Last week, LifeWay released a study claiming a rise in the Prosperity Gospel compared to the year 2017. But were the findings of these studies accurate. Since 2017, we have seen the meteoric rise of Mike Todd. TD Jakes is one of the most watched pastors in America. The Prosperity Gospel churches are still large and prominent, although many are paper tigers we call Ghost Megachurches. So what does the data say.
LifeWay defines Evangelicalism, but it does not define the Prosperity Gospel. The Prosperity Gospel teaches that part of Jesus’ work on the cross was wealth and health, therefore tying these things to salvation.
However, the questions asked by LifeWay do not specifically address the core teaching of the Prosperity Gospel, merely the peripheral understandings. Some of these answers are explained by how churches teach on tithing. Theoretically, any church that teaches that a Christian must give 10% to the church would lend credence to the idea that giving money to the church will result in material blessing from God.
The idea of God wanting us to prosper financially could be rooted in the Prosperity Gospel, but this is not a solid foundation to accuse the layman of buying into the false gospel.
The idea of bargaining with God rising from 26% to 45% seems to be the biggest indicator of a rising tide of Prosperity Gospel beliefs.
However, LifeWay’s data does not conclusively nail down a trend because they do not ask a question specifically tying money to salvation. In other words, the design of this study was poor. Perhaps the Halo/Horn Effect was a factor in the decision not to ask a direct question.
In the wake of the Social Justice Gospel, the Prosperity Gospel has often taken a back seat. It was right at the time to focus on the more immediate threat, but alas, a more renewed focus on the Prosperity Gospel is needed.
Support the Evangelical Dark Web
Receive the Evangelical Dark Web Newsletter
Bypass Big Tech censorship, and get Christian news in your inbox directly.