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  •  Prosperity Gospel has roots in Calvinism (4+ / 0-)

    and the concept of the Select.  Calvin would say that God's favor is bestowed upon the Select and as a result, the Select prosper.  Moreover, he claimed that one becomes a member of the Select by the grace of God alone.  He did hedge his bets a bit by saying that if you weren't sure that you were a member of the Select, that good works couldn't hurt your chances.

    It's stuff like this, and my understanding of science and cosmology that has led me to turn away from Christianity and embrace atheism.

    Knowledge without conscience is the ruination of the soul -- François Rabelais

    by ccyd on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:18:35 AM PST

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    •  I've always heard it called "Elect" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

      but that is essentially right. Since God has known from before the beginning of the world who is written in the book of Life and who is not, some are saved and some are damned and there is nothing you can do to change that.

      BUT while this was a common warping of the message--and human beings do warp nearly everything--there are some important differences.  One way others would recognize the saved was in their way of life: "by their works shall ye know them."  They wouldn't be saved BY works, but their hearts would be so full of Christ that they would do good works anyway.

      And unique to modern Americans is their certainty that they, personally, are going to heaven.  16th century Christians knew that most people were going to hell and that it very well could include them.  People who think there's a literal hell but optimistically assume they're too good to go there are way more likely to be complacent about it.

    •  Pure Weber (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

      who linked capitalism in Europe to Calvinistic Predetermination and the Protestant Work Ethic, where folks were careful not to waste money, save it, invest it, and that economic prosperity reassured people that they were favored by God.  So, to Weber, capitalism grew out of this Protestant Christian philosophic base and this religious superstructure determined the infrastructure, the economics of capitalism.

      "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

      by kuvasz on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 07:30:17 PM PST

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