Judaism and the Prosperity Gospel

In My Jesus Year: A Rabbi’s Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith, Benyamin Cohen says the following about the prosperity Gospel:

“Although Judaism has similar notions about prosperity–our prayers often ask for sustenance–it is, by far, not the highlight of our service. We do not worship the almighty dollar. If we’re asking for anything, it’s usually for stuff like health or good tidings. But the focus of most of our prayers is praising God and actually has nothing to do with our wants and needs” (67).

I think there needs to be balance. When I watch Joel Osteen, for instance, I’m usually encouraged by his messages, since he gives good advice on how I should live my life. But he mostly focuses on giving us tips, which he often supports with Scripture. I don’t see much about praising God. I think it’s good to offer people hope that God will make a breakthrough in their lives. But focusing entirely on how God can bless me and make me prosperous can get pretty empty after a while, in my humble opinion.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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3 Responses to Judaism and the Prosperity Gospel

  1. Caron says:

    Check out the video at http://www.justinpeters.org
    I think you will really appreciate it.


  2. James Pate says:

    Thanks, Caron. 🙂


  3. Caron says:

    You are most welcome! Let me know what you think!


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