Prosperity gospel - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
Bluegoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I just don't get this - it seems completely opposed to Christianity to me.  Where is it coming from?  I'm not sure what I'm looking for here, just thoughts I guess - it bothers me as a phenomena.


 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
Bluegoat is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 01:33 PM
 
la mamita's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: the dark side of the moon.
Posts: 2,146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Subbing...I want to learn more too.

I find it very, very troubling and totally opposite to what I have been exposed to as a Catholic with Quaker roots.

Wikipedia might be a good place to start? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology

ETA: Poking around in the links listed in the wiki, I found this article from Time Magazine which is interesting. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1533448-1,00.html

raising my two sunshine children.

la mamita is offline  
#3 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
Bluegoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


That Time article is interesting.  It seems that they are just a Christian version of all those popular self help books - if you do the right things and think the right thoughts, you will gain good things. 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by la mamita View Post

Subbing...I want to learn more too.

I find it very, very troubling and totally opposite to what I have been exposed to as a Catholic with Quaker roots.

Wikipedia might be a good place to start? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology

ETA: Poking around in the links listed in the wiki, I found this article from Time Magazine which is interesting. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1533448-1,00.html



 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
Bluegoat is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 08:04 PM
 
cappuccinosmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: SW Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,628
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Bothers me too.

cappuccinosmom is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 08:31 PM
 
Tradd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,160
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Anyone with a decent grounding in the Gospel and the NT should realize that the "prosperity gospel" is totally against everything Christ preached.

 

My priest has preached against this recently.

 

I sometimes wonder if the prosperity gospel folks are relying too much on the OT and not enough on the NT. By this I mean, if you read the OT, particularly Proverbs and other places, it certainly gives the impression that a poor man is not blessed by God but a prosperous man *is*. But the Gospel turned that thinking on its head!


lady.gif
Tradd is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 08:44 PM
 
hotmamacita's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post

Anyone with a decent grounding in the Gospel and the NT should realize that the "prosperity gospel" is totally against everything Christ preached.!



Yes, but many churches have leadership who have not a decent grounding in the Gospel.  Suffering and Truth have been exchaged for lies of ease and wealth in many ways.   It sickens me actually.   Truth has been exchanged for lies.

 

 

hotmamacita is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 01:33 AM
 
genifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: In a land, far far away...
Posts: 1,223
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

All I can say really is that Im glad Im not the only one who feels this way. Its refreshing to hear people speak out against this sort of teaching. It also makes me upset that its often the case that these guys have the loudest voices and the mega churches. I have increasingly felt  more and more isolated from the 'church' at large bc of the false teaching therein. Saying that I also believe its to be expected. Like many lies, there is a hint of truth but its only a teeny wiff. We are blessed, but not with the material things the prosperity 'gospel' preaches. The riches of Christ are eternally more weighty and wonderful then anything we can seek in this life. Its often the case that the richest blessings come from the most deep and traumatically painful circumstances. Thats the price we pay, thats our cross to bear. There are often little rewards, earthly speaking, from following Christ. The spiritual blessing far outweigh those tho. The 'riches' in Christ are more along the lines of growing in the 'fruit' of the Spirit and knowing God the Father thru Jesus His Son, your maker. Knowing your real value and worth to your Creator. Thats what Ive learned so far, and those things are very personal to each believer, I bet. I find it very hard to put into words all the 'riches' Ive recieved knowing Him. Its so deep and personal. Saying that, my life is nothing like what the prosperity folk preach. Quite the opposite but I still wouldnt trade it for anything in the world.

genifer is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 05:11 AM
 
CherryBomb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 8,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Prosperity gospel makes me sick to my stomach, honestly.  God blesses us all in different ways, and I don't doubt that sometimes those blessings are monetary, but the whole idea that material wealth is a sign that God favors you, or loves you more than poor people, is ridiculous.  It's so contrary to what Christ taught.

CherryBomb is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 09:19 AM
 
Nazsmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: In the vine
Posts: 2,504
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post

Anyone with a decent grounding in the Gospel and the NT should realize that the "prosperity gospel" is totally against everything Christ preached.

 

My priest has preached against this recently.

 

I sometimes wonder if the prosperity gospel folks are relying too much on the OT and not enough on the NT. By this I mean, if you read the OT, particularly Proverbs and other places, it certainly gives the impression that a poor man is not blessed by God but a prosperous man *is*. But the Gospel turned that thinking on its head!

I think that Tradd is RIGHT about the OT. They try to keep people "under the law". Also, I did listen to one "prosperity" pastor and he NEVER said the name of Jesus one time. They give us christians a BAD name.

 

Saddly I think that many churches are falling away from Jesus. Which is another topic I know but true.

 

Nazsmum is online now  
#10 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 02:53 PM
 
Shami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Posts: 1,270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

The prosperity gospel is easy to take which is why the masses flock to hear it.  Pastors love the fact that people are flocking to hear them speak.  Egos take over.  Ambition takes over.  Pride takes over.  Being rich and famous can stumble anyone. 

 

Of course, Satan is behind it.  Satan uses it to distract people from the real riches of Christ as Jenifer mentioned.  I think we have to pray against it, binding prayers to bind the enemy from drawing away so many people.

 

I've listened to one person based in Houston, hint hint.  He hardly mentioned any verses and it was full of self, his jokes and so on.  I am not saying he is not a believer (I don't know his heart), but I think he's been deceived by the riches of this world.


DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
Shami is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 03:39 PM
 
zinemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: from the fire roads to the interstate
Posts: 6,588
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not a Christian, but if I were, I'd be as offended by the prosperity gospel as you are.

However, speaking as a Jew, don't lay this stuff at the door of the Hebrew Bible! Loving God, following God's commandments and loving our neighbor is what the Torah is about.

Personally, I think the prosperity gospel was born out of the discomforting paradox its proponents feel about being Christian, wealthy and heavily invested in enjoying material possessions. After all, your guy made that well-known comment about the difficulty of rich men going to heaven. Something about it being easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, I think? The whole thing strikes me as a way to justify living the high life.
zinemama is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 03:54 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Personally, I think the prosperity gospel was born out of the discomforting paradox its proponents feel about being Christian, wealthy and heavily invested in enjoying material possessions. After all, your guy made that well-known comment about the difficulty of rich men going to heaven. Something about it being easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, I think? The whole thing strikes me as a way to justify living the high life.

Particularly at the expense of one's parishioners. It's a perfect scam, really... convince people that by giving 10% of their income, they'll get rich because God will bless them. Because this is a popular doctrine, your teaching attracts thousands of parishioners, and all those tithes really add up. And those churches tend to be headed by pastors who hold pretty absolute sway based on authority and personality - no congregation rule, and no votes on how the money is allocated. Oh, and of course it's seen as spiritually necessary for the pastor to live a conspicuously wealthy lifestyle, to give hope to the masses and prove that the doctrine "works".

 

There's a guy doing it at the moment in New Zealand. It makes me sick.


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is online now  
#13 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 04:28 PM
 
eastkygal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: some dark mtn. holler
Posts: 2,674
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Yeah, I'm totally bothered by the prosperity teachings...  It is part of what can sometimes make saying your a Christian hard to justify to those who look to these famous preachers/churches, ways of evangelizing as being representative of total Christianity.  I feel like prosperity teachings are a misinterpretation of both OT and NT teachings.

Being a Christian is to  - "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2  In all estimate wallowing in the material goods and monies of the world, is conforming to only what we may see as comforts provided by the world.  It is a loving good who allows us to experience our own suffering or in the belief of some might even send it our way.   "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (KJV) Romans 8:28  Then, there is "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23  And when we choose to accept sin the illusion as our true lives, we bring upon our selves suffering and hardship.  Yet the glory and grace of God is always there for those of us who take the time to see it in all its facets.

Then, there is this... from Matthew Chapter 6

19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 22The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

 23But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

 24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

 27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

 28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

 30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

 

I take it literally when it says"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. ""

I'm terrible at it really, but to do otherwise is just to perpetuate the cycle of clinging to the world and seeking not first the kingdom of God... as Jesus said is within us.  It is not without us.  It is not of this world.  God in Genesis said that all He created was good.  He does not create evil/sin/suffering.  That is the world.  Material wealth is nothing to us.  This is not our home, and to be poor is not necessarily to be equated with suffering.  We add nothing to ourselves.  The world adds nothing to us.  It is the path we walk, and our relationship with our God and risen Savior who resides within our being.  The bits of heaven we glimpse when we "Be still and know that I am God."  The father in Luke said to the prodigal son - all that I have is thine.  It is the same for us and our Father.  All that He is - is ours, if we choose to look upon Him.

So, seeing worldly material rewards, while it might be a very pleasant thing, is of no measure in God's love for us or the lack of such is not punishment or equated with a lack of love from God.  It is silly in my opinion.  But, being of this world and the illusion it brings... I can see how we find it beguiling.

genifer likes this.

Appalachian mountain woman, radical homemaker, homeschooler, childbirth educator, and doula loving her DH and three powerful little femmes. Deladis 8-4-05, Ivy 4-28-08, and Gweneth 7-21-12 HBA2C! hbac.gif  -  blogging.jpg ribboncesarean.gif

eastkygal is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 05:06 PM
 
Shami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Posts: 1,270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't think anyone was blaming the Hebrew Bible.  Some Christians have taken some OT principles (like tithing) and applied them in a deceptive way, whether intentional or not, it's a terrible thing.  There are some OT references I have heard like, your cup runneth over...and expanding your borders.  And the more land and livestock you had the more God was blessing you translates into the more cars and the better houses means God is blessing you.  Yuck..makes me angry.

 

It has nothing to do with the Hebrew view and everything to do with fallen sinful men/women being deceived and deceiving others.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

Not a Christian, but if I were, I'd be as offended by the prosperity gospel as you are.

However, speaking as a Jew, don't lay this stuff at the door of the Hebrew Bible! Loving God, following God's commandments and loving our neighbor is what the Torah is about.

Personally, I think the prosperity gospel was born out of the discomforting paradox its proponents feel about being Christian, wealthy and heavily invested in enjoying material possessions. After all, your guy made that well-known comment about the difficulty of rich men going to heaven. Something about it being easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, I think? The whole thing strikes me as a way to justify living the high life.



DH, and Me plus baby girl (10/07)
Shami is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
Bluegoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post

Not a Christian, but if I were, I'd be as offended by the prosperity gospel as you are.

However, speaking as a Jew, don't lay this stuff at the door of the Hebrew Bible! Loving God, following God's commandments and loving our neighbor is what the Torah is about.

Personally, I think the prosperity gospel was born out of the discomforting paradox its proponents feel about being Christian, wealthy and heavily invested in enjoying material possessions. After all, your guy made that well-known comment about the difficulty of rich men going to heaven. Something about it being easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, I think? The whole thing strikes me as a way to justify living the high life.

 

I don't think it is a real understanding of those texts, but they do perhaps tend to lean on some of those passages heavily.  But yeah, even from a POV that excludes the NT, their message is off.  It isn't like the Hebrews are always getting richer and never having any troubles.

 

I wonder if they depend on their followers being less well versed in those texts, so it is easier to misrepresent them?

 

I also think that the movement is related to similar non-Christian movements that attract people.  Look how popular books like "The Secret" are.  People want a magic bullet.  What I find weird is that while these ideas sell so many books, and they have these huge mega-churches devoted to them, no one I have ever talked to has actually told me that he or she believes that by believing or doing the right things nothing bad can happen.  There seems to be some kind of disconnect.
 


 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
Bluegoat is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 11-17-2010, 03:01 PM
 
lilyka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 18,340
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

The thing you have to remember is that not every one reads scripture through the lens of a firm grounding of church tradition.  it does not take a lot of scripture twisting to make the prosperity gospel fit right in.  Especially if you start with  prosperity light....It starts out simple enough...God wants to bless you materially so that you care for his people.  care for the poor, for the church, the missionaries and the widows. And it is not just money but health,, security, stability.  They acknowledge (in the beginning) the prosperity is much more than money.  they would argue that money is not the root of all evil but the love of money.  They don't love money (so they say) they love God and use money to serve him. Christ scolded Judas for saying the woman anointing him should have used the money for the poor, she was doing a beautiful thing and Jesus thought it was great regardless of how indulgent it was..  Didn't God want us to have life abundantly?  Isn't he the great physician?  He fed the hungry to excess didn't he, every verse about giving comes with a promise of increase.  God has plans not to harm us but to give us life and a future, to prosper us.  

 

Don't get me wrong.  I am just playing devils advocate here.  But Christ did not preach poverty.  Or living on less.  He had a very balanced approach.   The scriptures,if interpreted in this way or that can mean a lot of things.  The seedlings of prosperity teaching is not even a stretch of the imagination.  Especially if you are scripture picking (taking bits and pieces out of context as in popular in some modern denominations) It is easy to see. and once the seeds are planted it is pretty easy to grow in to monstrous beast.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tradd View Post

Anyone with a decent grounding in the Gospel and the NT should realize that the "prosperity gospel" is totally against everything Christ preached.

 

My priest has preached against this recently.

 

I sometimes wonder if the prosperity gospel folks are relying too much on the OT and not enough on the NT. By this I mean, if you read the OT, particularly Proverbs and other places, it certainly gives the impression that a poor man is not blessed by God but a prosperous man *is*. But the Gospel turned that thinking on its head!


The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

lilyka is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 11-17-2010, 05:30 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,607
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

 

Quote:
it does not take a lot of scripture twisting to make the prosperity gospel fit right in.

It takes a fair bit of Scripture ignoring. Even given the interpretations of all the passages you mentioned, there are still awkward passages like "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle", and Christ promising His followers NOT poverty but persecution and hardships in this life.


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is online now  
#18 of 18 Old 11-19-2010, 10:43 AM
 
Nikki74's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It's a handy way for the prosperity preachers to become rich themselves.  As an example, the people they preach to are told that God will increase whatever they give and they'll get it back 100 fold, and they fall for it, especially those in any financial difficulty.

Nikki74 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off