Dec 18, 2009

 
 
 
CNN recently had a discussion about whether or not the 'Prosperity' teachings of some megachurches led to the economic downturn we are currently facing.  I did a little research and I came across an article called 'Prosperity gospel faces challenge: frugal savers' which talks about the same thing.
 
 
If you don't wish to read the entire article here is a good summary that was posted by ReligionNewsBlog:

For 40 years, the Rev. Charles Cowan has been preaching that God wants Christians to prosper. So he's not about to change the message, no matter how bad the economy looks.

That includes telling his followers that if they are faithful in giving to the church, God will reward them financially.

We want to be sure that we are taking care of honoring God, because his Word tells us that if we honor him, he will honor us," said Cowan, pastor of nondenominational Faith is the Victory Church in Nashville.

Despite the economic downturn, the prosperity gospel remains alive and well. Pastors like Cowan or televangelists like the Rev. Creflo Dollar and the Rev. Kenneth Copeland continue to promise that financial blessings will follow donations to their ministries.

But it faces a challenge from a new austerity gospel, which says God blesses those who work hard, save their money and pay off their debts.

Believing in God's provision is common to most Christians. What makes the prosperity gospel unique is the idea that God's blessings can be triggered by donations known as seeds of faith.

That concept was taught by Cowan's mentor, the late Rev. Kenneth Erwin Hagin, along with Hagin's colleague, the Rev. Oral Roberts, two grandfathers of the prosperity gospel.

The idea works this way: A believer sows a financial seed of faith, giving it to a church or a preacher, and God rewards that seed with a monetary blessing.
[...]

The austerity gospel

The opposite of the prosperity gospel is the austerity gospel, promoted by radio host and author Dave Ramsey.
In his Financial Peace University program, Ramsey tells people to go back to making money the old-fashioned way — always pay cash, never spend more than you earn and avoid debt like the plague.
[...]

Dennis Decker, a missionary with Crown Financial Ministries, said he has seen a growing number of people who are disappointed with the prosperity gospel. Crown is a national group that runs financial classes at churches and offers volunteers who can teach budgeting one-on-one.
[...]

Decker says that Crown teaches people to handle money according to biblical principles. It's similar to the approach that Ramsey teaches — especially in using a budget and avoiding debt. Like Ramsey, Crown also teaches the importance of using money in charitable ways to help others. But unlike Ramsey's company, which is for-profit, Crown is a nonprofit Christian group. source

 
So, I want to know your opinion on this.  Do you agree or disagree with the teachings of prosperity contributing to the economic downturn?  How do you feel about the Prosperity Gospel vs. The Austerity Gospel?
 
What Say Thee.......

2 comments:

  1. First let me say that I do believe that you reap what you so in every aspect of life (Galations 6:7). I also believe that you should return your tithe (Malachi).

    However, I don't understand why the church is being targeted with the down turn of the economy and that had never crossed my mind. I believe God wants us to be prosperous but we have to use wisdom with our finances at the same time. I have followed some of the prosperity teachings vs. the austerity teachings for the last 15years. I started off excited with the prosperity teachings and in the last 5 years have followed both Crown and Ramsey teachings. I believe bottom line when you start lining up with the biblical principles of giving, saving and investing and not looking for a get rich quick scheme - that you prosper more in your character and integrity as well as financially.

    You have to ask the question: Once you get all of the money...are you going to use it for the kingdom of God or self? I talking about the extra beyond tithe...so many communities need youth centers, schools need art and music programs back in the school systems. There countless other needs that could benefit as I am sure are benefiting from believers giving.

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  2. God will give us our blessings on how he sees fit.By looking at our works we have done for him not by how we our tithing in the Church!But we are suppose to give of our tithes of 10%.I'm just saying.But who's judging?!!!

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