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End Times vs Prosperity Gospel vs Pope Francis: All "Christians"?

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posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko



You really haven't done much research into homeschooling lately have you? It is actually a growing thing in progressive parenting circles and minority parenting circles for much the same reasons that religious parents first picked up on it -- the public schools suck for a variety of reasons and parents who care about their kids and want them to learn have two choices: homeschooling or private schooling.


The OP is about the various denominations of "Right-Wing" Christianity that confuse people who aren't "one of them."

Home-schooling is a different topic. My own son chose to dump public High School, and I opened a registered "Home School." Mine was called The Gifted Alternative Academy. Do a FOIA request if you like. He's 25 now.

The Homeschoolers movement that I'm talking about in the context of this thread are the Jesus Camp types. The IHOP types. But again - that is off topic. This thread is about the various 'minor leagues' of Christianity, if you will.


edit on 4/24/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 08:42 PM
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Okay, everyone....

so - address the OP question? Please?

"End Times" people, how are you different from "Prosperity Gospel" people? And how are you both different from "Roman Catholic" people (especially the kind who think Pope Francis IS RIGHT) - and then also how are you different from the non-RCs (like myself) who also think Pope Francis is right?

I really do want to know what you believe, and how it's different from others' beliefs. I'm also showing you how my own beliefs relate to yours....I don't mean to be offensive to anyone. This is all just about beliefs, subjective ideas, and thinking curves.






edit on 4/24/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 09:02 PM
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And again: Are they/you all "Christians"? If so, how and why, and if not, why not?



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 09:04 PM
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Before becoming agnostic I spent 5 years in a non denominational church. They preached prosperity gospel heavily and at least 25% of the service time was about God blessing us for tithing and giving to the church. It was disturbing to say the least. I questioned why I couldn't just give my tithes to the poor directly and was met with opposition from church leadership. Saying it's not biblical and the church should get the money and decide how it should be given.

The pastor always wore 500 dollar shoes and I would imagine on any given day the clothes he wore were worth 1000 bucks. He drove a Lincoln and a Harley in the summer. His 16 year old daughter got a range rover and every time they went on mission trips they stayed in 4 star hotels. Their valley home was 4,000 square foot mansion overlooking a golf course. They pushed buying books by people like Kenneth Copeland and Mike Murdock like those guys needed anymore money.

I left three years ago and am the much happier for it!



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 09:07 PM
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a reply to: Joecanada11

oh wow....I just gagged in my throat a little....

thanks for sharing how it really was. That kind of stuff just (obviously) makes me retch. Like phlegm.



posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Yeah I had a lot of problems with it but my wife at the time had been a part of the church for a long time.

Prosperity gospel is the absolute worst. They are con artists of the worst kind using the name of god and twisting scriptures to make their fortunes. My ex pastor was poor compared to some of the mega churches or the old televangelists. Some of them have amassed fortunes of over 100 million dollars. The worst part of all of it is the "healings". They claim to have a special healing gift from God and then touch people and tell them they are healed although noboddy in a wheelchair that is truly disabled gets healed. Then they kill these poor people put of their fortunes.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 01:58 PM
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Prosperity gospel mostly grew out of Pentacostalism I think. Pentacostals are the people who speak in tongues and "lay on hands" they are Evangelicals and usually fundamentalists... You can be Evangelical and not Fundamentalist and vice versa btw. They all have different meanings. Not all fundamentalists or evangelicals accept the prosperity gospel, many regard it as a heresy, since its pretty obvious the bible is against the concept (Jesus said to feed the poor and all that).


Fundamentalist means you take the word of the bible literally, as in there were literally 6 days in the creation of Earth.

Evanglicalism is mostly just the concept of being "born again." And helping others become born again.

I was born and raised an Evangelical Fundamentalist Southern Baptist. Honestly I don't have a lot of good things to say about the church I grew up in. The things I saw there turned me off of that interpretation of Christianity. I saw a lot of very un-Christ-like people there, as well as child abuse and molestation, warmongering, advocating genocide and violence, and a lot of really weird unbiblical rules and prohibitions (example: We weren't allowed to buy products at certain stores).

I'm personally interested in Catholicism these days. It seems like there are a lot of beautiful traditions and worship rituals in that religion that are very meaningful. The church I grew up in was mostly sitting there and listening to a guy rant about hell and the end of the world for an hour, I never felt close to God. I never felt like I was worshiping him or helping anyone. Mostly I just felt frightened.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 02:15 PM
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a reply to: ladyworgen

Thank you so much! This is the kind of information and anecdotal evidence I was looking for.

Yes, I grew up in the High Episcopal tradition - "Catholic lite" they call it - many "excommunicated Catholics" switched to Episcopal because they divorced or for other reasons. The only major difference is that worship of the "Virgin Mary" is not so pronounced, and the various saints are sort of off to the side, too. Confession is an optional thing, but we still had the incense and bells and lovely music and robes and candles and all that stuff. Genuflecting, approaching the altar for communion (The Holy Eucharist), baptism as infants, confirmation at 12-13-ish.

Recently I attended a Catholic funeral in a tiny bedroom town in central Nebraska - it was interesting, not as formal as my childhood experiences...

but yes, especially with this new Pope, the Catholic faith seems to be maturing. I like the pageantry, the music, the stained-glass and candles and all the mystical stuff (the incense, music, and stained glass are intended to 'transport' the person to a place of closer union with the Divine - I like that, too).....

It's the Evangelical, Fundamentalist, tent-revival, hell-fire/brimstone, judgmental, child abusing, self-loathing denominations that make me utterly repulsed. When they add in their ridiculous "tithing" and refuse medical treatment, or refuse to acknowledge gay people or abortions, or say that "Catholics aren't Christians" - that really pisses me off.

LOL!! And I'm an agnostic - none of it ever convinced me that Jesus was magic, or that "God" is a judgmental, masochistic tyrant like the Bible describes "him." That is all nonsense.

And "born again" is nothing but a cultish initiation thing! In my educated and carefully considered opinion.
Your mileage may vary. Thanks for posting, and welcome to ATS!!



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Do Episcopalians not tithe? I thought all Christians tithed?

I watched a documentary about Christianity a few months ago talking about how the Prosperity Gospel Evangelical churches might be splitting off to become another religion entirely since they are far from their roots in the Catholic church.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 02:40 PM
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a reply to: ladyworgen

Episcopalians send around a collection plate during Eucharist services, but there was never any compulsion or expected "percentage." (Percentage of "what"? I might ask. They didn't ask what your salary was either.)
It was more like pitching in. Mom used to give us a dime or quarter to put in - she would add a buck or something. In any case, I don't really remember there being anything about "tithing" taught to me as a kid - just that the plate got passed and if you wanted you could put in a bit. It was mostly 1s and 5s, I recall - but I left the church at 16-ish. Even when I got married in the church, to my knowledge there was no "charge" (1986), and the required premarital counseling with the vicar was free as well....he said not one thing about tithing. Ever. To us.


The plate got passed on Sundays, but it was no pressure, ever. NONE AT ALL. You weren't kicked out if you didn't - it was totally voluntary, and went for upkeep of the church and supplies like candles, robes, wafers/wine, flowers, lawn/building maintenance, and I guess the secretary's salary and the vicar's I guess? Mom worked as the acolyte director, no pay. Same with choir director, and I'm not sure about the organist...I think it was just her hobby....etc.
edit on 4/26/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Where I grew up it was ingrained into you that you must give ten percent or ELSE. God blessed those who give their ten percent, and will give it back to them ten-fold and stuff like that, so you'd see a lot of little old ladies who had basically nothing giving half their income away to the church. I saw a lot of people writing very large checks to the church as they passed around the collection plate. A lot of poorer people didn't go to church for that reason. It was a source of shame for them. My family members won't go to church mostly because they view it as a scam to pressure them out of money.

I recall reading the Joel Osteen's church made $600,000 in a single weekend.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: ladyworgen

Yep the church I was involved in very heavily spoke on tithing. 10% of your income. And they made it very clear that meant 10% OF YOUR BEFORE TAX INCOME! They based all of this on old testament law which stated 10% of your crops would be given as a sacrifice to God. There is nothing in the new testament regarding tithing.

Also many of those churches preached heavily on the rapture and end times. Scaring people into thinking we are soon in the end times so why would you need your money anyways.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 03:38 PM
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a reply to: Joecanada11

Of all the stuff I learned in church I hated the end times stuff the most. Basically there was no meaning in anything that existed in the real world according to them. Everything was wrong, everything was sinful and nothing really mattered at all because the end of the world is coming so the only thing you need to care about or think about was being ready for Jesus to come back.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 04:13 PM
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a reply to: ladyworgen


Of all the stuff I learned in church I hated the end times stuff the most. Basically there was no meaning in anything that existed in the real world according to them. Everything was wrong, everything was sinful and nothing really mattered at all because the end of the world is coming so the only thing you need to care about or think about was being ready for Jesus to come back.


EXACTLY! I think it's horrible when adults tell little kids they are "sinners" and (this happened in the episcopal church too) - we knelt down with our heads bowed and said how unworthy we were to even gather up the crumbs from under the guy's table....and that we were lowly sinners....although no one ever said to me "You belong in hell", it was the message I got...and I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong! I was just a little kid!! ????? I tried hard to be a good girl, said my prayers every night, went to church, but they kept telling me I wasn't worth a few bread crumbs.... see, I never got the "but you'll be okay! You're saved!" part of the message. All I heard was what a loser chump sinner worthless drip I was."

Wasn't until I was a middle-aged adult that I told my mother this, and she was mortified that I had felt badly - she wanted the message to be about love and forgiveness and so on.....but it sure didn't sound or feel like "love" to me when even she, my mother, had to bow her head and repeat the same mantra declaring her own worthlessness....

Anyway. That's my beef against religion...telling children they're not good enough, no matter what they do, and they can NEVER be good enough, so Jesus. I think that is abusive and damaging. I also think it's awful to teach kids that others are sinners and going to hell.....or that they should hate all Jews or should hate all Sunnis or should hate all gays or people who dance or eat bacon or wear shorts....

THAT'S what I hate - is when people do all of that.....and teach their kids to do the same.

edit on 4/26/2016 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 04:34 PM
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a reply to: ladyworgen

I couldn't agree with you more. All the music I loved was off limits because listening to it was a "sin" this applied to pretty much any music that didn't involve worship music.

And yes they very heavily relied on the doctrine of the rapture which I soon learned wasn't even biblical but a doctrine that started in the 1800s due to a little girl having a dream.

The defeatist attitude of that doctrine to me is so damaging to society. They taught that climate change and caring about the environment was from the Satan. They teach earth doesn't matter because god is going to destroy it and create a new earth. They highly encouraged home schooling at my old church and even discouraged people from going to college because people who do have a high rate of leaving the church. There is a direct correlation between higher education and leaving church especially fundamentalist churches.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 04:56 PM
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a reply to: Joecanada11

You got that right, Joe!!

Absolutely. Direct correlation between higher education and reduced religiosity.
Parents and the 'administration' hold on with an iron grip to those kids.....it's awful. Have you seen the Jesus Camp documentary?



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 05:00 PM
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Buzzywigs: I know what you mean! I was so confused and scared as a little kid. I didn't understand what I did that was so bad that I deserved hell. I didn't understand why a God who was supposed to love me and everyone wanted to destroy the world in such a violent way.

I was an anxious kid who grew up to be an anxious adult and I think my church experiences as a child sewed the seeds of that. They would make us watch movies about hell and the apocalypse, even when we were as young as 4 or 5 years old. I had nightmares and felt scared a lot, since they told us it would happen at anytime, any moment. I thought the rapture would come and take my parents away and I would be left. It was terrifying. When I was about 11 years old I started to refuse to believe in God because I couldn't understand why God wanted to be so cruel to the world and its people.

Joecanada11: Yeah I hated how they disregarded the Earth. I saw the earth as a good thing, a beautiful thing to be honored and cared for. To them it doesn't matter at all. Its totally meaningless and temporary. I remember looking at the forest behind my house as a little kid and wondering why God wanted to set it on fire. It disturbed me a great deal.

I see so much religion as being divisive, anti-nature and anti-human, especially when it comes to the fundamentalist variety. I think spirituality is good but religious legalism subverts spirituality, in my opinion.
edit on 26-4-2016 by ladyworgen because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 05:04 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Yep I have seen Jesus camp. It really hit home. I'm just glad my children aren't involved in that anymore. Spirituality is great. My problem is when a persons belief system directly impacts nature and mankind in a harmful way.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: Joecanada11

Jesus Camp isn't "spirituality." But, I don't think that's what you meant.

My two kids were 'unchurched' - when daughter was in high school she asked if she could go to after-hours youth group, I said yes. Even let her to to the camp. She was horrified when on the first night they were all told they were sinners deserving only of burning in hell, and to go to bed.....dwell on it....sleep on it....



the next morning, after "sleeping on it", at breakfast the girls and boys were told by the same woman: "Now here's the good news! You're all saved! Because Jesus! "
Daughter told me as soon as she heard that she tuned out...the rest of it was just her observing/reporting. She was disgusted.

She never went back to a single meeting.
Appalling. Yes, I knew what she was likely to see - when I was in middle school 526 years ago, I was invited to a "tent revival" (this was in the early 70s). Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker were big then. In my house, none of that Gospel stuff was ever there...my mom said I could go.

I was traumatized by it - the hell-fire and desperation talk....don't really remember how it turned out, but never forgot being there. Awful.



posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 06:18 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

You are correct when I said spiritually I wasn't speaking of religion. It's funny too that all the evangelical and non denominational churches say they aren't religion but a relationship with Jesus whatever that means.







 
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