home
RSS
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

soundoff (480 Responses)
  1. dodo murdock

    no evidence stooges were mortal

    October 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Max

      Faith's various troll names:
      dodo murdock
      lulu
      bootyfunk (stolen)
      slappy
      tt
      point being
      louie
      cherrie
      prophet
      Dr E
      kati
      sam tone
      blessed
      doodoo
      bingo
      wary
      alaqeada
      sam stone (stolen)
      al
      observer
      sammy
      karie
      bethany
      barry
      blake
      faith
      hharri
      charlie
      terry
      mary
      yudhisthira mahabharata jr
      eddie
      tex
      dewie
      Pharisee DM

      October 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • lulu

        She's good, ain't?

        October 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • Max

          She is a lying troll.

          October 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • lulu

          I love lulu.

          October 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • lulu

          She is? Prove it, u filthy pig

          October 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  2. 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 4:11 pm |
  3. lulu

    Blah blah. Curly is god. Dodo noed! Y? He lived!

    October 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  4. Bob

    You are coming around, @Lawrence of Syria. Thanks for admitting at last that your evil ass hole sky fairy is punishing rather than merciful – viciously and violently so according to your hateful mythbook.

    Your hateful god of your horrid Christian story tales can fairly be classed as a human rights abusing criminal, based on his threats of eternal torture for any crime, even to a mortal simply not believing in your sadistic god of your myths.

    Now ask yourself this re your crazy god story:

    How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, and that core premise of your religion is actually nonsense.

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

    October 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  5. 007pandasblog

    Ths is religious entertainment for those who like to be entertained and recieve someones opinion about the bible and how it relates to todays social issues.

    Several hundred years ago it was church doctrine (Roman Catholics) forbidding anyone to read Gods writtings the bible. The bible is currently available in every language and dialect for anyone on the planet.

    Freedoms here in our democratic country allows people to worship as a group of any type of religion and the group can provide and pay a salary to the person ministering the group.

    Just another form of capitalism (minus taxes) wrapped in religion.

    Free will: Reading the bible on your own, forming your own opinion based on your personality and your life experience is the fear of organized religion and plus who would profit?

    October 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    if the bible is the word of god then every single word and punctuation mark must be followed and revered! If even one word is proven incorrect, contradictory, foolish or made up by man, then the whole book is worthless.

    Unless you are god himself, you cannot judge which parts of the bible can be disregarded and which should be followed, which are truth and which are allegories. You must follow it ALL or discount it ALL.

    I have never met a Christian who follows the bible completely. You are all frauds!

    October 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  7. palintwit

    Bristol Palin's next novel should be hitting bookstore shelves soon. Her recent memoirs about her life as a drunk, pregnant teenager sold an astounding 1,500 copies and buoyed by this success she has worked very hard to write the sequel. Her adoring public expects no less because after all, the Palins are not quitters.

    October 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Since you are so obsessed with her, I'm sure you will be first in line to buy one.

      October 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      sarah and twitty
      sittin' in a tree
      k I s s I n g ...

      October 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
      • palintwit

        Idiot

        October 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  8. Bob

    @Lawrence of Syria, those quotes include some from both testaments, and in Matthew it even says that the shit from your old book of horrors still applies. Furthermore, again note my comments on context and interpretation. The mere fact that my interpretation differs from yours means your post was complete bullshit. So, read again, more carefully this time:

    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”

    Revelation 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 1:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      awful book. truly awful.

      October 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      And you feel the need to defend your case with profanity and insults?
      Which do you think advances your case more, profanity, your lack of study, or quotes from a website full of people with a lack of study?

      October 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • chaplain

      He has already addressed your post.

      Why do you keep copying & pasting the same verses when it has already been answered in the previous pages?

      October 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        That's OK, I don't mind answering questions as best I can, and when people post like he's doing, they're not hurting the cause of Christ, they're hurting their own agenda.

        October 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Bob

          Lawrence of Syria, thanks for admitting at last that your evil ass hole sky fairy is punishing rather than merciful – viciously and violently so according to your hateful mythbook.

          Your hateful god of your horrid Christian story tales can fairly be classed as a human rights abusing criminal, based on his threats of eternal torture for any crime, even to a mortal simply not believing in your sadistic god of your myths.

          Now ask yourself this re your crazy god story:

          How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, and that core premise of your religion is actually nonsense.

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

          October 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Bob,
      Does it shock you, when you read passages like in Hosea 13:16 that “Samaria will be held guilty, for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, their little ones will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open…”

      Now, are you as equally disturbed when you read passages about the grace of God? Like when you read passages that reveal that God forgives sinners? (John 3:16) Or when you read that God gives compassion to people who are guilty and deserve to be judged, like Nineveh in the book of Jonah?

      Why is it that stories of God punishing sinners is always more shocking than when God forgives sinners?

      October 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Bob

        You are coming around, Lawrence of Syria. Thanks for admitting at last that your evil ass hole sky fairy is punishing rather than merciful – viciously and violently so according to your hateful mythbook.

        Your hateful god of your horrid Christian story tales can fairly be classed as a human rights abusing criminal, based on his threats of eternal torture for any crime, even to a mortal simply not believing in your sadistic god of your myths.

        Now ask yourself this re your crazy god story:

        How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, and that core premise of your religion is actually nonsense.

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

        October 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    amazing how easily people can be duped. they don't even have to hide that they want to take everyone's money and spend it on themselves. truly amazing. all you have to do is attach "God" to something and you can justify anything. and this author supports this disgusting brand of scam artists? the guy drives a ferrari and wears a rolex as he walks past the homeless. truly amazing.

    i'm an atheist. i know the bible has conflicting messages, but i have to give credit where it's due - the bible doesn't promote becoming rich. jesus was poor and talked about helping the poor. jesus is pretty much a communist in his views on money. and i'm pretty sure he's quoted in the bible having said a rich man ain't getting into heaven (eye of the needle). these guys are worse than the usual religious con artist. they just say, "yes, i'm stealing your money and i'm going to use it all on me. amen." and people still keep giving. amazing.

    October 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • niknak

      More than amazing funkybooty, downright sick.
      Remember the Bakers?
      They stole every dime those religious fools gave to them, got caught, went to jail, then got out and started another church and did it all again. And the same fools who funded them the first time lined up and gave them even more of their hard earned money.
      Maybe it is some kind of religious beaten wife syndrome that believers have.

      Either way, it furthers just how much religion has been will always be the best, longest running and most lucrative Ponzi scheme ever invented.

      October 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • lulu

        What a moron. I thimk your daddy's been running scams since eternity past. And your cancer? How's that going pig?

        October 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
        • Mary

          Shut up, faith. You are a lying piece of crap. You haven't told the truth since you've first appeared. You are a disgrace to His Ministry. Just. Shut. Up.

          October 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
        • Meredith S.

          How nasty. I am offended. I had 14 brothers brutally attacked by heathen. DM Murdock is the reason I reconverted

          October 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • lulu

      How do u no what Jesus said, u lying felon?

      October 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • gugu

        yea. how do u no what an ancient sky fairy sa7d, u revolting cancer?

        October 10, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Meredith S.

          That is what they do. They pretend he didn't exist until it slips from their big filthy mouths, sewers, and then they run away. They r Nazi god-hating fascist hogs, demon-possessed with little time left

          October 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  10. Christfollower

    I know we all have our opinions about these men, but we must have to admit people that believe and follow Jesus Christ and not man, it is written in the Bible, what this is all about. I am not here to preach or anything, but it is without being said, we have to have our own relationship with Christ to be able to decipher the good from the bad. If you do believe in Jesus, pray for these men and not judge anyone even the atheist, because only God can judge. He love s us all and wants to see us all prosper in life and that is not predicated on how much money we have. Jesus preached love and compassion for all men, not just the good but also the bad. 2 Timothy 3 reads:

    1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

    6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

    A Final Charge to Timothy

    10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of Goda may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    At the end of the day, you have an option to watch this show or not. People will watch for many different reasons, but in the end, no matter what path you walk, you have to walk your own path in faith.

    Be Blessed 🙂

    October 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i'm judging them. they are disgusting men, the worst kind of rip off artists. they are ripping people off and keeping the money for themselves. that you can support such horrible behavior tells me you don't think for yourself.

      October 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Christfollower

        I never said I defended these behaviors in anything thing I have said. Since you stated that you have read the bible, Matthew 18:6 says: "If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
        There is nothing we can say or do that will change their outcomes if they continue to mislead God's people. The irony of this is that judgement is already coming for them and there will be consequences to their actions, not because of what I said but because of what God has said.

        October 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          in your very first sentence you defended them:
          'I know we all have our opinions about these men, but we must have to admit people that believe and follow Jesus Christ and not man,"

          they are terrible people preying on the poor to make themselves rich. you say they follow jesus? yet jesus constantly praises helping the poor and gives a smack down to the rich - so how are they following jesus?

          October 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          i'm an atheist. everything you said about god is just plain silly to me. basically, if they get away with it in this world, they've gotten away with it. there is no heaven, no hell. this is all there is. your fellow brothers and sisters and our planet. these guys are examples of the worst kinds of humans - the ones that prey on the people around them, suck them dry like parasites.

          October 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • truevoiceofreason

          I am stumped as to how a lot of people have pronounced judgment of this show either 1) based off one episode and/or 2) the opinions of other bloggers that may or may not have watched this show and that possibly are already biased when watching it. And those believers that truly know the Word also pray for discernment because you will be able to discern what is true. I think it unfair to paint these guys are "prosperity gospel" preachers when some of their congregations are not as large as say, Joel Osteen, for example. I just don't buy into this thing that people are supposed to be poor as well as men of the cloth. Look at the Vatican and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ... they are in control of more wealth than any other denomination. Didn't see too much condemnation of Jimmy Swaggert or any of other televangelists. Although there is but one Caucasian man on this show, I think that this "prosperity gospel" designation is also a bit disparate. Take that as you will.

          October 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bob

      follower, while you are dumping quotes on us from your book of horrors and other myths, let's take a look at some of the other fine guidance in your storybook:

      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 1:48 pm |
      • Christfollower

        Its funny that you bring up Bible verses that speak of death and doom, but you have completely missed out on all of the love, forgiveness and charity that faith in God offers. You will believe what you want and everyone has a right to their opinions, but you have to look at the time in which the Bible was written. During those times, there were alot of wars and life in general was just different. Even Shakespeare whose plays were filled with love they were also filled with turmoil and death. You have to look at the times in which something is written and examine the passages as a whole and not just bits and pieces that you want to pull to make your point.

        October 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
        • Bob

          follower, you idiot, I spoke directly to your context issue in my post. Read it again, more carefully this time, and try harder to understand:

          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 1:56 pm |
        • Christfollower

          @bob lets not get upset. You can state your point without name calling. lol You said nothing different so I have nothing different to address. You added passages from the Bible that addressed nothing really relevant to our discussion. If I broke down the passages you listed, it still goes back to the point I made early, that the times were different. Since you are in the Bible check out Romans 13 it addresses obeying the laws of the land. Again, another reference for you to study to refute your point. No matter how you look at it, the time was different.

          October 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          take your own advice - you seem to only want to talk about the flowery parts of the bible as if the cruel and disgusting parts don't exist.

          October 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Christfollower

          @Booty. I dont talk about the "flowery" parts reality is not "flowery" today and neither was it then. The Bible is an accurate depiction of history. If the worlds story was written in the future, you will see the chaos and anarchy we deal with today. Why should the Bible be any different.

          October 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Bob

          follower, re "The bible is an accurate depiction of history.", too funny. Your statement is the biggest lie of the day here. Now go prune those mustard trees, dummy.

          October 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
        • derpderp

          "The Bible is an accurate depiction of history."
          WOW. just.... wow. have fun living in your make-believe fairy-land, us adults have work to do in the real world.
          the bible is a collection of stories and "rules" to live one's life by, for christians (cautionary tales, life lessons, etc). to suggest that it is historically accurate is incredibly naive, at best.

          October 11, 2013 at 4:50 am |
        • Ian

          Glad to see you equate Shakespeare to the bible. i.e. they are both fiction. You cannot cherry pick out the good bits and dismiss the bad bits of your bible, its like you are a small child jumping up and down on the spot with your fingers in your ear shouting "i can't hear you"

          October 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  11. Mevyee

    People are throwing shade and their extreme comments. They had a sitcom show AMEN on years ago.
    And I have listened to the men, and their are delivering messages via music, public.
    God talks to me regularly and personally.
    I would like to see more people driven to the church to give God the PRAISE. I hardly see the Christianity in regular folk.
    These men are trying to preach the gospel..

    October 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      these are con artists taking money for themselves. you're making excuses for unethical behavior.

      October 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • God

      Mevyee, I never talk to loser lowlife like you.

      October 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • Which God?

        Which of me are you, God?

        October 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  12. Merrilee

    I'd be more impressed if these guys gave every bit of their $ away, including all of theirs houses and cars and possessions, and started from scratch; let Oxygen chronicle their journey from there. If God truly smiles down on prosperity gospel, He would bless them again, no?

    October 10, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Give away the money?
      When did Christ ever say that charity is a virtue?
      blah blah blah "blessed are the poor" – do they have Bentleys in the Kingdom of Heaven?

      October 10, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • Merrilee

        I think you missed my point. I don't give a shit about where they are now. I think it'd be interesting to see if they can do it again, if they lost it all. Duh.

        October 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • truevoiceofreason

      How do you know they do not give. You only watched one episode, if that. Why don't you reach out to any of these men personally and ask how much do they give ... particularly time. You can put a dollar amount on time.

      October 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • truevoiceofreason

        Can not put a dollar amount on time.

        October 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • Merrilee

        Where did I ever say they didn't give? You missed the point of my post, as well; you need better reading comprehension.
        Man, are you naïve. Wake up and smell the money; they have.
        I don't need to watch. I understand them, having had contact with "prosperity gospel" preachers. Get a clue.

        October 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  13. guest

    There are, unfortunately, too many poor people that take these “prosperity preachers” serious. Although it may seem as though God has blessed them (the preachers) with material wealth, I believe they are just as misled as the people they are misleading. The wealth that God promises is spiritual wealth, not material wealth. I do not believe ministers should be enriching themselves with their service to God or community.
    Jesus and the twelve apostles were not wealthy; this should be an example to all ministers.
    I don’t know if it is true, but it was rumored that Rick Waren, author of “The Power Driven Life”, when he received notice that his book was a huge success and made him instantly wealthy he directed the church to no longer issue him any paychecks and much of the income from his book would be given to “further the work”. (If this is true, I applaud him.) There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, but how one uses his/her wealth is what is important.
    In regards to pay, I can only relate to the ministers of my own denomination. The ministers of my denomination are paid, not by the local church that they serve, but by a branch of the church known as the ‘Conference’ and are given rises in pay predicated on the time in service and effectiveness (a poor way of saying it) of their work and cost of living raises + operating expenses. The pay they receive is not designed to enrich them, but to sustain them in a lower mid-income status, currently about $45,000 – $70,000/annually no matter the size of the congregation, no matter if it is 25 people or 2500 (or more) people.

    October 10, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Ed

      Your "denomination" is senseless.

      October 10, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • guest

        Other than being an atheist, why would say that? I believe it is a good way to keep ministers involved in the ministry for the right purpose: to do the work of God and serve the community, not to get wealthy. (I can't remember his name right now) but I think the guy who stated the 'Crystal Cathedral' in California, let wealth go to his head.

        October 10, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Bob

          "guest", this is the fine "work" that your human rights abusing jerk in the sky demands of you, straight out of your nasty horror book AKA the bible:

          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 12:06 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          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.

          – Israel was commanded by the Lord to take vengence on Midian b/c they were responsible for corrupting Israel at Peor. (Leviticus 25:1-18) The execution of all male children and women of childbearing age insured the extermination of the Midianites and prevented them from ever again seducing Israel to sin.

          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”

          -The temptation to idolatry might also come from a member of the immediate family or from an intimate friend. While the temptation from the false prophet would be made openly based on a sign or wonder, this temptation would be made secretly and would be based upon the intimacy of relationship.

          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.

          -First, it's "Revelation," not "Revelations." This passage was speaking of a church... Not an actual person. The church was about 40 years old as John wrote, and her teaching had produced a second generation, advocating the same debauchery.

          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.

          -These slaves included people whom Israel was to either drive out or destroy – slavery was a rather humane option...

          "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."

          -Actually, the sacrificial system was to be a foreshadowing of the Messiah who would come and make a perfect sacrifice for sins. And depending on the type of sacrifice, it was eaten. The Passover lamb was eaten at home with the family, and the offerings on the altar at the temple was eaten by the Levitical priesthood. What sacrifice is your website referring to?

          "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."

          -You comment is invalid because you are imposing your opinion as to what const.itutes "good" communication. And you are blaming God for man's misuse of the text.

          "So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally."

          -Actually, we're under the New Covenant now, the old sacrificial system has been done away with now that the "new has come."

          October 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • Bob

          Nope, Lawrence of Syria, those quotes include some from both testaments, and in Matthew it even says that the shit from your old book of horrors still applies. Furthermore, again note my comments on context and interpretation. The mere fact that my interpretation differs from yours means your post was complete bullshit. So, read again, more carefully this time:

          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 1:53 pm |
        • truevoiceofreason

          Why can't they be wealthy? Where in the bible does it say a person cannot be wealthy?

          October 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  14. PeterVN

    This old favorite quote is so apt for this article:

    "Religion is for the ignorant, the gullible, the stupid, and the cowardly, and for those who would profit from them."

    While I don't condone the con game of the god fraud profiteers, they sure know how to make a buck from stupid religious sheeple. Tax free, too.

    October 10, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Jean

      Yeah funny, PeterV, how god always needs money. Just like George Carlin said here in this classic.
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo&w=640&h=360]

      October 10, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  15. Reality # 2

    From the topic :

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

    Amen to that. Reminds one of the Grahams riding around in their BMWs.

    October 10, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • singalong

      You mean a BMW instead of a Lamborghini or a Bentley?

      October 10, 2013 at 10:30 am |
      • Jean

        Any expensive car, dummy, plus all the other luxury items. Don't distract from the point.

        October 10, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      sounds like class envy under the acceptable guise of religious bigotry.

      October 10, 2013 at 10:36 am |
      • Alias

        Congrats BIll,
        You got something right.

        October 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • HLN

      "Reality # 2" is very austere and will ride the "Greyhound" 😉

      October 10, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Comparing the "takes" of various "preachers":

      guidestar.org was the source of the data unless otherwise indicated.

      Glen Beck, $32 million in 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/08/glenn-beck-earned-32-mill_n_529903.html

      and from guidestar.org

      Rev. Franklin Graham $800,000+/yr.

      Rev. Billy Graham, $400,000/yr.

      Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield $331,708/yr.

      Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, $200,000/yr.

      Erica Brown $134,221/yr.

      Eboo Patel $120,000/yr and his “non-profit’s” investment portfolio of $1.2 million

      Dr. Herb Silverman $100,000/yr. ?

      Imam Rauf and his wife Daisy, $400,000/yr./ea. estimated

      October 10, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Bill Deacon

        1. Tiger Woods
        2011 RANK: 1 | ON COURSE: $2,067,059 | OFF COURSE: $62,000,000 | TOTAL: $64,067,059

        2. Phil Mickelson
        2011 RANK: 2 | ON COURSE: $3,991,564 | OFF COURSE: $38,000,000 | TOTAL: $41,991,564

        3. Arnold Palmer
        2011 RANK: 3 | ON COURSE: $0 | OFF COURSE: $36,000,000 | TOTAL: $36,000,000

        4. Jack Nicklaus
        2011 RANK: 5 | ON COURSE: $155,000 | OFF COURSE: $28,800,000 | TOTAL: $28,955,000

        5. Greg Norman
        2011 RANK: 4 | ON COURSE: $75,118 | OFF COURSE: $22,750,000 | TOTAL: $22,825,118

        6. Luke Donald
        2011 RANK: 10 | ON COURSE: $13,183,497 | OFF COURSE: $8,500,000 | TOTAL: $21,683,497

        7. Ernie Els
        2011 RANK: 7 | ON COURSE: $1,409,442 | OFF COURSE: $17,000,000 | TOTAL: $18,409,442

        8. Gary Player
        2011 RANK: 8 | ON COURSE: $14,486 | OFF COURSE: $16,000,000 | TOTAL: $16,014,486

        9. Sergio Garcia
        2011 RANK: 11 | ON COURSE: $3,601,441 | OFF COURSE: $12,250,000 | TOTAL: $15,851,441

        10. Bill Haas
        2011 RANK: NR* | ON COURSE: $14,354,785 | OFF COURSE: $1,000,000 | TOTAL: $15,354,785

        What's your point?

        October 10, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • Topher

          Those are golphers not screachers. So what is your point Bill Freakon?

          October 10, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          You both make the same point:
          That people are far too willing to give absurd amount of money to people who make no real contribution to society.

          October 10, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • Ed

          See PeterVN's comment above re religion and profit. It fits here too.

          October 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Bill Deacon

          Doc, I think we call it free enterprise. Whenever a buyer and a seller agree on a price, a transaction is made. Even in sports and theology, the market sets the price, unless you and reality are proposing government wage controls.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          oh what a fraud you are Bill Deacon

          October 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Yeah, I know DD, can't win the argument, attack your opponent. Check.

          October 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • ME II

        @Bill Deacon,
        When did the PGA claim to be a moral authority or a conduit to a supreme being?

        October 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          What does that have to do with wages?

          October 10, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • Topher

          Bill Freacon you brought it up.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
        • Merrilee

          The point of Reality's post (with the exception of Glenn Beck, who is an entertainer) is that prosperity preachers have fat paychecks. It has nothing to do with golf, so why even compare the two? Surely, you cannot be that disingenuous.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • midwest rail

          " Surely, you cannot be that disingenuous. "
          Stick around, you ain't see nothin' yet.

          October 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          It doesn't matter to me what a person does for a living or how much his employer wishes to pay him. It doesn't matter to me if someone makes a great deal of money whether they are a golfer, a preacher, a tinker, tailor, salesman. Why does it bother you that these men are prosperous just because they are in a religious vocation, when by comparison, they aren't even doing that well compared to someone who hits a little round ball into a hole in the ground?

          October 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon
          "What does that have to do with wages?"

          Nothing if your morality says to fleece your flock.

          October 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Do you think they have a consensual agreement between their adult congregations? Then what business is it of yours?

          October 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          The answer is "none"

          October 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Alias

          So, Bill Deacon approves of con men playing on the desperate.
          Nice values there bill.

          October 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Prove there is something illegal and I'll be all for you putting them away. Or are you proposing a state definition of religion, by which we can all determine who has an approved theology?

          October 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • Jane

          But that's it, Bill: the religion con game is ideal for con artists like these, because they can't get convicted readily while the prosecution is alive, and when they're dead, well...

          Christia

          October 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Jane

          But that's it, Bill: the religion con game is ideal for con artists like these, because they can't get convicted readily while the prosecution is alive, and when they're dead, well...

          Christianity is the perfect con game.

          October 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          Jane, there's all kinds of scams and lies told to people who voluntarily pay to play. Commodities futures, multilevel marketing, self help programs, organic vitamins and herbs, collectible treasures, shall I go on? You may be immune from the attraction of these particular hucksters but what's to say your favorite passion isn't just as culpable? The only thing that makes these pastors an approved target for condemnation is that they are preaching a Christian message. Imagine if you will a TV show about a group of gay married couples who promoted their lifestyle as a path to prosperity. Do you think anyone would condemn them as a con artist? Perhaps the church would but then you'd be on the other side of the argument saying "You can't condemn people for their own choices"

          October 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Leaving out the money factor and onto the religion cons: First, the big one:

          Only for the new visitors to this blog–

          Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

          From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

          Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

          To wit;

          From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

          "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
          Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

          Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

          Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

          The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

          Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

          The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

          "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
          http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

          The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

          With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

          An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

          p.4

          "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

          p.168. by Ted Peters:

          Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

          So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

          October 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K_xZcjsVuw&w=640&h=360]

    October 10, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  17. palintwit

    Bristol Palin's next novel should be hitting bookstore shelves soon. Her recent memoirs about her life as a drunk, pregnant teenager sold an astounding 1,500 copies and buoyed by this success she has worked very hard to write the sequel. Her adoring public expects no less because after all, the Palin family is known for not being quitters.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:48 am |
  18. ME II

    Perhaps this is a chance for Atheists and Theists to come together and condemn this farce.

    October 10, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • ME II

      "Look what God did for me"

      If God did it then why do you need my donations?

      October 10, 2013 at 9:50 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Advertisement
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.