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Prosperity theology facts for kids

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Prosperity theology is a religious belief that if the believer is wealthy and in good health, this is always the will of God. It most common among certain groups of Protestant Christians. It is also known as prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, or seed faith.[A] These groups also believe that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one's material wealth. Prosperity theology sees the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity.

The doctrine says that it is God's will for his people to be blessed. The atonement is interpreted to include the healing of sickness and lessening of poverty. Both are curses that can be broken by faith. This is believed to be achieved through donations of money, visualization, and positive confession.

Groups in favor of prosperity theology started in the United States in the 1950s. The origins may go back to a movement callled New Thought, which started in the 19th century. The basic ideas were important for another movement, called Word of Faith. In the 1980s televangelism was sometimes successful because of these ideas. In the 1990s and 2000s, prosperity theology was adopted by influential leaders in the Pentecostal Movement and Charismatic Movement in the United States and has spread throughout the world. Prominent leaders in the development of prosperity theology include E. W. Kenyon, Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, Robert Tilton, T. L. Osborn, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar,[8] Kenneth Copeland, Reverend Ike, and Kenneth Hagin.

Leaders from other Christian novements have critiziced prosperity theology: They say that it is irresponsible, promotes idolatry, and is contrary to scripture. Secular as well as some Christian observers have also criticized prosperity theology: They say it exploits the poor. The practices of some preachers have attracted scandal and some have been charged with financial fraud.

Notable works in favor of prosperity theology

Notable works that advocate prosperity theology include:[8]

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