Admittedly, I don't believe in God. I'm a Buddhist(www.sgi.org), born and raised, of a sect that has a very different concept of how the universe is connected (if I put it in deistic terms, I would say that each of us has something of god within us, but as a Nichiren Buddhist, its more accurate to say that all of us has an enlightened self, a Buddha nature, which I can go into at greater length elsewhere).
I've been in Nigeria for 3 months, and people spend a lot of time talking about God here. I've met plenty of devout-seeming Christians (I live in the South-South, a mostly Christian area). Sunday is a very lively day (Friday up North). It took me a few weeks to realize that the droning sound of NNNNNNNuuuuuuuunNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh was actually someone on a speaker somewhere in the distance saying Hhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaalllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllluuuuuuuuuuuujjjjjjjjjjjaaaaaaaahhh
I still have yet to go to a church here, although I plan to before I leave. I've been happy to join a lively Buddhist community in Nigeria.
So, something that has been bothering me (and this bothers me in the US, too, its just more obvious here), is the assumption that God and his blessings mean money.
There are huge scandals and scams that involve churches and money here. When someone gets money, they think it comes from God, or at least thats the way it seems to me.
Last I checked, and please feel to correct me if I'm wrong, since this is not my religion, Jesus Christ, the son of God, was born poor, lived poor and died poor. Yes, he died for the sins of man, but not so that man could commit many more sins. Right?
If that is the son of God, then what of humans, in theory made in God's image?
Why is wealth a sign of God's blessings?? Aren't there plenty of wealthy sinners and poor martyrs? Does that mean that poor people are not God's favorites (assuming God has time to play favorites)? It doesn't make sense.
What do you think?
I do think money is important. You need it to live, but if you commit sins to get it, is it still God's gift?