I seem to have a burden for this prosperity gospel issue, so please bear with me as I go to this subject once more again. 🙂
(this old lady receives an $820 fixed income and tithes $70 of it to TBN)
When we talk about the Prosperity Gospel, we usually put down the people who are faithful followers of it. We aren’t always looking at the humanity of these folks. We don’t often ask them why they continue to follow this false gospel. Personally, in my quest to expose these Prosperity Preacher thieves, I’ve overlooked there followers. I have looked at them as a monolith, and not thought much about them as individuals.
I would like to think that since we don’t hear much of what the prosperity gospel followers think and feel about this gospel as they listen to it, their attraction to it can be likened to a cross they have to bear. It may be their learning experience that they have to go through. We all have to go through something, and if we are attentive, we will learn more about the Lord. In the negative trial we may be facing, God can teach us valuable lessons. In the humiliating experiences we endure, God can bless us real good! Your long time love broke up with you/God comforts you and you learn about True Love! You became ill/God comes and heals you! You learn to deeply love God the Healer! You were deeply humiliated following the PP’s teachings/God comes and shows you what True Prosperity is. You learn about Jehovah Jireh, the Provider! Our trials and tribulations are a means of learning about God’s saving grace.
I believe that as the followers of this gospel listen to it over a period of time, and as they watch their pastors getting ridiculously richer and richer, and watch themselves not prospering, the Truth has to dawn on them. The weakness of this false gospel has to dawn on them. When they see that God is not moving in sync with their prosperity pastor, and that he/she is doing all manner of worldly greedy things, they have to gain a new understanding of just who God is. They have to discover that God simply IS NOT who the PP has been saying He is and that God just has not done things the way the PPs has said He must do them. They have to see that God is not beholden to move the way the PPs have taught them all this time. They finally learn that God is God all by Himself–outside of, and far above the realm of who the PP says He is. God doesn’t take bribes, and God doesn’t bend to the will of man.
One thing that stands out for me with the followers of the Prosperity gospel is that they are faithful! Is their faith based on need? Or greed? Maybe a little of both. The woman in the picture above sends $70 of her $820 monthly check, faithfully. She’s poor, but she’s faithful. She’s following the wrong thing, but she’s faithful. Even in her error, I wonder if God is looking at her heart?
When Paul was part of the group who persecuted the Christians, he was faithful about it! He was more than willing to kill them, and assist those who would kill them as well. He would do it legally, or illegally. He was faithful to do it. Even though Paul saw the followers of Jesus in this light, God still chose to use him! Was it because Paul was faithful, even though he was wrong? God changed his understanding in an instant and Paul became the most important purveyor of Christianity that we have ever had.
The wonderful thing about our Lord is that He can use anyone. No matter what mistake you’ve made. Even murder. So even though the followers of the prosperity gospel are being deceived, I believe that any of them can awaken at any point, and learn who God is, outside of the teachings of their PPs. God is more than able to change their understanding and use them in the wonderful way that He will.
So I have hope for the followers of this gospel. And I pray for them to have a true encounter with God and taste and see that He is good, infinitely better than the weak spin the PPs have put on Him.
As for the couple giving their testimony (video removed) about being caught up in the prosperity gospel for twenty years, I feel that it’s important that we not pass judgement on them, that we not condemn them as stupid, weak or ignorant. Because it’s easy to be deceived. The intelligent and the foolish can be deceived. Easily. I believe that the better thing is for us to go forward carefully as is stated in the Bible in Galations 6:1: “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”
- Christians Who Don’t Trust in the Lord (nachalooman.wordpress.com)