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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Greed, Greed, Greed--The New Indulgence for Sale(A New Nicsperiment Rant)

The other night I was flipping channels, and I saw a TV minister talking to an enormous, cheering, call-and-response chanting crowd. The minister was talking about God's will for our lives. Right on, I think, God's will is where you want to be. Then this minister gets to the body of his message and says this:
"You can't do anything unless you have abundant finances. You can't do God's will if you don't have an abundance of money!"
"WTF!" I yell at the TV. "Tell that to Mother Teresa!"
A few days later, as I was driving through Baker, Louisiana, or as I like to call it, Church Alley, I saw a giant church billboard in the front of a huge church that said:
The rub is that you must give these churches large sums of your own money to stir "God"'s financial pot up to a boil.
This reminds me of the middle ages.
Remember when the Catholic Church used to sell individuals indulgences to shorten those
individuals' stay in Purgatory? Of course you don't, because that was 500 years ago, but you probably know your history.
Well, the idea of Purgatory has pretty much been rejected. Real life is the stand-in for Purgatory now. Everyone is waiting on their ship to set sail and take them out of here.
But if you pay a certain church enough money, you can get out of this doldrum-heavy hellhole and transcend to a place where you will have all your earthly desires.
I say to you again:
How did it come to this?...
Well, obviously, I am hinting in my title that it hasn't come to this, but it has been like this for a long time.
People don't like waiting around. We want what we want, and we want it now. The thing is,(truthful cliche ahead) what we want is usually not very good for us.
Thus, it seems like The Church is neglecting its duties and going after a big tempting pipe-dream.
Where does the Bible say that God wants us to have a gazillion dollars?
Methinks that selfish ministers and some deceived non-selfish ministers are tapping into the basest of human desires: power. The problem is that this abundance BS is seeping into the entire church conscienceness and bastardizing our theology. Instead of "Give all you have to the poor" we are trying to "Get all we can so we won't be poor."
And what this obviously all comes down to is:
What can God do for me?
Not, "What can I do for God?" or even, "What should I do for God?" but "How can I use God?" "What things can I do to get God to make me rich?"
I don't even feel like I need to explain to Christians why this is wrong. If you've read the Bible, even glanced over it, you see that the love of money is "slightly" looked down upon. Gee whiz. It happens over and over again.
I mentioned this in my post: Two Problems with the American Church.
I mean, how common sense is this?
God wants us to love one another. He wants us to love our neighbor as ourself. He wants us to love our enemies. He wants us to store up our treasure in heaven, not on Earth.
Why is The Church preaching that the goal of the church is to become wealthy?
How much more do we need than what we already have?
How much will be enough for us?
Shouldn't The Church take a note from our founder, Jesus Christ, and follow His teachings to do the best with what we are given? I mean, if we are pleasing God, and for some reason we need a trillion dollars, He will give it to us, but dollars are not the currency of The Church. Dollars are the currency of America, the currency of The World. The currency of The Church is supposed to be Love.
And now, someone, please, please, please, tell me I am wrong. Tell me I am wrong if you disagree with me. If you agree with me, you can tell me that, too, but if you don't, give me one instance in the Bible that tells us to store up our treasure on Earth. Tell me why any of this abundance theology is important to the Christian Church, and why it is not a harmful distraction to our true goals. Do you remember what those true goals are?


Becca said...

I completely agree with you - As a Christian I find it really disgusting to see others (said TV Evangelist) claim to hold to Christian ideals while in actual fact holding to worldly/sinful ideals ->Greed, and therefore portraying Christianity as hypocritical and meaningless due to the fact that these people are spouting WHOLLY man-made and completely unbiblical principles.

You are in fact quite correct when stating that nowhere in the Bible does it suggest that riches are of importance, rather the opposite message is revealed:

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24

"Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf."Proverbs 11:28

One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
A man's riches may ransom his life,
but a poor man hears no threat.
Proverbs 13:7-8

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24

These are just a few of many. I think this Evangelist fellow would do well to remember that to whom much is given, much is expected.

Becca said...

P.S. I read some of your other posts and I decided that I highly enjoy this blog of yours.


John T. Meche III said...

You're right...

Jon said...

I disagree. I think Jesus wants me to have a gazillion dollars.


Jordan said...

I definitely think that focusing on money and abundance in the church is a distraction of Satan and it should be opposed, exposed, and that us christians, are job is to pray against such schemes of the enemy.
Thank you Nic for always taking that step to expose such distractions in the church with this blog.

Many things can get our eyes off of Jesus, especially our own self and selfish desires, but we must keep our eyes on Him. No matter what.


Anonymous said...

My first thought, upon finishing, was Wait a minute. Wasn't there this thing about a camel, eye of a needle, and heaven? I'm glad to see someone else thought of it, too. I had way too much of the abundance theology while in college, as there was a church in town that lived it to the fullest. God doesn't want your life to be the best possible to the detraction of others. Anything that withholds or detracts to the lessening of another's good, including hording money (as well as many other things that I can think of), are probably not in God's will. I keep wondering what good this money could be doing in someone else's hands who is truly doing God's will. It first saddens me but that soon deepens into anger.

Jordon: Well put. Very well put last line there.

Chief Slacker said...

Damn skippy brother, I actually have even soem issues with people who say you have to attend chuch to go to heaven and all that. Religion should be a personal thing. And in my search for a chuch I feel like attending I have rejected three now simply because of greed, I don't want someone putting me on a half hour guilt trip, that does not make me feel like I'm a better christian.

Anyway, Slacker's Datin Odyssey has begun... check it out and feel free to take part in the challenge!!!

Stacy Paul Vicknair said...

it's been a while and I'm waiting for a new fix.

leslie! said...

i agree completely.

it's time for something new, nic. you could even write about killer whales eating other whales, and don't forget to include the part about the poor dead whale's innards floating up to the surface for everyone to see. during dinner. :)


Anonymous said...