Sunday, September 10, 2006

I know I said no more Joel Osteen BUT...

Look at what Joel and his cronies have done. Now that the mainstream media has gotten its hands on this how do you think "Christians" will be percieved? Of course the Lord wants whats best for us but how can anyone really believe that God wants everyone to be financially wealthy??? Look at the apostles, the early disciples, the people from the early missions movements, for goodness sake look at the rest of the Christian world outside of the USA!!! China? India? Africa? The Middle East? Southeast Asia? Latin America and South America? If you are an evangelical Christian living anywhere else in the world besides the USA, you are more than likely persecuted and probably poor. This "Money Movement" is killing us, here in America. We are becoming more and more materialistic with each passing day and now some of "our" churches are teaching that materialism is not just ok but that it is good and God will bless it! Ridiculous! Here is the article from CNN that set me off...(front page of CNN by the way).

Does God want you to be rich?
POSTED: 9:55 a.m. EDT, September 10, 2006
Editor's note: The following is a summary of this week's Time magazine cover story.
(Time.com) -- In three of the Gospels, Jesus warns that each of his disciples may have to "deny himself" and even "take up his Cross."

In support of this prediction, he contrasts the fleeting pleasures of today with the promise of eternity: "For what profit is it to a man," he asks, "if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?"

Generations of churchgoers have understood that being Christian means being ready to sacrifice. But for a growing number of Christians, the question is better restated, "Why not gain the whole world plus my soul?"

For several decades, a philosophy has been percolating in the 10 million-strong Pentecostal wing of Christianity that seems to turn the Gospels' passage on its head. Certainly, it allows, Christians should keep one eye on heaven. But the new good news is that God doesn't want us to wait.

Known (or vilified) under a variety of names -- Word of Faith, Health and Wealth, Name It and Claim It, Prosperity Theology -- its emphasis is on God's promised generosity in this life. In a nutshell, it suggests that a God who loves you does not want you to be broke.

Its signature verse could be John 10:10: "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." In a Time poll, 17 percent of Christians surveyed said they considered themselves part of such a movement, while a full 61 percent believed that God wants people to be prosperous.

"Prosperity" first blazed to public attention as the driveshaft in the moneymaking machine that was 1980s televangelism and faded from mainstream view with the Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart scandals.

But now, after some key modifications (which have inspired some to redub it Prosperity Lite), it has not only recovered but is booming.

Of the four biggest megachurches in the country, three -- Joel Osteen's Lakewood in Houston; T.D. Jakes' Potter's House in south Dallas; and Creflo Dollar's World Changers in Atlanta -- are Prosperity or Prosperity Lite pulpits (although Jakes' ministry has many more facets).

While they don't exclusively teach that God's riches want to be in believers' wallets, it is a key part of their doctrine.

And propelled by Osteen's 4 million-selling book, Your Best Life Now, the belief has swept beyond its Pentecostal base into more buttoned-down evangelical churches, and even into congregations in the more liberal Mainline. It is taught in hundreds of non-Pentecostal Bible studies. One Pennsylvania Lutheran pastor even made it the basis for a sermon series for Lent, when Christians usually meditate on why Jesus was having His Worst Life Then.

The movement's renaissance has infuriated a number of prominent pastors, theologians and commentators. Fellow megapastor Rick Warren, whose book The Purpose Driven Life has outsold Osteen's by a ratio of 7 to 1, finds the very basis of Prosperity laughable. "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?"

The brickbats -- both theological and practical (who really gets rich from this?) --come especially thick from Evangelicals like Warren. Evangelicalism is more prominent and influential than ever before. Yet the movement, which has never had a robust theology of money, finds an aggressive philosophy advancing within its ranks that many of its leaders regard as simplistic, possibly heretical and certainly embarrassing.

Prosperity's defenders claim to be able to match their critics chapter and verse. They caution against broad-brushing a wide spectrum that ranges from pastors who crassly solicit sky's-the-limit financial offerings from their congregations to those whose services tend more toward God-fueled self-help.

Advocates note Prosperity's racial diversity -- a welcome exception to the American norm -- and point out that some Prosperity churches engage in significant charity. And they see in it a happy corrective for Christians who are more used to being chastened for their sins than celebrated as God's children.

"Who would want to get in on something where you're miserable, poor, broke and ugly and you just have to muddle through until you get to heaven?" asks Joyce Meyer, a popular television preacher and author often lumped in the Prosperity Lite camp. "I believe God wants to give us nice things."

If nothing else, Meyer and other new-breed preachers broach a neglected topic that should really be a staple of Sunday messages: Does God want you to be rich?

Copyright: Times, inc.

2 comments:

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Corban and all,

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

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...

Corban said...

Whoa. I wasn't talking about communism. I was just talking about Scripture telling us that God will make you wealthy if you are a good Christian. While I agree that you "cannot serve two gods", I would say that money is not inhently evil. The LOVE of money is the root of evil.
While capitalism is not perfect, neither is man, which is why communism cannot work unless forced upon society (which brings on another set of moral evils), and even when forced upon society some will be corrupted at the highest levels debauching the whole system. I think I will stick with good 'ol capitalism...but again I posted that article because of what I believe Scripture teaches.

Peace...

(PS dont steal my tag! :) Peace is mine.)