Wealth and Religion
This particular subject is a little touchy for me. There are people living in the Bible belt, that unquestioningly believe the televangelists they watch on TV are the real deal…good hearted, well intentioned men and women being led by the Spirit of God to do the Lord’s work.
If you watch these televangelist’s shows for any length of time, you are sure to hear religious clichés such as “Praise the Lord” “God is great” and “Can I hear an Amen somebody?” Something else you are certain to hear, is a plea for a generous donation from the viewing public! It may come as a direct request for money for the ministry so the pastor can continue on with God’s work, or for funds to continue with a particular program or outreach.
Another method that these religious corporations use to raise funds is to sell God related products such as , bibles, books, tapes, CD’s, DVD’s or any other product that they can dream up to make some cash.
One of the methods that is used to solicit money is to tell the viewers that in order to receive a particular special FREE LOVE GIFT, a modest donation is required. The special FREE GIFT can take the form of a vial of MIRACLE SPRING WATER and anything from a square of cloth blessed personally by the pastor, to a sliver of wood collected in the HOLY LAND. It may even have come from the cross itself! “You never know?” the televangelist is sure to tell the viewers.
All the money that they raise is TAX FREE! Having your own religious denomination or television program, is nearly as good as having your own mint and being able to print money at will!
I have to admit that I was somewhat appalled when I did a search on some of the leading televangelist’s estimated net worth. I wasn’t prepared for the huge numbers I encountered during my research. Here are a few examples my Google search turned up…
Benny Hinn estimated to be worth $40 million dollars.
Peter Popoff estimated to be worth between $10 million to $100 million.
Joyce Meyer estimated to be worth a mere $10 million.
Ernest Angley estimated to be worth $15 million.
Joel Osteen estimated to be worth $40 million.
Kenneth Copeland estimated to be worth $26.5 million to $1.2 billion!
Pat Robertson estimated to be worth $200 million to $1 billion!
The above are just a few examples of what my research turned up. I admit, I was very surprised at the incredible wealth that these individuals are allegedly worth. Apparently working for God can be very lucrative indeed!
I have to ask myself, how can someone with a conscience, who is worth tens of millions of dollars, all the way up to a billion dollars or more, go on TV and beg trusting viewers…single mothers, old age pensioners and individuals on disability pensions, to give money to a ministry that is run by a multimillionaire?
Many of the televangelist’s viewers barely make enough money to get through each month, pay their rent and put food on the table, while these televangelists are living a life of privilege and opulence!
This is what the Bible says about money and related subjects…
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34
“For it is easier for a camel to go through a needles eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” Luke 18:25
“Sell all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor…”Luke 18:22
“But they that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” I Timothy 6:9
“He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.” Proverbs 22:16
“Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully…”
“It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:13
There are many other examples from the bible, but I’m sure that you get the idea. It has been alleged that L. Ron Hubbard the originator of Scientology, realized the financial potential of having your own religion or religious denomination. Apparently so have some of America’s most famous televangelists! To them it’s guaranteed money in the bank!
If you have a burning desire to get filthy rich and have neither, morals or a conscience, then perhaps religion is an avenue for you to explore.
Our wish is for your continued success!
Sincerely, Nicholas J. Chase