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Christianity Thomas on 30 Jun 2009 12:17 am

A great Christian scam, and the huge money it generates

Here is a classic Christian scam:

Surging ministry, growing questions

As Easter approached, the ad ran repeatedly on the Inspiration Network: David Cerullo, clutching a Bible, told viewers they, too, could receive prosperity, physical healing and other blessings God gave the ancient Israelites.

All they had to do, the televangelist said, was send $200 or more.

“Go to your phone,” he said. “Sow your Passover offering and watch God do what he said he would … Call now.”

Pitches like this have transformed the Charlotte-area cable network into one of the world’s fastest-growing Christian broadcasters, beaming into more than 100 countries on five continents. They’ve also helped turn Cerullo, Inspiration’s CEO and on-air host, into a wealthy man…. His network, with a budget of nearly $80 million last year, sprang from the remnants of Jim Bakker’s PTL Club. Cerullo and his colleagues have raised much of the money by repeating this on-air assertion: God brings financial favor to those who donate.

If only Christians would understand that GOD DOES NOT ANSWER PRAYERS and that AMPUTEES PROVE IT, this sort of scam would be impossible. But Christians – apparently millions of them – refuse to accept reality.

Do you need proof that God does not answer prayers? See Proving that prayer is superstition and The best optical illusion in the world!

29 Responses to “A great Christian scam, and the huge money it generates”

  1. on 30 Jun 2009 at 10:49 am 1.Tommy said …

    And here I was just expecting a link to the Catholic Church. :)

  2. on 30 Jun 2009 at 12:37 pm 2.Xenon said …

    (sigh), another atheist attemting to use illogical assumptions to prove God does not exist. There are scammers in every facet of life. Do we give up goverbment becuase we have crooks and swindlers in government? of course not although it is tempting it stll has a useful purpose.

    Then why would a Christian, Jew or Armenian give up their beliefs because some men use it for a scam? The atheist methodology to disprove is ridiculous. The agnostic position is the only logical position since man only has available maybe at best .5% of all available knowledge according to some estimates.

  3. on 30 Jun 2009 at 4:04 pm 3.anony said …

    agnostic doesn’t mean what you think it does.

  4. on 30 Jun 2009 at 4:46 pm 4.Tommy said …

    “since man only has available maybe at best .5% of all available knowledge according to some estimates”

    Bwaa-ha-ha! Honestly, do you even think before posting something like that. If we have such a small amount of knowledge, then how would anyone ever be able to make such an estimate? You would have to know the total amount in order to even estimate a percentage. But, by the very statement, you don’t.

    You’ve also misread the statement. The scam isn’t a proof. It’s a consequence of people believing something that clearly isn’t true.

  5. on 30 Jun 2009 at 5:03 pm 5.Xenon said …

    Tommy is you knew how to read you would see the statement was “by some estimates”. Estimate means a guess or an approximation. Of course the answer is not known for sure. Incidentally, the very post stated “PROVES” God doesn’t answer prayers. Read before being foolish.

    Anony define agnostic please. I though it was pretty cut & dry even when strong or weak is in the equation.

  6. on 30 Jun 2009 at 10:38 pm 6.Tommy said …

    I’m sure “by some estimates” does indeed mean “wild-ass guess.” Given the nature of the statement, there’s no possible basis to make any sort of estimate other than a simple guess. Gee, I’m guessing 96%! No wait, 56%.

    I mean, think about it. (Ow, hurts!) If you don’t know how much knowledge there is, then you can’t even guess at how much of that unknown quantity you don’t know. The statement is self-negating. It’s called logic. Try it some time.

    Or, put another way, you’re saying that X/Y = .005, but you don’t know Y. If you don’t know Y, then you can’t compute X. But you can make a wild guess, if that makes you feel any better.

    And no, the post itself doesn’t attempt to prove non-existence. It says that the existence of unhealed amputees proves the non-existence of God. (It’s the base premise of the site, or haven’t you noticed the URL?)

    The post itself is about the scams that belief in God allows for.

    Although I don’t agree with the proof. The real reason that God won’t heal amputees is that, having no hands, they can’t properly pray for it. God’s very strict about these things.

  7. on 01 Jul 2009 at 12:26 am 7.Xenon said …

    “Although I don’t agree with the proof”

    Good then we agree my point exactly and it is in the post. So why the big stink?

    Oh wait, it was the estimate you have a problem with. Well Tommy you take that up with Rhawn Joseph. Maybe you could share with him how his logic is flawed. That was his estimate. Personally considering the vastness of the universe, I doubt the number is that high. And I think you just like to argue.

  8. on 01 Jul 2009 at 12:35 am 8.Jabber Jaws said …

    “The real reason that God won’t heal amputees is that, having no hands, they can’t properly pray for it. God’s very strict about these things.”

    He was clearly being humorous. Are you dense? Read the rest of the paragraph.

  9. on 01 Jul 2009 at 1:08 pm 9.Tommy said …

    I’m guessing that Xenon’s native language isn’t English. I don’t mean that as an insult at all. But I have run into situations where someone seemed incredibly dense and the problem was simply that they didn’t natively speak the language being used. So, yeah, the part about the hands was a joke.

    The problem with the estimate is that it can’t be estimated. Making the estimate requires knowing how much we don’t know, which we don’t, so we can’t. Any estimate is just a uninformed guess. I’m gonna say 96%. Can’t prove me wrong! :)

    Doesn’t matter who uses bad logic, it’s still bad logic. Being a fairly nutty PhD doesn’t get around that. (Interestingly, Joseph’s main deal seems to be that life must have arrived from other planets. Not that that answers any real origin of life questions. Basically, he’s a neurosurgeon who leverages that to try and be an expert in areas where he isn’t.)

    And I do like to argue. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m right and that you just either don’t read English well (but certainly better than I read French) or else you just don’t read or think very clearly.

    The funny thing is that Xenon’s main point is true. The fact that some people use religion as a basis for scams doesn’t disprove the religion. But that’s not what the post is saying. The post is saying that belief in religion allows for these scams to occur. Which is also true.

  10. on 01 Jul 2009 at 2:42 pm 10.Xenon said …

    Joseph is a nerosurgeon who leverages while Tommy is a blogger who likes to argue and thinks he is right. Naturally! Go for it Tommy but learn the difference between speculation and fact and to chose your arguments wisely. On this you are just anal. Anal is French for petty. It might help you in more of your agrguments (chuckle)

  11. on 01 Jul 2009 at 3:09 pm 11.Mellow said …

    Him being a neurosurgeon means nothing. It’s a weak ploy at appeal to authority. I smell fallacy!

  12. on 01 Jul 2009 at 3:58 pm 12.Tommy said …

    Bwaa-ha-ha! Since he’s a neurosurgeon, I guess the laws of logic don’t apply to him!

    Please, Xenon, enlighten us as to how one can estimate the percentage of knowledge that we actually know without knowing how much knowledge is out there to know? C’mon, give us something to support your contention. Something. Anything. It’s not anal to expect people to be able to support the assertions they make. That’s how rational people approach the world.

    Honestly, other than avoiding actually supporting your cite to this magic estimate, what have you actually contributed in these comments? You haven’t actually answered any points. You’ve misunderstood the post itself. You’ve tossed out a number that can’t actually be estimated as if it were something supportable. And you’re flirting with an ill-advised appeal to authority.

    But here’s the best thing about this thread. Xenon’s last post brings it full circle. Xenon’s willingness to simply believe what Rhawn Joseph says even though it defies simple logic is the exact same thing that the main post is warning about.

    Xenon’s belief is a non-existent God has damaged his (or her) ability for rational thought to the point that Rhawn Joseph can easily scam him (or her). Xenon no longer has the ability to be rationally skeptical. There isn’t even the desire to try and examine the scam. It’s just accepted. And this is the danger of which the original post warns.

    It’s…it’s almost poetic.

  13. on 01 Jul 2009 at 6:26 pm 13.Xenon said …

    Bwaa-ha-ha! (LOUDER!)

    Tom my boy. If you have a problem with the good neurosurgeoon then email him. Maybe he has a blog! What the number actually mightt be is really unimportant to my or my argument. I think the number prolly is lower but hey you believe what you like. Bottom line is this: man DOES NOT have all available knoledge by a LONG shot. Therefore Agnosticism is the only logical position.

    But from now on I believe Tommy and only Tommy. Tommy what does Chritstopher & Richard tell us to believe now! (Hysterical laughter)

  14. on 01 Jul 2009 at 6:32 pm 14.Xenon said …

    Wow I just caught you stupidity. Mt first post states agnosticism is the only logical position and now you link me to theism. That is why you Hitchen-Dawkin Robots are such a confused species. Is that why all of you must use the word delusion ad nauseam? I’m sorry, I can no longer follow you.

    Late!

  15. on 01 Jul 2009 at 7:03 pm 15.Tommy said …

    Oh, you don’t care about the number now? Then why mention it?

    “Bottom line is this: man DOES NOT have all available knoledge by a LONG shot.”

    Really? How would you possibly know this?

    You just don’t see it, do you.

    Ah well, can’t say I didn’t try.

  16. on 02 Jul 2009 at 10:47 am 16.Xenon said …

    Um er, well Tommy you might not have realized this but earth is just one planet in one solar sytem in one galaxy in a universe wuith billions of galaxiee. Call it a hunch:)

    Hang in there, you’ll get it ….eventually,,,, I hope!

  17. on 02 Jul 2009 at 11:23 am 17.Tommy said …

    You need a better science education. Seriously.

    (And a spell-checker. Cheap shot, I know. But honestly, try one out.)

  18. on 02 Jul 2009 at 12:55 pm 18.Xenon said …

    Tommy don’t tell me you are one of those flat-earthers? R U still hung up believing the earth is the center of the universe. C’mon now, this is 2009 (I hope such a definitive statement is OK) science has new discoveries. Embrace them. It’s been fun but I got to run. I wish you well with your logical fallacies there.

    Note: This post officially spell checked by Microsoft Word. The first name is spell check software. Microsoft in no way endorses this blog or the contributions of contributing bloggers.

  19. on 02 Jul 2009 at 1:13 pm 19.Tommy said …

    Are you serious? Or are you a poe? I honestly can’t tell.

  20. on 02 Jul 2009 at 5:25 pm 20.Lou said …

    He’s continously changes what he states he believes in (with a decidedly Christian slant), shifts topics, moves goal posts.

    Xenu is to be ignored.

  21. on 02 Jul 2009 at 6:03 pm 21.Chip E said …

    Xenon there is in reality a flat earth society. Hard to believe but they are out there just like the 9/11 conspirators and the Elvis is alive club.

  22. on 02 Jul 2009 at 6:36 pm 22.Severin said …

    Mine is bigger!

  23. on 02 Jul 2009 at 7:21 pm 23.Lou said …

    Chip, we call them Christians.

  24. on 03 Jul 2009 at 1:58 am 24.Chip E said …

    That would explain a lot Lou. Thanks

  25. on 01 Jul 2010 at 10:55 pm 25.Andrew said …

    Here’s my definition:

    Agnostic: The belief that “God does not exist” is just as much a leap of faith as the belief “God does exist”.

    Faith means wishful thinking: A feel-good guess – a denial of the fact of the unknown and foreseeably unknowable.

    Agnosticism means realism: The ultimate truths are beyond the human mind.

  26. on 02 Jul 2010 at 1:45 pm 26.Martin said …

    Well said Andrew.

  27. on 02 Jul 2010 at 1:51 pm 27.Martin said …

    “I’m guessing that Xenon’s native language isn’t English. I don’t mean that as an insult at all. But I have run into situations where someone seemed incredibly dense and the problem was simply that they didn’t natively speak the language being used.”

    No a language barrier with Christians, it’s a barrier of faith causing irrational thought and bhavior.

  28. on 02 Jul 2010 at 1:56 pm 28.Martin said …

    “Bottom line is this: man DOES NOT have all available knoledge by a LONG shot. Therefore Agnosticism is the only logical position.”

    I don’t think that agnosticism is the ONLY logical position, but it is certainly more sensible than a theist position. I believe that being atheist is actually the safer position, since religion is so dangerous worldwide.

  29. on 02 Jul 2010 at 2:01 pm 29.Martin said …

    “Him being a neurosurgeon means nothing. It’s a weak ploy at appeal to authority. I smell fallacy!”

    EXACLY, men assume that education, no matter what the area, makes a man more intelligent than all others, which is a fallacy. As an educator myself, I have seen many men with MD’s and PhD’s who could not use logic to open a toilet paper roll. Leveraging his profession to prove something totally outside his profession is typical of Christian Appologists.

    Peace.

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