qc.politique, dc.politics, alt.mexico
of prosperity" + the É(eh)PC
Here is my commentary
re: your Saturday article, "Gospel of prosperity".
To combine wealth and happiness together
is to create an illusion according to Christianity.
Wealth is viewed like fire:
one has to know how to use it,
but wealth canNOT be an end in itself,
it canNOT be an idol because that would simply be ridiculous.
Because who's THE BOSS?
The inanimate thing (a house is a house and when you
are asleep it doesn't matter; a car is a car) or YOU, the person.
BEING OF SERVICE
to one's fellowman is the preoccupation of Christianity:
THE GIFT OF SELF
(which requires learning - preferably University learning
and growing as a "person" as one learns from his/her experiences
in order to be MORE HUMAN, MORE REAL,
by becoming a person who CAN TOUCH/MEND HEARTS
like Mother Theresa of Calcutta.)
Communion (sharing the gift of life) with others
is THE MOST REWARDING OF EXPERIENCES
through CREATIVE MEDIA like art, music, song, jokes,
poetry, novels... that say LIFE IS WORTH LIVING.
one receives "spiritually"
and "builds up treasure in heaven".
A Christian who follows Jesus' example
of being attentive (BY ADDING VALUE) to his fellowman
follows Jesus into Paradise.
S/he will NOT! run after (pursue) wealth,
because s/he trusts that God will provide
if s/he does what s/he feels s/he needs to do to be happy.
I met a person from Saskatchewan who told me how poverty-stricken
and grim life was for his family during the dust-bowl depression days
and the hopelessness of their day to day struggle that was almost
they joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Accepted Jesus into their hearts.
And EVERYTHING CHANGED!
THEY - the whole family - WERE - now - SATISFIED.
For all of them
LIFE all of a sudden BECAME quite BEARABLE!
they were still poverty-stricken.
It was A MIRACLE!
The "Gospel of Prosperity" is a Protestant-work-ethic heresy
that obliterates THE MOST BASIC OF CHRISTIAN NOTIONS:
God will provide because GOD IS GENEROUS!
In other words,
there is "an opportunity cost"
for choosing to be of service to one's fellowman
rather than doing everything solely to accumulate wealth.
The Christian knows
that THE COST OF HIS/HER GENEROSITY
is the cost of his/her salvation.
(This notion is particularly strong and fundamental to Islam.)
Missionaries understand that they must count on God to bless.
Albert Schweitzer knew this.
He lead a RICH LIFE though he was poor.
The Belgian priest who devoted his life to the leppers
on the Island of Molokai in Hawaii believed this.
A Christian is IN the world,
but NOT! OF (NOT! attached to) the world.
S/he looks forward to his/her death
so s/he can go through Heaven's door.
Saint Therèse de Lisieux
said she couldn't wait to leave this world.
Christians MUST TAKE TIME to enjoy life.
This was what the Catholic missionary and
founder of San Francisco allegedly said
just before he died: throughout his life
he had refused to do that.
The job of the Christian
is found in the words of the Our Father,
"thy Kingdom come".
Christians must do whatever they can
to SAVE THE WORLD (PLANET)
by making it A BETTER PLACE
so we can have a foretaste of paradise.
Because Jesus came
so we can have life ABUNDANTLY!
The vision of the future is clear:
we all work together
for mutual benefit in A WIN-WIN SITUATION
otherwise humanity is doomed.
That means social justice and ending poverty,
the source of terrorism.
With young people around the world
thinking in terms of "their network"
(NOT! just ME! ME! ME!
which is what the prosperity gospel
is pretty much about.)
we'll all be able to live reasonably well
IN A - fairly - CORRUPTION-FREE WORLD.
As the Gospels remind us:
we just have to do OUR LITTLE PART
and the Almighty is more than willing to do his/hers.
Thanks for the thought-provoking article:
I enjoyed it.
Kenneth Selin (say'leen)
B.A.(Psychology), B.A.(Spanish), B.Admin.,
B.Comm.(Honours), B.A.(Italian) "magna cum laude"
of the É(eh)PC (Égalité Party of Canada)
4a bet-ter life
"talking about a revolution" (Tracy Chapman)