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Prosperity Gospel

An aberrant theology that teaches God rewards faith—and hefty tithing—with financial blessings, the prosperity gospel was closely associated with prominent 1980s televangelists Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Bakker, and is part and parcel of many of today’s charismatic movements in the Global South. Orthodox Christians wary of prosperity doctrine found a friend in Senator Chuck Grassley, who in 2008 began a thorough vetting of the tax-exempt status of six prominent “health and wealth” leaders, including Kenneth Copeland, Bishop Eddie Long, and Paula White.

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  • Lusanne Movement on Prosperity Theology, Poverty and the Gospel
    We affirm that God wishes the best for his children, and we seek ourselves to emulate his desire; but we recognize the ways our cultures distort our desires and draw us away from the fullness of life that is offered to all in Christ Jesus. Materialism and consumerism are two primary forms of the distortion of desires. Where the teachings of PT manipulate and control, Christians must be a prophetic voice, offering genuine justice and hope.
  • Ebola is not God’s wrath: Religious leaders say disease is caused by sin and cured by God.
    If disease is divine punishment, then by definition they “deserve it,” as homophobes were so happy to proclaim at the height of the AIDS crisis. The sick are seen as implicitly and personally culpable for their own conditions.

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