President Donald Trump made a speech Friday night at a church known for preaching the “prosperity gospel,” a false doctrine that claims those who give financial support for pastors and churches will become wealthy and healthy.
That Trump’s first appeal in his “Evangelicals for Trump” campaign comes from this church, Miami’s King Jesus International Ministry, sends a clear message to evangelical Christians: Prosperity gospel and Trump’s promises are as spiritually hollow as they are similar.
Both rely on this basic principle: Give something now, get something later.
On one of King Jesus International Ministry’s donation pages, called First Fruits, can be found a core tenet of the prosperity gospel: “God honors our faith multiplying those fruits and giving us a blessed year.” Essentially, with a little faith, God will multiply your January gift into more money year-round.
Another prime example comes from another of the church’s donation pages: “When we bring offerings to God, He brings overabundance to our finances.”
The lie of the prosperity gospel
King Jesus International Ministry Pastor Guillermo Maldonado wrote a book, published in 2009, called “Jesus Heals Your Sickness Today,” which the description yells in all caps: “WHILE THE WORLD IS SUFFERING UNKNOWN ILLNESS AND EPIDEMICS, THIS BOOK BRINGS TO LIFE THE MINISTRY OF JESUS. IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE NEED HEALING, HERE IS THE PERFECT TOOL YOU NEED TO ATTAIN IT.”
The problem with Maldonado and his church’s teachings is that in no way are they supported by Scripture. God doesn’t promise his followers in the Bible that they will receive “overabundance to our finances” if only they cut him a check. Similarly, he never promises he will heal them when they are sick.