Thursday, April 21, 2016
The Soft Prosperity Gospel
What do you think of when you read the words prosperity gospel? Odds are that your stomach turns a bit as you think about the preachers on television who speak to very large crowds and appeal to even more people in their books. Queasiness is the reaction one should have to the brand of Christianity trumpeted by prosperity preachers. This is because the prosperity gospel is not a gospel at all but rather a damnable perversion of the true gospel. Its preachers herald a message of self-improvement that runs painfully contrary to several key biblical realities. They minimize the purpose of suffering, discourage self-denial, and make the Christian life about the accumulation of stuff. To do this they turn Jesus from the self-giving, sin-atoning, wrath-satisfying, guilt-removing Savior into an eager butler who fetches all of our desires and gives us our best life now.
The prosperity gospel shrinks the gospel down to an unfiltered pursuit of our desires. It shifts the message from the spiritual to the materialistic. Let’s be clear about this: the prosperity gospel is about us rather than God.
This is nothing new. Many have tried to avoid the clear instructions of Jesus that are forever etched on the doorpost of the church: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Jesus’ call to discipleship is a call to deny self. It’s a costly call that expects and embraces suffering. Read More
Image: Jacques Tissot's The Rich Young Man
Posted by Robin G. Jordan at 2:18 PM