In response to my sermon review HERE, Daniel King was gracious enough to respond after I contacted him. These are his thoughts
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my sermon and for typing your detailed and thoughtful response. I have spent a little bit of time looking over your web site and I’m impressed with your grasp of theology and your love for God. I want to take some time to respond to the issues that you have raised. I’m a little busy now ’cause we just gave birth to our first son but I do want to take time to interact with you.
Many of your disagreements with me are minor. Was Obed-Edom one man or three? I have read all the Jewish and Christian commentaries about Obed-Edom and I simply disagree with some of them. I think that it is plausible that Obed-Edom could have been one man. I do speculate about his life in my sermon, but that is just part of telling his story in a way that people can relate to it. The fact that I pull principles from his life to apply to a modern day situation is no different then a preacher teaching principles from the lives of Moses, Joseph, or Paul.
The heart of our disagreement is your belief that the “health and wealth Gospel” is heresy. Let’s deal with that.
I believe that God is a good God. Everything that is good comes from Him. As a loving Father, He desires nothing but good for His children. Since God is a loving Father, He would never wish evil (ie. Cancer, poverty) upon His children. As Jesus said, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? (Luke 11:11-12 – KJV)
The word “gospel” means “good news.” Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…” (Luke 4:18 – KJV). What is good news to a sick man? God wants you to be well. What is good news to a man living in poverty? God will provide for your needs. What is good news to the sinner? God will save you from your sins. The good news is that Jesus died on the cross so we could be set free from sin and all the effects of sin. This is the Gospel I preach.
If you don’t believe in health, wealth, and blessing; what gospel do you believe in? One of sickness, poverty, and curses? Why would anyone want to serve a God who wants you to be sick, broke, suffering, and miserable?
Jesus said, “I have come to give life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10). This life of abundance that Jesus gives is one of blessing. When Jesus walked on earth, he never once gave anyone a sickness. Instead, he “healed every sickness and disease.” According to Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” He is no different today then when he walked on the earth. If he healed people then, he will heal people today.
John wrote, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers” (3 John 2). God wants us to prosper and God wants us to live in health. (Yes, I know this is a salutation that was also used in secular letters, but it is also part of God’s inspired Word, so I don’t think it can be dismissed easily.)
According to your blog, John Piper said that cancer is “designed for you by God” and that cancer is a “gift.” I completely reject the idea that God, Jehovah Rapha, the God that Heals, would ever give anyone cancer. It is completely against His nature and character. What loving father would cut off his son’s arm to teach him not to touch a hot stove? By saying that God would give you cancer or that God would want you to be poor, you’re saying that a father would give something atrocious and painful to his son, and as a brand new father with a brand new son, I am horrified, quite literally, that you would feel that God the Father would do that to one of His children.
I believe God is a healer by nature. I have seen blind eyes opened, deaf ears hearing, cripples walking. I have seen God bless His people on every continent on earth. The Gospel I preach works in every nation. I have seen the principles I teach radically change lives in both poverty stricken villages and in the richest homes. I know that God blesses people because I have seen it with my own eyes and I have proved it in my own life.
Yes, there is suffering and sacrifice when you choose to follow Christ. I have had guns pulled on me. I have been shot at, had rocks thrown at me, and narrowly escaped a mob with my life on several occasions (when was the last time you risked your life in order to preach the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ?). One of the pastors I support was martyred by radical Muslims recently. I have witnessed terrible poverty. I have made many personal sacrifices in order that the Gospel might be preached to those who have never heard the name of Jesus before. My pastor recently died of cancer. Suffering is part of living in a sinful world.
Yes, God works in the midst of suffering and brings glory to Himself in the midst of suffering. But, I utterly reject the idea that God causes the suffering. The God I serve is a good God, a loving Father, One who deeply cares for His children. God works things together for our good in spite of suffering, not by causing suffering.
I believe God does want us to be blessed, but it’s blessing with a purpose. We are blessed so we can be a blessing to others. As God told Abraham, “I will bless thee…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3 – KJV). I am blessed, but it’s not for my physical comfort. It’s so that I can take the Gospel to the world. Last year, our ministry raised close to a quarter million dollars. My personal salary was less than $17,000.00. Before I got married, I had several years where my salary was less than $5,000.00. I’ve traveled from church to church across North America, often sleeping in my car, making great personal sacrifice so that the Gospel could be spread, pouring thousands of dollars into going overseas and preaching to people that have never heard the name of Jesus before. We have given away over fifty tons of food to the poorest of the poor in the last few years. The purpose of wealth is not so I can drive a nice car. The purpose of wealth is that the world might be saved.
I have written a couple of books about my understanding of the “Health and Wealth Gospel” that I think you should read. The first is “Healing Power.” In it I write about many of the questions people raise about healing. The second is called “The Power of the Seed.” In it I examine almost every verse in the Bible that talks about giving and receiving. Between these two books, I offer hundreds of scriptural proofs for my theology. If you would like, I can send you them to you as e-books.
In closing, I’d like to quote John, “Dear friends. Let us continually love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8 – NIV). I read through much of your blog and many of your posts are attacks against your brothers. In my experience, those who try to imitate the Bereans often attack their Christian brothers instead of showing love to them. I believe there will always be differences of theological opinions, but ultimately, the greatest reflection of God’s character is an attitude of love towards a fellow believer. According to these verses, the mark of a true Christian is charity, not orthodoxy.
I think I would enjoy talking to you face-to-face and talking about theology and hermeneutics. Hopefully, we will get a chance to do so one day.