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:
COME THIS MONTH AND RECEIVE A FINANCIAL BLESSING! And under that:
MONTH OF MIRACLES!
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?