Someone could accuse the critique of being bitter that they have health problems and jealous of these preachers wealth. Now I cannot speak for everyone but let me assure you I am not one those people. In fact I will say in of itself there is nothing wrong with being healthy and wealthy. The problem is that the prosperity theology promises that if you have faith you will be guaranteed health and wealth. It is a fact that there are some in scripture who were healthy, wealthy and received supernatural healing. However there were still those who became sick and were never supernaturally healed, plus many were financially poor. The fact is some of will not live in complete health or be wealthy and to say the Bible promises that is completely wrong!
Now having attended a church that taught the Prosperity Theology and listened to many of these preachers I am well aware of the scriptures that are used to justify such beliefs. I will take the time to look at two scriptures that I have heard being used.
And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea’, it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith”. (Matthew 21:21-22 ESV). For me this was a hard verse and when the idea of writing this blog entry came to me I was not sure how to argue against it. When I would hear word of faith teacher quote this verse I would feel they had got me. If you read the context of the chapter nothing in the chapter seems to dispute the claim that faith can get you anything you want. How can you argue against it? But then I started to think about the whole Gospel. Jesus’ message was about serving God and other people, it was not about getting rich and living in health. Taking a look at Jesus being tested in the wilderness shows that he resisted corrupt pleasures! Jesus’ life was full of troubles and hardships, and he did not command these hardships to stop. The same could be said about the Apostles. Like Apostle Paul said: I know how to brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstances, I have the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need (Philippians 4:12 ESV). Having a look at that verse you could say the Apostle probably did (at times) prosper financially, however (at times) he also went without. At times his life was really hard, at times he lacked. This idea that we will not lack because we are Christian is wrong!
Lets look at another passage that is quoted by Prosperity Preachers: Beloved I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it it goes well with your soul (3 John 1:2 ESV). Wait a second! What? How can this be support a prosperous world view? Well if you notice I am quoting from the ESV, yet the prosperity preachers quote from KJV where it uses the word prosper instead of go well with you. It is very obvious when one examines this text in several translations that this a simple greeting. It is like me starting a text or email someone saying I hope you are well.
Now I know there are plenty of other scriptures are used by prosperity preachers and if you want to ask me about them feel free to ask in the comments section below, email or on Twitter. Next week I will reveal how the prosperity theology can cause people to become really nasty and the link between it and Christian Science.
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