Why is it that American christianity is so different than other countries Christianity ?
American preachers often live lavish lifestyles, have multiple homes, draw in lots of money, and tell people that Jesus was a capitalist and that God wants to bless you and He wants you to drive a Cadillac.
Its not different, some people just preach for the wrong reasons. The ? should of been "Why do some people use chistianity for profit and not the way god intended"
That is totally not true. As the wife of a Lutheran pastor I can assure you that after 8 years of education, and working for under $30,000 a year--it is NOT about the money. Yes, you will see TV preachers living a lavish lifestyle, but that is not the reality of everyday pastors.
Making this judgement is like judging all of American society by walking in the New York subways. It simply isn't an accurate picture.
Which christianity? If you look at the type of church that is usually standing for the message that "if you become christian you become rich, look at me!" it's an independent one without a fundament in earlier "real" churches. Leaders are often not really educated in the bible, like Benny Hinn, and usually preach what ever "they got revealed to them today". Sure they are obsessed with mammon and get rich quick!
But if you look at traditional churches that doesn't have an authoritarian structure with an "infallible" leader in America you will probably see the same as you would when you go to your local church... Just because you see something more doesn't mean that it's more of it! For example, if you look at most american tv-shows most(or all) people will be slim and fit but in reality about 60% should be overweight and 30% obese...
I think I wrote a hub about this...but the short answer is that, since the beginning of America, Christianity has been the moral arm of the competition inherent in a Capitalist system (money is the economic arm, social position is the political arm, and education is the intellectual arm). In other countries, Christianity is not employed by Capitalism and, in some cases, is not employed by any government whatsoever (especially in places where Christianity is outlawed). What Christians need to do is divorce Christianity from the competitive mindset of Capitalism. As long as the most respected member of the church is the person who is most popular, has the most amount of money, seems to follow the "rules," and has the highest social position...we haven't arrived. As Jesus stated, the greatest among those in the church should be the servant.
It's called the prosperity gospel or "store up your treasures on earth" gospel.
I think I am tired of explaining to my friends and family that my choice of religion is not based on money. Then I turn on the tv to see Benny Hinn and his Armani suit and rolex watch sitting there speaking about the gospel.
Its like if you cant make money on anything else or have a good paying career, become an evangelical pastor....its pays well !
I have spent my entire adult life as a Bible teacher, counselor, and worship leader, and I have done it as a volunteer. I paid for my theological training, and I have rarely been paid for my expertise. I have never taught that Jesus was a capitalist nor do I have a Cadillac.
There are always people who are willing to take advantage of religion to their own ends. There are always people who are willing to teach things that are misleading. There is nothing in the Bible that would encourage anyone to teach that we are guaranteed a wealthy life. But your question is an interesting one if we turn it around. What makes Christianity so amazing is that it can be a true faith for a very wealthy person with multiple houses and it can be true for a beggar. Christianity can change the heart of the youngest child or a hardened criminal. It can be found in communist countries, countries with kings, in capitalism, or anywhere. The amazing thing is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the great equalizer - Galatians 3:28 says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (NIV1984)
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