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ETpro's avatar

Bishop Eddie Long -- what's your feelings about the "Prosperity Gospel" movement?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) September 25th, 2010

Bishop Long may or may not be guilty. That isn’t in question here. What is not in dispute is that he has grown very wealthy from his ministry. He lives in a mansion, has a chauffeur driven Bentley, is the biggest benefactor or the charity he founded and basically lives the lifestyle of a politically connected celebrity jet setter.

There are a list of multimillionaire preachers who have grown fabulously wealthy from parishioners contributions to “support their ministry”. Some have been proven to be guilty of sexual improprieties or criminal acts of other sorts, and others have not. Whether wealthy ministers are all sex addicts or not is also not the question here. What I am asking is how do you look at the whole idea of Prosperity Theology and getting fabulously wealthy in the name of Jesus? How can such an idea be put forward as legitimately following in the footsteps of Christ? Does God really provide material wealth to those he favors? If so, is the fact that Jesus was poor an indicator that God didn’t favor him?

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10 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

its like a charity with a high percent going to administration…. are his members becoming rich too… or is it just him?

TexasDude's avatar

I know an awful lot of old ladies who have been duped into the whole prosperity gospel thing and lost a lot of what they had.

With that in mind, I’d like to extend a hearty “fuck you” to any prosperity gospel proponent who has proven themselves to be a charlatan. If that’s what they actually believe and they aren’t exploiting anyone, then that’s fine, but I have a feeling that’s not really the case most of the time.

wolfram's avatar

Preachers are simply “after life” insurance salesmen. It is naive to think its not a business. They profit from selling everlasting life so why is anyone surprised by abused power and exploitation? Faith-based followers do not use reason to evaluate their leaders. Instead, they place their complete “faith” in their leaders absent of any reprisal. Notice followers are called the “flock” as in “sheep” as in “mindless”. Followers bestow a lot of power to religious leaders and we all know that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

llewis's avatar

Jesus taught that it is very difficult for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God (if one has more than he needs he should sell off worldly goods and give to the poor). That should make it pretty clear that these Prosperity Gospel preachers are not teaching the word of Christ. But people love “get rich quick” schemes, they love being told that they deserve all the “good” things in life. So they fall for that crap.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Him and that Creflo Dollar fellow need to be run out of Atlanta. Can you run people out of town? As for the sexual allegations, that’s just another example of why people need to get over homophobia. Otherwise, the only scandal (besides how he’s taking money from the poor and gullible) would be the age of the young men he seduced (I know they’re considered of age in GA, but they were awfully young for him).

I read this on Gawker today that summed up my feelings exactly on “pastors” like them: “If the pastor is living way better than the congregants, then something’s wrong.”

ETpro's avatar

@talljasperman I can’t answer the question about the finaincial status of the members of his church. I would assume that few if any are doing anywhere near as well as he is.

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Do you think that anyone can put forward a legitimate Biblical argument for Prosperity Theology?

@wolfram Nice summation of the business model. :-)

@llewis Thanks. That is certainly my reading of the Bible too.

@aprilsimnel Love that Gawker.com wrap up. THanks.

TexasDude's avatar

@ETpro, not really, but I bet if I had enough time and a Bible in my hands, I could pull one out of my ass.

ETpro's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Then you should file that business plan :here”:http://www.fluther.com/98364/are-you-ever-tempted-to-work-for-the-dark-side/. :-)

TexasDude's avatar

@ETpro, haha, sadly for my own wallet, I only use my powers for good!

Aster's avatar

The original meaning of Jesus’ words “I wish that you would prosper” meant “I hope you have a good, safe journey.”
If people want to pad the bank accounts of preachers who they believe have made their lives better, it’s their business. But the prosperity gospel is wrong and I do not appreciate the mental picture of a minister wearing a Dior suit, solid gold cufflinks and a Rolex getting into a private jet. Slightly off-track, I’d say. I won’t say GAG because it looks juvenile.

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