Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith) is a religious belief among some Protestant Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth.
Prosperity theology has been criticized by leaders from various Christian denominations, including within the Pentecostal and charismatic movements, who maintain that it is irresponsible, promotes idolatry, and is contrary to scripture. Secular as well as some Christian observers have also criticized prosperity theology as exploitative of the poor.
The practices of some preachers have attracted scandal
and some have been charged with financial fraud
Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity. The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God’s will for his people to be blessed. The atonement (reconciliation with God) is interpreted to include the alleviation of sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses to be broken by faith. This is believed to be achieved through donations of money, visualization, and positive confession.
It was during the Healing Revivals of the 1950s that prosperity theology first came to prominence in the United States, although commentators have linked the origins of its theology to the New Thought movement which began in the 19th century. The prosperity teaching later figured prominently in the Word of Faith movement and 1980s televangelism. In the 1990s and 2000s, it was adopted by influential leaders in the Pentecostal movement and charismatic movement in the United States and has spread throughout the world. Prominent leaders in the development of prosperity theology include E. W. Kenyon, Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, Robert Tilton, T. L. Osborn, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Reverend Ike, and Kenneth Hagin.
Prosperity churches place a strong emphasis on the importance of giving.
Some services include a teaching-time focused on giving and prosperity, including Biblical references to tithing; and then a sermon on another topic which follows the offering. Prosperity-church leaders often claim that a specific blessing can be exchanged for the money being donated to their ministry; some have been reported to instruct worshipers to hold their donations above their heads during the prayer. It is not the same as Roman Catholic selling indulgences? What trigger Martin Luther to separate from the church.
The scandalous conduct of the “pardoners” was an immediate occasion of the Protestant Reformation. In 1517, Pope Leo X offered indulgences for those who gave alms to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The aggressive marketing practices of Johann Tetzel in promoting this cause provoked Martin Luther to write his Ninety-five Theses, condemning what he saw as the purchase and sale of salvation. In Thesis 28 Luther objected to a saying attributed to Tetzel: “As soon as a coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs”. The Ninety-five Theses not only denounced such transactions as worldly but denied the Pope’s right to grant pardons on God’s behalf in the first place: the only thing indulgences guaranteed, Luther said, was an increase in profit and greed, because the pardon of the Church was in God’s power alone.
Is Money the Root of All Evil?
Bible doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil, no it says:
That “the love of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10, KJV
Congregants in prosperity churches are encouraged to speak positive statements about aspects of their lives that they wish to see improved. These statements, known as “positive confessions” (distinct from confessions of sin), are said to miraculously change aspects of people’s lives if spoken with faith. Prosperity churches also encourage people to “live without limits” and to cultivate optimism about their lives. T. D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter’s House non-denominational mega-church, has argued in favor of prosperity, rejecting what he sees as the demonization of success. He views poverty as a barrier to living a Christian life, suggesting that it is easier to make a positive impact on society when one is affluent.
While some prosperity churches have a reputation for manipulating and alienating the poor, many are involved in social programs. Underlying these programs is a theology of empowerment and human flourishing with the goal of releasing people from a “welfare” or “victim” mentality. Many prosperity churches hold seminars on financial responsibility. Kate Bowler, an academic who studies prosperity theology, has criticized such seminars, arguing that though they contain some sound advice, the seminars often emphasize the purchase of expensive possessions. Hanna Rosin of The Atlantic argues that prosperity theology contributed to the housing bubble that caused the late-2000s financial crisis. She maintains that prosperity churches heavily emphasized home ownership based on reliance on divine financial intervention that led to unwise choices based on actual financial ability. God do not get involve in earth activities.
Does God Play an Active Role in the Affairs of Humanity? NO!
We maintains that God doesn’t interfere, or even interact directly, with the world. God is not part of our univers or multivers. God during creation setup a system call Noosphere and help humanity by the Cosmic Christ connected to all of us via the Global Consciousness , it is a Christology which emphasizes the extent of Christ’s concern for the cosmos. The biblical bases for a cosmic Christology is often found in Colossians, Ephesians, and the prologue to the gospel of John.
Most churches in the prosperity movement are non-denominational and independent, though some groups have formed networks. Prosperity churches typically reject Presbyterian polity (or governance) and the idea that a pastor should be accountable to elders; it is common for pastors of prosperity churches to be the highest organizational authority-figure. Critics, including Sarah Posner and Joe Conason, maintain that prosperity teachers cultivate authoritarian organizations. They argue that leaders attempt to control the lives of adherents by claiming divinely-bestowed authority. Jenkins contends that prosperity theology is used as a tool to justify the high salaries of pastors.
The prosperity gospel: “Joel Osteen believes that prayer can make you rich” Can you be rich by praying?
A church’s role is to see to the wellbeing of individual, the family, the society and their souls.
Money is needed to pay the church expenses: maintenance, rent or mortgage, ministers expenses food, clothes, cars, church media like this site, etc. That is why we have tithe and memberships. And this include helping financially other people.
Abp. Eric Michel