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j0ey's avatar

What do you think about how a lot of "Televison Preachers", try to sell products on their shows?

Asked by j0ey (2424points) April 15th, 2010

Ok, I will start off by saying that if having faith in God is helping someone on a psychological level, I am all for it. My grandma is a devout Christian, and lives and breaths the word of God. She recently bought cable tv just so she could watch “Christian Television”....and seems to be enjoying it immensely and getting a lot out of it.

HOWEVER….the last few times I have visited her I have noticed some items that she has bought off the television. Ridiculous items, like a “vale of holy water” and a “prayer shawl” to name a few. I can’t help but feeling like she is being brain washed and taken advantage of. She can’t afford to buy things like this. And on these shows, the preacher is like “for a small donation of $29.99 you can enrich your Christian faith, with this prayer shawl”....It kind of makes me sick.

What do you think about this? It makes me slightly angry…..But I guess at the end of the day, she could be wasting her money on gambling or other useless products. I just don’t like it how “Christian Television” is making my Grandma feel like she “needs” to give them money to strengthen her faith…..

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17 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

The products a show sells helps me to decide which groups are trying to help others and which one’s are trying to help themselves..It helps me decide on how I recieve the message that Is being conveyed

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Let her have her fancies.

This is not a “Christian” problem. Our entire materialistic society suffers from advertisers convincing us that their products and services will “enrich” our lives. It is everywhere.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

If they’re using their spiritual position to sell cheap worldly products, at the very least it would seem to be a very basic conflict of interests.

jazmina88's avatar

My 91 yr old Mom buys things from crystal cathedral. it’s her church now.

Their generation is used to going to church and putting in the offering plate.

I hate tele-evangelists, but that stuff is their silly tv offering plate. Churches have always brainwashed…...this is no different.

talljasperman's avatar

I hope the chuch doesn’t plan on selling indulgences again… or are they doing that with the product’s on sale?

Nullo's avatar

She’s not being brainwashed any more than anybody else who buys advertised products, but she is throwing her money away.
By and large, televangelists are – ironically – bad news.

@jazmina88 Churches educate and provide fellowship. Certainly, this leaves room for abuse, but the same goes for schools and the mass media and really, anybody with an opinion. Read up on opinion leadership.

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m trying to understand how this is different from tithing to a church.

Televangelists strike me as a pretty slimy bunch on the whole, but then again, so do most evangelicals, so if it makes her happy…

Nullo's avatar

@gorillapaws
Tithes are donations. They are called donations, they do not offer a presumably-holy prayer shawl in return, and a good church will explain from the get-go that the offering baskets are for members/regular attendees who want to use them.
What sorts of evangelicals have you been hanging out with, that you get the impression that they’re slimy?

SomeChristianGuy's avatar

Jesus Himself cleared out the tables of temple vendors. So it’s really an ancient problem that some people will use this as an opportunity to exploit faith for business.

AstroChuck's avatar

What do I think? Either these guys are filthy grifting motherf***ers destined for the lowest level of Hell or God just can’t seem to manage money worth a damn so he is having his minions go on TV to collect some from all the little, old, religious ladies out there.

Roby's avatar

They are all a fraud…If anyone wants to connect to their God, just bow your head and pray.,,it’s cheep and more palpable, than a stupid prayer cloth.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Nullo “Tithes are donations”

…given in return for a church service, just like buying religious knick-knacks made in China are acquired by making a donation to the televangelist. I’m inclined to agree with @Roby‘s approach to connecting with a higher being, save the donations for charities that will actually help people’s lives, like cancer research.

mattbrowne's avatar

To Europeans this phenomenon is extremely shocking.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think this preying on the vulnerable population for money is appalling.

Nullo's avatar

@gorillapaws One tithes because it is a biblically encouraged practice, similar to the sacrifices of thanksgiving. My pastor tithes.
Tithe money pays the bills. It also supports missionaries and evangelical efforts, and charitable operations (it is not uncommon for churches to network to contribute large quantities of money to causes).
Many Christians work from the premise that since we’re all going to die eventually anyway, effort is better spent preparing people for the hereafter. As my pastor puts it, “We don’t want to make this world a better place to go to Hell from.” Which is not to say that we ignore the plight of the less fortunate; it’s just not the overarching goal.

Personally, I don’t really think that cancer the kind of problem that you can fix by throwing even more money at it. The cold, cynical, rational part of me thinks that cancer probably won’t ever be cured, and that perhaps we shouldn’t be trying – keep the Kryptonite around, you know.

Berserker's avatar

As everyone already said, I guess God can’t escape commercialism. There’s really no difference in between that bullshit and SlapChop, which is proven even further by the idea that in proper Christian values and crap, I don’t think material possession was ever needed for ’‘a better praying experience’’.

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