Time, a partner with CNN, recently posted an article with the question in the header as a suggestive statement. The opening lines question as follows:
Has the so-called Prosperity gospel turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis?
To that question I scream, “Yes, Hell Yes!
In the pentecostal circles of my upbringing, magic theology rules. God can do the impossible. So if you have bad credit, pray about it. God will cause your creditors to forget that you owe them. Not only can you expect a personal year of jubilee, you can also expect the house of your dreams. No need to start small and work your way up. No need to be disciplined and business-like. No need to take responsibility and honor your commitments. Forget all of that, just pay the tithe, the pastor’s anniversary multi-thousand dollar collection, the soon-to-come collection for the pastor’s Christmas fund, buy all your gifts from the Pastor’s personal line of products, and yes, you will be blessed. Homeless, but blessed.
Look, I get the story. The headline kills me, however. God is not and does not condone this foolishness. So maybe we should do the following as Christians so that God is not associated with this mess:
- Get and maintain good credit by living within or under our means.
- Stop using credit. Cash and carry people, cash and carry.
- Stop allowing churches to be tax-exempt. The fact is that many churches are not charities. (One man getting rich is a scam, not charity.) Churches with legitimate charities can form separate CDCs and such.
- Support the congressional investigation into the lifestyles of televangelists and do your own investigation. Request a 990 from your church. As a good steward, it is your business.
- Stop the silence. These predators are raping and pillaging the poor. (That’s why so many mega churches are in poor neighborhoods.) It’s time to scream! This “get out of poverty by making me rich” teaching is not of God. Let’s put emotions aside and be real about this. The only people getting rich at these places are the pastors and their select few minions.
I know you have something to add, so go for it.