Prosperity Gospel – Does God want you rich?
2 Tim 4:3-4 “ 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
I’ve been questioning this “prosperity gospel” now for a few months. When I first heard about it and saw which pastors were being questioned, I became defensive. 1) I didn’t understand the concept of Biblical judging, so I didn’t appreciate people critically examining ministries and pastors. 2) I was too blinded by my own ideas and misled by these false prophets to see through the glitz. I actually spent a couple years avoiding anything that had less than a positive word to say about them because I just refused to believe that anyone would twist God’s Word to suit their own desires. Now that I’ve re-read the Bible passages they used, prayed for guidance and listened with discerning ears, I can see the truth. It was difficult at first because I contributed to more than a dozen ministries because I wanted to give back to those that were teaching me. One of the biggest clues for me was watching a program that would come on Inspiration Network. I noticed the EXACT same program ran every Sunday at a specific time and every morning about 3am (I stayed up late.) When I say exact, I mean I knew the song and could tell you the next point the Mike Murdock would make and the joke that came with it!! At the end of the program would be an instruction to call in to give $1000 and would show operators and the number of busy lines from the pre-recorded show.
Let’s see. How can I condense this topic?
Okay. Let me explain what I got from prosperity gospel (also known as “name it and claim it”) and what it teaches.
– Basically, this teaches that Jesus was not poor but was probably one of the more well-to-do members of his time. It says Judas was the “treasurer” and kept the money. Jesus and followers had so much money in the purse that they didn’t even notice when Judas stole from it.
– God wants us to be rich because He wants us to prosper. “This is YOUR year! The wealth of the wicked is about to be transferred into the hands of the righteous!”
– Divine health, wealth and the things we can imagine are available to us because all we have to do is ask.
– Tithing, first fruiting, and sowing seeds will keep you from being broke. Some teach it is what keeps you in the presence of God and will keep you out of Hell. Of course, when you sow your seed, you must “give it an assignment” by writing where you want God to bless you.
– Pastors, especially, should have money because “Who wants to listen to a broke pastor teaching about being blessed?” “Sinners will see God blessing Christians and want what we have.”
PMA/Positive Confession/Prosperity Gospel/New Age – http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/posit.htm
Prosperity Teaching – http://www.apologeticsindex.org/139-prosperity-teaching
I noticed that those ministers teaching this doctrine have extremely large followings, so that was another warning that something was off about this theology. Although God can bless us financially and will have some Christians wealthy, does it make sense for us to try to entice the world to Christ by talking about all the “stuff” we can get? Are we supposed to follow Jesus for what He can do for us in this world that will pass away?
What does the Bible say about money and worldly desires?
1 Tim 6:3-11 “3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9But 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. 10For 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. 11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.“
1 John 2:16-17 “16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (All that stuff you want – car, house, clothes, etc. – won’t last. Boasting, having nice things to show off is not of God.)
Matt 6:1-4, 19-21, 24 “1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” “19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” “24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
– This idea that we should line up the people giving the $1000 donations, the $100 donations and everybody else in lines across the church is just plain wrong. Since when did pastors get financial anointings to pray over people? Why do they only want to pray over the biggest seeds or pledges to give the large seed? Why does the “anointing” disappear within a few minutes? Could it be that this is a sales pressure tactic to get people to give their money before they have time to think about it? The Bible says not to expect anything from God because we’ve already received our reward for giving. Wouldn’t it also mean that our recording how much we give to get a tax break counts as letting men know how generous we are?
What did Jesus have to say about riches?
“25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:17-25 tells the story of the rich man that asked how to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to sell all he had, pick up his cross and follow Him. The man didn’t want to part with his stuff and left Jesus. To hear some pastors tell this story, it goes on to say that Jesus said anyone that loses his family and things for the sake of the Gospel will receive it back 100 times over in this lifetime! (woo hoo!) However, they neglect to tell the entire verse “30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”
Luke 16 tells the story of the Rich Man & Lazarus. – “25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” The rich man pursued worldly things and got his reward on earth while Lazarus suffered. (The prosperity gospel teaches that if people are poor, it’s because they don’t have enough faith or didn’t give enough seed to improve their status in life.)
Luke 12:15-21 “15And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Jesus did not have anything good to say about pursuing money. In fact, He taught we should focus on God’s Kingdom and the things of God over trying to create our own little financial empires or lavish lifestyles. The devil can “bless” you, too. In fact, he will happily give you what you desire as long as it turns you from God including self-worship. You may believe you’re worshiping God. But can God be purchased for a $60 seed? Can you actually buy a blessing by “planting” a $100 seed? Does money grow?
Let’s see what the Bible has to see about Jesus’s “wealth”.
His “house” – John 1:38-39 “38Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.” (“Come and see” doesn’t mean, “I have a guest room in my mansion.”)
His “treasurer” – John 13:29 “29For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.” (Bag does not mean they were rich. It is something to carry whatever money they had to purchase what they needed or for donations. I have a purse and often carry less than $5 on me. Am I rich because I have a “money bag”?)
Jesus said He had no place to lay His head (Matt 8:20 – stated after a would-be disciple stated he’d follow Jesus everywhere. After hearing Jesus’s words, someone came up with an excuse to delay following Him.) He honored Passover in a guestroom, (Luke 22:11) Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey (Luke 19:33). He was given his priestly robe that had soldiers gambling to get when He was mocked (John 19:2). Jesus was placed in a borrowed tomb originally bought for Joseph of Arimathaea (Matt 27:59-60).
Jesus is our example. He didn’t chase worldly things, so why have we decided Jesus came to line our pockets? Jesus promised those who would follow Him would have eternal life (enjoy life after death) and persecutions. Taking up our cross means we will suffer for the sake of the gospel, not that we will live the good life and “have all the money”.
Should our Lord’s great sacrifice be reduced to merely saying the right words like some magic spell or writing our wishes on the envelope of a seed offering we plant like some superstitious old woman in order to try to force God to act like a genie in a bottle or an invisible ATM? Look at this madness!!!
– Money Cometh
– miracle spring water
– Robert Tilton
What’s wrong with it?
Prosperity Gospel Ruined My Life
It causes people to covet. The natural mind already wants “stuff.” Christians are not to attempt to bribe people to Christ, try to command God’s hand to deliver it to us, nor “send forth ministerial angels” to retrieve money.
“3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” – 2 Peter 2:3
Look at the lyrics to this song from Karen Drucker’s “Songs of the spirit” Vol 2. 2003 album (Yes, I know I made “spirit” lower-case because I don’t see the Holy Spirit behind this. – lyrics
…and her prosperity chant song (Her website lists her as part of church…unitarian? but Christians don’t chant)
Look at how this has affected our youth!
Does God Want Christians to Pursue Financial Prosperity? – http://www.bibleanswerstand.org/prosperity.htm
Would you want your spouse to marry you for what you could provide? Why would anyone believe God would want us to come to Him for what He can get us? God desires a relationship above all else. What’s more important – the gifts or the Giver?