My eyes are ever on the LORD ,for only he will release my feet from the snare. (Psalm 25:15)
What is the essence of prosperity theology? It is idol worship, which is one basic structure of heathenism and heresy and whose core is not different from many folk religion. That human’s obey God or make use of God to satisfy human wants and needs is the fundamental difference between true faith and folk religion. Let's look at the skills of prosperity theology to see how it turns faith into idol worship and followers into sheep in wolf's clothing:
Weapon I: Transplant.Transplanting the Bible and God into me and my material, which is confusing. God's creation and grace never cancels out a human's materiality, on the contrary, He gave everything its function and value. Humans get satisfaction from having material things, including mental satisfaction and glory that enables us with fullness to enjoy the life that God has given us. God's love is so concrete. However, we humans like to play God --- in the process, we do not regard God's will in our lives as the ultimate goal but our personal material satisfaction as our primary goal. Gradually we think that God is not who the Bible reveals to me but who feeds me and fills me. Maybe "I" don't know or have any more interest in the God in the Bible but those things that can satisfy me is now my god.
Weapon II: Ecstasy. Ecstasy, an exciting state similar to being lost and fascinated. Giving off the feeling like you are full of new wine, ecstasy is no less hotter than when the Holy Spirit had come down during Pentecost. Men become much more excited to thank God, thinking, "Lord, thank you for the healing, the satisfaction, and giving me the glory!" Men will be encouraged to preach the gospel more and share his blessings and this is not wrong. It does not seemwrong because men’s passion for preaching increases and God’s power through man becomes quite enough.. But where does this idea go wrong？Every human is given the ability of regurgitation-feeding, the basis beyond environment and of the master of all things. The problem lies in what prosperity theology refeeds, the idea of Eve's big joy which is "pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom... be like God, knowing good and evil after eating it," not influence and change of environment and culture through self-renewal by God's Word.
Weapon III: Ensnared by himself or herself. Why does somebody get stuck in the snare of prosperity theology? Because his feet does not walk in the way of God's Word, but steps into the wide gate. It is not hard to step into the narrow gate, just repent. Repentance is the only way of faith! Only Godly sorrow and repentance leads to the hope of salvation. Why not repent? Not only because of the pain and shame of the cross, but more on the hidden desire. Then, after desire has been conceived, it gives birth to sin. "The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast." (Proverbs 5:22) This kind of evil is hidden and heavy --- calling God, but using Him as a tool of desire. "Kong" in Buddhism means "breaking my view", while "Kong" without the ultimate subject of material becomes the tool of narcissism, running in a vicious circle of mind experience. So even though those who preach and drive out demons in Lord's name, the Lord will say: “Get out the evildoers, I don't know you”.
"For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it."(Matthew 7:13) So be cautious of prosperity theology as cautious of Satan's trials. Let your eyes be on the Lord, " for he will release my feet from the snare"!
About the author: Kang Xiaorong is a Chinese preacher, writer and poet, who was born in the 70s.She has settled down in Chengdu. She gave her life to Christ in Feb. 2007 and has served the church as a preacher since August 2010. After graduating in 1995, she worked as a teacher in some colleges and later she worked in Hangzhou TV as a director. She returned to Chengdu and became engaged in media work in 2006. Some of her published work includes the poetry book, “Living Water” (2012) and the Christian Faith book, “The Wind Blows Wherever It Pleases.”