Televangelists - why do people donate money to them?

Canada
January 30, 2008 9:10am CST
I saw this program on TV about televangelists. One in particular who lives in a 18000 square foot mansion by the sea, has several private air planes, vacation homes, cattle ranches and more. Millions of dollars flow into his mission from all over the world. A lot of the donations come from people who can ill afford to give it. He promises prayers and that their donations will lead to personal wealth and well being. I don't understand this at all. Any ideas why people give to these ministers?
6 people like this
19 responses
• United States
30 Jan 08
Remember P.T. Barnum's famous quote?
1 person likes this
• Canada
30 Jan 08
Refresh my memory. Was it " a new sucker is born every day?"
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 08
"There's a sucker born every MINUTE!"
1 person likes this
• Canada
30 Jan 08
Ha, close enough, but because it happens every minute these people can accumulate so much wealth in particular from the old, the poor and the gullible.
• India
30 Jan 08
I think they pray for people and promise health and wealth. Ours is a culture that is so much after personal well being and comfort and the meaning of cross is alien to many people, and that is why people give them money. That is the way I see things. There are lot of people who are hungry and who are not able to get into schools. And there are lot of missionaries who are struggling to meet their daily needs yet they continue with their works cos they love Jesus. And I found it so difficult to understand when someone live luxuriously.
1 person likes this
• Canada
31 Jan 08
Yes, I think people who send all this money somehow think that the preacher has a special way to communicate with God and they hope that his prayer on their behalf will be heard and answered.
@coffeebreak (17826)
• United States
31 Jan 08
And there are some that just don't know where else to donate so instead of getting up off their lazy you-know-whats and look for another place, they just give there and resolve themselves that they gave to God. Sad, thing, I doubt God will honor that. Just giving is not the whole enchillada. You have to give in God's will. IN this case, you are not giving in God's will, just giving so say you did it.
1 person likes this
@adnanezzi (243)
• India
30 Jan 08
when ur donating please dont see the person to whom u r donating in ur heart always think that u r not donating to him but to god.
1 person likes this
• Canada
31 Jan 08
Thank you for commenting. I respect your opinion but documented investigations show that huge sums of money are spent on the televangelist for his/her comfort and luxury. God does not need to accumulate material wealth on earth.
@coffeebreak (17826)
• United States
31 Jan 08
You are right. God doesn't accumulate wealth on earth other than the wealth of his people - his people being the wealth. These preachers that are collecting their wealth down here on earth still have to answer to God on judgement day. They all are forgetting that I think! Or maybe they think they can talk God into letting them into heaven the way they talked all those people out of their money! Each one of us has to do what God leads US to do. Once done, we are fine with God. What others do with it after that, is not our repsonsiblity. IT is that persons.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39919)
• Canada
30 Jan 08
because they believe they are doing god's work and not making this guy richer than he already is.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Feb 08
It is sad that people are so gullible, but many respondents have pointed out all kinds of reasons why people give to them.
• United States
30 Jan 08
People are hungry for spiritual nourishment. That hunger makes many people gullible to the sometimes wily ways of televangelists who are speaking soothing words of promise and hope. Padding their own pockets to lead a rich, opulent lifestyle when they could be living comfortably without going overboard on themselves would certainly make them more credible -- if we could see what they are doing in the missionary field -- building schools, hospitals, providing food and giving the people jobs, that would be doing work for the glory of God and not themselves. They've latched on to a good thing and will get their come-uppance in due time.
• Canada
1 Feb 08
Yes I think there are many reasons why people give and one of them is the promise of hope. Buildding schools and hospitals and looking after the poor instead of spending the money on their own lifestyle would be the right thing to do.
30 Jan 08
I would guess it's because he's promising them 'personal wealth and well being', and maybe they are so poor or sick (or stupid) that they can't think rationally. They are clutching at straws because they can't think of a real-world solution. Also, many people are not very well-educated, so if some guy appears on their TV in a slick suit and a compelling way of talking, telling them God wants them to donate, they take it at face value and think that's what God wants them to do. I do think that real Christians should be a LOT more active in exposing these charlatans for what they are, con-men using the name of God to exploit those too simple or desperate to know better.
1 person likes this
• Canada
31 Jan 08
I agree with you there. I think it is a shame that mainstream Christianity remains silent on this issue. And yes some people may be clutching at straws because of illness, poverty or personal loss and grief.
• United States
1 Feb 08
Yes - they are FOOLED and stupid. I AM a minister and I was raised Pentecostal (the shouting and praising the Lord) and am still in the same; people need to KNOW who they are donating to. Most do this because they want promises of knowing tomorrow and/or being showered with money. If thy read in that blessed WORD that they try to preach on they will see that RICH ones were not abounding down to the rich man in Hell that was begging for water when he looked up to heaven and God told him they could not pass into that realm. CHRIST himself had NO HOME- his disciples- the 12 apostles GAVE UP what they had to follow him. Perhaps some of these people began as authentic believers and good people but as the blessed Bible states "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil" and WOW is this true. What a disgrace to claim to be a TRUE CHRISTIAN and follower of Christ and spending ALL that money when there are homeless, hungry people and children right here in our country. Truly, I don't think there's very many that wouldn't even have to leave their own town to help someone really needy. I thank God every day for all I've got - a roof over my head, food on my table and bills that get paid somehow each month. When I go places to sing and minister I ask for NOTHING - this was a gift from God to me and an honor to represent Him - how can I ask for a WAGE when God gave it to me for FREE. But remember - WHAT WE SOW - so shall we reap!! They are all beginning to reap now as a vast majority are getting investigated- and surely what is done in secret will be out in the open - Vengeance is MINE sayeth the Lord. I just pray that all souls can have an opportunity to make it to Heaven and can be forgiven - but to repeatedly make the same mistake is called sin. He who knoweth to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin. So I let God take care of these few; do NOT fall into that false promises that men make when they can't keep them; and know that what is inside of me is real and base my life here and for Christ on what's in MY heart and not on that dreadful TV screen. May God bless you.
• United States
1 Feb 08
Something to think about... TV televangelist Gene Scott said years ago that christians were required to tithe 10% of their gross income to the place where they receive their religious teaching (he actually backed up this statement with scriptural references. If you know who he is, then you know how rarely he actually teaches!). Think about all the people who cannot for some reason attend church in person or are otherwise "shut-ins." That kind of money adds up fast! And when asked what he was going to do with the money, guess what his answer was? He said that he was going to spend it, of course, but that it was nobody's business what he did with the money, and that it did not matter what he did with it...he scripturally referenced this statement, too! The only thing that mattered was that you gave your tithe to the place where you received your teaching, so if you were watching him, "GET ON THE TELEPHONE!"
@jezzmay (1845)
• United States
31 Jan 08
If they do not know the bible they get caught up in the message give and you will get rich.They are not looking at the real word,Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,and all things shall be added unto you.They also do not know that God does not require your money to answer prayer.
@coffeebreak (17826)
• United States
31 Jan 08
Oh, they know all that. They are just hoping YOU don't know all that!
@Uroborus (911)
• Canada
30 Jan 08
I think it's partly because we live in a consumer based society, where we are taught from an early age that you get what you pay for. Another reason is that many televangilists are also politically active these days. The donors may agree with those politics and contribute to their campaign.
• Canada
1 Feb 08
Yes I guess some people believe if they send money for prayers their prayers might be heard. Politics may be another reason.
@megumiart (3783)
• United States
1 Feb 08
I think it's absolutely ridiculous. I feel bad for the people that are empathized into donating. :/
@EvanHunter (4030)
• United States
1 Feb 08
I have to agree (partially) with the first responce. Alot of people think giving money will help buy your way into heaven or that its a good deed. Maybe it buys them a good feeling but...to reach heaven you need more than just a good feeling.
@TravisE (454)
• United States
31 Jan 08
Hope & fear. Anyone stuck in the trap of identifying themselves with this life lives in a world and process of hope and fear. They struggle to find some real point of purchase to cling to, and long for a permanent state of safety and pleasure. They will go to great lengths to get that, even sacrificing health and well being for the dream of getting there. It can never work, but that is why they do it. Very understandable and quite human.
@gbolly54 (662)
• Nigeria
31 Jan 08
It has been said several decades ago that "religion is the opium of the people". The saying is as true today as it was in the beginnig. Indeed, it is truer nowadays that we have many governmental leaders have rendered the lives of their people miserable with poverty and related problems. If only people could use their senses and liberate themselves from fake religions and religious leaders (or misleaders). God is very patient, almost to a fault.
@coffeebreak (17826)
• United States
31 Jan 08
Yep, there's been alot of that going on for years now. They do it because they can. Period. It gives God a bad name and is horrible to be going on. Thing is, they are forgetting that they have to answer to God in the end. You give to who you are lead to give to. That is all God requires of you. If you do that, you are in God's will. What the people you gave to do with it is between them and God. You answer for what you do, they answer for what they do. There are plenty of little churches that use the money properly that you can give to. Just think, on judgement day when God asks these preachers "what did you do with the money people gave you to spread my word and help my people?" Talk about a bunch of stammering and searching for words!
@slickcut (8141)
• United States
31 Jan 08
I do not give money to those televangelists, most of them are rich and getting richer..I use to be so caught up in Jimmy swaggart, and he is a great singer, he can make the hair stand up on your head, but these people are rich, and i will not give money to them..I do not believe that you can buy your way into heaven.If you want to help someone go find a poor person that really needs money, food, cloths and give it to those because they are needy..Those prachers on Tv are not needy..Being a christain has nothing to do with their prayers and getting you rich, that is not what being a christian is all about...I think that most people who give are house bound and they are sending them money from their social security checks, and they are thinking they are doing the right thing, but in reality those preachers are robbing the poor..They take people who are sick and don't know better...
• United States
31 Jan 08
They honestly think that if they donate money to these"preachers", they will be saved or they will go to heaven. It is sad.
@suspenseful (40331)
• Canada
31 Jan 08
I think it is because they believe in the name it and claim it religion, that God still promises material wealth like HE did to the Israelites in the Old Testament and they figure that the televangelist will pray for them if they donate money. It is to show how good they are. They usually do not make that much money and certainly not enough to take courses to upgrade their skills, so instead of praying to God to give them the wherewithall or find someone who will actually help them, they send money to the preacher thinking he has a pipeline to God. In other words, they hope to buy their way to heaven.
@cefaz_21 (2597)
• Philippines
31 Jan 08
It's sad..those people who give, give with good faith only to find out it all go to personal benefits. I wish people would know who are the fakes and the kegit ones..because I'm sure there are still true televangelists existing.
@Pose123 (21675)
• Canada
30 Jan 08
Hi Lindalinda, Some people are easily fooled, especially when it comes to religion. I have no time for those people who use religion as a way to make themselves rich at the expense of others. Often it is seniors and others on low fixed incomes who build those mansions for them. Blessings.