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Did The Pentecostal Prosperity Doctrine And TBN Cause The Financial Crisis?

Posted by Job on October 3, 2008

Foreward: please note that the Bible DOES NOT PROMOTE reckless financial behavior, but quite the contrary promotes hard work, frugality, and conscientiousness. Contrast the ostentatious wealth of King Solomon – who left God for syncretism – with Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger and lived the life of a pauper. And as for you prosperity preacher adherents, well, you wanted to be world changers, right? To take authority and dominion? Well, it looks like you did it. Your doctrines helped cause the international banking crisis that just may set the stage for the anti – Christ to come to power. By the way, sorry for picking on Palin, because TONS of black prosperity doctrine preachers have gotten behind Obama as well. You know, it makes for the perfect conspiracy theory.

All of these Council on Foreign Relations – backed preachers get on TV – especially if they own networks like TBN – or dominate the book publishing market (Left Behind) or even get mainstream publicity (like TD Jakes on the cover of Time Magazine – which ironically published this article ) which exploit the poor with false promises of wealth. Then have the same Council on Foreign Relations – connected politicians (Bush Sr., Bush Jr., Clinton, Gingrich at minimum) change the banking laws, requiring/forcing banks to lend to these people. And when the inevitable economic collapse occurs (which by the way was just the result of terrible economic policy dating back to at least Reagan … remember how the Democrats AND Republicans exhorted you to go buy an SUV and invest your retirement accounts in Pets.com in the 1990s … and that speaks nothing of deficit spending and free trade deals with third world countries where people will gladly work for $5 a day) then use it as an excuse to practically nationalize the banking sector and promote economic globalism. If this WASN’T a conspiracy, it certainly played out like one. In any event, now you see how massively evil false doctrines are, and the prosperity doctrine is both false and evil.

Foreclosures: Did God Want You to Get That Mortgage? 

or “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” 

Has the so-called Prosperity Gospel turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis? That’s what a scholar of the fast-growing brand of pentecostal Christianity believes. While researching a book on black televangelism, says Jonathan Walton, a religion professor at the University of California Riverside, he realized that Prosperity’s central promise — that God would “make a way” for poor people to enjoy the better things in life — had developed an additional, toxic expression during sub-prime boom. Walton says that this encouraged congregants who got dicey mortgages to believe “God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house.” The results, he says, “were disastrous, because they pretty much turned parishioners into prey for greedy brokers.”
Others think he may be right. Says Anthea Butler, an expert in pentecostalism at the University of Rochester in New York state, “The pastor’s not gonna say ‘go down to Wachovia and get a loan’ but I have heard, ‘even if you have a poor credit rating God can still bless you — if you put some faith out there [that is, make a big donation to the church], you’ll get that house, or that car or that apartment.'” Adds J. Lee Grady, editor of the magazine Charisma, “It definitely goes on, that a preacher might say, ‘if you give this offering, God will give you a house. And if they did get the house, people did think that it was an answer to prayer, when in fact it was really bad banking policy.” If so, the situation offers a look at how an native-born faith built partially on American econoic optimism entered into a toxic symbiosis with a pathological market.

Although a type of Pentecostalism, Prosperity theology adds a distinctive layer of supernatural positive thinking. Adherents will reap rewards if they prove their faith to God by contributing heavily to their churches, remaining mentally and verbally upbeat, and concentrating on divine promises of worldly bounty supposedly strewn throughout the bible. Critics call it a thinly disguised pastor-enrichment scam. Other experts, like Walton, note that for all its faults, it can empower people who have been taught to see themselves as financially or even culturally useless to feel they are “worthy of having more and doing more and being more.” (Sure, if you forget about the Bible says that the Holy Spirit, God the Father,and Jesus Christ are supposed to comfort and reassure us. Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.) In some cases the philosophy has matured with its practitioners, encouraging good financial habits and entrepreneurship.

But Walton suggests that a decade’s worth of ever-easier credit acted like drug in Prosperity’s bloodstream. “The economic boom 90’s and financial over-extensions of the new millennium contributed to the success of the prosperity message,” he wrote recently. And not positively. “Narratives of how ‘God blessed me with my first house despite my credit’ were common. Sermons declaring ‘it’s your season to overflow’ supplanted messages of economic sobriety,” and “little attention was paid to.. the dangers of using one’s home equity as an ATM to subsidize cars, clothes and vacations.”

With the bubble burst, Walton and Butler assume that prosperity congregants have taken a disproportionate hit, and are curious as to how their churches will respond. Butler thinks that some of the flashier ministries will shrink along with their congregants’ fortunes. Says Walton, “You would think that the current economic conditions would undercut their theology.” But he predicts they will perservere, since God’s earthly largesse is just as attractive when one is behind the economic eight ball.

A recently posted testimony by a congregant at the Brownsville Assembly of God near Pensacola, Fla., seems to confirm his intuition. Brownsville is not even a classic Prosperity congregation — it relies more on the anointing of its pastors than on scriptural promises of God. But the believer’s note to his minister illustrates how magical thinking can prevail even after the mortgage blade has dropped. “Last Sunday,” it read, “You said if anyone needed a miracle to come up. So I did. I was receiving foreclosure papers, so I asked you to anoint a picture of my home and you did and your wife joined with you in prayer as I cried. I went home feeling something good was going to happen. On Friday the 5th of September I got a phone call from my mortgage company and they came up with a new payment for the next 3 months of only $200. My mortgage is usually $1020. Praise God for his Mercy & Grace.”

And pray that the credit market doesn’t tighten any further.

Some videos that speak of the error of these doctrines.

11 Responses to “Did The Pentecostal Prosperity Doctrine And TBN Cause The Financial Crisis?”

  1. Devon said

    Job, honestly, what does this have to do with Sarah Palin????

  2. Job said

    Devon:

    Simply put, the pastors that she has been tied to preach it.

  3. John Kaniecki said

    Job,

    Hi hope you are well.

    I see all to many people trying to conform their beliefs to the Bible rather than allowing the Bible to dictate their behaviour.

    Yes Jesus was a pauper. He also said “Store your treasures in heaven for where your treasures lie so does your heart.” He also told the rich young man to sell all the he had.

    But there are those who twist the Bible while in truth they are serving capitalistic of patriotic causes. Not that in and of itself there is anything wrong with these two. It is only when these two things become more important than God’s Word.

    Unfortunately capitalism is coming to a destructive end. Capitalism would have worked a lot better if over excessive greed had not destroyed it. Unfortunately the United States is headed toward fascism. Many failed to note in all this bank bail out and Wall Street trouble that Congress approved a record amount of money to the milatary. I firmly believe they intend to use those weapons. That is most unfortunate for everybody.

    Love,

    John

  4. Devon said

    Ah, I see you changed the title…much better…and I am not aware of Palin following any of the word faith preachers..

    Remember, there is a huge difference between being a Pentecostal versus the Word faith…I know…I travel in these circles…Most people in the Pentecostal movement are disdainful of the word faith doctrine.

  5. I think that when the hard times really hit home, the people who follow this doctrine will some wonder why they are still broke. The WOF pastors will encourage them to continue giving regardless, and the the big churches will be for sale.

    My name is Minister Williams, and I approve this message.

  6. Check It said

    You should notice that Jesus was not a pauper – Judas was stealing his money which was intended to be used to financially help paupers. One of the accusations of the Christ was that he was a friend of rich and drinkers. How can you explain this? No explanation, only twisting of the scriptures.
    Second: people are aware that not only Solomon had “ostentatious wealth” but big part of that wealth was gained by King David: “gold, silver, precious stones”, and still most of Christians know that Jesus was named “The son of David”.
    Let God almighty bless you and stop you from twisting His straight ways🙂

  7. He was not born to make you rich sir. He came to the poor, and yes sat with the rich to show even they can make it into heaven if they would believe on him. No where in the gospel does he say he did. Jesus preached to be rich in spirit not, your wallet. This lie is one of the greatest to ever come to man. It fosters greed and greedy men preach it. I know because I use to preach it until God showed me all the enemy was doing.
    Its teaching are based on mind sceince and the average Christian really believes what myself and others use to tell them. In other words, we were decieving you, and ourselves.
    It is witchcraft because it seeks to manipulate God in to blessing you if you will give a large sum of money. Beloved, God will bless you simply because you believe on His son and trust in him. Your money doesn’t cause blessing as they say.
    Study this subject and its roots before responding to things you may not be aware of. May God bless you as you dig to find out if what i’m saying is true.

  8. Margie In Oz said

    Devon,
    I don’t think you have travelled wide enough, come to Australa where it’s rife, from the Pentecostals, of which I am one, the charasmatics to main stream churces, visit a few Christian(?) bookstores, they know the more of that stuff they sell the richer they become along with all the other non scriptural false teachings on their shelves. Now we have GodTV and other religious channels spewing this stuff out too so this little country down the bottom of the world is right up there with the rest. We also have the net!! I know, I USED to travel in those circles too UNTIL I got dizzy and left.

  9. Margie In Oz said

    Devon,
    If you know of a good Bible based Pentecostal church in Australia, north east of Melbourne who isn’t into WoF or other extra biblical practices and teachings, please let me know.

  10. Devon said

    Margie I wouldn’t know about Australia as I have never been there….I am a Western Canadian guy…mainly Alberta is my stomping ground…I know some wonderful well balanced Pentacostal Churches here….when I used to live in Calgary, I attended a Holiness Church and a Foursquare Church of which both were solidly against the word faith doctrine…same with my current church which is Charismatic in its leanings but again, all the Pastors are solidly against word faith…

    However, I do know of Pentacostal and Charismatic churches here that do have some word faith elements…some of the Assembly of God Churches and the Victory Churches of Canada though it does vary from congregation to congregation..

    I orginally came out of a word faith church so I am very very leery of this doctrine and certainly would not sit under any local assembly that taught these incorrect teachings.

    Take care

    Dev from Canada.

  11. David L. Williams said

    Jesus said He had no place to lay His head….and He also sent Peter to catch a fish with money in its mouth to pay their taxes. Come now, how can anyone say He was rich? It’s a stretch to comply with inner greed.

    LOL, minister Williams, I approve your message too.

    DavWms

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