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I had the distinct dipleasure last night to catch Bob Yandian on the TV.
Who the hell is Bob Yandian you might be asking?
Well, I first heard that name over ten years ago. At the time I had four good friends that I spent loads of time with, high school buddies. One was a guy named P, a bright guy who I had lots in common with.
After we finished going to our Catholic High School he started going to Grace Fellowship with his mother. Finishing at CHS was a condition of his fathers.
Soon after he started to attend Grace Fellowship his personality changed. He started, in my opinion, to say things that went against his personality. This guy, who loved science was now giving me lectures on how the Dinosaurs and man co-existed, a fantasy concocted by the young Earth creationists to reconcile the existence of the Dinosaurs with the Biblical description of creation. They go so far as to suggest that Noah brought the dinosaurs on the ark with him.
At a time where I was becoming more liberal (free thinking), my friend P was becoming more sympathetic to the notion of immutable truths. We would find ourselves arguing over the nature of langauge, whereas I would take the position that words are defined by usage and thus open to new intepretations, he would argue that words should never be used in contexts not previously defined.
A silly argument I suppose, but eventually we found it harder to find common ground.
SO last night I was flipping through channels and I came across good ol' Bob Yandian. He was hosting a show called Real Answers. The topic for the night was Finances. Of course there was also a product being peddled. A tape series called "A Time to Prosper". Here's the blurb from the website:
As we are rapidly approaching the Second Coming of Jesus, we are entering into a time that has been specifically appointed by God for the flow of financial prosperity to be re-routed from the world into the Body of Christ. This 7 tape, 8 lesson series will focus on financial prosperity, what our attitude should be toward that prosperity, and how God views prosperity and its purpose in the earth.
The basic premise behind the idea of Prosperity is that God will bless you if you transfer that wealth into the mission of spreading God's word. In turn God wants you to be prosperous because God's heaven is one of Gold, Diamonds and Jewels. and, most importantly, God will bless you materially if give to the ministry.
The subtext is not so subtle that even a kingergartner couldn't see it: Give your money to Bob Yandian, no amount is too small, and if you give in faith you will be blessed by God with financial blessings.
The show was taped as an audience show. The "host" tosses Bob softball questions and reinforces the message, and the audience asks the questions to give Bob a chance to explain his message. If the format sounds familiar, you might have seen it used for that Calcium treatment, various diet programs and all sorts of fruit juicers.
So true. And there was Bob Yandian telling us what God thinks about money.
From the video for Part 3.
"When you chase after God, the blessings of life will chase after you."
"Because money, it has such a hold on people's lives, and you feel like 'I worked for it, that paycheck belongs to me, it represents forty hours a week that I have put in as sweat'. And God wants us to realize that its he that gave us the power to get wealth and the power included, my mentality, my wisdom, my natural ability, the breath I had, the strength I had, the food I ate, all the different things came from God to where that job was accomplished by the gifts of God in my life and therefore when I tithe I am actually giving back to God in thanksgiving, for this job, this strength and everything I have to accomplish this job, and its kinda of a different way of thinking. And God wants us to think that way so that he can turn around a bless and us and eventually bring us to the point in our life where we work less and we're blessed more. And God brings it from all types of sources around us where we planted so much seed out there that crops are coming at us every day."
So the key to long term financial security is giving to "God", but we should make the checks out to Bob Yandian? Don't worry though, Bob will send up the faith and love up to God and keep the money part here on earth.
"Men receive the money, but God receives the faith, your not throwing dollar bills into the air that God gets, in fact if he could take them there's no use for them in heaven, all the money's use is down here on this earth, so what its simply saying is that when you give money to men, make sure that you give it in faith and in love because it is the faith and love that God gets and that's what he blesses us back with, is our attitude behind the giving."
Its starting to sound like an investment program. I rub magical love and faith on my money and give it to pastor Bob. Pastor Bob uses the money to do "God's work", he sends the love and faith up to God to make him happy, and in return I'll get a better job, a bigger house and more leisure time.
Where do I sign up for this sweet deal?
"The Bible talks about whatever you're going to sow you're gonna reap, you don't sow green beans and get tomatoes, and if you really want to get finances you sow finances."
So, here's the tapes you'll wanna get!!!
Just 35 Green Beans.
Its actually a sweet little scheme. You get blessings from God for two things; 1) doing God's work, which means bringing people to God, A.K.A. Bob Yandian and 2) giving faith and love to God, and money to Bob Yandian. Not only does he get an army of free people working for him to recruit new members, he gets them to pay for the priviledge.
That's a business model that even Wal-Mart's would be jealous of.
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