October 31, 2023

The Prosperity Gospel

When I was a child, I heard a version of the prosperity gospel that was a bit different from the way it's promoted today. The basic idea was that a good-hearted person who generously helped others was rewarded materially so that he could share his fortune, using his resources to lift others out of poverty.

The protagonist in the story was a man who had given his last $10 to help someone who was even worse off than he was. That act of self-sacrifice led to his getting a good job, where he rose through the ranks by working hard. Whenever he got an increase in salary, he used most of his money to feed, clothe and shelter unemployed and homeless people, no strings attached. As he got richer and richer, he gave away more and more money.

This was not a story about a man with multiple mansions and a private jet, whose conspicuous wealth was supposedly a sign that God considered him morally superior. It was a story about a man whom God trusted to help those with the greatest need.

It's sad how twisted that story has become. @realrkwest


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