Here is a Spiritual Conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life by a reader named Richard Neer:
What is your position on Prosperity Gospel? I find the notion ridiculous, if not downright absurd! The premise that tithing promises health and wealth seems quite far-fetched. It does not promote spiritual growth. In fact, the only growth I see it promoting is the personal pocketbooks of the pastors and/or preachers behind the pulpit. Though I can understand and agree that donations to church groups and organizations can be fulfilling for some and even, to a degree, necessary for the continued existence of an organization (non-profit, in theory!), the in-your-face over-the-top request below is one I can’t fathom how anyone can actually make with a straight face, much less be absolutely serious about.
This current CNN article just shocks me and makes me wonder, “Is humanity so hopelessly lost, or are people just that ignorant these days?”
Thanks for the good question, Richard. Short version: I agree with you 100%!
How Prosperity Gospel even qualifies as a religious teaching is beyond me. Yes, Prosperity Gospel preachers talk about God, the Bible, and other religious subjects. But the goal of this “Gospel” has nothing to do with love for God or love for the neighbor. Instead, it’s all about gaining worldly wealth and success for oneself.
That, to me, is not religion. It is a spiritually bankrupt substitute for religion.
However, despite its spiritual bankruptcy, it does serve a use for some people as a stepping stone toward something better—which, I believe, is why God allows it to exist.
First, what is Prosperity Gospel?