Megachurches on the Rise — Has Religion Become an Enterprise?

Joel Olsteen represents the enterprising model for megachurches across America.

Megachurches are the rock stars of churches.  These are religious institutions that have turned themselves into the equivalent of fast food franchises.  Many have sprung from almost nothing to have multiple locations spanning states.  But what is the appeal of a megachurch and why are they so unbelievably popular?  Common Sense Conspiracy looks inside to find out about this unconventional take on modern religion that is sweeping the nation.

Most of us don’t think of churches as a profitable establishment.  We think of churches as being symbols of religion and they may raise some money for their obviously necessary expenses, but in the end, they are not for profit.  Most are actually consider non-profit organizations by the Internal Revenue Service.  And yet, according to Forbes, the top ten megachurches in the United States brought in a staggering $8.5 billion in income last year.  Is all of that for church expenses or being dispensed back into the community?  Well, that is a question for the IRS.  But we want to dig a little deeper and see what is so fascinating to Americans about megachurches.

How do they do it?  Well, like all things in life, bigger is better.  Megachurches have more funds at their disposal, and that means they are able to turn their church services into a bigger spectacle.  Many feature huge stages, rock-star like musical segments, jumbotron televisions, and facilities that leave church members with more amenities than your average country club.  But at the heart of every megachurch is the pastor, and they are always a mover-and-shaker on the religious scene.  Consider Joel Olsteen.  This guy is the new rock star of Christianity and holds the keys to the lock of the biggest megachurch in America.  His Houston, Texas church has over 40,000 in attendance each week, a number you might expect for a professional sports event.  Televised, the reach is much bigger.  Joel Olsteen reaches over seven million households each Sunday, and he has managed to grow to these epic proportions in just thirteen years since he took the helm of the church after his father passed away.  He is a national presence, with best-selling books and television appearances.  The annual budget of Lakewood Church is over $70 million.  If you’re in Houston, Texas, it’s hard to not want to be a part of Olsteen’s congregation.

A look at the Lakewood Church’s website has Joel Olsteen everywhere.  While his messages might be good, millions tune in to this guy as opposed to going to a local church and establishing a relationship with a real pastor?  Is that good or bad?  Well, the jury is out.  Religion is always a lightning rod for debate, and this is no different.  But Joel is a cultural phenomenon.  What about those that are members of much smaller megachurches that place their pastor on a pedestal?

It happens.  Every Sunday, millions of Americans watch their church service on a television.  Only, they are not in the comfort of their own home.  They go to commune with their fellow Christians and watch messages preached to them from Jumbotron television screens.  Gone is the old principles of church, where the pastor is a confidant and person to rely on.  Many members of these megachurches would be lucky if they ever came within 100 yards of their pastor.  Much less get a private appointment to speak with them.

The train keeps rolling, and megachurches seem to be the new trend in American religion.  But is it a good one?  Too many of these megachurches leave their congregation idolizing their pastoral figures…and all too often, they go astray, leaving a lot of lost sheep.

At the risk of being long-winded, Common Sense Conspiracy will leave this topic for now, and if you are interested, we can delve farther into the concept of megachurches and what happens when they go wrong?  But for now… it’s on you to vote.
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3 thoughts on “Megachurches on the Rise — Has Religion Become an Enterprise?”

  1. Gold, silver, copper for mankind.

    Historically, gold, silver, and copper were used as monetary based on their
    fair value as exchange medium in fair trade.

    Now, gold and silver are both dismissed from their monetary function. Only copper
    is the only metal still left to be used as money. Even so, the copper monetized
    today is based upon its face value and not upon its fair value. As such, the
    basic form of human ties in transaction is therefore corrupted and not a fair
    trade among us anymore.

    This calculation was intended to bring back the fair trade for the sake of
    just in mankind. Copper will be used as the basic reference, and solely on its
    fair value. In monetary term, USD will be used as unit only because of it
    recognition worldwide.

    Base value = material cost
    Face value = denomination value
    Base value copper = usd 3.71/lb = USD 0.008/g
    Base value nickel = usd 8.15/lb = USD 0.018/g

    US dime face value USD 0.10
    Dime composition copper 91.67% nickel 8.33%
    Dime weight = 2.268g
    Dime copper’s weight 2.268g x 0.9167 = 2.079g
    Dime nickel’s weight 2.268g x 0.0833 = 0.189g
    Dime copper’s base value = 2.079g x USD 0.008/g = USD 0.017
    Dime nickel’s base value = 0.189g x USD 0.018/g = USD 0.003
    Dime base value = USD 0.02 ( only 20% or one-fifth from its face value usd 0.10)

    With a dime, based on its face value you can purchase its base metals 5 times more
    than the dime contents ie copper at 2.079g x 5 = 10.395g and nickel at 0.189g x
    5 = 0.945g.
    10.395g copper x USD 0.008/g = USD 0.083
    0.945g nickel x USD 0.018/g = USD 0.017
    Total 10.395g copper 0.945g nickel = USD 0.10, base value

    Dime 2.079g copper 0.189g nickel = USD 0.10, face value

    Total 10.395g copper 0.945g nickel = Dime 2.079g copper 0.189g nickel. Not a
    fair trade! Solution?

    As such, the dime will be pegged to its face value as unit only, and copper and
    nickel price will be adjusted accordingly. (or else fixed the metal base price
    and issue new coinage with fair value weightage/content)
    Base value copper new = USD 0.04/g
    Base value nickel new = USD 0.09/g

    Further to this, all good will be priced accordingly
    Old silver price USD 1.25/g to new silver price USD 6.25/g
    Old gold price USD 56.25/g to new gold price USD 281.25/g
    Old rice price USD 0.75/kg to new rice price USD 3.75/kg

    With the standardisation of all goods, based on dime unit which transpire on
    copper value, gold and silver can now be used as money again against the fiat
    money. Any price fluctuation for any goods now will solely be on its actual
    fair trade with only stock manipulation rather than purely fiat money price
    manipulation based on credit without stock. Stock manipulation is more easily
    apprehended and therefore more risky for the manipulator, other than the
    lifespan/storage/delivery limitation of the goods. Hopefully in the future, the
    rich with whole lot of gold and silver, realised the agony of safekeeping their
    wealth/fort, will not recreate the same fiat system again, but acknowledge the
    real joy of giving with real goods and not fiat IOU paper.

    With the gold and silver standard back again, foreign exchange will now be
    back to fair barter trade again. Gold and silver as the commonly accepted
    exchange commodities will only exchange hand when the nations traded do not
    have common commodities of interest to barter.

    In monetary unit, the gold and silver exchange rate when in foreign countries
    will depends on the other countries base metal money.

    In Canada, Canadian ten cents CAD 0.10 is 1.75g
    92% steel x 1.75g x USD 0.003/g = USD 0.005
    5.5% copper x 1.75g x USD 0.008/g = USD 0.001
    2.5% nickel plating x 1.75g x USD 0.018/g = USD 0.001
    Therefore, Canadian ten cents CAD 0.10 base value = USD 0.007

    Thus, the exchange rate US dime/Canadian ten cents = USD 0.02/USD 0.007 = 2.8
    ( because the dime base value was based on old price, the same applies to the
    Canadian ten cents. Both must be on the same, either old or new will still give
    2.8 )

    New silver price USD 6.25/g = CAD 6.25×2.8/g = CAD 17.5/g

    In Autralia, Autralian ten cents AUD 0.10 is 5.65g
    75% copper x 5.65g x USD 0.008/g = USD 0.034
    25% nickel x 5.65g x USD 0.018/g = USD 0.025
    Therefore, Autralian ten cents AUD 0.10 base value = USD 0.059

    Thus, the exchange rate US dime/Autralian ten cents = USD 0.02/USD 0.059 = 0.3

    New silver price USD 6.25/g = AUD 6.25×0.3/g = AUD 1.88/g

    Good Day!

  2. The “Mega-churches” are following the commandment of the founder of the Christian “church”, the Roman Empire. They seek to control the people, nothing more, nothing less. And if they make a good buck in the process, so much the better. And remember: “Soylent Green…it’s people!”.

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