October 16, 2017

Prosperity Gospel: Yes or No?

Prosperity Gospel: Yes or No?

You decide. Here is a collection of statements, products, ministries, etc. Some of them are the Prosperity “Gospel” while some are not.

What do you think?

1. Christian financial ministries like Crown and Dave Ramsey.

2. The movie “Facing The Giants.”

3. If you tithe, God will pay all of your other bills.

4. The Prayer of Jabez. (Prayer the prayer and God will expand your territory.)

5. Joel Osteen. (Have a good attitude, think positive, be nice and God will show you favor.)

6. Jesus: Ask whatever you will in my name, and it will be done unto you. If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can move a mountain.

7. I don’t need health insurance. If I or my family has a health crisis, God will pay the bills.

8. That church just keeps growing. God is really blessing them.

9. If I use the “What Did Jesus Eat?” Diet, I will be less likely to get cancer.

10. Our family has 8 children and one on the way. I’m sorry you can’t seem to get pregnant. The scripture says that God blesses the obedient with many children.

11. We only do business with Christian companies. That keeps the money in the kingdom of God.

12. The mass intention today is for Mr. Smith’s grandmother, Lois Grant.

13. God isn’t going to bless your church till you start a 24 hour a day prayer room and show him you really want revival.

14. Proverbs: He who rises early will be wealthy, etc.

15. Your suggestion….

Comments

  1. I’m sorry….how many of the disciples and apostles died wealthy?

  2. Imonk,

    It has just been my experience that folks tend to “hide” behind a New Covenant argument when they find anything they dont’ want to abide by.

    It’s sort of the old Christian Liberty trump card.

    As our emphasis on tithing drops so will our giving, and so will our instistutions.

    My understanding has always been that Christ fullfilled certain Old Covenant requirements and they were now void but He did not ever in any place I have found lessen or simply invalidate without fullfilling Old Covenant commands.

    Regards

  3. Austin,

    You’re right. I’m hiding behind the one who fulfilled every Old Covenant shadow and external form. If circumcision and sabbath keeping are the subjhect of Paul’s rhetoric in Colosssians and Galatians, why are we advocating tithing again? Oh yeah….it works. Well legalism does tend to do that.

    I’d suggest that you take a serious, scholarly source on tithing and consider carefully what you are saying.

    There are more tithes and offerings in the Law than just one.

    Israel utterly failed at keeping the Old Covenant. It’s not a model for new covenant obedience.

    Tithing is great. Fasting is great. Vows are great. Just let them be what they are, and let those who use them be what they are: New covenant believers using old covenant practices.

    Hebrews, etc is clear about all of them: they ended with Jesus. If you compromise on the New Covenant at all, Rome is going to start looking pretty good.

    peace

    ms

  4. treebeard says:

    iMonk, I’m genuinely confused. “Read the Didache, folks”? Why? Should I read the Epistle of Barnabas too?

  5. Matthew,

    I can think of two that probably did. Joseph of Arimethia (sp) and Lydia, the seller of purple.

  6. Treebeard:

    Didache is our earliest document describing early church life. It’s not scripture, but it is highly useful. It specifically deals with preachers/prophets who give evidence of being in it for the money.

    peace

    ms

    p.s. Yes. Read that too. 🙂

  7. treebeard says:

    LOL. Thanks. I’ve actually not read it, and I’ll try and do so.

    I still like Joyce Meyer, though. I hope I can still hang around here.

  8. Imonk,

    You assume too much. I have read many scholarly studies on the tithe. I understand the multiple tithes of the OT. I also understand that a lot of folks (who aren’t simpletons) find in the scriptures both OT and NT much support for the continuation of tithe giving, even predating the law.

    And I think you know the answers to the circumcision and sabbath keeping straw men before you even ask them. You’re a smart guy that’s why I read your blog. 🙂

    Peace

  9. I don’t have a problem with Dave Ramsey, whose message, at least from my perception, is to be responsible and don’t live beyond your means. We do a version of his envelope system and it works well for us since we don’t do well with credit cards and have gotten rid of them.

    As for selling your stuff – I look at it from different points of view. If your stuff is your god – get rid of it. If you have a bumper sticker that reads “Those with the most toys wins” – then your probably off track.

    Each Christmas my kids (and I have lots) go through their toys from prior years and give away those things that they do not want or need. We do this also with clothes. We don’t have garage sales or take things to flea markets – we give it to those in need.

    Now there are those who take a vow of poverty to serve the Lord. But those of us with a vocation of family have a responsibility to raise them, and raising them in forced poverty, while it may provide some wisdom later in life, can cause some stress.

  10. ProdigalSarah says:

    I wonder why tithing always equals money.

    When we were growing up we went through times when we barely had any food in the house. Christmas gifts and Christmas dinner came from the generosity of the community.

    No matter how difficult things became my mother gave a tremendous amount of time and energy to the church. She taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She visited the sick and helped elderly neighbors.

    Our family survived because there were good, generous people in our community. Even though we didn’t have money to contribute, we could contribute time and energy. I can recall us kids helping to paint the Sunday School rooms, and helping to clean up the grounds.

    Both my mother and my mother-in-law are in their 80s now. They can’t do the things they would like to do to help neighbors. So they have both become prayer warriors. My mother sits in her wheelchair and prays for the other people at the nursing home. She prays for the people on the news. She prays for family.

    I would be extremely upset with anybody who suggested she was too cheap to tithe. She gives what she can from her tiny monthly check. Why is it always about money? Don’t elderly prayer warriors count? Don’t the people who give their time count?

    Perhaps I would have a better attitude about this if I hadn’t witnessed the wasteful spending at churches. Tithing should mean faithfulness on both sides.

    Faithful giving AND faithful spending with the money tithed. I think people would have a better attitude toward tithing if they knew their money was being spent with the same care with which they would spend it themselves.

  11. Ed on 29 Apr 2009 at 8:41 am
    Prayer for the sick (especially when that prayer is not accompanied by doctors, medication, hospitals, etc.) doesn’t seem to be all that effective. And yet, it dominates our corporate prayer life.

    I’ve noticed in passing that a large majority of prayers in our Sunday School/small group meetings are about somebody’s health. Or money problems. Is the only thing we feel is safe revealing, or worth discussing, is about health and money? I don’t believe I’ve heard a “Please pray for my problem with laziness at work” – but what really needs the prayer? My budget problem, or laziness problem? I wonder if the prosperity gospel is so ingrained it determines what we value, and therefore what we pray for.

  12. Austin said:

    “As our emphasis on tithing drops so will our giving, and so will our institutions.”

    We can only pray and hope that the institutions that man has created will eventually drop! As a matter of fact, the end Revelation seems quite clear on this.

    Jesus. The antithesis to institutions.

  13. Well said Radagast.

  14. “Someone above mentioned Joyce Meyer, and I know iMonk has been disparaging of her before. May I confess to a guilty pleasure? I like Joyce Meyer”

    me too

  15. “We know that Jesus wouldn’t wear a Rolex. We just don’t know why we shouldn’t.”

    We don’t know that. He allowed the expensive perfume to be poured on him, he didn’t think it a waste. If someone gave him a Rolex i bet he’d have worn it.

  16. Tim W:

    Who is this Jesus you speak of? I don’t know him.

    ms

  17. “If your stuff is your god – get rid of it.”

    What makes something your god? Enjoying it? I have always felt oppressed and manipulated when pastors say this.

  18. Can’t say I’m surprised.

  19. Also, the frustrating thing is the one size fits all attitude, like, “I sold my tv, so you need to sell your tv also.” People can trumpet their wealth, but people can also trumpet their pious poverty. If you give, give in secret.

  20. OK Tim, if you can find the post where someone TOLD you what to do, and didn’t say that it is between YOU AND GOD, then I’ll keep posting you. But since there hasn’t been any “pious poverty” on this thread, but plenty of “pious prosperity” coming from you, I think we’re done.

    By the way, I turned my TV off. Please enjoy yours.

    Done.

    D-O-N-E.

  21. just for the sake of being the sole dissenting voice, i’m voting no on #10 and 11

    First, #11 – if i choose to support people i love preferentially, who are members of God’s family, isn’t that the *idea*? That we are known by our love for each other? So if i support businesses owned by my Christian brothers and sisters in preference to others, how is that prosperity gospel?

    #10 – this is a kind of tricky one, because the Qf folk do tend to get a little prosperity gospelly (i know – i’m on all the lists, i’ve got seven children and not planning on quitting) – thing is, having children *is* a blessing. It doesn’t earn you anything – it’s a gift that God has given – children are a form of wealth – it’s a beautiful gift from God – and yes, He sends the rain on the just and unjust alike, but it’s a blessing to both of them if their crops grow, right? Some people don’t want to be blessed that way, and fine – I’ve heard people on the QF lists say “God doesn’t send a lamb without a little pasture” – but there are a lot of big families who are struggling financially. I think the blessing is in the children. It’s something wonderful, good, pure and sweet. And being content with the way God has made you is a relief and a freedom from the slavery to pharmaceuticals that most Christian women experience. But i don’t believe that good women only get pregnant or that bad women suffer miscarriage or stillbirth or disease or congenital defects. In some cases, God has a different blessing for them, and that’s wonderful, too… But to deny that children are a blessing to a Christian family is just plain weird 🙂

  22. Since arriving in Mexico as a missionary, I have encountered prosperity theology running rampant and completely unchecked. I have not nor will I ever acclimate my palate to this theological junk food. Prosperity theology may make you feel good as you eat it. but later you feel cheap and disgusting. The pastor whom I have been under for the past nine months has a knack for picking out OT passages and grossly misusing/misinterpreting them to make his prosperous points. Someone mentioned earlier several OT figures that God prospered. I am not debating the fact that in the OT God did make promises of prosperity to those who obeyed him. But if we read the whole Bible, we will find that the one who was obedient his entire life, even through his death on the cross, never prospered materially. If we are going to have a theology that controls our lives (as does PT) shouldn’t we be sure that it is one in which Jesus fits? How can I say I want to be like Jesus when we’d rather be like the religious leaders or Caesar?