Hartley: God said you should buy me a yacht | AspenTimes.com

Hartley: God said you should buy me a yacht

Hey everyone, I’ve been talking to this guy and he told me that I need a big yacht so I can cruise around the world telling people that he told me you can get a big yacht if you believe you can.

And not just any yacht, mind you; he told me I needed Everest, a 600-foot megayacht being built right now in Fort Lauderdale. Everest will have 17 bedroom suites with private terraces, a pool, indoor and outdoor cinemas, a gym, spa, dive center, two elevators and room for two helicopters, numerous cars, a submarine, another boat or two and 80 people to run everything — because obviously I need all of that to tell everyone about what the guy told me.

As you can imagine, Everest won’t come cheap. In fact, it’s listed right now for $370.6 million. And that’s where you come in. You’re all going to send me 10 percent of what you make for a living. If you all do that, I’ll have Everest in no time, and you will have the satisfaction of believing that some day, if you believe you can get a yacht, you might get a yacht, too.

Of course, if you don’t believe fervently enough that you can get a yacht, you probably won’t get a yacht, so to make sure the guy I was talking about knows that you really believe you can get a yacht, you should give me even more money each week when I tell you about what he told me.

Best of all, even if you do all that and still don’t get a yacht, as long as I get a yacht, the guy promised me that when you die, he won’t personally hold anything that you did in your life against you. Isn’t that worth a measly 10 to 20 percent of what you earn? I know I’d give myself at least 30 percent of what I make to have that kind of peace of mind on my deathbed.

Anyway, you should totally do it. Send me your money. Guy bless you.

Is that a great sales pitch or what?

I don’t want to say that only an idiot would fall for something like that, but millions of idiots already have, and I don’t want to offend them by calling them idiots. So let’s just say that I don’t understand how anyone could fall for a scam like that.

What scam, you ask? That would be the so-called “prosperity gospel” preached by numerous snake-oil salesmen around the country, including my inspiration, Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International. It was Dollar, you may recall, who recently had the nerve to ask his followers to give him $60 million so he could buy a Gulfstream G650 airplane to do the work of Creflo Dollar Ministries.

Dollar and other prosperity gospel adherents believe that God will favor good Christians with material wealth as long as they have faith and give generously to Christian ministries. As proof that prosperity gospel works, preachers often point to their own wealth, which in Dollar’s case is substantial.

Dollar and his wife reportedly own two Rolls-Royces, an older Gulfstream, a million-dollar home in Atlanta and a $2.5 million home in New Jersey. They used to own a $2.5 million home in Manhattan, but they sold it for $3.75 million in 2012. In 2006, Dollar’s church, which claimed to have 30,000 members at the time, took in $69 million in revenue — and by revenue I mean people giving Dollar their dollars.

It stands to reason that the ministry probably makes quite a bit more than that now, but since it’s all being done under the guise of being a tax-exempt “church,” Dollar isn’t required to release his financial records and refuses to do so. The 2006 information is only known because it was revealed during a 2007 Senate investigation of several ministries that was ultimately dropped because churches get to play by different rules than other businesses and nonprofits.

Sadly, prosperity gospel seems to be most popular among poor people, who can least afford to give shady preachers their money. Idiots or not, I hope they’re not just getting ripped off but are actually getting some kind of peace of mind and satisfaction from their association with the church.

Even if they are, though, it’s still hard to understand how anyone could keep believing in a preacher after he tells you he needs a Gulfstream to replace his old Gulfstream.

Todd Hartley doesn’t really need a 600-foot yacht. Anything with more than 500 feet would be fine. To read more or leave a comment, please visit http://zerobudget.net.

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