Are evangelical Americans really Christians?

GDPR

1
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
217,782
A lot of the bible protestants seem more interested in the Old Testament than the words of Christ. I dislike the use of the word fundamentalist to describe them. My opinion is that a fundamentalist christian would be a member of an isolated eastern church which had not agreed to the teachings of the early councils, the teaching of Christ as recorded in the gospels is quite simple.
You cannot really properly understand the New Testament without getting to grips with the Old Testament, and visa versa. Anyway the OP wasn't talking about backwoods Presbyterians who are very interested in the OT but feel good "health and wealth" "Mega-Church" types who tend to ignore it as much as most Irish Catholics. The more I think about it the more I understand that the nearly all of the problems in contemporary Irish Catholicism come from ignoring the Old Testament.
 


Watcher2

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2010
Messages
34,984
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/s...icans-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?
At least it's an explanation for a lot of the utter lunacy.
 

Degeneration X

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
7,319
You cannot really properly understand the New Testament without getting to grips with the Old Testament, and visa versa. Anyway the OP wasn't talking about backwoods Presbyterians who are very interested in the OT but feel good "health and wealth" "Mega-Church" types who tend to ignore it as much as most Irish Catholics. The more I think about it the more I understand that the nearly all of the problems in contemporary Irish Catholicism come from ignoring the Old Testament.
It's a bit like a magic trick - the OT is the Pledge, the NT is the Turn and the Prestige. That much makes sense I guess.
 

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
A lot of the bible protestants seem more interested in the Old Testament than the words of Christ. I dislike the use of the word fundamentalist to describe them. My opinion is that a fundamentalist christian would be a member of an isolated eastern church which had not agreed to the teachings of the early councils, the teaching of Christ as recorded in the gospels is quite simple.
All religions affect to hate novelty so that every innovation is disguised as a return to the past. In Islam it is officially forbidden to go beyond the thoughts of commentators in the few centuries after Mohommed. The OP is correct that the 'wealth evangelists' are a new twist, miles away from qualifying as fundamentalists. It is just mid-20th century American ideology (Ayn Rand) dressed up as a religion. Most religions demand some kind of sacrifice from believers, this one only promises reward without sacrifice. It is arguable that this distinction is so important that the wealth gospel is not really a religion at all but simply self-help gobbledegook, like the 12-steps. It appears like a variety of Calvinism but it contradicts the central tenet that God chooses the elect, while the wealth gospeller chooses Jesus. It sounds like a theological nicety but it is not.

There is an argument that it merely reflects what ordinary Calvinists always believed, whatever their ministers and theologians pretended they believed.
 

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
If they only believe in the old testament does that not make them jews?


I really don't understand all this, fine lines of doctrine between sects, stuff.

I don't know what the difference is between shia and sunni either....... which one of them is the prozzidints?
The Brits in Imperial times took the Sunnis for Moslem Calvinists and the Shia for superstitious Moslem Catholics.
 

Degeneration X

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
7,319
All religions affect to hate novelty so that every innovation is disguised as a return to the past. In Islam it is officially forbidden to go beyond the thoughts of commentators in the few centuries after Mohommed. The OP is correct that the 'wealth evangelists' are a new twist, miles away from qualifying as fundamentalists. It is just mid-20th century American ideology (Ayn Rand) dressed up as a religion. Most religions demand some kind of sacrifice from believers, this one only promises reward without sacrifice. It is arguable that this distinction is so important that the wealth gospel is not really a religion at all but simply self-help gobbledegook, like the 12-steps. It appears like a variety of Calvinism but it contradicts the central tenet that God chooses the elect, while the wealth gospeller chooses Jesus. It sounds like a theological nicety but it is not.

There is an argument that it merely reflects what ordinary Calvinists always believed, whatever their ministers and theologians pretended they believed.
Yeah, I suppose Ayn Rand's Atheism, sexual openess and Jewish origins probably sour a lot of these folks on "Objectivism" as an ideology so they insert Jesus into it so it's palatable for their Bible Belt sensibilities.
 

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
Being from Northern Ireland, i am at a loss to understand how a Casino owner, could be described as Christian.
Jesus wants him to be rich! Dawh! There is a problem that many that many of the customers he impoverishes are also wealth gospellers that believe they too have a a bargain with Jesus to make them rich . It must be a religious mystery we are not supposed to understand, like Catholics love.
 
Last edited:

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
Yeah, I suppose Ayn Rand's Atheism, sexual openess and Jewish origins probably sour a lot of these folks on "Objectivism" as an ideology so they insert Jesus into it so it's palatable for their Bible Belt sensibilities.
Rand was indeed an atheist, that does not mean her followers are predominantly atheist. Her ideology has suffused all of Protestant Republican culture since Reagan's time, even if most of her followers (and opponents) have never heard of her.
 

Degeneration X

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
7,319
Rand was indeed an atheist, that does not mean her followers are predominantly atheist. Her ideology has suffused all of Protestant Republican culture since Reagan's time, even if most of her followers (and opponents) have never heard of her.
Her most prominent follower was probably Alan Greenspan who dominated the direction of the US economy for decades - I don't know if he was an atheist though or if unlike Rand he remained a religious Jew.
 

irish_bob

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
7,553
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/s...icans-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?

its a very uniquely american phenomenon within christianity known as " prosperous christianity "

the kind of people who believe jesus had the same politics as margaret thatcher ( no disrespect to either individual but they were hardly similar )
 

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
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 Founding Fathers were Deists in the main, which is 18th century code for atheists. It was career death to admit to atheism, but most literate people were essentially atheist during the Enlightenment. At around that time, the French king rejected the Catholic Church's nomination for Archbishop of Paris with the words 'I would have thought that a belief in God was a minimum requirement for an Archbishop'.
 

irish_bob

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
7,553
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.
classic catholicism is very very left wing on economic matters , capitalism and catholicism ( in its truest form ) are pretty incompatible , might be why david mc williams referred to most irish people today as " protestant catholics "
 

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
Her most prominent follower was probably Alan Greenspan who dominated the direction of the US economy for decades - I don't know if he was an atheist though or if unlike Rand he remained a religious Jew.
That is a fact that is too little known. Imagine if a Democratic nominee was a devout and close follower of the mad leader of a mad cult as Greenspan was, I think the general public would be informed. Strangely enough, having a mad cultist in charge of the US economy caused the greatest depression since the 1930's. Who would guessed that outcome?
 

Degeneration X

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
7,319
The Founding Fathers were Deists in the main, which is 18th century code for atheists. It was career death to admit to atheism, but most literate people were essentially atheist during the Enlightenment. At around that time, the French king rejected the Catholic Church's nomination for Archbishop of Paris with the words 'I would have thought that a belief in God was a minimum requirement for an Archbishop'.
They were Freemasons and as such were Deists who believed in the Grand Architect or some such, but it is a bit different from being an atheist as Deists do believe in a divinity that created the Universe, He just doesn't interfere in the operation of the Universe by proforming miracles or granting wishes via prayers.

Adam Smith thought his Invisible Hand that regulates Human Market places was the design of the Creator not as is often thought a metaphor for how Human Interactions produce complex systems independently of an over-arching or telelogical purpose.
 

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
classic catholicism is very very left wing on economic matters , capitalism and catholicism ( in its truest form ) are pretty incompatible , might be why david mc williams referred to most irish people today as " protestant catholics "
The Catholic Church (like the German Protestant churches) supported Fascism throughout the 1930s whatever they pretend now. Catholicism, because it has a Pope can turn on a sixpence (ie in 1958 it was still facist, while turning to the left from 1959 to the 1970's). If you think it left wing after that, tell it to Archbishop Romero's ghost.
 

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
They were Freemasons and as such were Deists who believed in the Grand Architect or some such, but it is a bit different from being an atheist as Deists do believe in a divinity that created the Universe, He just doesn't interfere in the operation of the Universe by proforming miracles or granting wishes via prayers.

Adam Smith thought his Invisible Hand that regulates Human Market places was the design of the Creator not as is often thought a metaphor for how Human Interactions produce complex systems independently of an over-arching or telelogical purpose.
Maybe they did believe that stuff. We will never know, any more than you could count the percentage of atheists in a modern Moslem country. It not the kind of thing you would admit to.
 

leftsoc

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
2,798
its a very uniquely american phenomenon within christianity known as " prosperous christianity "

the kind of people who believe jesus had the same politics as margaret thatcher ( no disrespect to either individual but they were hardly similar )
Essentially these people are worshipping themsleves.
 

Degeneration X

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
7,319
Maybe they did believe that stuff. We will never know, any more than you could count the percentage of atheists in a modern Moslem country. It not the kind of thing you would admit to.
It's pretty certain that they did believe that stuff as many of Deists during the Enlightenment were shocked by the Lisbon Earthquake in the 18th Century as they found it very hard to square with their notions of a rational creator deity like the Masonic Grand Architect.
 

Old Mr Grouser

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 29, 2009
Messages
6,403
If there was one thing I'd like to do next time Im in California is throw a brick at the "crystal cathedral"


Oh NO!! :mad: :mad:

Is this to become yet another anti-Catholic thread?

Yes, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, California - the owners of the Crystal Cathedral - are certainly no angels. The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic diocese of Orange

But there's Dioceses in Ireland that were as bad, or worse. :mad::mad:

Why do you talk of throwing stones at the Yanks? It's liable to call down the wrath of Bill Donoghue and his Catholic League.

Isn't Sailor enough of a pain?

You should never throw stones at anyone or anything.

But if ever you are mentally ill then there plenty of RC builidings in Ireland, readily available and conveniently situated for stoning.

:mad::mad:
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top