Last weekend I attended a local Christian fair on behalf of Angel Food. Angel Food is a nonprofit, nondenominational food program dedicated to providing monthly food assistance to 500,000 families in 43 states across America. Every month, Angel Food provides boxes of high-quality, cost-effective food items at over half-off grocery store prices. Living Word Christian Center has partnered with Angel Food for over a year reaching hundreds of families who would not otherwise know about our church.
Several people who stopped by the Angel Food booth at the fair remarked “Oh, you are from Living Word. That’s that prosperity church.” Although there was a hint of hubris in their voice, I had to agree with them.
Living Word's doctrine states that the redemptive work of Jesus not only provided salvation for the believer, but also healing and prosperity for our spiritual, soulish, and physical man. We are redeemed from the curse of the law—poverty, sickness, oppression, and any other thing that prevents us from fulfilling God’s plan.
For 30 years Pastor Mac Hammond has taught our congregation Bible truths concerning God’s plan to flourish His people. As Christians, we don’t give to “get.” That’s a distortion of a truth and what some have called the “hundredfold heresy.” We give to “give.” God’s not trying to get something from you (your money), He’s trying to get something to you (full provision). Apparently, these precious saints had believed what someone else had said about Living Word, not what Living Word teaches.
This Saturday, November 21, 2009, in addition to distributing over 400 boxes of Angel Food to help families stretch their grocery dollars, hundreds of volunteers from Living Word will deliver 400 Thanksgiving meals to hungry families in the seven-county Twin City metro area. The food baskets contain turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings to feed a family of seven.
This annual outreach, called Thanksgiving Baskets of Blessing, is the result of tens of thousands of dollars that have been donated to help hungry families during the holidays. It is the product of a church that teaches that lives can be prosperous and healthy—spirit, soul, and body—as we walk in the light of Jesus’ redemptive work at Calvary.
As I thought about what these precious Christians said, I cannot recall in the ten years that we have delivered Thanksgiving Baskets of Blessing anyone ever saying “I don’t want a Thanksgiving Basket of Blessing from that prosperity church.”