True prosperity is spiritual!
by Nick Bishop
On Christian broadcasting networks and unfortunately even in some churches, we hear much about the ‘Prosperity Gospel’.
Only very recently, the famous TV Evangelist and larger-than-life personality, Jesse Duplantis, is asking his followers for over $54 Million Dollars so he can purchase the latest jet that will enable him to travel the globe.
Duplantis said, ‘If Jesus was physically on Earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey…He’d be in an aeroplane preaching the gospel all over the world’. You can read more in Christian Today about what Duplantis said in an article entitled:
‘Would Jesus use a private jet for evangelism Jesse Duplantis thinks so.
Purveyors of the so-called Prosperity Gospel also include American preachers like Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes, and John Hagee to name but a few.
It is a version of Christianity that promises us materialistic blessings and good health if we give to their ministry what is called ‘seed money’ – the idea being that we are planting a financial seed and will reap the financial blessings and good health from God in return. However, in most cases, this does not happen – indeed the reverse often happens – with the Pastor or the TV Evangelist living in great comfort and splendour, while those in the pews or watching the broadcast find themselves in financial difficulty.
Unfortunately, the majority of Christians that follow the prosperity gospel are Christians that fall into the lower socio-economic rungs of our society. Historian Kate Bowler in her book, Blessed, highlights the fact poorer Christians are often easily ensnared by churches or TV networks preaching the merits of the prosperity gospel.
If you study the Bible it does tell us throughout the Old and New Testaments that God will supply all of our needs, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean material gain. The blessings the Bible is talking about are of the spiritual kind, and Jesus himself makes this crystal clear in Matthew 6:3. Other examples of Jesus talking about spiritual blessings as opposed to material blessings are found in Matthew 16:26 and Mark 10:25.
There is nothing wrong with financial wealth, and what one does with their material wealth is a personal choice. However, if we follow Christ’s humble example we should think carefully about how we will use our blessings for the Kingdom of God, and especially donate to those less fortunate.
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