Did Larry Burkett teach a “Prosperity Gospel?” He writes in Money Map Coach, “These verses clearly teach that giving results in material increase.” Burkett also added, “When we give, we should do so with a sense of expectancy—anticipating the Lord to provide a material increase.”
This sounds similar to some of the Prosperity Gospel preachers. Time asked the question as their lead article, “Does God want you to be Rich?” The answer from the Prosperity preachers referenced was “Yes!” Those preachers included Joel Osteen, T. D. Jake, Creflo Dallas, and Kirbyjon Caldwell.
Time also quoted Rick Warren in strong disagreement saying, “This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy?” he snorts. “There is a word for that balony. Its creating a false idol. You don’t measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn’t everyone in the church a millionaire?”
Christianity Today in reviewing the Time article quotes Frederick Haynes, pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church: “Black communities are suffering, while this properity pimping gospel is emotionally charging people who are watching their communities just literally dissolve.”
Burkett quotes Proverbs 11:24-25 as teaching an increase on earth for the believer who gives to the Lord. There are two problems with quoting Proverbs. The first problem is that Proverbs are general principles that sometimes have exceptions rather than ironclad promises. See Proverbs 15:1 for an example. The greater problem is that Proverbs reflects the Old Testament economy of God’s blessings on Israel which were measured materially, physically as well as spiritually. The emphasis of God’s blessings in the New Testament is spiritual (Ephesians 1:3).
The apostle, missionary, writer of Scripture, church planter, defender of the faith Paul died poor not prosperous. Need I say more. There is one major difference between what Larry Burkett taught and what Word of Faith preachers are teaching: Larry Burkett did not ride this pony to death while prosperity preachers obsess.
Do you think I have correctly evaluated Larry Burkett? Comment and let me know what you think.