Wesley Parker was an active 11-year-old boy—a diabetic taking regular insulin shots. One day at church, after hearing a Word of Faith message to confess and claim their son’s healing, Larry and Alice Parker intentionally withheld their son’s insulin. As a result, Wesley went into a diabetic coma. In spite of warnings, these parents believed the “Prosperity Gospel” teaching: Don’t make a negative confession (don’t say he’s sick). Make a positive confession (say he is healed).
Three days later, Wesley lay dead. Because of the “revelation knowledge” these parents believed they had received through Word-Faith teaching, they held a resurrection service instead of a funeral service. In the end, young Wesley was not resurrected.
Larry and Alice Parker were arrested and jailed . . . then charged, tried, and convicted of manslaughter and child abuse. Though they believed they were right, their thinking was dead wrong. This passage from the Bible tragically fits far too many people who have let Prosperity Theology become central to their thinking. Too many discover too late what the Bible says,
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
And what is Prosperity Theology not? Look at Paul, who was 100 percent in the will of God, yet weak and in want . . . but after—and only after—committing his life to Christ. Paul—whose pedigree was impressive (Philippians 3:56)—later knew little of health and wealth. And rather than “naming it and claiming it,” God’s premier New Testament missionary spoke of . . .
“Being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12)
If your desire conforms to God’s will, He will look upon your request with favor and allow it to come to pass. Christians are not to dictate to God, but to petition (make requests of) Him. In Prosperity Theology, people have become the rulers, and God has become the servant. In the Bible, God is sovereign over the entire universe, and His people are His servants.
In contrast to Prosperity Theology, the Book of Wisdom (Proverbs) in the Bible says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread” (Proverbs 30:8).
“At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, . . . ‘Ask what I shall give you . . . Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?'” (1 Kings 3:5, 9)