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The Prosperity Gospel - Is It The Gospel?

Updated on June 6, 2016

"God wants you to be rich because He loves you and wants what is best for you."

Have you ever heard a statement like that before? I have, and from many different people. Some are pastors, some are members of a congregation, some are believers and some are non-believers, but all say that a sign of God's favor is wealth.

The cover of the latest book called "Every Day A Friday," written by televangelist Joel Osteen.
The cover of the latest book called "Every Day A Friday," written by televangelist Joel Osteen.

Joel Osteen's Opinion

In an interview on television, Joel Osteen said to Oprah Winfrey that Jesus came so that all may have life and have it abundantly. He was answering her question about the criticisms he often receives concerning preaching a prosperity Gospel. The preaching of this prosperity Gospel is what Osteen is famous for. Indeed his church is the largest in the United States of America and his television show is said to be watched by over ten million viewers (10,000,000). He is one of the many who teach that prosperity is a sign of God's favor and that God wants all of His children to have a great life here on earth.

The difference in praying for God to get you out of a terrible financial situation and believing that you should be rich because you believe in God must be pointed out here. It is one thing to believe in the Lord and trust in Him and His plan for your life. It is another thing to believe that His plan is the same for everybody's life and that you aren't prospering because you do not have enough faith or are not praying enough.

There are a few things about the idea that everyone who loves the Lord should be rich that just does not add up. If it were so, then why would Jesus say that the poor will always be with us? Did He mean that only non-believers would or should be poor? Is what Joel Osteen said - that poor believers remain in that state only because they don't pray enough or believe enough - true?

In the Bible there were many Godly men who were rich. Job was an excessively rich man and Solomon was so rich that the Bible says that there was no one whose wealth could compare to his. Abraham owned so much that the people around him were jealous of him, and Isaac and Jacob prospered as well. Then there was David and Saul and many of the other kings of Israel and Judah who all lived in luxury and who were all men of God.

Joel Osteen talking about his preaching prosperity to Oprah Winfrey

In the above video Joel Osteen states that he cannot be a blessing to others if he is poor and broke and depressed about himself.

Creflo Dollar's Need For An Airplane

Another popular preacher, Creflo Dollar, asked his congregation as well as those who watch and benefit from his ministry to support him by donating money so that he could purchase a plane. If I understand correctly, the plane was necessary for Creflo Dollar to be able to fly all over the world and spread the gospel. This plane cost about 65 million dollars.

Creflo Dollar Talking About His Dream For A Plane

He was able to purchase the plane and he believes that it is due to him because of what his job is. He believes that he uses the luxuries that he wants in order to spread the Gospel and that is why he gets these things that others do not have.

Many people were very disturbed to hear about this appeal for a plane (Which Creflo Dollar swears he did not ask his congregation for) and even more disturbed to hear that he got it. Their reasons for feeling this way boil down to the fact that there are many suffering people in the world and that since Creflo Dollar professes to be a Christian then he is held to a higher standard and should not be building his estate but rather helping others to build theirs. According to Creflo Dollar, there is no sin in asking God for something or for dreaming to have something. But is it dreaming or is it hankering? It seems as though these preachers get everything that they could possibly want and yet their followers do not.

Is Prosperity Proof That You Have A Good Relationship With God?

So is being prosperous some sort of proof that your relationship with God is solid? In the Bible Jesus said that a believer will be recognized by his fruits. Is prosperity one of the fruits spoken of in the Bible? And if you are a believer and lacking prosperity are you doing something wrong or is God somehow displeased with you?

I studied the Scriptures to see if all of the Godly men and women mentioned in the Bible were prosperous.

What I found out was that not all Godly men and women were prosperous. As a matter of fact some were poor.

This seemed to go against what Joel Osteen said and so I listened carefully to his words again. Osteen states that prosperity is not just about material things but also about health and peace of mind. In other words, prosperity is all round profit in body and mind. I suppose that could be interpreted in such a way that says prosperity can have to do with either material things or health or peace of mind but Joel Osteen used the word 'just ' on which the entire meaning of his statement hangs. What I interpreted Osteen to mean is that along with material gain, one who is prosperous also has good health and peace of mind.

What About Those Who Have All Of These Things And Are Not Right With God?

Prosperity preachers often claim that being prosperous is proof that God walks with you and that you are a mighty man or woman of God but what about those who are not Godly? What about those who are atheists? Who are idolaters? Who store up riches for themselves with no thought of God? Is their prosperity a sign that all is well with their souls? I think that based on the Scriptures the answer is a definite no.Otherwise Jesus would not have told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

Not all Godly men and women in the Bible were rich and filled with prosperity. Many of them were poor. What does this fact do to the theory of prosperity being a sign of being well with God?

Again, what the Bible says about certain men and women of God who had little or no material possessions, seems to be in direct contrast to what Joel Osteen said.

These men and women of God are recorded to have such close relationships with the Lord Almighty that they were revealed a great many truths and trusted with God's plans for His people.

There were many prophets in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, who were poor and broke and yet they were able to bless entire nations with the word of God. There were many who did not live their best lives on earth but bore persecution, strife and difficulty and waited for eternity. They were imprisoned and beaten and scorned and mocked. They were reviled and hated and many sought to kill them. All these things happened to them when they were close to the Most High God. One cannot say that they were not favored by Him.

A few of these were:

  • John the Baptist

He lived in the desert and ate only honey and locusts. He was a Nazarite and so that means he took a vow never to eat anything from the vine. He was persecuted because of the message he preached. This message was given to him by God himself. He was jailed and beheaded and he was the one who was given the honor of baptizing Jesus. He was the 'voice crying in the wilderness' and by all appearances he did not have much or any material wealth. Yet Jesus spoke of him, saying how great he was. (See the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

  • Ezekiel

He lay on his side according to the Lord's command for three hundred and ninety days and then for forty days on his other side as a sign to Israel and Judah respectively. During that time he was bound by the Lord and could not move from one side to the next. Every day, he was only allowed a certain portion of food - the same food every day. At first the Lord told Ezekiel that he had to cook his food of lentils, barley, wheat, millet, and fitches using human dung as fuel. Ezekiel begged the Lord to allow him not to use human dung and the Lord had mercy and so Ezekiel cooked his daily meal with cow dung. (See Ezekiel Chapter 4) To anyone's point of view, what Ezekiel did at the command of the Lord was a difficult deed to do. To anyone looking on it may have appeared that Ezekiel was simply a poor man driven to madness through depression.

  • Stephen

Stephen was killed because He followed Jesus Christ. Before that, he was one of the four who was chosen to work to help to provide the other disciples with funds so that they could go about their ministry. Stephen toiled and gave it all away so that the Gospel could be spread. He worked so that the Lord's work could prosper. The Bible says that he was full of faith and power and did great miracles. The fruit that came from this was the gift, yes gift, he received of testifying of the Lord Jesus Christ even with his last breath. He was chased and stoned and He saw the glory of God and Jesus on the right hand of God. (See Acts 6 and 7)

  • Paul

The minute the truth that Jesus is the Messiah was revealed to Paul he was stricken with blindness. How's that for good health? He could not see for three days and he could not eat or drink a thing during this time. Later he would be chased and would have to escape a city by hiding in a basket. He would be imprisoned for speaking about the Lord. He would travel tirelessly always looking behind his back for those who would kill him. He would witness to his persecutors relentlessly and face the consequences without apology. His great miracles were done for others and he worked as a tent maker so that he could go far and wide to spread the message. (See The Book of Acts)

  • Elijah

Chased and threatened by a devil of a woman, Elijah once fasted for forty days and forty nights. He was afraid of her, this Jezebel, for she hated him because he told her of her and her husband's sin at the Lord's command. She vowed to kill him. Elijah felt desperation when he saw how bloodthirsty she was and he was sure that there were none in Israel left who believed in the living God. The Lord assured him that there were but nevertheless He granted Elijah's petition to take him and Elijah trained Elisha in his stead. (See 1 Kings 17 - 2 Kings 2 )

When he healed Naaman the leper, he refused any payment for it. Elisha could have been rich and yet he did not want it. This man, just as Elijah, was so close to God that he was able to raise the dead. Life would be restored and rivers parted when Elijah and Elisha were around. Yet they did not live in palaces. Yes, they roamed from place to place and stayed with those who knew that they were prophets of the Lord Almighty. (See 1 Kings 19 to 2 Kings 13 )

  • James the son of Zebedee

James, along with his brother John, asked Jesus if He would give them the gift of sitting on His right and left hand in His kingdom. These two brothers were fondly called the sons of thunder by Jesus. Jesus replied that that honor could only be given by the Father. He then asked the brothers if they were willing to drink the cup that He drank and they said that they would. Later, James would be the first of Jesus disciples to be killed by Herod. He was killed by the sword. ( (See Acts 12 and Mark 10)

So is prosperity a valid part of the Gospel? You may be stunned to know that I think it is but it is not the prosperity that Joel Osteen or others like him preach. The prosperity that is part of the Gospel, the abundant life that Jesus so wants us to have, has to actually do with putting complete trust in Him and relying on Him.

In the dictionary prosperity is defined as:

The state of being prosperous; advance or gain in anything good or desirable; successful progress in any business or enterprise; attainment of the object desire; good fortune; success; as, commercial prosperity; national prosperity.

For the Christian then, prosperity concerns the advancement of God's kingdom and the desire to be pleasing to Him as He is good. It concerns the progress of the God's business and the object of desire that causes a Christian to be prosperous is a place in the kingdom of the Lord. This is good fortune to the believer. This is true success.



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    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      I totally agree with you Clara. I find that one does not even have to search for those in need, they are right there in your face. I do not trust televangelists in general because they talk about money a lot. Being rich is not a sin but what are riches if one does not have contentment? I have not heard them ever speak about contentment perhaps they have but mist times it is about how today may be bad but if you believe, tomorrow will be better because you sent money to them and then you got rich.

    • clara kish@yahoo. profile image

      Clara Kish 5 years ago from Mt. Perry. Ohio

      Very interesting Hub, and I think I learned quite a few things.It is so easy to get wrapped up i n the theory that God wants everybody rich It seems to me that the most rich people on TV are the ones who are always telling you that God wants you to be rich and then they give you a story that would make you cry. They tell you somebodies hard luck story and tell you to send so much for God's work . When you find out how they live and their income you wonder how much of the money goes to God. Go on ASK on the computer with some of the well known names and see what they say. From now on I want to k now where my money goes ,In the USA there are so many people that are really in need, and you don't have to go very far to see them. You don't have to go to TV to find them.They are everywhere now.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hey wba,

      I don't find you contentious at all. I agree that God provides for His children but not always financially. I know many who struggle to make ends meet who do not have a roof over their heads and who have a strong bond with the Lord. Sometimes all they have to give is humility and that is a fact. God takes care of them day by day. They sometimes do not even know where their next meal will come from and there are lots of tests of their faith.

    • profile image 5 years ago from upstate, NY

      Not to be contentious but I do see poverty as not being God's will! It does say:

      "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." Ps37:25

      And that the "Abundant Life" pertains to finances along with all other areas of life. That doesn't mean that blessed Christians are all meant to live a life of material comfort but is does mean that they should have an abundance in order to give to others depending on what thier ministry is.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      I have scratched my head as well, hookedhuntress, concerning this man and all those like him. I have the same impression of his beliefs and I too think that that is the reason why Oprah endorses him.

      God is not a man that He should lie. There is only one way to Him. The Lord, He is God and there is no other. We cannot serve God and mammon.

      Take care and may the Lord walk with you today and always.

    • hookedhuntress profile image

      hookedhuntress 6 years ago

      2John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

      10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

      11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

      I do not agree with Joel Osteen's doctrine myself..Oprah Winfrey(a New Ager), endorses Osteen.Oprah has said "There couldn't possibly be one way to heaven."..Maybe that is why she likes Joel so much because what I have seen of him on Fox news (you can look these up on youtube)..he seems to be a religious pluralist too.(all paths lead to god and or heaven)

      The bible says there is only one way to God and or heaven..and that is through Jesus Christ.

      John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

      Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

      He has some of the biggest names in the world stoppin' by to give him their blessing. *scratches her head*

      I thought the world was suppose to hate us because of Christ in us.The world seems to be embracing Joel and he seems to be embracing it right back.

      John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

      19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

      I appreciate you writing this hub North Wind.I voted it up and gave you a useful,interesting,awesome!

      Nicely done!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Caleb DRC, all I can say is thank you. Thank you so very much.

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 6 years ago

      Sorry, had computer troubles. I'll finish what I was saying . . . hopefully. . . . and she is now, with God's Word, qualified and commanded to clear the eyes of others. This is love, to do what we can to keep people out of eternal hell. You said, "Come on church get a life." North Wind not only has a life, but she is offering life, and the only Way to get that job done is to accurately present God's Word, which is also commanded. North Wind is not "pulling down God's leaders" she is lifting them up with God's Word. "Open rebuke is better than secret love"( Proverbs 27:5), and it is mercy. Being cowardly and silent is neither mercy nor love.

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 6 years ago

      Tig777( 8 comments above): North Wind is not persecuting pastors and leaders; she is warning them. Blessing people and winning them to Christ is what this hub does. Yes Olsteen is "very encouraging and uplifting", but that does not mean he is on target. Motivational speakers can be Christian or secular. You said,"he who is without sin cast the first stone," but John 8:7 has been taken out of context and perverted by the politically correct puppets of Satan. Rather than casting stones, what North Wind has done in this hub is an act of love because Leviticus 19:17 says we hate our brother when we do not rebuke him. You have the "speck" and "plank" turned around in Matt.7:3 but Matt.7:5 says, "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." When North Wind accepted Christ, her eyes were cleared, and she is now

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello James A Watkins,

      Thanks so much for reading and leaving your opinion.

      I get what you are saying but I have met people who have done all of those things you mentioned - disobeyed God, practiced promiscuity, did not tithe, were not honest in their business dealings, lied like they were psychotic and were filled with pride who were quite prosperous (wealthy) and still are prosperous to this day. That is why I do not believe that wealth is a specific sign of God's favor, that is, mandatory for every soul who believes on Him.

      I agree with you when you say that no one can be the same. The Bible talks about the church as a body and the different functions of the body. But the body works in one accord. It has to have harmony in order to work.

      I guess we will have to agree to disagree because I think that hearing different messages from different preachers is unsettling. I believe that the truth of God's word is clear and in order to teach it one must be clear. To preach the Gospel one must preach it fully and therefore one cannot leave out chunks of it because it may seem too condemning or too joyful. One has to give it in its entirety. Any preacher who preaches the word and leaves out facts because they choose not to dwell on those troubling parts disturbs me. I don't believe that there are other messages either. There is one message and there are different ways to say it but they all mean the same thing.

      I have no doubt Joel Osteen is reaching lost souls. I just doubt where he is leading them too. As I said before it concerns me because I do fear the Lord and the message Osteen preaches is clearly not the Gospel in its entirety.

      Thanks again for your comment and your visit. I do appreciate it.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thanks for expounding your point, celafoe. Good point there about what both Peter and Paul said about wolves in sheep's clothing. Jesus Himself said that there will be tares among the wheat. Thanks again for leaving another insightful comment.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Well, there is prosperity and there is prosperity. I think any person who obeys God, avoids promiscuity and its STDs, gets married and stays married thus avoiding the number one cause of poverty, follows God's laws about the handling of money, is a Godly employee or business owner, and avoids pride, lying, stealing, etc. will be more prosperous than if that SAME person does not.

      I think there is room for Osteen's message under the Christian tent, just as I think there is room for intellectual apologetics for the high-born, fire and brimstone preachers for those who like or need a more emotive religion, room for solemn sermons and hymns and room for boistrous singing and shouting to the Lord. Since people vary so much I don't see God as having a one-size-fits-all army of preachers, teachers, and evangelists, or even writers.

      I think Joel Osteen is capable of reaching some lost souls for God that maybe could not be reached with another message.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 6 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      Correction is not persecution nor is exposure of false teaching . Persecution is coming but not yet here for the majority but is rampant in muslim and catholic countries. If there is persecution it is against those that have the backbone to expose and correct the teachings that are not scriptural. And what is the pastor deal it is not even a scriptural title it is a ministry function. And NO new testament church was led by a pastor they were led, as it explains in Timothy by elders. The five fold ministry is not titles but ministry functions of men of God led by the Holy Spirit. These men contrary to current church teachings did not worry about income but preached and taught out of love and they let God supply their needs. This is our example. And precious few do the same today. There is but one TITLE in the scriptures, Brother (or Sister) and those in leadership are no different. They just have more responsibility before God. We are warned about this clergy/laity lie in Revelation.

      Further James tell us that they who profess to be teachers (in any fashion or title) are to be judged by a different (more stern) yardstick. so as Truman said "if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen"

      Then we find that scripture tells us (contrary to what is usually taught in the churches) not that we are not to judge but that we are not to judge in a way that we are not willing to be judged.

      We are taught by Paul to "judge all things to see if they be of God"

      Also the Bereans taught and did the same and are commended for it.

      Peter and Paul and others warn us to be prepared for the wolves that come in bringing false doctrines. And Jesus Himself warned us that many would come in His name.

      If no one refutes these false teaching MANY are led astray and as you point out our goal is to bring people to the REAL Christ not these false ministers, so they must be exposed.

      And yes you are correct David would not touch God's anointed. But these false teachers who collect money and homes and planes etc and teach a non scriptural doctrine are not God's anointed. You will be hard pressed to find any of God's anointed in the mega church system you find them in the places the mega ministries will not go.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you charles wade, for pointing that out. As the Scriptures say: Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven.

      Thanks again.

    • charles wade profile image

      charles wade 6 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Anyone who aspires to lead others should be scrutinized, tested and if necessary corrected by each and every person they lead as well as by others. How else can we expect to follow the teachings of Christ rather than those simply claiming to teach Christ?

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello tig777,

      I understand what you are saying about King David. He is one of those in the Bible that I admire greatly and that is because David was a man after God's own heart.

      There is a great problem in the church today and that is it is rife with wolves in sheep's clothing. I would have to be blind not to see that what Joel Osteen preaches does not coincide with the Scriptures. No it does not match the words of Jesus Christ.

      David would not touch God's anointed in that he would not raise a hand to harm Saul but he did recognize that the Lord was no longer with Saul.

      I am glad that you voiced your opinion, tjg77, and I understand why you say what you say. It is better to err on the side of mercy than on the side of judgment but really I fear for Joel Osteen because I fear the Lord. I am sorry but, respectfully, I do not believe that Joel Osteen is one of God's leaders.

      I have contemplated on this long and hard and I fear that the light in Joel Osteen is darkness.

      Thank you again for your comment. I will think on it and go back to the Scriptures.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello charles wade,

      Thank you for your comment. I do think that anything taught should be weighed against the Scriptures. The home should be led by the father who is in turn led by God. Unfortunately many leave the studying of the word and the nurturing of the soul to the church and do not play an active part or spend time with their families.

    • tjg777 profile image

      tjg777 6 years ago

      Why is it that well meaning Christians continue to persecute Pastors and Leaders within the Body of Christ. Even David the future King of Israel was afraid to touch Gods Anointed . I myself do believe that God does want to bless us in all areas and yes at times also suffer for Him that all men may be won to Christ . I have heard Olsteen preach many times and have found Him very encouraging and uplifting . he who is without sin cast the first stone . Consider not the plank in your brothers eye when there is a speck in your own . Come on Church get a life , you guys can all blog better content than this . Our concern needs to be seeking and saving the lost not gossiping and pulling down Gods leaders . Yes some like all of us are frail and clothed in mere humanity , but even David in all his sinfulness still reigned as King . I have learnt over years of walking with Jesus Christ to err on the side of mercy rather than judgement .

      Massive blessings and Gos best for you all

      Your brother in Christ


    • charles wade profile image

      charles wade 6 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      I have never understood how any reasonable person could become a follower of any preacher especially like so many who have become so popular in recent years. Especially parents; we don't want the government to raise our kids, why would we blindly allow any preacher/church to raise them spiritually? All "believers" should know the Word of God; test what their preachers are teaching and spend more time in the "small group" God has already blessed them with called their family.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello FloBe,

      Yes peace of mind is a great blessing. Whether poor or rich, peace of mind is a blessing that is needed more than wealth. Good point! Thank you for commenting.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)


      Not likely, AKA Winston :) All the same you made me laugh and laughter is priceless.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you skye2day, I am glad you liked it. May the Lord bless and keep you and yours this year as well.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello SanXuary,

      Thank you for reading. Your statement is outstanding.

      "We judge others on their Earthly status, determine our lives for Earthly reasons and use our faith for Earthly and not Heavenly purpose."

      That is quite true. I thank you for leaving such a valuable comment.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      That is exactly it, Bible Studies, Esau is a perfect example. Thank you!

    • FloBe profile image

      Flo Belanger 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      A modern example that financial wealth is not a guaranteed by-product for the believer is Mother Theresa, who became the poorest of the poor so she could minister to the poor. She was greatly blessed by God. God says that being faithful to Him will make us rich in spirit...and I think the peace that passes all understanding is a greater need than all the money in the world could buy.

    • profile image

      AKA Winston 6 years ago

      I hope this hub makes you rich. Amen.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      north wind very good hub May your new year be abundant in the joy and peace of the Lord.

    • profile image

      SanXuary 6 years ago

      This is one of the most profound mistakes found in Christianity. It is the separation of Earthly and Heavenly agendas that allows us any interpretation of God at all in its entirety. The abuse of Gods plan to attain Earthly things is the great corruption of all man kind. We refuse to grow and mature in spiritual growth when we focus first on Earthly agendas and status in our lives. This focus on Earth first has been a constant mistake in all known history. It explains the lesson that Jesus presented in the condemnation on the Church and its leaders in his time. This was only worst during the middle ages and even today we can not seem to separate these two Worlds and place our lives in its proper order. We judge others on their Earthly status, determine our lives for Earthly reasons and use our faith for Earthly and not Heavenly purpose. No person can determine ones path and journey towards salvation or define Gods purpose for them and what purpose God has sent them to achieve. I actually stand amazed in a church that prays for Earthly results to Earthly problems and defies what God is attempting to teach the individual. I stand amazed when man blames God for his problems when people are the problem and in accordance to free will God has nothing to do with the results you have attained. A church that answers problems with money solves Earthly problems but attains nothing in spirit but rewards its self with Earthly rewards. If I have Earthly problems, I have no problems and by going to God first I learn what God is teaching me. This is the lesson of the individual relationship with God and no man or church can teach it. They can only provide you with the support and desire to learn the same thing.

    • Bible Studies profile image

      Bible Studies 6 years ago from PA

      North Wind,

      Thanks for the Samantha Garvey story. It is good that she rose above everything. Reading about all the worries and fears she was going through at the time. I'm glad she was able to keep her focus.

      "you follow God because He can make you rich, not because He is God. So is God your God or are you just using Him?"

      I see where you are coming from now. Basically Osteen is talking to the Easus' of this world, and maybe creating them.

      I recently re-read about how Jacob stole Easu's birthright from his brother. Then later on Jacob stole Easu's blessings.

      Easu didn't care about his birthright, which was a spiritual gift from God. It seemed the only reason he cared about his blessings is because it would have given him material blessings. He hated Jacob for it.

      Easu used God, and Jacob followed God especially after the dream of the stairway to heaven.

      We do need to follow God because He is God, and then look at the other things later.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi again, Bible Studies,

      I know how you feel but you can't think about what others can do because you can't force them to do it. Did you read the story about Samantha Garvey? I think it would interest you.

      Yes God does intend for you to give and if you have a lot you can give a lot but if you have a little you can still give a lot and in some cases more than a rich person could ever give. Giving from your needs instead of your wants is a far harder and more selfless thing to do.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Clif,

      Great point. Greed and need are two different things.

      Thank you for reading. Your words also are valued.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello celafoe,

      Thanks for reading, I am glad you liked it.

      I do agree that being a pastor does appear to be a career choice these days rather than a calling. It is a big business after all.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      AKA Winston,

      Good point. There are things that can be done to help even when there isn't money.


    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)


      Now I get what you meant :) I don't think it was long lived either.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello Bible Studies,

      Thank you for the thorough comment expressing how you feel on this topic.

      You make some interesting points and I do understand where you are coming from. I have been poor all my life and have not been able to help people much when it comes to finances but that has never depressed me because there were other things that I could have done and did do to help.

      You said that not everyone deals with or tolerates poverty in the same way and that is very true but that is not what Joel Osteen said. He put one stereotype on all poor people; his words speak for themselves.

      There are many ways that a person can help another when they are facing financial difficulties without giving money if they do not have it. Also in the Book of James, it says, that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

      God does add but not always in wealth. My problem with 'preachers' like Osteen is that they present the prosperity gospel like a get rich quick scheme. It is like this - you follow God because He can make you rich, not because He is God. So is God your God or are you just using Him?

      Thanks again for reading and commenting.

    • Bible Studies profile image

      Bible Studies 6 years ago from PA

      AKA Winston

      All those actions do carry value. What happens when more than action is needed? Can the poor really feed the poor, help another keep their house, or keep a needed utility on?

      As far as poor and depression having a correlation, have you ever seen a happy homeless person who lives on the streets?

      Compared to the homeless, I really have no reason to complain. It just hurts when I see someone in need, and I know I can't help. It really hurts knowing others can, and they won't.


      I thought the prosperity message was that God uses people to meet other peoples needs. When God blesses you, you are to bless others to help meet their needs.If God only supplies our needs, then how are we suppose to be able to follow Luke 6:38? Give and it shall be given unto you.

      I always associated that with all aspects of giving from monetary to giving time, talents, and an encouraging word.

      Jesus talks a lot about money in the Gospels from the parable of the talents to the widows mite. I believe the parable of the talents have both a literal and spiritual meaning.

      Unless I got the prosperity message these preachers are teaching all wrong, and the preachers are actually saying Lord give me, give me, give me so I can bless myself, and then maybe I'll think of others.

      If that is what they are teaching, then they are not teaching what is in the Bible. For the longest time I was led to believe that was all the prosperity message was, and there was no message in the Bible. My God if I ever become wealthy I won't be able to get into heaven according to Jesus saying it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of the needle (back gate to the city only big enough for one person to enter. The camel would have to be unpacked, drop on its knees, and crawl to get through.) than it is for the rich to get into heaven.

      Then I started to put some verses together. There is a message there. I do believe God wants to bless us spiritually, mentally, and physically.

      The verses I remember off the top of my head are: God has a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. Give and it shall be given unto you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.

      1peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. I believe this verse applies to the spiritual, mental, and physical.

      Maybe it is more of a blessing message than a prosperity message. What good is being blessed with money if you are not also blessed spiritually? Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.

    • profile image

      Clif 6 years ago

      What we see today are organized corporate entities doing business as a church.

      What we hear from the Prosperity people is direct contradiction of the Words of Jesus. For your Father knows that you need these ye FIRST the Kingdom of God"..the difference is NEED and GREED.

    • celafoe profile image

      charlie 6 years ago from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans

      good article

      Joel osteen and all the others preaching the prosperity "gospel" are a cult and are not of God. They manipulate scripture to meet their individual needs and all of them are focused on money.. Money has nothing to do with preaching the true Gospel. It is to be taught out of love of people not love of money. God says he will supply our needs not our wants. But then again so many today that are preaching are not even truly born again, they go to school, get a degree and then get a job. As pastors. there is no scripture that shows a "pastor" leading a congregation. The proper order is found in Timothy, Elders plural. No wonder so many are in error these days.

    • profile image

      AKA Winston 6 years ago

      Bible Studies,

      There is no correlation between being poor and being depressed. One does not have to offer money to be of value to others. Mowing an elderly person's lawn, carrying in groceries, babysitting for free, all of these actions carry value.

      Instead of moping about finances, perhaps taking positive actions will bring the positive consequences you desire.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 6 years ago from Space Coast

      Yeah, North Wind. People were bringing those guys money all day long. The rich were selling everything to help the poor. They were sharing everything, alike.

      It is all in the book of Acts.

      I don't think the practice was long lived.

    • Bible Studies profile image

      Bible Studies 6 years ago from PA

      Not that I agree with Olsteen 100%, but he has a point about being poor, broke, and depressed.

      I'm poor and practically broke. I give tithe, but basically only have enough to pay the bills, and buy what we need. I can't give an offering.

      When someone needs something, there is no way I can help unless it is just prayer or an uplifting word. Unfortunately, many need more than just prayer and words. Being broke, I can't help with their physical needs.

      I could not help someone if they needed some extra to pay their utility bills. I could not help someone if their house burned down. I could not help anyone if they needed dental or a doctor. Of course there is the ER for medical, but there is no such thing for dental. I can't even get my own dental work done. I live with the pain.

      Being poor doesn't necessarily mean being depressed or unhappy. Most arguments in a marriage and family are about money when you are poor. I know it is true for my family, and many others.

      I know the definition of poor, and what people can tolerate are different for each person. What one person can tolerate, could send another person over the edge, and in a deep depression.

      How can someone depressed pray for someone else, or be uplifting to someone? If they are, then they are practically saints pushing their emotions aside to benefit someone else emotions. Without someone else to be there for them, that can only last so long.

      If you want to look at the poorest among us, how many of us could last on the streets with them with a positive attitude? How do you help someone who needs food, when you are hungry yourself with no real way to get food?

      In being poorer than you can tolerate, how can a person being poor, broke, and depressed help others?

      On the flip side, when God gives you money it really depends on how you use the money. If your heart is for God, you will tend to use the money for God and helping others instead of yourself. I think that is really where the prosperity message leads.

      You first need a heart for God. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. If you are seeking God, you will be wanting to do for God.

      I believe it was J.C. Penny even after he built a successful business that he lived off of 10%, and gave 90% to help others.

      Another part is when Jesus said the power of life and death is in the tongue. If you speak negative, then you are giving that negative life. If you speak positive, then you are giving the positive life.

      When I was depressed, I spoke negative, thought negative, and practically breathed negative. Everything was phrased in a negative way. I would always think the worst cast scenario in everything to be prepared for what could go wrong. Guess what happened. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

      When I started to think more positively thanks to some preachers such as Jessie DuPlantis, things started to go right for a change. Today I really just realized I always asked what is the worst thing that could happen, but never asked what is the best thing that could happen.

      If you want to help someone who needs prayer and an uplifting word, you really need that positive attitude. It is much easier to have faith and believe God will do what he says in his word if you are positive.

      As far as being happy-poor, rich-miserable, rich-happy, poor-miserable it really deals with the power of life and death is in the tongue, and other similar principles in the Bible.

      As far as prosperity goes, there are other principles such as if you don't work, you don't eat. God gives us the ability to create wealth. Jesus became poor, so we may become rich. The latter two can be physical, spiritual, and/or mental.

      For physical wealth, it really boils down to what would you do if you had wealth. When you get more money, would you have given more to God, help your neighbor, go on extra vacations, or spend it on your wants?

      I know God is more worried about the state of your heart. He will deal with that first and for most. When that is taken care of, then he will start adding to you.

      The wealth message really needs to be balanced out.

      Sorry I practically wrote a hub instead of a comment.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi AKA Winston,

      I also find that analyzing his words reveal tons about him but many people do not.

      His statement concerning being poor, broke, and depressed about himself was basically what motivated me to write this. As you said, those thins do not correlate. I know many who are poor and extremely happy and others who are wealthy and very miserable. I do not understand why he thinks that if you are poor you are automatically depressed unless he thinks that being poor would seriously depress him.

      Well said. Thank you for visiting and reading.Your comment is valued.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi kcpenn48,

      Good point. It is better to trust in the Lord than in the confidence of man. You have a wealth of fodder there for me to chew on (pardon the pun) and I appreciate it very much!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hey WD,

      Thanks for reading.

      I know there are tons of others who really can make the jaw drop. Osteen is quite popular though so I figure he would be one of the most recognized. I don't think he is as much a lightweight as he is as good at what he does. Others tend to fumble and be exposed but he appears to be on his game.

      I don't know about the disciples getting money from every quarter. I do know that some were assigned to work like Stephen in order for others to travel etc. and that what they had was divided equally for the work.

      Peter did extend a hand didn't he? I find that many today would rather not.

      Thanks again.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Michele, this is what keeps me scratching me head. He stresses on wealth so much. Like you, I don't understand why. Maybe it is because that is what the people want to hear? I am simply speculating.

      Thanks so much for stopping by to read this.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hi Preacher2003,

      Thanks for the information and the site address. I will be sure to check it out.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello David,

      Thank you for thinking my case was excellent. I completely agree with what you said concerning the preaching of the Gospel and the reason behind it. Once again, thank you!

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello adaus2011,

      I agree that the image that Joel Osteen puts across is one of kindness and caring. I can't help thinking that it is all one great con though.

      I don't think he'll be giving away his riches anytime soon :) Thank you for reading and for leaving this valuable comment.

    • profile image

      AKA Winston 6 years ago

      (Joel Osteen states that he cannot be a blessing to others if he is poor and broke and depressed about himself.)

      It takes no biblical research to know this guy is a charlatan - just analyze his own words.

      There is no correlation among the ideas of being poor, being broke, and being depressed about oneself, yet Olsteen lumps them together as if without one the other occurs without fail. This is the falsehood upon which he makes his argument. It is entirely possible to be poor, broke, and content, or poor, broke, and happy.

      The only thing impossible is to be poor, broke, and wealthy.

      So, Olsteen is asserting that unless he is wealthy he is automatically "depressed about himself". That he needs wealth to be content is his problem. There is no justification for his assertion in religion.

    • kcpenn48 profile image

      kcpenn48 6 years ago from Wherever I hang my hat

      Monetary wealth sounds wonderful in the worldly sense but is deceptive and we must be careful. Are we putting our confidence in monetary gain or our confidence in God? This is the question we must ask ourselves regarding wealth. Because if we are putting our confidence in monetary gain, it will fail us. It's a true paradox. It is true God wants to bless us, but is the blessing in the money or in His care for us? "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory" (Philippians 4:19). Therefore He will provide for us...but not to the degree of excess. And excess is a relative thing from individual to individual. Jesus instructs us "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth....." (Matthew 6:19) for our true treasues and wealth are in heaven not on this earth. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul" (Matthew 16:26 and Mark 8:36)

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 6 years ago from Space Coast

      Joel is a lightweight compared to some of the hard hitters (who correlate your faith seed with a gift to their "ministry") out there, but I get the drift.

      The disciples had money coming into them from every quarter. Meanwhile, Peter and John were confronted by a lame beggar on their way to the temple. Peter said, "Money we have none, but what we do have, we give freely."

      He extended his hand and said, "Get up and walk!"

      Can we give someone a hand?

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Amazing hub. I have heard Osteen preach. He does talk about monetary wealth as a wonderful blessing. Not just the wealth knowing God loves you, and Jesus Christ who forgives your sins. Not that those are ignored, but why does he tell you monetary wealth is such a blessing?

      Truely wonderful hub.

    • preacher2003 profile image

      preacher2003 6 years ago

      info on osteen, prince and others - great site

    • David Legg 7 profile image

      David Legg 7 6 years ago from Trout Paradise, Colorado

      You make an excellent well supported case against such a prosperity gospel. While the Bible supports the proposition that those who preach the Gospel should make their living from it, it condemns those who use it for the purpose of enriching themselves.

      Thank you for sharing.


    • adaus2011 profile image

      adaus2011 6 years ago

      Osteen seems like a nice, pious individual. It is just hard for me to trust a man, who makes a fortune off of other Christians looking for salvation and true guidance.

      Forget Osteen's crappy book and pick up the good book known as The Holy Bible. If people donated all of the money spent turning Osteen into a billionaire on charity and the church, then a great amount of good can be done in the world.

      If Osteen was as greatly religious as he claims, he would know that Jesus was against greed and for helping the poor and disabled. Maybe he can give away his ill gotten gains and actually help others.


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