The Prosperity Gospel – a thought


“Throughout those years we faced countless criticisms from both inside and outside the church.  Dateline NBC, The Fifth Estate (a Canadian news program), and other shows did investigative work.  Well-known ministry leaders took to the airwaves warning people about our teachings, and local pastors told their congregations to steer clear of pulpits filled by a “Hinn.”  At the time, I believed we were being persecuted like Jesus and Paul, and that our critics were just jealous of our blessings.”
“Benny Hinn is my uncle but prosperity preaching isn’t for me” – Costi Hinn: forthegospel

I have a theory about these blogs.

That they are connectors.  That they are a way of being connected to another.  And at times I sense a connection, and at others I don’t.

Living in the UK and being out of the politics of church as much of possible, not having found a denominational niche, not needing a niche that draws me to “church” with doors and windows and budgets and committees, not needing the tradition of “knees please”, not needing very much at all … today I read the words of this post and found myself with Benny Hinn in my head.

The Prosperity Gospel.

I think the prosperity gospel ministry is demonised so easily by so many – but is simply the “top of the pile” – the scum that floats to the surface.  I think “the pile” below is far more widespread.  I think the weekly dose of forgiveness, the tradition of turning up for an hour or two on Sunday, the guilt of not turning up, the guilt for not reading the bible every day, the pressure to belong and fit-in … all of that is for a reason (and nothing much biblical in truth).

I think it is so we can say to each other “Look at me, I am a Good Christian and I have earned my eternal saving when I pass from this sinful and tortured world.”

Of course the words are never said – not unless the doors are firmly closed.

But isn’t this “I have been saved” very much “reward driven”?

Isn’t this sinful and tortured world the very place of Creation … the arena of unconditional love … the only place I have ever known … ?  And isn’t each moment an opportunity of eternity … each odd connection (like this post I was connected to today) an opportunity for real connection … isn’t “now” in every second of today (and tomorrow and yesterday) enough “reward” (if reward is needed)?  And isn’t the weekly “baptism of worship” just a very small (and manicured) part of these infinite moments?

And perhaps this post by Costi Hinn is for me alone. To find that I cannot judge young Benny. That I see this widespread prayer of worship – this “keep me totally safe, give me loads of bread, and don’t even think about testing me” we all recite as the Family Prayer – in truth – not far from living the good and blessed $25,000 a night lifestyle (we so easy to label as the “devil’s work”).

I have no idea who Costi is and I don’t need to.  Nor has Costi any idea who I am.  I think neither of us need to know.

Because when GSHJ invites a connection – I am happy to go along for the ride and see why the connection was offered.

What about you?

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7 thoughts on “The Prosperity Gospel – a thought

  1. You’re showing what an interesting species we are! We have one side proclaiming wealth as a sign of God’s favor and the other side proclaiming God’s favor in their poverty. Perhaps two sides of the same coin?

    I’m like you, Paul, I don’t get caught up in the politics. Following Jesus seems to sort these things out pretty well for me. I don’t have be “afraid” of these various versions of the gospel.

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