Christian GREED vs Christ Taught Care
I have made it known on my blogs that my criticism of the Religious Right is not without exposure to them or education about the faith. I was an active member in the various "christian" cults for many years, "evangelized" online for years, wrote several "christian" devotionals, and finished not only a BS in Religion from one of their cornerstone universities (Liberty University) but most of a seminary education there, as well. My departure from that system was not out of leaving Christ...it was from FINDING Him.
There are SO many things that the "church" is taught, today, that they just take for granted as being the Jesus way of viewing things, because...like I did when I first entered those buildings.. I felt that I was new to the faith, and who was I to question things I saw as being....UN-Christian.
This last week, we had a "Christian" mega-star Joel Osteen give Christ a bad name, not once but twice. First, despite having a big church right in the middle of the newly homeless Hurricane Harvey, he didn't open his doors to them and only did so when literally the whole world was condemning him for doing it. Then, after he brought them into his church, he took up a collection FROM THE HOMELESS to help pay for his building and the food. When I saw that, I had to walk away from my phone for a while because of the righteous anger that had arisen in my spirit. The church has become so commercial that it is now taking up money FROM THE SICK and POOR to pay for the RICH, which sounds very much at odds with the following ...
"Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, 'Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?'...Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.' When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:16,21-23
But,wait...you mean Jesus wants us to give OUR money to the POOR? That would be the response of most of the religious right, today, who voted in elections to reduce state poverty taxes and elected a President that vowed to cut government poverty programs and give tax cuts to the rich....a very "christian" thing to support? No. However, our church no longer bears a resemblance to the church of Jesus, which was described as this...
"All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need." - Acts 2:44-45
Does that sound a BIT like the church we have, today, where the pastors take up collections (which Jesus did) to pay for a building (that Jesus never had) so they can tell you what laws you broke (when Jesus came to end the law)? We hear from these "christians" how this is socialism (never rebuked by Christ) and how GREED is somehow good. We have re-erected temples to sell out of God's house for a profit, and what was Jesus' response to that....
"So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, 'Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!'" - John 2:15-16
Maybe it is time to take away the tax exempt status of these MEGA mart churches and use the money that results from that to pay for the people that they forgot in their vanity of self.