Prosperity Preachers: Discerning Between Who's Real And A Fake

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March 17, 2004

Pastor Malone: 

There are so many T.V. preachers and they all seem to focus on the same thing…money and financial prosperity!  How do you know which one is authentic and which are only in it to get rich? 


I would question anyone with whom you haven't spent a considerable amount of time looking at his or her motives.  If he or she were unwilling to reveal financial information to their donors, I would not donate to them.  That should be your first question.  If he or she are promising you some financial or medical miracle based on your financial gift (sort of a releasing power or seed planting) I would question his or her motives.   

Some of these people have testimonies of financial success, healings and salvations by the tens of thousands.  Again, they know what the hot buttons are to get you to give a donation.  However, some of them that claim miracles, financial success and salvations may be completely legitimate.  All I know is that the focus for all Christian pastors, ministers, and lay people is to compel people to Christ.  If their show is nothing more than an infomercial to sell a religious self-help product, I’d question their authenticity. 

If you want to know who’s authentic and false, just listen to them carefully.  When I say listen to them, I mean are they carrying out the great commission today on their show.  No, I didn’t ask if they are talking about preaching the Gospel, are they preaching it on their show.  But before they signed off, did they present an invitation to their viewers to come to the Lord?  Next time listen to see if they do!  That’s important and it is a clear indication that they really are mission minded.   

“Pastor Malone, are you trying to tell me that someone would lie about using my donation to spread the Gospel?” Absolutely!  It wouldn’t be the first time that has happened and it won’t be the last. 

My problem with today’s T.V. ministers is they spend a lot of time talking about changing the world for Christ and winning souls, but it’s always tied to you giving them some sort of seed faith donation.  It's usually unverifiable as to what the money was really used for.  It might be through a donation, a tape series or a simple plea of support from one of their prayer warriors after they have prayed for you.  Don’t get me wrong: I believe in supporting legitimate Christian programs such as Charles Stanley or Adrian Rogers, just to name a few.  You will always hear them call you to repentance and salvation before their program ends.  But there are a lot of questionable ministries today that are pulling the wool over naive and immature Christians.

In my opinion, I'm afraid satan has tricked Christians into believing they need to claim their rightful pot of gold today instead of seeking to lead others to Christ.  We are so bent on making it rich that we see it as the primary sign that God is showing us great favor.  Having an abundant and prosperous life has become the new benchmark for believing we are in right standing with God.  This is a false benchmark.

It has never been God's plan to make you monetarily wealthy, but to conform you to the image of Christ and to make you holy.  If striving for riches will achieve that goal then so be it.

I hope this has helped.

Pastor Malone  

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