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Engage exists to provide perspective on culture through the eyes of a Biblical worldview, showing how that worldview intersects with culture and engages it.

We are a team of 20-somethings brought together by a common faith in Jesus Christ and employment in our parent organization American Family Association

Escaping the Prosperity Gospel

10/09/2019
Victory Hollyfield
Writer for Engage

For sixteen years I faithfully attended a church that proclaimed a “prosperity gospel”. Little did I know that most of what I was being taught was not biblical and it had absolutely nothing to do with God’s Kingdom. It all centered on me being blessed, healthy, and wealthy. 

I was so caught up I attended a seminary school that taught the following: that healing is a definite, being rich is the goal, and suffering was not an option. 

At this time I was blind to the truth. Jesus himself warns us that in this life here on this earth, we will face tests and trials, but to be of good cheer. Why should we be of good cheer? It is because Jesus overcame the world (John 16:33).  

Just about every sermon was on how I was the victor, and how I was to always be on top and not beneath, and how I was the head and not the tail.  

I began to question what I was being taught. I’ll never forget back home in the church I grew up in, I heard a minister teach that I along with others were little gods and that God had no power. This minister stated that God gave all His power to those who are in Christ. His interpretations of scripture were constantly and completely false.

Years later, after graduating from seminary school, I wanted to begin ministering to Christians myself. I wanted to proclaim to others how awesome they were and how God wanted to do awesome things in their life. I was prepared to tell them that any hardship or trial that occurred in their lives was not of God and that all they had to do was speak to that “mountain” and it would move. 

But something else happened instead. In May of 2014, I graduated from seminary and moved back to my home state. As I observed those I left behind, I noticed no spiritual growth. I truly believe it was due to them being inundated with the false “prosperity gospel”. They were more focused on what they could get from the Creator instead of wanting to know the Creator. No one was rich, many had health issues, and any time someone was not healed they were told they had a “lack of faith.” 

This was a gracious wake-up call from God for me. I saw the emptiness of the “prosperity gospel” and its promises. I became curious and hungry about the God of the Bible and the Lord showed me who He was through His Word. I realized that all my life I had been worshipping an idol and not the God of the Bible.

Now, my relationship with Him is far richer than it has ever been. I have had more prayers answered outside of the “prosperity gospel” than I ever had before. Instead of commanding God and telling Him what He is going to do, I honorably and with reverence submit a petition, asking for His will to be done and for Him to be glorified. God even brought forth an amazing godly woman to mentor me in the faith.

Some will say an article like this only brings more division within the church, but I disagree. My goal is to make a strict distinction between the Body of Christ and the false teachings that proclaim to be a part of the church when they are not. Brothers and sisters remain vigilant against the lies of the enemy. Sometimes the lies are pleasant and promise many great things.

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