Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Inquisition

Torquemada, do not emplore him for compassion. Torquemada, do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada, do not ask him for mercy, let’s face it, you can’t Torquemada anything.

I heard a story on NPR this morning about Senator Charles Grassley opening a grand inquisition. An inquisition to make sure the money you tithe and donate to religious communities is being used for the specified purposes outlined and not for efficacy of the Pastors grandiose lifestyle (real or attaining). All of this exploded with Toilet-gate(flush?) '07, when it was discovered that Joyce Myers and husband David spent ministry money on a $23,000 Marble topped toilet.

So who are these ministries coming under investigation? Well they're mainly Televangilists and Mega Churches. Most subscribe to a theology that resurges ever so often among Evangelical America known as the Prosperity Gospel, or Prosperity Theology. Some of the theology's origins can be traced back to New England Puritanism where success in life was an attribute of those preordained for heaven, while those who were outcasts of the community were thought to be questionable. The bulk of the theology comes out the late 19th century, early 20th cetury Pentecostal Movement. This of course is not the first time that "Prosperity Theology" has come under Public Scrutiny, or the appeal of Evangelicals for money. Rember PTL in the late 80's? And what about Oral Roberts, no not the sensational sex ed program he gave at ORU, but the appeal for$8 million lest the Lord call him home early if it's not raised? That draw for money sounds awefully lot like 'Prophetess' Juanita Bynum's plea for cash... read the YouTuber's comment on this clip.

Some, including Lou Dobbs, have questioned why Grassley is only going after the Televangilists and Mega Churches and not the Catholic Church, to which many would reply, everything that's within a Catholic Church, artwork, structurally is to the efficacy of God and the faith. You won't find a marble throne in any Catholic Church unless it's an ornate Cathedra, which serves a completely different purpose.

But Grassley's inquisition is nothing new, he's known in Congress for investigating all sorts of non profits to make sure they're doing exactly what they say they're doing, serving people and their needs through charitable programs and giving. So I applaud Sen. Grassley, and despite my antipathies towards American Evangelical Protestantism (AEP), know that I'm more for charitable organizations following through their commitments, religiously oriented or not. There are many Evangelical Protestant organizations who follow through with their charitable obligations and exhibit high accountability, and I applaud them for their Christian ministry and efforts.

::Update:: Looks like Sen. Grassley's efforts are being met by some stiff opposition in Rev. Dollar.. yes, dollar. The Prosperity Preacher is refusing to turn over additional information, despite living in a 2.5 million dollar mansion, driving a ministry purchased Rolls Royce and having access to a ministry owned Penthouse Apartment in NY, NY. Sounds mighty suspicious! Perhaps with the fall of the Dollar people will realize that the thing that God despises most are the egregiously wealthy:::

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