The Southern Baptist Convention came together this week for the denomination's annual meeting, in which one of the decisions made was to adopt a resolution to reject the prosperity gospel on the belief that it was false teaching and a distortion of Scripture. The denomination took issue with how the prosperity gospel regarded Jesus Chrsit's atoning work on the cross.
The prosperity gospel is a religious belief among a group of Protestant Christians that says financial blessingnnad physical well-being are God's will for them and that faith, donations to religious causes and positive speech will increase their material wealth. On Tuesday, Southern Baptists rejected the prosperity gospel by passing Resolution 2, which defines the prosperity gospel as the belief that "Jesus' sacrificial and atoning death grants believers health, wealth and the removal of sickness and poverty," the Christian Post reported.
The Southern Baptists' new resolution says that the prosperity gospel or prosperity theology is a distortion of "biblical generosity" and therefore exploits vulnerable people and blames people who are afflicted with illnesses with a lack of faith. They also alleged that the prosperity gospel corrupts the biblical understanding of suffering.
Resolution Against Prosperity Gospel to Guide and Protect Christians Against False Teaching
The Southern Baptists' new resolution against the prosperity gospel urges Christians to "guard against false teaching, to beware of false prophets who come to us in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves, and to guard the integrity of Scripture," the Biblical Recorder reported.
Storyline Church's J.T. English from Arvada, Colorado took to the stage on Tuesday to say that Southern Baptists have never formally spoken out against the prosperity gospel before. During the meeting, a pastor from Louisiana suggested to amend the language of the definition of "prosperity gospel" to remove "and sickness and poverty" and replace it with "of suffering, sickness, and poverty" because the removal of suffering is tethered to the prosperity gospel. His suggestion was accepted and the amendment was unanimously approved.
Another messenger suggested adding "and New Age beliefs and practices" to each section denouncing the prosperity gospel, as he believes it comes from "african, pagan practices, from voodooism." This was however voted down, as the convention felt that it was important to speak oly about the prosperity gospel in Resolution 2.
SBC Passes Nine Resolution in Annual Meeting
Aside from the new resolution that rejects the prosperity gospel as "false teaching," SBC messengers also approved eight other resolutions this week. According to The Alabama Baptist, the Southern Baptists resolutions committee considered 29 resolutions this year and submitted nine to messengers. This year, resolutions were passed addressing the mission field in rural America, the Ukraine war, the support for consistent laws regarding pastoral sexual abuse, lament and repentance for sexual abuse, the anticipation of the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, the Imago Dei, apppreciation for the city of Anaheim, California, and religious liberty, forced conversion, and hte Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report.