A New Kind of Prosperity Gospel

Second, while Christians are called to affirm the importance of a transformed mind, consciousness, or faith in well-being, we need to see personal transformation as emerging from and shaping the well-being of others. Our ability to have faith or hold positive images is not entirely our own doing -- poverty, sexism, ageism, homocentrism, etc., not to mention DNA, family of origin, or chemical balance -- can limit our ability to be optimistic. Years ago, I recall a college student revealing how guilty she felt because she did not experience joy. After several minutes of conversation, it occurred to me that she might be experiencing physiologically-based depression. This was later confirmed by a psychiatrist.

Third, prosperity consciousness or faith is intended to contribute to the well-being of others. One of my professors at the Claremont Graduate University asserted that "God wants us to enjoy" and then followed with "God wants us all to enjoy." Those who believe in the power of the mind and faith to be factors in shaping body, mind, spirit, and relationship have the obligation to ensure that others have the basic environmental and relational foundations for that same well-being and success. While we are not entirely limited by our environment and can creatively transform negative scripts and experiences from childhood or the social order, ethical responsibility requires us to provide positive environments. Responsible positive thinking challenges us to create environments that are conducive to creativity, optimism, trust, and responsibility.

An authentic prosperity gospel encourages social responsibility and the creation of a social order that enables children and adults to dream dreams and cast visions and then have the social and relational resources to bring them to life.

Read more articles like this at the Mainline Protestant Portal.

6/30/2010 4:00:00 AM
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