Pastor's letter
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30-01-2016, 08:29 AM
RE: Pastor's letter
Well I do want to say a couple of things.

A) I know this guy and I am 99% sure he is not a con man. Delusions do not make a con. A con would insinuate he doesn't believe it but peddles it anyway and I really don't think that is the case at all. It is rather judgmental to jump to the con man thing IMO.

B) They really aren't about money from what I can tell. They have free stuff all the time. They have a breakfast bar on sunday that is free for everyone. They do have a gym associated with the place but it is free to members (shoot I work out for free because my wife works there) and non-members can get memberships that are pretty cheap compared to LA Fitness or Gold's.

C) The pastor does the whole Dave Ramsey envelope thing (I know this for a fact) and does not live a lavish life at all. His house is nice but it is far from a mansion. But he is probably doing the whole IRS parsonage thing but I can't blame him for that I can't imagine any of us wouldn't use it if we could.

I posted this as a conversation piece on the delusion and some of you ran to ad homs on the character and motives without knowing anything about this man or his motives. Come on guys, not everyone in clergy are Paul Crouch or Benny Hinn. Some folks genuinely believe this garbage to the bone and to immediately assume that money or intentional deception are behind it is no better than one of them assuming we are some pathetic, lost soul without ever talking to us. We are better then this.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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30-01-2016, 08:42 AM
RE: Pastor's letter
(30-01-2016 08:29 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  Well I do want to say a couple of things.

A) I know this guy and I am 99% sure he is not a con man. Delusions do not make a con. A con would insinuate he doesn't believe it but peddles it anyway and I really don't think that is the case at all. It is rather judgmental to jump to the con man thing IMO.

B) They really aren't about money from what I can tell. They have free stuff all the time. They have a breakfast bar on sunday that is free for everyone. They do have a gym associated with the place but it is free to members (shoot I work out for free because my wife works there) and non-members can get memberships that are pretty cheap compared to LA Fitness or Gold's.

C) The pastor does the whole Dave Ramsey envelope thing (I know this for a fact) and does not live a lavish life at all. His house is nice but it is far from a mansion. But he is probably doing the whole IRS parsonage thing but I can't blame him for that I can't imagine any of us wouldn't use it if we could.

I posted this as a conversation piece on the delusion and some of you ran to ad homs on the character and motives without knowing anything about this man or his motives. Come on guys, not everyone in clergy are Paul Crouch or Benny Hinn. Some folks genuinely believe this garbage to the bone and to immediately assume that money or intentional deception are behind it is no better than one of them assuming we are some pathetic, lost soul without ever talking to us. We are better then this.

There are certainly many pastors who sincerely believe what they are saying and are not intending to deceive people. My 'translation' was intended as a higher-level look at it, not a direct commentary on this particular individual's motives as I don't know him and can't speak to his character.

What I see is that he is pushing an agenda for which he has no good evidence and, sincere or not, that makes him part of the problem. He may not be trying to fleece people but he is encouraging them to buy into the nonsense that allows people like Benny Hinn to prosper.

He may be living a relatively frugal life but it is still supported by donations from people that likely don't have a lot themselves in return for filling their minds with claptrap. He may be a decent person and he may be honestly trying to do what he thinks is best but I have no respect at all for how he makes his living.

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30-01-2016, 09:44 AM
RE: Pastor's letter
(29-01-2016 10:21 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  This was sent to my wife. It was in a mass email and not directed at her other than she is a member.

Quote:Last Sunday, we looked at how each of us has been uniquely wired and uniquely placed in the world to accomplish the things God has for us to accomplish.

This week's message has me excited in such a stirred-up way, because it's such a simple but impactful one. What I have to share from God's word has been hands-down, the number one reason for any amount of supernatural effectiveness I've had in my own walk with my friends, my kids, my wife, and with other people - whether they were close or far from God.
If we could all be growing in this one area, we would see supernatural things happen year-after-year. I'll have a special prayer for you at the end to help guide you during the week.

Speaking of prayer, we will have some anointing and prayer available with the elders. If you need healing physically or emotionally, or have been waiting in a broken way for a miracle in your life, don't miss what God might have for you.

Put Sunday down in ink, and change some things around so that you and your friends can gather with us. Who knows if something supernatural may occur in your life or in the life of someone you love.

xPastor's namex

I at least have to give him props for saying "supernatural." I can't believe I used to believe this crap.

This reminds me of every single spam email I get. And I get a zillion of them on a daily basis.

YOU NEED THIS!!!! (Or others will find you short/smelly/unfashionable/fat/uncool/soiled/unpleasant/outdated and/or coiffed in an unacceptable manner.)

EXCLUSIVE OFFER FOR YOU!!! (Which we will pass on to every other email address we have.)

PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!!!! (We don't want you to forget for a second that we're here - first in line for your attention/money.)

His writing is terrible. I'm not really sure he made any point other than claiming your attention for a few seconds. Two stars, max.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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30-01-2016, 10:03 AM
RE: Pastor's letter
(30-01-2016 08:42 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(30-01-2016 08:29 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  Well I do want to say a couple of things.

A) I know this guy and I am 99% sure he is not a con man. Delusions do not make a con. A con would insinuate he doesn't believe it but peddles it anyway and I really don't think that is the case at all. It is rather judgmental to jump to the con man thing IMO.

B) They really aren't about money from what I can tell. They have free stuff all the time. They have a breakfast bar on sunday that is free for everyone. They do have a gym associated with the place but it is free to members (shoot I work out for free because my wife works there) and non-members can get memberships that are pretty cheap compared to LA Fitness or Gold's.

C) The pastor does the whole Dave Ramsey envelope thing (I know this for a fact) and does not live a lavish life at all. His house is nice but it is far from a mansion. But he is probably doing the whole IRS parsonage thing but I can't blame him for that I can't imagine any of us wouldn't use it if we could.

I posted this as a conversation piece on the delusion and some of you ran to ad homs on the character and motives without knowing anything about this man or his motives. Come on guys, not everyone in clergy are Paul Crouch or Benny Hinn. Some folks genuinely believe this garbage to the bone and to immediately assume that money or intentional deception are behind it is no better than one of them assuming we are some pathetic, lost soul without ever talking to us. We are better then this.

There are certainly many pastors who sincerely believe what they are saying and are not intending to deceive people. My 'translation' was intended as a higher-level look at it, not a direct commentary on this particular individual's motives as I don't know him and can't speak to his character.

What I see is that he is pushing an agenda for which he has no good evidence and, sincere or not, that makes him part of the problem. He may not be trying to fleece people but he is encouraging them to buy into the nonsense that allows people like Benny Hinn to prosper.

He may be living a relatively frugal life but it is still supported by donations from people that likely don't have a lot themselves in return for filling their minds with claptrap. He may be a decent person and he may be honestly trying to do what he thinks is best but I have no respect at all for how he makes his living.

I agree with you, but I also think like OC said some people sincerely believe they are doing the Lord's work. Those who donate also feel like they are donating to a "good" cause and some even believe they will be rewarded in this and in the afterlife for doing so. But you are right, it still is taking people's hard earned money based off of a delusion (even if his motives are sincere). And again, even though this pastor is sincere, his beliefs are still perpetuating delusional thinking in those who are religious.

I do find myself getting angry at pastors/priests on occasion and not giving them the same pass that I give parishioners. This is mostly because they have read and studied the Bible and *should* know better. Pastors/priests have read the entire Bible, studied it, have had theological training plus classes plus scholarly commentaries. The random parishioner who is only spoon fed the good passages, instead of actually reading the entire Bible, is easily misled that God is love, God is truth, God exists, Fear God or else.

At the same time, I find myself sympathizing with some pastors/priests (the ones like OC knows) for the following reasons:

1) They want to believe (very hard to sway someone who wants to believe)
2) They were brainwashed too by family/friends/community/church/society
3) They fear the alternative for not believing (this was what I struggled with most in my transition to atheism--the fear of hell).
4) Fear of letting family, friends, community, church down.
5) They honestly believe religion helps people and that it provides a moral way of living.

Obviously there are charlatans like Hinn and the like, but I do think some pastors are not out to make money and actually believe in what they are doing and are not out to bilk people. In their minds, they are actually trying to help people and put good out into the world.
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30-01-2016, 10:18 AM
RE: Pastor's letter
(29-01-2016 10:21 PM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  Speaking of prayer, we will have some anointing and prayer available with the elders. If you need healing physically or emotionally, or have been waiting in a broken way for a miracle in your life, don't miss what God might have for you.

I still can't wrap my mind around how a grown person can say this and not giggle. The strange thing is I know people who look at this and feel good and yet look at muslim ceremonial washing as silly.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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30-01-2016, 02:50 PM
RE: Pastor's letter
To the pastor :
You are correct sir. The only way you get miracles is when you believe in miracles. Delusional belief is the only way a miracle can happen.

When a plane crashes and all aboard all killed, but it nearly misses hitting your house, its a miracle (for you).

The rest of us see a tragedy, but no, not the self-centered believer. They only see the miracle of god sparring their life and rationalize all the other deaths as a good thing, because now they are with god.

Truly fantastic things can happen to regular people, but it takes a believer to turn those incredible odds into a miracle.

Take away the believer and you remove the miracle.
This tells us implicitly that delusional belief in miracles happen entirely in the brain. Nothing divine about it.

It's just self delusion.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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30-01-2016, 04:11 PM
RE: Pastor's letter
(30-01-2016 08:29 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  Well I do want to say a couple of things.

A) I know this guy and I am 99% sure he is not a con man. Delusions do not make a con. A con would insinuate he doesn't believe it but peddles it anyway and I really don't think that is the case at all. It is rather judgmental to jump to the con man thing IMO.

B) They really aren't about money from what I can tell. They have free stuff all the time. They have a breakfast bar on sunday that is free for everyone. They do have a gym associated with the place but it is free to members (shoot I work out for free because my wife works there) and non-members can get memberships that are pretty cheap compared to LA Fitness or Gold's.

C) The pastor does the whole Dave Ramsey envelope thing (I know this for a fact) and does not live a lavish life at all. His house is nice but it is far from a mansion. But he is probably doing the whole IRS parsonage thing but I can't blame him for that I can't imagine any of us wouldn't use it if we could.

I posted this as a conversation piece on the delusion and some of you ran to ad homs on the character and motives without knowing anything about this man or his motives. Come on guys, not everyone in clergy are Paul Crouch or Benny Hinn. Some folks genuinely believe this garbage to the bone and to immediately assume that money or intentional deception are behind it is no better than one of them assuming we are some pathetic, lost soul without ever talking to us. We are better then this.

"I know this guy and I am 99% sure he is not a con man."

con 1 |kɒn| informal
verb (cons, conning, conned) [ with obj. ]
persuade (someone) to do or believe something by lying to them...

So...you may be right...he may not be lying....so he may not be a "con man." That does not mean what he does or says in his role as a pastor is good or admirable. In fact, the premise of his role is evil...he is peddling untrue nonsense, magical thinking, and is cashing in on the primitive dreams and fears of simple superstitious people.

Some priests/pastors/elders are humanitarians and do some good work, yet they should not be "let off the hook" because of that. They should not be tolerated for peddling the magical thinking that does so much harm, nor for promoting immoral ethics that are part and parcel of Christianity.

True humanitarians lift their fellow men out of their ignorance. Pastors bury their flock in it.
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