Ben Witherington is an Asbury professor for whom I have the utmost respect. I read his blog daily, and find much thought-provoking material there. Today he had an interesting post, which you should read in its entirety. Since I do not have permission to repost it here, I will post only a snippet. I hope it will whet your appetite and motivate you to click over and read the rest.
Enjoy! and let me know what you think.
PRINCIPLE TWO: DAILY BREAD IS NOT DAILY BLING
The Lord’s prayer is very basic, and as part of the Sermon on the Mount it reinforces the values of sticking to the basics. If you have decent food, shelter, and clothing, you should not be longing for more, and more and more, nor should you be worrying about such things. It is noteworthy that in the Lord’s prayer we are encouraged to pray for daily bread. ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain’ says the Scriptures. Christians are called in this culture to de-enculturate themselves and live a life of unfettered simplicity. In most cases, it is precisely because so many Christians have bought the lie that it is o.k. to live well beyond their means, participating in ‘debtor nation’, that they find themselves in so much economic trouble now. Tear up most all your credit cards, pay off your bills, and start living frugally. God is not a venture capitalist who rewards Christians behaving badly.
Sorry prosperity preachers, your well just dried up. This bulletin just in--- believing God for a financial miracle after you have lived in a financially irresponsible way is treating God as if he were an overly indulgent parent who would continue spoiling an already spoiled brat. And God is not going to honor that sort of flawed belief system, especially not when he has a compelling concern for the genuinely least, last, and lost in this world.