For several decades, a philosophy has been percolating in the 10 million-strong Pentecostal wing of Christianity that seems to turn the Gospels’ passage on its head. Certainly, it allows, Christians should keep one eye on heaven. But the new good news is that God doesn’t want us to wait.
Known (or vilified) under a variety of names — Word of Faith, Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It, Prosperity Theology — its emphasis is on God’s promised generosity in this life. In a nutshell, it suggests that a God who loves you does not want you to be broke.
Its signature verse could be John 10:10: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” In a Time poll, 17 percent of Christians surveyed said they considered themselves part of such a movement, while a full 61 percent believed that God wants people to be prosperous. Read about it here.
Rick Warren, whose book The Purpose Driven Life has outsold Osteen’s by a ratio of 7 to 1, finds the very basis of Prosperity laughable. “This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy?” he snorts. “There is a word for that: baloney. It’s creating a false idol. You don’t measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn’t everyone in the church a millionaire?“
Interesting article. How do these “name it claim it” people explain all of the starving people around the world. The disciples weren’t rich either. If I’m suppose to be rich, I missed the boat somewhere!