The American Dream. Not the singer/producer. The actual American Dream! We all grow up and learn that the American Dream consists of wealth, fame, and success. Wealth is the aspect I would like to focus on because it can come along with fame and success. Everyone wants to prosper in all that they do. Prosperity has become a big deal in society today…especially in certain churches.
Prosperity is just a “softer” way to say rich. I am a firm believer of, “If God wanted everyone to be rich, then there would be no poverty in this world.” Seeing how that is not the case, prosperity preachers need to slow it down just a bit. Yes, PROSPERITY PREACHERS! These are the ones who preach for you to give, give, give and you shall receive, receive, receive. The keyword in that last sentence is give (and they don’t mean your love, trust, faith, and hope to God) They mean for you to give your money to the church because apparently you can make a hefty profit from giving money to the church.
Reasons Why Prosperity Preaching can be Faulty
1) I understand the concept of giving tithes to God, giving money to the church for building funds, giving money to the church for the Pastor, and etc. However, I don’t believe that one should give their money to the church if they barely have it to give. God knows your heart right? He knows if you want to give, but you just don’t have the funds. That’s understandable. Just don’t make a habit of it and use it as an excuse every time. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7) It seems a lot of prosperity preachers will tell you to give your last, because God has a blessing for you in the future. To me it sounds like they want you to pay with MONEY to THEM in order to receive blessings from God. Tell me if that sounds right at all?
2) What profits it a main to gain the whole world but lose his soul? (Mark 8:36) There are so many people who want quick blessings from God that they do everything BUT what they need to do to receive an overflowing amount of blessings. Giving money to the church, to receive monetary blessings from God makes people focus on the material rather than the ultimate power at hand, God!
3) The false impression that prosperity preachers seem to give off is that, the more money one has, the more grace, favor, and love God will show towards them. “There is a word for that: baloney. It’s creating a false idol. You don’t measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn’t everyone in the church a millionaire?” (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1533448-2,00.html) It does not profit a Christian to be spiritually poor, but financially rich. Some of the most spiritually rich Christians I know are financially struggling, but God finds favor in those who are rich in spirit, not in money.
4) It is a simple and easy way for the rich to take advantage of the poor and give them false hope. They prey on those who have no hope. It is very easy to prey on those who have nothing going right for them. You can introduce this “get rich quick scheme” that allows for them to gain prosperity through giving just a bit of their funds to the church. Some people see this and are immediately attracted to it. Yes, they are attracted to the fact that they can receive money from God, not the Big Man Himself!
In 1 Timothy 6, the Bible says that Christians should not be greedy and learn to be content. However it also says that the rich should be generous and ready to share. I’m not saying that it is wrong for Christians to be rich, but they need to make sure that their focus is still on God and that they are not being greedy with their money. They need to be generous. Don’t get so wrapped up in the material things that you forget to acknowledge God. He was the one who gave you those things (I hope) and just as sure He can take them away from you in an instant.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” Matthew 6:19
If you get the chance, check out the links below related to Prosperity Theology
Word of Faith, Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It, Prosperity Theology
- The False Gospel of Success and Prosperity (treeofmamre.wordpress.com)
- Money Making and Money Giving — Sightings (pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com)
- Storing Up True Riches — A Sermon (pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com)