“Are you tired of living from paycheck to paycheck? Have you ever observed a need that you longed to meet, but you didn’t have the finances to help? Do you yearn to sow freely into the needs of the ministry? Do you want more out of life for you and your family? If so, you need the School of Prosperity!”
These words are copied directly from the website of the “Christian Ministry” of a man named Creflo Dollar. I had not even heard of him until I saw an online story about how God had “told” him that the ministry needed a new $65 million private jet. Apparently travelling around the world proclaiming the good news cannot be accomplished if you travel coach.
Mr. Dollar is sadly not alone in his teaching.
On his website Jerry Savelle states his ministry “exists to teach people around the world how to live in God’s blessing, experience His favor, and become the winner in life that He has called them to be” and to “Motivate people, no matter who they are, to develop a “no quit” faith and to receive God’s favor on their finances.”
Kenneth Hagin, in an article on his website writes, “When it comes to the realm of the natural, so many people don’t see the truth that God wants them to prosper financially and walk in divine health.”
There are many, many other similar preachers in America proclaiming a message of financial prosperity. To those outside these churches the message seems obviously and even comically false. How could anyone believe that God’s plan of redemption would have a financial focus?
The answer can be found in scripture. Near the end of his life the Apostle Paul wrote these words to his protégé Timothy, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
People naturally seek out pastors who will tell them what they want to hear. In a society obsessed with material wealth, a culture where a person at the US “poverty line” has annual income higher than 85% of the world’s population, and a society obsessed with immediate gratification it should not surprise us that people want to be told that they can and should have more. They believe the lie they want to hear.
What angers me the most about this theology is not the manner in which it deceives so many (although that does tick me off.) What angers me most is the way it trivializes and diminishes God. An Eternal God by very definition must be concerned about eternal things. Acting as if this life is all that matters denies God’s nature, plan and intent. It is a heresy that must be rejected and mocked at every opportunity.
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