Leap Of Faith Essay, Research Paper
Leap of Faith (1992).
Leap of faith was a movie about a traveling con man turned preacher Reverend Jonas Nightingale who knew how to convince a crowd to fill a donation plate. He decided to set up camp in Rustwater, Kansas, a small farming town hard-hit by drought, where one of his tour vans had broken down; he seized the opportunity to put on his show as a means of making a quick profit from people desperate for hope. With the help of well-researched assistants, who had combed the town for information, and a manager who fed him cues via a radio transmitter, he easily convinced people of his spiritual powers. Then, one night, Jonas Nightingale witnessed an actual miracle of a crippled boy that ended up walking, because of his strong faith and belief in God. Jonas now found himself in a situation where he knew he could no longer con these people and ended up leaving the town.
Leap of faith proves how much people believe and have faith in God, and would do just about anything to receive his blessing. It also shows how some people claiming to be preachers/televangelists would use people s weaknesses to their own advantage of making a profit.
Religious broadcasting has been an integral part of American culture since the very beginning of radio/television. Over the decades, religious broadcasts have periodically generated considerable controversy as they have used the airwaves to transmit unorthodox spiritual messages. Toward the end of the 1980s, religious broadcasters appeared to self-destruct in the wake of financial and sexual scandals that rocked several major ministries. The electronic church ministry of popular television evangelists such as Jimmy Swaggert has been widely criticized on a number of counts. Swaggert was immortalized by his tearful televised confession but some time later, he was stopped while driving in his rented Jaguar with yet another lady of the evening . TV evangelists support themselves by appealing to their audiences for donations just as Jonas did in the movie. Premiums in the form of inexpensive jewelry, books, pamphlets, t-shirts, cassettes or printed copies of sermons are offered to those who call or write. Respondents are then solicited further by direct-mail techniques. Mainline church leaders claim that such commercializing cheapens Christianity.
One of the latest heirs to the multi-million dollar televangelist throne is, perhaps, America s most celebrated faith healer of the 1990s, Benny Hinn. To his credit, Hinn has seemingly avoided the temptations of stardom that have brought earlier televangelists to ruin. And despite his wild popularity, there is evidence that Hinn is on a quest for creditability—-one that he himself repeatedly frustrates by his perceived inconsistencies, his baffling theology and flamboyant crusade performances have drawn sharp attacks from evangelical leaders. While many responsible, credible evangelical ministries use the airwaves with the best of motives, in the minds of scandal-weary, cynical audiences they are still the ringmasters of electronic religion predators.
The question with evangelist teachings is how an individual is to know who is really honest and who is not; as the painful memories of past and present scandals still burn alive in peoples minds. The best way out is to seek salvation and faith within oneself rather than handing it over on a silver platter to so-called evangelists.