Archives For health and wealth

I’ve ripped on health & wealth theology (also called the prosperity gospel) for a long time.

What I’d like to do here is slow down and examine the intent behind health & wealth theology, what parts are true biblically, and what parts come from reading the Bible incorrectly.

When the New Testament gives verse after verse promising Christians we will suffer, and most of the early Christians did suffer and die for their faith, beating up on the caricature of health and wealth theology has always felt too easy.  That caricature being something along these lines:

If you start this video from the beginning you’ll hear the theology that goes along with these sort of antics, which is essentially that you have to give money to the church (and already very wealthy pastors in a lot of these cases) in order to get blessing, a.k.a. money from God in return.  So this brand of health-and-wealth theology serves as a get-rich-quick scheme to pastors and offers God as a slot machine to churchgoers.

So this brand of health-and-wealth theology serves as a get-rich-quick scheme to pastors and offers God as a slot machine to churchgoers.

I’m beginning this article with the worst (and most notorious) form of prosperity gospel so you can see why it’s been so easy to beat up on it using basic and obvious Scriptures.  But this type of caricature is not the whole picture behind health and wealth theology.  Let’s first look at where adherents of H&W theology draw from in Scripture, followed by looking at a more complete way of understanding these texts.

The video above covers the “wealth” side of health and wealth, with the other side being “health.”  This one is more self-explanatory, that God wants you to be healthy, and has a lot more New Testament scripture to back in up.  These Scriptures focus around the miraculous healings Jesus and his disciples did and how healing is listed in the New Testament church’s spiritual gifts inventory in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.  Another vein of New Testament scripture you will find prosperity preachers using are New Testament verses on prayer where it makes it seem you can demand something of God by having enough faith, and he must give it to you.  So you demand money or health, and he must give it to you. Continue Reading…

For multiple reasons, which you can read about here, I’ve decided to analyze Joel Osteen and his official ministry, Joel Osteen Ministries.  Today I’m looking at a recent post on the Joel Osteen Ministries Facebook page and intend to analyze it in three ways:

1. Is this from the Bible (If so, where? If not, what part of the Bible contradicts it?)

2. What was Joel (possibly) intending to communicate with this?

3. What is a listener (likely) going to interpret this as?

joel osteen you can you will

1.  “God will take you places higher than you’ve ever dreamed”Continue Reading…

Yesterday I posted Bible verses that show Victoria and Joel Osteen to be false teachers, along with a video that’s been circulating Facebook of a recent church service of theirs:

I honestly wish the Bill Cosby blurb wasn’t added at the end, as my intention is not to mock the Osteen’s or to bash on them personally.  This clip was the only one available as the original clip (that didn’t have Cosby) had been removed from Facebook.

There is a fine line between bashing a famous Christian person and doing needed honest critiquing of damaging and dangerous doctrine.  Continue Reading…

(You can read my thoughts here on why what the Olsteen’s said is a false teaching)

The Bible on false teachers:

Romans 16:17-18 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

The Bible on God wanting us to be happy:

Continue Reading…

My post yesterday about how Jeremiah 29:11 is not a promise to us and needs to understood within its original context raised some good questions relating to the Old Testament and how we are to navigate which promises in the Bible are for us, and what to do with the ones that aren’t.

I went ahead and added this into yesterday’s post after hearing the questions raised, but I thought it would be better served for more readers to include it in a fresh post as well:

Applying Jeremiah 29:11 like God was promising it to you as an individual would be like if your friend was on the phone with the cable company and you’re upstairs, unaware of the conversation.  Continue Reading…