The Prosperity Gospels is distortion of a partial truth of the Gospels. Taking a more comprehensive view of the Gospels with the help of the 5W2H thinking framework will give a clearer picture. Proverbs 3 speaks much on prosperity and long life. It can be a Biblical reference for our understanding. We conclude that blessings is much more than money and good health. More importantly, it is harmony and peace with God and men. The blessing also includes a discipline from our Father God who loves us much to train us up so that we can enjoy and handle more blessings that He has in store for us. Prosperity Gospels preachers just claim the blessings without the needed wisdom and maturity. They are treating God like the Chinese Prosperity God or the Genie to answer to our wishes.The Prosperity Gospels message has come to much attention with the Court Case of Kong Hee and leaders from City Harvest Church for alleged criminal breach of trust and falsifying accounts. See
Prosperity Gospel - Learning from GLCC Dr Paul Choo's Sermon and Reflections from CHC Kong Hee Alleged Misuse of Funds.
A foreigner friend shared that she found it strange that the church messages she encountered in Singapore spoke much about prosperity and not about virtues and charities. It is not strange for us as Chinese because Chinese customs and festivals are filled with worship of the Prosperity God. The most common Chinese New Year Wish is that you may 发财 - make lots and lots of money.
The Bible indeed has much to say about wealth. It talks about how to get wealth and how to use wealth. Warning us not to be enslaved by money but be master over money. Using money to create impact for good and invest in the eternal Kingdom of God. Money is a terrible master but a very good servant.
Nevertheless, the real and true Gospel is much much more than money or wealth. There are more important issue than money which is our relationship with God and then with men. Jesus came to die for our sin and was resurrected to give us new life in Him. We are rebirth in Jesus and become children of God, with Jesus' righteousness and all the blessings of the standings as sons of God.
Since God changes not, His teaching in the Old Testament is still valid, though we are in the New Testament time. Proverb 3 cover much about the blessings of God and how to receive the blessings. This is a good passage for us to examine this issue of the blessings of God. Is prosperity the will of God for us? What else are in the blessings of God? How do we get the blessings? Do we get it just like that immediately? Answer can be found by studying Proverb 3.
One of the best way to think about a issue is to use the 5W2H thinking framework. See The Basic Thinking Framework 5W1H. Applying the framework to Proverb 3, I get the following summary shown in a mind-map form:
The key error of the Prosperity Gospel preacher is making giving to God as the only means (even lazy means) of getting rich and making God as our slave to make us rich. In many cases, the giving went into the pocket of the preachers and closed community to benefit their luxury livings. Whereas, prosperity should be the by products of living a righteous and Godly life with and before God.
The summary is given earlier in the summary map. But just to stress point 3 "The Blessings come from Us Knowing and Living Out God's Wisdom". We are to Love and Obey God. It is not our achievement but the actualization of His grace from inside to external visibility.
Lim Liat (c) 30 May 2013