Religion in the Development of Wealth and Prosperity
People often view religion dealing primarily with the sacred, and having little to do with the profane, the secular. But religion often provides people's foundation, the means through which they make sense of their world. The Christian Bible, the Jewish Torah, and the Muslim Koran provide a set of laws to guide human behavior. These religions are instrumental as well as devotional; they make a difference in the world.
Charles Obimbo is from Kenya, a British colony. He has a doctorate in computer science and is a professor at the University of Guelf, Ontario, Canada. He observed that "the Europeans, especially. they got their wealth and prosperity when they were actually deep into Christianity. ... There was a Great Revival during those times of the Industrial Revolution." He also noted that the United States was populated, in part, by Europeans seeking religious freedom, when the seeds of democracy were first sprouting in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The sociologist Max Weber famously linked Protestantism and capitalism in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber observed the coincidence between Protestantism and the "work ethic." Protestantism also freed individuals from the bonds of tradition. The Protestant reformer John Calvin proclaimed, individual prosperity signalled God's favor. This new morality, Weber argued, provided a key ingredient to the developmentt of capitalism.
The historian E. P. Thompson discovered that Methodism was central to the creation of the English working class. John Wesley's (1703-91) preaching inflamed the men and women who had recently migrated from town to city to work in the "dark, satanic mills." Methodism came to the United States and swept through the mid-South in the early 19th century.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, another great revival is occurring, particularly in Africa and Latin America. John Danquah, Charles Obimbo, and David Wright, the minister of the Bible Believers church outside Yazoo City, Mississippi, follow William Branham. They believe that Branham is a modern prophet whose message reveals the truth encoded in the Book of Revelations.