Archives For prosperity gospel

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…

Blogging is a funny thing.  You can opt to write about safe things like cookie recipes and football games and cat videos.  Or you can even write about safe Christian things like discipleship and your favorite Bible verses.  But what about the things people are trying to figure out?  What about the things that require a tension and a balance?  The things that aren’t black and white, but somewhere in between–yet you see people constantly going to one extreme or another on, unnecessarily and incorrectly.

When you try to live in this middle area, and when you try to blog in this middle area, it is both rewarding as well as humbling.  The thing about the middle area is you don’t always know that you are right.  When you’re at one of the extremes, you’ve got to be right and you’ll hold your ground with machine gun in hand at all costs.

The middle is much more humbling.

I did a couple of blog posts on Joel and Victoria Osteen a month ago or so after a video clip of Victoria Osteen was making its rounds on the Internet.  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…