February 1, 2011

Material blessing proof for God's love?

Money (reais)Image via Wikipedia

There is a widespread belief among many who call themselves faithful that the wealth they gathered is proof of God's love for them. I don't recall the exact quotations from which they derive such belief, but it goes more or less in the line that God blesses the ones who are faithful, or blesses those who follow God's laws.

There seems to be a quite big problem with this thinking. I do also believe that God will bless a person who does right. But if we take this in a simple way we are forced to the conclusion that all poor and miserable people would be in their condition because they or their ancestors did once sin. All rich people would be rich because they did right. It surely cannot be that simple. It is actually rather outrageous to make such simple, i would say fundamentalist statements.

So let's assume that God blesses those who are faithful. But what does blessing mean? What would God mean with blessing a person? A person who wants to get rich considers wealth to be a blessing. A person who wants to get powerful considers power to be a blessing. A person who wants to get knowledgeable considers knowledge to be the blessing. Again someone else would find it a great blessing to get many children. People have all kind of opinions about 'blessings' but what matters is what God would consider to be a blessing for us.

Let's do some thought experiments. Suppose a person is addicted to the desire for money. That person goes to church and follows all the rites of his or her religion. The person really likes money and works hard and cheats a little, all within the law of course, and gathers great wealth. The person considers all the riches the result of doing right, of having the right faith. I imagine that God could desire that such person would lose all the money and becomes homeless; after many years the person comes to his or her self and finds out that the greed for money did destroy his or her inner life. I imagine that God would consider it to be a blessing that this person would lose all money and come to a deeper understanding of life.

So in this case God could consider it to be a blessing that a person loses all money, but the person thinks that blessing means getting more money. Rather complicated! Did i say now that all poor and hungry people are in such condition because they once did sin? No, i am not saying that at all. I believe people have a responsibility to care for each other. Some people may get wretched because they were lazy, others may loose their wealth and well-being because others did them wrong -- there could be so many reasons for that.

It's a common way of thinking of certain believers that God gave them wealth to use it in a responsible way. Yes, if you get something from God, you should be responsible for it, but what if you didn't get it from God but you stole it? What would then be your responsibility? It seems rather clear that in that case you should return to the owner what you stole.

There are so many ways of stealing. Many governments steal and have stolen by causing inflation of currencies in some way. They just steal a little bit from each person. Many banks and large corporations do the same. They just take a tiny something from many. Almost nobody notices it. The banks' owners use their money to influence politics. They get a good name, are respected, but some or more of them may actually be thieves. Instead of discontinuing to steal they make large donations to some kind of charity. Now they are not only thieves but also falsely hailed as famous saints.

May 22, 2006

No comments:

Post a Comment