Strange as it may seem, this life is based on a true story." - Ashleigh Brilliant
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Monday, April 19, 2004
So I get this email at work last week entitled "Innovative Pastor":
There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program................ The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."
The sender had appended this under the short sentence:
Commenting on the obvious may sometimes be appropriate!
Is that supposed to be cute? This is a glowing example of the reason I have such a distaste for organized religion. I see churches that are massive - huge edifices, a great deal of them boasting their own gymnasium and a parking lot that is matched in size only by ones at malls. I see schools in various states of disrepair, I see homeless people sleeping on benches across the street from these huge churches, I see children graduating from school who cannot read and write. But the churches are raising money to build bigger churches??
Christianity is supposedly based on the teachings of the man known as Jesus Christ, correct me if I'm wrong, a man who purportedly stated that doing for others was the only way to live.
The Bible states it pretty clearly:
Then will the King say to those on his right, Come, you who have the blessing of my Father, into the kingdom made ready for you before the world was:
For I was in need of food, and you gave it to me: I was in need of drink, and you gave it to me: I was wandering, and you took me in; I had no clothing, and you gave it to me: when I was ill, or in prison, you came to me. Then will the upright make answer to him, saying, Lord, when did we see you in need of food, and give it to you? or in need of drink, and give it to you? And when did we see you wandering, and take you in? or without clothing, and give it to you? And when did we see you ill, or in prison, and come to you? And the King will make answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Because you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
The preachings of Jesus, and the supposed basis of Christianity, is to "do unto others" not "glorify thyself with riches". Jesus nor God seem to give a toss that you worship them in the biggest, prettiest church on the block but, rather, that you help those less fortunate in their name. I'm no Christian, but I can read. And from what I've read, that seems to be the message. Again, correct me if I'm wrong...
I could not possibly have any faith in a religion or a church that is interested, mainly, in lining its own pockets. What need does deity have for dollar signs? How can you proudly waltz into an immense and exquisitely decorated church every Sunday and then turn around and feel good about dropping your kid off at their dilapidated school Monday morning? How can you so easily drop your money into the collection plate every Sunday to further an organization that doesn't need it, yet hold tight your purse strings when you see a homeless person sitting on the side of the street who does need it? Do you believe that giving to the church, in God's eyes, is the same as giving to the poor? You are wrong. Is it that you think the church is going to take your funds and put them to the appropriately weak and down-trodden? Wrong again. Someone has to pay for the new gym or the three 20 foot tall crosses going up along the side of the Interstate.
Why does everyone think it is okay for Christians to be so hypocritical? What would Jesus say if he came down to Earth today and saw all of the glorious, colossal churches dotting the countryside? I believe he'd shake his head in dismay. This is what you use your money for? he'd probably ask. If you honestly think he'd be doing cartwheels in excitement and awe, "You worship me in that? I RULE!" then perhaps you'd better put a little more effort into learning about the man you supposedly worship.
Greed is a terrible thing.