Pastor David Platt on the Gospel of Wealth

 

PASTOR DAVID PLATT: I’m in over my head at every level. Don’t tell that to this church, but I’m clueless. Yeah, if you could keep that a secret, but I am clueless.

LUCKY SEVERSON, correspondent: “Clueless” is not the word members would use to describe Pastor David Platt here at the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. He has a doctorate and two master’s degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. At 26, he became the youngest pastor in the country to lead a megachurch—a rich megachurch. And then something radical happened.

PLATT: I guess I would call it a crisis of belief, where looking at the Bible and I’m preaching and I’m thinking do I really believe this?

SEVERSON: He started questioning how his Christian beliefs are intertwined with the American dream of prosperity and success.

post01-plattPLATT: I don’t in any way want to come across as anti-America. At the same time there are some ideals and values that are at the core of the American dream that are really contrary, even antithetical to the gospel that Jesus preached, and then the American dream obviously leads us sometimes in pursuits of money and possessions and pleasures in this world.

SEVERSON: What troubled him was the material comfort of his congregation and the multimillion-dollar megachurch they worship in. This was not the picture he had of the humble ministry of Christ.

PLATT: This idea that if you believe God, have enough faith, that he will give you health or wealth or prosperity, I don’t think, first of all, that it is a gospel at all. It’s not the good news that Jesus preached. More than health and wealth, Jesus I think gives us a picture more of a homeless and wounded gospel, and even the New Testament church is not a picture of prosperity theology. It’s a picture of adversity theology, persecution, struggles, poverty, helping one another out.

SEVERSON: Recent surveys have shown that while a significant number of mainline churches in the US have been losing members, many of those that preach the so-called prosperity gospel and the big churches, the megachurches, have been gaining members, churches like Faith Chapel, another even bigger megachurch in Birmingham led by Pastor Michael Moore. Pastor Moore’s church has grown from a few members to over 8,000. He’s dressed casually because this particular Sunday was set aside as a casual worship day. Members say Pastor Moore’s scholarship of the Bible is one reason the church has grown so large. Here’s his view of the prosperity gospel:

post02-plattPASTOR MICHAEL MOORE: If you read the scripture, prosperity is all through the Bible. It’s not a prosperity gospel; it’s a gospel that includes prosperity. I think God is good, and I think God want to bless us with material things. I think the issue is not whether God want to bless us with material things. I think the issue is why are you pursing God? See, are you pursing God to get something from him, or are you pursuing God for God’s sake? Now if you’re pursuing God for God’s sake, then God will bless you with things.

SEVERSON: The church’s new domes will soon house a bowling alley, a basketball court, and a play area for children, which Pastor Moore intends to eventually open up for his congregation and for poor kids in the neighborhood.

MOORE: I think we should all give to the poor. I think we should all bless the poor. I think those who have it should give. The question I would ask him or anyone else: how can I give something to the poor if I don’t have it?

SEVERSON: Many of Pastor Platt’s members do have it to give, but some were jolted out of their comfort zone when he told them they should follow the lead of the early Christian church and give their lives and their wealth over to God and those in need. He called it a radical experiment and published a book that has become quite popular called “Radical.” It’s about taking back your faith from the American dream.

PLATT: For some people that means selling there home, some people it doesn’t. For some people that means getting rid of this possession or living at this lifestyle, capping their lives here, capping their lives over here. It’s not a—there’s no hard and fast rules, I think, for what this looks like.

post03-plattSEVERSON: The pastor calculates that Christian churches in the US spend $10 billion a year on buildings and own property valued at $230 billion. He says too many churches are acting like big corporations, but Brook Hills is now constantly looking for ways trim its budget.

PLATT: Okay, how can we begin to reapportion this? Well, first of all, how can we put it all on the table and say God, whatever you want us to do and if you want us to sell this building then we will do that. We want to do whatever you want to do. If you want us to reallocate the use of this building for other purposes then we want to do that, and that’s part of what we’ve done in our budget.

SEVERSON: One of the sacrifices Pastor Platt challenges members to make is to go serve in places where there is vast physical and spiritual need—places like India and Africa. Over 250 members have moved to Third World countries to serve for three months, a year, or more to evangelize and to lend a hand. It was places like these that deeply influenced Platt’s theology.

PLATT: I remember one moment even locking eyes with this five-, six-year-old girl who was standing in her front yard, but it was basically a pile of trash and with a little blue tarp for a home, and I remember thinking my life is created for something much more than just a nice, comfortable Christian spin on the American dream.

SEVERSON: Some members choose places closer to home, like Chuck and Margaret Clark and their three children. They sold their large home in a well-heeled Birmingham suburb and moved to the inner city, though not without trepidation.

post04-plattMARGARET CLARK: I had probably two primary concerns, and one was giving up my earthly comforts, and then secondly was just the fear for my children. We were aware of the drugs and the alcohol and the sexual promiscuity downtown, and it was just causing me a great deal of fear.

CLARK: Well, you can look around and see there’s lots of apartments that have been burned out, and there was a girl that got off a school bus here that was shot and killed recently.

SEVERSON: The Clarks have only been in their new downsized home a couple months, but they’re slowly getting to know the neighbors, evangelizing when its appropriate, and helping out where they can. Margaret is no longer afraid.

CLARK: We want to redefine success for our children. If my children are kind, and if they are compassionate, and that they are willing to take risks for others the way Christ took a risk for us, then I will accept that definition as success for them.

SEVERSON: Sacrifices by Brook Hill members have come in big ways and small, but in ways that are transformational.

AMANDA MCCOLLUM: I’m actually a preacher’s kid, so I’ve been in church since before I was born, and it really just changed the way I view the church and the church’s role in the world.

post05-plattSEVERSON: Amanda McCollum is a financial planner who went on her first mission trip this summer to Guatemala. She now pays her tithes on her gross salary rather than her net earnings.

MCCOLLUM: That was one of the big steps. I quit my gym membership, and I cut back on my cable. I kind of pause my cable six months out of the year and then turn it back on for football season.

PLATT: Sitting here in the office one day with a very wealthy man in our faith family. He comes in and he says, “Pastor, I think you are crazy for saying some of the things you are saying.” And I said, “Okay,” and he said, “But the reality is you’re only saying what Jesus said,” and so he begins to share about how he is selling his home and cars, and with tears in his eyes this man looks at me and says, “I want my life to count.”

(speaking to congregation): Aren’t you glad God gives second chances?

SEVERSON: When he first started preaching his radical theology, it was simply too much for some members. They left the church.

PLATT: It’s been a struggle. I mean, there’s been a constant tension, I think, in our faith family. When Jesus said some of the things he said and the crowds sometimes left, I mean totally left. The reality is when Jesus got to the end of his time on earth there were only 120 people who had actually stuck around and done what he told them to do in Acts chapter 1. I mean, that’s not a megachurch, that’s a mini-church.

SEVERSON: He lost members in the beginning, but now Platt says the church has more disciples than when he started, which is about 4300. No way to tell what’s next. According to the pastor, the sacrifices have only begun.

  • Dave Burgis

    I’ve gotta laugh at the continual usage in this article of the word “radical”. There’s nothing either new or radical about any of the thoughts expressed here. Living a simple and humble life and sharing what you have is just basic Christianity. I’ve no idea at what point it suddenly became “radical”. Actually, I thought this would have become obvious around about the time Jesus said “Woe to you who are rich, for you have already had your consolation”.

  • Jim Harnish

    I had the good fortune to see Lucky Severson’s interview with Pastor Platt. So much of my own thoughts of religious
    practice come close to this message and call to Action. I hope to learn more about how I might grow with this knowledge.
    I am tuned to Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on a weekly basis via WHYY Info, PBS.

  • Tom Kinsella, Chicago

    Thank you for this much needed, refreshing news. Pastor Platt, and those who believe as he does, may just help us return to the very basic ideas of our faith. What a wonderful world that would be. I am proud to worship at St Tersa of Avila parish, Chicago, a special place of faith. This was interesting especially given the recent God in America program. I wish it would have included Pastor Platt.

    Peace….Tom

  • Elizabeth

    For me, the most challenging issue in my adult life has been finding “right livelihood,” or ways of supporting myself financially without committing, or becoming complicit in, what feels to me to be an ethical/spiritual violation. From my relatively brief forays into the corporate and academic/professional worlds, I have realized that violence, (both overt and covert) manipulation, dissembling, and outright dishonesty are often woven into the institutional/business models, structures and cultures in which most people “earn” financial wealth. If all wealthy people who consider themselves to be Christians, or otherwise Religious/Spiritual people, would stay in their current jobs, and simply begin to speak out when they see indications of dishonesty or injustice, I believe the whole character and quality of life in this county would change.

    I do not believe that there is anything inherently wrong with possessing wealth, but, in a context in which one’s wealth is, or would be, gained at the expense of others, it does seem to me that poverty is the most ethical choice. I wonder if the parishioners from one of the “wealthy” churches would be willing to meet with those of a church with less financial resources, and have their jobs, and the implications thereof, thoroughly “vetted” and brought out into the light of day. Some (hopefully) might be surprised at how the work from which they benefit, and through which they provide for themselves and their families, negatively affects others.

    If you really want to be “Radical,” stay in your highly paid position as ??? , and if/when you see something being done to, or imposed on, some other individual, or other “class” or group of people — which you would not want done to, or imposed on, you or those you love — Speak Out!

  • Aldon Samaha, 22 yrs minister

    He has 2 doctorates?

    “I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
    That’s not only prosperity, but it certainly includes prosperity.

    Malichi 3:10 is one of the most quoted verses about prosperity written before Jesus’ time.

    I’m not rich, but I have been blessed many times and seen my parisoners blessed abundantly by following the teachings of Jesus. I was blessed with 3 times my old salary when I started tithing in 1978. I haven’t missed a tithe since then and made prosperity a key example of how we can prove that God actually exists. Often the blessings of God in the form of money is the deciding factor in building faith in God’s promises. This along with healing converts more people to a God filled life than anything else.

    We’ve had enough false teachings about the merits of poverty over the centuries. We don’t need this guy.

  • fiona lowther

    God bless Pastor Platt and his flock. May his “radicalism,” like that of Jesus’ “radicalism” extend through all of us. I wish I lived in Birmingham so I could be a member of his church.

    a Michigander

  • Kym Crombie

    @Aldon- It’s amusing how you equate abundancy with prosperity. In your God exists because you have found prosperity? And you’re a minister? Your type of ministry is exactly the reason we need a guy like this!

  • Paul Martin

    @Aldon. It’s so simple, huh? Tithe, check. God’s blessing, in $$$, check. And yet, there is Lazarus still at your door, and mine, while we feast… I respect more those who, when blessed financially, go way beyond the tithe, and live at the same adequate level. Oh how we need Pastor Platt’s insight and witness.

  • Shane McBryde

    @Aldon

    To begin with, he has two masters and one doctorate. As well, from viewing this clip, I didn’t get the impression that he was teaching the merits of poverty. Rather, that those who are prosperous have an obligation to those who are not, and that one should reevaluate the role of wealth in one’s life. Perhaps your inattention is part of the reason for your lopsided views on the proper position wealth should play in a person’s spiritual life.

    And for you to present the argument that money being a deciding factor in faith building and conversions as proof of God’s position on the subject is equivalent to any false prophet, cult leader, or crooked televangelist pointing to their numbers as proof of their righteousness. You’ve taken the easy road to a false salvation and seem to be dragging your congregation along with you.

  • Shane McBryde

    I absolutely love the fact that pastor Platt admits to being clueless. Anyone who is adamant in their convictions and beliefs should be suspect at the minimum and feared at the worst.

  • Brad

    I actually attended church at Brook Hills before and after David arrived. David Burgis seems correct; it’s not ‘radical’ as far as Christianity is concerned. Asceticism is nothing new. David came in, though, and challenged a wealthy church in one of the wealthiest counties in the Southeast. That is pretty radical. And the teaching may not be extreme, but the living out of the teaching certainly is radical.

    I know we all have opinions about money, mostly b/c, hey, it’s our money! Instead of trying to intellectualize the problem, however, just ask yourself if you could do what David via Scripture asks. Could you give it up? Could you sacrifice a large percentage of your salary, even more than a 10% tithe? Could you give up luxuries not to save more but to give more? Do you follow God b/c you love God or do you follow God to get ahead? And if you love God, then how can you love your neighbor? And then after you figure out how to love your neighbor, are you willing to love your neighbor?

    How you answer questions like these, I think, will determine how you feel about David’s message. It’s nothing fancy. Just hard as hell to do….

  • Michelle

    Luke 6:38 Give, and gifts shall be bestowed on you. Full measure, pressed, shaken down, and running over, shall they pour into your laps; for with the same measure that you use they shall measure to you in return.

    Proverbs 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.

    Matthew 25:45 And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

    People knew this was true thousands of years ago. It is one of the great miracles and mysteries of life. Thank heaven for it, and thank Pastor Platt and his growing congregation for speaking up and doing good work in this world. I think you will attract the attention of so many who feel the same way you do. It’s never wrong to help someone, and the payback is a wealth so great it can’t be measured in dollars.

  • Jason Martin

    I guess Paul never nothing of the prosperity Gospel.Cause he was poor, without a home and He got God but got no so called Blessings. We have to get away from God giving us things and look for the true gift and its Christ. The question David is asking and Jesus is asking, is CHRIST enough?!!

  • Stewart

    I walked away from my “faith” fifteen years ago. When God came after me three years ago, I determined that, if He was real then I wasn’t about to play church. Soon after that prayer, I moved home to Birmingham and for some strange reason was clearly led to The Church at Brook Hills. Clearly it’s not church as usual. As David began teaching through what became “that orange book” the Holy Spirit began making it clear that I needed to make changes to my lifestyle long before David ever got to the “radical” lifestyle part of his teaching. Whether it’s radical or the normal Christian life, it’s clear that it’s radically led by a great God who calls us and empowers us to do His good works. As hard and life changing as it has been to be a part of the body of Christ that worships at Brook Hills, I’ll take the “radical” over “church as usual” any time, because this is what following Jesus is all about.

  • Shane

    We joined the church at Brookhills recently and have been blessed by Dr. Platt and Dr. Box. The message is simple, Bible based, and challenging in a very good and refreshing way. This church was exactly what my family needed at this point in our lives.

  • Sterling

    I believe Dr. Platt is teaching exactly what Christ taught through out his entire ministry and this teaching will
    produce the same results we read about in the book of Acts. Christianity is about Love for God and each
    other. Many modern day churchs lead us in a direction of following a man made system. We put tithes into
    the collection plate each sunday and most , if not all , of it will be used to support ourselves . We have very
    little if any left to care for the poor , the homeless , those in need. If we Love Christ we will Love each other and
    if we Love each other we will do what Dr.Platt is preaching or better yet what Christ taught. Simple: Christ 1st.
    Others 2nd. Ourselves 3rd. ” I know you want to be 1st. Me too” ha.

  • Drew Brown

    If I give to the poor, yet buy things produced in ways that perpetuate poverty (sweatshops, etc.), I have not helped my brothers and sisters much if at all. If we can adjust our economy to help our poorest neighbors out of the quagmire of need, then we help them with every thoughtful purchase.

  • Pastor Lawrence

    we have barrden to cantact 4 days Leaders conference in south india ,
    pl pray for of rthis point

    love in Jesus

    Global prayer cenrte trust

    Bangalore

  • mary Campagna

    Dr. Platt, I was so delighted to discover you online. I love your message of living with the poor. I am a writer. I am beginning a book called The Cult. It is about what has recently been embraced in America as Christianity, but it’s not. Your paragigm is what true Christianity is about. Thanks., Mary from Virginia

  • jon cramer

    As socialism is moving to the United States in the form of social justice, can this teaching be changing the Gospel of Christ to a gospel of social justice?

  • Rolie Harris

    I totally agree with jon cramer. The doctrine that Platt preaches is neither scriptural or productive. The need for committed, surrendered, Christ centered individuals is neccessary in every social/economic strata in the world. The position of where one stands with God, is the intent of his heart when it comes to worshiping his Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our Bible study group is in the middle of “Radical”, and it’s clear that Platt uses personal conviction as a basis for a doctrinal stance. This is not uncommon with new or younger pastors. I would never question his calling or his financial comfort zone directed by the Holy Spirit. Neither should he mine. There is a huge movement currently sweeping this country that is purely guilt driven. Social justice produces nothing but dependent unmotivated individuals. One only has to look at the organized church to see the cluelesss blindly following “trained” professionals into eternity.

  • Dennis B.

    I just happened upon David Platt’s book and bought it for myself for Christmas. Only read the first chapter before I got on line to look him up and happened upon this “interview”. Never heard of him before nor of this kind of teaching. I should explain……. I am here:…………stopped going to church several years ago. I have come to understand that the bible describes a time when the church age will be over. I think this time has come. The Church Age is over now. I think Platt’s idea is certainly heading in the right direction but perhaps a few years to late. God is no longer working through churches but only through individuals to spread His Gospel. If you doubt that then explain what is happening to churches today? I don’t know what role people like David Platt can play in these days but at least he is getting it and understanding that the modern church has run it’s course and could not continue on it’s recent path and still be in line with the teachings of Christ. For this I respect him and hope he finds his way out of the church completely. God is done with it and David seems like the kind of person God needs in the world…………………………..etc so much more to say.

  • Bob J

    Rolie Harris – I challenge you to listen to all the messages, http://www.brookhills.org/media/series/radical, and then say that what David Platt teaches isn’t scriptural. I’m not a member of Brook Hills and have never met David or anyone from Brook Hills. However, I found their web site and listened to the messages. I then read his book, Radical. There is so much you miss in the book that comes out in the messages. What I love is that David just presents what the Scripture says. He doesn’t try to do the Holy Spirit’s job.

  • Nicole

    I went to Brook Hills for years and recently had to move to a new city. I have not found a church or a pastor anywhere like David Platt. He is incredibly humble. People in the church are turning their lives upside down. It’s easy to talk about the merits of not being rich when you have little to give up, but I saw many of my friends and fellow church-members give up the entire lifestyle they had worked so hard for previously… it is radical to see this practiced in America today. It’s life-changing! and it’s exactly what Jesus told us to do… If God still chooses to give material blessings so be it… The point is that we need to be willing at all times to turn right around and give those blessings back. I don’t know about you, but to me, that is admittedly hard to do… but so clearly the right thing to do.

  • KC

    It’s important to understand the context of “Radical.” No, radical is not a new gospel; it’s just basic 101 biblical teaching. However, in the American church, this is a radical way of thinking. Radical in that the bible doesn’t mention large buildings and programs; Radical in that it’s not a religion that causes us to look inward for self-gratification and comforts; Radical in that we’re not called to bring people to a designated place in order for someone else to proclaim the good news of Christ. Radical is about allowing God to direct our lives for HIs purposes, and therefore trusting Him with our stuff!

    Radical is not about quitting your job, making less money, or social justice. But it is about spending our lives so that all peoples, nations, and tribes hear the message of Christ. To some, that will mean quitting jobs and moving to a foreign land. To some, that means staying where you are, investing your life in your neighborhood, your workplace, or your community for the glory of God. True Christianity is a personal relationship with a Savior who took our sins upon Himself for the purpose of reconciling a sinful people to a Holy God. If we have this relationship, the natural affect is an overwhelming desire to share this good news with others, where ever we’re planted. That could be in the form of donating money, but even more so, it’s about investing your life for the souls of others. That’s a biblical command for all Christians, not just a select few who go to far away places.

    As Christians, our lives are not our own. We were created by a Holy God, solely for the purpose of bringing Him glory. How do we bring Him glory? By making His name known. If you listen to any of David’s teachings from the 2011 sermons, you’ll hear the phrase, “offering God a blank check.” Are you willing to relinquish everything for the purpose of making His name known? That’s where radical is in direct conflict with the American Dream.

    Christ did not shed His blood so that I could have more stuff or a comfortable lifestyle, and live the American Dream. He went to the cross so that He could spare me from an eternal separation from God. All that He has provided in my life, whether monetarily or otherwise, should be a blank check offering to Him, if He should ask.

    There’s nothing wrong with a nice home, neighborhood, life, or strong investment portfolio. What is wrong, on the other hand, is if these things are of more value to you than Christ. If all of these comforts and possessions were gone, is Christ enough? This question has eternal consequences of which we’ll be asked one day. In Radical, David Platt brings us face-to-face with this question in the context of this life. It’s not a new gospel, it’s The Gospel.

  • Willis

    Rolle-

    The gospel is justice.

    Micah 6:8

  • bob

    Never heard of this guy. What got him started? Who did he serve under? Why are we listening to the 26-30 year-olds rather than them at first, having to listen to us? Who gives these people their authority?

  • TRAVELER

    PRAISE HIM WHO IS THE ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST AMEN.

    Real Prosperity for a DISCIPEL of CHRIST is what The APOSTEL Paul in The Bible teach in [Gal.5:22] and it has nothing to do with the egoistic Western materialistic view of prosperity of today.
    I believe that the most believers of the West are far away from the TRUTH of THE BIBLICAL GOSPEL that once was teaches by The TRUTH APOSTLES of THE BIBLE like the Yiddish APOSTEL Paul.
    This prosperity gospel is good yes it works for the preachers who are preaching this.
    Let this prosperity preachers preach their message in the Islamic places of this world, let them go to the Leprosy people in Asia, Africa, let them go to the slums where children died very young because they don’t have any food to fill there stomach, let them go to the hospitals where many children died of cancer, all because of the hunger for money in this egoistic world.
    YESHUA HA MASHIACH has WARN us for prince mammon!!! [MATTH.6:19-24]
    I can see that the most churches are worshiping this prince mammon.
    This is the real PROSPERITY for a DISCIPEL of CHRIST: to live for CHRIST and to die for HIS MESSAGE of MERCY that is the real prosperity. Read [FIL.1:21]
    This is posible because a DISCIPEL has recieved NEW LIFE through THE HOLY SPIRIT who is living in HIS N.T. DISCIPLES. who has pour HIS LOVE in theire hearts. [ROM.5:5]

    Dear BELOVED This is it what THE LORD YESHUA promise to those who are really belong to HIS todays DISCIPLES.
    [MATTH.10:24] / [MATTH.24:9-14]

    I am just a simple missionary pastor from Holland and by HIS MERCY the founder of WORLD TRAVELERS FOR CHRIST Asia.

    May THE LORD ALMIGHTY BLESS YOU all MORE AND MORE in HIS REAL PROSPERITY THROUGH HIS SPIRIT AMEN. [GAL.5:22] / [ROM.5:5] / [EPH.3:17-20] / [FHIL.2:13]

  • Josh

    @Bob,

    In regards to why we are listening and who gives authority, I would say first of all that you ask a great question. In the interest of brevity I will say first that the vast majority of churches and “Christians” in general have failed miserably at proclaiming the gospel of Jesus. Regardless of age, color or any other defining mark. the reason we listen to these people, again regardless of age, is because they share the truth straight from the Bible. Age does not change the message it simply changes the messenger.

    Secondly, as for where authority comes from, I would say it comes from the LORD God Almighty. According to Isaiah 61:1 and again in Acts 4:18, Jesus shared that it was God who ordained Him to preach. Conversely, it is God who anoints a person to preach. Further, Jesus was in the same age bracket as these “26-30″ year olds you mentioned.

    I mean no disrespect I just wanted to share with you.

    Blessings,
    Josh

  • Robert

    Wow, Lots of different opinions here. I would like to address the people who do not like David Platt’s message. My first suggestion is to go buy or borrow the “Radical” book before you make decisions on whether you like or dislike his message. This is where our culture has deviated from becoming educated people. Many years ago true scholars would read and research things for themselves and then make logical conclusions to arguments. Today we are filled with crappy social media, listing to one interview, getting all our info from wikipedia. So go buy the book, read it, and then make a decision. David is not calling everyone to sell all they have. In fact it is a challenge that asks people to pray for missionaries, spend a little less money on material things to give to the poor, and you yourself go on a mission trip. This is something that every christian should be able to do. Now for some there may be a call to sell everything you own and move to a high need area to spread the Gospel. But, we are not all called to do that.

    So that said, pray for God’s guidance to discern false doctrine from truth and read the book…….

  • Lori Roberson

    Please check out John McCarther’s teachings on the tithe and the biblical plan for giving sermons. His teachings have made a great change in my view of the prosperity movement, tithing, and the many heresies behind giving and receiving.

  • Dorie Demicell

    I have yet to read Radical, but I just heard Dr. Platt speak at a conference. Is his message radical? Maybe not in older circles, but for today where prosperity teaching tickles the ears…yes, his message is radical. Just look at the responses his message evokes among this article that spans two years! I found Dr. Platt a man of great conviction who does not demand we give up wealth. Rather, he challenges each individual who hears the message to look at what is most important in our lives and to ask ourselves”what things come between our love for Christ” (which should be all consuming!) Do we use our “prosperity” to the degree that God calls us …to help those in need? or is our “prosperity” an idol? It is an individual decision that we will one day be judged for. As for Dr. Platt…he is a radical man of God who stands strong in his convictions in a nation that waters down the gospel in order to grow their churches and tickle the ears of those who do not tolerate sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3). As for me…I was personally convicted to re-evaluate my life and the motives behind many of my decisions. Thank you, David Platt!

  • Sara Slagle

    My husband is a pastor in the “Bible belt”. We’ve been at our loal church for 20 years. We love God, His word, and our local church. We’ve been pastoring for almost 40 years now. David Platt does make some radical, but it serves to get us thinking about we as Christians gettingsettled into comfort zones and forgetting why we are here. I’m personally tired of people promoting an inside-out gospel, that says, “Here I am…feed me”(spiritually that is). We’ve got it all wrong. We’re so used to a government giving us entitlements, that we’ve brought it into the Christian rhelm. Why should I just ask for everything from God all the time and not give anything in return? Many Christians have been “fed” from the word of God for years, but nevereven bother to share the gospel or lend someone a hand in need. We expect the world to come to our doors, not us come to theirs. We don’t want to get involved with other peoples lives for fear it will cost us something personally. We don’t have much money. We live from paycheck to paycheck (and it’s not from extravagant living), but one valuable asset I have is time. I don’t have a lot of it, so it’s very precious to me. When I give my time to someone who really needs it, I’m giving away one of my most valuable assets. What do you have that you can give to someone else? What can you sacrifice for someone else? Lets explore Christ’s words and fill some needs in our local communities.

  • Dave’s dad

    I admire David’s passion for helping others and agree wholeheartedly withhis attack on our cultures fascination with idolizing materialism. My wife and I canceled our television service over a year ago because we are fed up with supporting an industry so corrupt. We are extremely blessed by most people’s standards yet drive used cars that are paid for and hardly own any new material items. Not because we feel guilty about being wealthy, we would just rather not have our stuff own us. To make others feel the same way we do though is wrong. Young people need to be taught not to be ashamed of being financially successful. Is one thing to try and make a lot of money to buy stuff. Is a totally different thing to accumulate wealth for God’s kingdom. We need more kids like the latter in my humble opinion. Last time I checked heaven is a pretty awesome place. No sickness, no death and apparently some pretty big mansions. Seems to me that God must like some pretty nice things. The American Dream to a large extent is the result of honoring God’s laws. Thank goodness these folks believed in that or David would never have had the opportunity to receive an education in the first place. Jesus wants us to use our talents for His glory. Lets not forget that.

  • oyesalways

    I am very appreciative of the Early Church’s record on charity and giving to the poor, and not just Christian poor, but Jewish and pagan as well, and all without tithing. In addition, they focused on working when you can and taking help only for as long as needed, and one’s family being the first place to get assistance, if possible. It’s an inspiration to people of all faiths. In my Faith, we seek to develop “detachment” from worldly wealth. However, we also believe that work done in a spirit of service to mankind is elevated to the rank of worship. The goal should be that all can live in at least modest comfort, with those blessed with wealth being able to enjoy their blessings but also motivated to give significantly of their blessings for the relief of the poor, the widowed, the orphan, the sick, the elderly, etc. Yet for each, this has to be a personal spiritual choice. As for churches, we do believe that houses of worship will one day be surrounded by institutions that provide for the health, well-being, care, and education of the neighborhood, including homes for the elderly, schools, hospitals, etc. Child and youth activities that help direct them to positive character development should certainly be a goal for all.

    “O SON OF BEING! Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants.” – Hidden Words (Baha’i writings)

    “O SON OF MAN! Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom…” – Hidden Words (Baha’i writings)