This post originally appeared on Confex Makhalira’s personal blog
A recent research by the University of Toronto’s department of psychology in the Faculty of Arts & Science has found out that exposure to prosperity gospel (PG) makes you more likely to show an exaggerated and unrealistic sense of optimism for life and take more financial risks.
In the press release about the findings of the research, the study’s lead author, Nick Hobson, Ph. D. makes this important observation, “Its (prosperity gospel’s) success as a growing religious movement might be less about feeling (sic) God, and more about feeling good.”
Now this is very interesting especially that it is coming from a non-Christian institution. Here Hobson has put his finger on it and it should not surprise us because that’s exactly what the Bible teaches. PG is not the gospel. There is only one gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified. The PG is neither about nor for Christ but actually against Christ. This is why Apostle Paul anathematizes anyone who preaches it: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said it before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8, 9).
Further as the research notes, PG is about manipulating people through their volatile emotions rather than pointing them to their greatest need of salvation in Christ. Apostle Peter already warned us against the destructive nature of PG. Writing of devious and false teachers who include PG preachers the apostle cautioned: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you…And in their greed they will exploit you (“make merchandise of you,” KJV) with false words” (2 Peter 2:1-4). There is no better description of the PG and its preachers than what the apostle gives here. The PG never seeks the good of its hearers but as lie from the pit of hell seeks to destroy them.
The PG has been weighed on the secular scale and has been found wanting. No need to mention that it also fails miserably on the biblical scale. So to those who are still trapped in the yoke of PG, hear the words of the gospel of Christ. Christ’s greatest gift is not material wealth. It is not an excellent health. These he can give if he pleases. His greatest gift is salvation from the wrath of come. Christ is the bread of life that endures to eternity. Labour not for the riches of this world, which are here today and gone tomorrow. What shall it profit you if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Come to Christ, rest in him, labour faithfully with your hands, and trust him to provide for all your needs (Matt. 6:25-34).
Rev. Confex Makhalira
Founder and Board Member of MRN