The Prosperity Gospel: Blessing or Curse?

In recent years, I have heard and read much about the prosperity gospel; both arguments for and against it. Scripture is clear about three things that concern this issue:

  • The love of money, passion for fame and desire for wealth always lead to painful harm – 1 Timothy 6:6-10
  • God’s promise to supply the need of His children is valid and certain – Philippians 4:19
  • The Christian life is one of many challenges, trials of faith and striving (and of course victories too) – Matthew 19:24-30, 7:13-14

So what makes the prosperity gospel dangerous? Why is it such a big issue in the church today? How do you reconcile the three key elements I listed above? I want to read from you. Kindly respond to this post below or send me your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

Before you do, spend the next 10 minutes to watch this video by John Piper on what he calls “Why I Abominate the Prosperity Gospel” (not intended to tilt the argument in any direction before it even starts) 🙂

Looking forward to understanding your perspective and views. I encourage you to share this post if you are on Facebook, Twitter or have your own blog for wider reach and engagement. Thanks in advance.

About Joseph Iregbu

I'm a writer, purpose guy, speaker and business consultant. My passion is to help people live with purpose and not waste their lives. I live in the UK with my wife, Temi and our gorgeous Isabel Juda. Let's connect on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Hermann Kamga

    I appreciate it

  • Sarah

    I don’t agree with it mainly because of what Piper said…but I do believe in healing and that a Christian can walk into a hospital and heal the sick along with bringing souls to Christ. Men in the past have done it from Acts till now…from what I understand the more we suffer for Christ’s sake (through prayer, fasting, trials, dying to self and sacrifice), the more power we see around us including healing. There will always be cases where God has a greater purpose and people don’t get healed but apart from that I disagree with Mr.Pipers point at the end (if that was what he meant)..We can get carried away with critiques and fall on the other end of the scale, where people don’t believe in the gifts of the spirit, having faith for Gods power etc.. Im trying to be a bit more careful with my criticisms. But I can’t help but notice many of the prosperity preachers bring in some strange doctrines about being gods and denying confession of sin; which are similar to the central beliefs of the growing new age movement. I think that’s all lol. God bless, Hope all is good with you

    • Thanks Sarah for bringing a different element into the discussion. I was focusing more on the concept that Christians must be rich and wealthy and have an easy life and all the sowing and reaping drama akin to prosperity preachers when they speak. But I like the healing and power angle you have brought into it. What exactly did you disagree with Piper on? I didn’t fully understand that bit. Thanks again Sarah, we are doing great!

  • Sarah

    I heard Piper say that the preachers cannot walk in to a hospital and preach their gospel and heal everybody. I might have misinterpreted him, it was 4am I might have got it wrong. But I have seen many people I know fall into the trap of thinking all miracles and power gifts do not happen any more because the prosperity movement has driven them away from it.
    Honestly deep inside the teachings that go on about having the best life in terms of money, success and feeling great annoy me. They make Christians fat and lazy when we should be constantly pouring our lives out for others no matter the cost. They take snippets of biblical principles to support what they do, but I don’t think its biblical.

    • That’s a hugely powerful insight you’ve shed there: taking a snippet and making a gospel out of it. To be honest, I would say you’re probably on the same page with Piper actually. I think his point is that the sole ministry of prosperity preachers is what can’t chase a demon or genuinely heal a soul, not the gospel in its entirety. Having said that, I do take your perspective on board, especially relating to our deepest calling and purpose on earth. Very insightful.

  • I truly believe that the prosperity gospel capitalizes on the greed and selfishness of people, benefiting money-hungry individuals who would never dream of living lives of self-sacrifice. I don’t deny that God can bless you with earthly riches, but when the gospel is primarily about you and your earthly desires, we’re moving into dangerous territory. Christ called us to die to this life – you can’t do that and still base your theology on self-serving greed. Just my two cents worth. Thanks for focusing on a very important topic!

    • Heinz,
      Your views are extremely important and I like the manner in which you have narrowed it down to two major points: God’s call on us to die to self and our unending desire to acquire more. What do you think is the way to get the right balance? For those that rightly believe in self denial and material blessings – how can they reconcile both? Is anything wrong in reconciling both? What do you think?

      Joseph

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