“Ponzi Scheme Gospel”

By Akin Ojumu

We’ve been discussing, in the last couple of commentaries, one of the ways to test the spirit. Contrary to the self-glorifying razzmatazz, mythical fantasies, and esoteric performances of the unholy spirit of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, the true work of the Holy Spirit of the Bible always exalts and points the way to Jesus.

In today’s commentary, we’ll continue the discussion by examining another important test of the spirit. This time, we’ll be dealing with the widespread mishandling of the Word of Truth.

Test 2: Whomsoever devalues the Gospel truth is not working under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

“Make every effort to present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Ever since the founding of Christianity, the Gospel has been under assault. Demon controlled reprobate minds have continued to lay siege to the Word of Truth. Hellbent on ruining the faith of many, human agents of darkness choke life out of the Body of Christ with toxic fumes of corrupted gospel.

Examples abound of the various ways the true Gospel is being corrupted. By far, the most dangerous is the so-called “prosperity gospel” aka “name it and claim it gospel”. This satanic contortion has grown by leaps and bounds, festering all over the world, because of the lies it propagates. As the priests and priestesses of this false gospel promise success, health, and wealth, they prey on the unsuspecting poor and impoverished masses that believe in the lie. 

By giving false promises of financial prosperity and physical well-being to desperate people, the prosperity gospel sets itself squarely against the Biblical Gospel. It offers carnal comforts, earthly riches, and worldly success to millions of undiscerning people who readily give up their last farthing to buy the lie. 

Those who propagate this deception prey on the most vulnerable. They enrich themselves by taking advantage of the poor, the sick, and the needy in society. The soulless charlatans become stupendously wealthy by ripping off the most severely impoverished all in the name Christ and the Holy Spirit. In the process, they’ve turned Christianity into a laughingstock. 

Prosperity gospel is a worldly gospel spurn by demons. The reason it’s growing is because it offers people exactly what they already want. It promises the unregenerate heart exactly what he lusts after; physical health, material wealth, temporal prosperity, and earthly success. 

The apostles of this false doctrine employ all sorts of gimmicks, including emotional manipulation, stirring music, flashing lights, lofty words, ecstatic experiences, pseudo-profound displays, to con their hapless victims to cough out their very last penny. 

That the prosperity gospel is a religious Ponzi scheme is borne out by the statistics. Nine out of every ten Pentecostals live in poverty. More than 90 percent of Pentecostals and Charismatics in Nigeria, South Africa, India, and the Philippines believe that God would grant material prosperity to all believers who have enough faith. 

Yet, these are some of the most impoverished people in the world. Nigeria and India have the highest number of people living in extreme poverty. In fact, for the past couple of years, these two countries have been vying for the unenviable position of the poverty capital of the world.

Because it masquerades as religion, the prosperity gospel is exceedingly more morally reprehensible than a Las Vegas casino. At least when they take your money in a casino in Las Vegas you expect it because it’s run by shady unscrupulous people who are honest about their intentions to dupe you. However, you don’t expect people who claim to represent God to do the same thing. 

“These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.” (Jude 1:12-13).

The prosperity gospel con works because it is worldly. Its proponents are worldly men speaking to worldly people about worldly things. Their message has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. They only forget that all spiritual swindlers will one day face God’s wrath for their blasphemous conceit.

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15). 

True Christians are not of the world, and they do not love the world. Those who genuinely follow Christ understand that the Holy Spirit does not grant the mindless superficial lusts and carnal desires of fallen hearts. Rather, the Holy Spirit brings repentance, brokenness, and humility. He produces love, joy, peace, gentleness, and a quiet contented heart.

Any system which, in a false hope, sucks people down to the place where they have nothing left is coming down. And that’s the ultimate fate of the rickety house of rotten cards of the prosperity gospel. A day is coming when it’s all going to crash and burn.

We’ll take it from there next time.


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