Definition: Fraud, 1. a) deceit; trickery; cheating b) Law intentional deception to cause a person to give up property or some lawful right. 2. Something said or done to deceive; trick; artifice. 3. a person who deceives or is not what he pretends to be; impostor; cheat.
If the practices of the Jim Joneses, the Jim Bakers, the Oral Roberts, the Robert Tiltons, the many other TV evangelists, radio preachers, as well as the Pope and all his Priests, were practiced outside the protection of religious freedom, they would all end up in prison. Yet they are all engaged in fraud against the innocent uninformed individual which seeks religious freedom to worship God with good intent and desire for righteousness.
It is no secret that these practices would be illegal outside of the protection of the laws of religious freedom. Where is the legal protection for the innocent, uniformed, honest, gullible, sincere, person desirous of worshipping his maker with the knowledge of the truth, without rationalization, modification, interpretation, and deception. The laws do exist, but are used to protect the perpetrators instead of the victims.
There are many examples of these fraudulent practices used to deceive the innocent, not the least of which is the Catholic teaching of "Transubstantiation", the deception purporting that the communion wine and the communion wafer are in fact the actual flesh and blood of Jesus, the man born of the virgin Mary. Another falsehood of this teaching, is that, communion somehow provides salvation to the participant, without which one can't be saved.
Another example, is the deception purporting that the man, Jesus was, and is, in fact God, in any part or form or substance, when all the words of Jesus himself denies this premise.
Another obvious deception, is the concept of "heaven", promoted by most all of Christianity. This concept depicts heaven to be the physical place of eternal abode of the righteous. This concept is entirely based on just one chapter in the Bible, Revelation 21.
This chapter is available for all to read and examine for themselves to see if what they have been taught about "heaven" is in fact what the words of Revelation chapter 21 actually says.
Note: most deceivers ignore verses 9 and 10 which states, "And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven (sky) from God," Revelation 21:9-10
It states emphatically, "that great city, the holy Jerusalem, is the bride, the Lamb's wife." It does not even infer this city is called "heaven", the place of eternal rest.
Another critical deception presented by many in Christianity is the mode of "Baptism". Many in Christianity teach various modes of baptism are acceptable and are supported by the scriptures. The truth is as follows, "Know ye not, that so many of us were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him in baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:" Romans 6:3-5
History reveals that all churches, including the Catholic Church, at one time, practiced Baptism by burial of immersion in water, and this continued until the Catholic Church replaced the Biblical directions with the act of sprinkling with water. Others eventually followed suit.
The truth is, sprinkling does not in any way adequately replace "burial in baptism", leaving the sprinkling recipients totally deceived and "not baptized at all". While teaching the sprinkling recipients, baptism is necessary for salvation, they are left believing they have fulfilled the requirement, when in fact they have been deceived and were never baptized at all, according to the Bible. This is a diabolic fraud in a most subtle method.
If that isn't enough, the baptism formula used by most in Christianity is not the formula commanded by the apostles. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38
Peter's instruction is the fulfillment of the commandment of Jesus Christ when he said, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Matthew 28:19 The correct name of the Father is Jesus (John 5:43) and the correct name of the Son is Jesus, (Matthew 1:21) and the Holy Ghost is the Father and his name is Jesus. There is only one name to be baptized by. (Acts 4:12) That name is Jesus!
Most of Christianity refuses to use the name of Jesus in the ceremonial act of baptism, thus nullifying the actual act of the baptism itself, leaving the participant deceived into thinking he/she was actually baptized, when they only experienced getting wet.
Too many would-be Christians are believing they were correctly baptized, when they were never baptized at all, according to the Holy Bible.
Where is the legal protection for these innocent, uninformed, misguided, sincere, would-be Christians? Who is going to protect them from their own unscrupulous leaders who are deceived themselves, or are acting from malicious intent?