Published on Thursday, February 16, 2006, by
America's Moral Decline and the Rise of False Christianity
by Karen Horst Cobb
“This is the year God wants to make you a millionaire.” The visiting
evangelist stomped back and forth on the stage of the rented school
building. His “hallelujahs” and “praise God” crescendos were followed by
jumping up and down. Sweat ran down his face as he proclaimed that the
church members would not need to be afraid if the economy collapses and
their neighbors houses are foreclosed upon because they are blessed and
will have all of their needs met. The service ended with the explanation
that the first step to becoming a millionaire is to pledge $200 of “seed
faith money” to the church .
prior to the introduction of the evangelist the young single minister with
spiky hair introduced the beginning of fellowship “life groups," explaining
that the “free market” will decide which ones succeed. Recently, Ted Taggard
of mega church New Life Fellowship in Colorado Springs explained that
Spirituality is a “commodity “ to be bought and sold. The writings of
Milton Friedman are recommended for all new converts. This young minister must
also be a free market convert . His small group is a satellite of World
Harvest Church. The sermon themes of the mega churches are all very similar
and reflect the cause of America‘s moral decline. Christianity is getting a
makeover using the classic trappings of Money, domination and military
like the 50 million dollar Bible theme park which was to be built in Israel by
will not happen now that Pat Robertson insulted Ariel Sharon. Imagine a 50
million dollar Bible theme park protected by nuclear weapons in the holy land
and off limits to Arabs. The harvest of the mega church is ready; welcome the
gleaners, the seed faith money has matured.
According to a 2003
article in Forbes Magazine big churches are big business.
Researchers found that in 2003 there were 740 mega churches each averaging
6,876 participants. The average net income of each was $4.8 million at the
time of the study. The Forbes article states, “[the] entrepreneurial approach
has contributed to the explosive growth of mega churches“.
the entrepreneurial spirit or the Holy Spirit which is enticing the converts
to this new religion? Some used to say that the love of money is the root of
all evil and the rich man (like the camel) will forever be outside the
kingdom. I guess that is just “too first century” for the modern believer. The
millennium church makeover is all about Christian capitalism, he who the free
market has set free shall be free indeed! Remember, this is the year God wants
me to be a millionaire.
might think that putting your last hundred bucks in the offering satchel as
“seed faith money” is a lot like gambling or buying a lottery ticket. Perhaps
James Dobson and Ralph Reed can explain that to the Indians (and the rest of
us.) A Washington Post article explains that Ralph Reed (former head of the
Christian coalition) “received $4 million to whip up public sentiment against
expansion of gambling in Louisiana and Texas." He did this by mobilizing
evangelicals to take a stand against the immorality of gambling.
buildings and technologies of the mega-fellowships are edifices to capitalism,
free market economics, and the entrepreneurial spirit. The lexicon is slightly
different but the concepts are exactly the same as those of CEO motivational
speakers or a slick late night infomercial promoting real estate schemes. You
can do it! You can win! You can be a success! You are smart! There are no
limits to what you can achieve. Just send me some money and get started today.
A quick internet search reveals sources concerning the personal life styles of
the pastors of many of these churches. Their seed faith has been harvested
into private jets, extravagant cars, multimillion dollar homes and much, much
more. The storehouses are overflowing and with this wealth comes power.
Haggard’s New Life Fellowship in Colorado Springs,
World Harvest Church
is a very politically active mega church. Rod Parsley is the pastor ,
“co-laborer“, as he puts it. He is also founder and president of the
politically active “Center for Moral Clarity." In a few weeks he is scheduled
to speak on the topic “the
War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006” at the Vision America
Conference Other speakers scheduled for the event are Alan Keyes, Senator Sam
Brownback, John Cornyn, Gary Bauer, Phyllis Schlafly, Janet Parshall, Rick
Scarbrough, and Tom Delay. (yes that’s right - the multiply-indicted Tom
not listened to Pastor Parsley’s CD set “Injustice in American Courts” nor
have I purchased the shiny “King
Arthur style sword” for $41.10 to display in my home. I have not
considered taking courses at World Harvest Bible College where I can learn to
"shape the culture” nor have I spent the thousands necessary to learn how to
“walk in Dominion power to advance the kingdom of God through the
earth” [italics added]
Ohio Community, religious leaders exposed the use of Pastor Parsley’s
religious tax-free status to support Gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell.
Yes, the same Ken Blackwell who was the co-chair of the committee to re-elect
Bush/Cheney in 2004 while at the same time responsible for overseeing Ohio’s
ended up with many irregularities.
and Blackwell launched a voter registration campaign
but only to register Republican voters. Money leads to power and power
leads to war.
today there is a need for a tougher, meaner Jesus, a government issue Jesus
(GI-Joe) who comes complete with state of the art Kevlar tunic, two edged
sword, and secret code book (the book of Revelation). Evangelical Christians
are organizing and conspiring to manipulate governments to use weapons if
necessary to kill some of God’s children so that prime real estate goes to
people whom they believe God likes best.
immoral clarity was reported recently in the Jerusalem Post.
Rev John Hagee
is the organizer and leader of the Armageddon war cry and
has now created the powerful political lobby, Christians United for Israel
(CUFI). Christians untied for Israel (CUFI) includes Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn,
Jack Hayford, George Morrison, Rod Parsley and Steven Strang and many other
media evangelicals. According to Hagee, “ The goal is to be strategically
placed to successfully lobby Washington on behalf of Israel… Every state in
the Union, every congressional district will be accounted for.” Reportedly,
this lobbying group represents 30 million evangelical Christians. As we know,
congress alone has the power to declare war. Will it be Christians who
pressure elected officials into war? Will it be people who declare themselves
to be Christ-like, who use his name to sound the collective war cry which
unleashes the deadliest weapons on earth? George W. Bush said recently that
“all options are on the table” when it comes to Iran.
Evangelical Christian right is working to insure a manmade apocalypse develops
in the Middle east. This powerful political faction runs parallel to the
economic foreign policies of the slightly more secular neo-conservative
“republican” party which has visions of empire and military rule as outlined
in the Project for a New American Century's
"Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New
Century" [pdf format]. It was written a year before 9/11, and,
prophetically, the plan to put bases throughout the Middle East is right on
schedule. John Hagee’s latest book is Jerusalem Countdown which can be
viewed on his website. Evidently, it presents Iran as a horrible nuclear
threat to Israel and the United States. Just for a quick check with reality
here is the
on nuclear weapons: Iran-0, Israel-200, US-10,600 (as of 2002). Please
explain to me who are these "people of faith” and what do they put their faith
in? Experts agree that Iran is at the very least
ten years away from obtaining even one nuclear warhead.Ten years is a lot
of time to wage peace.
Theocratic capitalism appeals to human lust for money, power, and military
rule. Conversely, simplicity, service, and humility belong to the divine.
Confusing fables are taught to itching ears. (Timothy 4:3 paraphrased). The
first century followers of Christ did not entertain the entrepreneurial
spirit, market competition and accumulation of wealth or organized to lobby
some, generosity is a strategy to gain wealth to purchase political power.
Christ-like generosity however results from empathic compassion and a longing
for the welfare of others. This is the core of moral clarity and makes it
impossible for true believers to horde wealth. The rich man and the camel are
both unable to kneel low enough to pass through the eye of the needle.
upside down kingdom Jesus taught that the poor are rich, the weak are strong,
and the servant is the master. It is a change of heart rather than a change of
legislation and circumstances. The new Jerusalem is a community governed by
the golden rule, not ancient real estate governed by religious politicians. A
person living in love does not need PowerPoint seminars, CD boxed millennium
sets, ornamental swords, or novels written in code. It’s all summed up in a
sentence and a sacrifice- Love the lord and love your neighbor.
lust for more powerful weapons. If the Christians Untied for Israel are
successful in lobbying Washington on behalf of Israel they will insure that
more living souls will be destroyed. God is not an angry real estate broker
who uses extortion and violence to get his way. He does not think of suffering
and dying children as “collateral damage”.
charred bodies in Fallujia
by white phosphorus were living souls. Deformed babies fused together or
born without limbs because of the use of depleted uranium weapons is beyond
depravity. It is estimated that 150,000 living souls have been extinguished
directly or indirectly as a result of the war in Iraq.
Many of these are women and children.
Beautiful news models and impressive military strategists describe
“magnificent” weapons and manipulate us into pride and patriotism brought to
us by companies with military contracts. With deadened empathy we watched the
“shock and awe” as whole families explode before our eyes. What families
values support this behavior? The American dilemma remains unspoken. If I
become aware, how can I remain comfortable and keep shopping?
for money, dominance, and military power is at the core of America‘s moral
decline. It is imperative that church leaders and laity boldly proclaim that
violence, torture, hostage taking, conquests of land and resources are actions
Christians can never condone. Killing for Christ is an abomination leaving us
with blood-stained hands and darkness in our hearts! Every church must be a
peace church or it will become a state church and then it will be… no
church at all.
from the author:] Some might read this article with a spirit of anger and
hatred toward those mentioned. If so please re-read it in a spirit of extreme
sorrow, compassion and utter despair for the loss of the Gospel of love. You
may direct comments to me at
Horst Cobb wrote No
Longer a Christian and
No Longer a
Christian - Part II published by CommonDreams.org in the fall of 2004. She
is a mother and a grandmother, and with God’s grace, tries to follow the
example of Christ as she speaks Christ’s message to the world that there is no
Government Issue Jesus (GI-Joe Jesus.)