A quick interpolation: In 2008 Jackson published a book called Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life: Making Your Dreams Come True that discusses the merits of donating directly to one’s spiritual leader. On page 177 he says: “While giving to the poor is important, the most powerful giving for wealth building is upward giving.” On p. 178, Jackson uses his own case to explain how this works:
For example, as you read this book, you may feel a deep spiritual affinity for the things I am teaching and therefore a profound spiritual kinship with me. We may never meet in person, but you can draw on the anointing which God has placed on my life by sowing into my ministry. That opens a spiritual door for you to partake at a deeper level and for me to impart to you as one in Covenant with me. That is how I have come to support other ministries. Wherever you are moved to give, do it consistently and generously. This will start a flow of prosperity in your life which will enhance all the other principles you have learned.
For those with financial difficulties, Jackson recommends meditation on Scripture verses promising wealth, like Deuteronomy 8:18 (“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”). “As you meditate on wealth, you draw it to you,” Jackson writes. He also says: “‘Generational curses’ [such as dying young] can be perpetuated by or broken by meditation.”
Anyway, after worship, tithes (a musician played keyboard while attendees walked to the front of the room to put their donations in baskets), announcements, and a Scripture reading, Jackson launched into his sermon.
His text was II Chronicles 7:14, which reads, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Jackson began his sermon in a relaxed tone, leaning against the podium and discussing King Solomon. Solomon’s success caused him “to go awry,” Jackson added, citing Deuteronomy 8:11–20 as an example of the dangers success can bring. The passage ends on an ominous note; verse 20 reads, “As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.”
“Wow, that was a solemn warning to Israel,” Jackson said. “But I believe it applies to the United States of America.” He added that it applies to individuals, too. It has “become anathema, a thing of ridicule” to suggest that America and individuals are accountable to God, he said. Jackson used quotes from George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln to argue that America’s founders wanted Christianity to have a prominent role in public discourse. He also mentioned that Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the country in prayer before the D-Day invasion.
“And there was no ACLU suing anybody over it!” he said. “There was no hue and cry about him violating the separation of church and state, because it was part of the fabric of our nation.”
Without mentioning his campaign or making any explicit reference to statewide electoral politics, Jackson obliquely defended himself from a number of criticisms that have been leveled against him since he entered the public eye, including his comparison of abortion and slavery. After all, he argued, supporters of abortion rights argue that a fetus isn’t a human and doesn’t have rights of its own.
“That sounds exactly like what they were saying during slavery times!” he said. “So if anybody asks you, please clarify.” The audience cheered and applauded.
After criticizing American culture, which he described as degenerate, Jackson said that the political process won’t cure what ails our country. The cultural problem is too deep, he said, and Americans need God.