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December 1, 2009
By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
The December issue of the Atlantic magazine has a fascinating cover story entitled, "Did Christianity Cause the Crash?" The gist of the article is, churches preaching the Spenderella doctrine, commonly referred to as the Prosperity Gospel, drove people who could not afford to spend wildly to do so. And the current recession is due in part to overextended credit and its consequent credit crunch.
For several years I’ve been driving by a huge roadside billboard that is updated every few months. It appears on a route I take five or six times per week. It shows an attractive, affluent, African-American couple who formed and run a church together, extolling the virtues of believing in Jesus and believers’ financial rewards.
I have never understood how anyone can read the New Testament and think that Jesus would have supported such poppycock. Yes, he advocated for the poor, fed them, and offered whatever forms of support he could. But he obviously eschewed riches and rich people (throwing the money lenders out of the Temple and so on.) So where and how modern-day churches have been allowed to perpetrate the myth of Christian materialism is beyond my ken. Here's an excerpt from the article: