Though you undoubtedly follow The Babylon Bee‘s unparalleled coverage of the “prosperity gospel” (sometimes called the “health and wealth gospel,” “gospel of success,” “Word of Faith movement,” “name it and claim it theology,” or simply “using the name of Jesus to get incredibly rich”), maybe you’ve found yourself wanting to know more about this intriguing worldview and the slick, smiley, plastic-looking people you see on TV preaching about Jesus and success. Well, wonder no more! We’ve put together this short, accurate crash course on the essence of the prosperity gospel, just for you.
WHAT ARE ITS MAIN TEACHINGS?
Prosperity gospel proponents teach that God wants you to be healthy, wealthy, and prosperous in all areas of life, as long as you—yes, YOU—send them some money, like right now.
WHO INVENTED IT?
A devout follower of Christ named Judas Iscariot laid the foundation for the prosperity gospel circa AD 30 when he successfully named and claimed a bag full of money in the name of Jesus, and it gained worldwide appeal in the 20th century thanks to Oral Roberts, Robert Tilton, Kenneth Hagin, and natural mankind’s innate greed.
WHO ARE SOME NOTABLE ADHERENTS?
Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, anyone on TBN, most of the National Football League, millions of desperate people suffering from crippling poverty or incurable diseases who are willing to give whatever they have to anyone who tells them that doing so will cause God to fix their situation.
WHO’S, LIKE, RIGHT ON THE EDGE?
WHO ARE SOME NOTABLE OPPONENTS?
John Piper, John MacArthur, John the Baptist, John the Disciple, pretty much all other Johns, David Platt, Francis Chan, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, pretty much anyone with intellectual honesty and the ability to read at a second-grade level, the Internal Revenue Service, the Bible, God.
IS IT BIBLICAL?
Yes, the prosperity gospel is laid out clearly in 2 Timothy 4:3–4.
OK, CUT TO THE CHASE—DOES IT WORK?
The prosperity gospel has proven itself by enriching dozens of people, most of whom are named above. Sure, millions are still languishing in poverty after donating their life savings to help Creflo Dollar buy this year’s luxury Gulfstream model, but it’s not his fault those plebs don’t have enough faith or favor, you know? So now that you have proof, the real question is do you trust God enough to sow a $1,000 seed of faith right now or don’t you?
HOW LONG WILL THE BABYLON BEE CONTINUE TO COVER THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL?
Until its death or ours.