12/09/2009

The Gimick of Prosperity Gospel

For those uninitiated, Prosperity Gospel is the Biblically dubious concept taught at many evangelical churches that god bestows material wealth on those whom he favors. Generally, this is with the explicit instruction that one must tithe to the church in order to receive the lord's good will. Typically, church leaders who espouse this philosophy become very wealthy on the largesse of their congregation and then use this wealth as a validation of this same policy.

This teaching, that one's worldly life will be improved by devotion, strikes me a symptom of the weakening of faith on a mass scale. The congregants of such churches, whether they realize it or not, don't really believe in afterlife rewards anymore. Salvation isn't enough anymore. The promise of heaven seems empty so religious institutions need to make more immediate promises in order to recruit and retain followers. They must sell religion as an investment scheme rather than a path to enlightenment.

There was a time when Xians were supposed to be absolutely contemptuous of worldly things. God could shit on you your whole life just to see if you'd remain faithful as he did to Job and no reward could be expected while one was on Earth. Poverty brought one closer to grace. The meek shall inherit, camels through the eyes of needles and all that.

No one in Evangelical America believes this anymore, of course. They may say that they do and might even believe it but, like all the business of religion, simply believing it does not make it true. The poster children for todays Xianity are rockstars that make fantastic amounts of money. Mega-churches are palaces that rival sports stadiums in size and multiplexes in comfort. The pastors at these churches often make six figures or more and they promise likewise to the most devoted from their flock.

In today's America, faith has become a ponzi scheme because greed sells better than God, himself
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10 comments:

Infidel753 said...

Sounds like religion is getting back to its real roots. It has been said that the first priest was the first rogue to meet the first fool. These guys are just carrying on the tradition.

It does make one wonder how long it can last, though. People whose actual beliefs are so vague will easily move along to some other con man eventually -- a New Age guru (or whatever they're calling themselves these days) or whatever other "spiritual" fad next becomes fashionable.

Anonymous said...

has it occurred to anyone that the followers of evangelical faith seem to simply have graduated from belief in Santa Claus to belief in God? Seems to me their prayers mimic letters to Santa and Santa and God have become interchangeable.

This is not religion. It is cultism and mythology maybe. All religions use prayer as a time of self-reflection and pray to overcome weaknesses.

But not Xians. They pray for what they want .. and tithing is the entry fee for the line to Santa.

And cheating, lying, stealing to gain power and money is taken as necessary to impose themselves on a culture. Xians regularly practice the end justifies the means. Try doing business with one (and hide your wallet).

Tom Harper said...

It's true, Salvation and Heavenly Bliss don't sell as well as they used to. It works much better to sell material riches while still preaching about love and forgiveness and turning the other cheek.

No wonder there's a conservative project to rewrite the Bible and get all that liberal "tolerance" and "driving the moneylenders away from the temple" drivel out of there.

It's getting harder and harder for Christians to preach that "brotherly love" nonsense while keeping a straight face.

Jolly Roger said...

"Prosperity Gospel" is a direct throwback to Puritanism, where it was taught that the rich were being rewarded by God and the poor were being shunned and punished.

The Founders understood all too well the dangers of religion, which is why they were so adamant about keeping it out of Government. Jefferson would be beside himself with anger if he could see a political campaign today.

nursemyra said...

thank god I'm an atheist

Bee said...

Church = waste of a perfectly good sunday morning. On TBN, they have this wackadoo Tammy Faye Baker wannabe (only not as nice to other people as Tammy Faye was, see "The Eyes of Tammy Faye" and you'll see what I mean) who was sitting around on gilt furniture - huge, unbearably ostentatious stuff, crying the blues about raising money for some new damned mission in South America so they could torture the natives. It was truly disgusting.

Ily said...

I see more of Christ's message in the lives of non-Christians than in those that read 50 versions of the Bible and attend mass/service every Sunday. It's sad, actually.

Devin said...

You hit the nail on the head with this one too!
Your timing with this was prescient too-if you believe in that sort of thing or maybe I am just drawing connections where there really are none-but I think Oral "Give me money or god's gonna take me home" Roberts died today-tee hee-no better example of this reliigious insanity-inanity?
maybe Swaggart even beat him out-are you old enough to remember him "I have sinned against you!"
and Xtians fall for this crap again and again and again
just like Dubya was a supposed
xtian
well of course with the bloodlust of today's xtian i guess that fits right in now that i think about it!!

opit said...

There's a reason they're called X-ians : it has more to do with the idea that faith is an unknown concept. When you are called to walk in another's shoes...it doesn't mean steal them.

John Myste said...

I just found this late. You are a disgrace in the eyes of the modern God. You shall not be rewarded seven fold. I love it!

I tithe to the Haitian relief fund, so I don't have a chance either. I see God abandonming those people more than those with cash in hand.

I am not sure what God is doing with all that money.