The Soul-Crushing, Non-Liberating, Prosperity Gospel

Speaking of being content, there is a whole subdivision of Christianity making its claim that God wants you to be content on this earth where contentment means “material abundance making life awesome.”

According to this teaching, your financial state is a direct reflection upon your strength of faith. As you would imagine, promising untold physical riches tends to draw a bigger crowd than promising persecution to all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus.

“. . . there’s nothing really that new about this prosperity gospel. It has roots in nineteenth century “New Thought”—especially as taught by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, founders of Unity. They taught that financial prosperity, like physical healing, is every person’s potential blessing available through a spiritual technology called “Affirmations.”

“Some New Thought adherents call it “prayer,” but it’s really magic. What’s the difference between them? Prayer is supplication to a personal, sovereign God that acknowledging God’s freedom and greater wisdom. Magic is any attempt to create a different reality through manipulation of spiritual forces by means of gestures, words, thoughts, chants, etc.

“Clearly the Pentecostal prosperity gospel builds on New Thought. The connection is E. W. Kenyon, a New Thought inspired Pentecostal (or proto-Pentecostal) teacher of about a century ago. Kenneth Hagin was steeped in Kenyon’s teachings and passed them on to other Pentecostal prosperity preachers and evangelists.”

Quote is from Roger Olson. Read more here.