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Prosperity

“ “prosperity gospel.” This teaching asserts that because God wants us to be prosperous, suffering should have no place in the Christian life. The prosperity gospel is the spiritual correlate to the sentimental-feel-good-escapist-¬positive-thinking epidemic that has become so commonplace in the contemporary world…Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is “finding his place in it,” while really it is finding its place in him.” (Robin Phillips, C. S. Lewis)


“Though Americans love prosperity and love to live in the wealthiest nation in the world, St. Paul certainly has some misgivings about the ethical value of wealth and what it does to those who possess it. While many think wealth is surely a sign of God’s favor, the Scriptures are clear that not only does God not always choose the wealthiest to do His will, God is known to favor the poor in His love for humankind (for example see Luke 1:51-53). Christians in America might better focus on America being the richest nation in terms of charity and good works rather than just the financially wealthiest nation on earth.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“Christ taught that it is simply the human condition to be the recipient of God’s blessings, “For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matt. 5:45) The Bible is full of warnings against the temptations faced by those who seem to have the most in life. Contrary to popular opinion then and now, there is no reason to believe that those who are successful by worldly standards are being especially rewarded by God….Prosperity makes for a Church that is nicely comparable to denominational America, but it does not produce saints. Christ warned his disciples that the rich find entry into the Kingdom nearly impossible. Nothing has changed since then. There have been wealthy saints in the past, but they were often forged in the fire of radical generosity.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters, Father Stephen Freeman)


“Prosperity (American-style) can increase our anxiety as we get caught up in the delusion of cause and effect. We imagine ourselves as the source of wealth. And though Christians pay lip-service to virtues like humility and meekness, we frequently overlook the examples that dwell among us. More often, celebrities and the successful are singled out for honor…It fits well in American culture, but it rankles in the Kingdom of God.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“There is nothing in the Bible that says we can’t own a home or take a nice trip with our families. In fact, in many places we read that God wants us to have sufficiency for ourselves. He does not, however, wish us to have excessive prosperity, at the expense of helping others.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)


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