If you're not rich yet: it's because God doesn't want you to be.

No, instead, he wants the leaders of the sort of "Christianity" known as "prosperity gospel" to be rich. If that means you have to eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches so you can help pay for the pastor's Citation X private airplane, well, so be it.

And thanks to the spiritual version of the Ponzi scheme (which reminds me of the "dispensations" bought by Medieval believers), followers of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland believe they will receive special prayers if they send the duo enough money.

And that will lead to prosperity for the 386,000 "partners," according to this doctrine. If you believe that the Copelands have time every day to pray for 386,000 people's wealth, and that money can buy you God's favor, in turn bringing you more money -- well, I have a position on the "Elite CX Team" to sell you.

What's the team, you ask? Why, a group of people who are willing to donate money especially for that private jet for the Copelands to spread the word (and donation basket) even further.

A longtime Christian myself, I believe firmly in the power of prayer, the need to give of our own wealth to benefit the less fortunate, and the key role of faith in our lives -- financial and social-emotional. I am just as firm in my belief that this "prosperity gospel" is no word of God; it is, in fact, truly the worst of capitalizing on believers' greed and fear.

Of whom much is given, will even more be given if you just make the Copelands rich, rich, and more filthy rich? I don't think so. Followers of the prosperity gospel should seriously evaluate the way this so-called gospel compares to the Bible from which it supposedly derives. We can start with "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God," and then skip over to "Blessed are the poor," ... and I think you see where I'm going with this.

Wisdom is better than rubies; a critical evaluation of a church is better than private jets. At least that's how I read it.

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