To be honest, we do not believe there is such a thing as the “Prosperity Gospel”. But this misnomer has been floating around Christian communities so much that there is a need to point out a few things about it.
First off, there is the gospel. That’s it, there is no need for a “prosperity” or other modifiers to tie to it to make it any better.
God’s word is intended to speak to us ‘as is’, there is nothing we should or can do to make it any better or any worse, simply because God’s word is already perfect.
But the fact that there are many teachers who still teach this kind of a “prosperity” message is really unnerving and here’s the reasons why:
Wolves, Not Pastors
This much is clear: prosperity teaching damns and prosperity preachers wound. Rather than offering the healing salve of the gospel to hurting people, they rub salt in wounds. Rather than proclaiming the good news of favor with God on the basis of Christ’s perfect life and atoning death, they condemn.
Seeing firsthand the pastoral carnage of prosperity teachers has caused me to feel more than ever why they deserve to be called “wolves” (Acts 20:29). Wolves prey on weak and immature Christians, tearing with guilt and doubt the very hearts that need gospel comfort and hope.
In a world where Christ promised his followers hardship and persecution, prosperity preachers are incapable of being prosperity pastors (John 16:33). This is because they promise to lead sheep toward pastures that don’t exist, feed them with words that can never satisfy, and leave them exposed to lies and doubts in the same cycle of futility into which they were born (Isa. 55:2; Eccl. 1:2; Job 5:7; Rom. 8:20).
There are plenty of prosperity preachers, but there’s no such thing as a prosperity pastor, because pastors—real pastors—lead their sheep to Jesus as the all-satisfying fountain of life. They lead to the Giver and not the gifts, to the one who is eternal riches himself, not to things that lose value with time (Matt. 11:28; John 1:4; Eph. 3:8).
Many of the persons you encounter may be listening to prosperity teachers under pretenses of success and hope, but they are anxious, hurting, and wracked with doubt. Point them to the gospel that satisfies in all circumstances, good and bad (Phil. 4:12–13). And invite them to a place where they won’t just be promised and preached at, but a place where they will be pastored.
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