What's the deal with the PROSPERITY theory??


#1

I don’t understand this theory of prosperity and God wanting us to be materially rich. I grew up in the Assembly of God Church but was baptized a Catholic. Recently, as I have been journeying back to the Church, my eyes have been opened to vast amount of energy being preached about prosperity. Every time I went to a service the majority of the sermons were about giving so that God could bless you with abundance and you could give more.

Nice idea but how does that justify gold Rolex watches and $3 million dollar homes like Benny Hinn? For many years I watched him on TV and specifically TBN network and it is the theme of every program. No Joke!!!

I even heard one preacher go as far as to say that Jesus was materially rich–He had a seamless tunic and supported all of his disciple(ie… money bag) with money. They pointed out the fact that Jesus needed money to fund his ministry and welfare of the disiples --noting Judas as the treasurer. And people fall for this!!! Benny Hinn says God doesn’t want you to be poor because then you cannot bless others.

We must pray that the blinders fall from the eyes of sincere believers so they are not so easily deceived. I believe money is neccessary for some parts of our lives but not integral to our existance. God blesses us in far too many others aspects. I for one do not want to have to answer to God about living a life of luxury while proclaiming Christ. It’s contradictory!!

The day my eyes were opened I was watching a TBN show called “The God Chasers” with Tommy Tenney and I couldn’t concentrate on what he was saying because my eyes were locked on the word “Versace” written on the side of his glasses!! That ruined the whole message for me.

Anyone out there agree with my analysis and have heard ministers preach the Prosperity Doctrine.

Paul Crouch of TBN was quoted as saying, “What do the critics want me to preach—the poverity theory. We are not going to be held down by that wicked way of thinking–it’s a trick of the Devil to make you think you should be poor”.


#2

Maybe our prayer should be , Lord dont make me rich because I probably will forget about you,dont make me poor so that I might steal and commit sin,but put me in the middle so that I can dailey thank you for meeting my needs. Amen. Lets be careful to pass judgement on our christian brothers. The same can be said about all the wealth in the Vatican but I wont go there. :wink:


#3

[quote=Delphine]Nice idea but how does that justify gold Rolex watches and $3 million dollar homes like Benny Hinn? For many years I watched him on TV and specifically TBN network and it is the theme of every program. No Joke!!!
[/quote]

I think you mistake excess for prospertiy, and also overlook economics.

My pastor frequently mentioned “big houses” in his sermons. One day I asked him, “Father, I have a big house. Would it be better if I had given the money to some poor people?”

He hemmed and hawed, and finally said yes.

So I said, “But that’s exactly what I did! I gave the money to some poor people, and they built me a house. So they got their living through the dignity of work, not through the shame of charity. And one of the men working on the house told me how lucky he was – he got to work with some master builders who taught him so much about his trade. Now, did I do wrong?”

The priest finally allowed as how I didn’t really do wrong. :slight_smile:

Many people see economics as a zero sum game. It isn’t. My house represents economic activity. While the builders now have my money, I have a house equal in value to the money – something that didn’t exist before was created, and we are all the better for it.


#4

TBN drives me nuts, as does the prosperity gospel. I can’t help but see it as a cleverly devised scam.

But aside from that, isn’t it related to the pentecostal idea that God always wants you healed, that it just depends on your faith. So if bodily health, then why not financial, etc.

I get angry when I see TBN telethons going on and think of all the poor old ladies (or men!) sending in their grocery money believing it will come back to them a hundred fold.

Here’s an idea: why don’t we conspire to flood TBNs phone lines with, well, anything other than promises to contribute.


#5

[quote=vern humphrey]I gave the money to some poor people, and they built me a house. So they got their living through the dignity of work, not through the shame of charity. And one of the men working on the house told me how lucky he was – he got to work with some master builders who taught him so much about his trade. Now, did I do wrong?"
[/quote]

I like that. Well Said!:thumbsup:

I think this prosperity thing is a good money maker. Give me your money and I promise that you will get richer. What a deal! Funny how they never mention that what the bible is often refering to is treasures in Heaven from our sacrifices and suferings down here.
Personally I have to say that the more I have given the more material things I have been blessed with. However, I know that if it is Gods will it could all be taken away. I trust in God alone (not Gov or Bank acct) to provide all that I need. I think God does not call all of us to do the same things. God calls some to be poor, others to provide the dignity of work to others, some to give all that they have, and others to save for their families. The important thing is to heed his call.


#6

What is TBN?


#7

TBN is the Trinity Broadcating Network.

They claim to be the largest Christian TV network in the world. But they tend to only have the same preachers day after day. Sort of “Preacher Celebrities”.

Now Tommy Tenney is in production with them to produce the next Big christian movie(inspired by the response to “The Passion”). It’s going to be called “One Night With the King”–the story of Esther and is due out this Purim(near Easter).

I loved the Passion and I’m all for Christian movies. I just hope this account will be historically/biblically true.

I’ve heard they are pouring millions into it. GEE wonder where the money is coming from???


#8

[quote=JamesD]I like that. Well Said!:thumbsup:

I think this prosperity thing is a good money maker. Give me your money and I promise that you will get richer. What a deal! Funny how they never mention that what the bible is often refering to is treasures in Heaven from our sacrifices and suferings down here.
Personally I have to say that the more I have given the more material things I have been blessed with. However, I know that if it is Gods will it could all be taken away. I trust in God alone (not Gov or Bank acct) to provide all that I need. I think God does not call all of us to do the same things. God calls some to be poor, others to provide the dignity of work to others, some to give all that they have, and others to save for their families. The important thing is to heed his call.
[/quote]

I hold no brief for those who make money off of religious ideas – but at the same time, I realize that if we all give all we have, who will be left to give more?

The Apostles tried that idea – as we see in Acts – and it didn’t work.

Much better we each suport ourselves, and generate a surplus to care for those who truly can’t make a living.


#9

[quote=SPOKENWORD]The same can be said about all the wealth in the Vatican but I wont go there. :wink:
[/quote]

Wait a minute. The Vatican is not all that wealthy. The Diocese of Orange, CA has a far bigger annual budget than the Vatican, and the Vatican is a sovereign nation with diplomatic and political responsibilities. The Vatican is pretty much broke most of the time. They have operated at a yearly deficit since the 1920s.

As to all the “treasures” the Vatican has in its vaults and museums, most of that stuff doesn’t actually belong to the Vatican. Most of the crowns, robes, artwork and jewels on display in the Vatican museums no more belong to the Vatican than the stuff in the Smithsonian Museums belongs to the US government. It is all held in trust for the families or nations that donated it to the safekeeping of the Church. Even if the family has died out, the Church is legally obligated to hold the goods in perpetuity in case anyone arises to claim them. If you ever take a tour of the museums, the guide will tell you all this.

I remember that movie The Shoes of the Fisherman in which the pope, played by Anthony Quinn, liquidates the “wealth” of the Vatican to feed the poor in China. The Church wouldn’t have the legal right to do that, but it was an interesting movie. In truth, the food wouldn’t go very far on what they could get for that stuff in the museums. Still, people like to imagine that the Vatican is extremely wealthy just because the buildings look good and everyone is dressed nicely. Most of that stuff is donated. I know that the Knights of Columbus paid to have the facade of St. Peter’s basilica restored.
Paul


#10

The evangelical counsels are poverty, celibacy, and obedience. When was the last time you ever heard a Protestant preach about the value of the evangelical counsels?

The prosperity “gospel” in nothing but a rationalization for serving mammon instead of serving God.… those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
1Tim. 6:9

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Matt. 6:24

"If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
Matt. 19:21


#11

I find a delicious irony in all of this. Protestants have long attacked the Catholic Church for “selling indulgences” to “get rich.” However, here is a fine example of Protestants doing the exact same thing- holding out spiritual reward in return for money. Yes, indulgences were abused, but the Catholic Church still held it’s members to a higher standard: an indulgence had no spiritual value whatsoever without confession and interior repentance.


#12

I have heard lots of prosperity and health from TBN. I don’t recall that John Hagee (one of the shows on TBN) is prosperity, so they don’t all have that flaw.

I have watched the sad results of people who will never be anything but poor be spiritually injured by prosperity messages. The trouble is preaching a false gospel in place of the real one, so it can lead to despair.

I know it is off point, but expensive glasses are the only way to go. I am wearing my most expensive pair to date, and it is the only pair in my lifetime not to leave marks on my face. Who would have thought it possible for glasses not to hurt? Man, I love these things!


#13

“If wealth is a curse, may God strike me with it! And may I never recover!” --Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof

:smiley:

DaveBj


#14

To Pug:

I forgot to mention they were sunglasses. He was sitting outside on a beachfront location. Possible TBN properity.

The amount of properties purchased by TBN is amazing. Not to mention private estates and ranches. And it’s prime real estate --like Martha’s Vineyard(private home).

Why does a Christian TV station need a ranch??? Sometimes they ask,“If you have any horses you’d like to send us —feel free”. I have to laugh because people have!! I guess it is tax deductible! !But I don’t understand the Christian connection. Since when did any church spread the gospel through livestock?
John Hagee so far hasn’t been on the prosperity bandwagon like the others. “Travel The Road” with two missionaries that only have a backpack,clothes on their backs, and a bible(plus video camera) is a good “documentary” program also. That’s really extreme and Christ-centered–to sell everything you own go around the world spreading the Gospel of our Lord. Not many programs showing that!! Thumbs up for that project.

traveltheroad.com


#15

Prosperity Gospel preachers baffle me. How one can get “God wants me to be rich” from a genuine study of Scripture (and the history of the Faith) is amazing.

I live right smack dab in the middle of some of their prime territory: Texas. The “Potter’s House”, home of “pastor” TD Jakes, is only a mile or so west from my Catholic School, one of the poorest in our Diocese. Many people here love Joyce Meyer, perhaps one of the cleverest of the propsrity gospel preachers, and the TBN station headquarters is within walking distance of my home. Good old Bob Tilton used to have his big ole church here (recently bulldozed). A new one rising up in Grapevine is called The Fellowship Church. Not sure what they teach exactly, but it’s a HUGE building with floating spotlights on the outside. Scary stuff.

But I don’t worry about it too much, really. It’s a house built on sand and the tides of time and truth will wash it away. For :thumbsup: if the Lord does not build a house…


#16

It’s hard not to like Joyce Meyer…she’s one funny lady. She tells jokes a mile a minute.

I find TBN puzzling. I don’t understand why people give money when they stand around in the room with the impressive chairs and ask? That presentation is so unappealing to me.

Delphine, I don’t have any productive thoughts on all that property you mention. Maybe they use the ranch for a retreat house for all their employees?:hmmm:


#17

Hey does Mel Gibson know about this. I am sure he doesn’t know this Tommy Tenney guy is comparing his movie to the Passion. I am sure it will be quite awful I have yet to see a good relgious film come from the TBN movie factory. When I think of great movie direcots the name Tommy Tenney just roles out of my mouth.
I am sure this movie won’t be competing with the passion for the most significant religious movie ever made. The story of Esther is also a unique choice to say the least of the OT books it has no tie ins in any way with the NT. Thats not to say its not a great story it just isn’t very Christian it doesn’t really refer to God in any way. It is a very culturally Jewish book. Put it this way I don’t think too many people are going to come of out Esther saved!


#18

The Prosperity “gospel” - you put God in a box, and if you say the right magic words, he will pop out and grant all of your wishes. I just cannot find that verse :slight_smile:

One of those TBN-ers, well, his son and I were very good friends as teens. Dad, who is a TBN “star” was the pastor of our church for a couple of years. Son came to visit out of the blue a few months ago, I was pretty sure that he’d heard I’d become Catholic and wanted to re-save me :wink: Ended up, he just wanted to visit.


#19

[quote=Matt16_18]The evangelical counsels are poverty, celibacy, and obedience. When was the last time you ever heard a Protestant preach about the value of the evangelical counsels?

The prosperity “gospel” in nothing but a rationalization for serving mammon instead of serving God.… those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

1Tim. 6:9

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Matt. 6:24

"If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
Matt. 19:21

[/quote]

Since they are Evangelicals - may be they should preach about them :slight_smile:

What I would really like to know is how preachers of this kind deal with:
[list]
]Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
]Mark 8:32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
]Mark 8:33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.”
]Mark 8:34
And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

*]Mark 8:35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
*]Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
*]Mark 8:37 For what can a man give in return for his life?
*]Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
[/list]It would be a pity if Peter were to be followed only in that bad idea of his; and even worse, if the Cross were to be explained way. This passage is not exactly an affirmation of “The American Way” - it’s unsettling stuff. It’s one of the hardest of many “hard sayings” - so it ought to be emphasised.

If Jesus said today what he says in this passage, He would be denounced as a “Commie” from many pulpits. He would probably be silenced, if at all possible.

The odd thing is, that “prosperity theology” is true to much of what is in the OT (but not all) ; and it doesn’t seem to take the NT sufficiently seriously.


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