Summary: The American Dream and the Prosperity Gospel are both nightmares.
1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Having lived in the frozen North and the heat of Texas, no mention of shelter stands out to me. As many of our nation's homeless can tell you that shelter can be tough to find, but you can survive. You could survive without clothes, but only in some areas as you will get clothing in jail and even when you can be nude you risk skin cancers and other issues.
SO if godliness with contentment is great gain why are there so many preachers preaching prosperity? So many prophets will come and tell you great things will happen to you. Things are coming in alignment and God is going to breakthrough with blessings. In the OT, the prophets were more often than not the bearers of bad news. They also did not have a chance to not get it right. If what they said did not come to pass they were in deep trouble while our "prophets" can totally miss the boat and still have a great TV ministry with the excuse that they do not always get it right. If the OT prophets had to be 100% correct when the Holy Spirit did not indwell them how can our prophets be in error and not be disqualified?
Does it mean our clothing is to be made up of expensive suits and 700 or more dollar shoes? We do not all need to shop at Goodwill or get clothes only from the Salvation Army, but do we need to be flash as my British friends would say. Flash is one letter different from flesh.
As a man who was raised by a widow and has had some intense financial issues raising two kids while in college and during a couple of periods of unemployment I cannot understand why someone needs designer clothes and fad shoes.
How do I tell someone making minimum wage to be content with clothes from Wal-Mart and shoes from Payless when I am wearing an Armani suit and shoes that cost more than old car they are trying to keep running to keep their job?
When I was in college, they told us that the pastor should not be the richest man in the congregation nor the poorest. His salary should be at the median salary. That works in normal churches, but If the median income of the church is $200K or more then maybe the pastor should live a tad lower lifestyle to be more like his poorer members and model to his richer ones that you can live well on less.
I believe pastors should be more circumspect or conservative in their lifestyles to not give the appearance of evil to the unbelievers, to inspire others to moderation and not cause the poor to stumble thinking God doesn't love them as much as the rich, flashy, hip pastor.
Strive to live on less. Keep everything simple. Clothes keep us out of jail in the summer and from freezing to the death in the winter. That is all. We need a car to get from A to B but we do not need Lamborghinis. Besides the more expensive the car in some areas only says "Steal me. Kill my owner."
My son drove home from work in my "old man" truck whereas as the owner of the truck he parked next to because he liked it walked home because that truck was stolen.
Better to spill tomato juice on a $10 shirt rather than a $90 one.
Be careful who you let prophesy over you.
Seek godliness and you will be surprised how content you can be with less and less susceptible to false doctrines and prophecies. Jist sayin'.