Thursday, November 3, 2016

SHAME ON YOU!




(I originally had a picture here of six prosperity preachers and their annual incomes with some harsh criticisms and accusations thrown in at the end.  Somehow, the picture disappeared and the post doesn't make much sense if you can't see the photo.  I'll see if I can find it again.  This picture is a substitute.  Meanwhile, it should be understood that the idea was to paint a bunch of people as heretics and liars.  I *think* it was Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer and one other that I can't remember.)

SHAME!  I really hate this.  Please READ what I have to say.  I'm sorry it's long.  I'm just SO sick of this sort of thing.  THINK, people.  Think for yourselves.  READ your Bibles yourselves, not just the parts that your favorite preacher reads to you.  READ THE WHOLE THING.



We don't know these people or their lives, what they do or think, what their callings are or their relationship to God.  YOU DO NOT KNOW.  No matter what you think you know, YOU DON'T KNOW.  I've followed some and not others, I made a point to listen to them (and others) purposely to "catch them" in their great misdeeds, and you know what?  I never heard any of them say anything heretical when heard in context, except for maybe T.D. Jakes, who said some things I found questionable, but I'd give him another listen before I judged him so harshly.  

I'm the first to say I don't agree with all they say, but perhaps their calling is far different from mine.  I certainly don't have the heavy burden of that kind of responsibility to carry around, for which I am thankful.  They glorify Jesus and name him ONLY as  Savior and Lord, every time, without fail. Can we not disagree with the point by point stuff?   Maybe, just maybe there are things we don't understand.  If I were studying to be a bus driver everything I would learn from a culinary school would be foolishness to me.  Just go back to your driver's training and leave the cooks alone.  Let them do what they are here to do.

Where is that mercy and grace that we're always talking about?  Their FRUIT is what we are to judge them by, not their money, not the press, not video snippets, not what a bunch of do-nothing armchair critics have to say, not what other preachers have to say.  I'm FAR more suspect of a preacher who would use his very pulpit to point fingers and call out others by name.  They feign mercy to outsiders and crucify their own over matters of money.

I can tell you three of them (probably all six) give things away all the time.  Their charitable outreach is enormous.  Partner gifts without donations are common among them.  Some of them don't ask for money but to say pray about it, and then if you feel led to give they will receive it, but not to let it diminish your tithes and offerings to your own churches.  I have HEARD them.  I sat through hours of sermons just to be sure I wasn't getting things out of context or missing anything.  (Jakes is an exception.  I heard him say some things I didn't think were good, but, as I said,  I didn't listen long enough.  His topics were not something I like to listen to, and I lost interest.  I'm immediately suspicious of his affiliations with Oprah Winfrey, maybe he can help her, but we shall see.)

I did the research because it's so distasteful to me to constantly be hearing "Christians" trying to destroy other people because they disagree with means or methods or some point of doctrine.  WE did not call them.  WE are not the Holy Spirit, and WE will not be responsible before God for their lives, only for what WE do.  Even if they are "the tares" God will sort them.  He said let them alone til HE deals with them.

Money just pisses people off, and if God blesses a minister we assume he's on the take.  We don't know ANYTHING.  We have NO RIGHT to persecute them for it.  We don't know the details, no matter what we think we know.  They made most of their personal money by way of personal accomplishments-- hard work and time, such as book sales and businesses-- just like any other successful American. They sell their own books and their guest speakers books and teaching series and the like. Should they not?  That's a legitimate question.

Wouldn't you want to keep what you worked for?  Maybe you should not be allowed to, and you should never live a lifestyle any greater than the local homeless, by the standards you have set for others.  No?  Then at what point does it become "too much?"  It changes with your situation, and is unstable as water.  Of course, we don't value the "work" they do, since they are "just" preachers, so in our hearts we don't believe they should prosper.  I guess they should do all they do with no money.  Have them make bricks with no straw?

Now, if YOU start making money, suddenly your sliding scale of what "wealth" is changes.   Sickening.  It's so poorly thought out.  It's NOT scriptural.  It's always a bad interpretation of scripture that takes people to the place where they condemn other people that they don't know, based on suppositions and hearsay,  with wrongly interpreted laws to govern them that they would NEVER apply to any other people group, and to which they would never hold themselves accountable.

If you *really* believe what you say you'd better not prosper!  Never mind these guys in the picture... YOU!  Don't seek a raise or that better job. No investments, new cars, better clothes or upgrades for you.  That would make YOU a hypocrite. STOP TRYING TO PROSPER NOW before you become a heretic!

Your local missionary takes offerings and donations to stay in one village or town.  They send newsletters and ask for pledges so that they can do their work and not have the burden of living and travel expenses.  They take on work for income and give of their time and effort, but they ask others for MONEY.  They operate with MONEY.  If they grow into a mission that feeds the hungry, has an orphanage or expands to new villages, even cities, they will need MORE MONEY.  Is that bad, too?  Why not?  Then, how big IS too big?  Joel Osteen big?  How much is too much?  T.D. Jakes much? Your sliding scale, the abundance vs. opulence scale, is something YOU have created in your mind, that YOU have judged to be true based only on relative, temporary things.  Gods is not so limited.  

But it goes on from there... 

Some of these guys gave the proceeds from their personal gain back into their ministries.  These guys (and gals-- most of them) do more giving and humanitarian work than most organizations that were created for that purpose.  They sent plane loads and bus loads and truck loads of relief to disaster areas, foreign and domestic. They stay on after the rest leave, past the photo ops and news coverage.  Did you know about that?  No, because their detractors don't want to address the good things they do. They reach MILLIONS.  M.I.L.L.I.O.N.S. of people for Jesus in every continent on Earth.  Did you?  

Did you know that four of these six (along with a few others) were investigated by a senate committee?  One senator just couldn't stand these prosperous preachers and he got it in his craw to bring them down.  Though CLEARLY a hostile adversary, relentlessly trying to catch them in some extortion, theft or misappropriations, he was unable to produce ANYTHING.  Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa headed up a senate finance committee investigation into whether they had mishandled funds.  The probe found no wrongdoing.  Their records were crystal clear, and their ministries were above reproach.  Why is that never a part of your argument?

Don't just get angry at me and have the old knee jerk reactions you've learned.  THINK about what I'm saying.  Do your own research.  It's just as available to see as this negative stuff.  Why are you so excited to find all that negative stuff and overlook the rest?  That's a question you should answer for yourself.

I did my homework and I can tell you that I may not agree on every point of doctrine, I may not like their messages much, maybe their mannerisms bother me, and sometimes that's the case, but they are NOT "selling the gospel" any more than Zondervan or CDB, or any other pastor who is in full time ministry.  Full time ministry SHOULD be successful.  Maybe they simply seek God.   Hebrews is clear,  "God is a Rewarder to those who seek him out."  Maybe you simply don't approve of certain levels of success and how God chooses to reward His own people.  I call that attitude judgmental, and all that is, is manifest symptoms of jealousy and greed on your part.

Why don't Christians chose ENEMIES to target?  There are some REAL bad guys out there infiltrating, they don't even PRETEND at the Truth of the Bible-- but everybody wants on the ol' "televangelist/rich guy" bandwagon.  Benny Hinn acts weird.  Joyce Meyer's clothes are too fancy.  Creflo Dollar's car is too nice.  As often as I hear the name of Joel Osteen being trashed and thrown about,  you'd think he was the stand-in for the Devil himself. They name his name more often than that of the enemy of God and man.  Ridiculous.  Jealousy and greed have infiltrated the church and they don't see it for what it is as long as the "other guy" is there to indict.  YOU, Christian, are creating strife.  And where there is strife there is every evil work.  Shame!

On a final note:  If, having done your research, you still don't like these folks, is it good for the Kingdom and pleasing to God to publicly behave in this manner?  We are to be known by the love we have for one another.  If the answer to that last question is yes, because you feel compelled to expose them to the world, first, where are your scriptural instructions to do that?  Second, are you absolutely certain that you are correct in your assessment?  You had better be.  You had better be.

2 comments:

Retta said...

I Timothy 5:17, 18:

"The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.

"For the Scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,' and 'The worker deserves his wages.' "

I have always wondered how people gage the earnings of pastors. I don't see anywhere in the Bible that says they can't become wealthy & prosperous. Regardless of what I've said to defend them though, it's always met with statements like "they are greedy if they have that much money" ... isn't that professing to know their hearts? As far as I know, only ONE knows the hearts of man & that's God, Himself.

GREAT post, my friend!!! I need to go back to reading. You always manage to fire me back up & for that I am thankful :)

Representative said...

Aw. =] Fanks. <3
People who shout about other, wealthier people, whether in money or heart or mind or spirit, are usually the ones who are greedy and jealous. They just don't see it. The aggravating part is that they won't listen at all. They like their anger and envy. They call it humility and holiness. THAT's getting things pretty messed up.