Categories
Life

Some facts about 1909

As the past year closed, Listverse gave some interesting facts about what America was like 100 years ago.  From their website:

In 1909 none of these things had been invented: zippers, band-aids, traffic lights, bubble gum, penicillin, sunglasses, ballpoint pens, shopping carts, nylon stockings, kitty litter, and milk cartons. In the US there were about 230 reported murders and the average life expectancy was 47. An accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year and a dentist $2,500. The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year, but sugar only cost four cents a pound and eggs were just fourteen cents a dozen. Most women washed their hair only once a month and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. The six leading causes of death were pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease and stroke. From 1909 to 2009 the world population grew from 1.7 billion to 6.4 billion.

Categories
Life Ministry

New Blog: the (un)gospel

My friend Chuck Bergen (who blogs at Writing on the Walls) and I have launched a new blog called the (un)gospel.  Don’t let the title fool you.  It’s not heretical.  Anything but.

The blog’s driving force is preaching against prosperity.  We want to counter the false, demonic prosperity with the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  In the simplest terms, it’s a blog about Jesus and money.  Here’s an excerpt of the about page:

As far as we know, there isn’t one central place on the internet where Christians can find resources about the dangers of the prosperity gospel.  We want this to be that place.  We want to advance the true gospel and preach against the false gospel of health, wealth, and comfort.  We want this blog to not only inform people, we want God to use it to transform people so that Jesus will become the supreme treasure of their lives.

We want one thing to be clear: we don’t hate money.  Money is a very good thing, and we work hard to make money (albeit not much). Our hope is that God will use this blog to help people use money in a way that shows Jesus is infinitely valuable, not money.

While Chuck finishes up exams at RTS and I prepare for my wedding (and start a job — more on that later), the posts will be sparse.  However, after the New Year, things will really get rolling.

Subscribe now via RSS or email.  You can also follow us on Twitter @ungospel.

Categories
Ministry

America’s Ugliest Export

Here’s a video from Christianity Today about the prosperity gospel in Africa.

(If you are viewing this in a feed reader, you may have to click through to the blog to see the video.)

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Categories
Life

Abortion and Artemis: The Damning Desire of Lust for Wealth

FoxNews reports that a Planned Parenthood worker in Texas quit after seeing an ultrasound of a baby being aborted.  Here’s a snippet:

Abby Johnson, 29, used to escort women from their cars to the clinic in the eight years she volunteered and worked for Planned Parenthood in Bryan, Texas. But she says she knew it was time to leave after she watched a fetus “crumple” as it was vacuumed out of a patient’s uterus in September.

The most intriguing part of this article was when Johnson described the driving force behind the clinic’s abortions:

“Every meeting that we had was, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough money — we’ve got to keep these abortions coming’…It’s a very lucrative business and that’s why they want to increase numbers.”

Immediately, Acts 19:21-41 came to my mind.  Paul had been preaching the gospel in Ephesus, and he was preaching against the goddess Artemis, the Greek deity of hunting and fertility, who later became associated with wealth and prosperity.

Some Ephesians were angry at Paul, who “persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not god” (v. 26).  What was the driving force of their anger at Paul and zeal for this goddess?  Verses 24-25 tell us the answer:

For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen.  These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth.”

Just like the Ephesian silversmiths, the Planned Parenthood workers acquired their wealth from a god (i.e. abortion) they made with their own hands.  In a word, they were greedy. Greed and abortion, like Artemis, are idols.  And when the idol of greed is threatened, the result is either repentance  toward Jesus or rage, chaos, hatred, and only more idolatry and greed.

The lust for wealth is a damning desire.  Truly “those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1 Tim. 6:9).

Categories
Theology

Praise God Because He Creates

In 1 Chronicles 16, David sings a song of thanks to the Lord.  In verses 25-26, David sings:

For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be held in awe above all gods.  For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

What separates the LORD from all the other gods in the world?  He creates.  They are created.  That’s the difference between God and an idol, between the finite and the infinite.

And don’t just think of golden statues when you read “gods.”  Think power, money, sex, food, entertainment, sports, friends, success, looks, fashion, and any other good thing in this world.  They are all created things, and so they cannot comfort or provide in our darkest hour. But God is not created.  He creates, and therefore is everlasting and infinite.  So in your time of deepest despair, he is able to provide grace and mercy to help.