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Monday, May 3, 2010

Money On My Mind II: The Gospel of Money

A while back I remember watching TBN on a faithful Sunday. T.D. Jakes was in a Louis Vuitton suit with the matching shoes, I mean, to say this guy didn't not look expensively fly is an act of blasphemy. But what made me remember that sermon wasn't his suit (although that is part of the reason I'll never forget it), it was what he said. Wiping the sweat off his forehead while addressing a pumped-up crowd, he confidently said "You cannot be a Christian and not be rich." Those were his exact words, uncut, unfiltered, and uncensored. Unlike the crowd who seem to accept this as truth from a Man of God, I thought that was a WTF moment. That line got me so interested, that I listened to not only that sermon, but followed up on the rest of the series. And as I paid attention to what he preached, I realized how little sense he was making. He claimed "You cannot be a Christian and not be rich," but when he gave examples of "rich Christians" in the Bible he used guys like Job, Joshua, Abraham, and David. Now if these men he mentioned were to fill out a form that asked them what religion they subscribe to, I'm 100% sure Christianity wouldn't be what they'd check. Because they weren't Christians, they couldn't possibly be because Christianity came waaaayy after their deaths.

idenote: Imagine if T.D. Jakes was right and that the real Christians are the rich ones. Imagine what Heaven would be like. Maybe something like this: A man walks up to the gates of Heaven and meets St. Peter. The man tells St. Peter that he read his Bible religiously, and accepted Christ into his heart. St. Peter then checks his bank account to confirm the validity of his claim and finds out the man was pretty broke, St. Peter then tells him "You can not be Christian and not be rich, so I hereby banish you to the lake of fire where you'd meet the unbelievers and the broke-asses, begone!" And then heaven becomes like the Great Gatsby.

And the crazy thing was he didn't even mention an actual Christian from the New Testament. And since all Christians are supposed to be Christ-like and follow Christ, the Christ that they are following wasn't even rich. Infact, he was against the riches of this world and championed the poor. It was the same Christ that said "-it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God! (Heaven)" Matthew 19:24. "For what does a man profit, if he should gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36. But all these were skillfully edited out from the sermons and replaced with "...we are more than conquerors." Romans 8:37, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13. These verses get added to stir up an emotional response rather than make the congregation think rationally about what Jesus would do. So lemme be the informant and tell you what Jesus would do, he'd do exactly what he did in John2:12-16: He'd make a whip out of cords and flog the living daylight out of the pastor and tell him to "Get out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" That's exactly what Jesus would do, and to think about it, that was the one time in all 4 Gospels that Jesus was really pissed. Usually he's an easy going guy, but if you fuck around and try to hustle in his Father's house, else na koboko you go chop. Anyways think how marketed church has become; offerings and tithes have become incomes to the pastors, the offerings are only used to benefit their church and it's staff etc. The CBS 60 Minutes show interviewed Creflo Dollar, a renowned "prosperity preacher" and asked him about why and how he gets so much money, and he answered "NBA players, Actors and Musicians make good money, so why can't I?" It's funny how a "Man of God" compares himself with entertainers. Maybe that's what he really is: an entertainer. Afterall his sermons are highly entertaining. I remember listening to a sermon he made about how he started his church business. He talked about how few people came to his first preaching and how little money he made that night, and then goes on to say how many times he felt like quitting but held steadfast to God's will and look where he is today and so on. This guy judged his success as a Man of God on how many people he has in his church and how much he makes from them, yet his congregation swallowed his propaganda like kool-aid. So I don't put all the blame on the pastor for his message, his audience shares it too. These are people who are just as money hungry as the ones they listen to on Sundays. They go to church and pray and offer their 10% just so that God could bless them with riches as if Christianity is a get-rich religion. Isn't that sad? They ignore the Jesus they are supposed to follow and become zombies to these "prosperity preachers." They have been absolutely fooled to think that they are giving to God by paying the pastor as if God lives in the pastor's bank account. They get lied to so easily, because they use faith instead of logic. One Sunday as I was eating yam porridge for breakfast, TBN was on and this guy said something that made me turn my neck so fast at the TV screen, I almost snapped it. He said "...and America was based on biblical principals such as democracy and capitalism." That's something I expect to hear from Glenn Beck not TBN. But people would be watching this with the American flag on their wall, thinking they are patriots and believing this nonsense 100%, while there is no evidence whatsoever of that claim. First of all, God is anything but democratic, in fact God is more of an autocrat or Communist, second of all, "Capitalism?" That's highly laughable, how propaganda was carefully woven into the Word of God. The next thing they'll be saying is that God is a Republican. This is what religion really is, a smoke-screen for business where men use right-winged ideology to push their agenda. They motivate you by lying to you, telling you God loves and and then asking for 10% of your income. This is the Gospel of Money.


Azazel said...

Lol I laughed hella much @ this post, but bro it's not only right wing ideology that is manipulated, it's also used with left wing ideology..
Lol @ democracy and capitalism being biblical principles..
This whole thing is just jokes to me...

The Messiah said...

You're right...and I just noticed my tabon *principles. But not so much left wing agenda though, at least not from the televangelists I hear from. I'm telling you some of these folks like Rod Parsley, John Hagee, Joel Osteen, might as well work for Fox News. I haven't found one that might be good at MSNBC, maybe Obama's former pastor

Nice Anon said...

Una don come again.

lahlah said...

you hit the nail smack dab in the head. i'm sure more than half his congregation is on welfare yet nodding in agreement. These pastors just take the bible and twist it which ever way they want. The bible we are even quoting has been altered so many times. Modern interpretations may not even be so accurate.

Funny thing is if these pastors were around in the days when Jesus walked they would have judged him. He hung out with "prostitutes", lepers, the dirt poor, in fact like you said Jesus himself was dirt poor, a common carpenter. does that mean he was not even Christian enough to be Christian? lol. *shake my head*

lol @ God is republican ehn ehn conservative even.

Nutty J. said...

Just becos Jesus Christ rolled with the poor doesnt mean he is a poor God. becos you work in a bakery doesnt mean you are a bread.Just becos Jesus christ came as flesh doesnt mean he is less of God.

Y'all dont get it twisted...Jesus Christ had a treasurer. Now what poor man would need a treasurer to keep his pennies? What category of people in society need trasurers/bankers? The rich or the poor?

About the you expect them to be poor becos they are doing God's work? If their father is the Heavenly father who is richer than the richest, why then should they be poor? if your father is in the white house, why sud you be on the streets begging.

The principles of Money and the Kingdom of God is separate from your surface understanding of it. It is a common principle that he that scattereth, gathereth...if you give, whether in church or in the streets, it shall be given unto u. its not a church thing, it is a universal thing that is also practiced in the church.

You need to do ur research more Sir. dont limit it only to the church, just becos you feel the need to prove a preacher wrong. you do urself great injustice by doing that.

PS:...its also in the bible that:

1. Money answereth all things. Ecc 10:19

2.Proverbs 13: 22 (Amp) ('...and the wealth of the sinner (finds its way eventually) into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up).

3.The Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Timothy 6:17 that God…richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

***blows kisses**

Sugarking said...

(smh) The bible, the greatest motivational book ever written. A saying goes, if you want to confuse the black man mercilessly about anything, just put it in a book an hand to him.

Azazel & Messiah, abeg make una continue to dey entertain me with this una gist o jare. The only problem is that u ppl are making me spend more on kpoli as I enjoy ur posts more when stoned. lol

The Messiah said...

@Nutty J, who said Jesus was poor? Abeg yarn me something I never hear. I never said he was poor, I said he championed the poor. The treasurer he had was for his ministry, not for his personal use to go buy Louis Vuitton suit. It was probably this money they used to buy bread and fish for the 5,000 Jesus fed (and funny enough all they had was 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes, if Jesus was rich wouldn't he have given money to his disciples to buy more). I thought it was funny when you said, "If their father is the Heavenly father who is richer than the richest, why then should they be poor?" Like God is in Heaven with a stack full of dollars and making it rain on His so-called "Men of God." Please, these men make a business of your beliefs and you're foolish enough to defend them, and just like them you also bring some scriptural text and bend it's meaning to satisfy your thesis:
Firstly, you bring the Old Testament into the picture, knowing fully well that things "changed" after Jesus, for example the Old Testament suggests "an eye for an eye," would it be fair to bring it into matter of Christianity after Christ "changed" everything. And secondly, you recite 1 Timothy 6:17 "that God…richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." You also forgot to read what it said a couple of verse earlier (same chapter too) 1 Timothy 6:3-10 :

" 3If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."

Now doesn't that sound like Paul is talking about these "prosperity preachers" you seem to defend. Maybe you need to do some more research.

Nutty J. said...

Bravo!! your comment makes sense...but lets not be deceived, the only thing that changed was the 10 commandments been compressed into 2...the first one deals with the first 4 commands and the second takes care of the next six....but that aside:

So how do u expect Creflor dollars then, when he wasnt getting contribution in his church to get money 'for his ministry?'

Jesus had money to feed his followers with the question posed: ''"Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd ''...if they did not have money they wouldnt consider going to search for bread. The reason they didnt buy food was cos it was a remote supermarket or kiosk around.

Personally I wouldnt not go to a church that I can noot se the pastor prospering...the bible says ''He that works in the vinyard shall eat from the vineyard''

The bible also says ''belove I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper even as your soul prospereth''

We know we dont go to heaven with dollars in our pocket...but so long as we are here, we are made to prosper...likewise the preachers.

Be heavenly conscious,Yes.... but also be earthly wise.

PS: its a weekend, so maybe I'll read ur posts all over again with kpoli like sugar king does, this evening.

Nutty J. said...

correction: Thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as ur soul prospereth...

was in a rush..sorry

Anonymous said...

@ nutty J, its funny how you think being prosperous has to deal with money, or a larger church. I am sure being prosperous in health is better.

The Messiah got it right, and you've been conned. These so called men of God are thieves hiding under the facade of christianity. Even Jesus warned us about them.

El-Divine said...

feels gud to be back on my lappie...for the past week ive been browsing with my fone...which makes it hard to leave a comment.
i totally agree with messiah, these men of God lost sight of christ's message eons ago, some of them to a lesser degree than others. and the way messiah put it all shows someone that did his homework and has watched it all closely.
personally, i am tired of listening to these men a looong time ago. I just read my Bible and pray, then go to church just to fellowship with others. if yu depemd on them for ur real xtian walk, u will walk into a ditch

Anonymous said...

Nice post ~ 3Q..............................................................

F said...

This is heresy. Those preachers are men of God. None of them can ever be poor... That is an exclusive right of the congregation. Gucci is to pastor as garri is to church goer. Simple.

LucidLilith said...

Televagelism is one biiiiig commercial. With the exception of Joel Osteen, I really don't see a lot of good tv pastors. TD Jakes get as e be.

The Messiah said...

Sorry for the late comment, haven't had that much time online to deliver it, but now that I do, here it comes:

@ Nutty J, you are hilarious, you pick the church you go to based not on the message of the pastor but on his wealth. Keep in mind that all the preachers/prophets in the Bible weren't what many consider rich(eg Daniel, Elisha, ELija, John, Paul, Isaiah). It was guys like Abraham, Joseph, Job that were the rich ones, but they weren't ministers. So maybe according to your logic, you wouldn't have listened to any one of those prophets/preachers I mentioned because they don't meet your money prerequisites. You talk about earthly wealth when Jesus (the same guy you should be emulating) said "Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven." (Luke18:22) and Even went further to say, "It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." (Luke18:24). Jesus also had many parables about the rich like the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21), The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). And your quote "Be heavenly conscious,Yes.... but also be earthly wise." Im guessing you mean earthly wise as in money. Let me tell you what your own Jesus has to say about that:

Matthew 6:19-24
"19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.....24No 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

So there you have it. I'm sure those "prosperity preachers" don't speak about those verse often, do they? Don't be fooled, read your Bible and stop letting those hustlers give you Bible verses that would make you think they're on Jesus's side. Even though I don't believe in the Christian doctrine and deity, i still think the Jesus character is a good one, that people should learn from but most christians ironically don't. That's why I agree with Ghandi when he said, "I like your Christ, I don't like your christians." So if you are a Christian which I'm guessing you are, read the Bible and ask yourself if you are anything like the Christ you are supposed to follow.

Myne Whitman said...

I had to laugh at this. The truth is that I believe most of what you have written here but then again, who died and made you judge? LOL...

Nutty J. said...

Messiah: //Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy,//

I am not storing it up...I am being blessed so I can be a blessing to others like the poor you mentioned. How do I help others if I'm broke?

How does being broke....make me qualify to be called a christian or preacher?

The only way a man or woman can enter into heaven is by being born again. you can now decide to die poor or rich, its ur choice. I choose option B. there is nothing religious or fulfilling about poverty. If it was a requirement for making heaven I'll understand.

//you pick the church you go to based not on the message of the pastor but on his wealth.//

Yes...just d same way I wouldnt branch into a reputable dry cleaning company if the manager wears cloths that are not properly Ironed. No matter how good the doctrine is...if the man of God is not blessed financially...then I smell a rat. God takes care of His own...

//Let me tell you what your own Jesus has to say about that://

Jesus Christ had a darn treasurer...need I say more?

stop comparing the preaching of the old testament with the new...after power got into the hands of the Romans in the new testament...things changed. we now had people who were not as calm and receptive as the children of isreal order to capture a beast you must first understand the nature of the beast. For the gentiles to be saved...there had to be a separation from them and the things they worshipped (money etc)...hence that type of doctrine. I bet you if Jesus had lived on, and was satisfied with knowing there had indeed become poor in spirit, he would have taken it further to now educate them on how to make their slaves and not the other way round.

Be poor in spirit...doesnt mean be poor physically. As how na?

Anonymous said...

@Nutty j: So if yor pastor's wife got sick and he spent all his money on treatment, would you leave him because he is poor?
abeg please - for once i wholeheartedly agree with the post and Messiah. BTW: Christianity has NOTHING to do with how rich you are. anyway, there's no need to repeat anything. Messiah has said it all and said it beautifully. I would suggest you go back to reading your Bible.

The Messiah said...

Hahaha, Nutty J even if your God opened the Heavens and showed you how these men are con-artists, I think you'd still be defending them. Anyways at least you're not extreme about your beliefs like some bombers are, you just use it for money...

Nutty J. said...

Anoymous: Beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in HEALTH even as thine soul prospereth

You see good health also comes with the deal...Pastor's wife wont be so sick as to leave him poor.

Listen I think its you that need to re-read ur bible...besides I have my beliefs and opinion on this, u have yours too. And going back and forth wouldnt change either of our lets move ahead.

HONEY said...

very well said Messiah, what happened to the gospel of the truth.