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The Errors of The Modern Prosperity Gospel



C. Dollar, a teacher of the modern teaching of health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity movement said it best.  At least he was explicit when it comes to what they all subtly teach.  Later this tweet was removed from his twitter account.  Now why would he do that if he speaks God's truths?  hum. But 99% of these modern teaching of health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity teachers are not explicit like he was.  But regardless of their obvious or hidden agendas, there are some fundamental errors and heresies in this modern 'theology'.

Also read What is Health, Wealth, Happiness, and Prosperity Teaching?  and Wealth, Status, and encouragement to get a good grasp on this topic.


IT IS SELF CENTERED
 
The first underlying problem with the generic modern teaching of health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity is that it is ultimately focused on… you.  YOU are the focus.  It focuses its teachings on what you want, what you desire, what you feel like you need, what you feel like God owes you or should give you. You.  It is a YOU centered YOU focused way of viewing spirituality.  The Prosperity Gospel is bad because it is man centered theology instead of Christ centered.  The exact sort of focus Satan implanted in Adam and Eve and the exact same desires Satan attempted to trigger in Jesus.  The Bible and all reality are not about you; it is about Jesus.   God is focused on his Son.  This is why God does not see your sins when you come to faith in Jesus.   Self-centered preaching belittles God and the work of Jesus.  Of course this teaching is so enticing, its about you, for you, by you!


REVEALS YOUR TRUE IDOL
 
The second hidden problem with the modern teaching of health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity is that it actually reveals the idols of our heart.  Our idol is the thing that we desire most.  The thing we think about, want, ask for, focus on, and seek.  We use all kinds of means to help us reach our idol; even God.  The Prosperity Gospel attempts to use God as the means to help us reach our idol of health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity.   Yes, materialism and superficial things like status, the feeling of happiness, and healthy looks and appearances is the idol of the Prosperity Gospel adherents (Eph 5:5).   

God is nothing more than a servant that is expected and commanded to give them their idols. Materialism and Superficialism is the end result; thus it reveals their true god.  When God’s on Son and what he did and who he is; is not enough and is not want you are seeking than he is not your idol.  Jesus Christ is our end desire.  If he wills for us to be unhealthy, poor, and frustrated in this life (read the book of Job) that does NOT mean we are not blessed.  In fact, holding on to faith and hope WITH poverty and sufferings only makes us MORE wealthy in the next life.  Jesus Christ needs to be the end result and God’s Glory is what we need to seek.

TEACHES YOU TO COVET

The third obvious heresy with the modern teaching of health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity is its blatant acceptance of sin; to covet.  The Law shows us our hearts.  The Law is the witness against us.  The Law reveals our need for Jesus.   The Law is not a bad thing but it is what it is.  One of God’s Laws that help show us the sin in our hearts is the command not to covet (Romans 7:7-12).  What is “to covet”?  We see in Exodus 20:17, Deuteronomy 5:21, and Colossians 3:5 that to covet is to desire something that someone else has that you were not given.  You want to make something that is not yours, yours.  It is this law that declares coveting sin.   Coveting is dis-satisfaction in what God has already provided.   To desire what is not given to you is sin!  To seek and desire health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity over The Gospel proves dis-satisfaction with God.  Jesus even warned of this (Luke 12:15).

Also read Don't Judge Me 

FOSTERS DIS-CONTENTMENT

      The lie believed by Prosperity Gospel adherents is that the quality of life is related to the quality of material or superficial quality (Luke 12:15, 23).  In fact, coveting, then gaining, turns into greed.  The lack of contentment and feeling unsatisfied with just food and clothing begins a desire that leads to coveting all kinds of things (1 Timothy 6:6-10).  Then, as the desire grows into greed all kinds of problems come (James 1:15).  The root problem from the very beginning was coveting material gain.  That covet ultimately came from dis-satisfaction with what God had provided.   Thus; God hands us over to our sins and gives us the desires of our hearts; whatever it is we coveted.  What God has given you at this very moment needs to be enough to you.  Anything desired more than that is the beginnings of dis-contentment and coveting.

Also read The Satisfaction of Christ Jesus 
     
 1 Timothy 6:5-9

and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.[b] But godliness with contentment is a great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world,
and[c] we can take nothing out.
But if we have food and clothing,[d]
we will be content with these.
But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction.

THE PEAK VALUE IS LOW

The fifth major problem is the overly increased value of worldly things and the sharp devalue of spiritual things.  Pearls, pure gold, and crystal clear glass are the description of heaven in Rev 21:21.  Thinking that is it and what it is like; is a limited understanding of a supremely spiritual non material place.  Heaven is far greater than pearls and gold.  The human language can only describe so much.  The best way to describe something of high value that is non material is to use the highest form of valuable things.  The point is not the material thing but the ultimate value.  Prosperity teachers want you to think of the MATERIAL THING like Gold and pearls but God wants you to think of something so grand, something so amazing and so majestic, the best words to describe it for a human to have a chance to understand is using valued descriptions.  

Heaven will be of greater value than gold and pearls and will be supremely more beautiful than them.  But until we go to heaven, this is the best way to understand it.  Gold and Pearls are your highest thought of the Kingdom of God? Something material and assigned a value by sinful humans is your greatest expectation of heaven?  God’s heavenly kingdom and throne are worth exceedingly more than any material value sinful man can invent.


Also read: More Valuable than Money
      
NOW THAN LATER MENTALITY

The sixth is the subtle admission that Jesus and the Hope in the next life is not enough in this life.  It is in contrast to Phil 4:19.  It admits that God is not supplying enough in this world and that God’s glory does not make them ‘rich’ enough for their liking in this world either.  Romans 8:18 even states that it is in the next world that we will be living magnificently and wealthy.  They want you do desire material riches in this world now, and not wait for greater riches in the next world.  Jesus even commands us not to focus on riches in this world (Matthew 6:18-21) of which there is no greater treasure that awaits us in heaven than the inheritance of the Kingdom of God.  But for some and their desires, that is not valuable enough.

FOSTERS SELF-SERVING

The seventh major problem with the modern teaching of health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity is the fact it does not encourage self-denial, self-sacrifice, service, and giving.  In fact it encourages the opposite of what Christianity is built on.  It teaches you to ask God to serve you.  It teaches that you are owed things and gain.  Instead of giving it teaches the expectation of taking and receiving material and superficial things.  The Rich Young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22 learned about this first hand and Jesus easily exposed this in his heart.   This guy did everything right.  He followed every law.  He was so good at life that he made a lot of money and had a lot of possessions.  Still not content and satisfied he asked Jesus how to get into heaven.  Then Jesus drops a bomb.  Told him to go sell everything he worked hard for.  Told him to sell all his wealth.  Why?  Because it revealed where his heart really was.  His worth, his value, his meaning, his idol, was his stuff and he could not sell it.  So the question is; are you willing to NOT ask for material gain? Are you willing to sell everything you have?  That is where year heart is.  And always asking for more of health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity keeps you from ever willing to give it up for Christ.

James 4:13-16
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
Serving yourself is when you seek for your own profit, like, health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity; Serving the lord is seeking WHAT EVER HE WILLS; even if it includes sickness, poverty, and sadness.  Just ask Job.  God allowed for Satan to take everything away.  This made Job more rich. Fit your head around that.

POOR HERMENEUTICS

Often the Old Testament is used to justify material gain.  What most fail to understand is the Old Covenant, commands, and events God had transpire were a shadow, and a silhouette of the coming New Covenant.  Commands, events, and symbolisms that the chosen would recognize and know that Jesus was the one.  The Feasts were a perfect example.  The Lamb sacrificed as payment for the sins of Israel (Exodus 29:38-42). The blood smeared on the doors of the houses of Jews while under bondage in Egypt were spared (Exodus 12:11-13).  In the wilderness when Moses had Israel bow to the snake on the rod to heal all those of Israel who were poisoned and dying (Numbers 21:4-8).  On and on the Old Testaments pointed to Jesus as Christ the Son of God and Messiah.  But modern health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity teach a lot of those are examples of God making people materially rich and they will tag on "and God wants to do the same for you!"  

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