The Prosperity Gospel

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
LDS_Scoutmaster
Posts: 280
Joined: 21 Jan 2015, 23:30
Location: SoCal

The Prosperity Gospel

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 25 May 2018, 14:27

Roy wrote:
23 May 2018, 11:29
I liken this to being told that a particular road was completely safe for worthy church members - by divine protection. One day you get beaten and mugged - maybe your loved one was killed - on this same road. You struggle with feelings of failure because perhaps the divine protection was lacking because of some personal failing on your part. After much soul searching and meeting with priesthood leaders you come to understand that "Life" happens to the good and the bad. Random chance exists in God's universe. Also that a fair number of assurances of divine protection were not really doctrine at all - they were anecdotal stories, faith promoting rumors, personal testimonies, and other words to describe the tendency of the imperfect membership to preach the prosperity gospel above and beyond what is justified by scripture.

Unfortunately in subsequent church meetings many examples of the prosperity gospel continue to be taught. Sometimes you speak up, sometimes you do not. sometimes after you speak another individual will approach you after class in gratitude, sometimes they do not. But almost always the elements of the prosperity gospel seem to be more accepted, more welcome, and more consistent with the message of the lesson. Everyone seems eager to proclaim that a particular road is completely safe for worthy church members - by divined protection.
Wow that's deep Roy. And clear. Well put.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

NightSG
Posts: 330
Joined: 09 Feb 2015, 09:35

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by NightSG » 26 May 2018, 11:42

Roy wrote:
23 May 2018, 11:29
But almost always the elements of the prosperity gospel seem to be more accepted, more welcome, and more consistent with the message of the lesson.
And yet they can never satisfactorily explain how prosperity "gospel" comes from that same God, who in His own Son's words "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

I mean, when Christ Himself, in His most famous, best documented sermon tells you God doesn't play favorites, that sort of limits the possible sources of supernatural preferential treatment, doesn't it?

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6893
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by DarkJedi » 26 May 2018, 14:45

NightSG wrote:
26 May 2018, 11:42
Roy wrote:
23 May 2018, 11:29
But almost always the elements of the prosperity gospel seem to be more accepted, more welcome, and more consistent with the message of the lesson.
And yet they can never satisfactorily explain how prosperity "gospel" comes from that same God, who in His own Son's words "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

I mean, when Christ Himself, in His most famous, best documented sermon tells you God doesn't play favorites, that sort of limits the possible sources of supernatural preferential treatment, doesn't it?
We are by far not the only church of the prosperity gospel. In fact, I believe we borrowed it from mainstream Protestantism.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1443
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by dande48 » 26 May 2018, 15:45

NightSG wrote:
26 May 2018, 11:42
I mean, when Christ Himself, in His most famous, best documented sermon tells you God doesn't play favorites, that sort of limits the possible sources of supernatural preferential treatment, doesn't it?
Well, Christ Himself did have a very short, pitiful, tragic life. But after Christ, the Roman Empire and the kingdoms of the middle ages twisted the doctrine to support their rule and authority. God gave them their standing as a divine right, and the peasants and serfs aught to obey (even if they don't understand or felt they were wrong). I still think in the LDS Church we follow that same dogma.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

NightSG
Posts: 330
Joined: 09 Feb 2015, 09:35

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by NightSG » 26 May 2018, 16:22

DarkJedi wrote:
26 May 2018, 14:45
We are by far not the only church of the prosperity gospel. In fact, I believe we borrowed it from mainstream Protestantism.
Granted, my experience beyond a single service is limited to growing up Methodist, with some Baptist friends I'd occasionally attend with, a CoC aunt I'd attend with a few times, and a couple of the "praise band" nondenominationals, I've never heard it preached as some sort of tenet of faith. Sometimes tangentially alluded to in the sense of "being righteous may improve your odds in life," but certainly not to the extent it's upheld by LDS at least in the culture.

The Methodist church I grew up in would blow it out of the water with a single (well, dual) example; one well known couple there had been public school janitors all their lives, and yet put every minute they could spare to volunteering in the church. He would drive the church bus to pick up kids for after school activities while she prepped the rooms, and they would both clean the building a couple times a week. For over 40 years they'd use their vacation time to assist with medical missions. (Even doctors forget how valuable it is to have two people with decades of experience in cleaning up vomit and working hard before the air conditioners come on in the 80F+ Texas summer mornings along when you're trying to fix up a third world clinic.) They were certainly never wealthy; they were frugal, which did allow them some extra options later in life compared to many manual laborers, but for every luxury they had in retirement, they'd foregone plenty up to that point,and even then I'd have to say they were well short of the upper middle to upper class lifestyle many of the members who contributed far less were living.
dande48 wrote:
26 May 2018, 15:45
Well, Christ Himself did have a very short, pitiful, tragic life.
Tragic, certainly, but only unusually short by modern standards; how many of us here wouldn't have made it to our mid 30s if not for modern medicine?

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6893
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by DarkJedi » 26 May 2018, 17:51

You never heard of this guy?:
https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Home.aspx
Other well known preachers of the prosperity gospel include Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, Jim & Tammy Baker, and Pat Robertson.

And the prosperity in prosperity gospel does have some to do with wealth, but there's an out in that health or general well-being are considered "blessings" or wealth. It has lots to do with the idea that "If we're doing what God wants no ill will befall you." Everyone knows janitors are probably not going to be wealthy - but I'm sure there are many who thought those janitors were very "blessed" for all they did. That's the prosperity gospel. The trouble with the prosperity gospel is those who are not doing what God "would have them do" and are still blessed and perhaps wealthy.

(FWIW, I am familiar with Methodism and the prosperity gospel is not a core teaching/belief among Methodists. That does not mean that there are some Methodists that do believe the prosperity gospel. And perhaps my ward is a bit different than yours, I do not regularly hear the prosperity gospel preached although it admittedly does exist. There are also others in my ward who do not believe in it.)
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 1443
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by dande48 » 26 May 2018, 19:55

NightSG wrote:
26 May 2018, 16:22
dande48 wrote:
26 May 2018, 15:45
Well, Christ Himself did have a very short, pitiful, tragic life.
Tragic, certainly, but only unusually short by modern standards; how many of us here wouldn't have made it to our mid 30s if not for modern medicine?
True, but those with access to good food, sanitation, healthcare lived about as long as we do. Caesar Augustus lived til he was 75 and Caesar Tiberius lived til he was 77. Christ was the "King of Kings" and his divine blood completely trumps even the most advanced modern medicine. I'd say most lives in Christ's time were tragically short; folks weren't dying of old age. Not to mention, only ministering for 3 years before being unjustly executed...
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16728
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by Curt Sunshine » 26 May 2018, 21:06

The Prosperity Gospel is rampant in Protestantism. I have worked at faith-based colleges and universities for much of the last decade, and I heard it taught directly and sometimes blatantly at a small mainstream Christian school, a large evangelical school, and (to a much smaller degree) occasionally at a smallish Catholic school.

Religious people believe, collectively, that God rewards proper behavior - not just in the next life but in this life, as well. A focus on those blessings being economic is a simple extension of that core belief, even though pretty much every scriptural reference, in context, obviously speaks of collective, communal prosperity and not individual prosperity.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

User avatar
DarkJedi
Posts: 6893
Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 20:53

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by DarkJedi » 27 May 2018, 04:14

And to be totally fair, the prosperity gospel is not absent from Catholicism and Judaism. I don't know enough about Islam or Muslims to say.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5435
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by SamBee » 27 May 2018, 08:31

Curt Sunshine wrote:
26 May 2018, 21:06
The Prosperity Gospel is rampant in Protestantism. I have worked at faith-based colleges and universities for much of the last decade, and I heard it taught directly and sometimes blatantly at a small mainstream Christian school, a large evangelical school, and (to a much smaller degree) occasionally at a smallish Catholic school.

Religious people believe, collectively, that God rewards proper behavior - not just in the next life but in this life, as well. A focus on those blessings being economic is a simple extension of that core belief, even though pretty much every scriptural reference, in context, obviously speaks of collective, communal prosperity and not individual prosperity.
American Protestantism. Not really worldwide although there are attempts to spread it.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Post Reply