Date

Spring 4-24-2020

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Mary Beth Mathews

Department Chair or Program Director

Joseph Romero

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Major or Concentration

Religion

Department or Program

Classics, Philosophy, and Religion

Abstract

The biggest critic of the megachurch has consistently been its theology: the prosperity gospel. Megachurches are accused of using this gospel to take from attendees while promising prosperity that is simply not guaranteed. Why is this the prominent belief about megachurches? What does the megachurch have to say about such accusations? This paper explores these questions and the role of the prosperity gospel in shaping the identity of the megachurch. I believe it’s come to redefine the megachurch as a church whose motives for evangelism are questioned because of the theology of health, wealth, and victory that is synonymous with such large churches. A fair amount of research on the megachurch either focuses exclusively on its theology, the prosperity gospel, or addresses it at great length. I would argue that critics have observed issues with the theology that characterizes the megachurch that leaders and promoters of the megachurch don’t see a problem with. The question then becomes less about the megachurch alone and more about its theology, its biggest identifier. What is so wrong with the prosperity gospel according to critics, what do leaders and promoters of the megachurch have to say about this and why does this matter?

Language

English

Included in

Religion Commons

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