Tuesday, February 9, 2010


James 4:1-3 (ESV)
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? [2] You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. [3] You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

As an aside, to start this out here. I just did a word search in the book of James for the name Jesus Christ, Or just Jesus, or just Christ. Want to know the results? Twice. Jesus is mentioned in this epistle twice. Only two times! Then I did a similar search in Romans more than 70 times his name is invoked. In the 6 chapters of Galatians, he is mentioned 34 times. Now maybe you don’t have to mention him to preach Christ Crucified. But it does make one wonder doesn’t it? It is easy for me to see why this book was surrounded, is surrounded with such controversy.

James 4:1-3 shows the human condition doesn’t it? You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you don’t ask. And then when you do ask, the only reason you ask is to spend it on your passions. Sorry, but the “Prayer of Jabez” comes to mind here. The total “health and wealth gospel” comes to mind here. I’m dumbfounded. Just today I watched a man claiming to be a Christian preaching this garbage. “All you have to do is ask, claim it in the name of Christ!” “No, demand it in the name of Christ.” Is that what Christianity is about? James, at least, would say no, this is not what Christianity is about. Are we to become Christians so we can become rich and feed our passions? No, rather I think we are to mortify the flesh, learn to be content with what we have, work diligently, and not covet. Sometimes it isn’t that you haven’t asked. Sometimes it is just you weren’t meant to have.


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

To be somewhat generous to James here - he isn't full bore modern American preacher-man here. He says that if you desire something for wickedness, don't expect it from God. This is a move towards self-denial.

That is the thing about James - it is Law, Law, Law. It may be accurate Law, but it is the preaching of the Law nonetheless. This book must always be supplemented.

Bror Erickson said...

Exactly. I'm not in any disagreement here with him. I was using what James says to show the problem with the prosperity gospel. But it is law, law alone. Sometimes fairly accurate law at that, but law, no gospel. Not that I can see. Though I hear that Dr. Scaer likes this book and sees gospel in it.

Bror Erickson said...

Well I added to it here, to show that I am in agreement with James on this one. At least partially.

Steve Martin said...

I covet.

I need a savior.

I have a Savior.

(no...that's not Haiku)

Bror Erickson said...

That about sums it up there doesn't it Steve.