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12 Signs of a Healthy Faith-Life
Enter your email address and we will send you instructions on how to reset your password. Delete Move to Wishlist. Wishlist is empty. Delete Move to Cart. Email someone my wishlist. Recipients Name. Recipient's email address. Your name. Your email address. Enter a message. The teaching often depends on non-traditional interpretations of Bible verses,  the Book of Malachi often being given special attention. While Christians have generally celebrated Malachi for its passages about the Messiah , teachers of prosperity theology usually draw attention to its descriptions of physical wealth.
Prosperity theology casts itself as the reclamation of true doctrine and thus part of a path to Christian dominion over secular society. Peter Wagner , a leader of the New Apostolic Reformation , has argued that if Christians take dominion over aspects of society, the Earth will experience "peace and prosperity". They often view this as a Roman Catholic doctrine that should be discarded and replaced with an emphasis on prosperity. Prosperity churches place a strong emphasis on the importance of giving. Some services include a teaching-time focused on giving and prosperity, including Biblical references to tithing ; and then a sermon on another topic which follows the offering.
Prosperity-church leaders often claim that a specific blessing can be exchanged for the money being donated to their ministry; some have been reported to instruct worshipers to hold their donations above their heads during the prayer. Congregants in prosperity churches are encouraged to speak positive statements about aspects of their lives that they wish to see improved.
These statements, known as "positive confessions" distinct from confessions of sin , are said to miraculously change aspects of people's lives if spoken with faith. Jakes , pastor of The Potter's House non-denominational mega-church, has argued in favor of prosperity, rejecting what he sees as the demonization of success.
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He views poverty as a barrier to living a Christian life, suggesting that it is easier to make a positive impact on society when one is affluent. While some prosperity churches have a reputation for manipulating and alienating the poor,  many are involved in social programs. Underlying these programs is a theology of empowerment and human flourishing with the goal of releasing people from a "welfare" or "victim" mentality.
Kate Bowler, an academic who studies prosperity theology, has criticized such seminars, arguing that though they contain some sound advice, the seminars often emphasize the purchase of expensive possessions. She maintains that prosperity churches heavily emphasized home ownership based on reliance on divine financial intervention that led to unwise choices based on actual financial ability.
Most churches in the prosperity movement are non-denominational and independent, though some groups have formed networks. They argue that leaders attempt to control the lives of adherents by claiming divinely-bestowed authority. In the United States, the movement has drawn many followers from the middle class  and is most popular in commuter towns and urban areas. Tony Lin of the University of Virginia has also compared the teaching to manifest destiny ,  the 19th-century belief that the United States was entitled to the West.
Marvin Harris argues that the doctrine's focus on the material world is a symptom of the secularization of American religion. He sees it as an attempt to fulfill the American Dream by using supernatural power. Prosperity theology has become popular among poor Americans , particularly those who seek personal and social advancement. Simon Coleman developed a theory based on the doctrine's rhetoric and the feeling of belonging it gave parishioners.
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In a study of the Swedish Word of Life Church, he noted that members felt part of a complex gift-exchange system, giving to God and then awaiting a gift in return either from God directly or through another church member. Marion Maddox has argued that this message has drawn a significant number of upwardly mobile Australians. In a interview in Christianity Today , Bong Rin Ro of the Asia Graduate School of Theology suggested that the growth in popularity of prosperity theology in South Korea reflects a strong "shamanistic influence". Bong pointed to parallels between the tradition of paying shamans for healing and the prosperity theology's contractual doctrine about giving and blessings.
Asia's economic problems, he argued, encouraged the growth of the doctrine in South Korea, though he claims it ignores the poor and needy. During the interview, he stated that he saw the problem beginning to be reversed, citing calls for renewed faith and other practices. This criticism has focused on his healing and exorcism ministries and his promise of material blessings.
Malaysian Christian writer Hwa Yung has defended Cho's healing and exorcism ministries, arguing that he successfully contextualized the Gospel in a culture where shamanism was still prevalent.
However, Hwa criticizes Cho's teaching of earthly blessings for not reflecting a trust in God's daily provision and for their heavy focus on earthly wealth. Historian Carter Lindberg of Boston University has drawn parallels between contemporary prosperity theology and the medieval indulgence trade.
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McNeill disputes the widespread semi- Weberian idea that Calvinism promoted the idea of prosperity as a marker of the elect. Coleman has speculated that modern-day prosperity theology borrows heavily from the New Thought movement, though he admits that the connection is sometimes unclear. Matthew Wilson of Southern Methodist University compares the movement to Black theology owing to its focus on uplifting oppressed groups, though he notes that it differs in its concentration on individual success rather than corporate political change.
Observers have proposed that some doctrines and beliefs found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church are reminiscent to prosperity theology,  such as a similar interpretation of Malachi found among LDS members as among Protestant prosperity theology and LDS lesson manuals teaching a "prosperity cycle" that shows material wealth follows from obedience to God.
Mainstream evangelicalism has consistently opposed prosperity theology as heresy  and prosperity ministries have frequently come into conflict with other Christian groups, including those within the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Kent Hughes notes that some 1st-century rabbis portrayed material blessings as a sign of God's favor. He cites Jesus' statement in Mark that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" KJV as evidence to oppose such thinking. Other critics of the movement assail promises made by its leaders, arguing that the broad freedom from problems they promise is irresponsible.
For instance, some theologians believe that the life and writings of Paul the Apostle , who is believed to have experienced significant suffering during his ministry, are particularly in conflict with prosperity theology. During his earthly tenure, he spoke time and again about the importance of spiritual wealth and health. When he talked about material wealth, it was usually part of a cautionary tale.
In their book Health, Wealth and Happiness , theologians David Jones and Russell Woodbridge characterize the doctrine as poor theology. He also argues that the proponents of the doctrine misconstrue the atonement, criticizing their teaching that Jesus' death took away poverty as well as sin. He believes that this teaching is drawn from a misunderstanding of Jesus' life and criticizes John Avanzini 's teaching that Jesus was wealthy as a misrepresentation,  noting that Paul often taught Christians to give up their material possessions.
Although he accepts giving as "praiseworthy",  he questions the motives of prosperity theology and criticizes the "Law of Compensation",  which teaches that when Christians give generously, God will give back more in return. Rather, Jones cites Jesus' teaching to "give, hoping for nothing in return". But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" KJV. In , the General Council of the Assemblies of God criticized the doctrine of positive confession,  noting examples of negative confessions in the Bible where Biblical figures express fears and doubts that had positive results and contrasting these examples with the focus on positive confessions taught by prosperity theology.
The Council argues that the biblical Greek word often translated as "confess" literally translates as "to speak the same thing", and refers to both positive and negative confessions.
Oaks stated that people who believe in "the theology of prosperity" are deceived by riches. He continued by saying that the "possession of wealth or significant income is not a mark of heavenly favor, and their absence is not evidence of heavenly disfavor". He also cited how Jesus differentiated the attitudes towards money held by the young rich man in Mark —24, the good Samaritan, and Judas Iscariot in his betrayal. Oaks concluded this portion of his sermon by highlighting that the "root of all evil is not money but the love of money".
A Harper's Magazine article asserted that Mormon beliefs were like the prosperity gospel and Protestant work ethic "on steroids. In a lengthy segment, Oliver focused on what he characterized as the predatory conduct of televangelists who appeal for repeated gifts from people in financial distress or personal crises, and he criticized the very loose requirements for entities to obtain tax exempt status as churches under U. Oliver said that he would ultimately donate any money collected by the church to Doctors Without Borders.
The authors distinguished the prosperity gospel from Max Weber 's Protestant ethic , noting that the Protestant ethic related prosperity to religiously inspired austerity while the prosperity gospel saw prosperity as the simple result of personal faith. They criticized many aspects of the prosperity gospel, noting particularly the tendency of believers to lack compassion for the poor, since their poverty was seen as a sign that they had not followed the rules and therefore are not loved by God.
Notable works that advocate prosperity theology include:   . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with The Gospel of Wealth. Material wealth based Christian belief. Main article: Healing Revival. Main article: Word of Faith. See also: Social Gospel. Christianity portal. Retrieved December 4, The Atlantic.
Retrieved August 2, The Guardian. Retrieved February 13, The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 29, Retrieved December 29, Retrieved February 5, Peter November 1, Retrieved December 21, Christianity Today. Retrieved January 19, The Christian Post. Retrieved November 21, The Free Lance-Star. Associated Press.
June 6, Retrieved August 5,