Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Warning: self righteous tirade ahead.....

As a Christian- well, as a human being- there is one thing that drives me crazy: so called "prosperity preaching." It takes on many forms- the televangelist asking you to call in and give a donation, the church down the street (I've actually heard of churches auditing your income to make sure you are really giving them ten percent), the chain emails sent to you stating that God has a blessing in the form of money coming to you if you forward the email, even going so far as to say that if you don't forward the email, you are ashamed of God.

I, for one, do not think that when I die, God is going to say, "Well, Ashley, you didn't forward that email, so....." I think He will ask me about my actions, why I didn't love my brothers and sisters, why I had such a temper problem, why I wasted so many opportunities.

Anyway, not to rip off the author Donald Miller here, but a lot of people want to treat God like a divine slot machine: do your good works, go to church, say your prayers, tithe (especially tithe), and boom: God is going to bless you with this material wealth, or a spouse, or children, or a new job. The list goes on and on. It's like, we don't really care about God or a relationship with Him. We only care about what He can give us. What we put in and what He can give us in return. As if God needs our money!!! The Creator of the universe is concerned with ten percent of my measly salary!!! He can't go on without it!!!

Now, I am NOT saying that you shouldn't give money or tithe. It says so in the Bible. What I AM saying is, maybe that homeless person down the street needs that money (or food) a little more than your church building fund, so your church can add a bowling alley for the youth. Maybe that single mom needs the money a little more than the rich televangelist. Maybe we shouldn't worry so much about forwarding stupid, superstitious emails. Maybe we can also tithe with our time. I don't think God expects us to sit down like accountants and figure this all out.
It just makes me sick to see people profiting off of others being gullible. Screw the giant shiny church building. Give that money to people that need it. Read the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The thing that pisses me off the most, is that people see this and think, that's what CHRISTIANITY is all about! It's about stealing people's money, bashing gays, supporting war and the death penalty, and people that agree with our narrow minded opinions. Blurring the lines between Church and State is killing us as believers. People want to equate Christianity and patriotism to our country as almost the same thing. Disgusting! What if it were another religion in the majority, and we were pressured all the time to follow it, posting relics of it in public places, praying its prayers in large groups. "Allah bless America." Now, I am not knocking other religions, but you know how quickly Christians would get upset over that. I don't blame people of other religions (or atheists) getting upset over what is going on now. I would too!!!! This country was founded on FREEDOM! Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." It's not! I'm glad it's not too... this world sucks! I'm tired of people twisting my faith into something disgusting. I'm tired of people turning away from me when I tell them I'm a Christian. News flash... I do NOT worship Christianity or any church. I worship Jesus Christ. And if you don't? That's fine. I'll still be your friend. I won't thump you into submission with my Bible. Sometimes, I find that I get along with people that DON'T believe what I do, more that people that do.

I realize that i sound pretty self righteous. when is the last time I gave to a homeless person, or someone in need? Really, that's between me and God. (I'll confess- I haven't in a while). It's something I want to work on, but I'm not going to write it in the sky when I do. These people have received their reward. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Go to a quiet place, and pray to God, who is unseen. Don't pray on the street corners like hypocrites. These people, too, have received their reward.

Darn. There goes the National Day of Prayer and See You at the Pole.

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