The Deception of the Prosperity Gospel

//The Deception of the Prosperity Gospel

The Deception of the Prosperity Gospel

Recently my attention was drawn to an article hosted on the BBC website that carried the headline, ‘Nigeria’s ‘growing’ prosperity churches.’ That caption aroused my interest for two reasons. Firstly, because I had no idea of the church/ religious situation in Nigeria, and secondly, because of the mention of the ‘prosperity gospel’. When I clicked on the article the reporter began by speaking of Nigeria as a very religious country and then went on to describe the rise of ‘prosperity churches’ He singled one out in particular, ‘The household of God church’.  The pastor is a former  pop star. One of the dominant themes of his ministry is that spiritual growth could translate into financial prosperity. He has a personal fortune estimated at $10million. When ‘Pastor’ Chris Okotie was interviewed he said that prosperity was an integral part of the gospel.  He alleged that Christ became poor so that we could become rich and that poverty was not part of God’s plan. His false exegesis of 2 Corinthians 8:9 is staggering. The riches Paul is speaking of are spiritual, riches toward God. Christ made that clear when telling the parable of the rich farmer in Luke 12. That man had abundant wealth but was not rich toward God and therefore was spiritually bankrupt and eternally lost. The growth of the deceitful ‘prosperity gospel’ is an alarming trend in today’s church scene. Well polished performers deliver well polished addresses. They exude confidence and fill their messages with anecdotes that move the emotions. But it’s a far cry from true Christianity. The early apostles never preached a ‘come-to-Christ-and-get-rich-quick’ message, they preached that sinners must repent and believe the gospel and that the riches of Christ’s grace and glory (Ephesians 1) are the riches we really need. True contentment is in Christ, not in the largeness of our bank accounts. In the ‘prosperity gospel movement’, the love of money has produced a branch of religion that is destructive and damning. Christ’s words provide a solemn commentary: Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:24, 25)

2017-02-23T18:10:05+00:00

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