Prosperity Gospel Beliefs on The Rise Among American Churchgoers

Prosperity Gospel

A recent survey has discovered a rise in the number of American churches that teach Prosperity Gospel, the idea that increased financial contributions to their churches and charitable causes will result in greater blessings from God.

The survey, carried out by Lifeway Research, showed 52 percent of American protestant churchgoers say their church teaches such a belief. This represents a significant rise from the 38 percent who expressed similar opinions in a study carried out in 2017.

According to the Executive director of Lifeway Research, Scott McConnell, “In the last five years, far more churchgoers have been reflecting prosperity gospel teachings, including the heretical belief that material blessings are earned from God.”

“It is possible the financial hits people have taken from inflation and the pandemic have triggered feelings of guilt for not serving God more. But Scripture does not teach that kind of direct connection.”

The increase is particularly notable among the younger congregants and those with less formal education. For instance, 81 percent of churchgoers aged 18–34, as well as 85 percent of those aged 35–49, subscribe to this idea.

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Similarly, individuals with a high school or partial college education (81 percent) are more inclined toward this belief compared to those with a bachelor’s (67 percent) or postgraduate (65 percent) degree.

McConnell continued: “This research does not rule out the possibility that biblical teachings were poorly heard by more young adults, but they definitely have experienced a lack of clear biblical teaching on the reason for generosity.”

The study also found that three in four churchgoers (76 per cent) believe God wants them to prosper financially, including 43 per cent who strongly agree. Fewer (45 per cent) believe they have to do something for Him in order to receive material blessings from God, with 21 percent strongly agreeing. Denominationally, Methodist (85 percent) and Restorationist movement (71 percent) churchgoers are among the most likely to agree that their church teaches God will bless them if they give more money.