5. A parishioner who has long struggled to find steady employment and make ends meet greets you one day with the comments: "Pastor, I heard a preacher in television last night who told me that my troubles are over. If I give money to her ministry and pray for God to make me wealthy and successful, then I will be rewarded"! In light of your intepretation of 2 Cornithians 1:26-31, how would you respond to your parishoner's comments?
McConville, G. (1994). Jeremiah. In Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J. (Eds.). New bible commentary. (21st Century ed.). Leicester, England, United Kingdom: Inter-Varsity Press, 671-708.
To seek to gain earthly riches in return for the payment of money to a television preacher is tantamount to the behavior of those people in the church of God in Corinth to whom Paul issued a challenge to reflect on why they were called by God. Those people in Corinth were not called by God to make them rich in secular treasures. Rather, they were called to live virtuous and righteous lives as examples to the secular Corinthians who were glorifying secular wisdom, secular power, and secular privilege. The television preacher (aside from being a con woman) was actually advising the parishioners (and others) to act contrary to God's desires.
Paul makes it quite clear in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 that the pursuit of earthly riches is not a primary goal for people who are a part of the church of God because such a goal would be a glorification of secular things. Thus, a parishioner who gives his money to a television preacher in homes of acquiring secular wealthy loses in two ways - he loses his money and he loses God's grace.
In large part in 1 Corinthians, Paul was speaking to those people in Corinth who were a part of the church of God, for he was dismayed that many people of the church of God in Corinth were themselves living immoral lives. It was not a situation wherein the people who were a part of the church of God were