John Gray, a pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, is unapologetic about using personal funds to buy his wife an extravagant anniversary present.
Paula White claims this "seed" money will lead to wealth.
Friends, it's simply a false gospel.
Trump's appeal is based less on his personal beliefs and more on his ability to tap into powerful strains of popular belief that have been commodified and commercialized by Christian publishers, pastors, and televangelists for years.
Do I think that God ordained the world so that everything would be in place for me to have that education? It seems a bit self-centered to imagine that.
There is certainly something to be said for that viewpoint. Many religious people display a significant degree of magical
“The blood of all these people that you have sucked [and on which] you have lived, is a cry to the Lord, it is a cry of justice."
Unfortunately, it can be hard to see God present in churches. Our eyes too quickly skip over the generous and quietly effective congregations in our midst. It's much easier to sneer, justifiably, at predatory preachers traveling on private jets and counting the money they've fleeced from misled donors. How will God protect us all from their deceits?
From a theological perspective the problem with the prosperity gospel is not so much that it assumes that one's actions have miraculous or "supernatural" repercussions, even actions related to monetary exchange. The problem is, rather, the way in which it inverts a more "orthodox" logic.
The New Testament praises those who give generously to the needy and to support the people who provide leadership to Christian communities. Almost just as often, it tells those leaders not to be financial burdens to others or to create circumstances in which they appear to be unduly profiting from their preaching.