This question from one of Getting Started’s visitors puzzled me for a moment — I had never heard of it. Whoever you are, thanks for asking.
A quick Google search returned over 9,000 websites related to Divine Prosperity, and as its name sounds, the movement has to do with money and how to make it, quick. After a surf around the ‘hood here’s what I can say about it:
- Divine Prosperity is a false teaching.
- Divine Prosperity is a New Age concept sometimes dressed up as Christian (usually Charismatic) and/or Catholic teaching.
- Divine Prosperity wants to part you from your money — the ‘prosperity’ part is for your spiritual “teachers”! (You only start seeing money for yourself if and when you become a “teacher”.)
- Divine Prosperity is therefore a cross between a pyramid scheme and an online affiliate program.
Key names that crop up on a regular basis on DP websites are: Deepak Chopra (New Age/”Wisdom Quest”), Bob Proctor (New Age), Don Judd (‘born again’), “Victorious7” (youth culture; a “rap” artist who looks like a baby and claims to be a son of the most high), and Mission St. Germain (Catholic). In parentheses I have listed the target audience of each personality. NOTE: the personalities listed above may not know their names are being used to promote this nonsense.
New Age varieties offer “cosmic consciousness” sometimes using biofeedback techniques and say things like “the movement of money creates wealth” and you need to develop a “have-ing-ness consciousness”.
“Christian” varieties claim to be based in Biblical teaching – particularly in the Old Testament practice of tithing. One website I visited claimed “Divine Prosperity” begins when you inventory everything you own and then give away 10-30% of it as “firstfruits” — then continue to give 10-30% of your income afterwards. (One thing I’ll say for this website, at least they didn’t say “…and send it to me.” They encouraged “giving wherever you are spiritually nourished.”)
Be on the lookout for cliche-words such as “abundance”, “affirmations”, “speak your destiny” (an updated version of “blab-it-and-grab-it”), and “think and grow rich.”
Another “Christian” site said: “The last thing in the world the devil wants is for faithful, believing Christians to get hold of the biblical prosperity message… because it takes finances to get people saved.”
I can just imagine what Jesus might say to that! I have a feeling His enemy, Old Goonball Down Below, would be delighted to tempt some poor, greedy saps into his lair in the name of raising money for Jesus.
The Bible makes it clear Jesus saved people — LOTS of people — without spending a shekel. He taught His followers “do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matt. 6:19-20)
In the words of the apostle Paul, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…” (Philippians 2:5-7)
In summary, Divine Prosperity is a temptation that will lead you away from the teaching of scripture. Spend your life and your resources ministering to others instead of building wealth for yourself.