Kris Vallotton’s False Gospel of Prosperity
Kris Vallotton, the Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and co-founder of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry believes that God wants you to have wealth, stating that “contrary to what we may have been taught,” wealth is actually a sign of God’s blessing.
In the article, Vallotton offers no scriptural support for any of these claims. How could he? Could you imagine if Mr. Vallotton told the twelve, impoverished, martyred apostles that God really just wanted them to be wealthy? Could you imagine Mr. Vallotton telling that to Jesus, or Paul, or James, or any of the martyrs throughout church history?
However, he goes on to list “8 signs of a wealthy mindset,” Let’s give them a thorough biblical review.
1. Poverty lives for today, wealth leaves a legacy.
Apparently, Vallotton needs to read Matthew 6 where Jesus provides great teaching on wealth and its purposes.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. –Matthew 6:33-34
Jesus actually commands us to not worry about tomorrow, rather focus on today. Why? Because we don’t even know what day will be our last. Vallotton’s very first principle contradicts this simple teaching of Jesus.
2. Poverty finds a problem in every opportunity; while wealth finds an opportunity in every problem.
This is typical motivational speaker mumbo-jumbo. They make a vague statement and let you fill in the blanks in your own life. There isn’t any real instruction. This statement and all the rest belong in fortune cookies rather than in a Pastor’s writings.
Paul commanded both Timothy and Titus to teach sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2-4, Titus 2:1). It is not the job of the pastor to engage in teachings that tickle ears, but to hold fast the sound doctrine passed onto us by the apostles through the Holy Spirit. You will see that all the statements made by Vallotton are nothing more then weightless claims.
3. Poverty feels entitled, while wealth feels empowered.
Ask yourself this question: as a Christian where, from where should your confidence come? Your boasting should not be in yourself or in your riches, but in the Lord.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” –Psalm 20:7
If you are feeling empowered by the amount of money you own then you are trusting in a false god. Remember the story of Job. That God has the ability to give and take your wealth, health, and family in a moment. Vallotton is not leading people to Christ or godliness, he is seducing your soul into idolatry. Seduction of the flesh is the aim of all false teachers. Vallotton is no different.
4. Poverty fears the future, while wealth makes history.
How unthoughtful do you have to be to make such a ridiculous statement?
Studies show that suicide risk is actually higher in rich neighborhoods as opposed to poor neighborhoods. Rich people who find their empowerment in wealth have more anxiety about money, not less. Rightly did Paul say:
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” –Romans 6:16
Also, fun fact: The Christian church was built on the backs of the martyred, not the wealthy. Foxe’s book of Martyrs shaped the church of England. The stories of Christians being murder for their faith has left a greater legacy than anyone with a wealthy mindset ever could.
5. Poverty blames others for their condition, while wealth takes responsibility for things that aren’t their fault.
Notice that this statement and statement 3 are basically the same. When you depart from biblically sufficient doctrine your mind becomes darkened. Darkened both sinfully and intellectually.
Rightly did David say, “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. (Psalm 119:162”
If Mr. Vallotton would repent and believe the gospel he might actually have something of substance to say. However, because his heart is darkened he has no reverence for God’s word. When we abandoned the treasure that is the Scriptures, we’re left with these lifeless, rewrapped sayings.
6. Poverty asks, “What are you going to do for me?” Wealth asks, “Who is worthy of my investment?”
7. Poverty hangs around with other disgruntled people who validate their accusations. Wealthy people surround themselves with other powerful influencers.
I combined these two together because, once again, they are saying the same thing. And once again they find direct condemnation in scripture:
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and says, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? –(James 2:1-5)
God calls us to a community with all types of people. We don’t get to pick and choose who God puts in our lives. We should pour out into anyone who fellowships with us regardless their finical status or even their attitude.
8. Poverty votes for candidates that increase their entitlements. Wealth elects officials who will sacrifice today’s comfort for tomorrow’s children.
It’s vague as to what this actually means, but it’s obviously politically motivated. Is this a direct rebuke against voting for socialist leaders? Is it a rebuke to those who support free markets? It is carefully stated in order to satisfy any political opinion and not to offend anyone. One thing is for certain, it’s our theology, not our wealth, that should shape our worldview, including our politics.
Pastors are called to clarity. They are called to instruct their flock in sound biblical preaching. They are not called to simply make vague statements and let their flock fill-in-the-blank.
I find vagueness to be the greatest tool in the arsenal of false teachers. It’s like grease for a mediocre wrestler. When you try to grapple they are all slippery and unpinnable. When you go to a false teacher about their false doctrine, they are always greased up with excuses and technicalities. “Technically, I didn’t say (fill in the blank),” is the scapegoat these heretics take. Never trust a preacher who does not clearly communicate God’s Word (Proverbs 19:1, Proverbs 16:13).
Vallotton hasn’t once in this article shown any scriptural backing for these statements, nor can he. These 8 statements are unbiblical and cannot be defended.
I would call Mr. Vallotton to repent. To believe the biblical gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus, not the acquiring of wealth. I would charge Mr. Vallotton to sincerely read Matthew 6 where Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
I am not am not against Christians trying to make money. The book of Proverbs has plenty good things to say about hard work and gaining an income. I worked two jobs to put myself through college and work full-time through college just so I don’t get buried underneath the bills. I support good stewardship. I support tithing to our churches. What I don’t support is idolatry. Jesus doesn’t support the worship of money either. If Mr. Vallotton would read Matthew 6, he would see that too. Hopefully, he will repent.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” –Matthew 6:24
[Contributed by Rob Nelsen]