Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Painting: from the article “Transactional versus Transformative Spirituality”

One of the most famous New Testament Bible stories is that of Jesus and the Moneychangers of the Temple. In case you’re not familiar with the story: From Wikipedia.

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

Which somehow brought us to this: From Vox. I have put the entire story on my homepage.

The prosperity gospel has its roots in an American occult tradition called New Thought
“The prosperity gospel is an umbrella term for a group of ideas — popular among charismatic preachers in the evangelical tradition — that equate Christian faith with material, and particularly financial, success. It has a long history in American culture, with figures like Osteen and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, glamorous, flashily-dressed televangelists whose Disneyland-meets-Bethlehem Christian theme park, Heritage USA, was once the third-most-visited site in America.

A 2006 Times poll found that 17 percent of American Christians identify explicitly with the movement, while 31 percent espouse the idea that “if you give your money to God, God will bless you with more money.” A full 61 percent agree with the more general idea that “God wants people to be prosperous.”

It goes directly to the deeply ingrained ideal that only the faithful are rewarded by God. The rest of us are simply unworthy. That if you’re poor, or you’re sick, then your faith is simply not strong enough. And if you are different, then you must be punished. Not by God, in some convoluted quirk of illogic but by some fool with a gun. Who is somehow proving his or her faith?

Jesus was right, but those that follow him in the form of the Christ, are wrong. Because they have become the money changers, Jesus so railed against in the temple. But now, they have become the money exchangers, who like Amway, would sell those that joined on “Hope and soap” as a way out of their misery. Showing wealth, whether you had it or not, it was about the show and the personal story of success that they used to sell their friends and neighbors into joining. Once in, they were taught to sell their friends and neighbors into the same thing.

Now they sell “Health and Wealth” the same way Amway sold soap. It all comes into a perspective when you put it all together. The Evangelical and conservative Catholic Church, extreme capitalism, the Cons, the Republicans, and the Nutzis. It all fits together like a Russian nesting doll.

RC Romine

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