Archive - vurp RSS Feed

Oh, prosperity gospel rant, it’s been too long!

Recent events in my immediate area concerning a certain church mailer I received have made me want to go into full ranting mode. But since I don’t want my big, fat mouth to reflect poorly on my church family, I have decided to dig up an old rant instead. (Read: My husband told me not to.) A few months ago, I posted the following prosperity gospel rant. Many of you have already read it. For those of you who have, please go check out Nick the Geek’s post here: Who is a fool
For those of you who have yet to experience me at my self-righteous best, please enjoy the following rant and THEN go read Nick’s post. He’s actually a pastor, and a pretty smart (albeit geeky) one at that.

Without further adieu, I give you The Prayer Cross:

There are so many things in this commercial that anger me that I will have to dissect and analyze it a bit at a time:

“Watch as people gaze in amazement as the experience the magic of the prayer cross for the first time.” Errr, magic? Didn’t I read somewhere in the bible that magic is a bad thing?

“Creating not only a magnificent piece of jewelry, but a one of a kind spiritual accessory.” You mean like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? That kind of spiritual accessory? Oh, wait, that’s the Fruits of the Spirit. Everyone knows that it’s really tacky when you wear fruit as an accessory. Nothing at all like this necklace.
“When held up to the light, the entire Lord’s Prayer becomes instantly and almost miraculously visible.” Well, at least they said “almost miraculously”. Don’t want to be stretching the truth or anything.

“Each prayer cross comes with a certificate of authenticity.” Which is reassuring. Because you’d probably go straight to H-E double hockey sticks if you get one of those fake prayer crosses.

“The prayer cross is the perfect way to say Happy Easter or Merry Christmas.” Hmmm…I kind of think the best way to say Merry Christmas is to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world (the One who left His perfect home in paradise where He sat at the right hand of the Father to die an excruciating death on the cross for the atonement of our sins) and to give comfort, encouragement and hope to the marginalized in society. You know, like Jesus did. And while the prayer cross is undoubtedly “blingtastic”, If I chose to wear a cross, it would be something simple. Not necessarily made of wood and stained with blood, sweat and tears, but a more humble representation of the ultimate price that was paid at Calvary.

“…and is sure to bring joy and comfort to all who wear it.” I don’t know about you, but wearing a shiny cross made out of genuine Austrian crystals and sterling silver does not bring me joy or comfort. The very idea that a person might believe they can purchase a trinket and it will somehow fill that giant, God-shaped hole their heart is both infuriating and heartbreaking. (Not to mention blasphemous.)

This is just one more thing that feeds into the heretical teachings of the prosperity gospel, leading people to believe that God is for the express purpose of blessing them (instead of the other way around); that your financial status is directly linked to your own personal holiness; that if you are poor or sick or you have lost a loved one and your heart is breaking, it is because you are of little faith. And speaking of well known biblical passages, how do these health and wealth preachers explain the beatitudes? Would someone PLEASE explain to me how you get around that particular passage of scripture?

I know that there are a few pastors who read my blog. (Don’t worry, I won’t turn you in the secret society of holiness.) I am sincerely asking why, with the notable exception of John Piper, more highly visible Christian leaders aren’t speaking out against this blasphemy? I am totally off base with this? Please give me your honest opinion, anonymously or otherwise. Because as far as I’m concerned, the Christian community as a whole should be involved in the spiritual equivalent of roaming the streets in an angry mob with torches and pitchforks to expose these people for who they really are. (In Christian love, of course. Always in love.)

When I picture the Perfect Gift, during communion or simply during quiet time, my concept of beauty looks more like this:

(End of rant. I’m going to go cry now…)
Update: Joanna reminded me that there are other high profile pastors speaking out against this stuff. So, thanks for that. Piper just seems more appropriately pissed off about it.
Also, if you happen to have purchased one of these lovely crosses, no offense. I’m sure it looks good on you…(especially if you’re my friend’s mother-in-law).