Nowadays, among a growing number of pastors, it’s trendy to flaunt wealth and advocate for measuring spirituality by material assets.
But Brooklyn-based megachurch pastor, A.R. Bernard, refutes the notion that the two are in any way connected.
“Fortunately, I do not subscribe to the notion that somehow wealth and spirituality are tied together, because if that was true, then someone like Donald Trump would be considered very spiritual, alright? But that’s a falsity,” said the leader of the 37,000-member Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn during an interview on Power 105.1 FM’s “The Breakfast Club.”
With the proliferation of the prosperity gospel promoted by high-profile faith leaders like World Changers International pastor Creflo Dollar, who launched a fundraiser for a private jet, unfortunately, some are buying into the non-biblical hoax with damaging results.
Despite the fact that Scripture does not promise riches in exchange for faith, Bernard told co-hosts DJ Envy, Charlamagne Tha God and Angela Yee, “There are my colleagues in ministry, especially over the last 45 years that the prosperity gospel and some of these other things have come into play, have pushed this notion that to be wealthy, is to be spiritual—that they’re synonymous.”
The conversation was sparked by DJ Envy, who noted that seeing pastors on reality shows and leaders who exploit the gospel for gain, turns some potential converts away from the church.
Bernard, who is currently promoting his new book Four Things Women Want From A Man, masterfully dissected and deconstructed the prosperity gospel, while blasting its negative impact on the psyche of those who believe it.
“It sells a pipe dream to people, most of them struggling to be where that preacher is,” he said. “So while he’s driving his fancy car and his jet plane, the congregants who live there and under that ministry leadership, most of them are not experiencing anywhere near what that individual is. And maybe five percent of the congregation is, but that’s not reflective of the whole.”
Co-host Charlamagne added, “It makes you doubt God, too. Imagine your pastor is telling you spirituality equates to wealth and you’re praying every day and you got faith, but you’re poor.”
To underscore the shock jock’s point, Bernard quoted a portion of Proverbs 13:12, which says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
Bernard then went on to say, “So you can sell hope but for so long. After a while, the deferral of that hope, because people are not experiencing the realization of the promise, they’re going to be hurt deeply and wounded and they’re either going to get angry and turn against it, or dismiss it completely.”
Watch the full interview below. *Note: Some profanity and crude language is included*
SOURCE: EEW Magazine – Rebecca Johnson