How the prosperity gospel compromises mission


Our 6th issue of Conversation (Volume 2 Issue 1) engages the recent debate in Kenya regarding the Religious Societies regulation. The issue that was claimed to have made the increased regulation necessary – “rogue preachers” – is a tricky one as it often connects with a whole theological-cultural-aspirational system. As a wise older pastor commented, even if you regulated all the pastors you would not have dealt with the root of the problem – people actually want those preachers (2 Tim. 4:3). It’s an issue of demand not just supply. Here’s Harrison Mungai from the editorial for CM#5:

One of the subtle elements of life in Kenya is a deep longing for ‘the good life’. This Kenyan dream consists of having a family, living in own house, having a good car, having a good medical cover or lots of money to cover for medical emergencies, owning some rental units or a business on the side, flying out of the country from time to time for business or leisure and being able to shop in the many upcoming malls dotted around the country. In a phrase Kenyans, like most people in the world, want wealth, health and happiness. Granted, this desire for presumably good things is not limited to the Kenyan people but a careful look at our media, both mainstream and social, reveals a penchant for these things and a strong desire for a painless existence.

What is the cause of all this? To start with, it is a matter of the heart. We are naturally a greedy lot who want to accumulate all there is in the world in our tiny pockets and have our fingers in every jar. It is a matter of our fallen human hearts to want more and more even at the expense of others.  How can we then turn around and say we love the poor? How then can we respond when the Lord calls us to abandon all else in a single minded pursuit of His glory?


For the rest of this article and the rest of Conversation Magazine issue 5 Get your copy now.

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