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October 9th, 2013
07:07 PM ET

Believers in bling: Behold, the prosperity 'Preachers of L.A.'

Opinion by Kate Bowler, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Money. Women. Fame. Church.

That's a day in the life of “The Preachers of L.A.,” a new reality show centered on the lives of megachurch pastors of the so-called “prosperity gospel.”

The show, which premiers Wednesday night on the Oxygen Network, is a chaotic mix of prayer, "house porn," and neatly orchestrated dust-ups between senior pastors and their “first ladies.”

In some ways, the combination of the prosperity gospel with the “Real Housewives” format is a match made in Oprah-produced heaven.

Men of the cloth cruise Southern California in lavish cars weighed down by their gold watches and tiny dogs.

As Ron Gibson, a bishop in the largest Pentecostal denomination in the country, explains: “P. Diddy, Jay Z. They’re not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in nice houses.”

Clarence McClendon, said to be so good-looking that he must take out restraining orders on women in his church, concurs: “The Bible says that I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”

He grins. “I believe that.”

To critics, "The Preachers of L.A." represents the distilled toxicity of Christianity combined with a money-obsessed generation of American preachers.

Even to sympathizers, the show seems to reaffirm all the negative stereotypes about greedy prosperity preachers more interested in bling than the BIble.

So why would six well-established prosperity preachers put so much on the line, with so much to lose?

I have spent the last decade studying the prosperity gospel and trying to convince readers that, underneath all the hype about the lifestyle of its preachers, there is serious theology at work.

The prosperity gospel is an offshoot of Pentecostalism that centers on a new understanding of faith. Faith, rather than simple trust, is re-imagined as a spiritual power released by positive thoughts and words.

This faith formula was a blend of early 20th-century American theologies of self-help, popular psychology, metaphysical philosophy and can-do attitudes about the power of the mind.

During the economic boom of the 1950s, tent-toting Pentecostal healers like Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin and A. A. Allen began to expand on what this newfound spiritual power could do.

By their teaching and their example, they showed a generation of believers how they could use their faith to change their circumstances. Faith could heal bodies, multiply finances, restore families and bring a taste of heaven down to Earth.

The prosperity gospel is predicated on the belief that your life—your body, wallet, family, career and full head of hair—is a witness to whether your faith is effective.

Having traveled the country to visit these churches, I have seen preachers make this point in a thousand ways: from boasting about their perfect health (“I’ve never been sick!”), giving tours of their airplane fleet, even handing out cash in the Sunday service.

In "Preachers of L.A.," when Bishop Noel Jones of the 20,000-member City of Refuge rolls out of his Sunday service with his entourage in a gleaming town car, fawning women pressed up against the glass, his celebrity status is confirmed.

But this is not just show-and-tell bragging. It’s meant to be a spiritual witness, concrete proof that God is present. Look at what God can do!

What's most dangerous for a cast of prosperity preachers, though, are the unwritten rules of all reality shows: The rich and the mighty must prove that they, too, are plagued with “real-life” problems. They might be in a Lear jet, but they are suffering in a Lear jet.

“Being a pastor is very dangerous, because you have to be perfect at all times,” says one L.A. pastor.

“People put you up on a pedestal that you can’t live on,” complains another.

Or as Pastor Deitrick Haddon bemoans behind designer sunglasses: “I’m a pastor, but at the end of the day, I’m a MAN.”

The problem is these ministers gave up being “just a man” when they became prosperity preachers. The movement places a great weight on the spiritual power of leaders as living proof of what the prosperity gospel can do.

You will find a theological justification for this every time a journalist asks a prosperity pastor a few pointed questions about why he or she needs a plane or a vintage muscle car collection or a personal rare bird sanctuary.

The answer is always the same: What I have, I use for the ministry. If the prosperity gospel worked for me, it can work for anyone. I’m commissioned by God with special gifts for special purposes.

These pastors’ Midas touch provides endless sermon illustrations designed to tantalize audiences: If only you believe what I believe, you can have what I have, too.

Because these leaders are symbols of more and better, some argue that the prosperity gospel’s primary aim is to inspire. It infuses people with optimism and a desire to want, expect and make steps toward achieving greater things.

But don't mistake the prosperity gospel and its preachers for religious sideshows or easy targets.

If you look past the Rolexes, Mercedes, gold chains and monogrammed pocket squares, you might see something surprising. These pastors, bejeweled as they are, would never want their lifestyle to be a barrier to their evangelism.

Precisely the opposite. They still want their message and their ministry to transcend—and be mediated through—their material "blessings."

There is a reason why the prosperity gospel represents a powerful stream in American religious life.

As my own research shows, millions of American Christians have turned to the prosperity gospel to help them understand God as deeply invested in their everyday lives. They want a God who cares about their heath, their mortgage payments and their ability to afford a better life.

Many believers in the prosperity gospel will despise the “The Preachers of L.A.” for advertising the humanity of the man behind the message. Still others will tune in because of their deep belief that the high life might actually be divine.

Kate Bowler is assistant professor of the History of Christianity in the United States at Duke Divinity School and author of "Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel." The views expressed in this column belong to Bowler.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Entertainment • Faith • Faith & Health • Media • Money & Faith • Pentecostal • Prayer

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  1. Bling4Him

    Brockton’s Lil’ Poopy Stays Out Past His Bedtime
    Police say they found the 9-year-old in a car smelling of marijuana.
    By Eric Randall | Boston Daily | May 10, 2013 9:54 am

    It’s been a quiet few months for Brockton’s own child rapper Lil’ Poopy. (Or maybe it hasn’t? Honestly, we haven’t been paying much attention.) But the tenuous calm, the murky détante that defined young Poop’s recent relations with the state’s Department of Children and Families has been shattered.

    Nine-year-old Lil’ Poopy, you’ll recall, became subject to investigation with the state’s child welfare authorities when Brockton police expressed concern at his rap videos, in which he spanks some ladies and makes puns about Coca-Cola and cocaine, and whatnot. (You know, kid stuff.) Poopy’s people called the complaint racist, and the state ultimately left it alone.

    Until now! The Boston Herald’s Gayle Fee has the Poopy Scoop. (Pun credit: The Herald) and it would seem that Lil’ Poopy is acting a bit big for his (soiled?) britches. Yes, Brockton Police found him along with his videographer in a car outside McDonald’s that smelled an awful lot like, well … like Peter Parker’s girlfriend, we’ll leave it there for the children.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hi2cTlz4Gs&w=640&h=360]

    October 10, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      That is what qualifies as entertainment these days? I couldn't even make it past 15 seconds before it felt like ice picks in my ear drums...

      October 10, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • Bling4Him

        Aww, Larry, Lil' Poopy don't bring out his Jesus bling till about 30 secs there dude.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  2. Bob

    One of the many ludicrous things about the pathetic delusion known as Christianity is that Christian god can't even produce his own website (no, bible thumper/shill sites don't count), and has to rely instead on a stale old book of highly questionable origins rather than use modern media.

    The whole set of Christian cults, and especially the horrid Catholic blood cult, are a giant farce that America will be better off without.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    October 10, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Responding to the Pride

      There are a number of very smart, quick witted atheists on this blog. You are not one of them. This has to be the most absurd argument against Christianity ever devised-at any time, place, culture, scenario. Congrats!

      October 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
      • Bob

        Your attack is purely ad hominem and without substance, and therefore, I fully reject it. I also reject your evil supersti.tion known as Christianity. Consider these direct quotes from your awful Christian book of nasty:

        Numbers 31:17-18
        17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
        18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

        Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

        Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

        Leviticus 25
        44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
        45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
        46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

        Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

        Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

        And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

        So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

        Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
        Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
        http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

        October 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Of course the response was ad hominem...so what: Your argument that God is incapable of setting up a web site is patently stupid. I don't shy away from the "ugly" stories of the Bible–but I am able to put them in context. Perhaps you might try to do the same.

          October 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • SLM

      Mr. Bob, what do you think that the TV is use for? Regardless, if you believe it or not... GOD is using technology as a medium to reach people. Thank you very much. There are Christian Networks that air 24 hours everyday, with the word of GOD. There are also Christian Radio, Apps available to download so that you have the bible. GOD is real in every aspect of our lives. His word declares that "EVERY knee SHALL bow and every TONGUE confess that HE IS LORD. It is just a matter of time....

      October 11, 2013 at 12:20 am |
  3. Robert Brown

    Lawrence,

    I would also be interested to hear a prosperity gospel preacher explain their understanding of the sixth chapter of first Timothy.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Bob

      Robert Brown, re Timothy and the rest of your book of horrors, one of the many ludicrous things about the pathetic delusion known as Christianity is that Christian god can't even produce his own website (no, bible thumper/shill sites don't count), and has to rely instead on a stale old book of highly questionable origins rather than use modern media.

      The whole set of Christian cults, and especially the horrid Catholic blood cult, are a giant farce that America will be better off without.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      October 10, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Robert,
      The reason that prosperity preachers abound is the same reason that any errors abound – lack of study. That's the same reason that women overstep their God-given roles, and desire to usurp teaching roles that God has designed for men in the church. Those dictates too are found in Timothy – they avoid teaching them altogether, or just don't know about it.

      October 10, 2013 at 9:41 am |
      • ME II

        "That's the same reason that women overstep their God-given roles, and desire to usurp teaching roles that God has designed for men in the church. "

        Wow, just wow. Misogyny at the heart.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          No it isn't. It's not that one s.ex is better than another, it is merely that God has designed different ROLES for each. And the reasoning goes back to Genesis – she was created as an Ezur Kenegdo, and man was to be her protector. When both stepped out of their God appointed roles, sin was introduced.

          You don't get angry at God just because women have the babies do you? Do you think that God was a man-hater because of that? No, because those are accepted roles for men and women – teaching in a church is also a role that God has designated – it's only because of feminism that it has actually become an issue these days.

          October 10, 2013 at 9:56 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Since painful childbirth is God's punishment to all of womankind, I'd say He's at least a bit misogynist.
          The Bible states quite clearly that women are supposed to sit down and shut up because of the whole talking snake debacle.

          "Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."
          – 1 Timothy 2:11

          October 10, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc,
          A little context goes a long way...

          Paul here defines women as learners during the worship service. They are not to be teachers in that context, but neither are they to be shut out of the learning process. While it may seem obvious to us today that women should be taught God’s Word, that was not true for those (like some at Ephesus, cf. 1 Timothy 1:7) who came from a Jewish background. First-century Judaism did not esteem women. Although they were not barred from attending synagogue, neither were they encouraged to learn. Most ancient religions—and even some religions today—perceive women as unworthy of participating in religious life. Unfortunately, that historical treatment of women continues to incite modern feminism. The traditional treatment of women in Ephesus partially explains why some of them in the church overreacted to their suppression by seeking a dominant position. Paul rebukes them for that. Before he does, however, he affirms their right to learn.

          Paul qualifies the way in which women are to be learners: They are to “quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.” “Submissiveness” translates hupotagē, the noun form of hupotassō, which means “to line up under.” In the context of the worship service, then, women are to be quiet and be subject to the church leadership. They are to keep quiet in the sense of not teaching, and they are to demonstrate submission by not usurping authority.

          October 10, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • Bob

          This context claim that Lawrence keeps trying to put over on us to defend his pathetic Christian delusion is stupid and nonsensical.

          Lawrence, this is a supposed god that you are trying to claim existence of, an omnipotent being. Ask yourself how it is that your all-powerful "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish, idiotic, and harmful supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          October 10, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Bob,
          Why won't God heal amputees? Try this as a starting point to answer your questions if you're really curious.
          http://www.gotquestions.org/God-heal-amputees.html

          October 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
        • Bob

          Lawrence, that's just another creationist shill site, and it is full of nonsense. My quotes from your vicious book of nasty were direct ones, Again, read what I said about "context", but try harder to understand this time. Try to think it through for yourself, and then respond in your own words. I doubt that you can respond with any substance:

          If you disagree with my interpretation of your disgusting, hateful holy book, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          October 10, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Bob,
          I have read your statement, but it is invalid, because of two reasons:
          1) You impose your opinion as to what const.itutes a "good" means of communication.
          2) You fault God for man's misinterpretation.

          If I were to put a "No Trespassing" sign in front of a bridge that isn't stable, and you fall through it, are you going to blame me because I didn't spell it in the clouds with spotlights?

          Or would you fault me if you interpreted "No Tresspassing" to mean "Party Tonight, BYOB."

          You point sir, is invalid.

          October 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "...it is merely that God has designed different ROLES for each."

          "You don't get angry at God just because women have the babies do you? "

          First, I don't get angry at "God" about anything, just like I don't get angry at Brahma.

          Second, you are conflating social/societal/intellecutal roles with physical capabilities. I know some women who would be better protectors than I, as a man. They are better trained and more physically suited than I. Why shouldn't they do what they are capable of doing?

          Third, if God says that women are not supposed to teach men, if that was your original point, then He's an idiot. Women are just as good, if not better, at teaching than men.

          October 10, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "Why won't God heal amputees? Try this as a starting point to answer your questions if you're really curious."

          The question is meant in context of faith healings, I think. In other words, 'if God supposedly heals all these other people because of prayer then why won't He heal amputees?'

          October 10, 2013 at 10:41 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          ME II,
          Well, I didn't intend on getting onto this rabbit trail on this discussion over the unbiblical nature of the prosperity teachers, but I'll answer as simply as I can...

          "First, I don't get angry at "God" about anything, just like I don't get angry at Brahma."
          -That's fine, it was merely an expression that I intended to portray how disapproval over a doctrine might be expressed...

          Second, you are conflating social/societal/intellecutal roles with physical capabilities.
          -But since both physical and societal roles are dictates of God, then it is perfectly logical to speak of both in the same light.

          I know some women who would be better protectors than I, as a man. They are better trained and more physically suited than I. Why shouldn't they do what they are capable of doing?
          -This could get into another rabbit train about "women in combat" and so forth, but I'll still place that under the heading of "God's role for men is protector." If some women can "do it better," then I think that's less of a statement about a woman's ability as much as it is a statement of a man's inability.

          Third, if God says that women are not supposed to teach men, if that was your original point, then He's an idiot. Women are just as good, if not better, at teaching than men.
          – I never said that women may not be qualified to teach, just that they are disqualified to be elders/overseers of a church by the dictates of God. Just because someone "CAN" do something, doesn't necessarily mean that they "SHOULD" do something. And that applies to many things. I CAN drink alcohol to excess, but that doesn't mean that I SHOULD.

          October 10, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          MEII,
          If the "why won't God heal amputees" question is raised in order to debunk "faith healers," then I agree with you. I never discount the possibility of a miracle, but having said that, under the New Covenant, if anyone claims to have the ability to work miracles, he is a false teacher, do not listen to him.

          October 10, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia.
          First
          "...it was merely an expression..."

          Fair enough.

          Second
          "But since both physical and societal roles are dictates of God, then it is perfectly logical to speak of both in the same light."

          I disagree. One is a capability question and the other is an appropriateness question. Two different categories.

          "If some women can 'do it better,' then I think that's less of a statement about a woman's ability as much as it is a statement of a man's inability."

          Should I feel slighted? meh.
          Are you saying that all men should be more capable than all women? A 5' asian man versus a 6' Russian woman, both trained? Be realistic.

          Third
          "...they are disqualified to be elders/overseers of a church by the dictates of God."

          Ah, then I misunderstood your statement. What you do in your church is your business, as long as it's not illegal.

          "Just because someone 'CAN' do something, doesn't necessarily mean that they 'SHOULD' do something. And that applies to many things."

          Just because someone says you "SHOULDN'T" do something, doesn't necessarily mean that you "CAN'T" do it.

          October 10, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "...under the New Covenant, if anyone claims to have the ability to work miracles, he is a false teacher, do not listen to him."

          I'm confused. Didn't he apostles supposedly heal people after Jesus was gone? Don't healings supposedly still occur today?

          October 10, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          ME II,

          "I'm confused. Didn't the apostles supposedly heal people after Jesus was gone? Don't healings supposedly still occur today?"

          -Yes, and yes. What we need to understand about miracles is their primary purpose. There are several, but suffice it to say, they were a temporary sign to unbelievers that authenticated the Apostles as administrators of the true gospel. Now that we have the scriptures fully in written form, we no longer need signs and wonders to authenticate those who claim to be speaking for God, now we compare them to the written Word of God.

          "One is a capability question and the other is an appropriateness question. Two different categories."
          -That may be true, but all capabilities and "job descriptions" if you will, are dictates of God. The believer recognizes the sovereignty of God, and that absolute rule governs not only what we are to be – male or female – but also how we are to act within that s.ex. There are those who, through surgery or lifestyle can step out of their created designation, and there are those who through disobedience can step out of their roles. Both are sinful.

          "If some women can 'do it better,' then I think that's less of a statement about a woman's ability as much as it is a statement of a man's inability."

          Should I feel slighted? meh.
          -I did not intend that to be a slight... If it came across that way, you have my most humble apologies...

          Are you saying that all men should be more capable than all women? A 5' asian man versus a 6' Russian woman, both trained? Be realistic
          -No, of course not, there are exceptions to individuals, and we see all the time. No joke, I once saw some female pro-wrestlers come into a winery where a friend of mine was working who could have TOTALLY kicked my butt and make me cry like a little girl. What I am saying is that God has designed us a certain way... You can use a hammer to install a screw, but it's not really designed for that.

          "Just because someone 'CAN' do something, doesn't necessarily mean that they 'SHOULD' do something. And that applies to many things."
          Just because someone says you "SHOULDN'T" do something, doesn't necessarily mean that you "CAN'T" do it.
          -Well, yeah. But the Christian believes that he answers to a higher authority than, say femenism... It can be any issue really, but the question that we ask ourselves is "Are we going to follow God, or are we going to follow man?" And why do we choose the response to that question that we do? Pride? Fear of man? (or woman) Or do we desire to honor God, just because God said so? To those on the outside it may appear strange, but don't we sometimes use that expression with our kids? "Because I say so!" We say it, because children are under authority. Likewise with the Christian.

          October 10, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • Bob

          Lawrence's god would be quite the nasty, human rights abusing jerk if he existed. Fortunately, the Christian tales are fiction. A few choice quotes from Lawrence's book of nasty AKA the bible, with comments about context that Lawrence clearly can't respond to with any substance:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          October 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "Yes, and yes. "

          So, if healings still occur, then why are not some of those healings the regrowth of limbs?

          "...we no longer need signs and wonders to authenticate those who claim to be speaking for God, now we compare them to the written Word of God."

          Comparison to the "word of God" is subject to interpretation, is it not?

          "That may be true, but all capabilities and 'job descriptions' if you will, are dictates of God. The believer recognizes the sovereignty of God, and that absolute rule governs not only what we are to be – male or female – but also how we are to act within that s.ex. "

          The capabilities categories are easy to determine. The supposed 'job descriptions' are subject to interpretation, as are all supposed "dictates of God".
          Why didn't God just make women incapable of doing some jobs, just like menn are incapable of having children. Then there would be no questions.

          "Are we going to follow God, or are we going to follow man?"

          Doesn't that depend on one's interpretation of the "word of God"?

          "...don't we sometimes use that expression with our kids? 'Because I say so!' We say it, because children are under authority. Likewise with the Christian."

          I've never agreed with such analogies.
          1) We are not children.
          2) Even if we are, by comparison, child-like in intellect, saying "because I say so" is lazy parenting. I'm not calling parents lazy, but pointing out that when parents say that, they are taking the easy route in that instance and not explaining the reason to the children.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          ME II,

          "So, if healings still occur, then why are not some of those healings the regrowth of limbs?"

          -Do we know for a fact that it hasn't occurred? I don't... But then, I haven't seen any "miraculous" healings with my own eyes either. But that doesn't mean that they don't occur.

          "Comparison to the "word of God" is subject to interpretation, is it not?"

          -To a degree, sure. But the Christian recognizes that the best interpreter of scripture is scripture. Words have meaning, and as long as you take the scriptures in the way that they were intended to be taken – metaphore when it uses metaphore, narrative when it narrates, etc., then it's really not that hard. Also, never fail to get insight from the studies of other godly men. They are men, of course, but it's never wrong to ask questions.

          "The capabilities categories are easy to determine. The supposed 'job descriptions' are subject to interpretation, as are all supposed "dictates of God".

          -But if you read the text in a straight-forward way, it's pretty obvious in this case what Paul is telling Timothy.

          "Why didn't God just make women incapable of doing some jobs, just like menn are incapable of having children. Then there would be no questions."

          -Because God created women to be equal to men in the sense that she was to "complement" him. Besides, how could God make her incapable of teaching? Would he not give her a tongue? Or understanding? God's choice was for each to have certain roles, but he wasn't going to handicap them to ensure they would fulfill them.

          "Doesn't that depend on one's interpretation of the "word of God"?"

          -Yeah, which is why the scriptures are clear. Men mess it up for sure, but those who are willing to spend time in honest study of the Bible are the ones who find it easy to understand. Martin Luther, in his book "The Bondage of the Will" told Erasmus that a lack of study is the result of a lazy mind... Many (I'm not insinuating you, sir) would rather get their understanding from websites who are by nature hostile to the Bible, and they themselves refuse to actually read the Bible. Only then is the Bible difficult to understand.

          "...don't we sometimes use that expression with our kids? 'Because I say so!' We say it, because children are under authority. Likewise with the Christian."
          I've never agreed with such analogies.
          1) We are not children.
          2) Even if we are, by comparison, child-like in intellect, saying "because I say so" is lazy parenting. I'm not calling parents lazy, but pointing out that when parents say that, they are taking the easy route in that instance and not explaining the reason to the children.

          -Yeah, lazy parenting for sure, but the point was that the children are under authority. And the Bible tells us that we who call ourselves by his name are his children, and we are under his authority. So when we come across passages that are difficult to understand, we still obey them because we recognize that we are under authority.

          October 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "Do we know for a fact that it hasn't occurred? I don't... But then, I haven't seen any 'miraculous' healings with my own eyes either. But that doesn't mean that they don't occur."

          We also don't know if Zeus has slept with any more humans recently, but do we need to investigate it?
          ... Russell's Celestial Teapot.

          "Words have meaning, and as long as you take the scriptures in the way that they were intended to be taken – metaphore when it uses metaphore, narrative when it narrates, etc., then it's really not that hard."

          This seems ridiculous to me. Haven't there been wars fought over the interpretation of scripture? You claim it isn't that hard and yet nearly every day you're on here debate exactly this, interpretation.

          "Besides, how could God make her incapable of teaching?"

          Are you saying that it is beyond His ability to do so without handicapping them?

          "But if you read the text in a straight-forward way, it's pretty obvious in this case what Paul is telling Timothy."

          Yes, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man" seems pretty straight-forward in its misongny, exactly.

          "Yeah, which is why the scriptures are clear."

          Again, you can claim that they are clear, but history has shown that not to be the case.

          "And the Bible tells us that we who call ourselves by his name are his children, and we are under his authority."

          Yet another reason I disagree with the analogy. Parents raise their children to grow up and be on ther own "authority". God, apparently does not want His children to ever grow up.

          "So when we come across passages that are difficult to understand, we still obey them because we recognize that we are under authority."

          1) If they are difficult to understand, then they are not clear and straight-forward, right?
          2) If they are difficult to understand, then how do you know if you are really obeying them or not?
          3) If they are difficult to understand, then how do you know what authority you are under or if you should be under any authority.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • SLM

        GOD made MALE and FEMALE...It is not just for men to be pastor, teachers, missionaries, evangelist... It is a individual relationship that GOD develope with each and EVERYONE who come to him. Maybe in your reading of the bible, you did not encounter the scripture of Jesus meeting the woman at the well. First of all, he told her of everything that she did, and told her that if she wanted the true and living water that he could offer her that. She was so astonished and went and told the whole town to come see a man that told me everything...This cause the people of that town to be save, all from the testimony of one woman. JESUS also appeared to Martha and Mary after his resurrection, and told them to tell the disciples...PLENTY more where this come from...ALSO the Blessed mother of JESUS, Mary was visited by a angel and was told all that would happen to her, and she said Let it be unto me. She had faith and trust in his plan for her life. As a believe, we ALL have a responsibility to be a witness for Christ.

        October 11, 2013 at 12:31 am |
        • derpderp

          "...we ALL have a responsibility to be a witness for Christ."

          mmm, nope. no one has a "responsibility" to believe in or "witness" christ. just as it isn't your responsibility to be an athiest, or part of another religion. if you want to live your life for christ, more power to you- but maybe shut up about how everyone needs to. we don't. plain and simple.

          i fail to understand why christians can't simply enjoy and embrace their religion without forcing it down the throats of EVERYONE ELSE. i understand wanting to help people through faith, and encouraging people who actually want faith in their lives to join the church... but that is often not what is happening when trying to find new followers/converts. the whole mantra of "believe in god or bad things will happen to you" is manipulative at best, and violently destructive at worst. so please, enjoy your faith- but leave the rest of us out of it.

          October 11, 2013 at 5:22 am |
  4. I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

    L. Ron Hubbard had it right. Invent a religion and you can make yourself rich.

    October 10, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  5. Sara

    In a free society people will pick a religion that lines up nicely with the things they value. If you love wealth, peace, love, power for your se.x, het.erose.x.uality or a blassing of virgins you'll pick accordingly and people will easily read your inner self. We aren't that mysterious as a species.

    October 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  6. Robert Brown

    Jesus speaking to the religious rulers from Matthew 25,

    5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

    6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

    7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

    8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

    9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

    10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

    11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

    12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

    13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

    14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

    October 10, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Apologies, that was Matthew 23 and Jesus was speaking to the multi.tude and his disciples.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:42 am |
      • Camden Curtis

        Great scriptures!

        October 10, 2013 at 8:45 am |
        • Cleetus Alreetus Alrightus

          "scriptures" = Mythology.

          October 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Since we've got Robert Brown dumping quotes on us again from his Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's take a look at what's really in there:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you

      secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give

      unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't

      get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But

      even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If

      you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is

      so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for

      yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand

      that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      October 10, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        If all you are doing is quoting from an atheist website, and you have not had any serious study of the Bible of your own, then you are doing a disservice only to yourself.

        Simple reading of the entirety of the scriptures places all of those comments into context and explains themselves. The perspecuity of the scriptures is well established, and it can be understood if you're willing to take the time. It doesn't require a degree, it just requires serious study.

        October 10, 2013 at 9:45 am |
        • Bob

          Lawrence, I have addressed your idiotic context and misunderstanding claims already, near the end of my post. Read it again, but this time, try harder to understand, since you aren't very bright:

          Numbers 31:17-18
          17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
          18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

          Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

          Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

          Leviticus 25
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
          45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
          46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

          Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

          And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          October 10, 2013 at 10:08 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          No, you just said that they are "silly." I'm begging you, read this stuff for yourself, or find a good teacher who can explain it to you. That website I posted is full of good information, just browse it a bit and see if it doesn't answer some of your questions.

          If, on the other hand, all you intend to do is insult, then there's little that I can do to help you.

          October 10, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • Bob

          Lawrence, again, I have already addressed your hollow and invalid "out of context " claim. Read again, but this time, try harder to understand, since you aren't very smart:

          If you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

          So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          October 10, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Start here as a springboard for your studies if you're really curious...
        http://www.gotquestions.org

        October 10, 2013 at 10:01 am |
        • Bob

          Again, I have to ask, why can't your pathetic god get with the times and create his own website? Here's a far better site to read than Lawrence's senseless cr@pola:

          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          October 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    Regardless of anyone's religious beliefs, I hope we can all agree that salvation is free.
    Anybody selling redemption is a con artist.
    Unfortunately, any proposition that relies on faith can and will be twisted by unscrupulous individuals for their own gain. Its just far too easy to manipulate those who are willing to suspend critical thinking and accept something without evidence.

    "The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it."
    – Robert Heinlein

    October 10, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Some are crooks, some are not.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:37 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        If they demand payment, they're crooks.
        This includes any religion that mandates ti/thing as a form of spiritual blackmail.
        You know, the old "no cash, no heaven" scam... (hello Mormons!)

        October 10, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • SLM

      The EVIDENCE is GOD indwelling spirit within man. If you have the faith of a mustard seed, than that is better than having NO faith at all. The last time I checked... The mustard seed is approx the size of a small dot (.) If you don't have faith or belief than you are already doomed.

      October 11, 2013 at 12:41 am |
  8. Camden Curtis

    "millions of American Christians have turned to the prosperity gospel to help them understand God as deeply invested in their everyday lives. They want a God who cares about their heath, their mortgage payments and their ability to afford a better life."

    Not sure what "prosperity gospel" exactly means, but there is nothing wrong in believing that God indeed cares deeply about your everyday life. He wants believers to live godly lives every single day, to live healthy, eat healthy, be responsible and good stewards of their possession, to live an ungodly life is sinful.

    If people are confusing "prosperity" with "lavish lifestyles" then it is not biblical, an example of "lavish lifestyle" is the story of the prodigal son as he squandered away his portion of the wealth and in the end pays a heavy price wallowing with the pigs. Clearly not the "lifestyle" that God wants a believer to have.

    October 10, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      The prosperity gospel is the notion that God's favor is expressed mainly through physical health and material prosperity, and that these blessings are available for the claiming by anyone who has sufficient faith.

      This idea was birthed from the same place where most errors come – from a misinterpretation of scripture. In this case, Oral Roberts took a passage of scripture WAY out of context: 3 John 2 – “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” Roberts testified later that a shiny new Buick, acquired by unexpected means shortly after that experience, "became a symbol to me of what a man could do if he would believe God."

      The faith healers and health-and-wealth preachers who dominate religious television are shameless frauds. Their message is not the true gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing spiritual or miraculous about their on-stage chicanery. It is all a devious ruse designed to take advantage of desperate people. They are not godly ministers but greedy impostors who corrupt the Word of God for money's sake. They are not real pastors who shepherd the flock of God but hirelings whose only design is to fleece the sheep. Their love of money is glaringly obvious in what they say as well as how they live. They claim to possess great spiritual power, but in reality they are rank materialists and enemies of everything holy.

      October 10, 2013 at 8:07 am |
      • Camden Curtis

        Agree with what you are saying.
        I think people should not focus on "prosperity preaching" and should instead focus on teaching and practicing a godly living.

        October 10, 2013 at 8:14 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Amen to that.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:14 am |
      • Camden Curtis

        Also noticed most women are very poorly dressed in that picture deck, people should learn to dress modestly.

        October 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I know, it's horrible...
          Read Romans 13:13-14 and Matthew 5:28, 18:7. What we learn is that, yes, lusting is a sin, but if someone is dressing in such a way so as to entice that lust, then they are just as guilty of that sin – both share the shame and guilt.

          Matthew tells us that "if you are behaving or dressing in a manner that intentionally attracts lust, then WOE TO YOU!!"

          Mark 9:42 – Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. (See also: Matthew 18:6, and Luke 17:2)

          October 10, 2013 at 8:25 am |
        • Camden Curtis

          Exactly!!! Great scripture verses and points you have made in your comment!!!

          October 10, 2013 at 8:27 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          There are certain manners of dress that are deemed provocative by society; that are intentionally designed to be immodest and to entice desire – scripture associates these manners of dress with har.lots and pro.st.itutes. Whatever that clothing happens to be, it is absolutely forbidden for godly people. In scripture, the clothing most associated to harlots was a veil, today, it is clothing that is designed to unveil…

          October 10, 2013 at 8:29 am |
        • Camden Curtis

          Also, when a person dresses like that they are mirror image of what one should not be as instructed in Romans 12:2

          October 10, 2013 at 8:31 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Yeah, we're to be "in" the world, but not "of" the world. And David would even tell us to "sing a new song," we are to be different in every aspect of our lives.

          In a world where anything goes, only the Christian stands out as a "freak" anymore.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:33 am |
        • Camden Curtis

          Agree with the last point you made. Sad to see people of faith dress immodestly.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:35 am |
        • Camden Curtis

          Personally, I have not seen people dress like what is pictured in the deck above in any of mega churches I have been to in LA.
          Still, a call to all Christians to be very careful and not be snared by the devilish temptations of this world.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:40 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        I'd managed to forget about Oral Roberts, the shyster.
        Back in his heydey, he locked himself in his magical prayer tower and said that if he didn't raise some ridiculous amount of money (it was in the millions, as I recall), that God would "call him home".
        The worst part is that instead of letting him prove himself a liar when God didn't smite him, people gave him the freakin' money!

        October 10, 2013 at 8:47 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I remember that... Roberts taught that money and material things donated to his organization were the seeds of prosperity and material blessings from God, and that God promises to multiply in miraculous ways whatever is given–and give many times more back to the donor. It was a simple, quasi-spiritual get-rich-quick scheme that appealed mainly to poor, disadvantaged, and desperate people.

          Now the hospital that he was raising money for stands empty as a monument to idolatry.

          October 10, 2013 at 8:55 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Cityplex Towers was occupied by Cancer Treatment Centers of America until 2005 when they built their own facility in Tulsa. The towers are now mostly office space. They aren't empty.

          October 10, 2013 at 9:16 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          My appologies, my intention was "empty of its original purposes." But it didn't come out that way. Such is the case when I'm posting comments while writing technical manuals... I get a little cross eyed.

          October 10, 2013 at 9:37 am |
        • Jean

          Pretty scary that Lawrence is writing tech manuals. I hope they aren't for medical devices or anything else of consequence.

          October 10, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Jean,
          Really? Why is that?

          October 10, 2013 at 10:34 am |
        • Ted

          Lawrence: that you have to ask kind of makes the point, idiot.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Ted,
          Yeah, they used to call me "idiot" in school... They also called me "nerd" and "dork." Do you know what they call me now? Boss.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • SLM

      GOD came to give life and add more abundance to our lives. He said that he wants us to prosper, even as our SOUL prosper. Of course you know that you can't do anything without money in this world that we live in. GOD blesses whom he choose. You can either do good or evil with it. If the pastors give donations to their communities, charities, provide training for jobs, counsel their congregations, have a televised ministry, VS going to casinos, gambling life savings away, not taking care of your families, living immoral lives...YOU be the judge!

      October 11, 2013 at 12:48 am |
  9. Lawrence of Arabia

    Proverbs 30:7-9 – Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?” Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.

    1 Timothy 6:7-10 – For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

    If someone is teaching that God wants you wealthy, he is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing – do not listen to him.

    October 10, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Yep

      October 10, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Bob

      Since we've got Lawrence dumping quotes on us again from his Christian book of nasty AKA the bible, let's take a look at what's really in there:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you

      secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give

      unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't

      get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But

      even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If

      you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is

      so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for

      yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand

      that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      October 10, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  10. lulu

    Dodo, Doris, Meredith, Jeremy, alqaeda, bootytheidiot, bozo, don't leave me now! Come on gang. It is time for prison

    October 10, 2013 at 6:55 am |
  11. Dyslexic doG

    snake oil salesmen will always be, while there are people stu.pid enough to give them there money.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      their

      October 10, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • lulu

      Dog doo knows from experience!

      October 10, 2013 at 6:59 am |
  12. lulu

    How can anyone be this stupid, dodo?

    October 10, 2013 at 6:41 am |
  13. lulu

    .www.ugdturner.com

    Idiots! Morons!

    Prison WordPress, dodo, CNN, .ccbcmd.edu

    U r killin me

    October 10, 2013 at 6:26 am |
  14. christ_crusader

    I encourage you to study the history of these men who have been placed in this 'category'. I know D. Haddon, and he came through many struggles before he was blessed with all the wealth that he know sees. He always says his wealth comes from the Lord and it's nothing that he has done, other than being faithful.

    Furthermore, looking through the history of the bible, king David was a very wealthy king, he was also a 'Man after God's heart". He was constantly seeking after the Lord, does that mean he was perfect? NO WAY, through adultery, lies and deceit he almost single handedly destroyed his kingdom. But God's grace is sufficient, God said he will never leave us or forsake us.

    All I just ask you not to judge, you don't know because you haven't been there, plain and simple. Until you have been there yourself, it is all accusations.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:16 am |
    • SLM

      AMEN!! I like! 🙂

      October 11, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  15. lulu

    Big john, how do your demons post curse words like chuck?

    October 10, 2013 at 6:15 am |
    • lulu

      Care to comment before discovery? Filthy degenerates hellbound and stopping off in prison, first. Go get em, teddy

      October 10, 2013 at 6:18 am |
  16. Paul Jaramillo

    This represents a growing heresy in the church of Christ. The gospel was not meant to be used to gain material wealth but to saved a spiritually lost world. Some are using the bible as a guide to get rich, he had ads in various web pages just a few days ago. I have a pastor calling me about donating 57.00 and he tells me about prophecy that my finances are going to get better. Preachers like these are not even trained in theology and are just wolves in sheep's clothing, to get rich off people, who that God is a piggy bank just waiting to send money their way. False preachers like these in LA will be the first to be judged for their heretical teachings. There is a reason why Jesus overthrew the money changers at the temple, and these preachers are just the same.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:12 am |
    • SLM

      NOT all pastors are out to gain wealth. If you live by the word of GOD, there is NO GOOD thing that he will withhold from you. Most people if GOD did give them the desires of their heart, would probably leave GOD so that they would be to enraptured by the blessing and forget about the GOD who blessed them. At least these pastors GIVE GOD THE GLORY!!! You uneducated people on this site with your ignorance of who the living GOD is should be ashamed of all the idiotic things you are writing. Take a inward look at YOUR OWN lives and see if YOU are live a decent, moral life. If you can't answer yes to this , then maybe you need to do some soul searching. Life is too short not to know where you will be spending YOUR eternity.

      October 11, 2013 at 12:59 am |
      • derpderp

        i'll be spending it in the ground, because i'll be dead. using concepts like heaven and hell to motivate non-christians is silly. i'm not afraid of spending an "eternity" in hell, because i don't believe it exists, and therefore it does not frighten me or motivate me to have a "moral life"... whatever that might mean.

        October 11, 2013 at 5:41 am |
  17. JCS

    Con men one and all. But hey, at least they're more interested in money than kids' anuses.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:05 am |
    • lulu

      U never heard of Sam stone, I take it. Lol

      October 10, 2013 at 6:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why not both, like Eddie Long?

      October 10, 2013 at 8:53 am |
      • SLM

        ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. That is why he came down to earth to save us in the first place. No one else could do it but him. GOD is HOLY! Righteous and WITHOUT sin.

        October 11, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  18. saggyroy

    I have not seen the show yet, and I probably won't watch it. But based on what I know about, it could quite possibly be a gift for atheists and secularism. Christians – just keep doing what you're doing.

    October 10, 2013 at 6:05 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.