About four in 10 evangelical Christians say they attend a church where they’re taught elements of prosperity gospel, according to a poll.
In a survey released at the end of July, LifeWay Research found that 41 percent of Christians with evangelical beliefs either somewhat or strongly agree that their church “teaches that if I give more money to my church and charities, God will bless me in return.”
By comparison, only 38 percent of all Protestant respondents agreed with that statement, while 57 percent of Protestants disagreed. Meanwhile only 26 percent of Protestant churchgoers agreed that “to receive material blessings from God, I have to do something for God.”
The survey, which was conducted Aug. 22–30, 2017, interviewed 1,010 churchgoers across the nation and has a 3.1 percentage point margin of error.
Prosperity theology is the belief that generosity toward the church will lead to greater blessings — financial or otherwise — in a believer’s life.
The groups most likely to agree their churches teach that God will bless them if “I give more money to my church and charities” are Pentecostal and Assemblies of God churchgoers (53 percent).
While 41 percent of evangelical protestant churchgoers agreed with the statement, 35 percent of evangelical respondents disagreed.
Additionally, 75 percent of churchgoers with evangelical beliefs were more likely (75 percent to 63 percent) than churchgoers without evangelical beliefs to agree that “God wants me to prosper financially.”
“A significant group of churches seem to teach that donations trigger a financial response from God,” LifeWay Executive Director Scott McConnell said in a statement.
McConnell added that although a number of prominent evangelical leaders have condemned the idea of prosperity gospel, the research shows that “more than a few people in the pews have embraced it.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith