Believers Often Fall for this Scam.

Today I saw two articles that were so familiar.  They are about spreading the gospel into the farthest corners of the world.

No matter what TV evangelist you tune into, that same line is used.  “Send me a donation so I can save souls from hell in countries X, Y and Z.”

I remember hearing it as a child as I sat in church listening to touring missionaries. I heard it in our farmhouse on late night radio.

The question is, what do donors receive from this money hard-earned money they send the on-air preacher?  How many of these personalities have outside accountability for the money given them?

There is nothing so appealing to people as children from other countries who need a better life.  That is why we see so many TV evangelists parading children in front of cameras when asking for donations.

Having said this, I know there are denominations which send teachers, food and farming equipment to poor countries.  The cost involved in denomination’s distribution systems apparently is less the other agencies.  Thus, giving to established denominations is better that giving to TV/radio preachers.

I’ve always wondered which goal was most important to U. S. Christian groups with operations in poor countries.  Is it helping people have enough food, medical services and technical help with agriculture?  Or, is the main goal spreading the faith?

Unfortunately,  a third goal may be most important to TV personalities, making money for the preachers themselves.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/radio-ministry-plans-to-reach-60-percent-of-worlds-population-with-gospel-93792/

http://www.christianpost.com/news/benny-hinn-asks-for-seed-donations-at-trinidad-and-tobago-crusade-93925/

P.S. Red River Freethinkers meets tomorrow, Sunday, April 21st, 1 PM, Plains Art Muesum, 704 1st Ave N. (downtown), Fargo.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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25 Responses to Believers Often Fall for this Scam.

  1. entech says:

    There does seem to be two varieties here:
    a: BH type, outright fraud.
    b: True believers spreading the word, with varying amounts going to overheads vs work done. Even the true believers are to some extent fraud, they make all kinds of statements and promises they can’t know are true. Food and a good general education are of immense benefit to poor people in poor countries, Hamburgers for faith is better than nothing but not as good as general education.

  2. Laurie says:

    Missionaries make me angry. They may do all sorts of good things for people and places where there is need, but the idea that it’s acceptable to invade other cultures and take away their religions, replacing them with another culture’s religion, is disgusting to me.

    Even in the United States, look at many American Indian tribes whose people were stripped of their religions, as well as other parts of their cultures.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Laurie 4:30 Thank you for the first time post. You make a great observation. It’s one of the sad things in the U. S. to observe how Christianity replace native religions which served them well for countless generations.

      • Henry says:

        Jon:“replace native religions which served them well for countless generations.”

        Suddenly the atheist is a friend of and concerned on behalf of religion. Something seems amiss.

  3. Avatar of realist realist says:

    A few years ago I went to a South American country and visited some ex pats there. They took me to “missionary row”, a series of mansions by the ocean that housed people who basically lived off of donations they raised in the US. They had mission outposts where they filmed people who came for huge meals they would offer for the express purpose of getting good fund-raising footage. A couple of trips to the US every year would net them more than enough to live like kings plus do their periodic village food giveaways. Perfect scam.

    • Henry says:

      Must have been the atheist missionaries that Jon alludes to existing. I guess Jon was right.

      • entech says:

        Atheists can do no right and Christians can do no wrong. :) I guess if you can believe all those creatures fit on one little boat and the whole population of the earth came from one little family, then, you can believe anything.

      • Avatar of realist realist says:

        If memory serves, I believe most of these were Baptists, but go ahead and bask in your self-righteousness.

        • Henry says:

          Self-reighteousness? I am not a missionary.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 6:30 “Self righteousness? I am not a missionary.”

            I thought all believers were commanded to spread the faith.

          • Henry says:

            An evangelizer (as opposed to modern day evangelical), yes. A missionary sent into the nether parts of the world, no.

          • entech says:

            Like some religious stuff, it is hard to find a definition, Henry says not an evangelical but an evangelizer. In light of the two I found courtesy of Mr. Google, I wonder if either apply?

            This is not Henry :)
            Merriam-Webster
            Definition of EVANGELICAL
            1: of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels

            But perhaps this is :twisted:
            http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/w20130515/successful-evangelizer/

            Actually evangelizer doesn’t seem to have a definition of its own, mostly a kind of derivation of evangelize which comes up with two definitions.

            evangelize or evangelise
            Definitions verb
            1: to preach the Christian gospel or a particular interpretation of it.
            2: to advocate a cause with the object of making converts.

            This would place Henry and Jon on an equal footing according to 2.

  4. Brad says:

    “Unfortunately, a third goal may be most important to TV personalities, making money for the preachers themselves.”

    Religion is probably the single greatest legally sanctioned scam on the face of the earth. People like Pat Robertson have built their own empires on the money they scam from their gullible followers.

    Who would Jesus pillage? That I think is a pertinent question.

  5. entech says:

    The whole thing even the ones with honest good intent are part of a scam.

    You start with a literal Genesis, which even Augustine of Hippo warned against, which is one of the most ludicrous creation myths you can imagine, the whole thing from nothing less than 10,000 years ago, a gene pool of two (actually one if Eve was a clone) is not viable, even if we wait till the flood a small family for the gene pool would not be enough.

    If you reject a literal 6 day creation and a literal Adam and Eve where do you stop, might as well reject it all while you are at it.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 1:24 “You start with a literal Genesis, which even Augustine of Hippo warned against, which is one of the ludicrous creation myths you can imagine..If you reject a literal Adam and Eve where do you stop, might as well reject it all while you are at it.”

      Great post. You have captured the ultimate dilemma of the faith. We have posters here, and thousands (maybe millions) of people around the world, who study the Bible for decades and who are confident they know which parts of the Bible are fictional metaphor and which must be taken literally. But, they do not agree.

      The rational skeptic comes along and suggests it may be that all of it is fictional metaphor and an angry argument ensues. The faithful conclude that one can be admitted to heaven while doubting the literacy of only parts of the Bible (which parts are disagreed upon) while doubting all is a ticket to hell.

      It is surprising how easy it is for many people to believe contradictory ideas.

      • Henry says:

        Jon:“The rational skeptic comes along”
        The rational skeptic has the unique ability to get sidetracked with their wandering mind.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Henry 5:59 “The rational skeptic has the unique ability to get sidetracked with their wondering mind.”

          Yes, I wondered over into being a skeptic and have been here ever since. You might want to stop in here sometime yourself. :)

          • Henry says:

            No thanks. Atheism may be the hottest fad in Fargo just like heroine is the new drug of choice in Fargo. Sorry. Ain’t buying. I’ll let some other sucker do it.

        • entech says:

          “Wandering mind” been using that a bit lately Henry, another little cliche you picked up somewhere? You often find little things to push, Readers Digest, perhaps?

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