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Pulpit Prosperity

I’m sure most of you have heard the brewing controversy over the pastors of some “Mega Churches” and their alleged financial impropriety.  Regardless of how this all ultimately plays out, the headlines have already stirred the pot about prosperity and religion.  Some feel that these ministers preach a message about prosperity in an effort to convince people to give more money to their church.   

When I see a pastor more concerned about his own prosperity than the souls in his congregation, no he can’t get my money, but more importantly he can’t get my ear!  I can’t sit in a church and listen to someone spew a message that contradicts how I feel in my heart.  When I see people that are more enthralled by the outfit the pastor was wearing, I am naturally going to give them a side glance. (If you can’t tell me what the message was about on Sunday, but you can tell me what color gators and what color cufflinks the preacher was wearing I’m gonna say you are the one with the problem!) 

I give my offerings to the church in good faith that the money is going towards doing God’s work.  None of us have the time to really police how every dime is being spent, but personally I believe that God will deal more harshly with anyone that steals from the church than I ever could.   

Two of the pastors mentioned in this probe are based out of Atlanta.  I am not a member of either church, so I am not an expert on their particular message.  I’ve attended World Changers a couple of times, but it was not for me.  Creflo Dollar could not meet my spiritual needs, so I could never call his place of worship my church home.  I do know several “World Changers”, and they love it, so I guess he gives a word that they need to hear.  I have never heard Eddie Long preach, but I know his church stays packed so he must be giving a word someone needs to hear as well.

My biggest concern in all of this is it’s propensity to put the black church under so much scrutiny, especially because our culture has always been rooted in the church.  Once upon a time, preachers lived off of love offerings and the helping hand fund.  Now that we are a more prosperous people, we give more money to ministry.  Currently our churches provide bigger outreach programs to our communities, and the demands on pastors are a lot greater than they were twenty years ago.  I guess it’s natural for “poor preachers” to be the exception not the rule in 2007.  Are poor preachers more reputable?  Should we naturally assume the preacher that can afford custom tailored suits is stealing from the building fund?   

There is a good argument to be made for each side here, but is it really our (me, you, the media, congress’s) argument to make?  Those of us that go to church should do so to hear a word from God.  Chances are if your spirit is not being nourished at a particular place, you’ll leave.  The question should then be, what are people looking for from their church, and is that need being met.   

They say you should never discuss politics or religion, so I guess I am really asking for it with this blog.  And before you ask: yes I do go to church.  No, I do not attend a “Mega Church”.   Yes, I do attend the congregational meetings, so I know how my church is disbursing money. Having said all that, what is your take on prosperity in the pulpit?


November 8, 2007 Posted by | Faith, religion, Society | 3 Comments