Tuesday, January 2, 2018

My Theme for 2018. Time for a New Perspective.

Thinking about my theme this week, I was sitting in my office and pondering what I want do focus on for 2018. As I ponder, the tv in the main room is playing a song from the movie Trolls. I can hear the bubbly optimistic voice singing “if you knock-knock me over, I will get back up again”. Sure, I need to be more positive and focus on being optimistic, but I am reminded by the words of Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi. He reaches out to Rey and invites her to let the past die. He says, “let the past die, kill it if you have too”. He wants to let it all die, the Jedi, the Sith, the way things used to be and find out who he is supposed to be. I’m not going into a long diatribe about the movie, I just want to focus on this idea.

Spoiler Warning: Kylo killed his father, Han. He wants to kill Luke. He kills Snoke. He should have killed Huss, he does smack him around a little. He is now in charge, no more mask, no more wanting to be Vader. He lets go of the ambitions to be as great as his grandfather and he wants to be who he is supposed to be. Pretty noble. . . .for a dark lord of the sith. Ok, maybe it’s not noble, maybe it’s selfish and arrogant, but the reality is, he had this path he thought he had to walk, these shoes he thought he had to fill, this person he was supposed to be. He was pushed and pulled and if he didn’t measure up he was berated, so he killed the past. He did it pretty literally.

Now I have been working through some hurt in my life for the last 5 or so years. I have struggled a lot because I had this idea of who I was going to be and who I was becoming. Then it was gone, I was told I didn’t have what it takes to be who I wanted to be and I couldn’t stay in my position anymore because I wasn’t good enough. I was broken, so I left broken and attempted to pick up the pieces, but the more I gathered, the more I dropped. I had this idea of who I needed to become, but those I use to call partners and friends were now mocking me from a distance. I was called immature, a mistake, that I was unwise and financially irresponsible. The more that was said the more got back to me, and if I responded, those individuals would go on the defensive and accuse me of gossip and slander. I limped away to start over someplace else. I tried to get going in a new place with a new goal and aim, but it never worked out. My schedule didn’t allow me, so I made a change but ended up injured and needed back surgery. I offered, I reached out, but I was shut down. The door was closed. I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t measure up, I didn’t fit the bill, my failure was too great.

The past 5 years have been a series of failures in the path I thought was set before me. I started this journey at 15, and the road just stopped. I can’t make any progress. Instead, I just sat down and looked at the past, the road that brought me here that was filled with pain and hurt and disappointment. I’m angry and hurt and feel rejected and scorned. I know I’m never going to get an apology or be restored and resolution won’t come. The thorn is there, and God isn’t going to remove it. I have to remember that grace is sufficient, even though I don’t understand or like it. I can’t fix it and I can’t fix the past. The past is gone, it’s over and I need to let it die. Maybe I need to kill it. How? By getting off that road.

I’m not saying I’m done with the road I was on for most of my adult life. Yes, the road I was on was ministry, vocationally or even volunteer. I talked with a church here in town that was looking for a pastor who feels like they are called in a specific direction, which isn’t in my direction and I found I am ok with that. They are a good church but I’m not sure my particular style is the right fit, since I am much more traditional and a Sunday School guy. I’m finding my particular style doesn’t fit many places lately, since I’m a traditional Arthur Flake, Southern Baptist, Lifeway Sunday School guy, and every time a church tosses Sunday School aside for some other model, it makes my head want to explode. Maybe someday a church will call me and say “we want a traditional Sunday School guy to come help us out”, but for right now, that’s not my path.

I have to embrace my reality. I’m not moving away from Sioux City. When we came here in 2008, it was to stay until 2025 (my youngest will out of High School at that point). We just bought a house, we aren’t leaving. I’m not going to pack up my kids and move them to find a church job, and there are no church jobs in Sioux City that fit me. I’ve even offered to do them for free, but it didn’t work. The door was shut, and I suppose when you boil it down, God shut them. Maybe it’s not the right time, maybe I am just a bad person and God doesn’t want me screwing up His church. Opinions vary, I have been told that I don’t understand pastoring and I need to get out of church ministry and pursue a career in academics.

I will pursue a career in academics. I’ve already started classwork, I’m back in school, learning new things. I have a job working in the world, which is sorta educationally focused. I’m learning, going to a training, looking at conferences, I’m going to resume writing more. I’m not leaving my faith, although it suffered a great deal when church after church seemed to shut the door on me. I won’t throw my Seminary degree, license or ordination in the trash. I’m not going to quit church, although, in all honesty, I have considered it. I won’t become a bitter individual who wants to destroy those who hurt me, but the call to the dark side is real. The temptation to lash out in anger is real, so I need to let the past die.

Kill it if necessary. This means for me that I need to take those feelings and thoughts captive, reject them and let them die. My anger and bitterness, it’s not going away easy. I’ve tried for the better part of 5 years to get them to leave. I still have nightmares and dreams about my past, but it must die. I’m not emotionally healthy, I haven’t been in a long time. My failures have come as result of my emotional state. I need to let the past die. I need to get back up again. My focus needs to be on the future, where I am going and what I’m doing. Find a new road and stop looking forlorn at the deal end. That road is over, it’s over. It’s over. I’m not over and it’s time for me to get going, down a new road.

2018: The Year to Let the Past Die, Kill It If Necessary.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Every Church is a Family, and Many Are Dysfunctional

My church has always been a family too me. They have been there with me and for me when I went through so many things. They were there for the good times, for the celebrations and for the hard times. My pastor from my home church growing up will always be more and just my pastor. He led me to Christ, he Baptised me, he licensed me to the ministry, he preached at my ordination, he performed my wedding, he did my parent's funeral, he was the executor of my parent's estate, he became my dad and was always there. He is and will always be a huge part of my life.

After leaving my home church, I had my church is college, which went through a couple pastors where I was there. The first I never really had much of relationship with, he was a nice guy but we never clicked. The second pastor was a huge part of my life. He invested in me and my wife and our new baby. He taught me a lot and invested in my early ministry. He was a great pastor and preacher, but he was also very real. He taught me how to get through the good days and the bad days.

As I launched into ministry, I served in a variety of different churches with a variety of pastors and leaders. I have served with great men and women and some who were. . . .not as great. You see, just like there are many types of families, there are just as many types of churches and some are more healthy than others. Of course, every church has problems and issues, some run deeper than others. Too often in families and in churches, we ignore the problems, make excuses and pretend like everything is fine. If in a family, there is a problem, we need to address it.

The most common church dysfunction is the same issue that's plagued humanity since the fall. The Israelites had it, the Pharisees had it, the church in Rome had it and it exists today. The pride in man's heart creates an abuse of power. Leaders become obsessed with their own leadership, they become controlling, sometimes manipulative. They become overly attached to their own power and importance, and often Christ is no longer the head of the church. The Pharisees were so concerned with their own control, they didn't recognize Christ. In the end, they crucified Christ because they were afraid to lose power. Too often there is a hunger for control and power, leaders become overly obsessed with being in charge. Just like a controlling spouse, leadership dominance to the point of abuse is a dysfunction in a church.

There is the unattached, uninvolved church. You come on Sunday morning, you sit and no one really connects and no one really knows much. Sure there are relationships in the church, friend, and connections, but those groups don't connect to the other groups. The pastor really isn't involved in his people, the people aren't connected to the leadership and there isn't really a sense of community. It's superficial, and the people are connected but more from proximity. It's like that Thanksgiving dinner when no one talks and it's filled with small talk. The kids don't share with their parents, no one talks about their hurts or their problems. Everything is glossed over and no one really knows anyone else in the family.

Of course, there is the family that is over-involved. They want to dictate every action you take. A church is a great help and the pastor can really help you, but a pastor who is overly involved in your life, one who is controlling and manipulative, well that's as bad as a nagging in-law. A church that wants to manage your clothes, your hair, your money, your kids and how you spend every minute of your day, that is not healthy. Now, there are times that a church family needs to help when you are in trouble, in sin, or in bad spot overall, there are times to intervene, but a constant controlling church is not a healthy thing. It's not good when a parent controls adult children and it's not good when a church controls the people.

Of course, there are lots of variations of the next one, but I'm going to call it the secret sin church. A church that has an issue and maybe it's a secret, maybe it's not, but no one wants to address it. A pastor who is an egomaniac, but he is a good preacher and so we ignore it. The Pastor who tells lies acts more like a politician and says what you want to hear. We know he doesn't but we'll overlook it. The deacon who likes to gossip, but he's been around here forever. The elder who is crooked in his business dealings, but his tithe check is the biggest in the church. The influential church board member who is powerful at church and in the community and tells the racist and sexist jokes in his office. Everyone knows, but we aren't going to say anything. Sure the Pastor is emotionally abusive to his family, but as long as things are good for me, then it's all good. Did that sting a little? Look, I get it, you like the Pastor and he seems to be trying, well sometimes. I have served with men who have had issues, addictions, and problems and they struggled. I walked with them, prayed with them and they worked on and it tried. I'm not talking about those guys. I'm talking about the guy who says "well this just is who I am" so he has an excuse to behave badly. He can call his wife stupid in a group, cause that's how he is. He can threaten and insult church members who disagree because that is just his personality. We all know the controlling husband, the hurtful wife and the abusive boss that are given a pass. It happens in church, it happens a lot. Does it happen in yours?

I want to give you one more, although the list is much longer. The last is the trendy church. I'm not talking about the hipster worship leader and jeans wearing pastor, I mean the church that jumps on board with every new trend. In families, we see the mom that reads a new book or article and now her kids are doing that trend. They are the babywise, gluten and soy free, non immunized, raw milk drinking, Montessori school attending, gender fluid non-binary kids. If I offended you, I'm a little sorry. Montessori schools are probably fine, and if you don't want to eat gluten or soy, whatever. Immunize your kids, and they are boys or girls, it's science. Anyway, we all know those parents who read an article on Facebook about how dihydrogen monoxide has the highest pH of any acid will kill you if you have too much, so they plan to ban it from their homes as soon as they figure out what it is. News flash, it's water and yes, people drowned in it. Sometimes we buy the hype and make bad decisions. Churches can do the same thing, we become the best, purpose-driven, awake, simple church, team sport, radical, underground, crazy love church. Now, most of these books are good, I read most of them and really enjoyed them. The problem comes when a leadership team reads a new book and suddenly that becomes the model. The Pastor's sermons for the next 6 weeks are focused on the book, all the meetings and studies and prayers are focused on the book. The church becomes a mini version of the church that wrote it. The problem is, this isn't Saddleback or Atlanta or even Idaho (unless you are in one of those places, but then you are still not the other two). I'm in Iowa, that's my context. It's totally different than the one I was in when I lived in Arizona. They are both different from Wyoming. Parts are the same, some parts are totally different. I can't use the same cookie cutter approach. Can I use principles? Yes. Can I duplicate everything? No. It's like the parents who read a bunch of books by some pop-psychologist and now the kids are 35 and can't figure life out. Do what is best for your kids, do what works in your church.

Like I said, there are lots more, churches are filled with people who are filled with problems. Problems can be fixed, things can be resolved, and there is always hope. Don't go fire your pastor, burn down the building and disband the church. The biggest problem I think we make is when we start to treat the church like a business more than a family. If you go and fire your pastor and staff, that is a business move. If it must be done (he's embezzling or abusive) then it must be done, but don't fire a pastor or staff because you think you can get a better one. That's like leaving your spouse for a better-looking one. It's shallow and stupid and, well don't do it. I digress, don't throw the whole thing away, remember the point. The church is a family. You don't get rid of your kids, dump your spouse and disown your parents because there are problems. You fix them, at least in a functional family. Yes, there are times when an individual must be removed, but most of the time that isn't the case. Let's talk about the issues in the church, work on the issues in the church. If we just ignore what is going on, things will never get any better.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Real Meaning Behind the Separation of Church and State

I hear things often about how there should be a separation of church and state, meaning that religion needs to stay out of public life. How it has no place in politics, education or the marketplace. At the same time, religion is a key driving factor in one of the fastest growing demographics in this country, the Muslim population. In light of what has, is and will happen in this country, we need to look at what the separation of Church and state is, what the first amendment really says and how it is supposed to function.

First, we need to remember our foundation. Many of those who came to this country from England did so to escape religious intolerance. They were called Separatist (not the Star Wars kind) and they had no desire to be part of the Anglican church. They were Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Puritans, Brethren, and others. They came to this country to escape the persecution that was happening, as a result, the freedom of worship was important to them. They wanted those who lived in this country to be free from the fear of prison for worship. This is why they wrote the first amendment, that Congress shall pass no law concerning the establishment of religion and the free practice thereof. The separation of church and state means that the state would not establish a church, we will have no national religion, no denomination that is the state denomination, like The Church of England. No one would be forced to serve the church by the country.

Now today, we have moved to have freedom of religion, there is an organization promoting the freedom from religion. This is impossible since Christianity has shaped Western society. The whole idea of a weekend, the Gregorian calendar, the university, even democracy has roots in Judeo-Christian heritage. You can't escape religion, and you shouldn't try, even if you don't believe in an organized faith, you have to respect the American right to worship as you choose. You have the right and the freedom to worship Jesus, Mohammad, Budha or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You just do, it's a right. Individuals have a right to express that right in word and deed, as long as it does not infringe on the freedom of another. I can pray for you, I can pray in public, I can read my Bible, I can preach and teach, but I can't force you to read my Bible, pray with me or even listen to me preach. It's a fundamental right of every American.

As Christians (this is a Christian blog, so if you don't want the Christian perspective, you found the wrong place), we need to be aware of where we came from and what our obligation is. We are living in a mission field. America's Christian roots are growing short and the number of those not involved in a church is growing. The number of churches that have left Biblical teaching and embracing popular culture instead of Biblical truth is growing. Many mainline churches are leaving the truth of the Bible for what is popular, either liberal theology or the Word of Faith movement which much of it has turned away from truth in the pursuit of wealth and prestige. To stand on Biblical truth is not as popular and seldom see, unfortunately. We live in a time that American is more openly hostile to Christianity. It's ok to condemn the entire Church because some have acted hatefully, and what use to be considered wrong and immoral is not paraded as "normal".  If you stand on Biblical truth and call for things like sex only inside of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman where children are raised in healthy, two-parent households, you will get slapped with all sorts of labels. The culture thinks that's an outdated idea, I think truth is truth.

The culture may be against us, but there is something we have done a poor job at and we need to double down on. Religious freedom, not for us, but for others. I hear too many Christians saying that Muslims need to abandon their faith. I see posts all the time that Muslim women need to abandon the hijab. We cannot expect the world to give us religious freedom and attempt to subvert the religious freedom on another. It's true that some in the Muslim world don't believe that we should have religious freedom, that we should convert to Islam or pay the consequences. That doesn't matter, they are not the standard. The atheist who thinks that Christians should be locked into mental institutions, the Muslim that thinks Christians should be beheaded, the liberal who thinks we are to keep silent and fall in line, none of them are the standard. We need to stand for truth and for the freedom that we have.

Here is my thought. First, we need to support the rights of the Islamic community, the Jewish Community, the Buddhist community and others that are not Christian to freely exercise their religious freedom. We don't need to join them, we don't need to participate, we can tell them about Jesus and pray for their salvation (we can and we should), but we need to respect their freedom in America to be Americans and be free. Religious freedom is a fundamental right, and while we can have discussion and debate about truth, at the end of the day we need to respect their rights.

In we as Christians are going to make an impact in our society, we will do it with love, respect and understanding. We will share our faith, respect others and love them like Christ did. We can speak the truth without attempting to suppress the freedom of others. In this country, you can be Christian, Muslim, Atheist, straight, gay, transgender and even claim all of the above at any given time. We don't need to figure it out or understand it, but we need to show respect and love and understanding. Remember, we are sent to preach the truth, not destroy the unbeliever, that isn't what Jesus teaches, regardless of what any one else does. Our standard calls us to respect.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

How We Know We Are Failing As The American Church

So here is a sad reality. Wait staff at restaurants hate working Sunday lunch. Why? The after church crowd. They report the crowd is rude, impatient, demanding and lousy tippers.

This is just one report.

The church grew and gained favor in the first century because Christians cared for people. They took care of others, regardless of who they were. They took care of Jews, Greeks, pagans, and even people who pursecuted them. They were killed for their faith, but they never retaliated. They loved people anyway. The American Christian is known for plenty, but the Fruit of the Spirit doesn't seem like one.

Normally I try to close a blog with a solution. In this case, I believe problem is two fold. One, the church is filled with the unregenerate. Yes, I think that many of those individuals in your church who are there every week and even lead teams and ministries aren't saved. We know you can be committed and zealous apart from salvation. Pharasees were not saved. Muslims are not saved. Cults are full of the zealous unsaved. Unsaved church members, leaders, even pastors can serve and be unsaved.

That may sound harsh, but either they are unsaved or the holy spirit has no effect. Which do you believe. The second issue is that we are so consumed by self that we no longer are filled with the spirit. We are selfish, self centered and convinced of our own self importance. I made a Facebook comment today about how if you want to know how your church is doing, change something. What I mean is, rearrange the chair or paint a new color. People will get furious, because they feel the church is theirs and they should get to choose. Usually doesn't lead to showing love or grace. We just accept this reality of church members and make jokes about it.

We are not doing well American church, and the wait staff at the restaurant down the road from your church knows it. We need Jesus and we need to beg for the Spirit to heal us.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Heretic Game, Final Round. Am I a Heretic?

Let's finish up the heretic game. This could go on and on, and there are several individuals I would like to talk about, but I think it's time to call it a game. Let's finish up with me, where do I stand? Since this is my blog, it's covered from end to end in my theology. Of course, you know I'm a Wovenist, that God exists outside of time and is eternal, but also inside of time and interacts with us in a personal way, most notably in the person of Christ. I am more on the Calvinist side, but my Wovenist colors that view as well, weaving in man's heart, prayer and evangelism with God's unconditional election. Sound like a contradiction? The strands stay individual, they do not mix, they simply cross over one another as things are woven together. Our relationship with God, our salvation and restoration are not 2 dimensional, but 4 dimensional. You can go back through my posts and read lots of Woven theology if you have questions.

Escatology, I'm historic post-trib. I believe that the events of Revelation are moving through history, not a set 7 year tribulation. I don't believe in a secret rapture, but a visible second coming where we meet Christ in the air and join his army/chorus during his entry into the world. I don't believe in one individual who is the anti-Christ, but an ideology that is the Nation of Islam, which I also believe is the 4 horsemen. Yes, all four.

I'm pretty straight Southern Bapitst. I believe in Eternal security (cause Calvinist) and credo-Baptism, symbolic communion. Surprising to most, I'm not a cessationist, I believe in the continuation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I believe the gift of Apostleship exists (teaching and leading church, church planting) but the office is closed. Same with the gift of prophecy (speaking truth, sharing God's word mainly through preaching and exegesis) but the office of prophet is closed. The jury is out on tongues, but I lean towards the "let's not fake it till we make it" crowd.

I believe that many believe they are saved, but lack the fruit of the spirit and the list given in 2 Peter 1. I believe there will be some pastors, teachers, and leaders who hear "depart from me" and I am confident I have served with a few. Sadly. I believe that the scripture is the foundation and if we believe anything it needs to be solidified in scripture. I hear a lot of things in church that are said and believed with no Biblical support. That's sad. I believe in a lot of unpopular things, like divorce should only be used in a few cases, marriage is only between a man and woman, sex outside of that relationship is sin. These aren't popular, but I don't care. I think that the church too often has become a business, has folded to power and money and influence and more pastors are concerned with opinions and popularity than the Biblical correctness. It's sad.

That's a brief splattering of my theology so you can decide if you think I am a heretic, a false teacher, just wrong or anything else. I'm open to teaching and correction, and I love to talk theology. This is the last in our game, I hope you enjoyed it. Shoot me questions if you have them to

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Heretic Game, Round 4. Is Andy Stanley a Heretic?

So Charles Stanley is a pillar in the Christian Community. He is respected, loved and listened too. He has a son, Andy. He is the pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta GA. He is very popular with many, and just as unpopular with others. He has some books, lots of youtube clips and a huge church. Let's begin there, the same place we always begin. I looked at the belief statement of North Point. Guess what, it looks like every other belief statement out there. It's doctrinally accurate, worded quickly and short. It's orthodox but doesn't have much meat. Here, at the starting point, Andy looks pretty good, but then again, everyone does at this point.

Most of the criticism of Stanley that I have found are based on some interpretation and things he might say. He occasionally says things that I am not sure he means the way people run with them. Many see a statement he made as condoning homosexuality. He didn't say it, it might be assumed that is what he meant, but assumptions are dangerous.

What Stanley does is preach and teach with a Postmodern edge, meaning he questions all traditions, pushes against the establishment and defies the establishment. This makes people nervous, and he often says things in an attempt to be "cutting edge" and often ends up saying things that are not the best. His desire to be open to all people and accepting sometimes causes him (and many others) to push back against sound doctrine and teaching in an attempt to be "relevant". Andy would probably say it's working, he has a great big church and lots of books and he's a pretty famous guy. . . .but the same can be said of his father, and he didn't push back against doctrine.

I've read some of Stanley's books, his theology is ok. His pragmatism I believe to be unwise. Is he a heretic? No, I don't think so. Many may disagree with me, but I think his teaching on Christ and Salvation is pretty much within in the bounds of orthodoxy. I do think he pushes the envelope, but I would not characterize as the best practice. Some would call him a liberal, I am more comfortable saying he is embracing the postmodern idea of deconstruction in his church and tries to get to the root and essentials of the Christian faith, and sometimes I think he misses the mark. After all, no one is perfect. I give Andy a pass and I think we take the good with the bad, he's flawed, but so are we all. I just pray that when it comes time for him to choose to hold onto Biblical truth or follow cultural sway, he goes Biblical.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Heretic Game Round 3. Is Joyce Meyers a Heretic?

We have looked at Rick Warren and Joel Osteen, so let's look at a woman for this round, since women can be heretics too. Here we find Joyce Meyers, who is similar in many ways to Joel Osteen, she even does tours and conferences with Osteen. Looking at her right after Osteen may be a little redundant, but she is very popular so I think it's a good idea to look into her theology. I began with Joyce where we always start, the "what we believe" section of her website. I am not going to post it, just give you the link because it is pretty much a cut and paste from almost every evangelical "what we believe" section around. They all read the same and for the most part, they are orthodox in their teaching. Man, separated from God by sin and must be redeemed by faith in Christ.

Now my big issue with Meyers is her teaching about Jesus going to hell. She claims she has a revelation from God that Jesus went to hell and was tortured by demons and if you don't believe this, you can't be saved. Here is my issue, there is a debate about what it means that Jesus descended into the earth, that he preached to the captives. Maybe He did descend into hell, that's not my issue. Jesus wasn't tortured by demons. No one in hell is tortured by demons. Demons are tortured in hell, they are not in charge of hell. Hell is not Satan's playground, it's his punishment, he isn't in charge there. Demons torturing people in hell is a pagan teaching. In Roman mythology, Hades is the ruler of the underworld. In Biblical theology, God created hell and he created it for punishing Satan and his demons, not for them to be in charge. This teaching has pagan roots and she claims it came as a direct revelation from being anointed in the spirit. Nope.

Jesus finished the work of Salvation on the cross when He announced: "It is finished". Three days of demon torture was not necessary for Salvation and Joyce is flat, plain and utterly wrong on this point. I won't make any qualms, she's wrong. Does this make her a heretic? Here is where she steps in it, she claims that you can't be saved unless you believe this teaching with your whole heart. In her booklet "The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make", Meyers states:

“There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell.”

My friends, that is what we call a false teaching, adding to the work of Salvation by requiring an extra-biblical belief, which is patently false. Now, do I think if you believe this will you be rejected by God? Will you not be saved if you believe that Jesus was tortured for 3 days? Of course not, if you have faith and trust Christ for your salvation, if you call on the Lord you will be saved, the scripture teaches that. If you don't believe, however, that Jesus was tortured for three days and paid for sin in hell, you can still be saved. I don't believe it for one second and I feel pretty confident in my own salvation. Here we have another teacher who is right at the edge of heresy. Is she a heretic? Well, she's wrong, so I'll let you make the call.

Now there is the name in and claim it, word of faith prosperity stuff too, which isn't even worth writing about. It's consumerism, meant to get people to pay up and giving them a false sense of what truth is. If you name and claim it, it makes little difference because God has every right to tell you no. It's misleading, it's false and it doesn't make you more like Jesus. Jesus was not a rich preacher in a private jet. The greatest thing you can become is like Jesus, not rich. That part of her ministry, like Osteen is false, deceaving and, well utterly evil and influenced by greed. My final recommendation? Just stay away from Meyers, you'll be better off.