Is God a Cosmic Vending Machine?

February 16, 2016

A helpful article from Roger Olson on the Word of Faith / Prosperity Gospel world.

Recently I saw a billboard a few blocks from my house on a major thoroughfare. It says “Never sick, always well; never poor, always rich–Guaranteed!” (or something like that–it’s since been removed). It cited a web site so I went there and found that a new Word-Faith church was starting up in a store front near my home. Over the past 25 years this movement has exploded in America and around the world.

The essence of the movement is this: God promises that if you have positive faith and truly believe AND speak that faith with your mouth in positive affirmations (e.g., “God is my source of healing and prosperity; I am well and rich”) God is obligated to heal you and give you financial blessings beyond your wildest dreams. It isn’t always stated that baldly, but that’s the essence of it–especially as it is HEARD by its many adherents. There are, of course, degrees of it. Oral Roberts’ version was called “Seed Faith.” It was mild compared to some of the chapel speakers’ messages. But the essential message is that God will give you abundance, meaning well-being in every sense, if you exercise faith in him for that abundance by speaking it into existence.

Read it all.