Enjoy. Or weep, which ever.
Especially amused because I was looking into some information on faith healers recently…and don’t even get me started on the prosperity gospel. Wonder why it took the IRS so long to start investigating them.
Some people really equate giving to the church as the moral thing to do, but to give to anything else that helps, such as the Red Cross, or a community clinic, doesn’t carry the moral obligation with it. (I think ALL should be REQUIRED to give back to their community by a certain number of hours volunteering….but that tends to get me called a communist.)
Are we really sure that the ORIGINAL idea of tithing wasn’t to give back to the community as a whole to help it prosper instead of just one organization? Do you really think the modern church is really what Jesus intended? I never got the impression that was really what he meant.
Oh, and I’m really, really, really sorry for my overuse of the word ‘really’ in my last post. I really mean it. :-p
Didn’t he kick a load of business people out of a temple in the Bible? Can’t remember which book…
Prior form would suggest that He wouldn’t be too pleased with something as abhorrent as the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ or filthy rich mega-churches!
The point is, religious language and emotive rhetoric can move a crowd of humans into complete foolishness — prosperity gospel is not the only issue, healing meetings are yet another example !
Exactly. It had become a place of business.
The one problem as I see it is that there isn’t a single thing one can do about the church’s love for money and extravagance. The church isn’t the only institution that loses sight of it’s purpose for money and power (universities, politicians, roller skating rink janitors), but they do claim to have the answers for moral living. Plus, speaking out doesn’t always get met with smiles by the others, as Jonathan (the writer of this blog if I have the name right) has already run into with the Creation Museum visit.
Really, I have no ideas for a solution. In this case, change can only come from within the church, not from outside observers.
There’s another blog that also speaks out against against some things that aren’t good about the church: http://danschreiber.blogspot.com/. He on politics lately though, but he always puts a fair amount of serious thought into what he sees and how it relates to his beliefs. (He would probably love The Thomas Society.)
I think it’s the few like this that have the greatest chance of enacting change.
@Ms. crazy pants
It does seem a shame that nearly every service provided (buses, trains, libraries, schools, even sports!) these days comes across as existing to make/save money primarily, and provision of said services secondary.
And, like you say, even religious institutions have been bitten by this business bug. Though whether this bug is new, or always been around and just not been as obvious, i’ve no idea…
I suppose change must be quite hard for an institution which often claims to have an ‘infallible’ truth and path to morality, hence various religious institutions always look a little bit backward or dated to those who are more secular. (i’m looking at you Catholicism! :P)
“The one problem as I see it is that there isn’t a single thing one can do about the church’s love for money and extravagance.”
I’m not so sure about that. Taxation would be one way to rein them in – even basic accountability would go a long way.
Making their spending publicly (and easily) available, or even just to the people that pay in would help.
This is my problem with large charities too. You really don’t know how much of your money gets to the people you are supposed to be helping.
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