Bethel and the “Selfish” Poor

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Can you imagine a so-called “man of God” asserting that poor people are more selfish than rich people, and that “many stay poor” because they don’t give away enough of their money? That’s exactly what Bethel’s second-in-command Kris Vallotton said in a January 4th post on his Facebook page.

He goes on to claim that the wealthy actually help the poor to a greater extent than we realize, because they do their giving “in secret” to avoid having “an endless line of leaches sucking the life out of them”.

He also implies that he and his ilk are being unfairly characterized as prosperity gospel preachers and “relegated to the halls of heresy” simply because they’ve been heavily rewarded by Jesus for their “generosity”.

This must be some of the “secret” generosity Vallotton referred to, since he stated in another recent post that he won’t help anyone out financially, in so many words.

He then complains that people with nice cars and homes (like himself?) are being “lynched” by those who feel “entitled”, and implies that anyone who prays to God for help in paying their bills etc. is being hypocritial in begrudging him his wealth.

Of course this completely overlooks the fact that Bethel leaders urge their congregants to donate extravagantly to the church before paying their bills etc., because God can supposedly be called on to bail them out when they fall short of being able to meet their basic needs.

He also implies that he is somehow more godly than other people, whose prayers are not answered.

Below is the bulk of his post:

“There are many more generous billionaires than there are selfish ones but most of them give in secret or they would have an endless line of leaches sucking the life out of them.

Giving in secret is only popular in heaven. On earth if you are wealthy you must publicize your endeavors or risk being lynched by the entitled. If you have a nice car and/or house you will judged as selfish without so much as a conversation about your generosity.

If you post anything about wealth it generates ridiculous amounts of push back about the evils of money. Yet those same people often don’t think twice about praying for God to pay off their bills, get them a job that pays more, or help them buy a house. It’s such a double standard that it makes me crazy.

The truth is I grew up among the poor and I can tell you that there are more selfish people among the poor then there is among the rich. In fact many become wealthy because they are generous and many others stay poor because they are not.

Jesus said, “Give and it shall be given to you, press down shaken together and running all over.” But if are generous and Jesus gives you so much it is running out all over, you better hide it or you be branded a prosperity teacher and relegated to the halls of heresy!”

The multiple exhortations of Jesus to his followers to give away everything they own and serve the poor are notably missing from this church’s doctrine. I’m aware that Vallotton and Bethel CEO Bill Johnson consider themselves “prophets” and “apostles” with a direct line to God, and that Johnson claims the Bible is “not enough”. However, how could anyone go this far astray?

Patrecia Barrett
Green Valley, Arizona

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