2009 December 31 Thursday
Prosperity Gospel: Jesus Was Wealthy
Hanna Rosin argues that the prosperity gospel contributed to the real estate bubble and ensuing financial crisis. As the prosperity gospel grows in popularity its believers find more things about Christianity to reinterpret. The latest? Mary and Joseph must have been wealthy to ride on a donkey to Bethlehem and Jesus wore expensive garments.
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.
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.
I can see where this will go next: Mary and Joseph bought the manger in order invest in upgrades to turn it into a rustic home. They probably flipped it for a big profit on the Jerusalem real estate market.
One of the wisemen visiting Jesus will be replaced by Ayn Rand.
Happy new year Randall.
This will really catch on. Jesus' socialist ideals have always been a bit of an embarrassment for the evangelicals.
It should also fit with one of your favourite narratives Randall, Jesus becomes a typical liberal elite. From his position of wealth, he preaches in favour of free health care (indeed, he provides it himself for no charge), he's a relativist and he condemns materialism.
Sadly reverend Thomas forgot the most important reason why Jesus wasn't poor which is that when he got deliberately lost in Jerusalem he was discussing and reading the scriputres with the elders. In those days not many could read; certainly not the poor.
Another reason might be that the great social and religious changes in history are made neither by the poor people (because they lack the education and cohesion for it), nor the wealthy (because they are happy that way and don't want to make a change).
Aside all, what seems logical is that Jesus was a revolutionary brave enough to try and claim the (earthly) kingdom which way his by law, instead of the Herod's who was not even Jewish, but Idumean. The only problem is that the Roman Empire ruled there at the time and were happier with puppet Herod than with legitimate Jesus -David's descendant-
Are there still Evangelicals?? I thought the Middle Ages were long gone...
But then again there are still Catholics, and they also bring us exactly the same threat: D O G M A