Prosperity Gospel and (the Decline of) Modern Christianity

“3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
— Paul the Apostle in 1 Tim. 6:3–11

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. . . . 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 both God and money.
— Jesus the Christ in Matthew 6:19-24

Yet again we are reminded of why Jesus said of his kingdom: “few there be who find it.”

Jesus said that lots of people would claim to follow him—but few would actually do so and “produce a hundred fold” by obeying his teachings.

Patrick, in all my years I have never heard a “prosperity preacher” talk about the Bible passages excerpted above.


13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

— John 2:13-16 King James Version (KJV)

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I think the article paints with a broad brush. The Prosperity Gospel is largely seen as a fringe movement. Also, a good work ethic is the opposite of a get rich quick mentality where one hopes to bribe God or sell a gimmick or apply some magic formula.


The same churches that preach the prosperity gospel probably also teach tithing. Go figure.

That has never surprised me. Some preachers treat the tithe as if it is a kind of kickback. I’ve heard them say, “When God knows that you are going to reinvest a portion of what he gives you, he will bless you even more. So your tithe tells God that you have seed faith worthy of his blessings.”


I’m all in favor of biblical tithing, where the tithe was saved up and used to throw a huge party.