"Prosperity Gospel" Under Fire
For about 40 years now there's been a wormwood infestation in evangelical churches: if you give enough, God will enrich you, here on earth. Only, unless you're a preacher of this "Prosperity Gospel," um, well ... not so much.
Worse, this "new" religion flew in the face of the justice Christ Himself taught:
One of the teaching's attractions is that it doesn't dwell on traditional Christian themes of heaven and hell but on answering pressing concerns of the here and now, said Brian McLaren, a liberal evangelical author and pastor.
But the prosperity gospel, McLaren said, not only preys on the hope of the vulnerable, it puts too much emphasis on individual success and happiness.
"We've pretty much ignored what the Bible says about systemic injustice," he said.
I'm old enough to remember when Oral Roberts claimed he needed to raise several million dollars in order to stay alive -- and it had nothing to do with Oral Roberts' personal medical bills.
According to the article cited above, the "gospel of wealth" predates Roberts. Yeah, some; Billy Sol Estes is a name from my childhood, and from time immemorial, probably there've been itinerant preachers making their living -- sometimes not a bad living -- off the cough believers' generosity (or should that be gullibility?).