everything Jesus had to say on the subjects of prosperity and poverty would lead one to the exact opposite conclusion. Jesus wants us to spend eternity in heaven with Him. He clearly believes that riches are an impediment to that happy result. It's not that he wants you to be poor, but rather than His priorities are completely directed toward the Kingdom on Heaven and not our worldly comfort.