Mr. and Mrs. Cruel
My idea for a HBO series.
Zurngo and his wife, Smeega, who dwelt on the planet Frugbee, dreaded the day they would get a call from Mr. Cruel, the master cooperate con artist, who ran the cruel intergalactic shakedown that has infected Prosperity Galaxy, as it is now called. Being Christmas Payday, Mrs. Cruel now joined the conference call.
“Hello Zurngo and Smeega. We would like to talk to your daughter, Zwindi. We want to wish her a Happy Gold Bar. Can you put her on!”
Smeega did her best to hide her terror. There was a good chance that while speaking to the Cruels, Zwindi’s Life Richness could be sucked out of her, leaving a dried up prune. The good news is, if you can call it that, was Zurngo had reached level 9, and was entering the ‘All For Me’ state. However, if he did not accurately guess the size of the kickback the Cruels wanted, then Zwindi would be reduced to a wrinkled ball of Un-Wealth.
to be continued
According to historian Kate Bowler, the prosperity gospel was formed from the intersection of three different ideologies: Pentecostalism, New Thought, and “an American gospel of pragmatism, individualism, and upward mobility”. This “American gospel” was best exemplified by Andrew Carnegie‘s Gospel of Wealth and Russell Conwell‘s famous sermon “Acres of Diamonds”, in which Conwell equated poverty with sin and asserted that anyone could become rich through hard work. This gospel of wealth, however, was an expression of Muscular Christianity and understood success to be the result of personal effort rather than divine intervention.
The New Thought movement, which emerged in the 1880s, was responsible for popularizing belief in the power of the mind to achieve prosperity. While initially focused on achieving mental and physical health, New Thought teachers such as Charles Fillmore made material success a major emphasis of the movement. By the 20th century, New Thought concepts had saturated American popular culture, being common features of both self-help literature and popular psychology.
E. W. Kenyon, a Baptist minister and adherent of the Higher Life movement, is credited with introducing mind-power teachings into early Pentecostalism. In the 1890s, Kenyon attended Emerson College of Oratory where he was exposed to the New Thought movement. Kenyon later became connected with well-known Pentecostal leaders and wrote about supernatural revelation and positive declarations. His writing influenced leaders of the nascent prosperity movement during the post-war American healing revival. Kenyon and later leaders in the prosperity movement have denied that he was influenced by the New Thought movement. Anthropologist Simon Coleman argues that there are “obvious parallels” between Kenyon’s teachings and New Thought.
Kenyon taught that Christ’s substitutionary atonement secured for believers a right to divine healing. This was attained through positive, faith-filled speech; the spoken word of God allowed believers to appropriate the same spiritual power that God used to create the world and attain the provisions promised in Christ’s death and resurrection. Prayer was understood to be a binding, legal act. Rather than asking, Kenyon taught believers to demand healing since they were already legally entitled to receive it.