RELIGIOUS PEOPLE


PERSONS OF FAITH - PROSPERITY GOSPEL

BABLICALLY PROPHETS OR FOR PROFIT$

They tell you to never to talk about Religion, Sex and Politics.  But many do, every day  and here are some of the real answers gleaned from the real world and coffee break rooms found all over the world.  And it's a world of no fear, for the truth shall prevail.

For those who are squeamish, afraid of the bogeyman, hell, fire, brimstone, and other man made fear derivatives, this might not be the place for you.  For those of you being accused of heresy, seeking the truth, welcome home brother.  And the truth many times does not come from those we trust to tell it.

When you think of these mega-wealthy prosperity teachers who rake in millions each year and live ridiculously lavish lifestyles, you probably don’t think about them as preachers in brown harsh fabric robes wearing sandals spreading the gospel. 

Instead they are in suits made by the Brioni, fabulous mens designers who started right after World War II. Brioni suits are a favorite of mogul Donald Trump, who is selling out the United States but nowadays they are best known for dressing James Bond who has on occasion saved the United States since 1995.  Hmm, I guess Brioni must be on Seville Row now as in the older Bond movies, regardless he is impeccably dressed

But as you’re about to find out, spreading the gospel has become a very profitable business for several well-known televangelists, affording them the opportunity to live in mansions, own private jets, one has had several of these 20 million dollar jets, personal trips in them, relax in hotel rooms that cost thousands per night, and even own second and third homes and in one case much more just two or three. 


SEND THEM 100 DOLLARS FOR A CLOSER SEAT TO JESUS

YOU JUST HELPED PAY FOR A SEAT IN HIS NEW JET

Of course, these preachers are the heads over nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, so whenever one of them starts to flaunt their wealth, the government is going to take notice. Over the course of the past 6 years, the Senate has been investigating 6 of the wealthiest televangelists to ensure they aren’t taking advantage of their nonprofit status.  Understandable, the Senate which basically does nothing, really did nothing with this problem either, working more to protect big business and the NRA who donate money for their re-election.

These are the “Prosperity Evangelists” who have no shame in getting paid for their spiels and routines, fake savings and miracles, gizmos, holy water from the tap and special prayer cloth’s and powders herbs and vitamins.  They are fakes and charlatans, taking advantage of anyone they can who is weak enough to believe them.  They are good at what they do and many fall prey.  


WHO IS WATCHING THE HENHOUSE
IT SURE ISN’T THE GOVERNMENT

Real-life religious con artists and their stories of duplicity - Before we talk about the preachers under federal investigation, let’s take a look at some of the laws and consequence applicable to churches and religious organizations.  Remember our GOP is big on the evangelical or Jesus vote, thats where every answer to ponderous questions in our democracy starts with Jesus said...

According to the IRS tax guidelines for churches, there are several things a church can do to jeopardize its tax-exempt status.
•  Churches net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual.
•  They must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests.
•  All tax-exempt organizations must maintain books of accounting to justify their claim for exemption in the event of an audit. In other words, they need to have specific records of where all the money is going.
•  
The IRS may initiate a church tax inquiry if an appropriate high-level Treasury Department official has reasonable belief (based on written facts and circumstances) that the organization is in violation of its tax-exempt status.
•  Reasonable belief is established, and the IRS contacts the church with a written notice explaining their concerns.
•  The church may respond with a written explanation to address these concerns–If the church doesn’t respond or the response is weak, the IRS sends second notice saying they will examine their books and records
•  The church may request a meeting with the IRS official to discuss concerns in person.
•  The IRS may then move forward with examining the church’s books and records.


TELEVANGELISTS
LIVING LIKE KINGS?

Charles Grassley, US Senator from Iowa, May 3, 2001, 2008

They are the faces of today’s televangelists. 

•  Kenneth Copeland boasts a world-wide following.
•  Bennie Hinn has multiple TV shows. 
•  Paula White is a talk show regular. 
•  Eddie Long received a faith-based grant from the Bush Administration.
•  Joyce Meyer has written more than 70 inspirational books. 
•  Creflo Dollar's message has been called the "gospel of bling."

Because they run churches they do not have to file tax forms with the IRS. So it's unclear how many millions - or billions - are collected every year.  And it's uncertain how all the money is spent,  "Rolls Royces, Bentleys ... a marble commode in an expensive home: that's a lot of money down the toilet," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, capped a two-year investigation on Monday by requesting financial records from six top televangelists to see whether they are helping others - or themselves.   Today, five of six denied any wrongdoing.  One did not respond to calls for comment.  "My goal for reform is not necessarily to pass laws but to make sure the laws are being followed," Grassley said.

Ole Anthony, director of the Trinity Foundation, has been on a 20-year-crusade to expose TV ministers who abuse the faith of others.  "They live like multi-billionaires off the income from the poorest and most desperate people in our society," he said.

Some of these televangelists preach the so-called “Gospel of Prosperity” which was invented by Pastor Oral Roberts, and you might remember Mr Roberts said if his TV partners did not send in a million dollars the Lord will take him away.  Good news Mr. Mephistopheles counter offered with $385.42 and won the bid, he already had that crooks soul, the rest was easy.

Now a powerful Republican senator has demanded they all provide financial records by early December - to determine if they are living that gospel as well.    That basically got nowhere, these crooks have all the best accountants, and lawyers and political friends, including Donald Trumps religious scumbag attorney Jay Sekulow.

UPDATE:
More than a year after the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee of Finance called out six televangelists suspected of opulent spending and possible abuse of their nonprofit status, one has gone to great lengths to clear her name while one still refuses to turn over information, according to the latest update this past week.  The remaining four of the "Grassley Six," meanwhile, still lie somewhere in between.

“My staff and I continue to review the information we’ve received from the ministries that cooperated, and we continue to weigh our options for the ministries that have not cooperated...

They included: the Joyce Meyer Ministries, World Healing Center Church, Without Walls International Church, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church/Eddie L. Long Ministries,  Kenneth Copeland Ministries, and World Changers Church International/Creflo Dollar Ministries.

Grassley's latest statement came after the senator heard that Joyce Meyer Ministries had joined the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), the Christian accreditation agency that oversees the financial accountability, fund-raising and board governance of many leading Christian nonprofit organizations.

Since Grassley first requested that the six ministry leaders provide financial statements and records back in November 2007, Joyce Meyer Ministries has been the most cooperative, posting audited financial reports from 2003 to 2006 on its website and being one of only two organizations that had turned over financial documents for the probe ahead of the Dec. 6, 2007, deadline. The other organization was Kenneth Copeland Ministries.

Grassley said ECFA membership is "like a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" for ministries that have independence from the IRS and don't have to file material with the IRS as most other tax-exempt groups do.

According to Grassley's office, Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church, Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church/Eddie L. Long Ministries, and Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries have submitted responses though they are still incomplete. 


CREFLO DOLLAR NOT WORTH A CENT!
MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE GAME
Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International / Creflo Dollar Ministries, meanwhile, have declined to provide any of the requested information.  Creflo Dollar, whose US operations are based out of College Park, Ga., has contested the probe, arguing that the proper governmental entity to examine religious groups is the IRS, not the Committee on Finance.

As of Saturday, a November 2007 letter from Dollar's church to Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee, was still available on the website of Creflo Dollar Ministries.  In the letter, the church requested "respectfully" that the Senate Finance Committee provide "an appropriate legal context for the review, as would be reflected by a formal subpoena for the information."

"If a subpoena were issued, the Church and its members could be afforded certain confidentiality protections, perhaps mirroring the privacy rights of section 6103, which would reduce the likelihood of any public judgment regarding its religious beliefs," it explained.

The church also defended the “ Prosperity Gospel," a controversial belief that each of the "Grassley Six" organizations have been accused to preaching.  According to Dollar’s organization, the “Prosperity Gospel” is “  deeply held religious belief that God's devout followers and earthly leaders will prosper and be successful in all they do, including in financial matters, as the outward expression of His favor."  ( CERTIFIED AS HORSESHIT)

Critics, however, say the preaching of the "Prosperity Gospel" is a teaching of materialism masqueraded as theology. Some also argue that the major hallmark of the Prosperity movement is the accumulation of wealth and material goods and not the work of the Gospel, which is marked by sacrifice and selflessness.

Other prominent proponents of Prosperity include T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Rod Parsley, and Frederick K. C. Price, among others.


THE PROSPERITY PREACHERS
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
The foremost concern with the prosperity gospel is that in all its emphasis on financial prosperity, the deep need for spiritual prosperity is inevitably displaced and eventually lost altogether.  In this way a relationship with Jesus Christ becomes little more than the key to unlocking temporal wealth and abundance. 

David W. Jones and Russell Woodbridge helpfully distill the doctrinal errors of prosperity theology to five key points.

  1. The Abrahamic covenant is a means to material entitlement. Prosperity teachers look to God’s covenant with Abraham and see its fulfillment as providing material prosperity to Christians today.   Dollar’s mentor Kenneth Copeland says, “Since God’s Covenant has been established and prosperity is a provision of this covenant, you need to realize that prosperity belongs to you now!”   

  2. Jesus’ atonement extends to the “sin” of material poverty. They hold that Jesus’ atoning death provided not only for our spiritual needs but also for our financial prosperity. Thus it is only sin that keeps us trapped in poverty or anything less than abundant wealth.

  3. Christians give in order to gain material compensation from God. Creflo Dollar and others like him teach that giving to the Lord’s work is primarily a means of gaining further compensation from God.

  4. Faith is a self-generated spiritual force that leads to prosperity. Many prosperity gospel preachers, Dollar among them, teach that we, like God, have the ability to speak reality into existence when we speak in faith. Thus faith becomes a force that allows us to speak prosperity into our lives.
  5. Prayer is a tool to force God to grant prosperity. Dollar writes, “When we pray, believing that we have already received what we are praying, God has no choice but to make our prayers come to pass. … It is a key to getting results as a Christian.” Thus prayer is little more than a means through which we bring about our desires for wealth.

Al Mohler says it well: “Prosperity theology is a False Gospel. Its message is unbiblical and its promises fail. God never assures his people of material abundance or physical health. 

Instead, Christians are promised the riches of Christ, the gift of eternal life, and the assurance of glory in the eternal presence of the living God. In the end, the biggest problem with prosperity theology is not that it promises too much, but that it promises far too little. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers salvation from sin, not a platform for earthly prosperity.  While we should seek to understand what drives so many into this movement, we must never for a moment fail to see its message for what it is — a false and failed gospel.   Millions of dollars that could be used for good, the way Christians are supposed to act,  are squandered to these false prophets for their personal enjoyment and you get the tab.  The poor still suffer because of your actions.


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