The Prosperity Gospel and Money: Plundering the Devil's Den?

David Reed


The charismatic stream popularly called the “prosperity gospel” lives uncomfortably on the edge of the Pentecostal movement. Its location is in part due to controversy surrounding its teaching and practices. It is scorned by non-Pentecostals and Pentecostals alike for its apparent shameless appeal to material wealth. The animus against the prosperity gospel by mainstream Pentecostals in particular is judged in part due to weak biblical exegesis, over-claims for results, temptation to greed, and absence of a theology of suffering. This essay is a brief case study of Kingdom Covenant Ministries, Toronto, and its Jamaican founder and pastor, Pat Francis. The purpose is to explore her understanding of the prosperity gospel and how it is lived out in her ministry in Canada’s largest multicultural city. I begin by reviewing the two historical movements which have shaped the prosperity gospel: its Pentecostal roots and neoliberal economics. This will be followed by an overview of Francis’s prosperity gospel theology and its outworking in her ministry. The paper concludes with a series of reflections intended to locate her Kingdom theology and ministry within a broader typology offered by theologian, Howard Snyder, and raise questions regarding the strengths and dangers of the robust promotion of wealth accumulation, even with the most laudable of motives.


Pentecostalism; Prosperity Gospel; Neo-liberal Capitalism; Metaphysical Movement; Evangelicalism

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