Many U.S. Protestant and non-denominational churchgoers hear a “prosperity gospel” proclaimed from the pulpit, according to a LifeWay Research report released on July 31.
When presented with the statement, “My church teaches that if I give more money to my church and charities, God will bless me in return,” 38 percent agreed – 16 percent “strongly” and 22 percent “somewhat.”
Evangelicals (42 percent) were more likely than non-evangelicals (35 percent) to say this is taught in their congregations.
Pentecostals / Assemblies of God respondents were the most likely group to do so (53 percent), followed by Baptists (41 percent).
A strong majority (69 percent) affirmed that “God wants me to prosper financially,” with 38 percent saying they “strongly agree” and 31 percent “somewhat agree.”
Thirteen percent strongly agreed that material blessings were a divine reward for obedience, and another 13 percent somewhat agreed with this sentiment.
“A number of high-profile evangelical leaders have condemned the prosperity gospel,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, in a press release announcing the findings. “But more than a few people in the pews have embraced it.”
The full report is available here.