Prosperity Gospel

The recent controversy of The Elephant Room has brought to mind a critical issue regarding the prosperity gospel. Most of the controversy surrounds the modalist views, or lack thereof, of T.D Jakes, but it is the prosperity gospel that touches most evangelicals.

If somebody reads the Bible and thinks that God desires that all Christians be healthy and wealthy on this earth they are obviously illiterate. There is nothing further from the Truth. Jesus left the glories of Heaven to come to this earth.That alone should indicate to us that our life is not about our comfort but about other people. Jesus tells us that we will have trouble in this life, but don't worry He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Timothy tells us that "all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12)." The ethos of faith is contrary to having all of our needs met in this life. It is about laying down our lives for others because that is what Jesus Christ did for us. It is about the least of these. If we are rich and others are poor be prepared for judgment not mercy. Living in houses with closets full of shoes does not demonstrate faith.

Many Evangelicals recognize the prosperity gospel as anti-christian but don't we all practice it. We know we should not teach it, but do we know we should not live it either? Nobody would admit that they are living the prosperity gospel but we need to take a look around. How many of us have a car, house, take trips, eat out, have clothes we don't wear, spend money on entertainment? Our wants have become needs and our perspective is skewed. Ezekiel characterized the guilt of our western culture succinctly when he said about Sodom, "you had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49)." Take heed.

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