Sunday morning is when I like to listen to an edifying religious program. Some of my favorite speakers have moved up and some no longer can afford T.V. time. Those that can stay on the tube, prey on my gullibility. They rise like a mushroom and appear very tasty and make me feel they are like me. After several sessions, they fall into a pattern that yields authenticity to their mission. They want me to believe that they were commissioned and even sent of God and Christ. They interpret and dwell on events in their lives as direct acts of God. And I dare not question their sincerity.
Let me turn to their message. They throw a Bible verse at me, make a comment or two on the verse and then return on a lengthy exposition as to how that verse affected them and how it can influence me. When they finish, I feel elated or elevated on one hand or like a failure or a loser on the other. It gets worse when they hit my guilty button for not supporting their ministry. Also when they make me feel that I must covet their prayers so that I could be enlightened and prosper in this life. Oh how I wish this could be true?
It all has to do with my pocketbook. These people represent themselves as having been at the very low end of human misery. Then the Lord came into their lives and they rose to fame and prosperity. And they recite many examples where the Lord multiplied their donations and raised these individuals to star-status in the Christian world. I too, when I attended a Bible School, parted with my only $20 bill at the beginning of the month. I too was gullible. No prosperity came my way because nobody send me a tax exempt Dollar.
It should not surprise us that “the Gospel of Prosperity” is affecting our culture and politics. Particularly wealthy politicians camouflage themselves with socialistic ideas so they can appear to be on the side of the huge majority that longs to be lifted to a level that is but a dream. Ultimately these hunters for success fall by their own design. Gamaliel, a teacher 35 AD counseled as follows: “Leave these men (and women) alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God” (Ac.5: 38-39). It is after all an option that can be gullible.