Buy me a Miracle

[A woman] attended Presence 2006. At this conference there was two sessions where people were given the opportunity to give into the miracle offering. During the second miracle offering, PsS Phil stopped praying/preaching when [the woman] came forward to place her miracle offering in the basket and asked her what she believing in God for. She told him a baby. Ps Phil, Ps Sunday & other pastors at the front then prayed over her. God is amazing – One year later during Presence 2007, she found out she was pregnant. She has since given birth to a beautiful baby girl.

From Phil Pringle’s Revival message 6 April 2008.

It is wonderful that God heard this woman’s prayers and she is now mother to a beautiful baby girl. And it is great that she had the opportunity to receive prayer.

I do find the practice of ‘miracle offerings’ curious though. Is this practice peddling the gospel? Is it implying that you can buy a miracle from God? Why else it would be called a ‘miracle offering’?

The miracle offering is stressed here as much as the answer to prayer. Does God need – or want – us to give him money before He will answer our prayers?

Acts 8:18-20

18However, when Simon saw that the [Holy] Spirit was imparted through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he brought money and offered it to them,

19Saying, Grant me also this power and authority, in order that anyone on whom I place my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.

20But Peter said to him, Destruction overtake your money and you, because you imagined you could obtain the [free] gift of God with money!

Is this a case where this scripture applies? I don’t seem to recall Jesus asking for an offering before he prayed for someone or healed a person. Is the Holy Spirit the only free gift from God, or is every gift free? Is this a good way for the church to raise money?


8 thoughts on “Buy me a Miracle

  1. Like throwing a coin in the wishing well or in some cases these days, borrowing money at interest to throw into the privately owned wishing well. The idea of offering money in the hope of services rendered by God is anathema to Christians, surely? Isn’t there the story of the prophet who wouldn’t take goods for a healing in the river Jordan? Imagine if instead he set up shop with the expectation of a donation in exchange for a miracle? He did the exact opposite and refused even the appearance of corruption. It seems so basic.

  2. This is Steve Munsey type tele-evangelism where God grants your prayer requests if you sent the correct multiple of dollars to him.

    Paul says in 2Cor8:21 (a book about false apostles I believe) that the apostles have regard for what is honourable not only in the sight of the lord but also in the sight of men. I can’t help thinking that the practice described above is neither.

  3. Of course the other possible meaning of ‘miracle offering’ is that it is an offering to the church to provide a ‘miracle’ for the church – such as paying off a large debt or a purchase of something the church could not afford except by special provision. In that case, it would be the church asking God for a miracle of provision beyond the norm, supplied through the extraordinary and prayerful donations of the members. Not necessarily that if you give to this offering God will supply your special miracle (and if you don’t give you might miss your chance).

    It does seem in this context that the idea is to give, in order to believe God for a miracle in response to the giving.

    Rotationmethod – yes, it does seem basic, doesn’t it. But, it seems, not so basic for many. This is just one example of a widespread practice.

    It’s great just to give in gratitude and love for God and for one another.

  4. “This is just one example of a widespread practice.”

    Really? I figured it was probably a one off sort of thing apart from the obvious tele-evangelist types as heretic1 mentioned, but I haven’t been paying much attention.

    I think a person should give where his conscience leads him, always remembering the poor in his own vicinity, not being stingy or tight or greedy while trying not to get ripped off or suckered by people who prey on the soft hearted. A person should give to the church if he believes in what they’re doing and if not he should give somewhere else but no-one should give money to people promising answered prayer or miracles.

  5. I wish it was a one-off thing (or not at all thing), but just do a google search for ‘miracle offering’ and you will see there are all sorts of examples.

    Here’s another one:

    http://www.beechsprings.org/templates/System/details.asp?id=29913&PID=234013

    Note the exhortations:

    “BE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR SEED!
    Name the need in your life as you give. Believe God for His breakthrough in your life.
    (Healing, Salvation, Financial Breakthrough, etc.)

    GIVE IN A SPIRIT OF EXPECTANCY!
    Believe for the return that God promises. (Luke 6:38)”

    They are planting a seed for a specific result or breakthrough. Then believing for it to happen.

    I have no problem with believing God will do miracles when we pray, and especially when we have a gift of faith for some particular thing – I’ve seen that in action, and its just amazing. But the idea of giving money as if God’s response is conditional upon us paying Him – earning an act of His grace and mercy – that looks pretty much like trying to buy God’s free gift to me.

    It really does bring the gospel into disrepute.

    I have no problem with giving either – just not in the context of paying for an answered prayer – maybe if I give more God will do it for me this time; maybe I didn’t give enough; maybe if I do this for years and years he will finally bless me at the end of it.

    I agree with your approach to giving, rotationmethod. Giving generously, in love, where our conscience leads us. In my case this includes giving to the church I attend and their special offerings, but to be honest, if they had a ‘miracle’ offering like the one above, I just couldn’t give to it in principle. Too much like condoning manipulation and too close to the practice Peter condemns in Acts 8.

    I will definitely not be going to Presence 2008. I think I’d just feel ill if I did.

  6. I’ve just stumbled upon this blog! I was shocked recently when Lance pulled the pin on S2…
    Nice to see someone else has picked up the baton (so to speak)

    Did someone mention Steve Munsey? He is headlining the presence conference this year is he not? I wonder whether he will do his 70, 770, 7,700 dollar offering thing? There is a 77.7% chance he will I think…
    I agree with the thoughts posted here – God is not some skanky bitch or Mob boss you can buy off with or manipulate with finances. What a shame the gospel has become nothing more than a cheap commodity to be bought and sold at will.

  7. It’s _almost_ worth going to the conference just to see if Steve Munsey does his usual trick. šŸ™‚

    I wonder if he’s come up with a different number this time, and what the number will represent? If anyone goes, please let us know!

    Glad you found the blog, Bill. It’s good to know we’re findable now. Still waiting and hoping for some of the others to get here over time.

  8. Type in “clouds without water:steve munsey” on youtube. Watch and spot the heresy.
    Or heresies!!

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