Black Christians and the Myth of Prosperity Preaching

TheCrossby Patricia L. Dickson   7/20/14
With the in-your-face display of greed and arrogance of the so-called pastors on the reality show Preachers of L.A., I began to wonder: when will black Christians wake up and say enough is enough?  Although there are some white pastors of mega-churches who have a net worth of almost triple their congregants as well, I want to focus on the plight of the black saints who sit under the ministry of black pastors (and some white pastors) Sunday after Sunday and continue to live paycheck to paycheck.

After some years of attending mega-churches pastored by both black and white men and their wives, I begin to notice a trend.  These pastors would always tell their congregation – mostly non-college-educated and barely surviving members – that the way to prosperity is through tithing.  Tithing was the only means to prosperity taught by these pastors.  In fact, the reason for all that ailed the saints (hard times, sickness, and lack) was non-tithing (i.e., theft of God’s money).  Not having a college education during the majority of those years, I felt guilty if I found myself in a situation where I could not tithe on certain Sundays.  I would hear the pastors say, use your rent or utility bill money and pay your tithe; God will make sure your bills are paid.  I would blame God when my bills went unpaid instead of blaming the pastors (or myself for listening to the them).[pullquote]I then began to wonder why my wealthy pastors never encouraged their members to acquire as much education as possible . . . Is it because the wealthy pastors know that if their faithful followers become educated, it will more difficult to manipulate them?[/pullquote] 

After I completed a couple of degrees and began associating with a group of financially intelligent individuals, I started to learn and apply sound financial principles.  I then realized that my financial situation had improved for two reasons: more education (resulted in a better job with higher pay and/or promotion on current job) and knowledge of how to manage and invest my income.  I also realized that my pastors never mentioned education or investments (other than investing in the kingdom of God) as a means to acquire wealth.

I then began to wonder why my wealthy pastors never encouraged their members to acquire as much education as possible as a means to a higher-paying job, or to seek out a professional financial planner to advise them on how to set up a budget and invest some of their income.  Is it because the wealthy pastors know that if their faithful followers become educated, it will more difficult to manipulate them?  In fact, on many occasions the pastors would mock the members who did have college degrees.

Everyone knows that knowledge is power, and an educated mind is difficult to manipulate and control.  I have concluded that the prosperity-preaching pastors are using fear, guilt, and ignorance as a means to manipulate their members into giving more and more of their scarce income while the pastors live high on the hog.

I remember, years ago, one of my pastors standing in the pulpit, complaining that he and his young wife and small child were living in an apartment and that he, being God’s preacher, should not have to live in such a small, confined area.  That same Sunday after church, some guilt-ridden wealthy elderly woman went up to him and gave him a check for over $250,000 so that he could purchase a house.  During those years, if I had had the money, I would have probably done the same thing.  But education has allowed me see things about my previous pastors that I was not able to see while sitting under their ministry.

Because I was in the military for a number of years, I moved around a lot.  I became prayer partners with some of my previous ministries and would sometimes send in small financial gifts.  I recall receiving a letter from a pastor, and the outside of the envelope stated that today may be the day that I receive my financial miracle.  I remember thinking, How is it that this pastor thinks that I need a financial miracle?  And then it hit me: the entire time that I sat under his ministry (over two years), every sermon and service had to do with someone needing some type of miracle (financial or healing).

How is it that God’s people are in a constant state of needing miracles?  Do Christians ever get in a position financially where they do not need a miracle?  Is it that pastors need members to be sick and broke, just as a doctor need sick people in order to stay in business?

Financially healthy people do not need a financial miracle.  What that letter revealed to me is that the pastor assumed that I (and the majority of his members) would always need a financial blessing; therefore, there was no need to ever change the envelope or the letterhead.

I am not advocating that Christians should not tithe or suggesting that tithing is not biblical.  The members of a church are responsible for paying the church’s debts (mortgages, utilities, and the salaries of the pastor and staff).  On the other hand, it is deceitful and manipulative to beat congregants over the head about their ability to tithe when they are going through some financially rough times.  I have met individuals who have lost their jobs and have told me that their pastor told them that they should continue to tithe even if they have to let their home go into foreclosure.

God does not need our money.  If the church is really the house of God, it will survive if some of its members are going through a rough patch and are unable to tithe for a certain period.  I find it strange that while some members seem to continue to struggle, the pastors income appears to be soaring.

If a godly leader truly cares about every area of his or her members’ lives, there is no way he or she would withhold information that would be vital to improving members’ situations (i.e., education and good financial planning).

The bible teaches in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He who sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”  One does not have to give money to a church in order to receive a thirty-, sixty-, or one hundredfold return; wealthy unbelievers who give to charities continue to incur more wealth.  The law of sowing and reaping applies to everyone, regardless of where an individual chooses to give his or her money.


PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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41 Responses to Black Christians and the Myth of Prosperity Preaching

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Reading, this, I can already hear my secular friends confirming in their own minds that religion is all bullshit, just as they’ve been told.

    But for me, the real story here is how men with quite earthly ambitions have taken the Lord’s name in vain, which is what that Commandment is all about from my understanding of it.

    To get up in front of a congregation of people, black or white, and to use Christ like a marketing gimmick is certainly the breaking of at least one Commandment, if not the breaking of just common decency.

    The people are corrupt by nature. What we desperately need are not leaders who profit from this corruption but whose aim is to remedy it.

    Another lesson to draw from this is that you can’t judge a book by its cover. We usually interpret this as meaning not to judge a book by its tattered cover. But we forget the more important aspect of this: Don’t judge a book to be good just because of its fancy full-color printing, engraving, and maybe even holographic foil stamping.

    We all go through our naive periods (and hopefully come out of them). But to believe that just because someone wears a white robe, holds a nice gilt-edged bible, and can speak forcefully from the pulpit that they therefore are to be trusted is, in my humble opinion, to entirely miss what it means to be Christlike.

    That is, we have to own up (as I think Patricia marvelously did) to our own dark impulses in this transaction. Too often people are looking not for goodness but merely for the earthly things, which are usually summed-up as things regarding health, wealth, and progeny. And its not that the pursuit of these things is bad. But to try to anoint such pursuits with religion is to do little more than engage in superstition.

    That is, we can use priests and ministers much like someone who believes in voodoo might use a voodoo doll. Such things are to be manipulated for our gain. If we set out butts on the pews and do our tithing then we have taken part in a transaction. And although there may be candles, stained glass, and incense sprinkled over this transaction to make it look like something holier than it is, it still remains little more than an earthly-type transaction where there are expectations other than the spiritual, where “goods” not Good is the end goal of the transaction.

    • David Ray says:

      Yep. Our lives are here but for a moment. God is more permanent . . . and forgiving.
      Never seen you type profanity before, but religion is man-made and pure bullshit when it is applied as an overlord. Mao, Stalin, Hitler and others tried their overlordship while endeavoring to bring a godless Utopia to a fallen world. That experiment didn’t work out to well, but liberals are still working on it. (Perhaps another trillion will do the trick.)

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, my experience with pastors (such as it is) is very different, which may simply reflect the fact that I’m a white whose churches tended to be suburban Episcopalian congregations. But I don’t get the impression that even the Baptists I’ve encountered would react that way, even in Sweeden Missionary Baptist Church (the cousin we visit there was involved in education herself).

    Financial education is something most people need far more of. Ayaan Hirsi Ali pointed out how many problems third-world immigrants had due to their lack of financial knowledge, and many first-worlders are little better off. (I have some interesting memories of my own, which might fit into the “No Regrets” article.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m a hack when it comes to financial planning. My plan is to beg in the streets, do tricks, or something, for my daily bread. I’ll likely be dependent upon that written in Matthew 6:26: “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

      But join the club, for the foolish policies we are following today will lead to a collapse. So prepare yourselves. The end of the world may not be nigh, but the end of our vacation from reality certainly is.

      Patricia asks a rhetorical question that I just assume is rhetorical to leave open a possible nice interpretation. That question was:

      I then began to wonder why my wealthy pastors never encouraged their members to acquire as much education as possible . . . Is it because the wealthy pastors know that if their faithful followers become educated, it will more difficult to manipulate them?

      As they say, it’s difficult to divine the motivations of others. But isn’t it funny how often it works out that keeping people dependent and uneducated is advantageous to a certain group? At best, we can call them completely un-self-aware, little more than societal mollusks swimming in the sea.

      But we needn’t be coy about this. Booker T. Washington in Up From Slavery was noting long ago how, at the end of slavery, black pastors were coming out of the woodwork to teach blacks the gospel of grievance.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I know what you mean about not planning. I’ve never made a budget for myself in my entire life. No way I could ever work up a specific amount to be available for book-buying.

        • David Ray says:

          I’ve never been in debt except for buying a pickup truck. (And the truck I own is now paid for.)

          What’s we have can be taken away, unless we’re pampered public employees. What can’t be taken away is what we’ve earned over time . . . our skills and learning; our honor and loyalty. God breathed scripture and the Marines taught me that.

          As for this crushing national debt; some jug-eared trash is cashing in on a golf course somewhere while adding, yet, another trillion.
          The young fools who voted him in twice will get the memo, but the bill will come due on our/their grandchildren.

          Simply agonizing . . . especially to mature ones.

          My mom remembers a house she grew up in in Oklahoma with no electricity (TVA was somewhere else.)
          She took a loan in purchasing the home I grew up in. Not to worry; she paid it off in half the time. I no longer wonder what forged her resolve. (Does explain a dozen sessions with her belt. That debt was paid up-front.)

  3. Glenn Fairman says:

    There is no real distinction between the races when filthy lucre enters into the equation and the Cult of the Prosperity Gospel rears its ugly head. The same can be said for its cousin “The Word of Faith” dogma that declares only that if a man claims one of Christ’s promises and believes “sincerely enough” (like Linus in the pumpkin patch) God will fulfill his prayers. Of course, ponying up with cash is always the ticket to this cornucopia, as if God were some accountant in a green visor transacting your heavenly account. Reverend Ike did this, as do Kenneth Hagen, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Mike Murphy and scores of others who blacken the name of God. What a rube Paul of Tarsus was, as was every believer who lived in poverty and suffered for Christ’s cause. Doesn’t God want you to drive a Lexus and to have the accoutrements of the world? This view of God as a butler or Jinni handing out free wishes is held to be a spiritual law by hucksters flying Lear jets and claiming apostle status — while grandma empties out her bank account to purchase Rolexes and Brookes Brothers suits. There is a judgment awaiting these men, and I would not trade places with them for all of Brad Nelson’s money…….

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Well said, Glenn. One thing that Dennis Prager says is that one of the worst things is people doing bad things in the name of God. It makes it very easy for people to be cynical. And people being people (always looking for excuses to do what they want, not what they should), they often don’t need much help in this regard. A enormous amount of collateral damage is done by the Benny Hinns of the world.

      And it’s not that these people can’t call people out of the darkness. I know one such person who was (by Hinn). A friend told me once that she was starring at the TV at wit’s end and happened to turn to his show. Now she has a ministry.

      And yet, even so, I notice the lack of spiritual depth. It’s still all about the usual stuff, just done with the veneer of “God.” If this stuff doesn’t eventually reach deep-down, then it’s all to easy to anoint our quite worldly ways with “religion” and think we are doing something special.

      It’s not easy to change a heart and mind. (I would know.) But that is the goal…or at least one of them. And the dollars, of course. Please see the PayPal icon in the lower right-hand corner. For a donation of only $50.00, you’ll receive a free web kit showing how you, too, can be a WordPress site operator.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Much of this sounds like a friend’s description of the performances of Dr. Gene Scott, the televangelist who clearly worships Mammon.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Ah yes, Dr. Gene Scott. My brother told me about him over thirty years ago. He got a kick out of Scott as he made no bones about asking for money and, in my brother’s opinion, was a complete cynic.

        During one of my trips to the States in the 1980’s, I was watching TV late at night and, while channel surfing, came upon the good Dr. demanding money from the faithful.

        As I recall, he was smoking a big cigar and chastising his listeners for not sending enough cash. I remember one particular scene where the camera focused on the upper part of his body and his elbows were on a table or desk. He leaned forward and looked into the camera, then glanced to the upper right briefly and looked back into the camera. He took a puff of his cigar, blew out the smoke and said something like, “Wichita, I can see from our numbers you have sent in only xxxx dollars. I am telling you now that if that number doesn’t reach xxxxx dollars by x hour, I am going to cut you off. I will no longer broadcast to you.” He was pointing the cigar at the audience as he said this.

        Since this happened about thirty years ago, I am sure the details are not exact, but the overall mood and gist of the story are completely accurate. This little solicitation for funds, which I have written about took all of about 60 seconds, but I watched the man for half an hour to an hour.

        It was fascinating. All he did was sit behind the desk and demand money from his viewers in various cities across the USA. No ranting, no raving. All in a quiet voice which only occasionally rose above a normal level. And he did it with a completely straight face. He was serious the whole time. He came across in such a way to give you the feeling that if you didn’t send him money you were bad and had let him down.

        It was amazing TV.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          It was back around that time that I heard about him from a friend. A local channel had decided to invite suggestions for changes — shows to add, shows to get rid of, whatever. He was amazed at how many mentioned Dr. Scott, so he gave the not-so-good doctor a try. His description sounds VERY much like yours. (Incidentally, there’s also a reference to Dr. Scott as an example of the evolution of religious men from Moses to Savonarola to Dr. Gene Scott in Science Made Stupid by Tom Weller.)

    • David Ray says:

      Interesting thing about the Charlie Brown Christmas special. For simply quoting scripture (Luke chapter 2), it was tooth and nails to keep it in. Many thought that quoting scripture was embarrassing, but resolved determination thought otherwise.
      It was just like Reagan and the Berlin wall speech. (Monmont effort is, at times, required for just a few words.)

      Sorry, Colin Powel but Reagan really liked the “Tear down this wall” part of that famous speech. (Perhaps your luck will improve with the easier path of endorsing a jug-eared coward so loved by the press.)

  4. Glenn Fairman says:

    Dr. Gene Scott, a Stanford educated former Assembly of God preacher, was a study in contrasts. I never heard a human being explicate the Book of Romans as he did, and his quirkiness only served to draw me to his shows that ran continuously on channel 56 locally. Although he asked for money to help fund his ministry and his ongoing battles with the government, I would not quite put him in the category of the aforementioned hucksters. He definitely was a larger than life character and 35 years ago his message appealed to me. On one occasion, my fiancé (now my wife) and I went to his “King’s House” in Glendale, Ca. to see one of his services. We were in our early 20’s and the average age of those attending the live taping seemed to be 70 years old. He died in 2005, many years after his appeal to my spiritual palate had grown stale.

    For a truly loathsome Prosperity preacher, check out Michael Murphy who appears on a number of religious channels. He seems to epitomize the archetype of the Elmer Gantry poseur.

  5. Since I have received a few emails coupled with some negative comments on other blogs, I felt that I should clarify some of your misconceptions about my article. First, my article is talking about PROSPERITY TEACHING PASTORS. Not all pastors and churches preach a prosperity gospel. These pastors benefit well from this teaching as you can see from the following link:

    http://sanctifiedchurchrevolution.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/atlanta-black-star-reveals-black.html

    Secondly, nowhere in my article did I say that tithing should not be preached. I specifically said that tithing should not be preached as the ONLY means to prosperity as some of these pastors are preaching. Yes, the bible teaches us that God will supply all of our needs. If you have your health and a sound mind, God has already provided you with all you need to acquire the means to provide for your family and the church. It is now time for us to do something to better ourselves. Deuteronomy 8:18 But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

    The churches are full of people from all walks of life (thank God). Most people that fill the pews come from poor families. If someone is raised by poor parents, there is a strong possibility that they do not have a good grasp on how to manage or create wealth (myself was included). If that is the case, it is disingenuous for a pastor to claim that all he or she needs to do to acquire wealth or get out of debt is tithe and have faith. You cannot tithe your way out of financial ignorance, a good financial planner is needed. Remember God is our heavenly father and He loves us. What father would give his child a million dollars knowing that he or she does not know how to manage it (be a good steward)? God is the one that gave us our brain; He is not intimated by an educated mind. In fact, Paul the Apostle was probably one of the most educated men in the Bible. After his conversion, God used him to go before kings and to write the majority of the books in the New Testament.

    In addition, Christians are Jesus’ disciples here on earth. We are the ones that are supposed to be performing miracles not in constant need of them. For that reason, we must do all that we can to get in a position (physically and financially) to reached a dying world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That and that only is what the church should be focused on.

    • Glenn Fairman says:

      Patricia: I think the intent of your piece was made clear. There will always be rich and poor, but the motivation of the latter is not always holy. It takes a devil to twist scripture and a worldly minded flock seeking wealth in order for the fleecing to take place. I have noticed, and this phenomenon is not limited to what we call “black churches,” the level of worldliness that is tolerated in regards to sexual sin, illegitimacy, the matriarchal household, and a worldly sensuality which the Black church has made peace with. While much of this acquiescence is in turn tied to a liberal political agenda that is as prudent as sleeping with a rattlesnake, I would love to hear your response to it…..

    • David Ray says:

      Your resolve is noted and welcome, so stop apologizing for it. I only know of one perfect one who, thank God, paid full price.

      We’re sanctified. Benefits of accepting what Christ made available. (Half the fun is some day seeing what our moms looked like when they were young)

      BTW: You’re correct. The apostle Paul was severely accomplished. The reason he counted his title as dung is because God gave him serious responsibility. (He was meek . . . most men of that stature are not.)

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    My own views on Christianity are radical and not likely in the mainstream. That is to say, you can all call me a fool or an apostate and I won’t mind the least. “Brad, you’re going straight to hell” is an acceptable reply. One must be able to get as much as one gives in this racket.

    I have this radical notion that — if Christ is true — that there is the pursuit of obeying Christ and then there is the culture of the church (any church…take your pick). These two sometimes intersect. But often (quite often) they do not.

    And this big, gray, blurry smudge — where one blends into the other — covers a host of sins…or at least it allows this issue to remain muddled, to the great benefit of those who live and prosper within the muddle.

    I think St. Francis un-muddled the issue about as much as it could be. Prosperity Church, Shmosperity Church. He initially had three simple rules for his order (all pulled from the New Testament), one of which was:

    If you wish to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me. (Matthew 19,21)

    That is, the entire point of Jesus wasn’t some kind of extended warranty plan for the human race or another form of an entitlement. It wasn’t a way of sneakily gathering fortification for those things (health, wealth, and progeny) that are the main human concerns on this earth. Instead, his vision was raised higher and elsewhere.

    Of course, St. Francis may have been full of it. Who was he to decide that God was a Divine Being to be cherished, and his Creation to be loved, instead of a “church” being like a fast-food franchise for supposedly dispensing heavenly blessings?

    Francis was such a shooting star across the background of what was because what was was a culture (a business, a franchise) of “church” that had taken on the ways of an earthly organization. It was (and remains today to a large extent) a glorified chicken franchise but with stained glass instead of neon signs.

    So, yeah, go ahead and tithe because, after all, it’s in the bible. But why are you tithing and who are you tithing to? If the best example of Christlikeness in living memory was St. Francis, and St. Francis’ shtick was about finding freedom in poverty, then why not at least question the practice? By tithing, is one helping to institutionalize and bureaucratize something that was always meant to be other than just brick-and-mortar with a mortgage?

    And there is at least a moral clarity about the “Prosperity Church” racket. At least it is a clean transaction. Ministers are offering prosperity if you will donate to their church. Oh, given the human ability at clever talk and deception (and, especially, self-deception), this transaction is laundered and blurred inside a lot of “hallelujahs.” But that’s what the transaction is essentially.

    And who can blame the person on either end of it? We all sell something (whether our labor or whatever) for monetary gain. Why shouldn’t a “man of god”? And as fragile human beings who suffer the inherent pains and misfortunes of living, who doesn’t want succor? I condemn no man or woman for turning the idea of Christ into a mere quid pro quo. Someone with health problems, financial problems, or who has lost a loved one will not be mocked by me if they go to a church looking for solace. And it could be said that this is one of the primary functions of the “Body of Christ” which (in theory, at least) is represented by a church structure.

    But what is everyone else’s excuse? Good god, how the church has become a racket. It’s now a racket (representative of much of the culture) as the purveyor of psychological therapy. It’s not for the man who has lost his leg. It’s for the man who want’s to feel good all the time and/or is in “pain” because there have been a few minutes during the week when his life wasn’t exciting, glamorous, and fulfilling. That is, church (and you can check out the acres of expensive audio-visual equipment to verify my claim) is now catering to our society-wide affliction of narcissism.

    Yes, yes. You’re all going to tell me of a church you know that doesn’t do this. And that’s fine. But if we are to criticize the “Prosperity Church” for its wanton pursuit of economic issues, perhaps we should acknowledge how much of the mainstream modern church has taken on the pursuit of “Emotional Prosperity.”

    Good god, you’d think the words — If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me (Luke 9,23) — were never written (which, by the way, was one of the other three rules of St. Francis’ initial order). To purposely take upon oneself a hardship with one’s sites set higher than just this world? Perish the thought.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The point of tithing would be to provide the Church with money to minister to the poor (i.e., the working poor or those physically incapable of working or otherwise afflicted, such as a widow with several children). A certain amount will inevitably be needed to maintain adequate facilities, but they shouldn’t be so expensive (usually because they’re too fancy) that the money gets in the way of the ministry.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        The point of tithing would be to provide the Church with money to minister to the poor (i.e., the working poor or those physically incapable of working or otherwise afflicted, such as a widow with several children).

        It seems to me it’s perfectly acceptable to say that we’re all on our own, that the universe is a random happening, and that “God” is nothing more than a mind game.

        After all, the atheists could be right. I acknowledge that. And that being the case, it find it aesthetically offensive (but not necessarily morally offensive, at least not as much) to turn religion into just another entitlement program, if one with funny hats and stained glass.

        That is, if God is really there, and there is far more to existence then (as Yoda said) “this crude matter,” then the emphasis we put on worldly things is trivial and somewhat irrelevant, if not also ridiculous.

        And that’s the vibe that St. Francis had…who got it, by the way, from the essence of the New Testament.

        Now, to your point, Timothy, it’s become apparent to me that a lot of this “helping the poor” is little more than a weak and feckless gesture meant to bolster the “What a good boy am I” ego of the giver, and without much thought to the recipient. And I believe this is substantially true of the Left or right. I like what Danusha V. Goska said in here article at American Thinker:

        It was past midnight, back in the 1980s, in Kathmandu, Nepal. A group of Peace Corps volunteers were drinking moonshine at the Momo Cave. A pretty girl with long blond hair took out her guitar and sang these lyrics, which I remember by heart from that night:

        “If you want your dream to be,
        Build it slow and surely.
        Small beginnings greater ends.
        Heartfelt work grows purely.”

        I just googled these lyrics, thirty years later, and discovered that they are Donovan’s San Damiano song, inspired by the life of St. Francis.

        Listening to this song that night in the Momo Cave, I thought, that’s what we leftists do wrong. That’s what we’ve got to get right.

        We focused so hard on our good intentions. Before our deployment overseas, Peace Corps vetted us for our idealism and “tolerance,” not for our competence or accomplishments. We all wanted to save the world. What depressingly little we did accomplish was often erased with the next drought, landslide, or insurrection.

        Peace Corps did not focus on the “small beginnings” necessary to accomplish its grandiose goals. Schools rarely ran, girls and low caste children did not attend, and widespread corruption guaranteed that all students received passing grades. Those students who did learn had no jobs where they could apply their skills, and if they rose above their station, the hereditary big men would sabotage them. Thanks to cultural relativism, we were forbidden to object to rampant sexism or the caste system. “Only intolerant oppressors judge others’ cultures.”

        I volunteered with the Sisters of Charity. For them, I pumped cold water from a well and washed lice out of homeless people’s clothing. The sisters did not want to save the world. Someone already had. The sisters focused on the small things, as their founder, Mother Teresa, advised, “Don’t look for big things, just do small things with great love.” Delousing homeless people’s clothing was one of my few concrete accomplishments.

        My mother (a Christian) gets the same “vibe” from the church she belongs to. They seem obsessed with giving money to any organization with “missionaries” overseas and she’s one of the few people willing to speak up and say, “Hold on a minute. What do we know about these guys?” It’s become a fad. Who cares how the money is spent? And what about people locally who need it more? But the “church” has, to a large stent, taken on the “feelings instead of standards” narcissistic orientation that pervades much of our culture.

        I have a nephew (who lives on the east coast, when he is in the States at all) who seems typical of our yute of today: He doesn’t want to grow up. So he spends his time on various “missions” to various countries “spreading the word of god.” In reality, these are all nice, cushy, paid-for-by-somebody-else vacations from reality.

        Real Christians (in my opinion) aren’t idiots. They are “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” I, frankly, am so tired of idiocy being run through Christianity and then everyone supposes that because it is something done under the guise of the church that it is automatically sanctified. Jesus.

        Real charity? You betcha. But much of what we have is the kind of Glenn-Beck-like posturing that does no lasting good.

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  8. I have received some emails that confirm the things I wrote about in the article. Two emails particularly by two different individuals are very telling. Before you read some comments from the first email, (I believe that the person is a prosperity pastor although he did not admit it) I need to give you a little more history on the teaching of prosperity gospel so that you will understand the reasoning behind the comments.

    Prosperity gospel pastors teach their followers to have faith and seek God for every decision that one makes, regardless of how small it is. If an individual says, (just in a casual conversation) that he or she is planning to do this or go there, the response will always be, did you seek God about that? This type of teaching believes that if one makes a decision on his or her own, the individual is relying on his or her own strength and does not have the sufficient amount of faith. What it really amounts to is the pastor having control over the people to the point where they do not make any decisions on their own without his consent. This teaching does not consider that God gave humans a brain to be able to think and make decision without having to seek Him on every small issue. Yes, Christians should seek God’s guidance on major decision in our lives; however, we are not some robot that needs programing. This teaching also believes that any knowledge acquired outside of the bible (i.e. College, although many people misquote and do not understand the bible), is detrimental to their relationship with God. When you read these comments, notice that he is making all kinds of assumption about me and my relationship with God and claims that I have walked away from the church. Nowhere in my article did I say that I was no longer part of a church. I am no longer part of the prosperity preaching church. He basis his conclusions on the teachings of the prosperity gospel. Also, notice how he tries to reel me back in (take back control) by presumably ministering to me or counseling me. In addition, notice how he makes the article about me instead of the deceitful teachings that I outlined. The following are his comments.

    “I debated posting a comment publicly; since your article was public I decided to email you instead. Your writing and your analysis — but more importantly your place in life — is both right and wrong, but wrong for dangerously wrong reasons”

    “Everything I hear you saying comes from trusting in yourself and not in God. And that is infinitely worse than poverty. You would be better off living every day in poverty than trusting in your own efforts, which is what I hear in everything you write”.

    “To simply attack what seems to be an unreasonable over-reliance on faith, deprives you of a much more powerful blessing in God than any practical lesson secular society or secular wisdom can offer. The blessing of God from tithing and other principles of living in the Kingdom is powerful and real. God expects the leaders of His church to do a heck of a lot more to help His people succeed.”

    “I don’t read in your article is something along the lines of “I sought God and found that God had so much more to offer me than just a one-instrument band of only tithing.” I read you finding answers in secular life, to the detriment and weakening of your relationship with God. And that is building your life on crumbling sand, which may seem for a brief, fleeting moment to be better, but only for a moment”
    “what I hear is that you found those answers by walking away from the Church (a good church, unlike the too-frequent bad ones) and the Bible and found the answers in a way that probably undermines your faith in God”

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      the response will always be, did you seek God about that? This type of teaching believes that if one makes a decision on his or her own, the individual is relying on his or her own strength and does not have the sufficient amount of faith.

      I find the idea that God talks personally to every Christian about every little thing, to be very strange. When someone asks “Did you seek God about that?”, it would seem to me that God’s instructions to Christians are in the Bible. Not every specific is mentioned, but there are very strong guidelines which a person can discern if one studies the Word. Other than that, I suspect God would expect a person to use the God-given sense which he has bestowed upon him.

      I have the very strong suspicion that many who claim to have “sought God” in such cases use are actually taking the Lord’s name in vain by claiming their questionable actions were sanctioned during their talk with God. It gives them wonderful cover since it is impossible to prove that God didn’t really talk to them.

      While tangential to this subject, there is a Muslim story which speaks to the point of leaving everything to God.

      A caravan stopped at an oasis for the night. After unloading the camels, the head of the caravan told one of his boys to go and tie up the camels. The boy then said, “why do you ask me to do such a thing, don’t you trust in Allah?” To which the caravan master replied, “I trust in Allah, but don’t expect him to do my work for me.”

      I think he then caned the boy for being insolent and trying to get out of work by using the name of God, at least that is something I might do.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I find it interesting that such pastors take a position that’s very close to the Muslim belief that everything that happens is specifically willed by Allah, not on the basis of scientific laws. It’s one reason they’ve produced so little in the way of scientific knowledge. You can’t work up the laws explaining the flight of an arrow when you believe “Allah willed it” is the only explanation needed. (As it happens, one of the first specific descriptions of the scientific method that I ever encountered, in the BSCS biology text we used in my high school biology course (1965-6), made much the same point. Such an explanation may not be wrong (though scientists generally and understandably assume it is), but right or wrong there’s nothing one can do with it in terms of better understanding how the world works.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Prosperity gospel pastors teach their followers to have faith and seek God for every decision that one makes, regardless of how small it is. If an individual says, (just in a casual conversation) that he or she is planning to do this or go there, the response will always be, did you seek God about that? This type of teaching believes that if one makes a decision on his or her own, the individual is relying on his or her own strength and does not have the sufficient amount of faith.

      Ditto to Timothy and Mr. Kung.

      There is the notion of seeking God’s will in all things. That’s a legitimate Catholic practice, particularly for those in a monastery or convent. In fact, I read a very interesting book written by a priest (in the form of various letters) that was meant as instruction for the nuns under his charge. It’s called Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751).

      Again, note that these were special instructions to those who specifically planned to live an extra-ordinary life in the service of God. The general idea is to pray and wait to be guided in the things that one ought to be doing. Etc. There is nothing bizarre or strange about this practice, for if there is a God, and there is an overall plan to this universe, it makes sense (if one is willing to forgo one’s own ego) to try to get aligned with that plan, in the micro and the macro. And this pursuit has absolutely nothing to do with material accumulation.

      The book can be a bit of a tedious read (it tends to repeat itself), but it’s not filled with anything particularly strange or bizarre.

      But I do find it strange and more than a bit bizarre for a pastor to tell a congregant that every flippin’ decision or act he makes must first be filtered through “God” or else one is somehow being disobedient, disloyal, or unfaithful. This isn’t “having a relationship with god.” It’s being obsessive-compulsive if not a little loopy.

      And, of course, this is just how the loopy Muslims view things, as Timothy pointed out. There is no room in this philosophy for free will, human proclivities, or just plain life. There’s no room for virtue or even love. Such a viewpoint is as bizarre and un-Christian (in my humble opinion) as are the predestination beliefs of Calvinists. Man becomes not a moral creature but a helpless automaton.

      Where in God’s name are people learning this kind of crap? I mean, holy smokes, talk about our culture — from top to bottom — being erased from memory.

  9. The second email that I received was from a very intelligent man that shared some personal family history with me. In that same email he provided me a plethora of research that he has done on the bible and tithing because of what he mentions in his email below. I told him that I wished that I had had the information before I wrote the article.

    “I enjoyed your article on the prosperity gospel. This discussion had emerged in our family a few months ago. One of our daughters and her husband are struggling financially. They were stressed when their minister started a series on “stealing from God” to boost the income to the church. Part of their financial difficulty comes from adopting a child with some special needs requiring funding for medical and other support. In their angst at trying to manage a household budget but support their church, my son-in-law asked my input on the “stealing from God” issue.”

    I responded to his email by telling him about the church that I attended back in the states before I moved to the United Kingdom. I told him that it is a mega church however, it is not a prosperity preaching church (I left those type churches years ago). I told him that a large segment of the congregation is highly educated and work in financial careers. Those members are the ones that helped me through the years learn about sound financial principles. My pastor highly encourages financial planning. In fact, just before I left, my church was sponsoring Dave Ramsey classes every Tuesday night at the church for anyone that wanted to sign up. The classes were video streamed to a large television screen in one of the churches rooms. I completed the course before I relocated to the UK. He responded with the following comments:

    “I was in a church some years ago where a newly appointed associate minister attempted to bring the Dave Ramsey course to the church. His efforts were quickly squashed. My wife was puzzled. I pointed out that many of the well-heeled members of this church were in banking or insurance businesses. These businesses are counter to Dave Ramsey. Having people actually save for their own self sufficiency robs the banker of the high interest rates on the loans. The insurance company also pulls money from the household budget based on fear and anxiety”

    His emails confirms what I wrote about in my article. Sadly, it reveals how even some churches more concerned about not upsetting the big tithers (bankers and insurance members) rather than the financial education of its members.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      They were stressed when their minister started a series on “stealing from God” to boost the income to the church.

      It’s hard to believe that a pastor could be so psychopathically evil to even say that to a person. Stealing from God. Oh, my lord. And those weren’t the first words that came to mind.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Stealing from God

        By that logic, why not give everything to God and let him, via the preacher, dole out some amount to you so you can avoid starvation? Since the preacher, obviously, has a direct line to God, he will know what you need.

        Did you notice that the phrasing is similar to that used by the big government crowd? Instead of God, the money belongs to the government, which is God for that crowd.

        Such scoundrels are present in every facet of life. One has to be constantly vigilant.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Oh, good point, Mr. Kung. These Communists and statists a-holes call any kind of tax reduction “Stealing from government.” And they are just as misguided or evil.

  10. “Your writing and your analysis — but more importantly your place in life — is both right and wrong, but wrong for dangerously wrong reasons”

    “And that is infinitely worse than poverty. You would be better off living every day in poverty than trusting in your own efforts, which is what I hear in everything you write”.

    “And that is building your life on crumbling sand, which may seem for a brief, fleeting moment to be better, but only for a moment”

    As I mentioned in my article, prosperity preachers use fear to keep their flock from straying. As you can see from the above quotes meant to cause me to fear. The Democrats use the same tactics with poor minorities (mainly black) by claiming that they are better off voting for them because Republicans are racist and are out to get them (put y’all back in chains).

    “what I hear is that you found those answers by walking away from the Church (a good church, unlike the too-frequent bad ones) and the Bible and found the answers in a way that probably undermines your faith in God”

    “Everything I hear you saying comes from trusting in yourself and not in God. And that is infinitely worse than poverty. You would be better off living every day in poverty than trusting in your own efforts, which is what I hear in everything you write”.

    After using fear, the next tactic is guilt. All of these tactics are an attempt to CONTROL people. Americans are being manipulated on all fronts by preachers, politicians and the media. That is why it is imperative to acquire and apply critical thinking skills. The one thing that both the prosperity preachers and the Democrats (along with their buddies in the media) have in common is they attack the messenger instead on debating or commenting on the message as you can see in the quotes.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Guilt and fear have probably always been used by religion. It’s not just a black thing or prosperity church thing. The Catholic Church is often criticized for depending too much upon guilt and fear. They used to make lots of money on the idea of Purgatory, for example.

      But as the squishy, libtard churches show us, you need a certain amount of guilt and fear because there are plenty of things to be guilty and fearful about. And without this aspect, church becomes not a moral lesson but mere entertainment or an outlet for feel-good narcissism — the kind of “non-judgmentalism” that is as bad, or worse, than actively teaching bad ethics.

      I’ve done a little cultural anthropology and have watched Joel Osteen a time or two. I would certainly think he fits into the Prosperity Church category, for in his ministry God is like some Mega Bank that you can constantly make withdrawals from. Yes, he says the word “Jesus” now and then, but seemingly only to disguise the fact that he is otherwise giving a financial or “power of positive thinking” seminar, not a sermon.

      And if many black churches have gone the Prosperity Church route, it’s been of no help that such churches have been abandoned by white people as they condescendingly say of even the most noxious Marxist-based churches (such as the one Pastor Wright had), “Well, everyone worships in their own way.”

      And this is true, of course. But having had some first-hand experience in one of these churches, I can tell you that a lot of black ministers have lost their way (as have, of course, many of the libtard denominations). The last black pastor (a woman) we had renting from us skipped out of town owing thousands of dollars. (Not to me, but we still receive tons of mail from creditors.) And her sermons consisted often of nothing more than a sort of primal scream therapy where she would yell (sounding almost like a fight between drunken spouses) at her congregation. “Be still and know that I am god” where not words that resonated in her church. It seemed to be a channeled sort of rage rather than a regard for God.

      But the “black” church that has replaced it is ministered by a man who is very much a father-figure to his congregants. One supposes that many black men have had no actual fathers thanks to the razing of the black family by welfare and the Democrat Party. I’ve listened to a few of his sermons and clearly he at least attempts to instill moral values in a biblical way. He also runs a ministry wherein he gives a means of honest employment to people who have often had no such thing.

      For my money, if you want to learn what Christianity is about, you must step outside the church and pick up a good book by, or about, one of the Catholic saints. Or read the bible yourself unfiltered through people who have agendas of their own.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Liberals do indeed rely heavily on guilt feelings. This is how they justify making whites pay for past mistreatment of blacks. Some reject this, as in John Marchi’s comment (quoted in The Real Majority by Scammon and Wattenberg, but I don’t feel like hunting up the precise quote) that he didn’t feel at all guilty over the long history of slavery and Jim Crow: “Thirty years ago my family was eating spaghetti in Italy.” But all too many fall for the trick, which is why I refer to “guilty liberal syndrome” and Walter Williams offers (as a descendant of slaves) to absolve any white of such guilt.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          “Thirty years ago my family was eating spaghetti in Italy.”

          That’s a good point from that fellow.

          Black victimhood is a racket — the contrary of the racket the South (in particular) had made out of saying blacks were mere property. There have been plenty of good people (such as Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglas) who made positive and genuine efforts to heal over this past.

          But the civil rights movement is now no more than an industry for racial grievance — basically a shake-down. And they are programming people in school from an early age to feel little more than shame and guilt about their country and civilization. It’s not just a racket, it’s a cult, and a sick one at that.

          But those indoctrinated into this cult think they are amongst the kindest, compassionate, and most enlightened people on the planet — merely for playing the role cast for them by others. They are the victimizers and they must find secular small-r “redemption” by mouthing the platitudes of “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” and “social justice.”

          These are foolish but not necessarily evil people, although they do empower the truly evil people amongst us.

  11. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Patricia, I thought you’d appreciate this quote from John MacArthur’s Hard to Believe. It seems to fit the theme here:

    “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25). It’s not about exalting me, it’s about slaying me. It’s the death of self. You win by losing; you live by dying. And that is the heart message of the gospel. That is the essence of discipleship. The passage mentions nothing about improving your self-esteem, being rich and successful, feeling good about yourself, or having your felt needs met, which is what so many churches are preaching these days in order to sugarcoat the truth.

    And…

    It’s hard to get through the narrow gate because it’s so hard for us to deny ourselves. Jesus’ first requirement in Luke 9 was for Christians to deny themselves, but that’s just about impossible to do. Self-importance is the reigning reality in human fallenness: man is the master of his own soul, the captain of his own fate, the monarch of his own world.

    I don’t think the following covers the range of motivations of pastors. But it covers some of it:

    Well-meaning congregations and pastors go to great lengths to steer around the teachings of Jesus that are hard to believe. They don’t do it because they’re sinister, or malicious, or consciously out to deceive anybody. They do it because good news is fun to deliver, but hard words aren’t. Hard words are sometimes confusing and embarrassing; it’s hard to make eye contact when you repeat some of them.

    Does this next bit sound a little like Glenn?

    Not only can I not compromise the message, I can’t compromise the cost. I can’t change the terms. We know Jesus said, “If you want to come after Me, deny yourself” (see Luke 9:23). Jesus said we have to take up our crosses all the way to death, if that’s what He asks. I can’t help it if that gospel offends a society awash in self-love.

    Here’s another good quote:

    And it isn’t enough to say, “I was born in a Christian family, I’ve been in the church all my life.” As Laurence J. Peter mused, being in church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than being in the garage makes you a car.

    I think this quote by MacArthur is particularly revealing:

    This is identical to Acts 8:18-19. Simon saw the power of God displayed through Peter and he offered to buy it, more or less, saying, “I want that power. How much?” Many people in Christian churches are trying somehow to get the power—and speakers are encouraging them! They say, “Folks, we want you to get the power.” Then, wild, crazy things go on with people jumping and hollering and screaming and flipping and flopping all over the place for one basic thing: they’re trying to get the power.

    Tell me the following doesn’t apply to far more than just the “Prosperity Church”:

    Now we get to the real issue. The crowd was pouring after Him, following Him, and He began to sort them out with the truth. The truth divides people. The more fundamental the truth, the deeper and wider the division. The goal of Christian preaching—the goal of presenting the gospel, the goal of the church—is not just to open the door so wide that we can suck everybody in and make them feel comfortable. The goal is to preach the truth to as many people as possible, so that we can sort out the true from the false.

    And finally (a quote particularly intersecting with the topic at hand):

    In the process of stewing about the issue, the church has gotten shallower and shallower. One reason is because churches have proliferated everywhere in which the pastors are personality-driven leaders, men who don’t have the theological grounding to define issues biblically with any depth. Another reason is this tragic and misguided concern not to offend anybody, to make church fun and entertaining, resulting in some kind of synthetic gospel that doesn’t have enough truth in it to save anybody.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I think a lot of people here would find Ed Morrissey’s Sunday reflections at hotair.com interesting. Each consists of 2 or 3 Bible readings (starting with one from the Gospels) and his commentary on it. MacArthur’s comments remind me of many of Morrissey’s.

  12. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    This article by Ann Coulter is tangential to the whole “prosperity church” thing, so I’ll mention it here. Hat tip to Mr. Kung. It’s about one of the missionaries who contracted ebola in Africa. Here’s the concluding paragraphs:

    Your country is like your family. We’re supposed to take care of our own first. The same Bible that commands us to “go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel” also says: “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”

    Right there in Texas, near where Dr. Brantly left his wife and children to fly to Liberia and get Ebola, is one of the poorest counties in the nation, Zavala County — where he wouldn’t have risked making his wife a widow and his children fatherless.

    But serving the needy in some deadbeat town in Texas wouldn’t have been “heroic.” We wouldn’t hear all the superlatives about Dr. Brantly’s “unusual drive to help the less fortunate” or his membership in the “Gold Humanism Honor Society.” Leaving his family behind in Texas to help the poor 6,000 miles away — that’s the ticket.

    Today’s Christians are aces at sacrifice, amazing at serving others, but strangely timid for people who have been given eternal life. They need to buck up, serve their own country, and remind themselves every day of Christ’s words: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”

    There may be no reason for panic about the Ebola doctor, but there is reason for annoyance at Christian narcissism.

    There’s certainly a place for overseas missions. And I would say Ann is overstating the case except for the fact that she is obviously tuned into the narcissistic motivation the has eclipsed much of Christianity. It’s fed not so much by the desire to aid man, but is infused with the novelty and romanticism of “exotic and foreign cultures.” It’s the playing out of multiculturalism more than it is Christ.

    I have a nephew who has been traveling the world since high school and all on a supposed “Christian mission.” But it’s little more than an extended vacation from adulthood as far as I can tell. Here’s another excerpt of Ann:

    Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa? The very first “risk factor” listed by the Mayo Clinic for Ebola — an incurable disease with a 90 percent fatality rate — is: “Travel to Africa.”

    Can’t anyone serve Christ in America anymore?

    No — because we’re doing just fine. America, the most powerful, influential nation on Earth, is merely in a pitched battle for its soul.

    About 15,000 people are murdered in the U.S. every year. More than 38,000 die of drug overdoses, half of them from prescription drugs. More than 40 percent of babies are born out of wedlock. Despite the runaway success of “midnight basketball,” a healthy chunk of those children go on to murder other children, rape grandmothers, bury little girls alive — and then eat a sandwich. A power-mad president has thrown approximately 10 percent of all Americans off their health insurance — the rest of you to come! All our elite cultural institutions laugh at virginity and celebrate promiscuity.

    So no, there’s nothing for a Christian to do here.

    If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia. Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.

    Another great point she makes is:

    Which explains why American Christians go on “mission trips” to disease-ridden cesspools. They’re tired of fighting the culture war in the U.S., tired of being called homophobes, racists, sexists and bigots. So they slink off to Third World countries, away from American culture to do good works, forgetting that the first rule of life on a riverbank is that any good that one attempts downstream is quickly overtaken by what happens upstream.

    America is the most consequential nation on Earth, and in desperate need of God at the moment. If America falls, it will be a thousand years of darkness for the entire planet.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’ve read her article, as well as Eric Erickson’s response. Both make good points in their arguments. My own view would be that there is a place for those who wish to help people in foreign countries (who generally are far worse off than just about anyone in America). But, as Coulter points out, there’s also plenty that needs to be done here. We have room for both, but I agree that the primary emphasis should be in this country. But missionaries mostly go to places where Christians are few (but where non-Christians are reachable, unlike California).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I can’t argue with what you’re saying, Timothy. But the background on all this is the presumed moral preening that is so prevalent these days — if not moral cowardice as Ann implies in her article.

        It’s all the rage to help the “victims” of the third world. But imagine the hell you would catch if you went to a black community corrupted and ruined by crime, drugs, single-parenthood, and Democrat politics. It’s much easier just to go to Africa where the “compassion” is at least politically correct.

        What would Jesus do? Well, apparently he’d help first at home. And Ann makes a great point about needing to keep the “upstream” America strong, for without her, the third world is then really doomed.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Someone didn’t take too kindly to Coulter’s article: Coulter’s ‘Idiotic’ Response to Christian Missions

        One astute thinker at American Thinker (pavan) sums up my own thoughts on the matter:

        I tend to agree with Ann Coulter. I hope people will read Ann’s article and not take Janice’s self serving interpretation as fact. Ann’s point was not that we shouldn’t care for others. Rather, she was saying that the US has a greater need for some Christian ministering than Africa. Celebrities like Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie won’t help poor Americans, but they’ll go (with great fanfare) to help and adopt Africans. Janice seems to be of the same ilk. They prefer the easy praise that results from a well publicized adventure in Africa, as opposed to helping poor Americans and being criticized for promoting Christianity at home.

        I lover running into a real thinker. This same person said:

        The rage behind some of the comments here suggests that Ann has hit a sensitive nerve. How dare she criticize these globe trotting do-gooders!

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One thing to note is that there’s a difference between someone who ostentatiously demonstrates “concern” for the less fortunate (such as sleeping on a sewer grate one night — and making sure everyone knows about it), which is a good example of what Coulter objects to, and actually showing such concern without boasting about it. In the particular case of the doctors brought back with ebola, were they in the first group or the second?

  13. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Continuing on with the general theme of narcissistic or worldly-oriented Christians, Susan D. Harris has a great reply in support of Ann Coulter’s recent column: Ann Coulter’s Article Hits Home — Literally. Here’s an excerpt that shows the continued fixation by Christians on multiculturalism and “diversity” (which translates as “fads instead of substance”):

    Despite our professed American pride, we became increasingly lured to foreign countries to avoid crippling taxes in our homeland; we became enchanted with converting foreigners instead of helping our own neighbors.

    Years ago I was looking for a church in my new area; longing for fellowship with other Christians.  I invited a friend to attend a Sunday service at a church I was considering attending. My friend was an Indian national who floundered between Buddhism and Hinduism.  I suppose I hoped he’d convert to Christianity one day, but as I got to know him I doubted that would ever happen.  After the service, we were descended upon — I was happy and eager to make new friends with similar beliefs.  To my surprise, they surrounded my Indian friend and quite conspicuously ignored me.  I received neither greeting nor handshake. My friend was amused and indulged them.  We wrote our addresses in the visitor’s log.  The next day I visited my friend and found his table filled with baked goods; courtesy of a contingent of ladies from the church who knocked on his door at 9 a.m.  As he bit into a piece of chocolate cake, he laughed at them. He confessed he always enjoyed getting food or gifts from Christian’s eager to boast they’d converted some Third World pagan.  I sighed at my loneliness for Christian fellowship and chomped down a brownie.

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