The Helping Hands Project

The Prosperity Gospel 

 

This is the most widely taught and accepted doctrine in America today.   Some call it the gospel of greed.   You can tell that by the size of these mega churches that are scattered all over the country. These mulit-million dollar empires that are built by preaching this doctrine called the prosperity gospel.   If I give, I will receive.  If I plant a seed of faith, it will grow into a garden of wealth.  If I buy a certain bottle of oil, God will heal me of my (whatever).  If I buy a special vask of miracle water, God will bless me beyond belief and if I order special prayer cloths, God will work miracles like you've never seen before.  ......You get the picture.

What I would like to say upfront, is that most of this preaching is a whole lot of garbage.  These sermons or lessons are geared or structured in such a way as to tug at your heart strings.  To activate and heighten your religious greed.  To work your guilt or to heighten your desires.  To make you believe that God, Himself, is talking to you.  To make you believe that the speaker is God's mouth piece or right arm.  To make you believe that the speaker is God's prophet for you and you alone.

So, let me ask you, how much miracle water, healing oils or prayer cloths did Jesus require to heal someone?  How much of it did it take for him to work a miracle?  How much money did He require to teach, or preach the Gospel?.  And last, how many times did Jesus pray for someone to become wealthy?  Did He ever pray for someone to be prosperous?  Think about it.

Answer those questions above and then you have your answer concerning the Prosperity Gospel.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I do know that it takes support, (money and prayers) to keep a ministry going.  And I am not saying that a person should not give.  But some of these TV evangelists and large mega churches, have went way over board.  Many live like kings and Queens, and thier supporters are barely scraping by.  Many of thier supporters have lost thier jobs and homes, and are destitute and so discouraged because thier hope and faith are fading and seem to be fading fast. 

Are they being helped by these Gospel conglomerates?   Are they being helped by the ministries they supported for many years?   Did these ministries step in a save thier homes?  Did these ministries step in and offer jobs to the ones who lost thier jobs?

I really don't know.  And another thing, Does God require them to even do so?  I don't know that either.

What I'm trying to figure out is why, after so much giving done by the regular people, is there still so much pain, sickness, poor and discouragment in the world?  I went for a long time thinking that I was doing it all wrong.  I went for a long time not realizing that I was expecting something that was never going to happen.  I would become angry at God for not giving me what I wanted, or what I thought I needed.  

We, here in this house, are givers.  And you'd think that after so much giving, we should be millionares and forever young and without sickness/  Well, we are not.  Not any of these things.

But God did not promise to us that He would give us wealth.  What He did say was that He would meet our needs.  He did not say we had to buy special oils, waters, or healing cloths to heal us.  What He did say was that by the stripes of His Son Jesus, we could be healed.  And every time Jesus healed someone, He told them it was because of thier faith.  So, it must be our faith in Him that causes the healing and our dependence on Him to meet our needs.

And believe me when I say, I don't have the faintist idea of how it all works.  I just know that it does. 

Another thing He said was to 'occupy till I come'.  ( Luke 19:13 )  What does that mean.  I think it means to go about your daily living doing the best you can in everything you do, in His Will of course, till He returns.  If what you are doing is in His will and you are giving it all you got, then its going to be blessed. 

America is the most generous country on the planet and yet even our country seems to be slipping and sliding into moral decay and chaos.  Our government is out of control.  Our TV programs are a vast mindless wasteland of nothing.  Drugs of any immigination are running unchecked.   And the list goes on.  Even we seem to be doomed for destruction.  And yet, we still give.  If giving makes you prosperous, then why do we have so many poor and homeless in our country?  If giving makes you prosperous, then why is our government and system of living on the verge of collapse?

The only people that seem to be getting blessed is the ones begging for money every Sunday morning.

What is it that we are doing wrong?   Maybe, just maybe, the saints are beginning to act more like the sinners.  Maybe, just maybe, the saints are focused on the wrong thing.  Themselves.  Maybe, just maybe, the saints are spending more time trying to satisfy self, instead of focusing thier attention toward Heaven, and towards others.  Maybe, just maybe, they have been attacked by religious greed.

The entire theme of God's Word can be summed up in one little concept.  And this concept is so simple that we seem to overlook it all the time.   God First, Everyone Else Second and Me Third.

There are several passages in the Bible that the prosperity gospel preachers seem to overlook as well.  And we too, don't seem to be able to grasp this simple little concept either.  And maybe its our greed, that causes us to always expect repayment after we do something for others.   Maybe, its our arrogance that causes us to think that God is our own personal valet, chief cook and bottle washer.

Maybe, just maybe.   

 Lets take a look at these several Biblical passages.

Matthew 21:33.   Matthew 25:14  (There are other verses in the four Gospels that relate to the same message).

 

Mat 21:33

Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

Mat 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

 

Mat 25:14

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

 

Mat. 25:15   And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

 

I must say here, that it is best to read the entire chapter.  But for this study (commentary) we will discuss the passages of Scripture above.

You will notice that in each of these verses, Matthew 21:33 and Matthew 25:14,  that the owner built a garden and turned it over to the caretaker and then He went to a far country.  You will also notice that in Matthew 21:34, the owner returned to receive the profits made by the caretaker.

You will also notice that in Matthew 25:15 above He gave us talents, to use to do our jobs for Him.

This is what I believe.  It is my thoughts and my perception of God's calling on our lives and about the prosperity gospel.

The householder in chapter 21 and the man traveling in chapter 25, is Christ.  The husbandman is us, His servants.  I do believe that Christ expects us to build His kingdom with the gifts that He has given us and we are to do it with all the talents that He has given us as well.  I do believe that we are to work for Him with all joy, caring and enthusiasm that we can muster up.  I do believe that we are not to sell His promises to anyone, (miracle waters and oils) but we are to give freely as we have received.  I do not believe that we are to become rich because of the job He has given us, because the servant is just that, a servant.  And I believe we are to be servants of the people.

I do believe that if you put your whole heart and mind into the job He has given you, then it will be blessed according to the abilities and the faith you have to build it.  I don't believe you are to become rich in the process.  There are just to many poor, hungry and homeless for anyone to be hoarding up money for themselves.  I believe that the blessing that the Lord gives will do whatever it needs to do, to build His kingdom and save lost souls.  Which should be our first and foremost concern.  I also believe that if we receive a blessing, we are to use it to bless others.

I do believe if there is any money generated by the work of the servant that it is to put back into his ministry 100%.  To teach, or preach and to share the Gospel should be number one on our list.  I believe we are to help any and all who are in need because of lost jobs, lack of education or health problems.  And I don't think we can sucsessfully do that if we are not living by the Word by hoarding up money for ourselves.

Matthew 6:23..  Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.   Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 

Look at the above verse.  Jesus is speaking here, and He says to be content.  Don't worry about your life.  Did He pray for them to be prosperous?  No, He didn't.  Did He not tell the Roman Soldier, to be content with his wages?  ( Luke 3:14 )  Yes He did.  Did He pray for the soldier to be prosperous?  No, He didn't.

Did Jesus not tell the rich young ruler to sell all he had and give his money to the poor?   ( Luke 18:23 )  Yes, He did.  It looks as though Jesus is telling us to get rid of our prosperity (money).  So, what am I trying to say here?  Maybe its not a very good thing to be rich.  We, as suseptible to sin as we are, can not handle being rich.  Once the money is in the bank, our souls graduate to pride.  Slowly migrate toward stingyness and selfishness.  Eventually we get to the point where we say, 'God gave me this blessing, you need to get your own blessing from God'.  ( I have actually heard people say that very statement ).

Maybe, just maybe, the prosperity will come in a different form.  Maybe He will bless you with good health.  Maybe He will give you extraordaniry Spiritual gifts, maybe He will see that your children and grandchildren are saved.  There are many ways that you can be prosperious or blessed. 

Did not Jesus say 'take up your cross and follow me'?  ( Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23 )  What does this mean?  I believe taking up your cross means a burdensome life.  And a burdensome life means just that, burdens.  I don't think it means living like a king or a queen.  I don't think it means hoarding up all of the money we can.  I don't think it means going on luxurey cruises or fancy dinner parties.  I don't think it means to jet set all over the world doing what ever.

Did not Jesus say, that it is easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven?  ( Mark 10:25 )

Did not the Apostle Paul say in one of his writings that if you pray for the Lord to meet your brothers needs, and you have his need in your pocket, then the prayer is already answered?

Cain asked God a very importan question.  A question that can be just a relivent today as it was way back then,  "Am I my brothers keeper?"   ( Genesis 4:9 )  And God has spent the last six thousand years trying to beat it into our heads, Yes you are your brothers keepers.  Yes, you are.  But we seem to have a hard time receiving this particular piece of instruction.

And one last piece of Scripture reference:  ( Matthew 10:8, 1st Corinthians 2:12,  2nd Corinthians 11:7 )

All seem to be speaking of receiving from God freely.  Freely as you have received, freely give.  It costs nothing.  No miracle waters or healing oils.  No special annointed cloths to buy or seeds to plant.  All it takes is your faith in Christ and your desire to do His will.  And from that you will recieve your prosperity. 

So, where do we go from here?  And to sum it all up.

I believe we are expecting something that is not going to come.  At least in this lifetime.   I believe this prosperity gospel is all wrong.  I believe its giving people wrong and false hope.  I believe we need to turn off these TV preachers and stand up in these mega churches and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I believe we are to pray and pray earnest about where we are to give our money and to whom.  I believe we are to find a quiet place in our homes and seek God with all our hearts and let Him and Him alone lead us and guide us into His ways.

We need to quit letting people tickle our ears with fancy words and deeds that amuse us and beckon us toward thier way of thinking.

And last, don't get discouraged if things don't come in a timely manner.  The Lord will show you what you need for your life if you are sincere in your prayers and daily living. 

God bless you and thanks for reading this.  I hope it blesses you..

 

   

 

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I compiled the following list from the internet.  YouTube to be exact.  It’s about the net worth of our American TV evangelists.  I can’t find who actually compiled this list and I have listed all sources that I found concerning this list.    

 After reading this list, would you think that our famous Televangelists are preaching the Gospel of Christ or the gospel of greed?   What do you think about their lifestyles and the money that they have incurred during their lifetimes? 

Do you think that God is pleased with what they have accomplished or is He sickened by their greed?

Do you think that the hungry are getting fed?  Do you think that no one in the world died today from hunger or a hunger related diseases?

Is everyone well clothed?  Does everyone in their respective cities have jobs and homes?   With no one on welfare, WIC, public housing or public assistance?

I, personally, am appalled at their wealth.  Not because I have none, but because of the Biblical story of the rich man that Jesus Himself told us.  I just wonder how many people could be helped if all of their wealth was shared with those in need.   And because of the example that they are setting to others. 

Bob McDaniel



The 15 richest Pastors in America

YouTube 8-30-2016

Face Like the Sun News


Is the love of money destroying Christianity from within?


15.  Minister Louis Farrakhan..........3 Million

14.  Bishop Noel Jones........5 Million

13.  Bishop Eddie Long.......5 Million

12.  Paula White.......5 Million

11.  Rev. John Hagee.....5 Million

10.  Joyce Myer......8 Million

 9.   Juanita Bynum.......10 Million

 8.  Bishop T. D. Jakes.....18 Million

 7.  Rick Warren.......25 Million

 6.  Rev. Billy Graham.......25 Million

 5.  Creflo Dollar.......27 Million

 4.  Joel Osteen.......40 Million

 3.  Benny Hinn......42 Million

 2.  Pat Robertson.......100 Million  ( I read another article which states Robertson is worth almost 1 BN).

 1.  Kenneth Copeland......760 Million


  * The Rev Jesse Jackson......10 Million  (source----search engine BING)

  * The Rev Al Sharpton.......10 Million    (source----search engine BING)


These two were not listed with the others because their focus is more on political and civil rights work.



I found another article so please continue reading below:



I found this news article online at CNSNEWS.COM, on 10/7/2016.  As you compare the two, there are some differences.  I’m really not sure which one is right, but what I do know is these mega-preachers do make a lot of money.  And I do believe, more than they should.

Bob McDaniel

 

 

 

CNSnews.COM

Christian news service

 

Charles E. Blake - $900,000

With the help of 25,000 weekly members, Charles E. Blake has cashed in a salary of $900,000 per year. What does he do with all that money? Like most Californians, he relaxes in a 10,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills.

Franklin Graham - $1.2M

Son of pastor Billy Graham, William Franklin Graham III is the president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse. Naturally, people weren’t pleased to find out Graham was collecting $1.2 million per year.

Billy Moyers - $20M

Beginning his career on PBS as a host of numerous television programs, Moyers was eventually appointed the Associate Director of the Peace Corp and was the 13th White House Press Secretary. Moyers made $20,000,000 from public broadcasting alone, but he continues to keep his official income and net worth a secret.

Richard Rossi - $1M

One of the most charismatic Christian leaders, Richard Rossi’s net worth has not officially been revealed but it’s been estimated around $1,000,000. Rossi and his wife Sherrie created the Eternal Grace, which offered ministry services to actors and artists. Rossi was often referred to as the “Pastor to the Stars” before hitting an all-time low. In 1994, his wife Sherrie was found in a coma on the side of the road and Rossi was convicted of second-degree assault. Despite his controversy, Rossi has a radio talk-show called “Richard Rossi Live.”

Creflo Dollar - $27M

Beginning his ministry in a school cafeteria with eight members in 1986, Creflo Dollar has since grown his fellowship to 30,000. Gaining much of his fame from his nondenominational ministry, Dollar’s World Changers Church International just opened its second location in the Bronx, New York. With countless speaking engagements and a best-selling book, Dollar definitely enjoys his $27 million in earnings.

Paul Cain - $1M

Back in the 1940s, Paul Cain was one of the youngest ministers of the Voice of Healing Revival. After being accused of homosexuality and public intoxication numerous times, it wasn’t until 2005 that Cain admitted in an online letter of confession of his struggles.

Jimmy Swaggart - $1.5M

After being ordained in the 1950s, Jimmy Swaggart became a popular pastor beginning with his radio network reaching a larger audience. Although Swaggart was a well known pastor, his public image declined with his confirmation of the sex and prostitution scandals in a “I have sinned” speech. Somehow Swaggart regained his followers and high earnings, eventually making over $1.5 million.

Al Sharpton - $5M

A popular and controversial pastor, Al Sharpton is largely known as a civil rights activist and fought alongside Jesse Jackson. Claiming he was ordained at just nine years old, Sharpton became a Baptist minister in 1994. Making most of his earnings through television and radio appearances, Sharpton has earned about $5 million.

Charles Stanley - $73M

Popularly known for his syndicated radio broadcast called In Touch Ministries, Charles Stanley began his ministry work back when he was 14 years old. With his program being translated in over 100 languages, Stanley has cashed in a salary of $73,000,000 a year.

Juanita Bynum - $10M

Gospel singer and actress, Juanita Bynum is a Pentecostal televangelist that consistently appears on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Fulfilling her role as an empowerment coach, Bynum travels throughout the United States and speaks to audiences.

R.C. Sproul - $2M

Unlike his religious counterparts, R.C. Sproul created an international radio program “Renewing Your Mind” and launched the Reformation Network. What are Sproul’s thoughts on the salary of pastors? He wrote a blog stating that we should “Pay him well enough that he is able to give with great generosity.”

Joseph Prince - $44.7M

Senior Pastor at the New Creation Church, one of Asia’s biggest churches, Joseph Prince has taken his mission to books, CDs, and DVDs. Although the church did know reveal him as an employee, it’s evident that Prince has a key role in the church’s annual income of $44.7 million.

Matthew Ashimolowo - $6-$10M

Leading the largest church in the United Kingdom, Matthew Ashimolowo has an estimated net worth in the range of $6-$10 million. Ashimolowo converted to Christianity at the age of 20 and is now the Senior Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre. With over 12,000 members, Ashimolowo has taken his mission to his popular international radio and television program called Winning Ways.

Kirk Cameron - $20M

Most recognized for his role on the ABC sitcom Growing Pains, Kirk Cameron transitioned his career from show business to ministry. Cameron partnered with Ray Charles, a New Zealand evangelist, to co-found The Way of the Master Ministry. The two co-founders continue their teachings through television and radio programs, as well as their free summer camp called Camp Firefly. Cameron’s success on and off screen has landed the former actor at a worth of $20 million.

Temitope Joshua - $10-$15M

Nigerian evangelist Temitope Joshua is one of the most controversial and richest pastors. Claiming to be a miracle worker that can heal anything from cancer to HIV, Joshua founded the Synagogue Church Of All Nations and cashes in a net worth between $10-$15 million.

Enoch Adeboye - $55M

Heading the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Newsweek listed Enoch Adeboye in the top 50 global power elites in 2008. The church is so popular that it has 14,000 branches in Nigeria alone, naturally Adeboye is cashing in and enjoying his private jets.

Joyce Meyer - $8M

Ranked as one of the most influential Evangelicals in America by Time magazine, Joyce Meyer has a net worth of $8 million. Meyers stands out amongst other pastors with her history of suffering from child abuse, Meyer began a television ministry called Enjoying Everyday Life with her husband.

Kenneth Copeland - $760M

Kenneth Copeland is a Charismatic Movement leader, which aims to promote controversial preaching styles such as “prosperity gospel.” A church that contains a $6 million lakefront mansion, obviously pays Copeland a heavy price tag. Copeland cashes in on books and recordings. It’s rumored that his net worth reaches $760 million.

It is also rumored that Copeland has the largest and most expensive private jet in the world.

David Oyedepo - $150M

Preacher isn’t the only thing on David Oyedepo’s resume, he is also an author and the founder of the Winner’s Chapel. After an 18-hour vision from God, Oyedepo was convinced that his calling was to preach. Oyedepo’s creation of the Faith Tabernacle, which claims the Guinness World Record, is the world’s largest church with 50,000 seats. With church locations all around the world, Oyedepo’s reported net worth is $150 million.

Pat Robertson - $100M

Pat Robertson had an unsuccessful run of the White House but don’t feel bad for him. Robertson is bringing in a lot of money. His launch of the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia has landed him a broadcast in over 180 countries. Running a number of companies, it’s no surprise that Robertson has a net worth of $100 million.

One organization estimated Robertson’s net worth close to 1Bn.

Benny Hinn - $42M

Israeli televangelist, Benny Hinn, is best known for his summits of healing called “Miracle Crusades” – revival meetings. Despite Hinn’s reported net worth being $42 million, he’s donated $100,000 in relief for the victims of hurricane Katrina, which is really a drop in the bucket when you’re bringing in that kind of cash.

Billy Graham - $25M

Back in 1950, Billy Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minnesota and it has now spread throughout the United States. Becoming one of the most famous pastors, Graham continued his message through radio and television stations. Reaching over 2.2 billion people, Graham has a net worth of $25 million.

Joel Osteen - $40M

One of the most recognizable pastors, Joel Osteen is popularly known as “The Smiling Preacher.” Taking over his father’s televised sermons as Lakewood Church’s Senior Pastor, Osteen grew the weekly viewer’s from 5,000 to 43,000. Osteen has become such a popular preacher that he’s now considered a brand with his seven million weekly viewers in over 100 countries. Being a best-selling author, it’s not entirely shocking that Osteen has a net worth of $40 million.

Rick Warren - $25M (90% Donated)

Rich Warren is definitely cashing in on his megachurch but for a good cause, keeping 10% of his income and donating the remainder. Founder of Saddleback Church, Warren’s megachurch has become the 8th largest in the country. Author of numerous books, Warren’s net worth of $25 million is donated to the poor, sick, and education initiatives.

T.D. Jakes - $150M

With a net worth of $150 million, Bishop T.D. Jakes enjoys his earnings in a $1.7 million dollar mansion. Writer and movie producer, Jakes is largely known as the founder of The Potters’ House

John Hagee - $5M

Senior pastor and founder of the San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church, John Hagee is known for heading one of the most successful Christian organizations in the world. With over 20,000 members and a multi-media empire, Hagee has a net worth of $5 million.

Paula White - $5M

Paula White is the Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center and also hosts her self-titled show called Paula White Today. Eventually launching her own church, Without Walls International Church, White has gone on to publish 10 books and bring in a net worth of $5 million.

Eddie Long - $5M

Growing from 300 to 25,000 members, Eddie Long’s pastoring has proven successful at the New Missionary Baptist Church. Long’s captivating messages have expanded to books but even he’s not absent of scrutiny and controversy. Not only has Long been investigated in regards to New Birth’s tax-exempt status, but he has also been accused of misconduct with teen boys.

Jesse Jackson - $10M

Originally known as a politician, who’s also a civil rights activist, Jesse Jackson has become a well-known religious leader. Ordained in 1968, Jackson has taken his fame to CNN with his own show called Both Sides of Jesse Jackson. After receiving his Master of Divinity, it’s no surprise that Jackson is worth a staggering $10 million.