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(The New York Times)   Give us your money and we'll ask God to give you more money   (nytimes.com) divider line 124
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8636 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Aug 2009 at 6:46 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-08-15 08:28:15 PM
See what happens when you don't cull the herd from time to time?
 
2009-08-15 10:26:19 PM
Sillygoth: See what happens when you don't cull the herd from time to time?

Maybe you should read up on "The Family". They're a secretive organization that refers to themselves as the Christian Mafia. Ronald Reagan stated that he would like to say more about them but could not. They're re-interpreting the bible and stating that Jesus wouldn't help the modern poor and that his message never involved helping those in need. They believe being wealthy brings one closer to God and helping the sick is not a Christian mission. This group has open access to the highest office holders in the land.

Who belongs to "The Family"? US Congressmen, Senators, Ex-Presidents, etc, etc.
 
2009-08-15 11:01:20 PM
Do people really think God doesn't intervene in human affairs, yet will give them more money?
 
2009-08-15 11:08:51 PM
Tush. A fool and his money . . .
 
2009-08-15 11:14:55 PM
Luke 12:15-21: [Jesus] said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."

Then he told them a parable. "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?' And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!"

But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?' Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God."


/Gospel of "Prosperity" - you're doing it wrong
 
2009-08-15 11:15:29 PM
The God I know isn't hard on cash, Mister.
 
2009-08-15 11:19:35 PM
Well, that seems fair.
 
2009-08-15 11:32:44 PM
FTFA:
"...preachers delighted the crowd with anecdotes about the luxurious lives they had attained by following the Word of God intellectually sodomizing the intensely stupid."

FTFTFA
 
2009-08-15 11:35:49 PM
The Prosperity Doctrine: The ultimate triumph of GOP capitalism. Nothing has value unless it generates profit, not you, not a museum, not art, not ideas, not national parks, not even Jesus. There is no morality but that determined by an in-depth cost-benefit analysis. If it generates profit, than it is good. If it hinders profit, it is unAmerican and against God. God wants you to pull yourself up by your bootstraps ($19.95 bootstrap readjustment fee will be added to your monthly bill). God wants you to take out that adjustable rate mortgage, and God wants you to trust him as you teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, because he's trying to teach you a lesson. Don't worry, the church needs those high-def tv's, tv stations, world-wide missionary trips and "perks" for the pastor, because it's all part of spreading The Word. Oh sure, socialist types will try to tell you that "the love of money is the root of all evil" and that "it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven", but "even the Devil can quote Scripture". What do those words even mean? It's the love of money, not money itself that causes man's downfall. As long as you don't love the money itself, you should accumulate as much as possible! And why should we give unto Caesar when he's just going to use our hard-earned money to fund worthless public works projects? Better to keep that money for yourself and let it trickle down on the poor. And don't worry that your church is so large that you've never actually met your own pastor and have no personal relationship with him. He is doing God's work and far be it from you to interfere with that.

Now go forth and make money in the name of Jesus, and remember to stop by the town hall meeting tonight to make sure the God-hating atheists in our Congress don't try and pass a health care reform bill that helps the poor. That's our job, just as soon as we cover our operating expenses.
 
2009-08-15 11:39:44 PM
img441.imageshack.us
 
2009-08-15 11:46:58 PM
Godscrack: img441.imageshack.us

...right.
 
2009-08-16 12:02:42 AM
Sitting in Section 316, eight rows up, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a Bible at lunch time, was a family who could explain the enduring loyalty the prosperity preachers inspire.

Stephen Biellier, a long-distance trucker from Mount Vernon, Mo., said he and his wife, Millie, came to the convention praying that this would be "the overcoming year." They are $102,000 in debt, and the bank has cut off their credit line, Mrs. Biellier said.

They say the Copelands rescued them from financial failure 23 years ago, when they bought their first truck at 22 percent interest and had to rebuild the engine twice in a year.

Around that time, Mrs. Biellier first saw Mr. Copeland on television and began sending him 50 cents a week.

Others who bought trucks from the same dealer in Joplin that year went under, the Bielliers said, but they did not.

"We would have failed if Copeland hadn't been praying for us every day," Mrs. Biellier said.


img8.imageshack.us
 
2009-08-16 12:46:37 AM
 
2009-08-16 12:49:24 AM
Dancin_In_Anson: Stop me if you've heard this one before.

You'll never make in the big leagues with only one pitch.
 
2009-08-16 01:12:18 AM
Stupid people being separated from their money. Is there something here we should be decrying?
 
2009-08-16 01:41:34 AM
Mentat: You'll never make in the big leagues with only one pitch.

Steeerike twoooooo!
 
2009-08-16 01:48:41 AM
 
2009-08-16 02:11:36 AM
I so need to go into the church business.
 
2009-08-16 02:16:26 AM
Eh, it's a stupid people tax.
 
2009-08-16 03:44:15 AM
Could someone post the article; it's asking me to register to view it for some reason.

Tyty
 
2009-08-16 04:12:22 AM
doyner: I so need to go into the church business.

I've often wondered about that. How hard can it be to manipulate people who think of you as a conduit to God? It's totally fish-in-barrel. I have a very basic morality that prevents me from seriously looking into it. But hey, if you're charismatic and flexible with your conscience, there is no easier path to a private jet.
 
2009-08-16 04:29:39 AM

Article, in case others ran into the registration requirement as well:

Onstage before thousands of believers weighed down by debt and economic insecurity, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and their all-star lineup of "prosperity gospel" preachers delighted the crowd with anecdotes about the luxurious lives they had attained by following the Word of God.

Private airplanes and boats. A motorcycle sent by an anonymous supporter. Vacations in Hawaii and cruises in Alaska. Designer handbags. A ring of emeralds and diamonds.

"God knows where the money is, and he knows how to get the money to you," preached Mrs. Copeland, dressed in a crisp pants ensemble like those worn by C.E.O.'s.

Even in an economic downturn, preachers in the "prosperity gospel" movement are drawing sizable, adoring audiences. Their message - that if you have sufficient faith in God and the Bible and donate generously, God will multiply your offerings a hundredfold - is reassuring to many in hard times.

The preachers barely acknowledged the recession, though they did say it was no excuse to curtail giving. "Fear will make you stingy," Mr. Copeland said.

But the offering buckets came up emptier than in some previous years, said those who have attended before.

Many in this flock do not trust banks, the news media or Washington, where the Senate Finance Committee is investigating whether the Copelands and other prosperity evangelists used donations to enrich themselves and abused their tax-exempt status. But they trust the Copelands, the movement's current patriarch and matriarch, who seem to embody prosperity with their robust health and abundance of children and grandchildren who have followed them into the ministry.

"If God did it for them, he will do it for us," said Edwige Ndoudi, who traveled with her husband and three children from Canada for the Southwest Believers' Convention this month, where the Copelands and three of their friends took turns preaching for five days, 10 hours a day at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

The crowd of more than 9,000 was multiracial, from 48 states and 27 countries. There was no fee to attend. There were bikers in leather vests, pastors, blue-collar workers, professionals and plenty of families with children.

A large contingent came in wheelchairs, hoping for miraculous healings. The audience sat with Bibles open, flipping to passages cited by the preachers, taking notes on pads and laptop computers.

"The folks who are coming aren't poor," said Jonathan L. Walton, a professor of religion at the University of California, Riverside, who has written about the movement and was there doing research. "They reside in that nebulous category between the working and the middle class."

Sitting in Section 316, eight rows up, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a Bible at lunch time, was a family who could explain the enduring loyalty the prosperity preachers inspire.

Stephen Biellier, a long-distance trucker from Mount Vernon, Mo., said he and his wife, Millie, came to the convention praying that this would be "the overcoming year." They are $102,000 in debt, and the bank has cut off their credit line, Mrs. Biellier said.

They say the Copelands rescued them from financial failure 23 years ago, when they bought their first truck at 22 percent interest and had to rebuild the engine twice in a year.

Around that time, Mrs. Biellier first saw Mr. Copeland on television and began sending him 50 cents a week.

Others who bought trucks from the same dealer in Joplin that year went under, the Bielliers said, but they did not.

"We would have failed if Copeland hadn't been praying for us every day," Mrs. Biellier said.

The Bielliers are now among 386,000 people worldwide whom the Copelands call their "partners," most of whom send regular contributions and merit special prayers from the Copelands.

A call center at the ministry's 481-employee headquarters in Newark, Tex., takes in 60,000 prayer requests a month, a publicist said.

The Copelands' broadcast reaches 134 countries, and the ministry's income is about $100 million annually.

The Bielliers were at the convention a few years ago when a supporter made a pitch for people to join an "Elite CX Team" to raise money to buy the ministry a Citation X airplane. (Mr. Copeland is an airplane aficionado who got his start in ministry as a pilot for Oral Roberts.) At that moment, Mrs. Biellier said she heard the voice of the Holy Spirit telling her, "You were born to support this man."

She gave $2,000 for the plane, and recently sent $1,800 for the team's latest project: buying high-definition television equipment to upgrade the ministry's international broadcasts.

Mrs. Biellier said some friends and relatives would say the preacher just wanted their money. She explained that the Copelands did not need the money for themselves; it is for their ministry. And besides, even "trashy people like Hugh Hefner" have private airplanes.

"I remember Copeland had to once fly halfway around the world to talk to one person," she said. "Because we're partners with Kenneth Copeland, for every soul that gets saved, we get credit for that in heaven."

But while a band primed the crowd, Professor Walton called the prosperity preachers "spiritual pickpockets."

"To dismiss and ignore the harsh realities of this economic crisis," he said. "is beyond irresponsible, to the point of reprehensible."

The Copelands refused an interview request, but one of their daughters, Kellie Copeland Swisher, and her husband, Steve Swisher, who both work in the ministry, spoke for them.

Mrs. Swisher said the ministry gave away "a minimum of 10 percent of what comes in" to other charities. Her father's current favorite, she said, is a Roman Catholic orphanage in Mexico.

The ministry has resisted providing the Senate investigation with all the documents requested, she said, because the Copelands did not want to publicly reveal the names of the "partners." The investigation, which could result in new laws, is continuing, a committee spokeswoman said. Among those being investigated is Creflo Dollar, one of the ministers at the Copelands' convention.

Mr. Swisher said that even in the economic downturn, the ministry's income going into the convention was up 3 percent over last year. Asked if they had adjusted the message for the economy, Mrs. Swisher patted the worn Bible in her lap and said: "The message they preach is the Word of God. The Word doesn't change."

At the convention, the preachers - who also included Jesse Duplantis and Jerry Savelle - sprinkled their sermons with put-downs of the government, an overhaul of health care, public schools, the news media and other churches, many of which condemn prosperity preaching.

But mostly the preachers were working mightily to remind the crowd that they are God's elect. "While everybody else is having a famine," said Mr. Savelle, a Texas televangelist, "his covenant people will be having the best of times."

"Any time a worried thought about money pops up in your mind," Mr. Savelle continued, "the next thing you do is sow": drop money, like seeds, in "good ground" like the preachers' ministries. "Stop worrying, start sowing," he added, his voice rising. "That's God's stimulus package for you."

At that, hundreds streamed down the aisles to the stage, laying envelopes, cash and coins on the carpeted steps.


/If this isn't kosher, please delete Mods.
 
2009-08-16 04:35:50 AM
So in my government class last semester we were discussing taxes and the subject of taxing churches came up. There was a young self-proclaimed Christian girl that didn't believe in abortion. I said that churches should be taxed in some regard because those people get beyond wealthy. And she pipes in saying that churches shouldn't be taxed because all the money went to God.

I asked, "It's God, so what does God need money for?"

The professor looked at me like "OK, that's enough."

She later walked out of the class.
 
2009-08-16 04:59:01 AM
question_dj: I asked, "It's God, so what does God need money for?"

Shrines devoted to His opulence, of course.
 
2009-08-16 06:56:10 AM
"Has God touched you today? Well if he hasn't, please send us $20.00 and we'll send you, absolutely free, a touch from God."
 
2009-08-16 07:01:34 AM
The Bielliers were at the convention a few years ago when a supporter made a pitch for people to join an "Elite CX Team" to raise money to buy the ministry a Citation X airplane. (Mr. Copeland is an airplane aficionado who got his start in ministry as a pilot for Oral Roberts.) At that moment, Mrs. Biellier said she heard the voice of the Holy Spirit telling her, "You were born to support this man."

She gave $2,000 for the plane, and recently sent $1,800 for the team's latest project: buying high-definition television equipment to upgrade the ministry's international broadcasts.


OMG! WTF! BBQ!

$102,000 in debt and they are buying this guy an airplane!
 
2009-08-16 07:03:48 AM
Even Dave Ramsey (new window)would call this stupid. You do not build wealth by giving all your money away, and praying for more. You build it by budgeting, saving, living within your means, and investing wisely. Once you're out of debt and have more money than you know what to do with, then you can give generously so much that people think you're crazy.
 
2009-08-16 07:05:49 AM
ninjakirby: question_dj: I asked, "It's God, so what does God need money for?"

Shrines devoted to His opulence, of course.


He's just compensating.
 
2009-08-16 07:08:14 AM
Farkism, the only religion that counts

Clearly people should give us all money for spreading the word of Fark. we'll promise maybe 30% interest on all the money people give us. Sounds great? Because the almighty drew is all powerful. Then siphon the money through various international accounts, and then say we defaulted on some loans and declare bankruptcy
 
2009-08-16 07:09:07 AM
They're "touched" by something, certainly.

Is stupid contagious?
 
2009-08-16 07:09:16 AM
Step 1: Give all your money to Chruch
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit
 
2009-08-16 07:10:24 AM
img41.imageshack.us
 
2009-08-16 07:11:21 AM
I don't even think Bevets would defend these slimeballs.
 
2009-08-16 07:11:48 AM
thepayner: Farkism, the only religion that counts

Clearly people should give us all money for spreading the word of Fark. we'll promise maybe 30% interest on all the money people give us. Sounds great? Because the almighty drew is all powerful. Then siphon the money through various international accounts, and then say we defaulted on some loans and declare bankruptcy


I spend my holy 5$ a month on fark, yet I see thee are not spending thine 5$ a month for fark. Thou art unworthy, and failing. Give the gift of totalfarking to thyself. So Sayeth the Drew, so sayeth the beer.
 
2009-08-16 07:14:32 AM
seabass242: I don't even think Bevets would defend these slimeballs.

I am sure Bevets has some quotes to 'help' these guys as well, while simultaniously bashing atheists. Heck, I found some after a mere 30 seconds of googleing.
 
2009-08-16 07:15:09 AM
I have in-laws who buy into this bullshiat.

I'm buddhist and ten times the x-tian they are.
 
2009-08-16 07:18:39 AM
GAT_00: Do people really think God doesn't intervene in human affairs, yet will give them more money?

Eh. I don't know about that. I thought most of the people giving money think God has a very big hand in human affairs. Don't they? I've seen a lot of folk bargain with God. God give me this car. God give me this man/woman. God give me this job. God teach that child a lesson. 'God's gonna fix you!' God whatever. If you pray reaaaaaaaaaaaaal hard, and give a church enough money, you can pay God/bribe God to do anything.

Whatever you want God to do, will be done, because it (your will) is God's will.

Prosperity cults are very popular in the black community.

/protestants suck.
//most religions suck.
//'men of god' and 'women of the Lord' who prey upon the desperate and superstitious are worse than suck.
/how open are most churches about how they spend their tithes? particularly the megachurches?
 
2009-08-16 07:20:05 AM
God says have a t.v. show
God says baby do some blow
God says taxes are a sin
God says pour the money in


---

Church of Suicidal (pops)
 
2009-08-16 07:22:33 AM
Dancin_In_Anson: Gracious God! Thank you so much !

Oh Christ... I was there... less then 30 feet from that guy, I had to spend the night in line less then 10 feet from him to get the ticket. Hes a Wack job for sure. My friends and I got the creepy vibe from him in a big big way! Whats worse, is that I'm fairly certain that I was going to be called on, until that jackass started jumping and waving.... Presidents finger pointed right at me, starting to to talk, and then asshat starts jumping >_
I was going to ask about a renewable energy infrastructure, such as solar, wind and Alcohol, and in what way such an initiative could be used to generate jobs here in the US.

Le Sigh.

Sure I don't know for sure if he was going to call on me, can't be 100% certain, but every time I think about it I get that "What could have been" feeling in my gut.
 
2009-08-16 07:23:19 AM
the keepers of the coffers at the Vatican are even worse than these mis-leaders. untold wealth beyond imagination is stored away, supposedly for God (?) while good people go sick and hungry. i'll never praise and worship at a church that tithes the Vatican again. they should be ashamed of themselves. their day(s) will come,and they will have to answer for their deeds.
tithing is called out in the Bible and has it's place and serves it's purpose. but to hoard huge wealth, taken from parishioners of church's where building repairs and money for local programs are needed and sorely lacking, it's sad and wrong.
 
2009-08-16 07:23:54 AM
PersonaNonGrata: The Bielliers were at the convention a few years ago when a supporter made a pitch for people to join an "Elite CX Team" to raise money to buy the ministry a Citation X airplane. (Mr. Copeland is an airplane aficionado who got his start in ministry as a pilot for Oral Roberts.) At that moment, Mrs. Biellier said she heard the voice of the Holy Spirit telling her, "You were born to support this man."

She gave $2,000 for the plane, and recently sent $1,800 for the team's latest project: buying high-definition television equipment to upgrade the ministry's international broadcasts.

OMG! WTF! BBQ!

$102,000 in debt and they are buying this guy an airplane!


I wonder... if you're giving that much money, and have no money of your own, if a person isn't feeling guilty about something. Wonder what it is? Excessive displays usually mean insecurity, right?

Is she trying to buy her way into heaven? or trying to buy love and respect?

/the spirit didn't tell that woman anything
//why do these people always blame god for their own decisions?
 
2009-08-16 07:33:19 AM
KrispyKritter: the keepers of the coffers at the Vatican are even worse than these mis-leaders. untold wealth beyond imagination is stored away, supposedly for God (?) while good people go sick and hungry. i'll never praise and worship at a church that tithes the Vatican again. they should be ashamed of themselves. their day(s) will come,and they will have to answer for their deeds.
tithing is called out in the Bible and has it's place and serves it's purpose. but to hoard huge wealth, taken from parishioners of church's where building repairs and money for local programs are needed and sorely lacking, it's sad and wrong.


I always heard the wealth is the paintings, the art, the historical documents and shiat, the symbols of the church... not liquid wealth. That's different. I don't think I would expect the Church to sell off itself like that. There's a bigger value than money attached to that kind of 'wealth'.

The Catholic churches where I've lived have always been good about taking care of the poor in the communities. Even the 'rich' catholic churches. I've never lived in super mega opolises, though. The Catholic church is just morally bankrupt in other ways -- but I've never seen a priest or a nun rolling around town in a $50,000 car, or building a megamillion home for that priest or that nun, or building a new super duper cathedral with all the geehaws and gadgets instead of focusing on 'we helped such and such members of the community this season'. It could be different outside the States, though.

/been away for a while
 
2009-08-16 07:33:23 AM
This is called a tax on stupid people.
 
2009-08-16 07:33:50 AM
ninjakirby: Shrines devoted to His opulence, of course.

You'd think the prick would at least visit them once and a while.
 
2009-08-16 07:43:01 AM
I don't believe in hell, but if I did, there would be a special place for these frauds who prey on the ignorant and the weak. Perhaps an area within the tenth circle with all the other total bastards. (link clicky-pops)
 
2009-08-16 07:43:13 AM
It's very simple. Start growing a pair and taxing churches, and all this stupidity goes away overnight.
 
2009-08-16 07:44:56 AM
richw: This is called a tax on stupid people.

There are lots of very smart, very wealthy people who belong to these churches. I don't know if they really believe in god, or if it's just a way to belong to an exclusive club without having to worry about anti-discrimination laws letting in the wrong type of people.
 
2009-08-16 07:52:39 AM
Someone buy me this headline shirt and I'll ask God to pay you back.
 
2009-08-16 07:55:08 AM
ExperianScaresCthulhu: The Catholic church is just morally bankrupt in other ways -- but I've never seen a priest or a nun rolling around town in a $50,000 car, or building a megamillion home for that priest or that nun, or building a new super duper cathedral with all the geehaws and gadgets instead of focusing on 'we helped such and such members of the community this season'. It could be different outside the States, though.

Yeah, come to Poland, where you'll see all of those things.
 
2009-08-16 07:59:21 AM
question_dj: I asked, "It's God, so what does God need money for?"

kunochan.com
 
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