More Pastoral Stupidity
As you may have heard Paula White and her co-pastor husband Randy are divorcing. Will this require them to even temporarily step back from ‘ministry’? Of course not. The raping and pillaging of the sheeple must go on. Now, I’m not personally against the Whites (I’m not actively hoping they die a horrible death and burn in hell for eternity), however, theologically and philosophically I find them disgusting and their “message” reprehensible. Being rich, Botox, and face lifts are not the biblical message. Seriously, stop doing that stuff to your face, cuz: damn.
For example, Paula White is doing a ladies’ retreat next week-end titled Satisfied Woman. Wow. Only one word comes to mind: Really? Her book is titled You Can Have It All. Once again: Really? When you speak of the increase, prosperity, your best life now, and all of the self help mumbo jumbo that ensues then you should be disqualified from ministry stealing from people for this sort of behavior. Can you speak the garbage that she does, but have your personal life falling apart and still be legit? If I was a sheeple I think I would be switching my allegiance to Joel Osteen. At least he has a nice smile and there is none of “The Anointing” crap.
I’m going to assume that I’m preaching to the choir here. As a general rule thinking isn’t encouraged in prosperity or Word of Faith circles, so I imagine Scotteriology and related sites are not high on their reading list, but if any adherents to that philosophy have mistakenly made their way here I have a couple of requests.
First, go out and find out what “worldview” means. First-century people did not understand money the way you do, or have the same assumptions towards money that you do. There were no banks. There was no ATM’s. There was no interest. You have to understand how they understood money before you can use their writing to substantiate your argument. Investigate how much money a first-century Galilean fisherman would have seen and used in his lifetime. I think the verse about having all of your needs met might take on a different meaning.
Secondly, some how some way, you are going to have to show me prosperity in the lives of Jesus, his disciples, and the early church. Jesus: poor and crucified. I’ll give you a pass because he had to do that whole atonement thing and all, but couldn’t he have at least done it in style? Let’s see, disciples? poor and martyred. Peter? martyred. Paul? poor and martyred. James the brother of Jesus? Killed by the Sanhedrin. Justin the martyr? Well, his name is a small clue. Polycarp, Ignatius, I mean the list goes on and on.
Where is Peter and Paul in Rome living in a large villa with slaves at their beck and call, piles of money all over the floor, living Their Best Life Now? Why was Jesus not the head of the Sanhedrin, or one of the priestly elites? Why was he a poor outsider? Seriously, at some point you are going to have to harmonize the life of Jesus and his followers to what you speak. Where is Paul writing, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified… and of course, how to be rich, healthy, happy, and the most successful people in Corinth“? Where does Peter write: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed…in your finances“? The “prosperity” you preach cannot be found in their lives.
Finally, the priestly elite that Jesus so often clashed heads with, and were largely responsible for his death, were the richest people group in Jerusalem! They had nice big houses built that overlooked the Temple, and their own bridge that took them from their mansions to the Temple. They lived in extravagance. They were a small portion in the population, but had most of the resources. It just absolutely blows my mind that untrained and unaware ministers now take the stories of Jesus who was vehemently against this priestly elite’s religious abuses and teach people to be like that priestly elite! It is 100% backwards! One of the writers of the Bible had this to say to his ‘little children,’ “By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked.” There are many ways to do theology badly, but I’m not sure if the plot has been more lost by any other group. You can’t get much further than turning the enemies of Jesus and their lifestyle into the “Gospel.”
Of course, if I am wrong, and what Jesus really meant by take up your cross and follow me was my putting on a platinum and diamond crucifix to show off my bling, then certain aspects of being his disciple just got a whole lot easier.
UPDATE: This could be its own post, but would require the same title. Praise Jesus, Bishop Weeks brings the pimp-hand strong! I gotta go. I need to download as much White, Bynum, and Weeks as I can so that I too can have the same wonderful peace in my life.