Some fellow asserts the Lord was actually born into wealth. Ha!

You have probably read or heard about the 1st c. house unearthed in Nazareth.  Pretty humble place.

From CNN:

Passions over ‘prosperity gospel': Was Jesus wealthy?
By John Blake, CNN
December 25, 2009 — Updated 0912 GMT (1712 HKT)

(CNN) — Each Christmas, Christians tell stories about the poor baby Jesus born in a lowly manger because there was no room in the inn.

But the Rev. C. Thomas Anderson, senior pastor of the Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Arizona, preaches a version of the Christmas story that says baby Jesus wasn’t so poor after all. [And he has a financial … er um… theological motive for this claim.]

[What, you may ask, are his arguments?   Let’s find out!] Anderson says Jesus couldn’t have been poor because he received lucrative gifts — gold, frankincense and myrrh — at birth. [?!?]  Jesus had to be wealthy because the Roman soldiers who crucified him gambled for his expensive undergarments. Even Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, lived and traveled in style, he says.

"Mary and Joseph took a Cadillac to get to Bethlehem because the finest transportation of their day was a donkey," says Anderson. "Poor people ate their donkey. Only the wealthy used it as transportation." [How else are you going to move your 9 month pregnant wife from Nazareth to Bethlehem?]

Many Christians see Jesus as the poor, itinerant preacher who had "no place to lay his head." But as Christians gather around the globe this year to celebrate the birth of Jesus, another group of Christians are insisting that Jesus’ beginnings weren’t so humble.

They say that Jesus was never poor — and neither should his followers be. [Wait for it…] Their claim is embedded in the doctrine known as the prosperity gospel, [TA DA!] which holds that God rewards the faithful with financial prosperity and spiritual gifts[If you are wealthy, that is a sign of God’s favor.  Thus, some televangelists conspicuously flash some wealth around to show that God favor’s them and hears their prayers.   These are guys to whom you can give your money because surely God favors them.]

A clash of gospels?

The prosperity gospel has attracted plenty of critics. But popular televangelists such as the late Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin and, today, Creflo Dollar have built megachurches and a global audience by equating piety with prosperity.

The prosperity gospel, however, clashes with the traditional depictions of Jesus as poor. That’s because the traditional image of Jesus as destitute is wrong, says the Rev. Tom Brown, senior pastor of the Word of Life Church in El Paso, Texas.

The proof, he says, is scattered throughout the New Testament. One example: The 12th chapter of the Gospel of John says that Jesus had a treasurer, or a "keeper of the money bag."

"The last time I checked, poor people don’t have treasurers to take care their money," says Brown, author of "Devil, Demons and Spiritual Warfare."  [So, a bunch of guys traveling around with the Lord were just supposed to see to their own, individual needs?   Or would they pool their resources and the gifts they received along the way and have someone watch after what they had?  Would that make them rich?]

A debate over the economic status of Jesus may seem nonsensical to some. Does it really matter whether Jesus was rich or poor?  [Not if you aren’t deeply invested in the prosperity Gospel.]

It matters to people like Luke Timothy Johnson, a prominent New Testament scholar and author. He says that a rich Jesus is a distortion of history and a threat to one of Christianity’s core teachings: God’s identification with the poor.

"If Jesus reveals God, there is something powerful about God appearing and working among the poor," says Johnson, a New Testament professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Jesus’ lifestyle is not of one in a gated community or a corporate office," says Johnson, a former Benedictine monk. "You don’t have to go through a security gate to get to Jesus. People touch him. He reached out and touched children. His accessibility is one of the most powerful messages of Christianity. In Jesus, God is with us, and the majority of us are poor."

‘The poor won’t follow the poor’  [?!?  Is that so?  Just like that?]

Some prosperity preachers extract a different message from the same biblical texts. Brown, the El Paso minister, says he doesn’t say that Jesus was rich because he wants to give people an excuse to live self-indulgent lives. He wants people to understand that Jesus used his material and spiritual riches to help people — and so should they.

Brown says Jesus’ own words prove that he wasn’t poor.

"Jesus said you will always have the poor, but you will not always have me," Brown says. "Jesus did not affirm himself as being part of the poor class…  [O brother.]

"I believe he was the richest man on the face of the earth because he had God as his source," Brown says.

Jesus’ wealth is evident even in the Gospel accounts of his execution, some pastors say.

The New Testament reports that Roman soldiers gambled for Jesus’ clothing while he hung on the cross. They wouldn’t gamble for Jesus’ clothing unless it was expensive, Anderson says.  [Really?]

"I don’t know anybody — even Pamela Anderson — that would have people gambling for his underwear," Anderson says. "That was some fine stuff he wore."  [Well… there’s a fine argument for you.]

Anderson says Jesus never would have had disciples or a large following if he was poor. He would not have been able to command their respect[Do you hear the prosperity Gospel in this?  It is important to leaders to appear wealthy so that the poor will follow.]

"The poor will follow the rich, the rich will follow the rich, but the rich will never follow the poor," Anderson says. [Really?]

Twisting scripture for personal gain?

Johnson, the Emory University New Testament professor, calls Anderson’s argument "completely illogical."

 "So Martin Luther King must have been a millionaire," he says. "Crowds followed Siddhartha Buddha and he was poor. And mobs followed Mahatma Gandhi, and Gandhi wore a diaper, for God’s sake."

The argument that Jesus was wealthy because the soldiers gambled for his clothes at his crucifixion doesn’t makes historical sense, either, says Johnson, author of "Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity."

"Crucifixion was the sort of execution carried out for slaves and for rebels," Johnson says. "It wasn’t an execution for wealthy people."

A Baylor University religion professor who specializes in the study of the poor in the Greco-Roman world also says there is "no way" that Jesus could be considered wealthy.

Bruce W. Longenecker says life in Jesus’ world was brutal. About 90 percent of people lived in poverty. A famine or a bad crop could ruin a family. There was no middle class.

"In the ancient world, you were relatively poor or filthy rich, there’s very little in-between," says Longenecker, author of "Engaging Economics: New Testament Scenarios and Early Christian Reception."

The New Testament is full of parables where Jesus actually condemns the rich and praises the poor, Longenecker says. In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus actually curses the rich, he says.

"The only way you can make Jesus into a rich man is by advocating torturous interpretations and by being wholly naive historically," Longenecker says.

Anderson, the Arizona pastor, doesn’t buy that argument. He says the church has actually been damaged by teaching that Jesus was poor. God wants his followers to be rich, not for selfish gain, but to help others in need and spread the gospel.

When he first preached that Jesus wasn’t poor to his church, Anderson says he "ruffled some feathers."

Now, he says, his church has 9,000 members and a global ministry.

"That’s so pathetic, to say that Jesus was struggling alone in the dust and dirt," Anderson says. "That just makes no sense whatsoever. He was constantly in a state of wealth."   [Well… if he says so!  Where can I send my check?]

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44 Responses to Some fellow asserts the Lord was actually born into wealth. Ha!

  1. Rob in Maine says:

    I recall a segment on the Art Bell Show from years ago that St Joseph wasn’t a simple carpenter, but the 1st century equivalent to a general contractor with lucrative Roman bids; therefore Jesus was born into wealth. Ties into that is the legend of Jesus traveling to India as a youth. The argument here is that only a wealthy person could afford such a trip.

  2. What does the Rev. C. Thomas Anderson do with the Scripture verses that say that Jesus Himself said He “had no where to rest his head”?
    Evangelical poverty, then, is an absolute abomination according to this “creed”. I guess we religious are not favored by God…too bad for us!
    As to the fable that Jesus was rich; how does he explain that Mary and Joseph could not find a place, were in fact, refused, a place in an inn…and our Lord and Saviour was born where animals were kept? And as for the “lucrative gifts”…they may have been given a while after His birth…like maybe a year or so? Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Scripture scholars (reputable) put the Magi’s visit at some time after the actual birth of our Lord.
    This “take” on Jesus is pure rubbish.

  3. Jack Hughes says:

    following on fromt the comments made by Nazareth priest couldn’t the gifts of the magi have used to finance the trip to egypt, the sojourn there and the trip back? The journey was tough enough for Abraham and Sarah who were without child at the time and had a whole lot of followers, methinks that the Holy Family would have had it even tougher.

  4. Jack Hughes: You are so right!

  5. cheyan says:

    Even assuming the gifts of the Magi meant Jesus was raised in relative wealth… or they weren’t, but Joseph was a highly-paid government contractor or whatever… nothing says Jesus didn’t relinquish all of his family’s wealth when he went out preaching, right?

    This whole thing strikes me as an attempt to make Jesus’s life more like the preacher’s life, so that the preacher doesn’t have to do the hard work of making his life more like Jesus’s!

  6. Bruce says:

    Prosperity gospel preacher Creflo Dollar! You can’t make this stuff up!

  7. Hidden One says:

    1. vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas.
    2. The love of money is the root of all evil.

    If I may borrow a phrase from a somewhat less intellectual subculture than that normally found here… PastorFAIL.

  8. One more thought.
    Poor is not destitute.
    The Gospels clearly indicate that our Lord’s message and example were (and are) a call to be interiorly detached from riches (whatever they may be) and open to doing God’s will, to serving others, to loving the poor and the forgotten.
    Destitute is not something Mother Teresa taught or exemplified; she maintained in her convents a strict regimen of proper diet, hygiene, cleanliness (do you ever see an MC in a dirty habit?) so that the Sisters can lift up the poorest of the poor from lives of filth and human degradation to one of dignity. But the Sisters live a strict ascetical life; this is not destitution. This is evangelical poverty. In imitation of the Master.

  9. Supertradmom says:

    That the Almighty Triune God, who has always existed and created the universe would become man at all is the tremendous act of poverty. If Joseph had money, he would not have had to take Mary to the stable in Bethlehem, and he would have given more than two turtle-doves when he presented Christ in the temple for the Circumcision.

    Just like the liberation theologians, these guys are re-making the Gospel and Christ into their own image and likeness…..

  10. Hans says:

    ‘The poor will follow the rich, the rich will follow the rich, but the rich will never follow the poor,’ Anderson says.

    I suppose this fellow likely has never heard of St. Francis of Assisi. It’s true that some people followed him when he was rich, but far more followed him when he gave up everything and became poor, and they have followed him far longer than they might have done otherwise.

    Then again, some people will only see what they want to see.

  11. Warren says:

    The protestant sects in Latin America that preach a religion similarly tainted by the “prosperity gospel”, while a significant challenge to the Church, are destined to fail. The only way the sects can hold their people is through a form of spiritual bribery. Something to the effect of “If believe in (my) christ you’ll attain material blessing.” Those sects – and they are legion – are nothing more than pseudo-christian pyramid schemes in which conmen turned pastors get rich. It may take half a generation, but this new ideological plague that defiles the very gospel it claims to serve must yield.

    Many are being led astray, partly because we allowed “Liberation Theology”, aka marxism, to infiltrate and distract us from the mission of Christ. As a younger fellow, I attended several pentecostal assemblies. Every sermon, in addition to being a sales pitch, involved fleecing the flock. And, that fleecing usually involved a subtle form of guilt trip that went something like “I KNOW you want to help… and I KNOW you wouldn’t want to see the Lord’s work in peril… so I KNOW you’ll do the right thing… and you will receive your reward… .”

    We would do well to kick the Catholic evangelization effort into high gear (the New Evangelization JPII spoke about). If we keep to the current emerging trajectory set by B16, i.e., a reclamation of truth, goodness and authentic beauty while challenging relativism, the Church will claim (back) many souls for Christ. Laudatur Jesus Christus!

  12. Melody says:

    I’m with HiddenOne. This is theology FAIL>

    And rich people won’t follow poor people? Someone find that man a good psychiatrist.

  13. Fr_Sotelo says:

    There is also the instruction of the Lord to the young man who followed all the commandments. “There is one more thing. Go, and sell all you have, and give to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven.”

    When he compares the rich man to Lazarus, it is Lazarus who has the favor of God, being carried by angels “to the bosom of Abraham.” Lazarus is not described as having been heroic and virtuous–he is merely described as being poor and down and out. Conversely, the rich man is taken to a place of torment for having done nothing worse than feasting richly and being dressed in fine clothing.

    The poor widow is extolled by the Lord at the temple for giving so little financially, but giving nonetheless at a great sacrifice to herself. “Blessed are the poor” is one of the beatitudes.

    The recent discovery of a house from the original village of Nazareth seems to be confirming the theory that it was a very small town of poor people, giving both Joseph and Jesus a very small pool from which to make any money in their trade as a carpenter (or contractor LOL). We know how hard it is for a carpenter to make a living in a town of a couple of thousand people. How on earth did our Lord support himself with a clientele of maybe 100 or so?

  14. Dear Father Zuhlsdorf:

    Please, with love, don’t spend any time with anyone who does not possess INFALLIBILITY. We have too much respect for you. [Catholics don’t live in isolation from the rest of the world. We need to know what is behind the things we encounter so that we know how to deal with them.]

  15. ckdexterhaven says:

    “God wants his followers to be rich, not for selfish gain, but to help others in need and spread the gospel”- This guy has never heard of the widow’s mite?

  16. Mariana says:

    And what about St. Paul? All those lovely sea voyages around the Mediterranean, clearly he was rich too : ) !

  17. FrCharles says:

    When I preach against the so-called ‘proseperity gospel’ I usually speak of the miraculous catch of fish. Jesus made Peter and Andrew’s business flourish, and for what? So they could leave it and follow him. So much for prosperity; they got martyrdom instead.

    In all fairness, though, Creflo Dollar once gave me an idea for how to preach on Abraham and the flaming pot going between the halves of the sacrificed animals.

  18. JonM says:

    -Capt. Picard Facepalm Moment-

    This of course should not surprise us. When you cut yourself off from the vine, you will wither and die. In the process, your branch will become gnarled and sickly and look completely unnatural.

    Now, we must understand that this has a double effect (of evil): Not only are people led into a false Christianity in which they curse the Body, but other people see how ridiculous these telefleecers are and sadly reject the true faith.

    It is for this reason that I am not at enthusiatic about the Manhattan declaration. It is not only perfectly acceptable but morally necessary that in locations where us Catholics are in sufficient numbers forbid public worship of certain things. Surely there are gasps from NCR readers, so I just remind them that violence would be completely unrelated to this (unlike in Muslim countries where violence is used to punish Christians).

    For now though, we will deal with people falling away when they hear some fast talker say Jesus wants us to make as much money as possible and live in luxury. It is very sad and very unecumenical of these protestant-esque communities.

  19. Mrs. O says:

    What utter nonsense and very secular.
    That said, I do not think that they were in extreme poverty either, no materially. I think of Joseph as being wise and that wisdom knowing how to use his money.
    The whole donkey business makes sense in many ways because if you have ever been 9 months pregnant you do not want to get on a fast horse. WAY to much jarring. Just saying.
    There is a flip side, extreme poverty (materially) that doesn’t reflect the Gospels either. When it says “there was no room for them in the Inn” Joseph was prepared to provide for his wife.

  20. Tom Ryan says:

    John Hagee has preached this sort of thing. It’s as illogical as those Jews who rejected the Messiah because He suffered.

    Perhaps, soon they will deny He felt pain.

  21. The Egyptian says:

    Reminds me of a friend of mine, got sucked up in a fundie church, The reverends MR and MRS Doeseck’s Only Believe Ministries. The good reverend put him in charge of fund raising, My friend asked after several months what the money was for, the reply, “I told you to raise it, I decide how to spend it”. At one point the huge new mega church that was under construction halted building, seems the good reverend was counseling a church secretary to deeply, he and his reverend wife reconciled publicly and now the church is finished. Thank God for celibate clergy!

    PS My friend rejoined the Catholic Church after the tragic death of his son, the Reverends first concern was the deposition of the deceased assets ;>)

  22. There will arise many false prophets…

    Here is a greedy one.

  23. robtbrown says:

    Although they weren’t rich, Joseph and his family were not poor. There is no indication that they didn’t have the necessities of life for their times–food, clothing, and shelter.

    Joseph was a craftsman. Some think that his speciality was making carts and yokes.

  24. irishgirl says:

    I think we should just ‘turn off’ these ‘professors’….they’re full of intellectual cholesterol!

    Sheesh….give me a break!

  25. An American Mother says:

    There are errors in both directions.

    The Episcopalians used to get a kick out of preaching that Jesus was a poor, homeless child . . . and therefore everybody should support government poverty and homeless programs. I did notice that the parish itself (a very wealthy, liberal one) didn’t have any such program . . . .

    Seems to me that whether you’re distorting the message in one direction for self-aggrandizement, or the other for political purposes, it’s WRONG.

  26. Rob Cartusciello says:

    “Poor people ate their donkey. Only the wealthy used it as transportation.”

    Donkey – the other white meat… Not exactly, because donkey is not kosher.

    A total “face palm” moment.

  27. lucapi says:

    People from Opus Dei sometimes say something like that (Jesus’ family was not poor) in order to attract wealth people and to opposite Leftists. In a certain degree I suppose they are right (Jospeh was a working man, not a beggar), but I don’t think we can find in Jesus everithing we like.

  28. paladin says:

    I really think Jeff Cavins was right when he said, “I’m really starting to think that the ‘health and wealth gospel’ is demonic.” Those who buy into it have apparently excised the entire Gospel of Luke from their Bibles, among other awkward bits.

    Is he saying that Joseph and Mary committed fraud against the Most High, then when they offered two pigeons (which was only for those who were too poor to afford a pigeon and a lamb)?

  29. Dr. Eric says:

    Awwww c’mon, we all *know* the Bible says this:

    “And He lifting up His eyes on His disciples, said: Blessed are ye, the rich, for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

    -St Luke 6:20

    “He shall deliver the rich man out of his distress, and shall open His ear in affliction.”

    -Job 36:15

    “But He shall judge the rich with justice, and shall reprove with equity for those with self esteem.”

    -Isaiah 9:4

    “Do no violence to the rich, because he has money: and do not oppress the opulent in the gate:
    Because the Lord will judge his cause, and will afflict them that have afflicted his soul.”

    -Proverbs 22:22-23

    “He that despiseth the rich, reproacheth his Maker.”

    -Proverbs 17:5

    “He that stoppeth his ear against the cry of the rich, shall also cry himself and shall not be heard.”

    -Proverbs 21:13

    See, the Scriptures are full of condemnation of poor people, we all know that God only likes rich people. I didn’t even finish all the quotes on how much the rich will rule the Kingdom of Heaven. We all know it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a poor man to get into Heaven.

    {sarcasm off}

    “Mr. Dollar, whose Rolls-Royces, private jets, million-dollar Atlanta home and $2.5 million Manhattan apartment, furnish proof to his followers of the validity of his teachings, is a leading apostle of what is known as the ‘prosperity gospel.'”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/nyregion/15prosperity.html?_r=2

  30. curtjester says:

    I wonder how he would explain Luke 2:24 where Mary and Joseph offered turtledoves instead of a lamb? 2 Turtledoves or 2 pigeons was a sacrifice from the poor.

  31. catholicmidwest says:

    It’s CNN.
    Consider the source.
    If they’re trying to give God a bad name with the poor by making him wealthy, they’re overreaching. Again, consider the source.

  32. catholicmidwest says:

    The future of the Church is global with huge young enthusiastic Christian populations in Asia and Africa. CNN can yell all it wants, but it won’t be heard with its twisted & worn out post-20th-century hype, at least not heard the way it wants to be heard.

  33. Father: Thank you for your criticism of my comment. I am reminded of a client who moved and joined a Congregational community as there are no Presbyterian “churches” in Vermont (something about an historical agreement reached decades ago). His new pastor admitted he had a very difficult time mentally imaging the Holy Spirit. He had no problem imaging the Father and the Son so

  34. Leonius says:

    Well lets for a second say that the Lord was born into wealth given his advice to the rich man in Luke 18:22 the Lord would have presumably given all of it away to the poor lol.

  35. “I believe he was the richest man on the face of the earth because he had God as his source,” Brown says.

    So Jesus is distinct from God, and therefore is not God. This seems to sum it up.

  36. Most people in history have assumed that Mary wove Jesus’ robe that was all in one piece, and that it was an expression of skill and love.

    This guy assumes that it was underwear, and that Jesus bought it down as some high-priced lingerie shop in Caesarea Philippi.

    I dunno… but I’m thinking that this guy Dollar never got any love from his mother.

  37. Emilio III says:

    Although this nut clearly has ulterior motives for claiming Jesus was rich, so do some of those who exaggerate his family’s poverty. He was clearly poor *by choice* when he left everything behind to start his public ministry, but He cannot be assumed to have left Mary to beg in the streets. It seems logical to assume that Jesus and Joseph had left her enough to live decently when they were gone.

    I see no reason to doubt that both Joseph and Jesus were good carpenters, and as such respected members of their community, neither rich nor particularly poor.

  38. Susan the Short says:

    Then there’s that December article in The Atlantic: Did Christianity Cause the Crash? http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912/rosin-prosperity-gospel/3

    It points a finger at the health-and-wealth ‘gospel’ as being the culprit behind the collapse of the housing market.

    All those pathetic believers buying Rolexes with money they didn’t have, tsk-tsk.

    But then, liberals hate to waste a crisis, so why not take this opportunity to blast Christianity.

  39. bookworm says:

    Jesus Himself was clearly not wealthy, and the Apostles likewise were either poor or if they had been wealthy gave up all they had to follow him (Peter left behind the fishing business, Matthew gave up tax collecting, etc.)

    But Jesus also seems to have had some friends who were wealthy or better off than average, who used their wealth to assist Him and others. Some of his women followers like Martha and her sister Mary helped provide for Jesus and the Apostles; apparently they had money or other resources to do so.

    Also, the burial services provided to Jesus after his death came from two rich men, Nicodemus and Joseph of Aramithea. Joseph not only had money but also had sufficient influence, connections, “clout,” or whatever you want to call it, to persuade Pontius Pilate to let Jesus be buried in his own tomb, and not tossed into a common grave like most executed criminals would have been.

    So it appears to me that Jesus had poor followers, rich followers, and in between followers (such as they were in those days when there really wasn’t a “middle class”). The Gospel is not a love-the-rich health, wealth, and prosperity Gospel but neither is it a hate-the-rich class warfare kind of Gospel.

  40. Kaneohe says:

    I really like the following quote from Bishop Sheen’s “Life of Christ”, Chapter 2 The Early Life of Christ, section subheading The Name of Jesus:

    “The salvation that is promised by the name of “Jesus” is not a social salvation, but rather a spiritual one. He would not save people necessarily from their poverty, but he would save them from their sins. To destroy sin is to uproot the first causes of poverty.”

    So, salvation destroys the death brought forth from sin and we become spiritually enriched, as Paul says “He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in his Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the RICHES of his grace that he lavished on us.” Eph 1:5-7

    There are no other or better riches that God can or has bestowed upon us than this.

  41. bookworm says:

    “To destroy sin is to uproot the first causes of poverty.”

    In the U.S. and probably also in most developed countries, single parenthood is probably the number one reason for people living in poverty. In the past this usually occurred when a woman was widowed by disease, accident, or some other catastrophe which was not her fault or her husband’s. But most (not all, but most) of the time nowadays, this is the result of sin — either that of having sex outside of marriage, or of one spouse or the other committing sins (such as adultery, spousal abuse, or alcohol/drug abuse) that lead to divorce or desertion.

    The odds of becoming poor in the U.S. are greatly diminished (though not entirely eliminated, of course), by 1) waiting until marriage to have sex (and therefore children), 2) staying married, 3) finishing high school and at least some postsecondary education or training, and 4) not having a criminal record. All of these things require some exercise of virtue.

    In less developed countries, and in the time of Christ, the causes of poverty were much more systemic but could probably be traced back to the sins of the various kings and wealthy people who exploited the poor.

  42. passiderae says:

    I like St. Alphonsus Liguori’s take on the poverty of Mary:
    “That the divine Mother immediately disposed of these gifts [of the Magi] is also evident from the fact that at her purification in the temple, she did not offer a lamb, which was the offering prescribed in Leviticus for those who could afford it.”

  43. Aaron says:

    The recession/depression of the next several years should take care of these guys. For the past couple decades, they’ve been able to preach prosperity gospel (think and act rich and you’ll be rich, essentially) and be proven right most of the time because of easy credit. When they acted rich by buying things they couldn’t afford, they didn’t get punished for it because there was always more credit to cover it. With low interest rates, easy credit policies, and constantly inflated housing prices, everyone seemed to be becoming more prosperous, regardless of their beliefs.

    In a recession the opposite will be true, and the same people who “earned” prosperity by thinking and acting rich will find their assets and incoming falling behind their cost of living, and they’ll start asking their pastors how this can happen when they haven’t changed their prosperity-based thinking. Why’d it stop working? I don’t suppose it’ll be long before we see some of these pastors cut their losses, some by leaving the country with their church’s bank account.

  44. The Cobbler says:

    He seems to have assumed things about human nature that not only aren’t necessarily true but further even if they were would be negated by most of the point of the stories. Insufficient intelligence here to be worth our time.