The Prosperity Gospel

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
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Willhewonder
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Joined: 28 Jul 2016, 08:54

Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by Willhewonder » 29 Jul 2018, 19:35

This is one of those subjects that could benefit from a stricter discipline in specifying definitions prior to the discussion. Or maybe also in detailing all the possible elements of and interpretations for. Then there is the ties to things like the purpose for this life, why God made the world a beautiful place and the concept of variable worth. This is worth a penny , but that's is worth a dime and this thing over here is worth a dollar. All the logic in the world about a penny value may be correct and wonderful, but enough knowledge to get the dollar may be less than all possible knowledge on how to get the Penney. So what should you do? What if your big test in life is to see how you handle cancer, but you live the Word of Wisdom. So you will have heath to the navel, until time to take your test. Prosperity Gospel is not invalid, but your case is trumped by your main test. Also, the interests of the institutional versus the personal church may confuse things. As someone pointed out above, some promises may be more applicable to the institution than the person, or even the aggregate of many persons. Confusing. Lots to sort out.

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Heber13
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Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by Heber13 » 30 Jul 2018, 17:09

I guess you just take one point at a time, and work through the confusion step by step.

Prosperity gospel is very limited, IMO. It doesn't stand the test of time and sets one up for disappointment.

If it is pointing towards the concept of "The Law of the Harvest"...then I can see that in some situations. You reap what you sow. But that that is not to be confused with nature also throwing in weeds and other random stuff into your garden, mixing up what you sowed with a bunch of random stuff too.

It is all about managing expectations, and not expecting prosperity for good efforts, and dismissing industry by the sweat of your brow.

It's wisdom to sift the ideas into what works and makes sense for you. One layer at a time. And accepting paradox along the way.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Reuben
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Re: The Prosperity Gospel

Post by Reuben » 31 Jul 2018, 02:09

Heber13 wrote:
19 Jul 2018, 20:13
I thought this was an interesting article about how the Vatican feels about the US-centric "prosperity gospel" beliefs...

Vatican-OK'd journal dissing 'prosperity gospel', US evangelicals
Bleah. The site sltrib.com isn't compliant with new EU privacy regulations, so it refuses to serve up content over here. But I assume the article is about this other article, which I loved:

https://laciviltacattolica.com/the-pros ... different/

With apologies for a bit of snarky tone, here's what I wrote in response on another site.

*****

I think it's good to keep in mind that, in Mormonism, the heavenly vending machine actually dispenses spiritual prosperity.

In this respect, Mormonism is one of the most hardcore purveyors of the prosperity gospel. After editing away the bits about material blessings, this quote describes Mormonism perfectly:
One of the characteristics of these movements is the emphasis placed on the covenant written by God with his people, his witnesses in the Bible. And above all they look to the alliance with the patriarchs. So the text of the alliance with Abraham has a central place, in the sense of guaranteed prosperity. The logic of this concept of “the God of the covenants” is that, as Christians are the spiritual children of Abraham, they are also the inheritors [...]. Rather than a biblical alliance, it sounds like a contract.

[...]

In these theologies, the filial belonging of Christians as children of God is reinterpreted as that of “Children of the King”: sonship that brings rights and privileges [...] to those who recognize and preach it. Harold Hill, in his book How to be a Winner, wrote: “King’s kids are entitled to receive special treatment because they have a firsthand winning relationship with their heavenly Father who has made all things and continues to be Lord of all.”
In Mormonism, the currency for the heavenly vending machine is obedience. The contract with God says if you put some obedience in, it dispenses a spiritual blessing.

If you put in prayer, scripture reading, keeping the sabbath day holy, etc., then it dispenses the Spirit, your very own Liahona. If you put in prayer with real intent and faith in Christ, then it dispenses knowledge. If you put in family prayer and gospel living, then it dispenses faithful children. If you put in tithing, then it dispenses... well, usually material blessings, going by conference talks. Sometimes it dispenses... less material blessings, but everything is spiritual to God, so it's all good.

What if the heavenly vending machine doesn't work?

Silly goose, the machine always works! You have a contract with God himself that says so! Make sure you check behind the machine in case something fell out and rolled away while you weren't looking. Nothing there? Okay, well, the prices might be different for you than for me, so try putting more obedience in.

So if you put in more prayer, then maybe it will dispense heterosexuality, or at least the strength to accept it as a lifestyle. If you put in confessing to your bishop and maybe the addiction recovery program, then maybe it will dispense the enabling power of the atonement. If you put in more scripture study, then maybe it will dispense more testimony to counteract those anti-Mormon lies. If you put in more church activity, then maybe it will dispense nice feelings again, so you can stop being depressed.

The problems with this way of framing your relationship with God are the same as with expecting material prosperity or health in return for obedience. You'll think you deserve your spiritual riches, and judge people who are spiritually poor instead of empathizing with them. And if the vending machine ever stops dispensing blessings, you can drive yourself insane trying to make it work again.

*****

Like Roy and DarkJedi, I give these pernicious and false ideas a good amount of credit for my faith crisis. Surely God would do something, I thought. And when he didn't do even the smallest thing I begged for, and worse, seemed to withdraw? Out went belief in God, and with him, the church.

I don't know who or what to be grateful to for this lesson, but I'm grateful. I would rather have been pushed off the Mormon Rameumptom than still be up there looking down on the poor in spirit.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

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