Money == Prayer?

This is such a great point…

“Here is my claim: in most churches and ministries among evangelical protestants today (and probably among non-protestants as well), the flow of capital functions theologically.  What I mean by this is that in the actual practice of making decisions and establishing agendas and practices in Christian ministries today, it is the flow of money or its absence that is accorded primal theological significance.  How decisions get made regarding the shape and focus of the ministerial life is determined, with next to no exception by the direction in which monetary capital is flowing.  If there isn’t any money available, or the interest in contributing such monies to any given ministerial venture is lacking, that ministerial venture does not go forward.

What is the significance of this, theologically speaking?  What it really shows is that capital functions, at least in the Western evangelical context as an immanent form of divine power and favor.  In effect, the flow of capital becomes the divine sign, the Urim and the Thummim that becomes revelatory of the divine will.  This is seen most of all in the way in which prayer functions in the making of ministerial decisions today.  Prayer, rather than being the discipline of seeking the will of God through the mediation of Christ, actually functions in our society as nothing more than a way to rubber stamp decisions that have already been predetermined by the presence or abscence of capital.”

I leave the connection between the point this author makes and the present attack rhetoric in the Church as an exercise for the reader.

Read the rest here: Prayer in a capitalist world

(Via Inhabitatio Dei.)

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...