The more strident proponents of this "gospel" come from prosperity and seed-faith ministries. These teach that God desires all of his children to live a life abundant in material goods. But this belief has crept into mainstream Christianity in a more subtle way. The belief that it is the mission of the church is to take care of the poor.
(And, yes, I'm about to go way off-kilter here!)
But in doing so we have forgotten one very important thing. We are expected to prioritize our brothers and sisters in Christ in our giving.
Over and over again the Bible admonishes us to remember the needs of the poor. It began with the Israelites as they established themselves in the Promised Land. The right to glean from another's fields was given to the poor, the widows and orphans, and the stranger. A portion of the tithes were distributed to them. These were those who lived within the borders of Israel, not the neighboring countries. The law made numerous provisions for the poor.
When the Church was first established a system was set up to distribute to the needy of the church. And when the believers at Corinth were collecting for the poor, it was the poor within the church that they were seeking to help. Yes, there is the matter of having a heart compassionate enough to be a Good Samaritan, even to those outside the body of Christ. But this compassion is also meant to extend to our own brothers and sisters. And it often doesn't.
Among expected Christian behaviors listed in Romans 12 is included this: "Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality." (Rom. 12:13)
And James2:15-16 tells us "If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them things needed for the body, what good is that?"
Yet today churches which have soup kitchens and food pantries which are primarily community-focused. Church members are asked to help serve, but how often are they invited to also come and be filled? Can they do so in your church without embarrassment? Do they have to continually submit an application for assistance? Do we look exasperated when they ask for help with the light bill two months in a row?
Christians today are expected to give, and give generously, whenever a need is identified. And I think part of that is the fault of teachings which imply that God himself will prosper the believer, and he does so in order for them to provide for others (meaning non-believers). Therefore it's not our job to assist our fellow believers. God's got them.
While this is a biblically based belief, "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." (2 Cor 9:8), we need to take a wider view.
With an emphasis on giving and never on receiving, many Christians feel that they are somehow failing as Christians if they are not themselves financially "blessed." They feel as if they must be lacking in faith, and this perception of failure is often hidden from others. When money is asked for, they do their best to comply because that's what Christians do. But God never meant that anyone is overburdened in their own household by a compulsion to contribute to someone else's need.
"For I do not mean," Paul says, "that others should be eased and you burdened, but that, as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance should supply your need, that there may be fairness." (2Cor. 8:13-14)
And because Christians so evidently are willing to minister to the poor of the world, the world starts to expect them to take on this burden, thus relieving their governments of caring for their own citizens. In a city where I once lived, a political figure, when faced with community demands that they help certain citizens in need, suggested that the area churches pay for it.
Jesus said the poor would always be with us. We should believe him. For much of church history, humble living and sharing what one had with others was the standard. Today the emphasis is not on sharing what we already possess, but in supplying needs monetarily. The more the better.
In helping those of the world with needs, we must remember not to neglect our own. It's how we show love one for another.