Religious scholar Reza Aslan recently took aim at prosperity gospel and anyone associated with it.
While speaking at the 2014 Indian Summer Festival in Vancouver, the University of California at Riverside professor said the portrayals of Jesus in movies are mostly “fictionalized” representations.
Aslan then blasted prosperity preachers, pointing to Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes, as two of the worst offenders.
“The fastest growing Protestant movement in North America is this movement that is referred to as the prosperity gospel,” he said. “This is the gospel preached by people like Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes — and when I say people, I mean charlatans. The argument of the prosperity gospel, if I can put it flippantly, is that Jesus wants you to drive a Bentley. That is basically what the argument is. That what Jesus wants for you is material prosperity, and that if you literally give, you will literally be given tenfold. That’s not a metaphor, as it is in most churches. It is literal. You give me $10 and Jesus will give you $100.”
According to Aslan, Jesus never encouraged people to get wealth. In fact, he says, Jesus actually condemned wealth.
“This is as profoundly an unscriptural interpretation of Jesus that exists,” Aslan remarked. “I mean, if there is one thing that is just so clear cut and just not open to interpretation at all of any kind when it comes to Jesus’s message, it is his condemnation of wealth.”
Aslan says preachers are twisting the teachings of Jesus so that they can preach whatever message they want.
“And yet, not only does this version of Christianity exist, as I say, it is honestly the fastest growing version of Protestant evangelical Christianity in North America. That’s because Jesus can be whatever you want him to be, and the Christian message can be whatever you want it to be.”
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h/t: The Raw Story