And who wants to win that lottery the most? None other than those least able to pay for the ticket. These televangelists prey on the hopes and dreams of the impoverished through their living room T.V. set while weekly raking in the dough. God is refashioned into Santa Claus for adults. Just sit on Benny Hinn's knee, tell him what kind of car you want, slip him a little something on the side, and wait for the miracle to occur. In the meantime, he hops on board his private jet to pick up his dry cleaning in Cancun.
Because they run churches they do not have to file tax forms with the IRS. So it's unclear how many millions - or billions - are collected every year.Grassley has asked for their financial records following a two year investigation into their tax exempt status. The latest update on responses from these various ministries is less than encouraging. December 7, 2007 was to have been the deadline for providing this information to the Senate finance committee. As of March 31 of this year, only some have responded. Creflo Dollar has outright refused. (ref - pdf warn)
“Rolls Royces, Bentleys ... a marble commode in an expensive home: that’s a lot of money down the toilet,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
A former staff member for Without Walls International Church named Hector Gomez said, "Mansions, big planes, money, fame. That's what it's all about now; there are prophets for God, and there are prophets for profit. That's the category they fit in." and that he has received "more manipulation than inspiration" from them. (ref)
And just to make sure you're not cheating on your faith, there's this gem:
An assistant pastor took the stage first and talked about the importance of tithing, about how God's law directs members to give a certain percentage of income to the church.
"Tithe is 10 percent of your gross income, not your net," Randy has reminded congregants. (ref)
Huh. I'd have guessed God would get a bigger tip than waiters - 15% at least, maybe 20% on non-cyclone days.Prosperity Theology is big money squeezed from poor people. It's no different than gambling with the promise of big payouts except, in this case, the House always wins.