Can a True Believer Be Fooled into Believing the Prosperity Gospel?
I believe my husband loves the Lord, but he has accepted the prosperity gospel. Can a true believer be fooled into believing these doctrines?
Well I think that answer is clearly yes. A true believer can be fooled into believing unbelievable—unbelievable—mistakes, doctrinally and ethically.
If that weren't true we would all be perfect, wouldn't we? It just seems like, yes, we're all mistaken on numerous things.
So I guess the question is, "Is it serious enough so that if you embrace it you couldn't be a believer?" And I think the answer to that is no.
There are so many people that are being badly taught on these things. And a verse here or a verse there is brought in to say, "Clearly from 3 John he prays toward our prosperity! He wants us to prosper!"
People hear that and then the preacher takes it way beyond, saying that prosperity means you're going to have a job. "It'll be a six-figure job and you'll wear a big gold watch like mine and drive a big, fancy, expensive car like mine. And you'll live on the beach like I do and maybe someday have your own jet like I do."
People are taken there. They just see the steps going there and not everybody has a critical mind to say, "That's a non sequitur. That doesn't follow." They just go from the biblical verse that looked pretty clear—God likes us to have our diseases healed and have a job and keep food on our table—and go from there to jet set.
And so, since we can be taken astray like that, I think a genuine believer is just blind at that point.
And we need to teach. Because it's amazing how many people, when they hear solid teaching, wake up! They don't say, "I just got saved!" They say, "I knew deep down something was wrong. I just couldn't articulate it. It just didn't feel right." I was just reading an online exposé-type thing of a woman who narrated her life in and out of that kind of thing.
So, yes, I think God is so merciful to us in our bad ideas about him. And I think, rather than deciding who is a Christian and who is not in regard to the prosperity gospel, we should just be teaching as much truth as we can.