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The prosperity gospel, or “health and wealth” preaching, originated about 70 years ago in the United States. At various tent meetings connected to Voice of Healing and similar ministries, preachers like Oral Roberts and A. A. Allen started to teach things like financial sowing and reaping, the prosperous power of faith and that God wants us to be rich.
Their theology was influenced by Baptist theologian E. W. Kenyon, who in turn was highly influenced with ideas from New Thought. This American movement is quite similar to New Age and emphasizes, among other things, the power of the mind to influence physical reality by, for example, naming and claiming health and wealth before it actually has materialized.
Sounds familiar? (more…)
It’s finally here – the sequel to the extremely popular post What if Jesus Preached What Modern Preachers are Preaching! Get ready for…
What if Modern Preachers Preached What Jesus was Preaching?
The prosperity gospel is basically saying that God will bless you with money. A lot of money. In the West (especially in the U.S.), prosperity preachers often prove how blessed they are through buying luxuries, mansions and jet planes. This grotesque gluttony has spread to the African continent, where superstar pastors are “prospering” en masse while their church members are starving.
That was what I knew about prosperity teaching. And then pastor Jerry brought me to a shack church in the South African bush, where most church members are unemployed as well as have lost family members in AIDS. And he preached prosperity. God will give you a job. God will change your situation. God will lift you out of poverty.
I even started to like the prosperity message and preach it myself. Because it’s true, God wants to prosper the poor and break the chains of poverty. The Bible was written in a developing country, and the prosperity it talks about is not about cars or suits but about getting good harvests so that you’ll survive the winter, and to have a job so that you don’t have to be a beggar. Biblical prosperity is not about bringing people to a state of luxury, but to deliver them from poverty to a state of generosity and sharing, so that it may be equal for all (2 Cor 8:13).