Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the prosperity gospel

It surprises me when I hear about people still trying to sell the prosperity gospel.  From my understanding, that means that if a person is faithful, they will be wealthy and have good health.

What strikes me about it is that one can't find much justification for it in the bible.  I'm fairly certain there is a scripture about a camel getting through the eye of a needle being as likely as a rich man getting into heaven.  To my mind, it illustrates that the bible can be interpreted to say or justify just about anything. 

It's not just the bible, of course.  I'm appalled by all the ideas attributed to former U.S. presidents that may or may not be true.   

Perhaps I'm expecting religion to be rational.  But I think of all the devout people I've known over the years, who were not wealthy.  At times, some of the faithful have suffered difficult, painful illnesses.  And children get very sick and sometimes die.  Is the suggestion that somehow a child has committed a grievous sin - that they have brought illness upon themselves? 

It's true that there are some very wealthy people who are also religious.  But their wealth seems to be unrelated to how faithful they are - other people are just as faithful and still poverty stricken.  I don't know that a person's wealth or  health can prove that they are more devout than other people. 

I think it does people an injustice to suggest that they brought catastrophic illness on themselves. 

Bad things happen to good people (see the book of Job).  I don't think that the equation adds up: if you are faithful, you'll have material wealth.


snoring solutions said...

Long is arguably the pre-eminent black proponent of the prosperity gospel and his message of financial deliverance dovetailed neatly with Atlanta's credo of visible black success.

Freckle Face Girl said...

This concept was the toughest part of religion for my dad & still is for his family. They have been waiting for years for blessings of wealth to be poured upon them, while also believing that others that are rich are greedy and not going to heaven. I have come to believe that prosperity gospel can lead to blind envy. Oh well, according to the Bible we are all going to hell unless of course we have been "saved," but what does that mean?