Are you a prisoner of promised prosperity?
It is fair to say that most religious groups are not trying to bilk innocent people, but no one would deny that it is important to emphasize God’s standards. God’s way is always the best and only safe course in religion (2 John 1:9–11).
Let’s explore how the promise of wealth has been used to imprison the minds and manipulate some church goers by power hungry and money hungry leaders.
I have heard many discussions and conversations with people in the so-called-prosperity churches who believe that one day they will strike it rich because they have endured long in their church giving and serving faithfully in the ministry.
They believe that because the prophet has spoken prosperity to them they will one day wake up rich. Yet they are not doing anything differently outside church in terms of real business ventures or actively seeking to make money in the real world. Indeed, many are prisoners of promised prosperity in these churches. They spend precious time marvelling at their leader’s new car, new house and his wife’s new Gucci handbag or shoes.
They have become prisoners of promised prosperity. The sad reality is they don’t see the carrot and stick strategy used by their manipulative leaders to keep them as prisoners of promised prosperity.
The Threat Of Spiritual Curses
These prophets are not only money hungry, but often power hungry too. They want to be both Prophet and master. They commit the sin of the Pharisees and appoint themselves as middle men between God and you. They seek to replace the Holy Spirit in your life. They “lord it over” their flocks.
Using the connection they claim to have with God they threaten you with the stick of spiritual curses if you disobey them, and dangle the carrot of spiritual blessings (promised financial prosperity) if you comply. They seek to dominate your life; often implying that they have say in where you work, where you fellowship, who you marry, and of course, when, where, and how much you should give.
This is a false spiritual authority not supported by Scripture. In fact I believe it to be quite devilish (the desire to control and dominate others).
In these pastor’s prosperity teaching, obeying the pastor and giving money are the two pillars necessary for a successful Christian life. If you sit back and think about it, you will quickly see what a con it is.
These men want to be at the head of everything, they want to dominate you, they want to be seen as the big man, and some even secretly desire adoration (almost worship). This is the opposite of true Christian leadership:
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. – Luke 22:24-27
I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm. – 2 Corinthians 1:23-24
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. – Mark 10:42-44
Grow a backbone
Threatening people with curses if they do not obey or donate is spiritual extortion. It is contrary to the nature of grace and the person of Jesus.
Don’t be afraid of these men. Ignore their bluster. Grow a backbone and stand up to them. And if you give, then give to honour God and not out of fear of punishment or greed for financial gain. Memorize this verse: Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7