The American Nightmare


How today’s prosperity teachers have contributed to the demise of America

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
I Timothy 6:3-10

The Prosperity Gospel Is No Gospel At All

The gospel of Jesus Christ has been perverted and subverted by wolves in sheep’s clothing who promise God’s people a steady stream of health, wealth, and material prosperity. Instead of focusing on taking care of the poor, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, millions of Christians’ main goal is to have their ears tickled with promises of personal riches and blessings. While reluctant to give to people in genuine need, they will continually fork over their hard-earned money to the false prophets of profit. Because of the lust in their own hearts they have been ensnared by a different gospel and a different Jesus altogether. Their minds are corrupted from the simplicity of the gospel and they listen to teachers destitute of the truth. Their eyes are blinded to the eternal, but only see the fleeting pleasures of this temporal earthly existence. They’re concerned with building earthly kingdoms and will stop at nothing to protect the wealth they have amassed for themselves. The ancient Proverbs have proven true once again, “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.” (Proverbs 18:2) The purveyors of prosperity teaching do so from their own hearts, not the scriptures!

Christians in America have become greedy for material gain and lust after possessions as much as people who do not know God. They have followed the teachings of people like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland  and Eddie Long among many others. They believe that by “sowing seed” into these various false teachers’ ministries, God will bless them financially so they can perpetually live the good life. They believe that the sign of a good Christian is the great gain they’ve been “blessed with.” They associate godliness with material blessings and wealth. They have completely ignored Jesus’ and the other Apostles teachings on the perils of riches and believe that serving God and mammon are synonymous. They have become lovers of money and chase after Jesus merely for the fishes and the loaves. The world has also taken notice as evidenced in the following clip.

Woe Unto You Rich

But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Luke 6:24-25

Those who spend their time on earth acquiring wealth, fame, power and prestige will have no reward in the coming Kingdom of God for “He will fill the hungry with good things, and the rich He will send away empty” (Luke 1:53).

Consider what Jesus had to say in the Parable of the Rich Fool:

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’  So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Luke 12:16-21

Does this sound like God advocates acquiring personal wealth? Does this sound like God approves of “church leaders” possessing Rolls Royces, private jets and custom-made clothing? Does the one who said, “foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20) sound like He desires Pastors to live in multi-million dollar mansions while many in their congregations can hardly scrape together money to pay their bills? Do you not see the inequality in all of this?

In a TIME poll, 17% of Christians surveyed said they considered themselves part of such a movement (Prosperity, Word of Faith), while a full 61% believed that God wants people to be prosperous. And 31%–a far higher percentage than there are Pentecostals in America–agreed that if you give your money to God, God will bless you with more money (Time Magazine). Emphasis added.

Time magazine’s poll proves that many Christians have completely ignored Jesus words when he simply said, “but love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return” (Luke 6:35). Giving to get is not giving at all, but a selfish act that demonstrates the abhorrent greed and covetousness of its practitioners.

Judgment Begins At The House of God

Like the Laodicean church of Revelation, the prosperity church believes it is rich and in need of nothing, not realizing it is “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.” (Rev 3:17). Because it has failed to fulfill the ministry of Christ it has become a dwelling place for demons and an abomination unto God. It’s message of comfort, ease, and personal wealth has been exported all over the world as Christians in far away lands have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. If those believing and spreading this false teaching do not repent, God has promised to vomit (to reject with extreme disgust) them out of his mouth. This obscene, disgusting false teaching is one of the reasons the American financial system is in such dire straits for it is the church that has made greed and thievery acceptable among the populace.

Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34

If you would like to know why 11% of the homes in America are sitting empty, why 8 million Americans are at least one month behind on their mortgage, and why American households are 7.7 trillion dollars poorer today than they were in Spring 2007, look no further than the heretical prosperity doctrine being taught in churches across the country. You see, the current state of America is a reflection of the apostate church. If the church were abiding in righteousness, America would be exalted. Since the church is rushing headlong into many sins and false teachings, America is being humbled.

The sins of America begin with the departure of the church from the ways of God! The church has led the way in the areas of greed, corruption, selfishness, and the love of money. It is only natural that the rest of the nation will follow. Because of avarice, millions of people are living way beyond their means. The housing market crashed largely because people took on mortgages they knew they couldn’t afford and were tricked into believing they could by opportunistic loan sharks with unscrupulous tactics.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

The sins of the church have brought a reproach on the nation! The destruction and perdition that Paul promised would happen to those who love money is now catching up to them. Thieves in high places have broken into America’s treasure trove and have sucked it dry. Because much of the Church is trusting in wealth, God is judging it severely and the rest of the nation is suffering as a result. It is nothing but the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) that is causing America to suffer the destruction of its predatory capitalist financial system. People have deceived themselves into thinking they were wealthy by using borrowed, worthless paper money. Now that it is time to pay the piper, millions are losing their homes, investments, businesses, pensions and jobs! The prosperity movement in the church has conned people into thinking they can serve God and mammon at the same time. But, truly only one can be your master and most people’s master is money! Because of this, America has become a nation of debt slaves. Do you realize that the typical American family owes $12,000 to cover the U.S. debt to China alone?

Reaping What We Have Sown

The church should be the main advocate of the poor and oppressed both here and abroad. The church is supposed to follow the example of Jesus. Although Jesus sat at the right hand of God, He chose to identify with the poor, oppressed, downtrodden and physically and mentally ill when He walked the earth. Though Jesus was in the beginning with God and through Him all things were made, He chose to avail himself of the riches of heaven and earth for the purpose of serving others. Consider the humble circumstances by which Jesus was even born. His parents were not rich insiders, the power elite or prosperous spiritual leaders; they were a simple carpenter and his wife. He was not born in a royal palace or fancy lodge, but a manger off the beaten path. Regarding His purpose and ministry, Jesus said,

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
Luke 4:18-19

While millions of Christians are occupying their time scheming to get rich, who is ministering to the needs of the poor, who is taking care of the orphan and the widow, who is visiting the sick and those imprisoned, who is clothing the naked, who is feeding the hungry? Of course I realize there are believers who are doing these things, it’s just sad to know that so many don’t think these actions are worthy of their time. Instead, they would rather entertain their flesh in disgusting displays like what is represented in the following video clip.

Since much of the church has turned away from the mission of Christ to pursuing riches, it is only fitting that homelessness, joblessness, poverty and famine have taken root in main stream American life. Many Americans have benefited from the policies of slave labor and deplorable working conditions that most of its corporations foster around the world. That new pair of Nike shoes that will cost you $70 only costs Nike $20 to make. The typical worker making Nike shoes only makes at most $4.50 a day! This is not to pick on Nike. Most American corporations operate in Third World countries where the labor is cheap and where they pay little to no taxes while reaping staggering profits. For Americans to get all the goods we so lust after, someone, somewhere in the world is working like a slave and is living well below the U.S. poverty level. Now that same poverty is coming back to the U.S.A.

Many of today’s church leaders have aligned themselves with big business, politics and corporate funding. They have sold their eternal birthright for promises of fleeting power and prosperity. Much of the church in America functions more like a business than a living body of believers filled with the life of God. Prosperity teaching has made this acceptable in the eyes of many. After all, God wants you to live your best life now!

The rancid fruit of prosperity teaching has permeated through every fiber of American life from Wall Street to the darkest corner of Americas ghettos. While the dollar has become many people’s true master, God is revealing how unwise it is to attempt to gain the whole world by chasing after money through selfish ambitions. The fragile veneer of American society is being stripped away as the financial, social and political systems continue to crumble and people are thrown out into the streets. Why haven’t we paid attention to one of the most profound verses in all of scripture: for the love of money that is the root of all evil (I Timothy 6:10)? When those who supposedly love God demonstrate they love money all the more, what do you think happens to society at large?

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
II Timothy 3:1-5

Prosperity teachers and their disciples’ incessant pursuit of the good life has infected America-at-large with a poison having far-reaching, devastating effects. If you are guilty of entertaining this false doctrine, please stop listening to the false profits of prosperity. Understand that the way to fulfilling God’s purpose for your life is by denying yourself, picking up your cross and following Jesus. Fortunately some are doing just that as seen in the video below. We should be very thankful that God is still forgiving and willing to embrace us with His love if we would only repent.

Comments

  1. I understand where you are coming from but it’s not the message of prosperity that is out of line. The message of prosperity is not against God’s word or his will.

    He says in Deut. 8:18 “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”

    He says in Prov. 13:22 “A good man leaves an inheritance to his sons’ sons, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

    Money/Prosperity is not the issue. “The LOVE of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

    Prosperity teaching is not the issue, the issue is in the hearts of each person who places something else above God. He wants us to take care of and minister to the poor, the widow and such. If we’re in the same boat as they are exactly how are we supposed to help them out? How are we to do for them if we don’t have more than “just enough” to get by? How are we supposed to “DO” the work of the ministry if we are as poor as everyone around us that he called us to minister to?

    BTW, I’m a layman in the church, a volunteer, anything I may do I don’t get paid for. There are 7 of us in my family and we live in less than 1000sq ft. I drive a vehicle that could go out at any minute, we have no medical insurance, and we can barely pay the bills. Sometimes we’re falling 2 months behind on our bills but I’m so thankful for what I have. I refuse to let jealousy and envy of what my pastors may have – have any place in my heart.

    This is where the issue is… if Pastors get up in the pulpit and preach prosperity in order to line their own pockets… let God deal with them caused I can promise that he will. He’s a jealous God and he will bring them to their knees in order to get their hearts right. But if you take pleasure when God brings them down you have uncovered your own issues of the heart.

    • Hi Patricia,

      I was definitely blessed by your most recent blog post. I admire your transparency and your article served as a reminder that truly there are no throw away people!

      I’d also like to thank you for taking the time to comment on this post. We agree that the issue is in the hearts of those looking to line their pockets because of greed. We also agree that it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. These things were stated repeatedly in the article. Like you’ve mentioned, God has given to each of us our portion and we are not to be jealous because some may have more than we do. However, it seems we disagree that prosperity teaching is part of the problem. There is a difference in believing that the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just and centering one’s whole life around trying to acquire it. The prosperity message is a different gospel because it teaches Christians that God wants them to be wealthy and if they are not experiencing wealth then something must be wrong with their faith. Now where is this justified in the scriptures?

      I have personally seen the abuse that ministers of this kind of teaching have done to those in their congregations. While there were families in the midst who did not even have enough money for groceries, the leaders were begging for more tithes and offerings. I know for a fact that those tithes and offerings were not being used to help those in need. The money was used to purchase expensive cars, finance college educations, buy expensive clothing and other non essential items for those in the leadership. This is wrong and the church needs to speak up about it! We are to submit to leaders that are submitted to Christ. If they are not submitted to Christ then we owe them nothing but to love them and call for them to repent!

      The church should look like it did in the book of Acts when those who had excess land and possessions sold them so that those that did not have would benefit and there would be equality. This is true prosperity and represents the loving, self-sacrificial giving of God.

      This is what God has to say to those who make a habit of fleecing the flock:

      And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.” Ezekiel 34:1-6

      As a fellow believer I hope you will consider these points. I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers. I have two kids of my own and know how difficult the times are.

      Lorrent

      • I understand what you’re saying.
        I guess for me what it really comes down to is God has promised many things to us and is willing to bless us in so many ways… including prosperity. It is in his word.

        Yes, we DO have people who get in the pulpit and distort God’s concepts like when you hear someone who preaches only prosperity, or faith or grace…. etc. Even without an intention to distort the word of God you almost can’t help it because everyone’s eyes are concentrated on that one thing alone…. to the exclusion of all others.

        Yes, there are teachers of a non-biblical prosperity used only to line their pockets. They are charlatans and cheats and God will bring them down. But, we can’t allow the Biblical concept to get lost in the shuffle and dis-guarded because MAN screws it up. As we both agree, it’s a matter of the heart.

        What we need is a revival of true love in the body of Christ, the kind of love that compels you to reach out and help those around you in need so far as you are capable of… instead of what the current norm is which is “walking across on the other side of the road and expecting someone else to come along and help.”

        Btw, I’m so very glad I could bless you with my post “Throw Away People.” Writing that was a very emotion time as it was based off of not only personal experiences but also the way I’ve seen two people (a five to seven year old boy & a 19-20 year old young man) recently treated.

      • We have reached a point of unity for I agree with your statements as well. The point I believe the Spirit of the Lord wants to drive home is that often our society is a reflection of our churches and the lives of God’s people. If the world sees “God’s people” lusting after money and material things it justifies their own greed and serves to discredit what we say we believe. Judgment is falling on the body of Christ because of these things and the society as a whole is also reaping. The rain falls on the just and the unjust and America is now the reservoir!

        May God keep you in perfect peace as you continue in your ministry and walk with Him.

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