Health and Prosperity Gospel

Status
Not open for further replies.
J

jackrico

Guest
Protestanism is always changing… It goes through kind of fadish fascinations with subjects which are in later decades deemed not important. When my father was a young man, the big question they were centered upon was Prohibition of all alcohol. Now it is the Health and Prosperity Gospel which basicly says that IF one has enough FAITH he can gain complete health and material goods of all kinds…
I think this is dangerous in many ways. One is that it makes God One who dispenses goodies as WE will…
I would like to hear from some who have information on this. On the web most of the criticisms of this theory are Protestants. We should have more Catholics involved in studying this newest variation of Protestantism… Thank you in advance for replies.
 
I think the old health & wealth gospel is a fad that’s going out. We don’t have a Catholic radio station here, so I’ve ended up listening to the two Protestant ones. Moody is very orthodox & doesn’t seem to fall for the h&w stuff at all. The other staion gets a little wierd, but very little h&w. In fact, I’ve been noticing that a few of the speakers on both staions are starting to sound more Catholic all the time!
 
I think the Health And Prosperity Gospel will always be with Protestantism to some extant. I think it is the natural conclusion of rejecting the doctrine of Purgatory.

Protestants reject Purgatory because they see the concept of suffering in the afterlife to contradict God’s love. But if suffering in the afterlife contradicts God’s love, would not suffering in the here-and-now also contradicts God’s love?

God purifies us by bringing trials in our lives, so that eventually we will be like Christ. For a Catholic, this purification process continues beyond death. If we die and are still unfinished, this purification must go on. For a Protestant, a Christian is immediately zapped to be like Christ once he dies.

But this idea that a Christian is immediately zapped once he dies makes all the trials on earth superfluous. Why should God bring trials into person’s life in order to make him holy when once he dies he is zapped into perfection anyway.

But for the Catholic, the way of the cross is unavoidable. The more suffering we experience now, as long as we submit to God, the less suffering we need to experience in the hereafter. And the less suffering we experience now, the more we experience in the hereafter. The first shall be last and the last shall be first.
 
While there may always be folks who will attempt to embrace the idea that if you have enough faith, health and prosperity will be theirs, it is a false gospel that quickly proves itself to be so.

Suffering and sorrow in some form visits us all at some point in our lives. We don’t even have to look for it. Having embraced the H&P gospel, one who experiences suffering either has to admit their faith was inadequate, or find another answer. The first option can lead to despair; the second can lead to truth.

I am reminded of a story our professor told in a Catholic spirituality class. He said that there was one non-Catholic in a previous class who believed the H&P gospel message. The professor gently but firmly warned her that some day her belief system would fail her.

After Christmas break, she returned to class. Tragedy struck her family over the holidays. She had no one to turn to because in her faith circle, it was believed that everything that happened was due to her lack of faith. She was ready and open to hear the Catholic theology of suffering.
 
the protestant criticisms, which are also very helpful, include the following:
Word-Faith Theology
Heresies of the Word-Faith Movement
Word-Faith Theology
Positive Confession
The Atonement and Word Faith Theology
An Examination of the Word-Faith Movement
My Word of Faith Testimony
Atonement Where? Parts 1-4
Ten Reasons to Reject Word of Faith Teachings
Faith in Faith, or Faith in God?
–What’s Wrong with the Faith Movement? Parts One and Two
Heresies of the Word-Faith Movement

for more on suffering and how it relates to the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, go here
for the entire reference section at phatmass, go here

pax christi,
phatcatholic
 
Would you fine folks consider “positive thinking” a part of the H&P Gospel.
 
Smack Daddy:
Would you fine folks consider “positive thinking” a part of the H&P Gospel.
That’s used in a non-Christian context, and appears to be a religion of its own.
 
I read Norma Vincent Peal’s book “The Power Of Postive Thinking” 20 years ago. He does quote scripture, although it is a one-sided view. And he think he was a minister. So back then it would probably be considered a H & P gospel. By now, the gospel of Positive Thinking is totally secularized.
 
I agree that positive thinking is secular, but I believe that a faithful Christian can use positive thinking, or at least some areas of PT, to become a happier, more positive person. There’s nothing wrong with a smiling, happy, positive Christian. 😃
 
I would like to hear from some who have information on this. On the web most of the criticisms of this theory are Protestants. We should have more Catholics involved in studying this newest variation of Protestantism…
I agree that it would be interesting to hear more from Catholics about this, but I think that the standard arguments against protestantism, especially on sola scriptura, work equally well against Word Faith “theology”. (They of course don’t believe in theology, so I put it in quotation marks!)

In discussing WF, I think that some of the most interesting parts are the distorted view of faith, as a “force”, that can create reality. The sillier beliefs are things like God having a physical body (He is supposedly about 6’2").

I was raised in independent “word-faith” churches, with the teachings of Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, etc., and it was very difficult when I started to realize how false it was. Hank Hanegraaf’s book, Christianity in Crisis, was very helpful to me then. Of course he doesn’t realize that the “historic Christian faith” that he talks about is not protestant, but Catholic! I am very thankful that I found my way to Rome, but I wish I could do more to help other people stuck in that belief system. It is very, very, spiritually destructive, not to mention unbiblical!

+JMJ+

AC
 
The examples we have in the Bible do not support the health and wealth gospel. And there are numerous examples of human suffering in the Scriptures. It is true, that some persons portrayed in the Bible were wealthy, but there were also instances of poverty. Joseph and Mary, for example, did not have the means to give the regular offering to the temple when the infant Jesus was presented to the Temple after the days of Mary’s observation of purification after Jesus was born. In fact, if you read the Mosaic Law, it has a provision that if the parents are too poor to give the regular sacrifice and offering to the temple priests, when the infant is presented to the Temple, they were to offer two pidgeons or doves, (I hope I remember it correctly) which Joseph and Mary did which revealed their poverty at the time of Jesus’s birth. The apostles themselves suffered from extreme poverty, which the Apostle Paul described in one of his epistles. In fact, in the Bible Book of Proverbs, Solomon who is the author of many of the proverbs who was inspired by God to write them, says in one of the Proverbs " The rich and poor have met together, God has made them both." ( I hope I am quoting the proverb correctly)
 
The blab-it, grab-it teachings or "Word of Faith’ seem to be a modern manifestation of the Nicolaitans - gnostic followers of a follower of Simon Magus.
 
40.png
jackrico:
Protestanism is always changing… It goes through kind of fadish fascinations with subjects which are in later decades deemed not important. When my father was a young man, the big question they were centered upon was Prohibition of all alcohol. Now it is the Health and Prosperity Gospel which basicly says that IF one has enough FAITH he can gain complete health and material goods of all kinds…
I think this is dangerous in many ways. One is that it makes God One who dispenses goodies as WE will…
I would like to hear from some who have information on this. On the web most of the criticisms of this theory are Protestants. We should have more Catholics involved in studying this newest variation of Protestantism… Thank you in advance for replies.
Of course not all Protestants abide by such odd practices. In fact, I would hold that a minority of Protestants follow such trends.

I have seen many of these… what did you call them “faddish fascinations.” There is a Church that is seeing a gigantic rise in Charismatic Practices and healing masses.
 
40.png
PaulAckermann:
I read Norma Vincent Peal’s book “The Power Of Postive Thinking” 20 years ago. He does quote scripture, although it is a one-sided view. And he think he was a minister. So back then it would probably be considered a H & P gospel. By now, the gospel of Positive Thinking is totally secularized.
Remember, Norman Vincent Peale, a Methodist minister, was among the evangelicals and Protestants who claimed Kennedy’s Catholicism should prevent him from being president, and although he maintained friendly relationships with Catholics (including Fulton Sheen), he was a secularist at heart. The Power of Positive Thinking simply grafts religion onto a secular framework, and Catholicism doesn’t work that way.

The whole “health and prosperity” Gospel is nothing more than secular humanism sprinkled with religious references. Jesus certainly didn’t preach that Gospel.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top