Today the Tribune had an article about Paula and Randy White trying to revive their Without Walls International Church. A section in the article caught my attention:
"Those who study evangelicals say it's common for prosperity preachers such as Paula to embrace a gospel of materialism.
"It has been easy for those so inclined to further de-emphasize the spiritual aspects of Christianity in favor of legitimizing full-bore materialism," said Bill Martin, a Rice University professor. "In such a climate, a growing number of preachers see — and experience — no problem with acknowledging that many people regard them as motivational speakers or life coaches first, and preachers second."
This contrast with what the AP reported Pope had to say recently:
"Pope Benedict XVI condemned unbridled "pagan" passion for power, possessions and money as a modern-day plague . . . "Has not our modern world created its own idols?" Benedict said in his homily, and wondered aloud whether people have "imitated, perhaps inadvertently, the pagans of antiquity?"Benedict has continued with a campaign started by his predecessor, John Paul II, who worried that the affluent West was turning consumerism into a kind of religion and ignoring its Christian roots of spiritual values.
Paraphrasing from the New Testament, Benedict decried "insatiable greed" and said "the love of money is the root of all evil."
"Have not money, the thirst for possessions, for power and even knowledge, diverted man from his true destiny?" the pope asked.
Benedict blasted modern society's thirst for these new "pagan" idols as a "scandal, a real plague."
Are the Whites and other prosperity gospel preachers, Pagan and not Christian Preachers?