At our Wednesday evening service this week, a video on the Prosperity Gospel was shown. I was reminded how much I hate the prosperity gospel. Here is a brief excerpt from John Piper’s updated book Let the Nations Be Glad! that explains what the prosperity gospel is:
“What I mean by ‘the prosperity gospel’ is a teaching that emphasizes God’s aim to make believers healthy and wealthy in this life, while it over- looks or minimizes the dangers of wealth, the biblical call to a wartime mindset, and the necessity and purposes of suffering.
“The prosperity gospel would be represented by one leading African prosperity preacher who says, ‘Many are ignorant of the fact that God has already made provision for his children to be wealthy here on earth. When I say wealthy, I mean very, very rich. . . . Break loose! It is not a sin to desire to be wealthy.’
“‘The worst brand of African prosperity teaching is, perhaps unsurpris- ingly, an American export.’ Television has become Africa’s religious classroom. ‘People turn it on and assume that TBN is American Chris- tianity, and Americans know everything, so why not listen to it?’
“The first thing we should say about the prosperity gospel is that wealthy Westerners are probably as guilty of its excesses as are the poor in the Global South. The difference is that the poor don’t have wealth and want it, while the rich have it, expect to keep it, and get angry if God takes it. Both have their hearts set on prosperity. It’s just more subtle in the West because we can take prosperity for granted.”
Let’s take a stand against this so-called gospel – both in America and in Africa. I encourage you to watch this video that we saw on Wednesday, too: