This post is a continued deep dive into a Christian nationalist pastor who allegedly was involved in the Washington, D.C. riot of January 6, 2021. Tyler Ethridge was a firm believer of the prosperity gospel. He advocated for it and claimed that it was the way forward. Charismatics in evangelicalism are into this warped belief system. This blog has a prediction to make. It predicts that in five to ten years when this implodes that Tyler Ethridge will be an atheist. And that will be healthier than what he believes right now.
“Science is basically an inoculation against charlatans.”
Neil DeGrasse Tyson
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV
Our Christian nationalist pastor/alleged terrorist Tyler Ethridge.
This blog is continuing to do a deep dive into a Christian nationalist pastor who was allegedly involved in the Washington, D.C. Capitol riot. Tyler is deeply into prosperity gospel theology. This post is going to look into what Tyler believes and discuss the prosperity gospel. But lets start out and ask what is prosperity gospel theology?
What is Prosperity Gospel Theology?
The prosperity gospel is a uniquely American phenomena that the United States has exported to Africa and other parts of the world. The prosperity gospel is the belief that you give God money with the understanding that he will bless you greatly in return. That blessing can either be good health or financial provision. The prosperity gospel has its roots in American New thought, of the ninetieth century. This was a spiritual movement that had individuals like Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James. People in this movement believed you could channel your mental energy to get the results you desired. As this became accepted among some you also had the development of the “Protestant Work Ethic” by Max Weber in 1905. The idea that working hard and producing the fruit of your own efforts confirmed for some that they were in control of their destiny. You can shape your physical outcome. This appealed to Pentecostal or Charismatic churches in the 20th century. The idea that God could manifest himself any way you want fell into line with some Protestant strands. The scholar who has written about the prosperity gospel is Kate Bowler who continues to write about it even while dealing with stage 4 cancer. The prosperity gospel was promoted in the 1980’s with individuals like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. One item I have observed is that it appears a number of prosperity gospel preachers don’t have any formal seminary training. Some of the people who advocate for the prosperity gospel are Joel Olsten, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Robert Morris, and Paula White. Some of the charismatic Christian nationalists appear to be into Christian nationalism.
If you would like to read more about the prosperity gospel the following resources are solid.
- Vox, “The prosperity gospel, explained: Why Joel Osteen believes that prayer can make you rich.“
- Washington Post, “Worst Ideas of the Decade: The Prosperity Gospel.”
- Vox, Kate Bowler writes, “I’m a scholar of the “prosperity gospel.” It took cancer to show me I was in its grip.”
Tyler Ethridge on the Prosperity Gospel
There are a couple of Facebook posts that indicate Tyler’s view of the prosperity gospel. Let’s look at them.
Look at both of those Facebook posts by Tyler. They both indicate the presence of the prosperity gospel. In the first post notice that he lists depression as a sin. He also seems to believe that there are no physical or legal ramifications for your behavior. He seems to be a little detached from reality. Is that why he allegedly became involved in the January 6, 2021 coup attempt? He believed that there were no ramifications for spiritual warfare? Does God always heal physically? So that Iraq war vet who lost his leg because he stepped on an improvised explosive device, will his leg grow back? Will he be healed fully physically? Do you see where I am taking this train of thought? The second Facebook post seems to have the name it and claim it aspect. God will only bless you as you move up in life. Under God there will be no hardship or loss. Compare what he says with the course of action now after allegedly participating in the riot. He lost his job and at some point the FBI will come knocking on his door. Also look what he says in his last Facebook post about giving during the pandemic. Again what he says about the pandemic is why he is a Covid denier which I wrote about in another post about Tyler Ethridge. One thing I also saw on Tyler’s Facebook was his strong defense of pastors having expensive and glamorous personal jets for ministry. I should have taken a screen shot of it as it was wild.
Robert Morris, Jonathan Shuttleworth, Andrew Wommack and Barry Bennett
In studying Tyler’s social media these are four individuals who had a lot of influence over Tyler. Let’s look at person who promotes and teaches the prosperity gospel. But first let’s look at what Tyler posted.
When you watch the videos of Tyler Ethridge he speaks highly of Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Texas. Morris if you recall was the individual who re-started Mark Driscoll after the Mars Hill implosion. In his videos Ethridge spoke about how much he tithed to Gateway and that for giving so much money he was blessed for his efforts in return. Ethridge was in Texas when he discovered Jonathan Shuttlesworth and became enamored by him.
Jonathan Shuttlesworth is from Pennsylvania. This blog has spent a good chunk of time looking for biographical information and has been unable to find much about him. He leads a ministry called Revival Today which exploits the 501(c)(3) status like many prosperity gospel ministries. Revival Today was founded in 2012 and according to financials has taken in $2.9 million dollars in 2019. Shuttlesworth is a proud proponent of the prosperity gospel. Shuttlesworth has ties, it appears to the Assemblies of God (AOG) movement. I noticed that on Twitter that the Assemblies of God follows him. And the AOG Youth Ministry of Pennsylvania and Delaware has had him speak at an event for youth. When the COVID-19 pandemic Shuttlesworth declared that if you partner or give money to his ministry you will be automatically protected from COVID-19.
Afterward Shuttlesowrth became a COVID denier and downplayed the pandemic. He called those who take precautions against COVID as a “bunch of pansies” and in response to COVID restrictions in Pennsylvania vowed to hold a Christian Woodstock to spite the restrictions. Shuttlesworth also said that those pastors who close down their church during COVID are fake Christians who should go and burn their church down. Shuttlesworth is also a strong supporter of Donald Trump. He mixes politics with faith heavily, which you can see at his Facebook page. He sells a lot of controversial t-shirts that are political and about the pandemic, as well as sermons, books and other items which you can see here. You can read more about Shuttlesworth here and here.
Andrew Wommack and Barry Bennett also have influenced Ethridge. Both individuals are involved in Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs which also teaches and advocates for prosperity theology. Andrew is from the South originally and he has focused on the prosperity gospel and spiritual healing. His ministry has been the subject of criticism which you can read here, here, and here. Barry Bennett which you can see in the screenshot above teaches at Charis. He’s a proponent of medical healing. He was trained at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas and wrote, “He Healed Them All.” shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. He joined Andrew Wommack’s ministry in 2007.
Closing Thoughts and Remembering What Phillip Yancey Said
There are so many aspects about this post that are sad. For example this is not the first time I wrote about Andrew Wommack. A couple of years ago this blog was approached about a person who sought physical healing for a mild and treatable form of cancer. They followed Wommack’s Ministry and later died of a form of cancer that could have easily been treated. She rejected all treatment and chemotherapy and believed that her faith in Jesus would cure the cancer. She left behind a husband and three young kids. You can read that sad story in, “Guest Post: A Luminous Darkness: Separating Faith from Weaponized Theology (A Story of Loss from Andrew Wommack’s Faith Healing Ministry)” The other aspect is because of the alleged actions Tyler chose to do at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 chances are he destroyed his life. Tyler probably believes that there are no ramifications for his behavior in Washington, D.C. that day.
Then there is another angle that is equally troubling. In his book “Disappointment with God” Phillip Yancey spends time talking about the Kathryn Kuhlman. She was just like Andrew Wommack and some of the other people on this page in the 1970’s. She claimed to heal people and many died of the illnesses and diseases that they still had. In Yancey’s book he talks about a situation where a student saw a person claimed to be headed by Kuhlman, and then shortly after the service the person died of their cancer. It led to a faith crisis for a Wheaton student which is the opening to Philip Yancey’s classic work. You can read some more about this in, “Donna Stafford, Joyce Meyer and a $23,000 Commode.” Tyler Ethridge is a spiritual time bomb waiting to go off. When this all explodes in his face, and I suspect its starting to happen now. Or wait until there is a major medical crisis. and the prosperity gospel reveals its full cruelty. Its not going to be pretty. This blog gives him maybe five to ten years before he is an atheist. And honestly that is far healthier than much of this prosperity gospel garbage he believes now.