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  • Frank Romans

The Profit of Jesus

Will Prayer Give You Riches?\

The so-called Prosperity Gospel is a uniquely American perversion of religion, capitalism, and politics. Its roots can be traced back to the nineteenth century, from an old tradition called New Thought. The American flavor of New Thought says the individual is responsible for everything in their life. Their health, wealth, and happiness could be controlled by visualizing themselves in a prosperous circumstance or outcome, and channeling mental energy to make it happen. Ah, the power of positive thinking. If you fail, well that is on you since your thoughts were not positive or pure enough. Heaven forbid if you think about an illness. You could manifest it upon you, so rid your mind of negativity. Doesn't that make any failure always your fault? You didn't do it right, or enough, or allowed some negativity to creep in there and taint your results. So, the unlucky are responsible for their own misfortune? Next time, a more generous tithe will help you get to the promised land. Let me tell you The Secret, not that one, the real one. There is no secret. You cannot simply speak or think things into existence. It is why we're not all lottery winners, and why some of us become ill even if we are faithful servants of his word.

Let's take a peek at some of the wealthiest of the Jesus for a profit preachers. The top ten are Kenneth Copeland, Bishop TD Jakes, David Oyedepo, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, Jesse Duplantis, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Rick Warren, and Joyce Meyer. In addition to church-owned mega-mansions, vacation properties, luxury jets and other aircraft, private runways and hangars, and expensive luxury cars, these folks have raked in one billion, six-hundred nine million dollars. It looks like this: $1,609,000,000.00. And that's only ten of them. There is much profit in spreading the word. According to them, Jesus wants you to have it too. Wasn't it Jesus who said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." I am not saying wealth is a bad thing. It can do a lot of good. What I am suggesting is this; prosperity theology exploits the poor and the vulnerable.

The idea that God rewards faith and hefty tithing with financial blessings is an aberrant theology. Does anyone remember the 1980's televangelists Jimmy Swaggart, or Jim and Tammy Bakker? Both had quite the fall from grace.

These charlatans operate in plain sight with thousands of adoring fans funding their lavish lifestyles. In 2008, Senator Chuck Grassley attempted a thorough investigation of some of these prominent church leaders. Most did not cooperate with the investigation, and it concluded in 2011 with a decision they could self-police. Does anyone seriously think that is a good idea?

In the Gospel of Saint Matthew, we are told that Jesus said, "You cannot serve both God and money." Who do these multi-millionaire preachers serve?

Remember this, Jesus was born poor, and was poor all his life.


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