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Let's Speculate For A Moment...


LifeCycle
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  After my deconversion, I've had to conclude that many famous preachers/evangilists know they're full of shit and using Christianity as a business to make themselves wealthy and achieve some level of fame.

 

  Of course, it's all just speculation on my part but I simply cannot believe that many of these folks believe in the product they're selling.  It's simply a business for them.

 

Benny Hinn - Definitely

TD Jakes - Most likely

Richard Roberts - Yes

Robert Tilton - Absofreakinglutely

The Crouches (TBN)  - I dunno, but they're definitely nuts

Jesse Duplantis - I think so but don't want to think so =(

Jim Baker - LOL

Oral Roberts - ?

Billy Graham - ?

 

Anyone you think is doing it for the fame and fortune that I haven't mentioned?  Disagree with any I've listed? Do you think the majority are sincere in their pursuit of sharing the gospel and the fame and good fortune is a just a product of God's blessings in their lives?

 

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My guess is if there are any sincere pastors, they're not trying to be television stars who beg for money.

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Joel Osteen....but he does his selling in a totally, friendly, out-going, sweet guy that understands....... manipulating manner.

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Joel Osteen....but he does his selling in a totally, friendly, out-going, sweet guy that understands....... manipulating manner.

Ohhhh yeah, All smiles Joel Osteen.  Nobody behaves that way all the time.  Maybe he really does have Jesus in his heart.

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If you look at some pathological liars there has been some work done to show that part of the brain that can sort out truth from lies seems to be somewhat diminished. This allows them to believe the lies in which they tell. So in some sense this could have at one point for some of these people started out like an idea to make money and scam people then at some people they scammed themselves which makes the lie all the more convincing since they are no longer trying to lie when they speak they think they are speaking from the heart lol.

 

Which begs the question are liars the believe their lies really lying?

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Which begs the question are liars the believe their lies really lying?

 

Yep. It's the same regardless of whether or not they buy into the shit they're selling themselves. These delusion hucksters stand to gain a ton from what they promote, and they've lied to themselves often enough and long enough that they believe it. In turn, they tell these lies to their audience members, the majority of whom are truly gullible, and probably not the most educated either. It's unethical at best, not to mention morally repugnant. 

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Benny Hinn - Yes

TD Jakes - Yes and No

Robert Tilton - Yes

The Crouches (TBN)  - Yes

Jim Baker - Yes and No

Oral Roberts - Yes and No

Billy Graham - No

Pat Robertson - Yes and No

 

By "Yes and No," I mean that they appear to hold Christian beliefs but consciously exploit certain doctrines for their own enrichment.

Of course Billy Graham comes away unscathed, as Templeton wrote in his memoirs, "But there is no feigning in him: he believes what he believes with an invincible innocence. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust. And I miss him."

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Yeah miles I think in their case I would agree but let me try to get at what I am  referring to

 

Person A is white

 

He goes online and tells person B he is black

 

Person B tells person C that person A is black

 

is person B lying?

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I suspect all of the successful pastors or preachers.  If they use manipulative tactics to get money and power then they have to know at some level that it is fake.  Oh they might still lie to themselves about it but if so they are just on the verge of using donated money to hire a hooker - or worse.

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Benny Hinn is a sociopathic narcissist.

I agree... I never could really stomach the guy - even when I was a believer.

 

Regarding this topic... It's just that I was indoctrinated at a very early age and it wasn't until very recently that I deconverted which is rather embarrassing, honestly.  I don't want to believe I was suckered and strung along this entire time by scammers.  But as was mentioned earlier... Even if they believe it, they're still selling lies.  I guess the problem I have is with the intent and the semi-innocence of being ignorant of the truth even though you're preaching like you have it.

 

Damn, humans can be manipulative, self-serving, assholes.  And all in the name of goodness! 

 

Son of a bitch (to be stated in a Ralphie voice when he realized the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring was just to sell him more Ovaltine)!!!

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Yeah miles I think in their case I would agree but let me try to get at what I am  referring to

 

Person A is white

 

He goes online and tells person B he is black

 

Person B tells person C that person A is black

 

is person B lying?

 

In that case, then if B tells C that A is black, when A is lying, and assuming A, B  and C don't know each other in real life, then as far as B and C know, A is being honest. So with the knowledge of A that B and C have, then B wouldn't really be lying with the knowledge they have.

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I don't see how any preacher/evangelist can be ignorant of his own exploitation of people when he knows

the Bible as well as evangelists appear to. I'm referring to the ones who are very rich as result of

their ministry.

 

There are a lot of conflicts in the Bible as we all know. But I don't think anybody who knows

the NT can be ignorant of Jesus' admonition to not seek treasures on earth but in heaven, and to eschew

material wealth. These guys don't even pretend to do that and I've never heard them preach against the

the accumulation of wealth. Nor do they spend much time in their sermons on the poor and Xtians' duty

to them. Do they not know that Jesus was poor all his life? Of course they do. And yet they say Jesus

should be emulated. Is anybody home upstairs?

 

Tending to the poor was one of the very top priorities of Jesus. That's why I have for many years

questioned the sincerity of Xtianity in America, even before I deconverted. Gawd, look at the wealth of the main denominations of the churches in the US. Every Xtian knowledgeable about the NT should

recognize this gross inconsistecny.

bill

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Of course Billy Graham comes away unscathed, as Templeton wrote in his memoirs, "But there is no feigning in him: he believes what he believes with an invincible innocence. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust. And I miss him."[/size]

Billy always seemed sincere. Franklin, not so much.

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I don't see how any preacher/evangelist can be ignorant of his own exploitation of people when he knows

the Bible as well as evangelists appear to. I'm referring to the ones who are very rich as result of

their ministry.

 

There are a lot of conflicts in the Bible as we all know. But I don't think anybody who knows

the NT can be ignorant of Jesus' admonition to not seek treasures on earth but in heaven, and to eschew

material wealth. These guys don't even pretend to do that and I've never heard them preach against the

the accumulation of wealth. Nor do they spend much time in their sermons on the poor and Xtians' duty

to them. Do they not know that Jesus was poor all his life? Of course they do. And yet they say Jesus

should be emulated. Is anybody home upstairs?

 

Tending to the poor was one of the very top priorities of Jesus. That's why I have for many years

questioned the sincerity of Xtianity in America, even before I deconverted. Gawd, look at the wealth of the main denominations of the churches in the US. Every Xtian knowledgeable about the NT should

recognize this gross inconsistecny.

bill

Personally if you can convince yourself to be a Christian you can convince yourself of anything its just that one extra step. Bush thought it was gods will to invade Iraq even though the bible says though shalt not kill. Romans chapter 13 is all about submission to government yet you point that out to neo-con republicans who want to  keep our government from functioning properly they just give you blank stares. They use this verse to justify their actions. Luke 16:9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. See the bible really likes rich people so long as they use their money to gain friends and influence peoplewoohoo.gif 

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Of course Billy Graham comes away unscathed, as Templeton wrote in his memoirs, "But there is no feigning in him: he believes what he believes with an invincible innocence. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust. And I miss him."[/size]

Billy always seemed sincere. Franklin, not so much.

 

 

Actually, I have to disagree a bit about Billy.  My family literally worships at his altar, but when he endorsed Mitt Romney before the last election AND went so far as to declare that Mormonism was no longer a cult...he lost the last vestiges of respect I had for him.  He maybe didn't sell out for money, but basically chucking his "Biblical" virtues and theology for the sake of politics was very telling.  If he wanted to support Romney, that's cool.  To declare Mormons to just be other Christians....wow! 

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I don't see how any preacher/evangelist can be ignorant of his own exploitation of people when he knows

the Bible as well as evangelists appear to. I'm referring to the ones who are very rich as result of

their ministry.

 

There are a lot of conflicts in the Bible as we all know. But I don't think anybody who knows

the NT can be ignorant of Jesus' admonition to not seek treasures on earth but in heaven, and to eschew

material wealth. These guys don't even pretend to do that and I've never heard them preach against the

the accumulation of wealth. Nor do they spend much time in their sermons on the poor and Xtians' duty

to them. Do they not know that Jesus was poor all his life? Of course they do. And yet they say Jesus

should be emulated. Is anybody home upstairs?

 

Tending to the poor was one of the very top priorities of Jesus. That's why I have for many years

questioned the sincerity of Xtianity in America, even before I deconverted. Gawd, look at the wealth of the main denominations of the churches in the US. Every Xtian knowledgeable about the NT should

recognize this gross inconsistecny.

bill

Personally if you can convince yourself to be a Christian you can convince yourself of anything its just that one extra step. Bush thought it was gods will to invade Iraq even though the bible says though shalt not kill. Romans chapter 13 is all about submission to government yet you point that out to neo-con republicans who want to  keep our government from functioning properly they just give you blank stares. They use this verse to justify their actions. Luke 16:9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. See the bible really likes rich people so long as they use their money to gain friends and influence peoplewoohoo.gif 

 

 

I agree with this.  I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with the OP and think EVERY preacher he mentioned really believes..  I just think their delusion is so deep that they can justify anything.  I think it's BS to say anyone who reads the Bible will see the truth.  Maybe many of you come from nominal religious backgrounds, or were in congregations where people never really read the Bible and were just sheeple, believing whatever they were told.  I was an ARDENT evangelical/charismatic believer who read the bible cover to cover EVERY YEAR and went to the middle east to be a missionary and plant churches in Muslim countries.  Most of my Christian friends knew the bible just as well as me or better, and they still had some weird ass ideas.  To know the bible well and still believe is all about JUSTIFYING all the contradictions and creating your own interpretation of who god is and what christianity should be.  To get off into prosperity teachings you just need to surround yourself with people who believe the same as you and CONFIRM your delusions about what is true. 

 

I have no doubt each of these men believes they are serving god and helping people.  Yes, they are on the good  side of the con.  But I think they don't know it's a con anymore than those giving to them.  Hell, the popes have been sitting in the gold-plated vatican for millenia, and there are quite a few of them who were genuine believers, yet it never occurred to them to sell off the vatican riches and use that money to feed the poor.

 

The fact is, if one really DIDN'T believe in god at all, why put up with all the religious bullshit just for a power and wealth rush.  Have to keep your sex urges and infidelities under cover and play the religious game 24/7?  Not worth it!  I also don't buy that maybe they believe in god a little but are using him for their own greed.  If you believe even a little, what a brazen lack of fear of god to mess with him like that!  Millstone around your neck and all that.  Really, the power of delusion is AMAZING.  It is the best explanation...especially since the power of delusion has kept this religion alive for 2000 years!

 

It is just hard to fathom the idiocy of the delusion once you are free from it! 

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Of course Billy Graham comes away unscathed, as Templeton wrote in his memoirs, "But there is no feigning in him: he believes what he believes with an invincible innocence. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust. And I miss him."[/size]

Billy always seemed sincere. Franklin, not so much.

 

 

Actually, I have to disagree a bit about Billy.  My family literally worships at his altar, but when he endorsed Mitt Romney before the last election AND went so far as to declare that Mormonism was no longer a cult...he lost the last vestiges of respect I had for him.  He maybe didn't sell out for money, but basically chucking his "Biblical" virtues and theology for the sake of politics was very telling.  If he wanted to support Romney, that's cool.  To declare Mormons to just be other Christians....wow!

 

 

He was also caught in the Nixon tapes having a go at the Jews with tricky Dick.

 

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I have no doubt each of these men believes they are serving god and helping people.

I think some do, but I'm not sure how you can be dogmatic about it. Hinn and Tilton appear to be sheer con artists to me.

 

Tilton, according to a network news investigation, never even went to church before college, but went to a tent meeting on a lark while majoring in marketing. He and a classmate saw an opportunity, bought a tent and went on tour themselves.

 

This doesn't even look sincere.

 

Moreover, the same investigative team discovered his mail went directly to his bank, where prayer requests were opened by bank employees. They showed the dumpster full of opened letters out back.

 

Sorry, I don't have a link. I saw this during the pre-internet era on one of the major networks.

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I have no doubt each of these men believes they are serving god and helping people.

I think some do, but I'm not sure how you can be dogmatic about it. Hinn and Tilton appear to be sheer con artists to me.

 

Tilton, according to a network news investigation, never even went to church before college, but went to a tent meeting on a lark while majoring in marketing. He and a classmate saw an opportunity, bought a tent and went on tour themselves.

 

This doesn't even look sincere.

 

Moreover, the same investigative team discovered his mail went directly to his bank, where prayer requests were opened by bank employees. They showed the dumpster full of opened letters out back.

 

Sorry, I don't have a link. I saw this during the pre-internet era on one of the major networks.

 

 

It was a 1991 ABC Primetime Live segment with Dianne Sawyer. There's plenty of dirt with sources on Tilton's Wikipedia page.

 

The irony is that the watchdog group that was responsible for collecting most of the incriminating evidence on Tilton and numerous other con artist evangelists was also a pretty shady religious group itself. Who watches the Watchmen indeed.

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I have no doubt each of these men believes they are serving god and helping people.

I think some do, but I'm not sure how you can be dogmatic about it. Hinn and Tilton appear to be sheer con artists to me.

 

Tilton, according to a network news investigation, never even went to church before college, but went to a tent meeting on a lark while majoring in marketing. He and a classmate saw an opportunity, bought a tent and went on tour themselves.

 

This doesn't even look sincere.

 

Moreover, the same investigative team discovered his mail went directly to his bank, where prayer requests were opened by bank employees. They showed the dumpster full of opened letters out back.

 

Sorry, I don't have a link. I saw this during the pre-internet era on one of the major networks.

 

 

It was a 1991 ABC Primetime Live segment with Dianne Sawyer. There's plenty of dirt with sources on Tilton's Wikipedia page.

 

The irony is that the watchdog group that was responsible for collecting most of the incriminating evidence on Tilton and numerous other con artist evangelists was also a pretty shady religious group itself. Who watches the Watchmen indeed.

 

Thanks, I wanted to say Primetime, but wasn't sure. Found the vid on YouTube:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fXjZpPMmaQ

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