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September 19, 2006

The Smarmy Gospel

Over at GetReligion, Mollie Ziegler highlights Time's latest cover story, "Does God Want You to Be Rich?" -- about the Prosperity Gospel, AKA Name It and Claim It, AKA The Movement that Makes Thinking Christians Cringe and Hide Their Faces, Insisting Loudly "I'm NOT one of them!!" Sigh. It really sickens me when I hear strains of it in the large suburban church I attend by well-meaning, but easily duped congregants with more money than they probably ought to have. Their big "problems" (the ones they admit) always seem to be materialistic in nature. They don't think beyond their cul-de-sac, sadly enough. And they begin to think, "God has given me this much [junk], He must want to make me richer and richer and give me," ahem, "my best life now!!" I want to give them SASE for DATA or International Aid. Earlier this year, Lori Smith addressed this problem of the Disney-fied Christianity.

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Quote from above "Their big "problems" (the ones they admit) always seem to be materialistic in nature..."

A friend fled a singles group in an affluent suburb. One girl was praising God her wallpaper choice worked out.

I now have two reactions - God is concerned about even our home improvement. So this was not (necessarily) self indulgent.

But maybe my friend heard no other prayer requests (or praises) that rose above the concerns of that affluent suburb's cul-de-sac Christians. I.e concern for the poor (which were maybe 1/2 hour away from that fancy suburb) or for someone in extreme emotional crisis, or for any GLOBAL issues like missions, worldwide slavery, etc.

And we wonder why some people SNEER when some major TV evangelists are NOW investigated for possible "lifestyle extravagance" in how they spend their donation money.

Richard Zowie

My wife and I have, in the past, studied in the Crown Ministries financial program and hope to do it again in the future. One thing about Crown I like is that it's about being responsible with your money in a way to where you work to have your needs--not wants--taken care of.

I remember when The Prayer of Jabez came out and the criticism it has received.


I've heard of the prosperity preachings and I think they have exaggerated the scripture. God's wants us to have the desires of our hearts, however it is always his will whether he gives them to us or not. We have to ask ourselves, Am I worthy of what he has already blessed me with? The definition of God's prosperity is not money, it is gifts from him such as "Good Health", "Great families". I always count my blessings and Thank God for what he has given me. I expect miracles but usually for others who are in dire need of a miracle. It's a plus when he helps you choose the wallpaper too. God is in the midst of everything, that's what is so great. I think if you send your money to a prosperity preacher without putting your faith in God that he wants to prosper you will be disappointed. Remember the miracles and blessing come from God not the preachers.

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