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Health And Wealth Gospel- Distortions Of The Gospel

It is not surprising that this perversion of the gospel is not only prominent in western societies like America but also vehemently defended and sought after. Prosperity theology is one that adheres to the premise that Jesus Christ is the "fix" to our health and wealth woes. Not only is He is a fix to those things but He wants everyone to be in perfect health and be extremely wealthy. It even purports that the 'righteous' are those that are healthy and rich. If God gave you a mansion and a Jaguar and heals your cancer then you are righteous.

Such a gospel has taken hold of some so-called 'Christian' circles in America and is growing tremendously. Especially in an era where unemployment rates are at record high and each day brings with it more discoveries of various types of diseases, millions of people are running into the arms of this downright heretical theology. It is palatable, it is commercial, it is worldly, and it fits right in with the trends of the society we live in. Prosperity theology is often backed by 3 John 1:2 which says, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." (NKJV) The wish John makes towards his friend Gaius has been made into a promise by prosperity gospel.

The Bible is clear on finances- from tithing, to using them as a form of worship; God has explicit principles on finances. The Bible is also clear on health- both spiritual and physical, from healing, to demonic oppression, to fighting temptations. In the Bible, we see different types of stewards of wealth- from the righteous rich like Abraham to the righteous poor like Paul who was in want and sometimes hungry relying on others to fund his ministry. We also see the unrighteousness rich like Judas Iscariot and the unrighteous poor like the fools talked about in Proverbs. What about us? We see millions of charismatic believers in Africa starving to death and dying of malaria and dysentery. We also see millions of unrighteous folks everywhere with perfect health and huge bank accounts. Two pastor's wives contract breast cancer: both pray for healing, one dies, one survives- the Lord is glorified in both cases.

The point isn't that God isn't ABLE, He is more than ABLE.if HE spoke the world into existence-which He did, there is NOTHING He can't do. He tells the sun and moon where to shine, He directs the rivers where to stop, He, He, He alone is in control. The whole universe belongs to Himus included, made to do one thing; to serve His purpose, not the other way around. Seeing Jesus as our bank or doctor is dangerous. It is idolatry in its most sinister form. When we put the creation ahead of the creator and seek Him for that very purpose, we completely ignore the gospel as presented by God.

So what is the gospel as presented by God? God created the universe and all that is in it. He is Supreme, Holy, Righteous, Just, Eternal, Triune, Perfect and Truth. God created man in His image. Man sinned against God in Genesis and experienced death (physical and spiritual). Spiritual death is an eternity apart from God. Man-made efforts can NEVER bring reconciliation with God ( all our efforts at morality are filthy rags in God's eyes ). Jesus Christ came to pay for our sins and bridge that gap, which He did by dying on the cross and resurrecting and is now seated at the Father's right hand. God calls us to be His children of mercy and when we yield to that call through Jesus Christ, we become reconciled with the Father. The Holy Spirit comes to live within us as a guarantee of our salvation. The Holy Spirit convicts, converts and comforts us. As we yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, our lives are conformed to Christ's. Christ would come again to judge the world. The Second Advent would be a period of joy for His followers and of sorrow for His enemies.

Poor health and poverty in one's life are not indicators of their salvation. We are encouraged to pray for our needs and trust in the Lord to meet them but His will in my life may not be His will for your life. He glorifies Himself in different ways in all of our lives. There are things that the world is desperately seeking in huge bank accounts, in good health, in prestigious jobs, etc that cannot be found in those things themselves and that which they are seeking is peace. The world is in a state of unrest, everyone wants to be reassured of tomorrow, people are hungry for stability. That can only be found in God through Jesus Christ. Until you are blessed with that peace that surpasses all human understanding, everything else would just 'shadows of the real deal': shadows that morph and fade away.

By Vera Seguin - Vera Seguin was raised in Cameroon, off the coast of West Africa. Her undergraduate was in English and French languages. In 2002, she moved to Albany, NY to pursue graduate education in Communications at SUN...  

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