Some preachers today proudly refer to themselves as prosperity preachers. They promote a message that emphasizes material gain and money. The problem here is the real danger of churchgoers being exploited by unbiblical prosperity teachings. I do believe that some preachers pervert our Lord’s gospel in order to exploit the financial needs or financial greed of churchgoers with the ultimate goal of lining their own pockets.
God is not opposed to His people prospering in this world. Take Psalm 1, for example. For those who comply with verses 1 and 2, it promises in verse 3, “And whatsoever he does shall prosper.” But the problem exists with the deliberate, unbalanced prosperity teachings we hear today. Here are a few interesting examples I have heard or witnessed:
1. A preacher comes on TV and makes a financial appeal to his viewers. He bases his appeal on Acts 16:31, which says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.” He tells the viewers that if they want their whole house to be saved to send him sixteen dollars and thirty-one cents. What nonsense. No one’s house is saved by merely sending some amount of money to a preacher.
2. A pastor stands before her congregation. She tells the members about one church member who wanted to make substantially more money on her job. So by faith, she started giving a tithe of that higher amount of money she wanted to make. According to the pastor, God eventually blessed that church member to receive the desired level of income. Perhaps it did work that way for the young lady the pastor was talking about. But if the intent of the pastor was to share that to entice God’s people to give more money in church it was not biblical. You see, the pastor shared this just before making the financial appeal for that church service.
3. Several years ago, a reality show entitled “Preachers of LA” premiered. It’s about 6 popular southern California preachers and the lifestyles they enjoy as ministers of the gospel. I was looking at an advertisement about the show when it was about to air. And one of the preachers in the reality show said they want to show young men and women that they can be a Christian and have material wealth and money at the same time. Well, of course you can. But what is the evangelistic appeal in highlighting on a reality show the house you live in, the clothes you wear, the cars you drive and the women in your life?
Being a Christian and being successful or even financially prosperous in this world are not necessarily incompatible. It is possible to be both at the same time. But we must walk in discernment. We should identify and reject all erroneous and unbalanced prosperity teachings in our pulpits and from TV preachers.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.