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Prosperity Gospel Polluting Africa

“Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:10

MinistryWatch.com has long warned of the dangers of the prosperity gospel, which has infiltrated a larger than commonly understood segment of the church in America. Kate Bowler’s book Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel outlines this author’s views, some of which many will rightly view as dubious, of how pervasive the message of prosperity has grown in the US church (see Christianity Today’s review of the book here. While this may be so, we at MinistryWatch.com have been pleased to see donations to Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the largest purveyor of this false gospel, fall dramatically over the years we have been pointing out the flaws in both this distorted theology and TBN’s management.

Unfortunately, many of the US-based prosperity teachers have been aggressively and successfully expanding their ministries overseas in recent years. Sadly, while this message has found many adherents among the world’s poorer nations, the most damage to the church is being done in Africa. In a recent post on former Charisma Magazine editor J. Lee Grady’s “Fire in My Bones” blog, this frequent visitor to Africa chronicles the vast damage prosperity theology is causing in the African church. One heartbreaking line from his article is this: “There is a leadership crisis in the African church because many pastors are so set on getting rich, they can’t go through the process of discipleship that requires self-denial.” We urge you to read the entire disturbing post by clicking on this link.

Hopefully, the US church will take the lead in the future in speaking against the repugnant misrepresentation of the gospel emanating from prosperity preachers that is damaging so many and hindering many from coming to a right relationship with Jesus. If so, perhaps the purveyors of the prosperity gospel will see their US donations continue to shrink, thereby giving these ministries with fewer financial resources to spread their false gospel to vulnerable people elsewhere in the world. Please pray the church in Africa will quickly learn to repudiate the prosperity message and instead embrace the true gospel that will give them the eternal riches every soul yearns for.