What On Earth Is “A Prosperity Gospel”? Who is it “gospel” to? One of the foundational qualities of a theological principle is its universality; that is, its relevance to all people at all times in all places. Of what use is a “prosperity gospel” to those who see no connection whatsoever between their wealth and an allegiance to Christ, or even those who are under grave persecution from their government and are the risk of losing their lives at a moment’s notice, of what use is the “prosperity gospel” to these ones?
The so called prosperity gospel thrives in places where people’s self worth are tied to their possessions. Where “meaning” is encapsulated in physical wellbeing, where significance is confused with the spectacular. The prosperity gospel fails the universality test woefully. And it is a tragedy to see how easily people are swayed by the mirage of the prosperity gospel.
I am yet to see any prosperity preacher whose wealth is not directly proportional to the contributions of the people he rips off. The Old shenanigans are giving way to the new, layers upon layers of sophistication is now being added so as to sway the target market, but the mirage is still the same.
The question that may arise is, “is the aspiration to get wealth Biblically wrong”?
Now, all what is being said is that such an aspiration is not in any way or form uniquely Christian and as such must not be couched as a Christian virtue, let alone “a gospel”. The aspiration to be wealthy, to be healthy or to have a great marriage is not in any way, size or form a uniquely Christian aspiration, and as such it must never be couched as a Christian virtue, let alone “a gospel”. The aspiration to get wealth is a human aspiration, desired by all kinds of people — believers and unbelievers alike.
To teach that God has somehow granted an advantage to the believer, as far as this aspiration is concerned, and that such an advantage can mostly be accessed through prayer, generous donations, night vigils, special night vigils, seed faith, special impartation, prophetic declarations, and the like, is to be a con artist! To put it simply, the “prosperity gospel” is one of the world’s longest running cons.
*This post is adapted from a response to a conversation on facebook.