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Archive for March 2017

Question 134: The word of faith and prosperity preachers seem to have a lot of good ideas, where do they go wrong?

The prosperity preachers tap into the fact that we are all God’s children and so it follows that we all have the potential to claim our rightful heritage and share in the wealth of the Creator God. They say we just need to affirm that truth, live it out in our daily actions and keep on believing it until the wealth of God manifests in our lives. They say that as God’s children we don’t have to suffer in poverty, and some say we don’t have to suffer any ill health either.

So far so good. However, they can go wrong in several ways: Some of the preachers can urge their followers to give money in order to receive even more money in return. They say plant the seed money and it will grow even more money. This may be good advice for starting a business, but for giving to a church it is an impure motive that only serves the egos of people. It is like a magic formula to enrich yourself. It certainly does seem to enrich the leaders of the prosperity churches.

Another way it goes wrong is in not understanding the law of cause and effect and of the carryover from past lives. Every soul comes into this life with a plan which includes learning needed lessons in soul development. Some people may need to learn how it feels to be poor and mistreated because in a past life they were rich, and they mistreated poor people. All of us have lived lives of prosperity and poverty, and we can learn valuable lessons in both conditions. Someone who is born into a rich family will have very different experiences from a person born into a poor family. It doesn’t mean God favors one over the other.

A plan for prosperity would include helping everyone to become prosperous and for that to happen certain conditions need to be changed. For example, the central banking systems such as the Federal Reserve of the USA create money as a debt that accrues interest.  Who benefits from the interest? The private parties who control the banks.  The financial systems of the world are set up to benefit the people who are already wealthy. It has already been shown that the top 1 percent of the population control a huge proportion of the wealth.  What are the prosperity churches doing about that?

Prosperity preachers may help people feel good about themselves to keep up a positive attitude and to take the initiative to get more income, but I have rarely heard them talk about the oneness of all life and for the need to overcome the ego and the sense of separation from God.  If you live with a realization of your oneness with the Creator and fill your life with love and joy, then you will have true prosperity and chances are you will be healthy too, though not necessarily all the time as our bodies are subject to physical problems. Our program is to realize our oneness with God and live in love for everyone and to help people become prosperous in all ways, spiritual and material.

“Prosperity cannot be proof of God’s favor, since it is what the devil promises to those who worship him.”—John Piper.

Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. —Lao Tzu

Expect your every need to be met, expect the answer to every problem, expect abundance on every level, expect to grow spiritually. —Eileen Caddy

It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has. —Henry Ward Beecher

Money is not the root of all evil…ignorance is the root of all evil. People do cruel and foolish things for money because they feel oppressed by a sense of lack. If people knew their power to generate wealth, they would never fight or hurt each other over money. —Alan Cohen

There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. …But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well—being, and peace of mind.” —Deepak Chopra


Question 133: What does the Gospel of Oneness say about superstition and religion?

Religion and superstition have been intertwined for a long time because various cultures and people groups have looked for external gods and forces outside of themselves in order to explain what was going on in their lives. Whenever people think they have to placate or supplicate to an external god, then superstitious practices will arise.

Some superstitions are relatively harmless such as wearing certain gems or symbolic jewelry to ward off evil. However, some superstitions can be very harmful such as the practice of human sacrifice to satisfy certain deities. That is rare in human cultures, but a more widespread superstition that was practiced in  many cultures and religions around the world is animal sacrifice.  Sacrificing animals was seen as a way to atone for personal and group sins. The animals became the scapegoats for human failings.

Religious rites and rituals can be turned into superstitions if they are practiced in a rote manner with no inner understanding of what the ritual means. The communion service or Eucharist in the Christian religion is an example. When people use it as an outer ritual to satisfy their desire to look and be religious, then it becomes a superstition they think will please God.

To be superstitious means to not take responsibility for ourselves. We have the power of God within us and we don’t have to bow down to outer imaginary gods. If we have done something that we feel was wrong, we don’t have to blame it on someone else or sacrifice an animal to make up for it. If we want our crops to grow and our businesses to succeed, then we need to take practical steps using our initiative and free will to make it happen.

In the Gospel of Oneness we realize that to be superstitious is to lack faith in our own powers, so we introspect in order to see if we are acting superstitious about anything. The goal is to become consciously aware of what we actually believe and then cast out superstitious beliefs so we can act with clear minds.

To affirm our own loving nature and our oneness with God and all life can also be a superstition if we don’t deeply feel it within our own hearts.

We boast of our emancipation from many superstitions; but if we have broken any idols, it is through a transfer of idolatry.—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Superstition is foolish, childish, primitive and irrational – but how much does it cost you to knock on wood?—Judith Viorst

To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy. – William Inge

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.—Edmund Burke

The religious superstitions of women perpetuate their bondage more than all other adverse influences—Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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