Are evangelical Americans really Christians?

gleeful

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Many millions of Americans are followers of a branch of Christianity called the 'health and wealth gospel' which says that if you believe in Jesus, he rewards you with wealth in this world (rather than the afterlife), and that anyone who is currently rich is therefore a good and holy person.

These people are among the most vocal supporters of Donald Trump, and they believe that Trump is a man of God because he is rich.

There is a number of books on the topic.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/27/millions-of-americans-believe-god-made-trump-president-216537

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology

"They were drawn to Trump, and he to them, because of their embrace of the prosperity gospel. Also sometimes referred to as “health and wealth” theology, this belief holds that God rewards faith with good health and financial success. By those very simple metrics, a billionaire like Donald Trump, whether his fortune came from family, scams or a higher power, must be a very faithful man."

The 'health' part of this is interesting too. Trump talks up his good health - because he is playing to his religious supporters who believe ill health is a sign of sin and God's punishment. Good health can only be due to God's support. This weird idea also explains why the US public is opposed to health care reform. Why should the government contradict God's will and help people who are doubly sinful for being poor and unhealthy.

To my mind, this belief that worldly health and wealth is a gift from God is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. Are these people really Christian at all?
 


statsman

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Many millions of Americans are followers of a branch of Christianity called the 'health and wealth gospel' which says that if you believe in Jesus, he rewards you with wealth in this world (rather than the afterlife), and that anyone who is currently rich is therefore a good and holy person.

These people are among the most vocal supporters of Donald Trump, and they believe that Trump is a man of God because he is rich.

There is a number of books on the topic.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/27/millions-of-americans-believe-god-made-trump-president-216537

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_theology

"They were drawn to Trump, and he to them, because of their embrace of the prosperity gospel. Also sometimes referred to as “health and wealth” theology, this belief holds that God rewards faith with good health and financial success. By those very simple metrics, a billionaire like Donald Trump, whether his fortune came from family, scams or a higher power, must be a very faithful man."

The 'health' part of this is interesting too. Trump talks up his good health - because he is playing to his religious supporters who believe ill health is a sign of sin and God's punishment. Good health can only be due to God's support. This weird idea also explains why the US public is opposed to health care reform. Why should the government contradict God's will and help people who are doubly sinful for being poor and unhealthy.

To my mind, this belief that worldly health and wealth is a gift from God is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. Are these people really Christian at all?
They're a bunch of self-serving loons. So, yes. :)
 

EBX3887

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In short, NO. I think their fetish for the Old Testament, at the expense of the new, is fitting. For they like the Pharisees "may girt their loins and beat their breasts" but while "their words are great, their deeds are few!!!"
 

silverharp

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If there was one thing I'd like to do next time Im in California is throw a brick at the "crystal cathedral"
 

gleeful

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The 'wealth gospel' seems closer to a Satanic Cult than to Christianity.
 

gerhard dengler

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Many millions of Americans are followers of a branch of Christianity called the 'health and wealth gospel' which says that if you believe in Jesus, he rewards you with wealth in this world (rather than the afterlife), and that anyone who is currently rich is therefore a good and holy person.
If you examine the documents of the Continental Congresses and the other documents framed by the Founding Fathers of America, piety, worship and prayer are endorsed throughout those documents. It would appear that the Founding Fathers linked the acquisition and holding of property, to piety, worship and prayer.

Whatever about the merits of this link which the Founding Father made, it would appear since that several religious denominations in America adhere to this connection.
 

Tribal

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When the american dream no longer delivers the prosperity people once took as a birth right, they become susceptible to magical thinking to escape the sense of falling behind.

While easy to dismiss as fantastical we unfortunately have to share the present with them.
 

GDPR

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If you examine the documents of the Continental Congresses and the other documents framed by the Founding Fathers of America, piety, worship and prayer are endorsed throughout those documents. It would appear that the Founding Fathers linked the acquisition and holding of property, to piety, worship and prayer.

Whatever about the merits of this link which the Founding Father made, it would appear since that several religious denominations in America adhere to this connection.
The majority of the Founding Fathers were influenced by Deism, which meant they had little reason to read the Bible, to pray, to attend church, or to participate in such rites as baptism, Holy Communion, and the laying on of hands (confirmation) by bishops. Piety did not feature in their belief system.

It is best summed up by Tom Paine who said:

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and in endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

The movement opposed barriers to moral improvement and to social justice. It stood for rational inquiry, for scepticism about dogma and mystery, and for religious toleration. Many of its adherents advocated universal education, freedom of the press, and separation of church and state. These are the liberal values which shaped the US Constitution.
 

GDPR

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If they believe sincerely in the Triune God and that the Lord Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity Incarnate than yes I guess they can be called Christian, however at best practically they follow moralistic therapeutic theism rather than the Gospel but the same could probably be said for most Irish Catholics.
 

GDPR

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The United States Founding Fathers were a combination of atheists, "free thinkers", Freemasons many of whom would have been actually into dark occultism doubtless- their success led to the horrific butchery of at worst and theft of property at best of God knows how many of the colonists who remained loyal to the legitimate authorities. I'm not sure that it is possible to be a good Christian if you live there and be Patriotic.
 

gerhard dengler

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The United States Founding Fathers were a combination of atheists, "free thinkers", Freemasons many of whom would have been actually into dark occultism doubtless- their success led to the horrific butchery of at worst and theft of property at best of God knows how many of the colonists who remained loyal to the legitimate authorities. I'm not sure that it is possible to be a good Christian if you live there and be Patriotic.
Examine the documents of the Continental Congress. The documents contain numerous references to God and worship. The documents all call for piety, prayer, fasting and public days of reparation.

Examine the other writings of the Founding Fathers and you will see practically every signatory state their belief in Jesus Christ and the the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Whether or not these people lived up to what their documents espoused is a different discussion.
 

GDPR

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Examine the documents of the Continental Congress. The documents contain numerous references to God and worship. The documents all call for piety, prayer, fasting and public days of reparation.

Examine the other writings of the Founding Fathers and you will see practically every signatory state their belief in Jesus Christ and the
the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Odd how none of this actually made the cut in the Constitution?

The pious and deeply conservative John Adams explicitly said "The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

The "rebels" clearly excluded any reference to “God” or “the Almighty” or any euphemism for a higher power from the Constitution. Not one time is the word “God” mentioned in the Constitution. Not one time.
 

brigg

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Not just evangelicals, but there appears to be a very right wing strand of Catholicism in the US, whose adherents, such as Steve Bannon, share the same warped attitudes to wealth.
Pope Francis is a communist as far as they're concerned.
You should see their efforts to explain away Jesus's social justice teachings.
 

JimmyFoley

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Not just evangelicals, but there appears to be a very right wing strand of Catholicism in the US, whose adherents, such as Steve Bannon, share the same warped attitudes to wealth.
Pope Francis is a communist as far as they're concerned.
You should see their efforts to explain away Jesus's social justice teachings.
Listen, you can find anything you want in the New Testament. Communism, feminism, libertarianism, racism, capitalism, sexism, gender equality, gay rights, pacifism, hedonism....anything you like.

This particular interpretation is no more tendentious than any other.
 

statsman

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The majority of the Founding Fathers were influenced by Deism, which meant they had little reason to read the Bible, to pray, to attend church, or to participate in such rites as baptism, Holy Communion, and the laying on of hands (confirmation) by bishops. Piety did not feature in their belief system.

It is best summed up by Tom Paine who said:

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and in endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

The movement opposed barriers to moral improvement and to social justice. It stood for rational inquiry, for scepticism about dogma and mystery, and for religious toleration. Many of its adherents advocated universal education, freedom of the press, and separation of church and state. These are the liberal values which shaped the US Constitution.
You forgot to mention slavery, of course.
 

GDPR

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You forgot to mention slavery, of course.
Well despite the very well-founded arguments of Abigail Adams, they were lairy of giving women the vote either!

Nevertheless the principles of the Constitution eventually prevailed. No one could argue that slavery should not be abolished or women denied the suffrage because the Constitution says "God Wills It So."
 


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