I have also been thinking a lot on the dangers of Prosperity Gospel, that led me away from a life of faith when I was younger, and its equivalent with regards to behavior: Purity Culture. Both have been toxic cultures for a whole generation of Christians. Jeremiah 29:11, often cited as one of the top Bible verses in support of Prosperity Gospel, tells us that God has “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” But it wasn’t a support of Prosperity Gospel, but rather the opposite. The Israelites were in exile and enslaved in Babylon. God wasn’t going to take them out of their misery any time soon.

And although I know, in my head, that Prosperity Gospel is wrong, the latest thought I have when I feel down or depressed is “you just have to trust God more” or “you just have to believe more.” The first thought is usually a good one, that God is with you in the valleys as well as the blessings. But the second one is harmful. I have seen numerous people deny trying medication to treat their mental illness because they thought “you just have to believe more,” a consequence of the false teachings of Prosperity Gospel.

I wrote this article a week or two ago, and I felt like this article resonated with what I wrote here:

Prosperity Gospel and many Christians, for that matter, believe that simply believing in God and obeying the Lord spares us from suffering and trials, and when trials do come, those people get angry with God.

But the Bible shows us that even God and Jesus’s beloved apostles encounter heavy trials, trials that aren’t used as the consequence of disobedience, but what God uses to “test our faith.”

“We cannot understand why He sends the particular trials that He does,” Cole writes. “but whatever they are, we can know that they are from Him.”

Written by

Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire,” God’s gift to the Earth. E-mail: ryanfan17@gmail.com

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