A Historical Study of Prosperity Gospel Preaching in Nigeria, 1970-2014

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ABSTRACT Prosperity gospel preaching is a double-barrelled socio-religious phenomenon which is fast becoming one of the most significant expressions of Christianity and is remarkably wielding a pervasive influence within the Nigerian religious space. As a dominant strain of popular spirituality, prosperity gospel has remained a major sociocultural force in Nigeria. The study generally attempts a comprehensive study of prosperity gospel in Nigeria and specifically, it examines the impacts and conflicting views on the reasons for the shift in emphasis of prosperity preachers from asceticism to materialism. The study is crafted using phenomenological approach for its richness and objectivity. The results show that prosperity preaching is currently the major preoccupation of the Pentecostals and has challenged endemic poverty in Nigeria through its emphasis on spiritual and economic empowerment programmes of the prosperity purveyors which is engendering remarkable social, economic and spiritual transformation in the Nigerian society. But the Pentecostals’ undue emphasis on giving as an investment for future prosperity occasioned by wrong interpretation of Scriptures by prosperity preachers resulting to misinformation and misapprehension of people about prosperity has negatively impacted on a broad spectrum of the Nigerian Christians and churches financially, socially and spiritually. At the moment, there seems to be a gradual paradigm shift in the orientation of people from hard labour to idleness and from holiness to worldliness in Nigeria. In view of the foregoing, the work, in recognition of some positivism of prosperity gospel draws its conclusion that the impacts of prosperity gospel are more damaging than beneficial in Nigeria

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE PAGE i

APPROVAL PAGE ii

CERTIFICATION iii

DEDICATION iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v

ABSTRACT x

TABLE OF CONTENTS xi

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS xvi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 Background of the Study 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem 5

1.3 Aim of the Study 7

 1.4 Significance of the Study 8

1.5 Scope of the Study 9

1.6 Research Methodology 10

1.7 Definition of Terms 12

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 15

2.1Biblical or Theological Perspective of Prosperity 16

2.2 Pre Pentecostal Understanding of Prosperity 23

2.3 Pentecostal Interpretation of Prosperity 28

2.4 Summary of Literature Review 37

CHAPTER THREE: HISTORICAL EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT

OF PROSPERITY GOSPEL PREACHING IN NIGERIA 41

3.1 Origin of Prosperity Preaching Worldwide 41

3.2 Nigerian Historical Roots of Prosperity Preaching 44

3.3 Development of Prosperity Preaching in Nigeria 52

 xii

3.4 Dimension of Prosperity Preaching in the World 58

3.5 Factors Responsible for Prosperity Preaching in Nigeria 66

3.5.1 African Worldview on Prosperity and Materialism 67

3.5.2 Competition for Possession of Worldly Resources 71

3.5.3 The 1980s Socio-economic Condition of Nigeria 82

CHAPTER FOUR: IDEOLOGY OF PROSPERITY PREACHERS

IN NIGERIA 90

 4.1 Distinctiveness of Prosperity Preaching in Nigeria 90

 4.1.1Foundational Affirmations 92

4.1.2 Faith as Positive Confession 95

4.1.3 Giving and Receiving 96

4.1.4 Poverty and Sickness 99

4.2 Principles/Laws of Prosperity 102

4.2.1 Be a Faithful Tither 104

4.2.2 Giving Willingly and Generously 108

4.2.3 Be a Covenant Builder 111

4.2.4 Investing in the Gospel 112

4.2.5 Giving to the Poor 113

4.2.6 Having High Regard for Spiritual Leaders and Partnering

 With them 113

 4.2.7 Making Absolute and Solid Commitment to the Local

 Assembly 114

 4.2.8 Confession Brings Possession 115

4.3 Purpose of Prosperity Preaching 116

4.3.1 Prosperity is Proof for God’s Covenant and for Building

 His Church 121

4.3.2 Blessed to be a Blessing to Humanity 124

4.3.3 Enjoyment of God’s Children on Earth 125

4.4 Wrong Interpretation of Scriptures 128

4.4.1 Biblical Interpretation Principles 131

 xiii

4.4.2 Illustrations of Hermeneutical Blunders in the Prosperity

 Gospel 132

4.4.2.1 The Interpretation of the Promise of “Everything”, “All Thing ”

and “Anything” in Some Bible passages 133

 4.4.2.2 The Threefold Prosperity promise in 3 John2 134

 4.4.2.3 The Seed Faith Principle in Luke 6:38 136

4.4.2.4 The Hundredfold Return Principle in Mark10:29-30 137

 4.4.2.5 Prosperity-Bound Mentality in Luke 16:22 138

 4.5 Wrong Understanding of People about Prosperity 139

CHAPTER FIVE: RESPONSE TO PROSPERITY GOSPEL

PREACHING IN NIGERIA 146

5.1 Responses to Prosperity Preaching 146

 5.2 Women and Prosperity Preaching 147

5.3 The Youth and Prosperity Preaching 153

5.4 Antagonists of Prosperity preaching (Holiness Preachers) 162

5.5 Mainline Churches Response 170

5.6 Social Critic 180

CHAPTER SIX: IMPACT OF PROSPERITY PREACHING GOSPEL

IN NIGERIA 192

6.1 Social Positive Significance of Prosperity Preaching in Nigeria 192

6.1.1 Prosperity Preaching as Vehicle for All-round Empowerment 193

6.1.2 Rehabilitation of Social Outcasts and Poverty Alleviation 197

6.1.3 Improvement of Human Capacity for Self-Development 199




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APA

KITAUSE, R (2022). A Historical Study of Prosperity Gospel Preaching in Nigeria, 1970-2014. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/a-historical-study-of-prosperity-gospel-preaching-in-nigeria-1970-2014-2

MLA 8th

KITAUSE, RIMAMSIKWE "A Historical Study of Prosperity Gospel Preaching in Nigeria, 1970-2014" Afribary. Afribary, 18 Oct. 2022, https://afribary.com/works/a-historical-study-of-prosperity-gospel-preaching-in-nigeria-1970-2014-2. Accessed 01 Dec. 2022.

MLA7

KITAUSE, RIMAMSIKWE . "A Historical Study of Prosperity Gospel Preaching in Nigeria, 1970-2014". Afribary, Afribary, 18 Oct. 2022. Web. 01 Dec. 2022. < https://afribary.com/works/a-historical-study-of-prosperity-gospel-preaching-in-nigeria-1970-2014-2 >.

Chicago

KITAUSE, RIMAMSIKWE . "A Historical Study of Prosperity Gospel Preaching in Nigeria, 1970-2014" Afribary (2022). Accessed December 01, 2022. https://afribary.com/works/a-historical-study-of-prosperity-gospel-preaching-in-nigeria-1970-2014-2