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Does religion keep us from wealth?

Updated on January 31, 2012

Does religion keep us from wealth?


Why doesn't money just happen? Is it only the Kennedy’s, Rockefeller’s and lucky few of this world who get to have and stockpile it all? Shouldn’t it be our birthright to have and enjoy the riches that this world has to offer?

No matter where you stand financially, I know that somewhere deep down in the core of your being you can feel it. That feeling that you were meant for greatness, you were meant to have more. That’s because you were! Anything is possible, and the only one stopping you from greatness and abundance is you, or does religion play a part in this somehow?

There are many who are raised with negative thought patterns which no longer serve them in any way. It's these negative thoughts, which you aren't even aware of having, which keep you enslaved in poverty. From the time we are young, we are taught by parents, church, and society that being a good person and hard work is what gets you where you want, and need to be in life. If that were truthfully the case, most of our parents would be multi-millionaires by now. Instead, they are barely making ends meet for their years of hard work and service.

You know that you’re a good human being. You wake up every morning, go to work and put in your many hours. Day after day you work harder and harder to get to where you want to be in life. So how do you explain the Joe Schmoes of the world who are less than quality human beings, hardly lift a finger and yet they are living the lifestyle which you so desperately strive for? How is this fair, or even possible? Is it a lucky roll of the dice or are there those aware of a secret that most are not privy to?

There are now hundreds of books and Internet sites on the laws of attraction for prosperity and abundance. Just like the law of gravity which is always in place and working, whether you believe in it or not, the law of attraction is also constantly in effect whether you chose to believe in it or not. This universal law states that our thoughts are like magnets and will only attract unto itself its own polarity. If you have thoughts of being constantly broke, you will only attract more poverty. If you continuously have thoughts of being alone, then you will only invite more loneliness. Once you finish reading this article you will begin to notice that those who speak mainly of prosperity, have it. The ones who speak mostly of health are the healthiest. Those who speak most about sickness are the sickest. And those who speak mainly of poverty are the poorest. It is this unspoken law of the universe that is always in effect and working for you, or against you.

The major problem I see with this law is that, it is very difficult to use for those with the religious upbringing which force you to believe that living poor and submissively, instead of rich and plentiful is the correct path needed to achieve life's goals. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (1 Timothy 6:10, 11)

With much money, comes much power. Once you have achieved money, and power the world can be your oyster. You have the ability to do good or bad, and in turn make an impact on whoever you want. There are many churches which operate under these basic ideas yet few, if any of the congregation ever takes the time to notice it. Joel Osteen, who became a pastor against his will and now leads the nation's largest congregation is one of the few that I have ever heard who insists on preaching a positive financial message, I find it interesting that many churches are offended and appalled at his message of the "Good" God and prosperity for all. Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week -- tithing, "hell-fire' and negativity are not on the menu! It has been said that Osteen is a mealy-mouthed false teacher who has abandoned sound doctrine and is fleecing his flock of deaf, dumb and blind sheep -- making millions of unethical dollars.

So why are so many churches condemning this poor young man for teaching what they call a false-positive message? Are they jealous because there not the ones making the big bucks? Aren’t there enough churches already teaching the negative poverty message? Obviously his current attendance of over 30,000 shows that people are sick and tired of living in poverty, and are trying to find a way out of it. I find it odd that the God of the bible established guidelines under the law to help the poor, and everyone seems to overlook these. There are nearly 100 Bible passages dealing with responsibility for taking care of the poor. Instead of churches teaching a positive message to help their congregation thrive, they spend their time condemning such congregations as Osteen’s for being positive and insist that he should be condemning his followers for being sinful. By other churches doing this they keep their congregation beaten down, with little or no chances of success in life, let alone any financial hope. I have to admit that I have never been a big Osteen fan but I strongly believe in the "law of attraction" message which he is trying to pass down to his followers.

Recently I was at a get together where I overheard a self-proclaimed devoted Christian say that she refuses to give to the poor because she has already given to the church! It's Ignorant comments like this that lead me to believe that churches are putting out the wrong message as to how to use money wisely and who should be taken care of first. Churches are now considered big business and are being run and operated like big business. While most businesses are folding in this sluggish economy churches are thriving more than ever. Believers are flocking in droves, turning towards religion for answers on how to stay afloat and survive in this recession. So why aren't they teaching there members how to financially survive and thrive as they do? Most religious organizations today have investments in such companies as Touchstone, Disney, Guinness, direct tv, coca cola, cuervo, and many others. There is a reason why churches are secretive about there financial records, and don't want members to know how it spends its donations. I have always believed that it is not money which is evil; it is the love for it, and the lack of it, which causes the most devastation.

I have devoted a lot of time looking into the financial aspects of religion. I have to say that the bible messages which I have studied seem to conflict with the message which most religions teach about money and possessions. Most Christians believe that a person's value should be judged by their actions and not by money or possessions. I strongly believe that if I am going to help my fellow man it is easier to do so having money than being poor. I have come across many scriptures that lead me to the understanding that God wishes for his people to thrive and prosper not to be poor and suffer. I also think that if God wanted us to live in poverty, Moses would not have been so adamant about getting his people out of the misery in Egypt and getting them into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Deuteronomy( 15:4) "However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you."

John( 1:2) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Proverbs 3:10 Then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Matthew (7:7) "Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Mark (11:24) "Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

The only conclusion that I have finally been able to draw from all this is that financial freedom is not in the best interests of religion. In fact religion has a surprisingly high correlation with poverty. More than 100 counties were surveyed and found that the more poverty a nation has, the higher the “religiosity” in that nation. Generally speaking, richer countries are less religious than poorer ones. I suppose that in teaching a congregation to be more self-sufficient they take the chance of not being needed anymore. Just like a selfish mother who never wants her children to leave home and always be by her side it is easier for religion to instill fear rather than prosperity. Fear has always been a great tool manufactured to control the masses. What could possibly cause more fear than not knowing if you’re going to have enough food to feed your family or if tomorrow you will have a roof over your head. I suppose that religion figures that if you have nothing, it might be comforting to be told that the meek shall inherit the earth.

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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Maddambutterfly- Very thought provoking hub. If you include African countries and the middle east where Islam is the religion of the nations I agree that religion leads to poverty. If you are talking about Christianity, then I feel you miss the exhortation to do everything as if you are working for God. I agree there is a trend toward mediocrity among Christians,which I really dislike. As I said very thought provoking hub Thank you.

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