August 19, 2017

What Is The Prosperity Gospel?

prosperity0909.jpgI’ve mentioned the “Prosperity Gospel” in some presentations recently, and I’ve had some questions about what I mean when I use the term. I’m going to outline some very basic responses- and have a little to say about them- so that I can refer others to them as a more complete answer than I can give in a cafeteria line.

I believe it is critical that every pastor take this subject on directly, and that we speak clearly about it. The prosperity message is not the Biblical gospel and is a distorted, spiritually dangerous muddle at the very least, and a damning spiritual cyanide at the worst. This is an error that is consuming millions of evangelicals around the world as it is propagated by way of TBN and so forth. Clarity and Biblical faithfulness are important at this moment.

[As is true so often, John Piper is to the point and on target with what’s wrong with the Prosperity message.]

What is the Prosperity Gospel?

The Prosperity Gospel…

1) is NOT God’s promise to meet the needs of his people as an expression of his Fatherly kindness within his sovereign will.

2) is NOT God’s old covenant physical blessings to Israel and its kings.

3) is NOT the Bible’s teaching of blessing by the will of God expressed through the consequences of wise choices or the consequences of obedience.

4) is NOT the reasonable implication of Biblical stories of miraculous provision.

The Bible teaches us that if “we seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, all these things will be added..” This is not, however, an appeal to materialism or the desire for wealth. It is dependence on God- and on the freedom of God- to provide in whatever situation we find ourselves. God’s provision is not a promise to enrich, but to provide as needed for our lives as we live out his Kingdom’s purposes.

The Prosperity Gospel….

A) is the presumption that God wants us to be rich.

B) is the assumption that the blessings of the Gospel are a guarantee of material and financial blessings now. (The mediation of Jesus makes all blessing possible, but it does not guarantee wealth or health, etc.)

C) is a denial and replacement of the true meaning of “give us this day our daily bread.”

D) is the replacement of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the New Testament with a method that causes God to bestow material and financial blessings on anyone who uses the method.

Why does the Prosperity Gospel appeal to American Christians?

a) American Christians are focused on money as a symbol of the “good life.”

b) American Christians tend to focus on God as a problem solver above any other role.

c) American Christians have a strong preference for legalism and transactionalism.

d) The Prosperity Gospel (or elements of the message) appeals to particular churches:
-Suburban churches stressing the teaching of “life principles.”
-Church growth churches interested in drawing crowds.
-Word-Faith and TBN influenced churches.
-Churches led by faddish pastors.
-Churches that emphasize miracles.

e) American Christians generally fail to distinguish between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The best example of this is the emphasis on tithing that persists in many churches though it is not a New Covenant teaching. (I agree that tithing may be a useful spiritual discipline, but I do not believe there are New Covenant blessings attached to the practice.)

f) American Christians are unable to distinguish between law and Gospel.

g) American Christians prefer manipulation and transactionalism as ways of dealing with God to confessing dependence on his sovereignty.

h) Cultural factors cause some groups of the historically poor and economically disenfranchised to be very open the the Prosperity message.

i) The Prosperity Gospel seems to “prove” that God exists and that faith “pays off.”

j) Many American Christians do not know the Biblical Gospel and, therefore, cannot spot a counterfeit.

k) Christian publishers have published books like “The Prayer of Jabez” in order to enrich themselves.

l) False teachers and greedy ministries abound in America.

m) The teaching of Jesus on material possessions, money and discipleship are generally ignored or reinterpreted in American Christianity.

Comments

  1. when my husband had cancer, we received a book called, “make god’s miracles work for you.” it infuriated me.

    most of us in the west are already living in tremendous prosperity, far beyond most of the world. what does the prosperity gospel have to offer someone in the Sudan, for instance.

    thanks for taking on this topic.

  2. if you get a chance go to the following website and check out an edited video presentation of one of Piper’s sermons on the prosperity gospel given to a group of college students in birmingham, alabama. it is quite moving and something to think about. i do not agree with all of it…but it is powerfully presented like only Piper can. you will need to stop the music before playing Piper’s sermon. the sermon is located as a youtube presentation. btw the music is from one of my friend’s albums (chuck hooten) check it out.

    http://www.myspace.com/chuckhooten

    blessings….

    mason

  3. You said in one of your posts that you live in one of the poorest areas of the country. I have to wonder if that makes your neighbors more, or less, susceptible to the prosperity platform.
    **********
    Could Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker have had the same impact in a wealthier area of the country?

  4. I have a sad report. I have seen the Piper excerpt and he alludes to this as well. The prosperity gospel is strong in other parts of the world.

    My first encounter with Kenneth Copeland was in Cameroon, while I was a missionary there. (Which is ironic because my sending church was in Texas.) It is hope for the poor, unfortunately a false hope.

    Personally, I would go one step further in your classification of the prosperity gospel as manipulation. The prosperity gospel turns the sovereign Lord into our servant. The part of the message I think that appeals to most people is that if a christian says it with faith then it must happen. This turns the sovereign Lord into the subservient lord.

  5. good stuff. good thoughts.

  6. I’ve had the rude awakening that most American Evangelicals who don’t preach the prosperity gospel still practice it. Because in order to continue living as normal Americans, Christians must radically “ignore or reinterpret” Jesus’ teachings about money and possessions, and then they end up essentially excusing their greed and materialism as “God’s blessings.”

  7. P.S. I’ve seen the prosperity gospel in practice at a Mexican orphanage, and it’s really heartbreaking. They spend a ton of money and volunteer labor on luxuries and aesthetics, but could instead meet the actual needs of twice as many children.

  8. Heteroclite says:

    Nailed it on the head again, iMonk! Jesus as Cosmic Genie (or is it the Cosmic Rumpelstilzken?). Now if there isn’t irony in that! Making God Himself into an idol. Pheh.

  9. iMonk, great post!
    In my church in Holland they don’t teach the prosperity gospel per se, but they do emphsize the importance of tithing. And of course the blessing that’s connected to it.

    @Rick Shott: I totally agree with your remark about Prosperity Teaching making God our servant! Ridiculous that we think that we can make God do something.

  10. I would like to second Rick Shott’s observation that the prosperity gospel is not an exclusively American phenomenon — and while some of its proponents overseas are American-trained and affiliated, not all of them are. London is full of Nigerian churches preaching prosperity, their “pastors” demonstrating a life style most of the congregants will never attain.

    I’s a hot topic in German and Austrian Evangelicalism, as well, and many of its proponents here seem to think themselves above the (secular) law, as well.

    @Heteroclite: it actually makes the GIFTS into an idol rather than worshipping the GIVER — one of the oldest temptations, especially of the pentecostal and charismatic movements from which the prosperity gospel has sprung.

  11. Rob (an heir to the Kingdom) says:

    While what I’m posting here is not directly related to the Prosperity Gospel, there is a connection with regards to American prosperity. When Ivana Trump divorced Donald, she had put $60,000 per month in her divorce settlment for flowers. $60,000 per MONTH for flowers!? She reasoned that she was entitlted to her same level of lifestyle after the divorce. Oi vey.

    (I can’t find the report now on the web, but I remember reading it at the time. I’m farily sure that $60k per month for flowers was asked for. Anyways, whether or not that was granted specifically is still sealed, but reportedly, she did get a settlement in the order of $20MM, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivana_Trump)

    And more recently, (very young) people are getting into home mortgages far beyond their ability to make the monthly payments. Seems everyone wants an Extreme Makeover kind of house. If Jesus can provide that, why not try Him out? Of course there is a problem with that biblically. Jesus came as the unblemished sacrifice for sin (Matthew 26:28 & Hebrews 9:14), not to make us prosperious.

    Do you ask with wrong motives? See James 4:2-3 We are to seek God first. But if we seek God for the purpoose of prosperity here and now, then that would be for the wrong motive.

  12. Agreed, and not just another nod from the “amen” corner. But you may have to remove this post due the tithing aside written in parenthesis. That is an incredible hornet’s nest you’ve swatted at. That verse from Malachi is the most taken out of context verse in history. In the past,I was forcing my wife to wear clothes ripped and falling apart so the church could accumulate junk.

    Yet, I still feel left out by God and guilty of some sin because those awful “dreams come true” messages pounding repeatedly. It’s like being constantly told you’re fat and ugly. After a while……

  13. Nicholas Anton says:

    It would seem to me that the prosperity Gospel has it’s roots in revivalism. One of the tenets of this movement seemed to have been that if one was “truly” born again, one would be “spiritually” whole, which meant “emotionally” whole, which transitioned into being “physically” whole, “materially” whole, “monetarily” whole etc. This movement had little use for the maimed, broken, and weak. Such conditions were not to be and were considered the direct results of “personal” sin. Gradually this movement became “sensual”, pleasure based as hinted at firstly in the “holiness” churches, as developed in the Pentecostal movement, as blossomed full scale in the Charismatic movement, and in our day, in the pseudo-evangelical churches, in the “worship and praise” phenomenon.

    This was NOT the Gospel Jesus preached, NOT the Gospel the apostles preached, and NOT the gospel of the early church. The whole emphasis of the New Testament is that we live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ does not of necessity remove the infirmities of the flesh, the physical results of a fallen human race, but gives us the power to go through them in the Spirit.

  14. Bob Sacamento says:

    Michael,

    Great post. I am tempted to say that the prosperity gospel is the biggest present day obstacle we have in the church itself to preaching the true gospel and to believing it ourselves. You are exactly right: This is an error that is consuming millions of evangelicals around the world as it is propagated by way of TBN and so forth. Clarity and Biblical faithfulness are important at this moment.

    One point, though: The prosperity gospel did originate in the good ol’ U.S. of A. (whrer else would it have originated?). But, as indicated in a couple of comments above, it is no longer an American phenomenon. It is very strong in Africa now and is riding the coattails of Pentecostalism to great effect in Latin America.

    And as for what is happening here in the U.S., the propserity gospel in its “purest” (or “impurest”) form is more of an urban phenomenon than a suburban. It is really infuriating that these preachers are simultaneously fleecing our poor, telling them to expect riches, and taking away from them the very tools they need (industriousness, delay of gratification, etc.) to get, not rich, but just simply out of poverty.

    Of course, however, as noted in a previous comment, alot of suburban megachurches that don’t preach the propserity gospel are still practicing it 24×7.

  15. Black Angus says:

    The prosperity gospel is alive and prospering in Australia too. I was at the book stall at a conference where I met a pastor from the Solomon Islands. He was telling me that $50/month would provide all his family’s needs to free him up to go full-time. But he couldn’t earn anywhere near that. We were standing next to books telling us that all Christians should be rich and if you weren’t, your sin was to blame. This brother’s faith far outshone mine, and I was ashamed that these books insulted such a genuine Christian. I had a strong urge to kick those tables over.
    I see another danger in prosperity preaching. The financial scandals that seem to inevitably come to these churches damage the reputation of all churches. The Australian government gives some tax breaks to churches that enable smaller churches to keep functioning. If the big prosperity churches abuse those breaks (and I fear they do) it could ruin many small churches if the government decides to remove those breaks in response to the abuses.

  16. Jon Barltett says:

    Michael,

    Good thoughts. I was mulling over prosperity the other day, and remembered a quote from Bishop David Shepherd, who was devoted to inner city ministry in the UK. He said there was a real problem with working class people who became Christians, then learnt not to waste their money on drink etc, and moved out of their old areas to the suburbs to ‘better’ themselves. This was both a good thing, as it showed the transforming nature of the Gospel, but also a bad, as it took people away from their roots where they could have been ministering.

    It seems to me that here are the roots of the prosperity gospel. There is often (but obviously not always) the possibility of material improvements to life when comes to faith in the West (but again obviously not in many other parts of the world). Distort this and overempasise this and you get the prosperity gospel. I therefore think your commentators are exactly right that this heresy has strong roots in ‘poor’ churches – perhaps here is the strong link to the Pentecostal church, rather than any other doctrine (I say this as a Baptist Charismatic with no sympathy to the prosperity gospel and the clowns that promote it at all). But there again, I am rather middle class and don’t have those motivators.

  17. Good post Michael

    Having spent time in Africa, 1 year in particular with YWAM I have seen the false hope given to so many by the teaching of the Prosperity Gospel…

    Scott Love the poster of Name it Claim it – made me laugh!!! Excellent poster…

  18. Pastor Adam says:

    Maybe I’m going to get my head chopped off here….

    I agree 100% with everything you said except the part about tithing. I would agree that it is often framed in the “do this and God will bless you” context instead of a discipline of recognizing that God is the Lord of our finances. But I think that it’s wrong to brush it off as unimportant. Even if it is only a spiritual discipline, so is prayer, fasting, worship, and other practices that are assumed as normative of the Christian life in the NT.

    One of the main problems with the prosperity gospel, as it pertains to tithing, is the promise that God is obligated to give you an abundance if you tithe. While, in my own life, I have seen countless examples of God’s provision directly linked to what He was showing us about the disciple of tithing, I also have examples of God NOT providing saying to my wife and I, “will you still be faithful even if you don’t see a direct blessing to this?” The latter part of that has caused some fairly major challenges from some of my “prosperity” friends.

    I hope that made some sense. I’ll clarify if I need to.

    Blessings,
    a

  19. Gidday Michael – spot on again. However the distinction that this is just an American festering pestilence needs to be adjusted as I know the same principles apply in Australia, Africa, the Pacific, the United Kingdom – basically everywhere where there are money hungering impastors trying to fleece their flock.

  20. Michael,

    Is God opposed to us being rich?

    Is there anything wrong with a Christian striving to be rich by means of shrewd business practices and investments, while at the sam etime acknowledging God’s sovereignty and the primacy of seeking first his kingdom?

    Blessings,
    Matt

  21. A simple question with a complicated set of factors to consider, not the least the human need that surrounds us and the statements of scripture about those who accumulate wealth.

    Work so that wealth passes through you? Not wrong. Wealth so that you have wealth per se? Not so sure that is the same thing.

  22. michael

    i think you make great pts. and i agree that the prosperity gospel is not the Good News, and in fact is contrary to the Good News.

    sadly, this “gospel” is being preached in many countries around the world, not just america. uganda is extremely caught in the lies. in fact, many third world countries are embracing this false “gospel”.

    peter

  23. People so quickly mistake blessings with momentary monetary gain. It is sort of the way of society – the short attention span “need it now”.

    It appeals to our selfish desires. In actuality, Jesus has already given us much more than we deserve.
    And in the mean time churches preach this, growing ever larger and wealthier. It is like the holy lottery – people buying tickets…

    People in the west don’t realise that we are so lucky to be born in wealthy countries. God could just have easily deemed for us to be in, say, Sudan. But you can’t tell me that just because we are wealthy monetarily that we are any where near as rich in spirit as some people – remember the poor widow and her offering.

    In ways I am jealous of them because of their faith, and our reliance on being comfortable has deadened our souls.

    The whole thing feels like a pyramid scheme.

    There is also a dark flip side to this – linking prosperity to Godliness. If you are doing well financially, then God is with you. You may be very Godly and Christ loving people, but if you are poor then you failing badly.

    I do believe that God isn’t the only one who can bless you. This is sort of the Gordon Gekko gospel.

  24. I agree with what has been said. This message about prosperity has gone too far, and people are straying far from the truth of God’s word.

    Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Don’t lay up for yourselves treasures here on earth where moths can destroy but lay up treasures in heaven. If your treasure is to be with Christ and to do his will, then that is where your heart will be.

  25. I must say to all everyone…it’s so good to know it’s not only me feeling this way…really thought I was all alone on this one.
    My question is though who started this whole prosperity gospel message thing anyway? Does anyone know of its origin? I mean because it’s really been pressing on me and in my spirit to research this because the “churh” (and when I say church I mean us)we’ve fallen so far away from what Jesus taught. We’ve gotten so caught up in this world until we’ve lost sight of this dying generation. There are lost people that need to know that they need Jesus and that this world won’t last forever. We must all remember we are only pilgrims passing through…we didn’t come here to stay we came here to help someone to get to know Jesus. That is our great commission! Pray people that God would wake us up…we need prayers.

  26. I found where prosperity is and it is true prosperity. It is found in 2nd Tim. Paul was in a roman jail sending letters to Timothy. Paul was not wearing gold chains, but prison chains, he was not in a mansion sending out request for money for pieces of cloth to gain prosperity, he was in a cell. Those who have gone before us waited in a prison cell to die for the cause of Christ. To live is Christ to die is gain. Paul writes to Timothy and tells him to endure is to reign with Him. Our home is not on this earth, our riches are not in this earth but stored up in heaven. True prosperity is to pledge our lives and live our lives to the only one, Jesus who gives us life and gives us the grace to live it here on this earth until we see the Lord. The Lord tells us He goes to prepare a place for us, and the place He has prepared is heavenly. Those who chose to do whatever they can to obtain from those who do not know the word and are desperate to have and keep having do not know the Lord. It is for those who sit in the prosperity preaching and are desperate to have and keep having have to OPEN THE BIBLE AND SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES TO FIND THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL SET A PERSON FREE FOR IN THE WORD A PERSON WILL FIND THE GREATEST TREASURE AND THAT IS JESUS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR US CANNOT BE REPAYED NOR CAN RICHES ON THIS EARTH BUY SALVATION. Pray for these and pray God will send you as He has commanded to a dying world to preach the gospel.

  27. So should we be preaching the poverty gospel? What scriptures support that God takes pleasure in His servants being impoverished? Oh sure “Blessed are the poor”. I agree that we should not treat God as a cosmic bellhop to do OUR will. Furthermore did Jesus really abolish tithing? If I am living in severe lack i should not ask God to meet my need? Yes we are to praise God in ALL things and I do but I do not relish living like a gypsy on the financial edge. I acknowledge suffering as part of the Christian walk but I’m not to expect deliverance?

  28. Will money buy the life of one who claims Christ at the hands of those who hate Christ..Will money buy salvation that only Christ can give that cannot be paid back..A rich ruler went away saddened for he would not give up his riches…Riches are not important as it can fade away as fast as it comes..but it is the riches that are stored up in heaven that matter..For God’s word says..”To endure is to reign with Him.” to endure to the end and let me tell you all the money in this world will not be enough for any man..but no man can come to the Father but through Jesus and it is free..free to all men..what is free is discarded and what has been discarded is the most valuable of all..To constantly sit under prosperity preaching is to sit and do nothing that God has commanded..for He told us to GO and to preach the GOSPEL..NOT PROSPERITY..BUT THE GOSPEL TO ALL MEN THAT THEY WILL BE SAVED AND NO AMOUNT OF MONEY CAN BUY HEAVEN…

  29. Michael
    I appreciate this post so much. The increasing prevalence of the “prosperity gospel” has been a pain in my spirit for a long time now, and since I have been following your blog for some time, your view on it is of no suprise to me. I wonder, though, what you would say to my mother who I can see is caught up in the “promises” of these “prosperity” preachers. I would be very thankful for some insight as to how to approach those caught up in this mindset, and a gentle, charitable way to deemphasize the ‘treasures’ of this world and place the focus back on “counting all as loss compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus”.
    Peace of the Lord to you.

  30. As a deist I view all organized religion has rubbish, especially with the idea of somebody dying for my actions (sins). I do however hold the ethical philosophy of Jesus in my believes towards a good life and Jesus never said anything about money getting you into heaven or money being important. Christians wonder why people go to Islam, this is why. There is no spiritually in the prosperity gospel, only economics through God’s will. This is a corrupt message. God doesn’t make people rich, people make themselves rich. This is the best example of people thinking God is some sort of personal butler that waits on them.
    God is seen as a way to get material wealth and nothing more or less. People may say they beleive in God, but God is really dead to them.

    –Nietzsche—Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market-place, and cried incessantly: “I am looking for God! I am looking for God!”
    As many of those who did not believe in God were standing together there, he excited considerable laughter. Have you lost him, then? said one. Did he lose his way like a child? said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? or emigrated? Thus they shouted and laughed. The madman sprang into their midst and pierced them with his glances.

    “Where has God gone?” he cried. “I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whosoever shall be born after us – for the sake of this deed he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto.”

    Here the madman fell silent and again regarded his listeners; and they too were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern to the ground, and it broke and went out. “I have come too early,” he said then; “my time has not come yet. The tremendous event is still on its way, still travelling – it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time, the light of the stars requires time, deeds require time even after they are done, before they can be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the distant stars – and yet they have done it themselves.”

    It has been further related that on that same day the madman entered divers churches and there sang a requiem. Led out and quietened, he is said to have retorted each time: “what are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchres of God?” These crazy new age beliefs are because God is dead. Man is re-writting the laws of morality as we see fit. Man cares more about material wealth than spiritual guidance.

    What Nietzsche is concerned at in relating the above is that God is dead in the hearts of modern men – killed by rationalism and science. This same God however, before becoming dead in men’s hearts and minds, had provided the foundation of a “Christian-moral” defining and uniting approach to life as a shared cultural set of belief fully within which people had lived their lives.

    Nietzsche seems to be suggesting that the acceptance of the Death of God will also involve the ending of accepted standards of morality and of purpose. Without the former and accepted faith based standards society is threatened by a nihilistic situation where peoples lives are not particularly constrained by considerations of morality or particularly guided by any faith related sense of purpose.

  31. The prosperity gospel is definitely one of the biggest attacks on the gospel. Jesus becomes the means rather than the end. Jesus gets me _______ instead of, Jesus gets me Jesus. He’s the treasure!
    What confuses me is how people use the bible to justify idolatry. In all the times Jesus talked about money, he wasn’t talking about “naming and claiming it.” He actually talked about the dangers of pursuing wealth and a lavished lifestyle.
    The Bible is full of warnings against pursuing material gain…….”But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.”-1 Timothy 6:9 for example. This is why it makes me scratch my head when I hear some of these T.V. preachers. I know if Jesus was in the crowd, he sure wouldn’t be throwing out any “amens” to this false teaching. He said himself it’s “harder for the rich man…..”
    Not that being wealthy in and of itself is a sin, but when these pastors use “in jesus name” to get all their fancy houses, boats, and jets, instead of using all that we have and all that we are for the kingdom of christ, it scares me.
    I even heard on pastor say “the main reason Jesus died was to take away poverty”……really??? Wow…I guess all the apostles didn’t have enough faith.
    Let’s remember, God is the gospel! Not god’s stuff.
    -dave

  32. Whether it’s obsession with financial prosperity, doctrinal correctness, proper liturgical order, impressive architecture, talented orators, mass evangelism, social relevance, displays of spiritual emotionalism, or particular styles of music, the church has developed an amazing knack for aiming at every point on the target except the center. Christ, Paul, and the other New Testament writers made it very clear — the bullseye of the good news of Christ is God-inspired, self-sacrificing love. As Christ laid down His life for us, we are called to lay down our lives and our pride and our selfishness for the good of others and for the glory of Christ. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t what we call the church (the eklesia or gathering in Greek) originally designed to be a visible expression of Christ, His love, and His truth to the world. Admittedly, actually loving our fellow humans as Christ loves us is very difficult, probably the most difficult endeavor a human being can undertake. And I suspect that’s why we Christians so often look for other things we can focus on, though we often give lip service or a doctrinal nod or two to the importance of love. Money and stuff, on the other hand, are things we humans (we Americans in particular) have no trouble placing at the center of our sights. And with a little scriptural tweeking here and there, we seem to have found a way to serve God and money at the same time.

  33. Премного благодарен. Прочитал с интересом, и вообще полезный у Вас блог

  34. what is an example of prosperity?

    when asked about an example of prosperity, the dollar sign, vacation homes, and heaps of gold coins pop up. But in reality, true prosperity is not synonymous to materialism nor is it limited to financial stability. I definitely agree on this part here:

    The Bible teaches us that if “we seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, all these things will be added..” This is not, however, an appeal to materialism or the desire for wealth. It is dependence on God- and on the freedom of God- to provide in whatever situation we find ourselves. God’s provision is not a promise to enrich, but to provide as needed for our lives as we live out his Kingdom’s purposes.

  35. what is an example of prosperity?

    when asked about an example of prosperity, the dollar sign, vacation homes, and heaps of gold coins pop up. But in reality, true prosperity is not synonymous to materialism nor is it limited to financial stability. I definitely agree on this part here:

    The Bible teaches us that if “we seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and its righteousness, all these things will be added..” This is not, however, an appeal to materialism or the desire for wealth. It is dependence on God- and on the freedom of God- to provide in whatever situation we find ourselves. God’s provision is not a promise to enrich, but to provide as needed for our lives as we live out his Kingdom’s purposes.