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Pentecostal Ethics and the Prosperity Gospel

Pentecostal Ethics and the Prosperity Gospel

Is There a Prophet in the House?

(p.141) 8 Pentecostal Ethics and the Prosperity Gospel
Cheryl J. Sanders
NYU Press

This chapter examines the ethical, political, and ecclesiological significance of Pentecostal preaching, with particular emphasis on two perceived polarities: the prosperity gospel and the social gospel. It considers the role of ethics in Afro-Pentecostal preaching's embrace and promotion of the prosperity gospel and whether pastors who nurture their flocks with this message have neglected the social ethical message of the biblical prophets as advocates for the rights of the poor. It also discusses the issue of televangelism and the influence of the televised propagation of the prosperity gospel on Afro-Pentecostalism's biblical mandate to observe and oppose the ongoing systemic manifestations of poverty and disenfranchisement within African American communities. Finally, it notes the resurgence of prophetic activism among some black Pentecostal pastors, ministers, and community leaders who have adapted a more effective, liberal form of social ethics while maintaining their theological conservatism.

Keywords:   preaching, prosperity gospel, social gospel, prophetic activism, theological conservatism, social ethics, televangelism, Afro-Pentecostalism, biblical prophets

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