As you can see, this is part of a multi-post topic. The 1st in this series might be helpful to give you context…
I think a lot of Christians follow the way of Jesus for the paycheck, the benefits. I’m not talking about collecting a salary for church attendance and good works during the week and I’m not referring to the big payoff at the end of life in heaven. I’m talking about the so-called “blessings” that we get in this life. The reason many people do Christian things is so they can get God to give them something. Maybe it’s not money they expect to get, but if they were honest about it, they live in a Christian way to get God’s blessings.
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” Romans 11:35
It’s not just the prosperity preachers who expect to be paid, and paid well, for their efforts. Many Christians have been duped into an entitled sort of faith themselves. “If you do such and such, God will give you a better job, save your kids, keep you safe, and heal your body.” Sound familiar? I think this is “Mercenary Christianity.” They don’t honor God because he’s God but because there’s a paycheck in it for them at the end of the day.
It’s the “Professional Preachers” who made millions of “Professional Christians.” It’s a case of mercenaries recruiting other mercenaries! They don’t follow Jesus for the love of it, but for the benefits. It’s not always about luxury or fame that motivates people to do the right thing. It’s usually more insidious than that; their lusts are usually subtler. For their tithes, their prayers, and their work in their church they expect to be remunerated, not only in heaven, but here on earth. They see the Bible as nothing but a bankbook into which they log their good works as deposits for their health and wealth here on earth. Their faith is nothing but Christian Karma. They live right and God owes them. They’re not amateurs, serving the Lord for the love of it, but professionals expecting to be compensated for all their work for the Lord.
I know this is true, because when the blessings dry up, when the paycheck doesn’t arrive, when God doesn’t give them what they felt entitled to, many quit the team. They weren’t playing for the love of the game or for the Manager, but for the big contract!
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” John 14:15
Next we’ll talk about professional christians as supposed “God experts”…