How do you deal with this? (prosperity of protestant nations)


#1

I am from Argentina, I am catholic like most argentineans but my father is protestant (german family), he always says that the prosperity of protestant nations and the poverty of catholic countries proves that protestants are blessed by God, and that it is true christianity.

He gives many examples like how catholic Spain fighting for the Pope lost most of its power and was defeated by England, and he says that the USA are a very wealthy nation because the USA was founded by protestants.
Also how northern european countries are wealthier than Spain, or Portugal, things like that.

he thinks god controls all events, so it was god´s will that the english would beat the spanish for example.

how would you answer?


#2

If wealth is a sign of God’s blessing the Jesus was cursed. The Christ child and the Holy Family had not even a room at the inn. He was born in a cave where animals were kept. Christ himself says the son of man does not even have a place of his own to lay his head. Jesus told the rich man it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than a rich man to get to heaven. And, blessed are the poor, they shall inherit the earth.

Sounds like God favors the poor rather than the rich.

Also, the supposed “propserity” of protestant nations has been gained at what cost? The England & the US have a legacy of brutal slave labor and colonization, the killing of millions of unborn children, and his own Germany has Hitler’s “industrious” plan at the expense of human dignity and 6 million Jews.

I think your father’s theory is FULL of holes and inconsistencies. He does not think very far below the surface.


#3

i seem to remember the jews being slaves while still being “God’s chosen”… kinda’ puts a damper on the God-makes-his-people-rich theory…


#4

Why do Catholic countries have the best artists and composers?


#5

did you tell your father, that catholism is the biggest religous group in the u.s? don’t those catholics work or serve in the army? and as far as germany being this great nation… tell him australia. whos marjority are catholic, defeated germany in all the major battles of world war 1… and was the only nation to defeat germany in ww2 (in africa) while germany was at full strength…? before being called back to fight off the japs who were on their door step. and in doing so they made the japanese invent a word for retreat…?when australia forcedthem back the japs had to give the order to advance to the rear…lol. so tell him god does smile on come catholics…


#6

Asking,

Ask your father has ever read the book of Job. In it Job suffers greatly (looses property, children, suffers boils over his body) and his “friends” assume the suffering was because Job had sinned/displeased God (parallel to your father’s view of the Catholic Church). But Job had not sinned, he was righteous, and at the end of the book, God lets Job’s friends know it! He restores Job’s standing and even directs them to repent and pray for Job to pray for them as God will only listen to Job’s intercession on their behalf.

Basically, one of the main themes of the Book of Job is that lack of wealth, health, and status is NOT equated with displeasure or a lack of blessings from God. Job’s friends got it wrong, and it sounds like your father did too.

God Bless,

SG257


#7

[quote=Chris Jacobsen]Why do Catholic countries have the best artists and composers?
[/quote]

Bach and Beethoven were Catholic?


#8

[quote=Asking]I am from Argentina, I am catholic like most argentineans but my father is protestant (german family), he always says that the prosperity of protestant nations and the poverty of catholic countries proves that protestants are blessed by God, and that it is true christianity.
[/quote]

This is an old legend that the Victorians used to promote. but it doesn’t stand up to examination.

Catholic Austria, Belgium and France are amongst the most prosperous countries in Europe. If you look at Germany, it is half Catholic. The protestant parts are actually slightly less prosperous than the catholic ones.

The legend grew up because in Victorian times northern Europe was in an unusual period of economic dominance, and there were more protestant countries in Northern Europe. In the 1600s and 1700s Spain and Italy were far more prosperous and northern protestant lands were in poverty. Today southern Europe is coming out of the period when it was poorer than the north.

Also the legend grew up because the USA prospered while Latin America stayed poor. But as someone has already said Catholicism is the largest single faith in the USA, and it is even more dominant in prosperous Canada. Latin American poverty is more to do with the Social system set up by the Spanish, where the colonies were set up to enrich Spain rather than the inhabitants. The wealth was drained away from the colonies to Europe. and local people had no control or initiative. So even when the Spanish left, the wealthy continued to take their money out of the country rather than investing it as in the USA.

He gives many examples like how catholic Spain fighting for the Pope lost most of its power and was defeated by England

Catholic Spain also won a huge amount of power. Ruling about a third of the planet by one period. Spain declined in the 1800s, but Britain declined in the 1900s


#9

And, one more observation:

If God shows favor by bestowing wealth, then your father should face east and pray 5 times a day from now on-- who has all the oil reserves and money coming out of their ears??? Muslim countries!


#10

Bach and Beethoven were Catholic?

O.K. There are a few exceptions.


#11

Look at the lives of the Saints. Most gave up all wealth even if they had it, to live in Poverty and be more “Christlike”. People in our lifetimes such as Pope John Paul II who died with no earthly possessions to distribute, Mother Teresa who lived in the poorest area of India serving the forgotten, sick and starving. St. Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena, to name a few as well as St. Claire who founded The Poor Clares. Their names live in history as among the greatest. Their crown of glory is only to be found in Heaven. On earth they are heros.


#12

[quote=Asking]I am from Argentina, I am catholic like most argentineans but my father is protestant (german family), he always says that the prosperity of protestant nations and the poverty of catholic countries proves that protestants are blessed by God, and that it is true christianity.

He gives many examples like how catholic Spain fighting for the Pope lost most of its power and was defeated by England, and he says that the USA are a very wealthy nation because the USA was founded by protestants.
Also how northern european countries are wealthier than Spain, or Portugal, things like that.

he thinks god controls all events, so it was god´s will that the english would beat the spanish for example.

how would you answer?
[/quote]

I didn’t know you got Benny Hinn in Argentina :rolleyes:


#13

Was ANY rich man in the Bible ever held up as a Christian example? Wasn’t it the poor beggar, Lazarus, who went to heaven, while his rich neighbor burned in hell?


#14

Is Japan protestant? Is their economy lacking?

Is China protestant? Isn’t their economy booming right now?

Is India protestant? Isn’t their economy booming right now?


#15

Benny who?


#16

I think it is some kind of northern european feeling of superiority my father has, very Victorian as someone said.

And werent the founding fathers masons or atheists? I remember someone who wrote the bible again without the miracles, If I am wrong please correct me, I dont know much about USA history.


#17

Dear Asking,

A different view: Maybe your father is justifying his difference in faith, by showing how much better his religion is by pointing out how much worse your’s is. Convoluted logic, but people do it all the time (like in politics).

Evil people and righteous people can be poor or rich. Examples abound of both. A good example of a righteous rich person would be Zaccheus in Luke, 19, 1 -10. He fully repents, gives 1/2 is wealth to the poor, and will reimburse people he cheated 4 times over. Jesus didn’t condemn nor commend him for being rich, and he didn’t state for him to remain in poverty. The goal was to retreive the lost souls, like Zaccheus.

Remember the 4th Commandment to ‘Honor thy Father and Mother,’ gentley and loving (in your way, of course), point out that

  1. Jesus was poor his entire life. I’m sure your dad knows this; if your dad met Jesus today, would he proudly inform him of his rich vs. poor statement, and then proceed to tell Jesus how much more he is in Favor with God than Jesus is? (Sound a little sassy. You may need to clean it up.)
  2. The Jews did not want a poor messiah either, and Jesus did not fit their idea of the Messiah.
  3. Ask dad to define ‘poor’. Does he mean low income, or people begging on the streets? I’m sure you can find street beggars within Argentina.

Two mentions in the NT to keep in mind a. the widow’s mite, Luke, 21. It is not the size of the offering to God, but the giving of one’s self-the measure of self sacrifice and generosity-given to God. and b. “The ‘poor’ you have with you always” (Matt 26:11/Mark 14:7; John 12:8), refers to the “begging poor,” the population at society’s lowest strata, the “untouchables. See how frequently these “begging poor” are in the NT:Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52), Lazarus begging at the gate of the Rich Man (Luke 16:19-31), & the cripple beggar at the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3:1-10). This is paraphrased from www.nd.edu/~jneyrey1/Attitudes.html.

I suggest reading the Beattiudes, and focus on the first four -poor, thirsty & hungry, mourning, and rejected by their family, Luke 6:20-23. In Jesus’s time, if your family rejected you, you went from poor to ‘begging’ poor, since your family network no longer supports you.

Don’t forget to pray for your father, not to focus so much on how wonderful he is, but on how to serve God better.

Thank you.
Mrs C in MI


#18

[quote=Asking]Benny who?
[/quote]

Ha sorry, must be an American thing :o . He’s this “televangelist” who preaches the gospel of health and wealth . . . you know, the more faith you have in God, the more money you’ll have, etc. Very stupid to say the least.


#19

[font=Bangle]Prosperity is no guarantee or indication that you are more favored by God, like some poster stated, Jesus was born in a stable.

When the young rich man in the Bible wanted to follow Jesus, ----He told him to go sell everything he had and give it to the poor, the young man went away sad, as he couldn’t comply.

And when Satan tempted Jesus showing Him all the goods of this world, Jesus rejected it, be-gone Satan.

Jesus also said not to store treasure up in this world, but rather store treasure up in Heaven.

This kingdom on earth for a time is Satan’s kingdom, so if anyone says by being prosperous that they are favored by God are seriously misled, we have several warnings in the Bible (Lazarus and the King).

Most of the Saints rejected earthly riche’s, look at ST: Francis and numerous others.

I myself wasn’t born into a rich family, and I sometimes thank God for that in prayer, after all would the servant want to be greater than the Master? (Jesus).

I think poor people in general are richer spiritually than materialistic people, and I for one wouldn’t be happy with millions in the bank, knowing others are starving. ££££-$$$$$.

So while some are given more, they are also called to share that wealth with the poor, or risk the same fate as the rich King in the Bible, who didn’t recognize the poor man begging for scraps.

No matter what we have on this earth, we can’t take it with us, and there’s no pockets in a shroud, and I certainly don’t want to be the richest man in the graveyard.

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#20

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