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06 February 2017

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"In this world or a next, let ‘both’ parry and party, so it might be hoped, more of self-shared love."

That's ridiculous.

It's introducing a laiss'ez faire, Conquistador element to morality.

Commodification was inevitable when disparity of articles and resources manifested upon arrivals at shores of an island unexplored by Europeans. Not only were items viewed as prizes, so too were procedures and permissions. Exchanges and more drastic methods, over time, led to closer engagements and closures, with refinements and embellishments ventured by ‘both’ those who had to provide and those acted to procure.
In this world or a next, let ‘both’ parry and party, so it might be hoped, more of self-shared love.

Countryman, I think these mothers have come up with a scheme to defraud people of their money. And they will be preying on desperate people who want quick answers to their problems and predicaments.

I am not sure if the story connecting with the local padre is true or not. Maybe another lie by the mothers to further strengthen their fraud. Again not sure here.

On the other hand, I think it is high time all churches should tell the congregations that it is all right to work hard, honestly and amass wealth and then use wealth to help others, and further the work of the church.

I have a terrible feeling that churches teach their congregations to follow a part of poverty and expect their rewards in heaven; this I consider is contrary to what the Bible teaches.

The prophets and patriarchs of the Bible were rich people. King Solomon for example. And Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all well of materially by their standards at that time.

The modern capitalist system of wealth creation in the west was borne out of the protestant work ethic.

Churches in PNG also need to promote empowerment, physical well-being as well as the nourishment of the body and mind with nourishment of things that are spiritual.

Didn't one Martin Luther rail against "selling indulgences" some 400 years ago? It is sad that this is allegedly Catholics who are doing this.

I agree with Daniel - it is the Evangelical "get rich with God" brigade who are the worst offenders. And I would add Hillsong to the list.

Last year an Evangelical preacher of the same ilk offered us a guaranteed cure for cancer (for Rose) for just $100 a dose. I quickly showed him the door.

Remember there was one bloke who saw this scam for what it was 2,000 years ago.

"To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

"The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

If this allegation is true then it is good that it has been brought to our attention.

It is not unknown that cult-like practices can spring up in the midst of Church life. In the early Church a man named Simon tried to buy the power of the Spirit with money (Acts. 8.18).

Unfortunately this problem continues to raise its head. In my opinion, all Churches must be vigilant to try and ensure that individuals are not trying to use the Gospel simply for their own financial benefit.

This applies especially to those of us who are or have been professional ‘pastors’.

In my younger days when I was Parish Priest in Rebiamul, Mt. Hagen one of my duties was to visit the sick and elderly. This involved frequent long treks up the hills behind Hagen and the surrounding countryside.

We would pray over the sick and bring them Communion. We never asked for money. Sometimes I was offered money but I would not accept it.

If they were insisting on giving money or seemed offended by me not accepting the money then we would tell the family that if they so wished, they could put the money in the common collection box at Sunday mass, but we did not accept any money while visiting the sick.

The early missionaries, whether Lutheran or Catholic, were usually not in a position to demand financial return from the people.

At times there was the opposite complaint. If the priest or pastor was not asking some return from the people, he was accused of “spoon-feeding the people”!

We do the works of God for a pay but not in this world. Our pay will come from God in the world to come.

Christianity has a long history of exploiting believers for profit.

It was not uncommon for positions within the medieval catholic church to effectively be sold off to those willing and able to offer a financial inducement of some sort.

Thus, well to do families often placed their spare sons within monasteries by offering the Abbott cash or promising to fund a building or agreeing to leave land in their wills.

Martin Luther famously railed against the church's practice of selling indulgences, whereby the buyer received time off from purgatory in exchange for money.

Also, the members of certain orders of friars or priests sometimes wandered the countryside preaching to small groups of people wherever they could find them.

Usually amongst the poorest and least literate of the clergy, these so-called "hedge priests" relied upon the charity of those they encountered to survive. They were, in a sense, selling sermons, prayers and blessings for a living.

So, what is now happening in PNG can be seen in the broader historic context, where believers were offered spiritual benefits of some sort in order to fund the church itself or individual members of the clergy.

To me, this behaviour is probably the ultimate confidence trick, where the purported benefits on offer are not only intangible but, mostly, can only be realised after the customer's death.

I guess this is why the number of customer complaints is so low.

Kops, Catholic Church has rich history and traditions of communal prayer. It is encouraged in all Dioceses in this country.

However, this tradition can be manipulated for self gain by individuals and these individuals must know that they are hijacking the intent of communal prayer and that is unChristian.

For Catholics, these are real challenges that draw us closer to the Gospel and its values in understanding changes across space and time.

We must not be mislead.
Please don't make worship a mockery.

This is certainly an abuse of our belief and the genuine practice in family and community prayer-meeting circles of the Catholic communities.

I would ask if you could report the Parish Priest to the Archbishop of Port Moresby to take appropriate action. I am saddened to read this reported news.

Morata is a very poor suburb where the city’s outcasts, the down trodden, unemployed, low wage earners and informal market sellers live.

Forgive the small time padre and the praying mothers for soliciting money from such poor people.

But imagine world televangelists who are worth millions and continue to pull in millions of dollars every year.

Evangelists like Eddie Long who is reported to have said Jesus wasn’t broke, and leaders of churches shouldn’t be either. Long has earned millions in salary from his ministry, owns a million dollar home on a 20-acre lot, has use of a $350,000 Bentley, and pulls in a host of other benefits too.

Long was among a group of other wealthy American televangelists who were under Federal Investigations to ensure they weren’t taking advantage of their nonprofit status.

They headed ministries which were nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations but they raked in millions every year, owned private jets, expensive cars and lived in mansions some as big as hotels.

The others who were under federal investigation, some of whom had come to PNG were Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar. Randy and Paula White and of course Eddie Long.

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