**I discuss this topic on this week's Podcast, which you can find here.**
"Forgive me father, for I have sinned...I think Christianity has been bastardized."
Take Joel Osteen, for example. He's a prominent pastor and televangelist. He has a net worth of over $100 million. A man of God doesn't need that type of money.
Here are some more money-hungry pastors:
Kirk Cameron was an atheist until he turned 17 (that's when he hooked up with a much older Chelsea Noble, who was a big time Christian). They married 30 years ago, had 6 kids, and are living their lives spreading "God's" word. We haven't seen either of them acting in anything noteworthy for a few decades. However, they have been making money off of their religion. Kirk Cameron is worth $10 million, and his wife Chelsea is worth $5 million.
Candace Cameron Bure is also known for her devoutly religious beliefs. She has a net worth of $14 million.
Let's talk about Candace Cameron Bure for a moment. She recently published her own Bible. Yeah. It's over 1,500 pages long, and it has her own touch on it (notes, inspo quotes, places for you to write, etc). Guess how much she is selling this Bible for? $50 on Amazon, and $65 on Dayspring. To me, and to many of my followers, she is charging way too much. She is basically telling all of us that we cannot be Christian for less than $50. We cannot be at her level unless we skip buying our babies diapers for a week, and use that money to buy her book. It is safe to assume that all proceeds are going to her bank account. She is selling Christianity, and profiting off of it, just like the pastors I mentioned above.
Wanna hear something interesting? Jesus didn't have a net worth. He wasn't adorned in the latest fashions. He spread the gospel because He wanted to give people hope. He didn't have an ulterior motive.
Christianity has become less about faith, and more about the almighty buck. I know it says somewhere in the Bible that we cannot worship two masters. Pastors worship two masters: themselves, and the almighty buck. It's the same with any worship team.
About 3 years ago, I joined a Christian Protestant Church in my area. I was pregnant, and I needed help. I wanted to be closer to God, and I wanted my son to be brought up right. I walked into the Church, and people were definitely nice to me. I sat with this one woman who wouldn't stop gossiping about the other members. When it came to tithing, I gave $5 (that's all that I had on me. I had spent a lot of money on newborn clothes the day before). The person next to me was watching me put the $5 bill in the envelope and she gave me a dirty look. I later found out that her husband was one of the people who counted the tithing money after everything is collected. I had another interesting moment several months later, after I had my son. I only had $10 on me, and I didn't have an envelope. I had to drop my $10 into a basket up front. When I looked in the basket, I saw $20 bills and higher. Here I am dropping my measly $10 in, and people were looking at me.
Despite all of that bullshit, I continued going to that Church until 2020. I decided to leave when I noticed the true nature of these people I thought were my Church family. It all began with a few questions about Donald Trump. One woman came at me hard on my Facebook profile, then shared a post where I had mentioned Donald Trump. She added a lot of personal information, and made me look like I was possessed by demons. "Oooh, how dare I question precious Donald Trump?" I blocked her, but that didn't stop her from blowing up my phone. Another woman said that my questions "weren't cool." I blocked her too, and everyone else that was coming at me. I was pretty upset by the betrayal. My core Church friends were instructed to not speak to me again. If THAT doesn't scream "cult," I don't know what does.
It was easy for them to get rid of me. One, I didn't tithe hundreds of dollars to the Church every Sunday. Two, I have a mind of my own. They knew I questioned everything. That has always been me since day one. I decided last year that I don't need Church. I spent a lot of time reading last year, and I noticed that most (if not all) Churches are the exact same way as my old Church. They are money-driven, cocky, gossipy, and cult-like.
My experience alone should have turned me away from God. It didn't.
Here's the thing about faith: it's not a religion. Faith doesn't put a basket in front of you and say "Gimmie all your money, bitch." Faith just wants you as you are. Faith doesn't care if you have a Bible from the dollar store. Faith doesn't care if you are wearing thrift store clothes. It doesn't even care if your car is a piece of crap.
As you can see, I'm not your typical believer in God. I feel like God wants me as I am. He doesn't want me to be fake.
God wants all of us as we are.
Don't allow yourself to be pressured into giving money to Church. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into buying expensive Bibles that so-called celebrities create. Religion is a business. Faith is free.
If you take life too seriously, you will never make it out alive. Keep coming back for more light and laughter! Let's enjoy an Unfiltered Life!