Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me. ~ Mat 19:21
One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. ~ Mar 10:21
Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. ~ Luk 18:22
Does God Want Us to be Rich?
Um... no. But I guess that's a little beside the point now, isn't it? I find it extremely curious that none of the verses above appeared at all in the Time article. How is such an oversight possible in an article concerning the Bible's take on wealth? Prosperity Lite seems to me to be proof that religion (and by extension, God) is a creation of people. Funny how this new religion reflects the consumerist culture from which it sprang.
These megachurches preaching Prosperity Lite are, to me, a frightening product. Just as radical Islam takes advantage of our own freedom of religion to plot harm to us, under the guise of the same we are looking at nothing less than the rise of a new powerbase in America. They are using freedom of religion as an avenue to political power. This looks to me like the rise of a new class in America: the religious wealthy. Yes, we have had wealthy religious people before, but I can't help feeling there's something fundamentally (sorry, had to!) different about this new batch of praise-singers.
And yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Might makes right. Religious power is political power. These people will soon be running for office across the land, and they will win. Theocracy will have arrived at last. Dominionism will have its day. A new Dark Age will begin, but the majority of the people will not recognize it or even care, because a theocracy is what they wanted. Even if it isn't, moderate Christians will not speak out against it. You think I exaggerate? Time will tell. I would love to be wrong about this.
There is a counter-movement living closer to the ideal expressed in the verses above, but it will change nothing for obvious reasons: they have no money and power on earth. I actually kind of admire the new monastics. If I were a believer, I would be attracted to this ideal. One thing it doesn't do is overtake the government or impose itself on me. But unless they actively fight Prosperity Lite, they will be in the unfortunate position of benefiting from the actions of the evangelicals without having to do any of the work.
The church at the center of this "faith of prosperity" is the Lakewood church, linked above. You can watch what services are like here or below:
This isn't church—it's a broadway spectacle. Notice how there is no real learning or lessons, only entertainment and empty emotional appeals. The shared groupthink of the audience carries itself along on an emotional high mistaken for a spiritual experience.
What frightens me the most is how everybody holds up their right hand.