The Prosperity Gospel offers the quick way out in a number of ways. One obvious way is when it promises in effect a get rich scheme. Like gambling and pyramid sales it promises that if you put your money in the pot and (metaphorically) cross your fingers then hopefully your numbers will come up.
But it also offers the easy way out to pastoral care and church life. What do I mean. Well, suppose someone comes to talk to me. They tell me that they are ill and want prayer for healing, or they have money worries or are waiting for their immigration case to come up or that their marriage is in trouble.
Normally in pastoral work, that’s the start of a conversation, The conversation may not go very far that day. It may happen over days, weeks and months, maybe even years as I get to know the person and as they build up trust in me and the church family.
Over time, things start to get disclosed about the person’s circumstances. I learn about their past history. I also get a sense of their possible future – their hopes and dreams. And as that happens, I also hopefully get to sit with them and open the Bible with them. We come together to God’s Word in order to see what it has to say to them. My aim is to help them hear God speak to them.
Now, there can, should be and often is great joy in this as they come to a deeper grasp of the Gospel. However, sometimes the conversation is difficult, sometimes walking alongside someone means witnessing and sharing their pain. Sometimes, hearing God speak means that he disagrees with them. Sometimes, they don’t want to hear, sometimes they walk away sad or even angry. Sometimes pastoral work is frustrating. It’s worth it though.
Prosperity practice bypasses all this. Why bother with that when I can simply pray over someone and announce to them that their wish is granted, that their healing us available to them that their desire can be realise All they have to do is name it and claim it in faith. I can walk away, job done. I don’t have to get to know them. I don’t have to get my hands dirty. And if their prayer isn’t answered well whose fault is it? It’s theirs of course because they did not have enough faith.
The problem is that get rich schemes seem too good to be true because they are. They don’t really work. They are cons. The Prosperity Gospel is not just a lazy Gospel it’s not a gospel (good news) at all. It’s a lie. Well don’t buy into a spiritual con. The true Gospel is the one you need. The true Gospel, is the only way to real peace and joy.