The “prosperity gospel” is a well-known theological current emerging from the neo-Pentecostal evangelical movements. At its heart is the belief that God wants his followers to have a prosperous life, that is, to be rich, healthy and happy. This type of Christianity places the well-being of the believer at the center of prayer, and turns God the Creator into someone who makes the thoughts and desires of believers come true.
The risk of this form of religious anthropocentrism, which puts humans and their well-being at the center, is that it transforms God into a power at our service, the Church into a supermarket of faith, and religion into a utilitarian phenomenon that is eminently sensationalist and pragmatic.
This image of prosperity and well-being, as we will see in a moment, relates to the so-called “American Dream.” It is not the same thing, just a reductive interpretation. In and of itself, this dream is the vision of a land and a society understood as a place of open opportunity. Historically, through the centuries, this has been the motivation pushing many economic migrants to leave their own land and set out for the United States to stake a claim to a place where work produces results that were unreachable in their old world.
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