I just saw a film called, "The Last Exorcism" a couple of weeks ago, and the film has a main protagonist named Reverend Cotton Marcus. Now, even though he's performed exorcisms since he was like 10 yrs old, and he's been studying the bible since he was a kid. Going onto become a reverend that preaches in a church. Guess what? he's an athiest. surprise surprise surprise. Yep, he admits early on in the film that he lies to people about what he really thinks about religion and god, just so he can get paid to support his family. What I would like to ask you all is this.
One, how many priest, or other religious figures might be like Cotton Marcus? Where they themselves don't think there is a god, but they'll lie to you and say they believe in him to get paid? Take in mind, when I say lie to you, I mean if the preacher, priest, pope or whatever religious figures tell you that they believe in the lord and his teachings and don't believe it themselves. That's what i mean. However, if some of you want to be smart alecks and say well technically speaking...no..no..no..if a preacher or whatever religious figures truly does believe in the lord, then he's not lying. Not that im saying there is one, as anyone is free to believe what they want. all im saying is if a person believes what they are telling you, then they're not lying. Hence, its only if the person doesn't believe in what they themselves are saying is a lie is what i mean.
Secondly, how surprised would you be if you found out a preacher that preaches at a church is an athiest? What would you say to him if you could? Would you tell him off? Or would you just not care?
Depends on leared they are. Ours says he has no clue. It's why we get together. To figure it out. All religions, too. Someone don't have the answer, we look it up. Even the ateists.
yeah, but what if the guy you were seeing flat out didn't believe in god at all, and lied to your face about not being sure to get you to keep coming to his sermons. not that im accusing the guy of that, as i do apologize if it came off that way. however, im just speaking hypothetically here with you.
Okay, I'm on meds. I just got the lie part. No lies allowed. It's a church. No matter what religion, there's no lying allowed. Ours flat out says, haven't got a clue. Has arguements for, and against. Agnostic. The reason Ateists even attend. They're Humanists. Baseed on Unity.
This Cotton sounds learned to a point, to know exocisms, but it also goes against the religious aspect they were possesssed in the first place. Kind of need god to knock out demons, now don't you?
Bottom line, ni lies. That goes against the teachings. What else would be suspect about his sermons? Everything.
oh its okay. i understand. yeah, the cotton character is used to create a sense of irony in the movie, as he tries to expose exorcisms as some sort of religious scam. making a documentary showing all the tricks he does on his last exorcism like the electric hand buzzing ring. the cross fog machine and the shaking bed trick. As cotton says early on that people who are possessed only think they are, but they're not. however on his last exorcism that he documents in the movie...it turns out this one may turn out to be more than he ever expected.
referring to businessbailout - The issue of whether priests, preachers and the pope actually 'believe' in god is an old story. The point being that the more you know, or the higher you get in the thinking, the more god becomes an idea and less a real thing, keeping the masses believing in the god also becomes proportionally more important, especially if the basic message behind the myth is actually thought to be valid.
hmm..that's an interesting theory. i never thought of it that way. although i don't know if i agree with everything you said about the more intelligent a person is, that god becomes less real. as i met some really smart people that still believe in god, in my life time. however, you do make a good point and an interesting analogy.
no, not all. I just know. long story
so your saying that there's no way any religious figure would ever be like the character in "last exorcism" then?
Ok, I'll read it.
First off, priest don't have familes, or aren't supposed to marry.
Secondly and atheist should NOT become a priest. If he was in a good traditional seminary, the rector would know by his actions, and would not pass. Priets are about serving and being a representive of the apostles and Jesus. So being a priest was a Big error.
As far as getting paid, maybe priest today, but traditionally priests did not get an elaborate salary. St. John Vianney lived on 1 or 2 potatoes a day..... But priests may start out good as believers and get mislead. Such is the case of many in our church, mislead and influenced by satan or whatever you call it.
I have seen priests at Novus Ordo masses (thes masses I do not concur, Tradtional Latin Mass is the true Mass) I have seen them and been disgusted, I think I really wanted to say something but sorta was passive agressive and muttered something. I did ask one priest a question , I forget, soemthing about what happened to the Latin Mass I thinnk.
If you go to the Tridentine latin mass, you will have very little need to "tell them off" for they are very hold, good priests following God. you will be able to tell by their humility and kindness. They go out of thier way to say Mass and drive 2 hours or more for the faithful.
I met Bishop Williamson who took 2 hours after flying from Argentina to NY to talk with my friend. Bishop Williamson is the most intellignet, intellctually stimualting, kind, amazing bishop I've ever known. read my hub on an amazing and logical man
second to last paragrah typo:
they are very holy (not hold)
seek Bishop Williamson on youtube
well to be fair, the guy wasn't a priest. he was a reverend preacher. aren't they allowed to be married? i thought they were but if im wrong, then i'll stand corrected then.
Oh, in that case yes they are allowed to be married. Only priests should be performing exorcisms though.
Another thought--I know you'll ask
Why should only priests perform exorcisms?
Well to my knowledge Christ cast out demons and the Catholic Church is from Christ and the Apostles, it was/is the 1st Christian Church.
from my knowledge, The Catholic way of performing exorcism is to use Latin. I heard (I am NOT and expert! If I was ...well I'm not) that priests/people did exorcism in English and it didn't work. they said the devil was not fooled. this was very impressive to me as I know the traditional latin Mass is the true mass. Refer to my hub Faith and Defese of the Church
I believe what I preach. To not is to be a hypocrite and a selfish fake. If you don't practice what you preach you must be a master deceiver to not have your congregation peer right through you.
No, people get paid well to do this all the time. They are called Actors.
In all serious, do you actually believe anyone can practice everything they preach? Highly unlikely, don't you think?
? That question actually puzzles me. As I've said before if you don't practice what you preach you are a hypocrite. No one has the right to preach to another anything that you are not already executing yourself. I loathe hypocrisy. Especially from a religious leader if you are leading such a double life you are bringing great troubles upon you and your congregation.
My point is such that if you look at the bible, for example, there is no way you can practice everything contained within that book. If you don't preach everything in the bible, you are being selective on what you do preach. Both are rather hypocritical, yes?
True. Many faiths are selective and actually frown upon it's membership even considering investigating into those "forbidden" areas of the Bible. The entire Bible is here for all of us to study and to test not just the pastor. We've all been given discernment and the ability to test.
It's a big no no if you are not practicing the precepts and principles of holy writ especially if you are impressing them upon others.
I don't think you really answered the question here. You alluded to it, but did not bring it to closure.
Would you agree that no one can preach the bible and practice it in its entirety?
No, I would not agree as long as it is understood that there are some practices, such as the original Law of Moses, that were fulfilled and are no longer necessary. This would encompass all levels of animal sacrifice. All those practices were to teach a principle and precept to a people of the time and for the people in the future.
Is it possible, yes.
Like for example, an eye for an eye is no longer valid? God changed his mind and decided we shouldn't propagate violence? Uh-huh.
And, what principles and precepts would those be, pray tell?
No, I really don't think it possible and I think you know that. So, before I start quoting biblical scripture that you and I both know you would never practice, perhaps you would care to change your story?
An atheist has no business, nor the right, to be preaching in a church. Sure I'd tell him off.
Wow! What an interesting ordeal.
I'm sure that some people will say that God works in mysterious ways, and that he just used Cotton as a catalyst to wort off evil and crap like that.
I on the underhand feel vulnerable by your story. It just showed me how easy it is to depend on other people to justify my feelings, instead of depending on my own self as to why I believe in Jesus or God in the first place. The story of this guy only made me reflect on my love for all humanity, and I feel sorrow for this guy.
It must have been terrible for this man to have to lived most of his life shackled to a job he hated, and a slave to money. I couldn't do it. Noway.
I love what I do for a living. More over, the work I do do I totally believe in. If I died tomorrow, I would be pleased with my carbon imprint left on this world. Can he say that? I doubt it.
That is sad.
And, one more thing...... You do know you answered your own question. Apparently this story of yours, tells us that there are some priests and preachers, which DON'T believe in what they say. I would like to add that I think that is more common than you think. Not because they are educated, I'm educated, but because of what they feel in their heart.
We should consider two things in searching the answer of the question, situation and honesty. There are two kinds of people in the world, honest and dishonest. Priests should be treated as humans, and then an honest priest should believe what he says. But if you bring situation at this point then the subject will take a new dimension. An honest man can turn to a dishonest man if situation demands.
Take the example of a priest who is apparently honest, but one day he was told by Vatican authorities to quit Christianity and join Hinduism. This is hypothetical, I'm trying to illustrate with an example, you know. The priest is an orthodox man who can not quit his religion and therefore he tried to contact Vatican authorities to save his Christianity. Then he was told, ok you can remain a Christian but you've to quit preaching. He agreed. But he started preaching again but not in public. He is quite clear to his conscience that what he is doing is no wrong. He did commit no wrong, higher authorities misunderstood him and banned him.
Now if he preaches you should always obey the church what do you say, he is dishonest because he doesn't do what he says? Actually he believes what he says but situation is against him. So he turned what we say dishonest.
Situation is the most important factor here, what I'm trying to say is except absolutely honest people like Christ himself all others are either situation specific honest or fully dishonest like underworld dons. I see no wrong in situation specific honesty. What is important here that you should be clear to your conscience (of course if you’re a rational man, irrational man’s conscience would tell him otherwise). We treat Jesus as God because of his absolute honesty.
oh I m sure they do my friend. Just like all politicians believe deeply in everything they say.
how are you buddy?
um of course not, do you?
our imperfections make us say whatever we want
Consider the recent history of the catholic church and ask yourself - how could a priest: who believes in God, the Devil and eternal Damnation, commit crimes against children?
These men cannot believe in God.
You must also bear in mind that - for every priest that has committed these heinous crimes - another ten priests (along with bishops and cardinals - it goes all the way to the top) have conspired to to cover them up.
How can these men justify their actions before their maker?
Well to be fair, I don't know if it's right to say ALL priests are like that, as I'm sure there's a few good ones too. However, you do raise an interesting point. I sometimes wonder myself how a nun can get kicked out of a convent just for falling in love with a man; while priests that molest little boys just get transferred somewhere else. the logic behind that has always baffled me to say the least.
Some do, some don't. The real question is: how much of what they are taught is true?
very good point. you do bring up a valid point indeed, as even most historians will tell you that the bible has been rewritten various times in our history, so one has to wonder how much of a difference the new version is versus the original that was written...
Doubt and crises of faith are a normal part of a religious life, so even a "true believer" would sometimes experience that, including the clergy.
Do all priests and preachers believe in what they say?
Are you Including the ones that have 'allegedly' sexually molestered children?
Sorry to answer a Q with a Q
Don't forget adultry. They seem to dig that, too.
Wow, i didn't think of that. I guess you can include them too as well as the ones involved in adultery. like devlin said too.
I was inspired by your exorcism review. I just posted my own, though it's not a review....
I realize that all preachers and religious figures are human, I realize that at any given moment they could mark mistake, I also believe that there are those that do not really believe in what they preach or study. I have been are around religious figure long enough to know this. Just like I said they are human and they have to answer to a higher authority for the wrongs that they commit. I stop putting my faith in men and religious figures years ago because I realize that we all have fallen short and some on a daily basis continue to fall short. The Bible says all have sin. There is only one exception and that is Jesus the Christ. I look to him and His Word. Yes, some preachers are liars, thieves, child molesters, etc. I only trust them as they follow God according the Holy Bible. I do pray for them and forgive them if they offend me in anyway because I'm told to love my enemies and those that use me. If my Pastor told me that he was an atheist it wouldn't bother me at all. I would pray wit him, for him and for all who listen to him.Secondly. I would tell him that he would have to do what God would want him to do and that is obey his commandments. Then if he said no way I would politely ask him to consider stepping down. Then I would pray that God would send someone else who would be true to the cause. It all about having a relationship with God, trusting him, believing in his Son and keep His commandments, One must keep God commandments because he loves God this is God standard of love. He says through His son if you love me keep my commandments. When Pastor deliberately act outside of God character they are saying God I love money, myself, my desires etc more than you. He is also saying that I don't trust you God. The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God. These men are in great danger because when they reject God commands they also push away His protection. They are doom for destruction. They put themselves into the enemies hand. He has come to steal and to kill.
wow, that's an amazingly insightful answer. although, i have a feeling some hubbers might try to debate what you said. however, i think you probably put up possibly one the best answers I could've hoped for on here. thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
I have to say I'd feel safer as a christian, if the preacher were an ateist. If he's learned, he's actually telling what is in print. Not his own interpretation. What it actually means. He didn't go to a siminary to be told what it means. He actually read it, deciphered it, and pesents it to you. Like you actually have a little common sense to figure it out for yourself. In other words, he wouldn't be programing you, like others do. Again, safer. You'd actually become learned. Not just flock following someone else's interpretation.
I also agree with business bailout. I trust only the preachers that are following God according to the holy bible. I am well aware that there are some false preachers, and true preachers, and not all of them believe in what they say.
And, how do YOU tell the difference between which Preachers are telling the truth or lying?
Hi Cagsil, actually I answered your question in my post above. The difference is when a preacher words are in line with the scriptures in the holy bible. Have a great day Cagsil.
That doesn't mean they are telling the truth. Even a good con-artist who has learned the religion can pull that off. So, again, how would you know?
cagsil, you may have time to repeat the same question over and over, but I will not participate in repeating the same answers. I know your games. Take care!
So you wouldn't know. Yet, YOU cannot admit it. There is no game, as you say. You're just unwilling to admit when you don't know something. How nice of you.
so it's feasible that someone that knows the scriptures well (some of the atheists that post seem to) could preach biblically? as long as they don't admit they don't really believe, you'd be none the wiser?
From the Pope down, it's a job nothing more or less, it's the career they chose. The church is a corporation and like all corporations it is out for itself and all about power and money.
Fear is their main sales tool, fear of ever lasting damnation if you don't subscribe.
Or in some othe religions Death if you don't agree with us. Power pure and simple.
I suppose you could say that belief in ones product makes you a better salesman but I don't think it's essential. But religious leaders of all faiths have been lying to the people for centuries and they are very good at it.
Religion is a tool of power. It doesn't matter if the person using it believes it or not.
They are using the presuppositions already programmed into people, since their indoctrination from birth.
So there are, apparently, preachers who do nothing but cater to the presuppositions, already planted earlier, to gain power and control.
Any learned person knows that religion is absurd, nonsensical, foolish, childish, etc., yet all learned powerful people pretend to believe to sway gullible people to their bidding.
My friend said that her pastor even admitted to her, in private, that God was illogical.
I knew an atheist priest once. As I already knew, studying religion deeply can make you realize it is all nonsense and that is what happened to him.
He remained a priest and "lied" because he felt he was helping people. Not for a paycheck, but because he felt he could still be a positive force in people's lives. He said he tried to avoid the "god" stuff and concentrate on being nice, and so on.
I lost track of him. Probably dead by now; he was quite a bit older than I was. Nice person.
Wow, that's a sad story of hypocrisy. I'm sure he feels better now...
Perhaps so. But he felt that the people, lacking his education and likely lacking his intelligence also, woukd continue to believe. His leaving the Church would not help them; by staying, he could actually help people, not witn religion per se, but it gave him a place of influence.
My bet is that it is not uncommon.
On the face of it you could say that priests are like congressmen or MP's campaigning for a party or organization, promoting a particular way of thought and recruiting people to that way of life. They stand as the local representative for a belief system so floored and diminished by the acts of despots and fanatics that it is now regarded more as a flaw in society than a force for good. But priests, on the ground, amongst their congregation are, in my experience, good people who just want to integrate into the community and spread the basic message of mutual good to one another and being 'nice'. They are human beings and despite the power of faith and doctrine I find it hard to believe that they take the bible at its word or lay awake at night talking to a bearded and omnipotent deity. In these times of change and women priests etc, i think it more likely that they are fighting the good fight for what they individually hold true and dear, and that the church is rapidly becoming the sum of all it's parts and not the black and white monster of yore. Do they believe what they preach? My answer to that is; listen to the sermon and not the eulogy ... measure the man upon that. Meet them outside of the robed social celibacy of a church service and then you'll find out if they're a pawn of the Vatican or a forward thinking individual who is trying to adapt the message of the church to become more relevant in a changing world.
I've read accounts of ministers/priests/pastors that stopped believing, but kept up the act because of fear. There's plenty of ex-church leaders that have written about their deconversion on the net to read about. Search for ex-christian. Many say they were deconverted from reading the bible thorougly
Any Priest, Preacher, Rev, Cardinal or even the Pope, who has literally walked in the footsteps of the Doctrine they believe as a part of their religion, already knows there is no god.
They just perpetuate the hoax and misconstrued scripture of religion, because of the feared perception of chaos if humankind is not made to answer to a higher authority.
Walking in doctrine of any religion(mystic) will lead one to a self-realization that the doctrines are false and unattainable by human beings.
One good thing above all else I believe that is good about exorcisms is "if this is the only proof of God that you can see if you've never seen a miracle, would be to witness a real exorcism--if they exist and seeing the devil's prescence you'd know there is a God also.
To see an exorcism, in all of its horror enfold before you--you could not deny or say it was made up......the kind of behavior in The Last Exorcism cannot be made up.
But read "Begone Satan" at tanbooks.com
I have to reread it
It has an account of a real one in Iowa. very good
playing basketball with a psychotic mind..!
"The exorcist" is now showing. I have seen a few filmed exorcisms, they remind me of those other frauds that talk in tongues.
Pure projection. Totally neurotic claptrap!
You ought to bear in mind that this movie is 'complete fiction.' The script writers obviously based this character on Cotton Mathis, the New England Puritan responsible for the Salem Witchcraft trials in New England. I don't consider this movie to be a realistic guide by which priests and ministers ought to be judged. Moreover, in cases of actual possession, there would be no question of an effective casting out of the entity by an irrelegious person. The pseudo-priest wouldn't last a minute in such an environment. Moreover, the entity would not even respond to the exhortations of the godless minister. If this subject matter really interests you, I would suggest that you watch the Showtime production entitled "Possession,' or "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" which are really based on two authentic cases of diabolical possession in modern times. I might also recommend a few good books on this subject: "Hostage of the Devil," by Malachi Martin, "The Possession of Anneliese Michele,' and "The Devil rocked her Cradle." All are based on authentic cases.
well no offense, as you do make some valid points. nor am i going to dispute what you said. however, the fact that the "last exorcism" is completely fake is rather obvious. in fact, anyone of us can go to imdb and find that out for ourselves. of course, i know the story is completely fictional. however, that's not what the forum is about. no, the forum is about whether or not you believe there are other religious figures out there like Cotton Marcus, and if so, then what would you do about it. that's what the point of this forum is.
people used to believe that epileptic seizures were demonic possession. And church goers are still uncomfortable about mental illness - may believe depression is a supernatural spirit that needs deliverance (exorcism)
actually intimatevolution, I think you have me confused with goldenpath, as he's the only one that mentioned not getting paid on this forum. sorry about that.
Just to add two more cents. I wonder why preachers and the like are separated from others. There are several comments about child molestation, adultry, lying, and everything else they do. Yup, pastors lie, cheat, and basically sin. But why is that worse than when a non-minster sins? I personally dislike the pedistool that preachers are put on. I approach my position like I hope most people approach their own jobs. I do the best I can and hope when I mess up the problem is small and easily fixed.
And yes, I do believe in God. If I knew a fellow minister did not believe in God, I would truly struggle with what to say. It seems pretty pointless to be in this vocation and not believe in God, but everyone gets to rationalize their own life at the end, whatever one believes in.
The righteousness they put themselves above others is why it's worse. It's based on the supposed understanding of the word of "god". Yet, proves they are no different than the average person. So much for the pretentious self-proclaimed "righteousness".
You have a belief in a "god", sure, but it is not 100% and can never be 100% because you are human. Thus, you cannot erase all doubt from existing. Therefore, your belief is supported by "hope" and not faith.
I'm sure you would, but then again, how would you tell the difference.
Pointless? A usurped position of power and influence over others is not pointless. It's very much the point. Not to mention, wealth supported by greedy lies to others. Remember, all the things gifted to these people through their practice.
I agree that many preachers tend to "lord" their power over others. But I don't think it is any more limited to this position than most others. Look to doctors and lawyers and professors. There are many people in the world who relish in rubbing other people's faces in being "less" than they are. I hope that there are more people that do not fit this than there are that do.
That is what faith is. Truth is having knowledge that you are right, faith is believe that you are right without any proof. The way you use "hope" is my definition of faith. I cannot prove to you that God exists, but I know from how I view the world, that God does indeed exist and continues to help us everyday.
Very good point, I was thinking of the idea of living a lie being pointless, but I see your side, and yes it would be the point. There are many "gifts" for a preacher, and to take these under false pretenses would be like stealing. Good point.
some of them live a very wealthy lifestyle - check out bishop Brian Tamaki from destiny church. that man has an enormous ego and plenty of materialistic trappings thanks to the millions his church donates. Same with Hillsong
Hillsong needs an armoured truck each week to pick up the takings from the weekend services
wow, i didn't realize some religious leaders were pulling in that kind of money. i wonder how much the pope makes then if that's the case.
Like all many others professions in life - we all have our different and personal reasons for following one particular career. It might be because we're passionate about the profession we've chosen for altruistic reasons and also that we deeply love that subject, rather than materialistic ones where our sole drive and motivation is derived by financial accumulation.
For example there are doctors who enter medicine not always because they want to help others directly, maybe they still want to help but indirectly through research to benefit the front-line serving doctors or it might be that some see the potential of a very lucrative career as a cosmetic surgeon. They are helping people in their own way but enhancing others looks because the latter are dissatisfied with what they look like.
In the case of clergy, there are many honest and vocationally driven God-fearing men and women but there also some in my opinion and experience who are only in it for the money. I heard a few stories in Africa where some Catholic priests and the odd bishop weren't serving their dioceses very well and only serving their own selfish agendas - womanising, drinking and living it up - distasteful to learn of that but it happens and I say no more and that's why in some way I've lost much respect for the Catholic church because of that and because of more recent criminal injustices against minors which have been swept under the carpet conveniently by the Vatican.
Will end here as it's not a subject I particularly enjoy discussing, but anyway thanks for posting the question.
I forgot to finish up: so some do genuinely believe in what they preach and some really don't give a damn and are only in it for the financial trappings (nice house and income, time to play golf etc or do other things but more insalubrious like practising their vices rather than practising what they preach).
wow, i have to say out of all the posts here, you've given the most insightful and rationalized opinion by far. I truly do appreciate you taking the time to comment in this forum; although it's like what...MONTHS after you said this. Anyways, I apologize it took me so long to read this, but I'm glad i did. your post was very insightful. thanks.
Yep! We have an old Angican preacher who is an atheist. No one cares or gives him any strife as he is looking after street kids. He openly says that he stopped believing twenty years ago, but he still does the work because he cares.
One of my favorite people.
Wow, he sounds like quite the guy Earnest. I can't say I agree with his methods of pretending to be something he's not, but I can definitely respect that he uses his position to help others. Something like that should always be commended if anything.
Of course there will be pastors and priests who do not believe. We are human, we can be hypocritical. We won't always "practice what we preach." Just as there will be "regular" people that are not believers, there will be pastors and priests who do not believe. Unfortunatly those who do hold such high postitions and don't believe have bought into the common misconception that "being Christian" just means you have good morals and take care of others.
It's also unfortunate because it is these people that non-believers will point to to "prove" that there is no God. And I'm sad to admit that in America, there's a lot of people to point to that call themselves Christian, but don't really believe
Well to er is human after all. I think the problem is that we've grown so cynical about things that's it's hard to embrace that there might be some things in our universe that we may or may not ever fully understand. That's why I always laugh whenever I meet a person that claims to know everything about everything, as that would be impossible. To know everything about everything, then one would have to know all the secrets of the universe as well. That's something that even some of today's scientists aren't a 100 percent sure about, as we make new discoveries all the time. Therefore, it's virtually impossible.
I get the impression but I have no proof that in some organised denominations the preacher is preaching the church organisation's party line without true conviction on a given topic. However he has invested his life in the job and would find himself in dire confrontation with the congregation and the corporate church if he spoke his true convictions. Resulting sanctions could be to find himself without a job.
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