The Prosperity Gospel’s False Promise

Marvin McMickle, in his work Where Have All The Prophets Gone writes about one of the biggest heresies that has grabbed hold of the church. This one is the idea that Christians are some how immune from suffering, sickness, or pain. McMickle notes that these preachers seem to see an “exemption” from suffering. All you have to do is “plant your seed” and you will be blessed with financial blessing. You will be blessed with a physical cure to whatever ails you.

These prosperity preachers turn the “abundant life” as written about in the New Testament into the “good life” as defined by the kind of American Materialism that has created this current economic crisis that we find ourselves in. Simply put, even Christians who have sought to live the life consistent with God’s coming Kingdom die of cancer. Even good Christians look at the wicked prosper while they live in the depths of poverty. This false gospel trains Christians to be greedy. It trains Christians to expect a healing from every dime they put in the plate. It trains Christians to expect “economic breakthrough” because God must bless us with healing because they planted a seed or anointed their wallet with oil.

Ultimately this is idolatry because it takes the Sovereign God off the throne and puts in God’s place a Slot Machine that always “pays off” when you pull the lever. Preachers, we have been called to proclaim the Gospel and God’s coming kingdom. Let us not give up that high calling to preach the false Gospel of American materialism.

Comments

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Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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5 comments on “The Prosperity Gospel’s False Promise
  1. D. Greene says:

    The prosperity gospel is anything but the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We who have been summonsized to the side of Jesus are called to be a part of a counter-cultural community; a community of faith. This inauthentic gospel that masks itself as the Gospel of the Lord’s Christ is heretical and dangerous. There is in it no preaching about the cross, suffering and sacrifice. It’s a ‘me’ emphasis gospel and definitely does not call for sacrifice and service to others. This so-called gospel in the words of Dallas Willard is guilty of the ‘Great Omission’. It’s emphasis makes Jesus a cosmic bellhop or talisman. Woe be unto us to fall for this that has its origin in the domicile of the devil.

  2. shermancox says:

    Pastor Greene,

    I like the “Great Omission” and “cosmic bellhop” terminology. I’m gonna have to sue that again.

    God bless…

  3. Dr. Michael Williams says:

    I totally agree with McMickle. Whereas, I do not think we should preach spiritual masochism, I take the Master as his word when he tells me that “in this life you will have some trouble, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. In other words in this world, we will have urban violence, domestic abuse, unfaithfulness at all levels of society, terminal illness, etc. But for us to have a firm confidence that the crucified, buried and resurrected one has over come the power of all of the aforesaid. I remember one of these “teachers of the Word” went through a season of family illness which caused him to cease talking about if you have enough faith you will never get sick. Plus with the economy in the toilet, though we would never know, one can surmise that their “seed gifts” are few! So much for what I call the “profit/prophets.”

  4. Dr. Michael S. Williams says:

    I think that with the economy in shambles, amongst themselves the the so-called “Word teachers” are asking themselves, “Where have all the PROFITS gone?”

  5. guergues kamel says:

    a week ago i was assigned to translate three research papers for a friend of mine , interested in making a paper on the prosperity gospel sham , i was not astonished to read that amount of bla blabla which is not biblical or ecclesiastical or even christian , to put an illusion of healing and having supernatural health , or be rich and have a new car , a new home, is but a big lie, it is against the biblical pauline teaching about working by our own hands to have enough food and cloth, if we do have an abundance , we have to give the poor, and be pleased doing that, it is not right to test our Lord by sowing some money to reap a lot of money , it is not the purpose of our Godin the bible to do that, so i tried to contact a local magazine to write an article about the marriage of power and politics , to compare it to marriage of religion and money , the editor in chief is a muslim guy but he is specialized in the agenda of the coptic orthodox church in egypt , a lot of corruption is behind the walls, we have to reveal that sickness of the soul to purify our biblical teachings . thanks

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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