Local communities that preach 'prosperity teaching' (PT) are City Harvest Church and New Creation Church. I personally heard from their church leaders testifying that they believe PT is found in the Bible (see point 5 below). They are mega-churches with more than 20,000 each. But the Lausanne theologians think that their members are deceived by the leaders' wrong preaching. (see point 6 below).
I have summarized the wordy statement briefly as follow:
The statement is the result of several consultations in 2008 and 2009. It is meant to start the conversation over 'prosperity teaching'.
PT defined as "the teaching that believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth and that they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the "sowing of seeds" through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings" across various Christian communities.
- Gravely distorting the Bible.
- The practice to promote PG is unethical and unChristlike.
- Pastorally damaging.
- Spiritually unhealthy.
- Offers no lasting hope.
- Deflect people from the message and means of eternal salvation.
Further reflection is called over this issue.
1. God's power and miraculous workings are available but not subject to human's manipulation in all forms (words, rituals, actions, techniques).
2. Human's health and material welfare are not indications of God's blessings or curses.
3. Human's initiative and hardwork are encouraged to pursue health and wealth welfare. The good results out of hardwork are God-given nonetheless. Health and wealth welfare must not be only to the individual but also the wider community.
4. PT is not the answer or material promise to poverty stricken people. PT's preachers often fail to tackle the root cause of poverty and hence unable to eradicate it.
5. PT's preachers are sincerely wrong with their reading of the Bible and hence preach wrong messages from it.
6. The large number of people believing in the PT does not mean it is true because they are deceived by their preachers.
7. PT may be the result of local believers' misunderstanding of Christianity and hence contextualize it inappropriately.
8. On one side there are people benefited from PT, while on the another side there are people devastated by it.
9. Though many PT's preachers have root in the right Christian teaching initially, yet they moved away from it.
10. Christian leaders must not involved in:
- Flamboyant and excessive wealth and extravagant lifestyles.
- Unethical and manipulative techniques.
- Constant emphasis on money, as if it were a supreme good—which is mammon.
- Replacing the traditional call to repentance and faith with a call to give money.
- Covetousness which is idolatry.
- Living and behaving in ways that are utterly inconsistent with either the example of Jesus or the pattern of discipleship that he taught.
- Ignoring or contradicting the strong New Testament teaching on the dangers of wealth and the idolatrous sin of greed.
- Failure to preach the word of God in a way that feeds the flock of Christ.
- Failure to preach the whole gospel message of sin, repentance, faith and eternal hope.
- Failure to preach the whole counsel of God, but replacing it with what people want to hear.
- Replacing time for evangelism with fund raising events and appeals.