Monday, September 14, 2015

Fleecing the Flock

The prosperity gospel maintains the redemption in Jesus is also redemption from financial poverty. The prosperity gospel says in order to receive from God; we first have to first give money to the church.

This so-called gospel appeals to the rich because it tells them they will become richer. It appeals to the poor because it promises them they will become rich. It appeals to pastors because it has proved to be an effective way to grease money out of Christians by making them believe if they give to their churches, God would give them a hundredfold return. Thus, Gloria Copeland says: “You give $1 for the gospel’s sake and $100 belongs to you. Give $10 and receive $1,000. Give $1,000 and receive $100,000. Give one house and receive one hundred houses or one house worth one hundred times as much. Give one airplane and receive one hundred times the value of the airplane. Give one car and the return would furnish you a lifetime of cars.”

The prosperity gospel is convenient for justifying the wealth of pastors who have become rich at the expense of their congregation. Thus, Marcus Bishop says unapologetically: “Financial prosperity is just as much a part of the Gospel as anything else… I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m not ashamed of prosperity. I’m not ashamed that Jesus bought and paid for me to be wealthy. Let me just tell you from the heart of God, preachers are supposed to be rich.”

The prosperity gospel is also lucrative for selling books. The Christian book market is full of “get-rich-quick tipsters” and “one-minute-solution merchants.” For example, Joel Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now” sold millions of copies. It was number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Osteen tells Christians they can get their best life now; a far more marketable proposition than one saying: “Take up your cross and follow Jesus.”

No comments: