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The Prosperity Gospel

Ed Spivey Jr. has a great column in Sojourners. It is entitled "The Gospel of Great News!" and deals with the prosperity gospel movement. Here are a few highlights:
How was your Christmas? Did you experience God's endless bounty in this, the greatest nation in the world? Did you gather around the tree in the morning and open all the gifts that Jesus had brought the night before, landing on the rooftop with his eight tiny disciples (or was it 12?), and squeezing down the chimney with his bag of brand-name products made at the North Pole, or at the very least, northern China?

... As far as we know Jesus went around almost barefoot, a little thin, and spent a lot of time with poor people. I mean, please. Doesn't sound like Son of God material to me. That's why, in this season of getting, it might be better to look at a gospel message that's more appropriate for our current cultural context.

I refer to the new, and much improved, Pros­perity Gospel. It's the New Testament with a modern makeover, and it’s spreading like wildfire.

... This whole Prosperity Gospel thing has certainly opened my eyes, and I look forward to hearing more of Dr. Robertson's interpretations of scripture, like the verse where Jesus told the rich man to "sell all he has and give it to the poor." (Probably a misprint.) Or Jesus' story about the widow who only gave a little--no offense, but not even a tithe--while the rich Pharisee gave a lot. Jesus told his disciples that the widow actually gave more, although how he came up with that I'm not sure. (Jesus: Prince of Peace? Absolutely. Math whiz? Not so much.)
Amen! He rightly points out that the prosperity gospel does not match the biblical witness or the teachings of Jesus. It is time to stop supporting preachers who pervert Scripture. When they ask for money, do not send it--they already have too much anyway. It might be dangerous to their souls to give them more.

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