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What Christian denomination(s) believe(s) that "prosperity theology" is derogatory, and why? What are the justifications against prosperity theology?

I know that some neo-Pentecostal churches preach prosperity theology, and they preach it, considering the socioeconomic status of their members, providing social services and stuff like that. Doesn't Jesus want Christians to be happy and healthy?

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I think "prosperity theology" has to do with believing that God will give you whatever you ask for if you have enough faith. The way the worst of these people teach, God is almost obligated to give you what you say you want. –  mojo Mar 16 '14 at 3:59
@mojo Imagine yourself living in a shabby home in Africa for a moment and walking into a beautiful church building with nicely polished floors and state-of-the-art air conditioning. In this context, prosperity theology may not be so bad. –  Double U Mar 16 '14 at 4:06
It boils down to idolatry. –  curiousdannii Mar 16 '14 at 4:51
And here's a response from a Baptist scholar. –  Bruce Alderman Mar 16 '14 at 5:03

2 Answers 2

I'm sure there are several denominations that do not believe in a Prosperity Theology. I can speak from a Baptist perspective. The primary reason to disagree is the idea of following a prescribed set of rules leads to automatic financial blessing from God. I have heard this described as a "vending machine" concept of God - if I put certain things in, God will give me other things in return.

But God works his will, not ours. If our will is in alignment with His, then we are in the best place we can be, but that is not a guarantee of any particular type of blessing. The only blessing that can be guaranteed is salvation to those who believe.

Many of the patriarchs were wealthy, but many of the disciples were not. Are we to believe that they were unfaithful?

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There is no specific denomination that practices it but it is found mostly in non-denomination "full gospel " type churches...

Most denominations are aginst it though as I will show why...

(I am going to list pros and cons)

The following is how some in the christian denominations look at it....

This earth is evil and has been since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. That is, the present world system is on a course directed by Satan, not by God. It is a rebellious place.

Jesus said that where a man's treasure is, there also is his heart(his deepestlove and desires). Jesus said also that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to see the kingdom of God. This is because, as Scripture says, the love of money is the root of all evil.

The apostles lived modest lives as they traveled with Jesus, and as they spread the Gospel after His death, burial and resurrection. The great Paul was a humble tent maker, and worked for a living so that he wouldn't take away from his witness for Christ.

Jesus is the supreme example. All creation could have been at His fingertips had he chosen to live that way on earth while in the flesh. Instead, He chose a humble lifestyle--in part, no doubt, so that His soul-saving message, not His lavish lifestyle, would get to the people He sought to reach.

Jesus said: "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay [his] head" (Matt.8:20).God's Word says something about how one should and should not present himself as a Christian. "Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Satan offered Jesus the world and its riches, if the Lord would bow down and worship him. Jesus refused, because Satan and the world"s system ofcorrupted riches are thoroughly evil.

The Bible says further: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin" (James 4: 7).

This is not to say that a minister should take a false or phony vow of poverty. He should provide for himself and his family. But, when a minister of the Gospel of Christ appears to live saturated with, and totally a part of, earthly riches, he sends out a message that says his heart is really on the wealth of this evil worldsystem,not onthe things ofGod.

As a minister sent from God, the preacher should know to do good in every respect. Therefore, if he does evil, or even appears to do evil, by selling out to the corrupted, rebellious world system, he is committing sin.

(Some facts taken from )

But I heard on tv TBN founder Paul Crouch, said people ask why we have so much and dont give it away, his answer was that people send in moneyvand gifts and want us to have these things. They want the Lords broadcasts to be of beauty like Solomon's Temple ...and they want us to live good. It would be an insult to not respect the peoples wishes. And while this, if it is the fact, is a reasonable response. Is it a wise one? Should, as a leader of such ministry, encourage giving in a diffrent way? Many of those that follow TBN are not wealthy. (Coleman 2000, p. 28.) Not that Jesus encouraged poverty but the N.T. church would use their belongings to help thise in need out not build beautiful churches.

Kenneth Copeland once said on his program that he needs his private jet otherwise he would be mawled in the airport.

How do they justify it Biblically? Their teaching holds that God wants his people to be financially prosperous, as well as have goodhealth, good marriages and relationships, and to live generally prosperous lives. Word of Faith teaches that God empowers his people (blesses them) to achieve the promises that are contained in the Bible. Because of this, suffering does not come from God, but rather, from Satan.

As Kenneth Copeland's ministry has stated,the idea that God uses suffering for our benefit is considered to be "a deception of Satan" and "absolutely against the Word of God." (Understanding Chastisement , Kenneth Copeland Ministries, retrieved November 7, 2009. Subsection, "Knowing Your Enemy", paragraph 3) Additionally, if someone is not experiencing prosperity,it is because they have given Satan authority over their lives. God will not do anything at all unless the person invites him to.( Kenneth Copeland Ministries, retrieved November 7, 2009. Subsection "Does God Permit Bad Things to Happen to Us?)

It is argued that Jesus and the apostles were financially wealthy,( Was Jesus Wealthy? Atlanta Journal Constitution 22 October 2006) owninghomes, having monetary resources and businesses. The following arguments have been offered for this claim:

  1. Jesus' ability to travel without apparently working to earn a living for three years

  2. References by Jesus and the apostles to owning homes

  3. Jesus had a treasurer ( Jesus was not poor, )

  4. Jesus consorting with the upper echelons of society

  5. The businesses that each of the apostles apparently owned/worked in.( Was Jesus Rich?)

Based on the concept that Jesus and his apostles were arguably wealthy, as well as the historical examples of his people having great wealth, and the promises for financial prosperity throughout the Old and New Testaments, Word of Faith proponents teach that modern believers also have access to the "blessing" and may also become financially wealthy. Teachers like Kenneth Copeland assert the Prosperity Gospel is validated by the teachings of the Apostle John: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (3 John 2 [bible 9] ).

Copeland posits that “as the seeds of prosperity are planted in your heart, in your will and in your emotions...they eventually produce a great financial harvest."

(Some retyped from information on Wikipedia)

People like Copeland, Crouch, Murdock, Hinn and Parsley all preach a prosperity name itand claim it docterine. All the time encouraging YOU to send in money for financial blessing. One wonders if its that easy why they just don send us monety then they wilk be blessed. Although I do hear Murdock say he gives money to ministriesal as a step of faith.

6 Outrageously Wealthy Preachers UnderFederal Investigation

... /.../6-outrageously-wealthy-preachers-under-fed...

Bottom line...if it is not a message that can be preached throughout the world...its not a Bible message...

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I can't get my last 3 bullets to post proper...should be like this... >6 Outrageously Wealthy Preachers UnderFederal Investigation > Http:// > /.../6-outrageously-wealthy-preachers-under-fed... but it keeps messing up...i would appreciate and edit assist...thx in advance... (o: –  rob Mar 19 '14 at 5:28

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