The Lottery Church
Τί ἐστιν ἀλήθεια;
What is truth?
For me, the answer to that question has become: Truth is the knowledge of reality. Of course, we could deconstruct those words. What is “knowledge”? What is “reality”? But for the sake of communicating something let’s just say that the knowledge of reality is something along the lines of how things actually work. If I drop something, gravity takes it to the ground. If I bleed too much, I die. If I continually overeat, I get fat.
The quest for “truth” is a thirst that many human beings have. How do things work? Why did this happen? Why? Who? What? Where?
As an aspiring academic, as someone who values rationality, who recognizes the tendency of humans to get a great deal of things wrong, (i.e. make mistakes) but also, have a great capacity to get things right, (e.g., formulate scientific theories that work, engineer complicated structures, and produce drugs and cures for diseases) I am inclined to search for truth and the knowledge of reality, i.e., how things actually work.
Very often, this quest for the knowledge of reality plays a role in my evaluation of theological theories. Asking question such as, “Is that how things really work?” “What about this situation?” have been valuable traits in my academic endeavors. However, unfortunately, in churches, questioning the ‘Lord’s anointed’ and the ‘Word of the Lord’ that comes through them is often not encouraged. Good(?) examples of my questioning pastors, and results that should demonstrate to you why it’s important!: here (Hybels), here (Driscoll).
While pastors may want you to believe that they have formulaic principles that are ‘true’ and should not be questioned, the opposite is unfortunately ‘true’ (and often easily demonstrated!). Which brings us to today’s dilettante pastor who has little connection with reality, and how things actually work.
A church in Chicago has begun to give money to its parishioners every week, and with all of the wolves involved in Christianity right now this is not a practice I am against per se, however, very likely the theology behind this church’s ‘gift’ is something along the lines of “if you give you will receive.” Pretty simple math: 900 more attendees, much larger offering, and only a small investment for such a large payoff.
Perhaps, one of the statements I have heard recently that is the most disconnected from reality is from the pastor in this video when he says, “Debt is not a financial condition; debt is a spiritual condition.”
Wow. Let that one sink in for a minute.
“Debt is not a financial condition; debt is a spiritual condition.”
Let me give you a small piece of advice that is connected to reality and truth: debt is a financial condition! Do not spend more than you earn. Save. Invest. And above all, don’t give away your money, especially if you are in the financial condition of debt, to a charlatan. You will merely find yourself in more debt.
We live in the scientific age; you cannot turn lead into gold with the power of your mind, or with seed money. Stop.