- I’m running a 5 day Deconstructing Abundance Series over on Instagram and I’d love to have you join on in.
I talk about a few things today, and honestly I probably riffed a little and got off script. Check it out here.
I also know that some of us just love to read, so if you aren’t trying to win a free prize stick around here and I am going to share with you why I believe the Prosperity Gospel is very different than an Abundance Mindset.
What is the prosperity gospel?
In my own words, though you can check out wikipedia and see what they say over there, the prosperity gospel is a set of beliefs that God blesses people who meet certain criteria.
Why is that problematic?
1. I find the prosperity gospel to be problematic because the implication is that when you suffer, struggle or don’t feel prosperous that you have somehow displeased God. I think that’s contrary to the notion that Jesus’ sacrifice is what makes us pleasing to God.
This line of thinking creates shame which separates us from God and neighbor. When we experience shame, it’s incredibly hard to be vulnerable with others. We tend to shrink back and step away from life-giving connection.
Of course, if you are in a community that is big on the prosperity gospel, but uncomfortable with nuance….it is reasonable that you would not seek connection.
Shame has no place in the church.
2. It is also problematic because it absolves the individual of participating in economics that elevate all people to abundance. What I mean by this is that if I have done well and I am pleasing to god and I am prosperous; then you should try that too.
I don’t mean that people are not responsible for themselves, but that every person on the planet participates in an economy that has corruption. Capitalism (or oligarchy as its really unfolding in the USA), Socialism and Communism (btw communism is different than socialism in case you forgot).
Folks who follow after Jesus seek justice. When we look at Jesus’ treatment of marginalized folks (who generally were limited in their economic opportunity as well) and review the judgements in the “minor” prophets we see that God hates injustice. He hates poor treatment of foreigners, widows, orphans and judges not only other nations—but his people as well. His chosen people got consequences for oppressing others.
The problem wasn’t that they had wealth, it was that they used unjust scales and their power to harm others. So when I say the prosperity gospel in practice absolves the church of their complicity in oppression I mean that we don’t, often enough, see people using their abundance, opportunity, influence and power to dismantle unjust systems like patriarchy and racism.
In fact, in the white evangelical church, we see patriarchy, ableism and racism finding a cozy home. I am not the expert on these topics, but there is plenty of information available to you with a quick internet search
What is an abundance mindset?
An abundance mindset is a set of beliefs that resources including money are available to every person on the planet. It’s a positive belief that we are not in competition with others to ”get ahead” is the idea that we can all do better, have more and it does not mean we oppress others together it.
Why is an abundance mindset different than the prosperity gospel?
While an abundance mindset is not connected to any particular religious system, it can easily look like the prosperity gospel in that it is very frequently associated with the word manifestation.
I am not going to talk about the law of attraction, because well— my kids will be needing dinner soon. But manifestation and the LOA do carry some overlapping principles with the prosperity gospel.
An abundance mindset is different, in that it is simply the belief that we are not limited by our circumstances in obtaining economic prosperity and influence.
How I summarize this all
I acknowledge that an unconscionable number of people have been systematically economically oppressed across cultures and woefully so in the USA.
I acknowledge that even when laws changes, practices take time to shift.
I acknowledge that people do have real opportunity limitations on their money story.
I acknowledge that the oppression of mostly white men has created a set of limiting beliefs for a great many people.
I acknowledge that this happens in the church too.
I acknowledge that when I decide systems don’t define me, that I get to choose my beliefs, I have agency and I can not only change my economic situation but I can use my influence to create a world I want to see.
Where actually everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I personally reject the prosperity gospel and embrace and abundance mindset because that is a way to live out my faith and values well.
Now, remember—this is a five day series and I am dong a giveway over on Instagram, so go watch the video and share your thoughts.
If you are looking for support that acknowledges your mind, body, spirit and human need for community, I am the coach for you! Book a free planning & assessment session with me to get clear on what you need. You’ll be so glad you did!