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.
Sidenote: 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.