Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Time Mag Article. Does God Want You to Be Rich?




Time Magazine article on the prosperity gospel. In my opinion, this is one of the most dangerous doctrines that are confronting the urban church. Sure - we want our people to be successful and break the cycle of poverty. But - that is done through a commitment to the Kingdom of God and right living. IF you've ever watched BET on Sunday evening you've seen some of the false prophets and shysters. This kind of teaching lends itself to American style, consumer based Christianity that is far from what I hear in the teachings of Christ. I have no problems with people making money and being prosperous. However - our resources are to be used for the extention of the Kingdom of God and not for raw, personal gain.

I get sort of worked up over this stuff... as you can see:)

I love the Rick Warren quote in the article, "This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy?", he snorts. "There is a word for that: baloney. It's creating a false idol. You don't measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn't everyone in the church a millionaire?"

It's a good article. What do you think?

Hope the link works... Read the article here.

3 comments:

  1. Hello John and all,

    RE: "Does God want you to be rich?"
    How about, does God want some people to suffer and starve while others wallow in luxury? What about "serving mammon" (money and materialism) instead of truth and justice?

    Here's some pivotal knowledge (wisdom) so you and others can stop focusing on symptoms and obfuscatory details and home in like a laser on the root causes of and solutions to humanity's seemingly never-ending struggles.

    Money is the lifeblood of the powerful and the chains and key to human enslavement

    There is a radical and highly effective solution to all of our economic problems that will dramatically simplify, streamline, and revitalize human civilization. It will eliminate all poverty, debt, and the vast majority of crime, material inequality, deception, and injustice. It will also eliminate the underlying causes of most conflicts, while preventing evil scoundrels and their cabals from deceiving, deluding, and bedeviling humanity, ever again. It will likewise eliminate the primary barriers to solving global warming, pollution, and the many evils that result from corporate greed and their control of natural and societal resources. That solution is to simply eliminate money from the human equation, thereby replacing the current system of greed, exploitation, and institutionalized coercion with freewill cooperation, just laws based on verifiable wisdom , and societal goals targeted at benefiting all, not just a self-chosen and abominably greedy few.

    We can now thank millennia of political, monetary, and religious leaders for proving, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that top-down, hierarchical governance is absolute folly and foolishness. Even representative democracy, that great promise of the past, was easily and readily subverted to enslave us all, thanks to money and those that secretly control and deceptively manipulate all currencies and economies. Is there any doubt anymore that entrusting politics and money to solve humanity's problems is delusion of the highest order? Is there any doubt that permitting political and corporate leaders to control the lives of billions has resulted in great evil?

    Here's a real hot potato! Eat it up, digest it, and then feed it's bones to the hungry...

    Most people have no idea that the common-denominator math of all the world's currencies forms an endless loop that generates debt faster than we can ever generate the value to pay for it. This obscured and purposeful math-logic trap at the center of all banking, currencies, and economies is the root cause of poverty. Those who rule this world through fear and deception strive constantly to hide this fact, while pretending to seek solutions to poverty and human struggle. Any who would scoff at this analysis have simply failed to do the math, even though it is based on a simple common-denominator ratio.

    Here is Wisdom

    Doctrine of Two Spirits...

    Peace...

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  2. In the late 80s, my dad was a staff minister at a church as it underwent a theological shift from more classical pentecostalism to prosperity/Word of Faith. The worst part was watching what it did to the senior pastor. He went from being the much beloved shepherd to the unapproachable CEO whisked away before and after every service behind unpenetrable security to his flavor of the month luxury car to his mansion in a gated community. Meanwhile, the support staff and school teachers were woefully underpaid. Needless to say, when my dad voiced concerns to the pastor, he was no longer welcome. Saddest of all, church membership exploded after embracing prosperity teaching, from a large church of 750-1,000 to 8,000 today (claimed).

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  3. While, in essence I agree with 7 Star's comments I also see them as idealistic. When Jesus returns to set up his kingdom what he articulates will happen. However, in the here and now we have do deal with a corrupt system and attempt to inject justice and accountability into the situation. Like Jesus said, "Give to Caesar..." While I certainly appreciate folks who can think globally and systematically I tend to be a somewhat pragmatic in the way I approach issues. I look at the people who are caught in the system and want to help them break out on whatever level - even if it is just to help them raise their credit score enough to get a fair deal on a car.

    What I think the article is getting at, and what I rail against is the 'love' of money, not money itself. When popular theology embraces and endorses the love of money the church has a problem. Unfortunately, as Jeremy articulated above it
    'tickles ears' and distracts from the core message of the Gospel, to love God with everything and to love our neighbors. In the mean time - the world waits for the Son of God to be revealed and for us to partake in true blessings of the Kingdom of God as we live in the ‘already but not yet’ tension waiting for Jesus to return.

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