The “Prosperity Gospel,” also known as the Word of Faith movement is a Christianized form of financial pyramid scheming that, as a general rule, fleeces the congregants of a church while lining the pockets of the leaders.
It has long been known that the targets of these religious frauds are generally low-income minorities–as they are the most vulnerable to the false promises of health and financial “blessings” these hucksters make.
One thing this false gospel can’t do, however, is save–at least not in a biblical sense. Jesus did not die to fill your pockets with cash. Jesus did not die for your good health and fortune. Jesus did not die to make you rich–all promises of the Word of Faith movement. Jesus died to save us from our sins and from the wrath of God.
But a recent study on the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality published in November by the University of Toronto showed that, if nothing else, the Prosperity Gospel has the psychological effect of boosting your mood by “generating a heightened optimistic bias,” a “high arousal positive effect,” and “financial risk-taking.”
The study also showed that a secularized version of the prosperity gospel gave similar results. The study concluded:
This suggests the effectiveness of prosperity gospel lies in its ability to evoke positive states rather than communicate specifically religious teachings.
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