Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A chicken in every pot and a mosque on every corner

Though the 'chicken in every pot' slogan is attributed to Herbert Hoover, he never actually used it, exactly. The Republican party did. The Hoover campaign used a variety of slogans in 1928 including "Vote for Prosperity." This source explains that "During the presidential campaign of 1928, a circular published by the Republican Party claimed that if Herbert Hoover won there would be “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.” America was at the height of an economic bubble at the time, ensuring a landslide victory for Hoover over Democrat Al Smith. Prosperity was at its peak.

However, the October 1929 Wall Street crash, occurring only 9 months after Hoover's inauguration, ensured a defeat in 1932, where Americans felt Hoover had not been effective in halting the nation's downward economic slide. Franklin Roosevelt won.

I think every president has promised prosperity in some way or another. It is always an attractive promise. ("Four more years of the full dinner pail" — 1900 U.S. presidential slogan of William McKinley", "Peace and Prosperity — 1956 U.S. presidential campaign slogan of Dwight D. Eisenhower", "Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?" - presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan", "It's the Economy, Stupid" 1992 campaign slogan of Bill Clinton's campaign). I mean, who doesn't want a full dinner pail and a new car? Promising prosperity works.

After move to $10.5 million River Oaks mansion, Joel Osteen offers Tanglewood land for $1.1 million
"At Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen proclaims,"It's God's will for you to live in prosperity instead of poverty." The pastor of the Houston megachurch and wife Victoria certainly practice what they preach. The couple has moved to a $10.5 million mansion in River Oaks, while keeping their former Tanglewood residence, valued at $2.9 million. They are, however, selling a vacant lot next to their former home. Asking price for the half-acre property at the corner of Doliver and Sherbrooke: $1.1 million." Below, Osteen's house


In this generation, the preachers of Christianity have caught on to that fact, so they promise prosperity too. Get that lucrative job, find that mansion house, receive that promotion, plant a seed and receive a blessing 100-fold. Prosperity works. After all, you can have Your Best Life Now if you only follow these 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential. (Joel Osteen). "Churches" started to grow. Immature believers and non-believers took that for proof that the prosperity preachers were preaching rightly, and flocked to see what they could get out of it. The goats stormed the castle and now they are all milling around the courtyard, looking for more. They are so busy naming and claiming it they do not see that the gates to the inside of the castle are still closed to them.

Name-it claim it prosperity preaching is unbiblical. "Jesus did not come to give us health, wealth and happiness now. He came to save us from our sins so that we can have an eternity of bliss with Him. Following Christ is not a ticket to all the material things men desire in this life but a ticket to eternal life. Our desire should not be to have our best life now but should be that of the Apostle Paul who had learned to be content “in whatever state I am” (Philippians 4:11). [source]

In the Middle East,the United Arab Emirates decreed a "New set of guidelines for mosques in Abu Dhabi" Places of worship to be within five minutes’ walk from every home in the capital

The article explains, "Abu Dhabi: Worshippers in Abu Dhabi will soon be no more than a five-minute walk away from the nearest mosque, as a new set of regulations requires a mosque within 350 metres of every home. ... The guidelines have been developed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), and they aim to ensure that mosques of appropriate size with high standards for hygiene and maintenance are adequately distributed across the emirate."
Source

Though the UAE Federal Constitution declares that Islam is the official religion of the country, the UAE has traditionally left other religions alone, allowing congregants to worship in their own way, for the most part. There are some restrictions however. Proselytizing is banned. In general, Christians are allowed to worship as they please.

However, this new emphasis on a mosque on every corner, and it should LOOK like a mosque, too, may be a harbinger of coming change. This article explains some of the reasons for the design standards and the distance requirements:
Source

"We decided that mosques must be 350 metres within every home as this distance can be covered in a five-minute walk, which is the shortest time between the call to prayer and the start of the prayer,” Al Hammadi explained. The second section concentrates on design recommendations. “For example, the areas containing toilets where worshippers can wear their shoes will be clearly distinct from the ablution area, where worshippers must remove their shoes."

In either case, the prosperity preachers or the Islamic governments, the emphasis is the same, and both are wrong. The emphasis is on the external.

In the case of the mosques, there is concern for how the mosque looks, there are "shoe zone and non-shoe zones," and whether there are enough bathrooms for ritual washing.

"Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.”...But Jesus said "And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” (Matthew 15:1-2, 10-11, 19-20).

The externals do not matter, it is what is inside a person that matters. Are they clean inside?

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness." (Matthew 23:27).

As for prosperity preachers, my hope does not lie in my faith to get consumable goods here in my best life now. I follow the command of Jesus,

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." (Matthew 6:19)

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21)

My treasure is the Holy Spirit inside me, pointing to the treasure of Christ, God's son. Whatever the flavor of false religion, it will always point you to something that does not matter. The only thing that matters is Jesus...and whether you are reconciled to Him or are His enemy. Reconciliation is the eternal treasure, and that doesn't happen externally, it is an inward transformation--

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Exposing or ignoring the ignominious blemish in our husbands

Our pastor is going through Jonah. It's a great series. Naturally I got interested in reading Moby Dick, the Great American Novel, by H...