Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jesus and your money

When you come right down to it, Kendra Todd is a promoter of the so-called "prosperity gospel."

In a recent article at the 700 Club, called "Turn Passion into Prosperity," Terri Simmons describes how Todd, an "investment-related real estate agent," is all about "teaching people how to develop a healthy attitude and mindset towards money."

The title of Todd's "best-selling" book says it all: Risk & Grow Rich. According to Simmons, Todd's "team's main mission is to match buyers with properties that fit their goals, and to help people grow one step closer to financial freedom. [But] ... her main goal is equipping people with the knowledge that success and wealth comes from God."

Uh, oh.

Wait, it gets better. "I'm a strong Christian," says Todd [that's opposed to a "weak" Christian], and I'm getting ready to launch a Christian biblical based approach to making and saving money, tithing and giving. I am getting ready to do what I am passionate about. I want to empower people to create a real positive relationship with and perspective on money, and realize it's all God."


If she left out the "God" stuff, she might make some sense, but then, of course, she'd be no different than all the other real estate shucksters filling up the market with books on how to invest and get rich.

Where she bites the dust, is her horsehockey about God and money, and how "it's all God," and "that success and wealth comes from God."


In the Gospels, the character of Jesus is shown to have quite a different viewpoint. In fact, one might even conclude that Jesus had an opposite viewpoint to Ms. Todd's.

Consider:

"'Man cannot live on bread alone.'" (Matthew 2:4)

"He went round the whole of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom..." (Matthew 4:23)

"Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth..." (Matthew 6:19)

"You cannot serve God and Money." (Matthew 6:24) See also Luke 16:13)

"Set your mind on God's kingdom and his justice before everything else." (Matthew 6:33)

"If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine, he must leave self behind; he must take up his cross and come with me. Whoever cares for his own safety is lost..." (Matthew 16:24-25)

"I tell you this: a rich man will find it hard to enter the kingdom of Heaven. I repeat, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
(Matthew 19:23-25). See also Mark 10:23-27.

The Parable of the sheep and goats explicitly states that only those who saw Jesus in the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the naked, and in prison and offered help will enter the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 25:31-46)

"But alas for you who are rich; you have had your time of happiness. Alas for you who are well-fed now; you shall go hungry." (Luke 6:24-25)

"Have no fear, little flock; for your Father has chosen to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions and give in charity. Provide for yourselves purses that do not wear out, and never-failing treasure in heaven, where no thief can near it, no moth destroy it. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Luke 12:32-34)

"So also none of you can be a disciple of mine without parting with all his possessions." (Luke 14:33)

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus. (Luke 16:19-31)


I have not verified this, but I remember reading that, in the Gospels, Jesus used parables 38 times to get across his messages. Sixteen of these involved money, the use of money, the danger of money. Jesus spoke more about money than love, prayer, or sin.


Back to Kendra Todd and her "passion into prosperity" nonsense. Todd won Season 3 of The Apprentice and worked one year with the Trump organization renovating a $125 million estate in Palm Beach.

Now she's working with HGTV, hosting "Your House is Worth What?"

And it's all God.


Now I think it's wonderful that this young lady has reached a certain level of material success and a celebrity status in our society. Nothing wrong with that.

Except that Kendra wants us to believe that "success and wealth come from God." And that, simply put, is horseshockey!

Obviously, either Kendra Todd has never read the Gospel stories about Jesus or she simply does not believe the Bible. Jesus said, over and over again, that success and wealth are oppositional to God's will for out lives.

Believe it or not.


Read the entire article here. Todd's website is here.

16 comments:

Bob Poris said...

Unbelievable! Does she really think God cares if she gets rich or not? I suggest He has larger worries like genocide, hunger, poverty, wars, etc.

Jim said...

Oh come on! Don't expect Xians to live according to the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels. That's so old-fashioned. God's now about wealth and material success, just ask any right-winger. It's the free market man, and God blesses those who know how to make the system work for them--like Kendra Todd.

Jacob said...

I guess you're right, Jim. My expectations are way too high. Thanks for writing!

GRAP said...

I have to completely agree with you on this one. I think she is full of it. I'm not saying if you decide to become a Christian you should automatically become poor for God, and yes, I think God blesses people with financial success but preaching that "this could be you message" is just another way for them to be greedy. People like this lady and Joel Osteen and convincing people of a false message. I have trouble respecting any one especially those in ministry who seem to have a clear conscience about making tons of money while there are starving people and horrible things going on in the world.

Anonymous said...

She's a greedy liar. And it's pretty obvious that all she really cares about is her own image and bank account. That's probably why kendra todd is being sued right now: 'Apprentice' winner Kendra Todd accused of fraud in lawsuit over homesale. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/content/business/epaper/2009/06/21/sunbiz_thesource_0621.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/content/business/epaper/2009/06/21/sunbiz_thesource_0621.html

Jacob said...

Anonymous - That is great! Thanks much!

Tyrone said...

Just found your post. Here were mine on the real estate genius...

Kendra Todd Meets God
and...
Kendra Todd - The Lawsuit
and...
Kendra Todd (oginal)
.
Enjoy!
.

Jacob said...

Thank you, Tyrone. Excellent articles about this "Christianist" con artist!

Anonymous said...

If God intended for us to make money to live by, Kendra Todd teaches us about Real Estate, Investments and Finances. If we make money and tithe it to as many charities as Kendra does,(I know personally) then I would consider her a "true" christian. If you are tithing as much as she does, then you have nothing to critize, otherwise, your critizism is unjustified and simply shows how jealous you are. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Anonymous said...

The two opposing ideas are RICH and ABUNDANCE

as a rich person... you are secure in the number of digits in your bank account.

as an abundant person you are blessed with more to do more for the people you are already or about to do for

you dont need much to be a blessing to someone else

and being content in every situation is a hard lesson to learn

I do believe God intends to bless me at this point. I do not however feel it should be my goal, my goal is to be a servant to others that my light may shine

But i hope in doing so God may keep me from the temptation of trusting in my finances instead of in his WORD and SPIRIT

=Darcy Waltz= said...

To both "Anonymous" posters:

To Anonymous #1: Jealous? Really now: I will not envy someone who has worked for and earned what they have, and if they used God's principles to do it, then power to them. However, there I am highly suspicious of people who make this process sound "easy"--the "anyone can do this!" line is getting old; the truth is, most of these people are very naturally skilled in what they are doing, and have the personality to drive them on with it. Do not underestimate how important those factors are, because for those who are lacking in said natural talent and personality, success will be harder to achieve. And that does not mean that the principles people like Kendra Todd teach are not true or do not work or are not even from God--what it means is that these men and women, who are naturals at this kind of thing, tend to overlook the fact that most other people are not like them in this regard.

=Darcy Waltz= said...

To Anonymous #2: I appreciate the balance your point of view demonstrates, especially where you have made a distinction between "rich" and "abundance" as two different [and implicitly, two opposing] points of view. And yes, being content is not easy. So, what is contentment; how do you define that state, and how do you reach it? And define your service to others and how plays in to you being both content and abundant. And define what trust in God's word and Spirit is exactly, for although I feel that the statements you have made are true, I also can't help but notice how general and broad and somewhat vague or insubstantial they also are. That being said, the only thing I wonder about here is what you may really know--not just from what you've been taught, but from what you have experienced and practiced and persevered in. If you do not have much in the way of experience and practice to validate what you have said, then I will question what you have said--and it is only fair that I do. I think it would benefit this whole discussion if you put more reinforcement behind the positions you have taken, and that is all.


To everyone else who has posted: This is a great topic, and worthy of discussion and debate!

=Darcy Waltz= said...

So, Anonymous #1, Your points will be validated if you can supply the information requested above. And leave the jealously or failure of others to "do unto others" out of the discussion. Do unto others yourself; accusations are not what we need here--what we need are facts and objective truth, which I trust you can supply.

=Darcy Waltz= said...

So, for naturally driven, success-oriented, achievement-wired, and money/social-savy people, winning at this game will be, for the most part, quite easy--especially compared to most everyone else who is not put together that way. And about tithing and giving: Well, that is what enormous amounts of wealth are for! So, if Kendra Todd is giving 60%+ of her wealth away to really help other people (that means she doesn't get any of it back), then good for her; according to the teachings of Christ and the NT church, that is exaclty what she should be doing. However, if you are going to say that she is doing this, then I would like to know a few key things: (1) how much of her cumulative net income goes to said charities; (2) what charities is said income going to; and (3) how extensively is she advertising that she is "giving" her money away? For an unselfish giver will not "advertise" what they give, interestingly enough--except to mention that they do, and that they give X% of their wealth away and to whom they give it (the point being, they won't make a big deal about it; a God-following individual just doesn't need or highly value the personal attention [according to Jesus, that is what religious hypocrisy does, and so you can tell what kind of person we have by what they actually practice in regard to all this]).

Moshe said...

It seems that any criticism has the same basic problem. In order to criticize, the one critizing must speak out the dogmatic position they themselves see the perpetrator taking, in order to point the finger. Are they sure about what Miss Todd's beliefs are? Does being an "Xian" mean an oversimplistic approach to this subject, as most here seem to be assuming? This type of narrow minded thinking would not be fair to anyone, I would think....for example....
Is the problem here that some are thinking that Miss Todd is not being strict enough in her literal interpretation of what Jesus was preaching? Don't those same people criticize "Xians" for being TOO literal in their reading of the Bible regarding other subjects, like creation and young earth theology??
It seems the critical persons are able to dodge and weave whenever they wish, running between opposite argumentative perspectives as it is convenient to them?
The "Xian" world is much more complex than these folks are making it out to be, and not all "Xians" are closed minded dogmatic bible thumpers.
Miss Todd is a business person, and she is also willing to stand up for what she believes. The last time I checked, there is nothing wrong with that, and I am sure the persons offended by this have a similar situation they could be criticized on...
The concept that "Xians" MUST adhere to some particular doctrine is really quite absurd...perhaps as absurd as the branding "Xian" is....of which the only proper usage is actually the name of a city in China where the terracotta statues were excavated. pronounced shee an.
Sheesh, come on guys, be reasonable.

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