dag heward mills

The dangers of the prosperity gospel

A popular evangelist from Ghana authored several books that have indeed changed the lives of many people. One of his bestsellers was a good read because it was about the goodness, power, and blessings that God desires for us. However, certain passages in the book are antithetical to the true gospel message and the clear teaching of Scripture.

The book begins by relating faith with what your heart desires – mostly receiving wealth. Prosperity gospel. Though the book is a good read, it is also dangerous as it ultimately promotes the “prosperity gospel,” characterized by a cultic doctrine.

→ The dark truth

But only a tiny portion is questionable

The supposedly “best part” of the book where you declare and make all sorts of pronouncements is summarized into these personal pronouns – “I, me, and myself.” Then you are advised to declare things that are opposed to the teaching of Jesus.

Excerpt: Page 65 “Cursing the enemy”

“You are to declare that those who sow lies against you shall reap confusion, hatred, and death… the neck of my enemy is broken

Why would I wish hatred and death to an enemy, and why would I declare that their necks be broken? We are to bless our enemies and not curse them with ill thoughts. (Romans 12:14)

Is Biblical cursing justifiable?

There was a Pastor who had the habit of declaring “misfortunes” to places or people they had problems with. In two different occasions, the Pastor had a rift with the landlord and they were forced to vacate. Before he left the premises, he declared, “No one will ever rent this place again because the owners evicted God’s worker.” When he was rebuked, he justified his action by saying, “I was cursing an unbeliever.”

Jesus cursed a tree (Matthew 21:18-19) and used it to illustrate an important lesson. He “judged it” as He saw fit. Jesus also taught us to bless and ask God to move the heart of our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). Point is, being a Pastor or leader doesn’t give us the same authority Jesus has. The latter is clear, we should instead pray for unbelievers rather than curse them.

He was using Psalm 109 as a reference where King David “cursed” his enemies. Although it sounds evil, King David was asking the Lord to do exactly what God had said he would do to the proud and wicked (Exodus 34:6-7; Job 40:12; Proverbs 15:25; Jeremiah 50:32; Isaiah 13:11).

But didn’t Jesus say to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and bless those who persecute you? (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27; Romans 12:14). If you are like this Pastor who declares “ill” to other people, ask what your motives are in invoking God to rebuke and judge people. Remember, whatever measure you use will also be used against you (Matthew 7:2).

Excerpt: Page 66 “Self-worth”

“Those that despise me will bow down before me”

Allowing someone to bow to demonstrate their humility does not make sense if you are a Christian. We are called to be humble like Jesus (1 Peter 5:5-6), why should anyone bow before us, even if the intention is to seek forgiveness? Even angels would not allow anyone to bow before them because it allows them to be worshipped (Revelation 22:9).

Excerpt: Page 67 “Becoming Wealthy”

“People admire my house every day; in my house, the garages are filled with the latest and best types of cars in the world!”

Jesus taught and demonstrated that we are to live simple lives, away from the love of wealth. To begin with, why would we need the latest and best types of cars? The Bible tells us not to seek these things (Matthew 6:32). These declarations are in total opposite of God’s commands. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself…” (Luke 9:23). We must be careful of what we claim in Jesus’ name. “… a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. (Luke 12:15)

Ask God to reveal our motives

There was a Christian leader who claimed and declared “We have a megachurch… we have our own church building,” inspired by the a declaration on ‘page 71.’ However, another member of their church had a vision that their church closed down, and it did after a few months. Why this after they fasted, prayed, demonstrated immense faith, claimed and declared expansion?

Our motives no matter how sincere can have intentions that are ultimately self-serving and we must always ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us ways that we might be deceiving ourselves. This will allow us to confess and repent and get right back to God’s original intention. God evaluates our motives (Proverbs 21:2) and He will not hear those whose heart is filled with pride (Job 35:12).


DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on this website are the personal opinion of the author and not the entity, person, or product that may appear or cited in this blog. Likewise, all links or references shown here do not necessarily share the same views as the author. Send us your comments and suggestions.

Albert is a writer at J15. He is a graduate of Asian Studies and an undergraduate from the Asian Bible Seminary and Trinity College of Music. He has been a Christian for almost thirty years and is happily married with three lovable teenagers.


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