Feed on Posts or Comments 19 April 2014

Christianity Johnson on 16 Oct 2008 09:20 am

Preying on delusion

Imagine that you find yourself in a country filled with millions of delusional people. These people believe in an imaginary god, believe that this imaginary god answers prayers, and believe that if they don’t behave properly, this god will punish them for eternity in hell.

If you wanted to make yourself rich, and you realized how ridiculously delusional all these people were, and if you had no morals, what would you do? You would use the delusion to make money for yourself by preying on the delusion.

That is exactly what Joel Osteen is doing:

God wants me to be rich

For example:

One of John’s prevailing themes, and the underpinning for much of Lakewood’s current message, can be found in one of his sermons: “It’s God’s will for you to live in prosperity instead of poverty. It’s God’s will for you to pay your bills and not be in debt. It’s God’s will for you to live in health and not in sickness all the days of your life.”

If this is true, and if God is all-powerful, then Joel is either blind or lying. The amazing thing is that those who listen to him are so delusional that they completely ignore the reality of the world around them. For example, 3 billion people on earth (half of the earth’s human population) live on less than $2 per day. The amount of poverty on earth is shocking:

Alarming Poverty Statistics

Tens of thousands of people die of starvation and disease every day.

If “It’s God’s will for you to live in health and not in sickness”, then why do Christians ever need to visit the hospital? Christians would have no need for the health care sector, yet heath care makes up a massive slice of the U.S. economy. Christians get sick and die at exactly the same rate, and from exactly the same diseases, as everyone else.

Another:

Spending time with Osteen and his team, one can sense their discomfort when issues that could anger more-­doctrinaire Christians are raised. Don Iloff, his brother-in-law and chief of communications, almost winces when I ask Osteen his views on intelligent design versus evolution. “I believe that God created it all,” Osteen says as he stakes out his usual middle ground. “I don’t know if it’s six literal days or 6 million years.”

Osteen’s message of prosperity doesn’t always go over well either. Fellow megapastor Rick Warren has called the idea that God wants everybody to be rich “baloney.” And some conservative Christian ministers have been quick to dismiss Osteen as a lightweight or, worse, a heretic. Osteen adamantly believes that “God wants to give you your own house,” explaining, “He’s not having financial difficulties. He owns it all.”

Does God want everyone to be rich, or not? Why can’t the pastors agree on this? The reason they can’t agree is because God is imaginary. Anyone can make up anything they like and attribute it to God. That is the nature of the delusion.

17 Responses to “Preying on delusion”

  1. on 16 Oct 2008 at 12:12 pm 1.SteveK said …

    Does God want everyone to be rich, or not? Why can’t the pastors agree on this? The reason they can’t agree is because God is imaginary.

    Non-sequitur. Why can’t you think clearly, Johnson?

    Criticize Osteen all you want for preaching the prosperity gospel because I agree with Warren…it’s baloney.

  2. on 16 Oct 2008 at 6:29 pm 2.Hermes said …

    Why don’t they agree?

  3. on 16 Oct 2008 at 8:41 pm 3.SteveK said …

    Why don’t they agree?

    Probably because they have a different understanding.

  4. on 16 Oct 2008 at 10:06 pm 4.Hermes said …

    So where’s the confusion?

    If there were a god, and that god were the God of the Bible, spiritual people should be able to see the same thing. Yet, they don’t … even with the same book as a guide.

    Like the blind describing an elephant for the first time, they keep giving it different characteristics … yet, they all have ‘eyes to see and a brain to think’. Right? Why would they not find the same thing?

    The conclusion may be abrupt to you, to Osteen, to Comfort, to Cameron, and to Warren, yet it seems to be the tail that follows that creature. They can’t agree since they have been looking in the wrong place instead of our common world where there are no gods. They are making things up to fill in the gaps that they can’t find in the Christian religion.

    Unless the pantheists are right, there are no gods. Why? Each seeker finds a different result. If there was a limited number of gods, say the one or the three in Christianity, this would not be the case.

    Yet, there seems to be one for every person doing the looking … and the investigation and the results are both completely solipsistic. If the pantheists are wrong.

    In the world that we share, where we could share ideas between ourselves, this amounts to distancing from the true source of knowledge; what we know and not what we suppose.

    So, in summary … why don’t they agree? Because gods are imaginary or the pantheists are right.

  5. on 17 Oct 2008 at 1:28 am 5.nugget said …

    “So, in summary … why don’t they agree? Because gods are imaginary or the pantheists are right.”

    You state a point which is irrelevant. You ask a question and then you back your answer with no information supporting that. God does not want to be rich because He already is rich, a richness which no atheist would understand. Besides the point, atheist do not share the same vision as Christian and vice-versa. So, your in summary, can not be your answer because there is no factual evidence of why pastors can’t agree.. It just concludes the base of illogical reasoning by a mere mortal…

    On the other hand, pastors do not come to an agreement, because of a massive variety of people in the world. For example, there are hundreds of religions around the world today. All of these religions are stating different points of view, although it’s the same principle.
    Another example, demonstrated in the bible is the diversity of the authors. Forty original authors and over a thousand translations, again they keep the same principle of the material presented. The response of the author of this blog entry is pure bigotry or ignorance.

  6. on 17 Oct 2008 at 1:53 am 6.SteveK said …

    So, in summary … why don’t they agree? Because gods are imaginary or the pantheists are right.

    I hope you’re just kidding with this. Here’s your argument put into the context of cosmology. If there was a big bang event, then cosmologists should be able to agree that there was a big bang event. Yet, all cosmologists don’t. In summary: they don’t agree because the REAL truth is the big bang didm’t occur or the universe started some other way.

    Nevermind that most cosmologists DO agree with the big bang event theory. Nevermind that traditional, mainstream Christianity DOES think the prosperity gospel is baloney. Nevermind that Johnson can’t think clearly….oh nevermind.

  7. on 17 Oct 2008 at 2:00 am 7.nugget said …

    “….oh nevermind.”

    Steve K, you were proving some good points to develop your statement. If i am correct, if it was not for Einstein’s general relativity, the solar system would still be eternal as they claim hundreds of years before. But … oh nevermind.

  8. on 17 Oct 2008 at 3:12 am 8.Crowned Messenger said …

    The message of the cross is foolish to you. You have choosen to rebell and defy My love. You have refused My Son. I have wanted to answer you, but you are selfish and conceited, spoiled children. You want to believe your lie’s and have it your way as spoiled brats. You are running head long to destruction!
    But those who admit their foolishness and puffed up ego’s. Well, it is My very power to salvation, restoration and power. You judge Me by My sons and daughters? You pass judgement on My people because they make you uncomfortable in your sin. You want to be in charge. You have no idea what will happen tomorrow. I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.
    So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters?
    I have made the wisdom of this world look foolish. My wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Me through human wisdom. My Son was crucified and you say, “it’s all nonsense.”
    My foolish plan is wiser than the wisest, fallen human plans. My weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

  9. on 17 Oct 2008 at 9:36 pm 9.Anonymous said …

    “I hope you’re just kidding with this.”

    Nope.

    “Here’s your argument put into the context of cosmology. If there was a big bang event, then cosmologists should be able to agree that there was a big bang event. Yet, all cosmologists don’t. In summary: they don’t agree because the REAL truth is the big bang didm’t occur or the universe started some other way.”

    Repeat after me; “accept tentatively”.

    Cosmologists don’t go around making absolutist cosmological claims like religious leaders do about religious claims.

  10. on 17 Oct 2008 at 9:37 pm 10.Hermes said …

    oops…last post was mine.

  11. on 17 Oct 2008 at 9:40 pm 11.Hermes said …

    “The message of the cross is foolish to you. You have choosen to rebell and defy My love. You have refused My Son.”

    So, you are saying you are the Christian deity? Great. Prove it and mow my lawn. No need to bag it. I’ll check in 20 minutes. I’ll convert on the spot if you come through.

  12. on 17 Oct 2008 at 10:23 pm 12.Hermes said …

    … well, time’s up. My lawn is still long and natural.

    Crowned Messenger, your choice of names to file under is telling, though I thank you for using a feudal name instead of a militaristic name. It is a slight step up and is not as overtly threatening. Your choice of words, though, is also telling.

    Put them together, and it seems that you are a storybook character in a story — playing the role of the ruler and the servant. Yet, why do that? The only reason I can think of is that you see power — absolute power — as the only thing that is important, and you yourself in your normal life do not feel powerful.

    Either that, or you think that I’m some kind of Christian and your words would push me back into the fold. Well, I’m not a Christian any more than I am a Hindu or a Muslim or a Mormon. If you want, you can check my other posts and see for yourself.

    Why not talk with people instead of making up fantasies to cajole them? Maybe it is because of the reason identified in this video;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr8nKsIVnBg

    If it is, join the forum and send me a private message. There is a way out of the fear and hate.

  13. on 17 Oct 2008 at 11:09 pm 13.Crowned Messenger said …

    Hermes, Hermes. This you ask in childish demand. Time to forget your stolen youth.
    Though you may be quick of flight, you are slow to understand.
    Conditions of tending your grounds? Removal of your ability to do it yourself.

  14. on 17 Oct 2008 at 11:30 pm 14.Hermes said …

    Take a look;

    http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf

    Chew on it for a week and then get back to me.

  15. on 19 Oct 2008 at 8:20 pm 15.SteveK said …

    “Repeat after me; “accept tentatively”.”

    Doesn’t change your illogical thought process that resulted in a non-sequitur similar to that of Johnson. Go back and tell us how your conclusion in #4 follows from what you said in that same comment (hint: it doesn’t).

  16. on 19 Oct 2008 at 11:16 pm 16.Hermes said …

    SteveK, I thought I was clear.

    Cosmologists (and just about every other group of professionals) don’t claim to be handing inerrant edicts from a perfect source. Religious leaders do…so, where’s the confusion coming from?

    Spell out what you think I’m getting wrong.

  17. on 20 Oct 2008 at 4:00 am 17.SteveK said …

    Spell out what you think I’m getting wrong.

    You’re wrong to come to your ‘in summary’ conclusion as to the reason why there is disagreement given your opening premise in comment #4.

    “If there were a god, and that god were the God of the Bible, spiritual people should be able to see the same thing. Yet, they don’t … even with the same book as a guide.”

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