The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Is Religion a Business or for Self Actualization?

by Santon Theron
Posted on January 22, 2005 19:13 PM EST

This is a person with eastern upbringing, graduated in both Indian and western philosophy with a medical background. Based on basic human values and dignity, we are all human beings first and then exchange that love to our fellow beings, both in our thoughts, words and deeds.

We see examples of these in the persons of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther king, Albert Schweitzer,Alber Einstein and other socio,scientific, philosophic contibutors to humanity.

Tele Evangelism
Recently I've been reading a lot on American Teleevangelists; especially people like Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch and many others, who amassed millions of dollars from the poor and without the least concern for any accountability, blow the money on sex(both women and men!), multi million dollar mansions(several), large real estates, alcohol (read LA Times on Paul Crouch), and raise money to help poor in India and other poor countries. Have you seen any of this money going to any body in real? I've to many of these countries personally and interviewed many of these people. One thing they all said these 'big' 'missionaries' when they arrive, stay in expensive 'hotels' (e.g. $ 2000 and above a night: translation-Indian Rupess 9000 per night which will feed a family of 4 for an year, in some areas!) and later with the camera crew,'sprinkle a little rice' on the poor community and broadcast it on Television, stating that they have been helping millions of poor and they need further help. If you turn on Christian television all that is seen is the 'send money immediately' cries(After the recent Paul Crouch sex scandal Paul Crouch is hardly seen on TBN and the 2004 telethon (send more $$$) was cancelled; what was shown was a replay of last year). Statements like, "If you borrow and send by credit card $2000, your money will double before you wake up" forces poor unsuspecting victims to fall for it and enter into more debt and later, disbelief in humanity and in the nature and existence of a true God.

Healings: Are we healed?
After my search I'ven't found any evidence for a single actual healing done by Benny Hinn. Many organizations and scientific communities and universities have asked to examine a real healed not a 'pre set up' person and was not able to do so to this day. But there are statements made by Benny Hinn that he 'raised' the dead and thousands healing and are coming to Christ everyday(If any Christian is in India, it is thanks to the true humble missionaries who came and lived among the poor and downtrodden in India and other countries. For umpteen years, zealous good souls have reached to humanity enduring all kinds of hardships including death. Benny Hinn personally lives in an approx. $6million mansion (he practically abandoned his church and congregation in Florida and moved to Texas recently). He flies in a high maintenance aircraft with tons of personal security guards ( what if an angry and 'unhealed' believer beat him up? he won't be able to heal himself). One will be shocked with the amount of money amassed(and how they acquired it) by Benny Hinn, Pat Robertoson, and Paul Crouch.

Hello 'Dr' - the snake charmers!!
On further studies, it is understood that people like Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch and most tele evangelists who call themselves ''Dr'' do not have any credentials from an accredited institution like Harvard Divinity School or many other real universities in America. Most of these went to a 6 month 'bible college' and graduated as "Dr". Talk about snake charmers!!

Cry from the good samaritans
There are hundreds of thousands of good missionaries and other philanthropists working among the poor of all poor nations dedicating their entire life to the poor. Personally I know hundreds of these humble people - I'm fortunate to be blessed by their hospitality, several times. People like the above 'tele evangelists' are a threat to the existence of these foreign born good samaritans who live among the poor. My heart goes toward these good people and many of you who read this who always try to relate to one of these good ones when you hear the word missionary etc.

Christianity in America
There is a statement in the Bible which says 'Unless your good works EXCEED that of the pharisees and the Sadducees (these are two major fake believer communities during the time of Christ) you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Kingdom of heaven is the goodness of our heart - that is where the true God lives. To be a Christian one has to exceed the normal standards around him. Gandhi stated why he didn't want to be a Christian - " I like Christ, but hate christianity: a christian reminds me of one holding a chunk of beef in one (today it will be extreme self indulgence in wealth and no moral consciousness and accountability toward the society) and a bottle of alcohol in the other hand. There is so much protest against Christianity in America than in any other part of the world. It is against the law today in America to have Christianity openly taught in public schools and any symbols like Ten Commandments displayed in Government buildings and public places. Everyday two or three major cases are going on in this country about Christianity. One may wonder or attribute it to the last days easily - 'the bible says these things happen in the last days'; agree! But worse things have been happening from the beginning of civilization, if one looks into history. Look into all the natural castrophies that happend; mass murders committed by 'leaders' who called themselves as 'christian'(e.g. Hitler ('just' 6million poor innocent Jews), Crusades, many recent cults like Heaven's Gate, Branch Dravidians, Jim Jones...), major diseases..etc..etc.. Many 'prophets' stated world is going to end ''- constipating their way through. This includes leaders of Jehovah's witnesses, Benny Hinn, Leader of the recent sex scandal organization-David Berg -'the family or children of God', etc. When one date fails they come up with another ..and another..on and on.. It is clearly stated in the Bible, "No One knows the time of the end, except God". What part of that is difficult to understand?

If interested please check on these web sites about Benny Hinn and others like of the same breed.

Related sites
  • The Agony and Deceit by Benny Hinn
  • The Beautiful side of Evil
  • God told me to tell you
  • Charisma and Charismania by Chuck Smith
  • A Different Gospel

Go to Search Engine Google and type in Benny Hinn and terms like Religious Crooks, Paul Crouch and prosperity Gospel etc.

  • Leap of Faith (Steve Martin as Benny Hinn)
  • Read the book of Bob Mckeown, a prominent pastor who wrote his thesis on Benny Hinn
  • Many NBC Dateline Clips
There hundreds more sites and publications and going through some of these will enlighten one, of the actual wealth these people have amassed tax free at the poor people's expense and how little is done for the cause they stand for. Technically one is entitled only 1% of the assets to be given to the charity as per US laws. And often many don't even do that. Benny Hinn makes $100 million from his crusades annually X 50 = how much is that in rupees? How much does a person need to live comfortably? Paul Crouch's son gained $42 million from making a 'Christian movie' basically taking the story of women who wrote the book. He didn't inform her get her consent prior to the movie; thinking the poor handicapped lady won't know of it; and ended up paying her $40 million dollars when she found out and sued him recently. Paul Crouch of TBN owns more than 30 several million dollar homes in the USA alone. He and his wife takes a salary of approx. one million an year + plus expensive jets and all other expenses paid. Their wine storage is more expensive than of a good Asian House.

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