The gospel of prosperity

Houston Chronicle Newspaper Content

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a religious belief among some Christians, who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity. – Wikipedia

The spectacularly wealthy megachurch pastor Joel Osteen wishes he had never heard of Hurricane Harvey. Maybe if we had all prayed harder Harvey would have turned to the right and gone somewhere else like hit those heathens in New Orleans. Instead it nailed Texas and made a mess and Joel Osteen hates a mess.

By now most of you have heard about the troubles Hurricane Harvey has caused Pastor Osteen. That he didn’t open the doors to his 16,800 seat church as a shelter until the social media world, to quote “our” President, rained “Fire and Fury” down on top of him. He offered a multitude of excuses and story changes over the course of a few days but what I firmly believe is that Osteen didn’t want all those wet, soggy and muddy people in his clean, shiny former basketball arena turned sanctuary.

Sanctuary, a word that means refuge, haven and harbor. I guess Osteen simply forgot what that word means. And while the people of Houston were wading waist deep in water Osteen was tweeting “God uses people to push you to where you’re supposed to be. Without them, you couldn’t fulfill your destiny.” Thanks Joel, God also uses people to help others. Rather than fulfilling our destiny how about giving people a towel and a warm meal.

We have a “prosperity” megachurch in our community run by a redneck version of Joel Osteen. What do I mean by a redneck version? He has all the same toys and trappings of wealth that Joel has, the monster houses, planes, and cars he just does his spill in designer jeans and tight t-shirts to show off his pecs and abs.

The message of “prosperity” is clear and concise, only God can reward you with financial success and good health if you believe with a positive attitude. Without it, well get ready for unemployment, poverty and illness. God is picky like that.

There is no empathy or compassion in the “prosperity” gospel beyond the boundaries of the other brothers and sisters that share this selfish message with each other. “We can’t help you” seems to be the sentiment, only God can. Apparently they skipped over the “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” part.

Yup, I bet Joel Osteen wishes he had never heard of Hurricane Harvey. But I have confidence that he will figure out away to polish this turd into a block of gold because that is the power of positive thinking, that is the power of his GOD!

 

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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17 Responses to The gospel of prosperity

  1. Suze says:

    “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” Matthew 19:24; except it was probably a mistranslation of the base word from Greek and should be “it is easier to put a rope through a needle.”
    Whichever one it really was, there are multiple references within the Bible that deal with wealth and it isn’t a ‘good thing” nor a “blessing from God” in any of them. this type of “Christianity” is abhorrent to me.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Nan says:

    Double “Like.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. William Tell says:

    WaPo published a hate piece this morning that wound up appearing on my FB news feed. The comment I submitted there is equally applicable here:

    “I can say this about Joel Osteen: (1) Most of the criticism I’ve read of him in the past has come from sheer jealousy, or misrepresentation. Almost never does anyone quote anything he actually said. (2) ‘Prosperity Gospel'[*] is to be distinguished from the ‘Seed Faith’ movement. Osteen is no part of the latter.”

    *(I dissent from the description you quoted from Wikipedia. In the past, I found a lot of info at Wikipedia about “seed faith,” but it would take some digging to find it now as there is no page by that name. The “prosperity gospel” article is clearly prejudiced.)

    The whole thing is problemmatic for me in that I have recently recovered the desire to become un-homeless, and everything involved in that goes against the grain of liberalism and liberal Christianity.[**] In reflecting on the WaPo piece after I made my comment, it came to me that much of the misunderstanding comes from presumption of a certain paradigm that expresses itself at various places in the Bible (http://wp.me/p3UzWy-2Vh) but certainly does not pan out in real life.

    [**]Pertinent recent post: https://williamatell.wordpress.com/swimming-against-the-tide

    Liked by 1 person

    • William, if you are glad I am glad that you have decided to become “un-homeless”. I would contend that this desire doesn’t or shouldn’t have anything to do with religion. If you believe in God my guess is She doesn’t care where you live. She may care how you live but certainly not where.

      My issue with the Joel Osteen’s of the world is the divide they create between the haves and the have nots. There are plenty of people in this world who are much more “Godly” than Osteen. So why didn’t “God” give them the breaks that Osteen got? Maybe its because they didn’t start off with a trust fund, or they are female, or black. Maybe its because they are not pretty, have nice hair, or straight white teeth. Did you realize God was so picky? I didn’t.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Prosperity Gospel: the original “fake news”

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Wow, you guys are pretty harsh on those “men of God” who don’t mind having their parishioners and viewers support them in a lifestyle comparable to King Midas. Really, guys? Megachurches, limousines, designer suits, jets, condos in Aspen, a house in Paris…..God wants them to be comfortable and happy with all the best things that poor people can buy for them…..doesn’t She? It’s kinda like a marriage….what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine, what’s ours is mine. Me, me, me….all about me.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Scottie says:

    Sorry but it all sounds like a ponzi scheme to me. I once was told religion was a way to control the masses and to move wealth from the bottom masses to the top elite. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Emeka Ofili says:

    A big lesson for the ⛪ church. Thanks for this piece. I picked up so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. beesparrow says:

    I stopped going to church. I couldn’t take it anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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