Daily Archives: August 11, 2011
You would think that this “name and claim”, “prosperity Gospel”, “let me hear only the good news”-people (I do not know exactly how much the Schullers fit the bill; from what I have heard I’d say: pretty much) would avoid Chapter 11 proceedings. In the end, the combined energy of thousands of people pushing toward the same end must give an incredible… hour of power.
The last initiative was even more impressive. The Boss Himself would get the church out of financial trouble. The church doesn’t need to be sold, rather there would be a huge mobilisation of faithful; people from all over the planet would run to the rescue of a piece of real estate located somewhere in Orange County, California. Why they should do that, no one really explained. Eh, the Big Boss will hear us because we can gather a lot of.. power, so just shut up and expect the miracle, will you?
From what has emerged up to now, it would appear that Heaven’s lines are pretty busy. Be it because it is August and people prefer to relax on the strand rather than sending money the other side of the planet to a place they’ll never visit, or be it because the Heavenly Operator is currently on holiday somewhere extremely nice, there seems to be no great flow of money. If there were, the Schullers would be shouting it so loud that the echo would arrive everywhere in no time.
Instead, less-than-heavenly practices begin to emerge: like for example the one that whilst the enterprise was drowning in debts, revenue would have been used to prop up the pension fund of the founder, or to unduly pay church insiders first. I wonder what the Principal thinks and, in a non unrelated matter, what the potential spenders make of this.
In the meantime, the offers continue to rise and, unfortunately, the Diocese of Orange has raised its bid to more than $53m. I begin to fear that they are really intentioned to get this deal; which, as I have written on several occasions in the past, wouldn’t be much of a good news.
But the moral I would like to draw from the entire matter is a different one.
“Prosperity Gospel” doesn’t work. It’s a clear case of post hoc, ergo propter hoc delusion. Things don’t always go well. They just aren’t supposed to. We are not supposed to be in control of our destiny, God is. Our duty is to be obedient children, hope for the good, accept the bad, and carry the Cross whenever Jesus asks us to. We must do our best, and be of good hope; but we must never naively believe that we have, when all is said and done, any real (as in: somewhat irresistible, or automatically working, or invariably drawn from our prayers) power to influence what happens to us. This is not Christianity, but New Age bollocks.
“Lifetime of Impotence” reflects our earthly travel much better than “Hour of Power”. We are at the mercy of the Lord every moment of our life. This is good so, as whilst we do our best we are constantly reminded that we are ashes, and taught that basic humility that is the first step away from hell. Certainly we must do our best, and certainly we must pray with confidence that our prayer is heard. As to what will happen, that’s not for us to decide.
The “Hour of awakening” will, very probably, soon be striking for this ecclesial community in Orange County. I hope and pray that these events will persuade several of them that to fabricate a made-to-measure Gospel for one’s own superficial enjoyment and illusion of self-empowerment doesn’t work, and that the Protestant madness of picking and choosing isolated verses of the Scriptures instead of getting the big picture from the Only Church authorised to teach it and created by Christ is a factory of self delusions, and often going to lead to a rather brutal awakening in the end.