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Prosperity Gospel

Name It and Claim It; Health and Wealth; Seed-Faith Giving

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This entry provides a brief look at Prosperity Gospel. For indepth information we refer you to our collection of research resources.

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The Prosperity Gospel

The so-called 'properity gospel' is an aberrant doctrine, largely promoted by the Word-Faith movement.

Here's how it is sold:

  • God wants you to be rich (to prosper)
  • But He can not bless you unless you first demonstrate your faith in Him by giving money (referred to as a 'seed-faith' offering') to whichever preacher or televangelist tells you about this scheme
  • There are several variations on the theme, but generally you are promised a sudden windfall, up to a hundred-fold return on your 'investment', and/or other blessings (e.g. physical healing, job prospects, spiritual insight, etc.).

This fundraising trick has been perfected by such people and organizations as Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, et al.

Incidentally, should you not receive anything - or quite as much as anticipated - in return, you probably did not have enough faith (i.e. did not give enough money).

Of course this begs a question: If you can get money - up to a hundred-fold of what you give to someone else, why do prosperity teachers always ask for more money? If a prosperity teacher puts his money where his mouth is, he would be sending you money.

But there is a variation to the scam. The bottom line of Word-Faith theology is that if you want something, you have to speak or 'proclaim' it. According to Word-Faith teachers, Christians are not just God's children, but have by accepting Jesus Christ become like Adam who, af all, was created in God's likeness and was to have dominion over the earth.

In other words, according to this teaching, they have become 'little gods,' and just like God Himself they should now be able to speak things into existence. (Those who teach this also warn that speaking things into existence can be dangerous. In Word-Faith circles, saying that you have a headache is considered to be a 'negative confession.' In order to get what you want, you must make a 'positive confession.')

Again, if this trick really worked, those who teach it should never again have to ask for money...

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About This Page:

• Subject: Prosperity Gospel
• First posted: Jan. 13, 1997
• Last Updated: Sep. 23, 2004
• Editors: Anton and Janet Hein
• Copyright: Apologetics Index

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