Hagin warned against today’s materialistic gospel

by | Jun 1, 2018 | Christianity Today | 13 comments

Recent bizarre donation schemes brought the prosperity gospel back under the nation’s microscope. It’s time to revisit Hagin’s concerns and find a biblical balance.  Before he died in 2003 Kenneth Hagin summoned many of his colleagues to Tulsa to rebuke them for distorting his message. He was not happy that some of his followers were manipulating the Bible to support what he viewed as greed and selfish indulgence…


Before He died Kenneth Hagin warned against today’s materialistic gospel.

By J. Lee Grady

Charismatic Bible teacher Kenneth Hagin Sr. is considered the father of the so-called prosperity gospel. The folksy, self-trained “Dad Hagin” started a grass-roots movement in Oklahoma that produced a Bible college and a crop of famous preachers including Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Charles Capps, Jesse DuPlantis, Creflo Dollar and dozens of others—all of whom teach that Christians who give generously should expect financial rewards on this side of heaven.

Hagin taught that God was not glorified by poverty and that preachers do not have to be poor. But before he died in 2003 and left his Rhema Bible Training Center in the hands of his son, Kenneth Hagin Jr., he summoned many of his colleagues to Tulsa to rebuke them for distorting his message. He was not happy that some of his followers were manipulating the Bible to support what he viewed as greed and selfish indulgence.

Those who were close to Hagin Sr. say he was passionate about correcting these abuses before he died. In fact, he wrote a brutally honest book to address his concerns. The Midas Touch was published in 2000, a year after the infamous Tulsa meeting.

Many Word-Faith ministers ignored the book. But in light of the recent controversy over prosperity doctrines, it might be a good idea to dust it off and read it again.

Here are a few of the points Hagin made in The Midas Touch

1. Financial prosperity is not a sign of God’s blessing. Hagin wrote: “If wealth alone were a sign of spirituality, then drug traffickers and crime bosses would be spiritual giants. Material wealth can be connected to the blessings of God or it can be totally disconnected from the blessings of God.”


2. People should never give in order to get. Hagin was critical of those who “try to make the offering plate some kind of heavenly vending machine.” He denounced those who link giving to getting, especially those who give cars to get new cars or who give suits to get new suits. He wrote: “There is no spiritual formula to sow a Ford and reap a Mercedes.”

3. It is not biblical to “name your seed” in an offering. Hagin was horrified by this practice, which was popularized in faith conferences during the 1980s. Faith preachers sometimes tell donors that when they give in an offering they should claim a specific benefit to get a blessing in return. Hagin rejected this idea and said that focusing on what you are going to receive “corrupts the very attitude of our giving nature.”

4. The “hundredfold return” is not a biblical concept. Hagin did the math and figured out that if this bizarre notion were true, “we would have Christians walking around with not billions or trillions of dollars, but quadrillions of dollars!” He rejected the popular teaching that a believer should claim a specific monetary payback rate.

5. Preachers who claim to have a “debt-breaking” anointing should not be trusted. Hagin was perplexed by ministers who promise “supernatural debt cancellation” to those who give in certain offerings. He wrote in The Midas Touch: “There is not one bit of Scripture I know about that validates such a practice. I’m afraid it is simply a scheme to raise money for the preacher, and ultimately it can turn out to be dangerous and destructive for all involved.”

(Many evangelists who appear on Christian television today use this bogus claim. Usually they insist that the miraculous debt cancellation will occur only if a person “gives right now,” as if the anointing for this miracle suddenly evaporates after the prime time viewing hour. This manipulative claim is more akin to witchcraft than Christian belief.)


Hagin condemned other hair-brained gimmicks designed to trick audiences into emptying their wallets. He was especially incensed when a preacher told his radio listeners that he would take their prayer requests to Jesus’ empty tomb in Jerusalem and pray over them there—if donors included a special love gift. “What that radio preacher really wanted was more people to send in offerings,” Hagin wrote.

Thanks to the recent resurgence in bizarre donation schemes promoted by American charismatics, the prosperity gospel is back under the nation’s microscope. It’s time to revisit Hagin’s concerns and find a biblical balance.

Hagin told his followers: “Overemphasizing or adding to what the Bible actually teaches invariably does more harm than good.” If the man who pioneered the modern concept of biblical prosperity blew the whistle on his own movement, wouldn’t it make sense for us to listen to his admonition?

The Midas Touch is available through Kenneth Hagin Ministries  https://www.rhema.org/


  1. Michael A. Druckenmiller Sr

    There was a black church (I believe in Norfolk, Va) that had Debt Deliverance Sundays, but it was the Financial Training, Faithfulness of the Blessed and Generosity of their fellow congregants that “assisted” Jehovah.)

    Finally, if they believed what they preached they’d be giving into other more needy ministries, because you can’t out give Jehovah and you have to give it all away to get a return…

    Look, even if everything the prosperity preachers taught was true, there is still the matter of what kind of ground you are planting seed into…

    For me, perhaps Samaritan’s Purse, The Salvation Army or even Operation Blessing would be better ground with a better potential of reaping a harvest…

    It’s not enough to just “Give it to God”, you need to have confidence that where you are planting that seed will reap a Godly Harvest.

  2. Evan. Roger Culwell

    Just posted on fb what the Lord gave me this morning, and it is about the same thing your talking about, there building a house upon the sand, instead of the rock and it will fall, the prosperity is in our heart toward Jesus, that’s where we need to prosper. Be Blessed sir

  3. Carolina

    On the Laura Ingram, Ingram Angle program on FOX news 2 days ago, Laura did a piece on what Jesse Duplantis was promoting his faithful followers for now. Laura Ingram showed Jesse standing in one of his ministry hallways, pointing at the pictures of his already owned Jet airplane(s)…notice I said it in the plural, “airplanes” meaning several. But now Mr Duplantis is insisting that he must have another 45 million dollars for another Jet, because the new kind will carry so much fuel, he can globe hop, without being forced to stop to re-fuel. Of course L Ingram & her TV guests got a big public laugh from Jesse’s audacity.
    This is only one example of how far afield some preachers have gotten. There are many such instances of high profile preachers defining their ministry by what type of JET they own, such as; Creflo Dollar, Keith Moore, Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, on & on it goes, there are more. This is all a part of the properity gospel heresy. And what really is disgusting is when these same kind of preachers, usurp the message of God’s Grace using the purchase of Jet airplanes commingled with the prosperity plug in, as a witness to fein that all their wealth is a work of Grace. Despicable!

    • sue

      I would like to compare your rate of giving to their’s….also the amout of salvations you have seen in your life compared to their’s !!! That is what I thought!! It’s about souls…..let’s see you travel around the world bringing souls into the kingdom walking or driving a car….in the end all the critics will stand before the King of Kings and see your works!! Despicable!

      • Carolina

        I’m sorry to have offended you Sue.
        Admittedly, my ministry for Christ’s Kingdom is small by comparison to the “big” fellas…and the counting of soul’s I figure is up to God not me or anyone else, Bible says, “The Lord knows those who are His, blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
        As to my works on this earth, I can only rest in the bosom of God’s Grace and mercy with only Christ’s finished work on the cross to defend me.
        I’m a sinner saved by the power of God’s Grace just as you are and all those high profile TV ministers I mentioned. Bible says “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”…Jesus called the high Priests of His day, “whited sepulchers filled with dead mens bones!” With the same heat of righteous indignation, Jesus hand made a whip out of rope, went into the temple area and turned over the tables of the money changers while whipping some with the rope shouting, “My Father’s house is a House of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves!”
        My point Sue is…all those who have come to the cross of Jesus, are called to be humiliated & hopefully humbled into correct thinking because of their own human condition and sinful frailty. The cross of Jesus Christ was NOT in order to exalt, and make monetarily rich, an ongoing Jet setter, at the expense of Christ Almighty’s Own sheep.

  4. Mark Stripling, Ransomed Ministries

    I try my best to leave the final judgement of things that people in ministry say or do in the hands of our Maker. As one involved in prison ministry, there are only expenses, not income and offerings. We are ministering to prisoners and to people in the free world who are recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. Many of these people have been rejected by family and society, but Jesus loves them and we love them dearly. God has been gracious to supply me with contract work during the week that pays me way more than I am worth. (The circumstances of how I got this job are a testimony to God’s miraculous provision to fund our ministry). We drive everywhere we go, and stay in inexpensive motels. Many others we know do the same thing. Hundreds of prisoners are coming to Jesus every year through our ministry and the ministry of others who do this same thing. I too get somewhat angry at those who appear to place God’s miraculous provisions up for sale for a “right now” “seed” of $300, or a “total debt cancellation” or a “miracle healing “seed of $1000). And it must be done at this passover, or this pentecost, or this feast of tabernacles, etc. etc. As for the jet, it is easy for us to say, “What would 56 million dollars do for the pastors anointed by God to fight the demons in India, but have no money for a church building?” Or to help the many African pastors, such as the one who walks 12 hours every week to a remote village across a mountain from where he has a church. He goes there because this village needs to hear about Jesus, and there is no preacher there. Or to help the churches in Cenral
    America struggling to feed starving children one decent meal a day. I could go on and on, but those who raise this kind of money for personal indulgences may want to examine their motives. But I must be careful also. Each of us, to our own master, will give answer same day for how we used the resources He provided for us. Whether those provisions are hundreds, thousands, or tens of millions.

  5. Melita M. Davis (A Grandma who loves the Bible)

    Bro. Hagin also spoke about how when you make correction, the pendulum can swing too far the other way. It takes balance to bring it to center. These inconsistencies should not cause us to lose sight of the joy in giving, because God loves a cheerful giver whose heart is in his giving. I am thankful every inconsistency is brought into the light, because we don’t want believers to get so disgusted that they lose the real joy in giving for the right reason always. Even a wise uneducated person can smell something that doesn’t sit right. Teaching Biblical faith for giving is also a truth we don’t want to see cast aside. It was a large part of Apostle Paul’s writings.

  6. John Garber

    Finally, someone is addressing the spiritual pyramid scheme!
    Back in the 1970’s a scheme was going around called the Pyramid scheme. You were promised a high return on your investments. People on top got most of the money. Same principle in the church today with these spiritual get rich schemes in the name of Christianity. Let one of these preachers sell all they have and give money to the poor. Not going to happen. They have made the word invalid. They tell that gain is Godliness but deny Gods power. Give me a major break.

  7. Daniel

    True the apostles said that in the scriptures but the way it’s being done is wrong. It’s the same way the roman chatolics used the sales of indulgence to rip the people of their monies.
    Do forget the bible also teaches that in the latter days teaches shall make mechanise of people

  8. David Horton

    Kenneth Hagin never used the term “prosperity gospel.” This is a tag that Charisma keeps using, and it is false and unfair. Until just a few years ago, Kenneth Hagin was best known as the “Father of the Modern Day Faith Movement.” I started noticing that writers kept tagging him as “prosperity gospel.” I just wish this dishonest labeling would stop.

  9. Sue Wood

    Thank you for posting these comments. We love the Word of Faith message but we cannot listen to it or watch some of the TV preachers/teachers who have perverted the prosperity so out of proportion. We notice that when they need a large amout of money for some project, all they seem to preach is give to get blessed. Give to get. Our hears ache because we love the faith message until they go so overboard on the prosperity message. Have to give more so you can get more, the message says.
    It is heartbreaking.

    • Carolina

      Yes, Sue W,…it was so heartbreaking for us (my husband & I) after serving extensively within the multifaceted Jan and Paul Crouch TBN ministries and getting to know ‘some’ of the very prosperous TV preachers backgrounds we’ve all been referring to. It was so sad and so disappointing to find out what was actually going on behind the scenes, and how these ministers turned business men really thought & lived. That we had to”exit” that whole entire Christian media empire and return to the holy roots of our faith in Christ, the Way of the primitive early church and Bible.
      What a breath of fresh air it has been!

  10. CA Smith

    I hate that diabolical manipulative spirit.



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