Prosperity theology

It is popular in some religious circles (especially in the USA)  to argue that accumulating wealth is not only a worthy pursuit but also a spiritual activity. I disagree.

I attended a seminar some years ago given by a minister of a ‘prosperity church’ from the USA. She argued that it is OK to acquire as much as you can because when you take more, supply expands and there is more to go round.

This argument contains a glimmer of truth; it’s true there is plenty for everyone’s needs (although as Gandhi pointed out, not for our greed). The universe teems with energy and intelligence, all capable of manifesting into physical form. However, until we harness it and use it to provide for all in an equitable manner, we risk ignoring the less well-off, squandering resources and destroying the life support systems of the planet, all of which are consequences of pursuing narrow self-interest.

Today, half the world’s population is undernourished while the other half suffers from excess. Every year, more people are born into absolute poverty and ever-increasing areas of land become infertile due to soil erosion and global warning. Poverty breeds crime, violence and war – they’re the price we all have to pay.


©David Lawrence Preston, 4.2.2017

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