Every once in a while I post a meme that causes a lot of thought. Some time ago I posted a meme about false doctrines that began a discussion about “prosperity gospel” or “Word of Faith.” I thought that tonight it might be good to discuss whether this teaching is Biblical.
Some of today’s churches are preaching that if your faith is great enough that riches will abound. That if you proclaim something with your mouth that you can achieve and will receive it. But does this follow the precepts of the Word of God?
“Prosperity gospel” implies that we use God to achieve those things that we want whereas the Bible teaches that God uses us to promote His perfect will. Paul warned Timothy about false teachers and the love of money. I Timothy 6:5b states -…”and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” In I Timothy 6:9-11 Paul also says, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
As Christians, it is important that we look to Jesus to see how we should live. Jesus never ran after wealth. Rather, He was poor, never putting His trust in things of this world – Matthew 8:20 – Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Paul warns us about becoming greedy for the things of this world in Ephesians 5:5 – For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a person is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
“Prosperity gospel” has as a central theme “positive confession.” This teaches that the words that we speak have within them creative power. They teach that what YOU say, what YOU confess, determines everything that happens to YOU. This way of thinking places the onus on our words not on God’s will, that God’s ability to bless us depends on our faith.
Indeed, God can bless people with wealth and He does. But God does not bless everyone with wealth and not having wealth does not mean you do not have faith, which is a big weakness in the properties of “prosperity gospel.”
So what should our response to “prosperity gospel” be? “Prosperity gospel” is not supported by the Word and actually the Bible warns against this type of teaching. If find yourself drawn to this type of preaching, take time to see what the Bible says about possessions, money, and a person’s quest for wealth. The central theme of the Gospel must always be the saving grace of Christ. The central theme of the Gospel is about God’s mercy, His grace, and His desire to have us at the center of His will. The central theme of “prosperity gospel” is the use of our faith to become wealthy. Which gospel will you follow?
© 2017 By Marlys Popma
The Christian Conservative.
Used with permission.