Opinion: Prosperity Gospel

Prosperity theology (also known as prosperity doctrine, the health and wealth gospel, or the prosperity gospel) is a religious belief found among “tens of millions”of Christians centered on the notion that God provides material prosperity for those he favors. (Wikipedia)

First, what is Prosperity? According to Merrium-Webster, the condition of being successful or thriving; especially : economic well-being.

And the Gospel? Again, according to MW, the message concerning Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation.

I love that when you put the first together, it comes out; thriving message concerning Christ. What an AWESOME statement! But it is the second half of prosperity that gets connected to “The Prosperity Gospel” or “Prosperity Doctrine”; especially: the economic well-being and the kingdom of God? They sound like Oil and Water… is it possible for God to bless someone with economic well-being? Yes. Is that how every Christian lives? No. Is it Christian to be economically well off? Sure. Jesus doesn’t call everyone to a sell all they own, as you will see later.

The Prosperity Gospel, preaches “Give your money/time to God/the Church and He will bless you with the car/boat/house of your dreams, your children will behave, you husband/wife will submit to you, you will have the corner office, and you will get that Christmas Bonus!” 90% of people will say they don’t believe that. But to some small degree they do.

God, if I live a good life. Give to the church and volunteer when it works in my schedule. You [God] will in return bless my family and make sure nothing really bad happens.

Do you believe that statement?

What about giving your time and money (the Bible says we are to tithe 10%) to God? As Christians not only are we called to love Him, accept the fact that we are sinners,ask Him into our lives and have faith in Him. But we are called to give. Our time. Our talents. Our money. This can be really easy, if you love children; getting involved with a children’s program or if your good on the computer; running the slide show before and after service. This can also be hard; this may sound crazy but I distinctly remember going with the Junior High Youth from our church, to a soup kitchen in the Inner City of Houston. I didn’t want to go. I was willing to go to church on Sunday Morning but I wanted nothing to do with those homeless people and serving food. I thought I was “too good” to serve them (really I did feel that way!). Well, did Jesus have a field day with my attitude. He showed me people, adults, from our church who couldn’t think of a better way to spend their Sunday afternoon. He showed me the happiness that those men felt when we fed them. It didn’t take me long to be glad I went. To this day I am pretty sure everyone needs to serve in a Soup Kitchen at least once in their lives. That is character building at it’s finest, and one of the most humbling things we can do to help our fellow-man.

Jesus observes a widow at the temple give 2 small copper coins (worth a fraction of a penny) in the offering plate while the wealthier put in large sums, he tells his disciples, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty, put in everything- all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44) When we give Jesus all we have, He can move mountains. Our greatest contribution is everything we claim as our own.

We cannot live by an “If we give it all to Jesus, He will give us back 10X what we gave”. Yeah, sorry but where did Jesus say He would make us rich earthly rulers? He didn’t. In fact He told the rich young man to “sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me [Jesus]” (Matthew 19:16-24).  Not only did the young man have to sell his possessions & give to the poor, but he had to follow Jesus, too. This young man had to give it all up for Jesus. Not just Sunday Morning. He had to give up everything. Selling all your possessions isn’t for everyone, some/most people are attached to their earthly things more than God. He has a funny way of working on the heart, when things get in the way of our relationship with Him, he provides ways of getting rid of the stuff/fog/junk that get between Him and us. It’s a matter of, do I give up my way of living to pursue God? This is hard for all of us. The rich young man didn’t like what Jesus told him an, “he went away sad, because he had great wealth”. I am not saying to pursue God, wholeheartedly we must give up all our earthly possessions. Goodness knows, few people will/would follow that. I am saying get the junk out of your life!

When Travis and I moved to Waco, we (unexpectedly) spent 3 months in our Landlord’s Pool House, while he “finished” our apartment. We quickly learned and God showed us how all our “junk” gets in the way of our relationship with Him. All we had with us our suitcase with about 5 changes of clothes, our bath stuff, and the most essential kitchen supplies (Molly too!). {Mind you the kitchen had plates, bowls, silverware, etc. We brought our cooking pots and pans, pyrex, etc.} And we lived there for 3 months…all our books/dvds/art/knick knacks where in a box in the garage! I did go out and get my shoes and a few things here and there but overall we survived on a 10th of what we really owned. That idea/experience has changed me, I am more than willing to give to GoodWill because I can survive without it! My closet is so much emptier than when I lived with my parents (no offense mom and dad) I have learned to give these things to those in need. Now I will admit, I have a hard time letting go of somethings, like books, my computer, camera…these are in no way necessary for me to love and serve God. They are luxuries, sprinkles on the cake, so to speak.

The prosperity of the Gospel is Christ. His word is thriving and reaching people all over the world. He doesn’t bring “health and wealth” or your best life now. He brings Salvation to the lost and a light to a dark world.

One thought on “Opinion: Prosperity Gospel

  1. I am impressed with your commitment and I know that you are a bright light to the world. Keep up your beautiful attitude toward life and your faith in God.

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