The Fading of the Doctrine of Plenty

Today was the first day I've been to church in a while. As usual, I enjoyed being in the House of the Lord and even didn't mind that much that said House was a megachurch. I still am bothered by megachurches, but when you don't go to church all that often, I'm just glad to be in His presence.

All about me, I saw the faces of Christians uniting, but the message I heard was something different. The sermon of bounty that I usually hear from this sort of venue has warped. See, I haven't been to church (other than for my great aunt's funeral) for some time. Needless to say, this has been my first time attending a church service since the bottom fell out of the stock market.

Much as been said about financial analysts being partially to blame for America's spending habits, but I'm not sure if this has been said about the doctrine of bounty that is replete in the megachurches of America. The tone in these houses of worship have shifted, albeit slightly, from the materialistic. True, materialism was not philosophically the goal of this type of doctrine, but it certainly give off the appearance that it was. So, it was rather refreshing to hear a message about how God creating things to be good (not great and not perfect) and that good can be gleamed from America's current dire straits.

Much can be said about this. The call for tithes and offerings is still made across this nation, but the promise of those gifts to the Lord coming back to us multiplied has a different meaning now. Christians are now reanalyzing how they must live, in true stewardship of what the Lord has given them. They must heed those in need about them a little more. They have seen loss and realized every week that offerings are gifts to God, not down payments for bigger blessings.

I think this financial breakdown has opened America's eyes to our national infrastructure, the nature of our credit-based culture, and showed us that this is not how we should be in the face of the 21st Century. Yet, just as our economy is teaching America a lesson, a similar but different message is being taught to Christians: that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, for our nation just as it happened to Job.

Now is the time for America to change, and now is the time for Christians to change as well.

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