Posts Tagged ‘bishop john francis’

Ten of my favorite blog posts on Real Christianity

Posted: October 31, 2012 in Christian Living, Evangelism, False Doctrine, False Teachers
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I cannot believe that I have been blogging for over five years beginning with How Important is Doctrine and as of today, have written 619 posts, this being my 620th. Every now and then, I go back to my old posts and re-read some of them, if not for anything else to re-encourage myself. So out of these 600+posts, below are ten of my favorite posts in no particular order and my reasons why. Just click on the titles to read the posts

1. The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching – OK, I am going to cheat on the first one as it was my first series (11 parts in total) called The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching starting with A Form of godliness. I saw so much foolishness in churches and on Christian TV and I knew that a lot of people were beginning to question a lot of things but were afraid to say anything. I just said what they were thinking. So I wrote the series and gave my reasons for doing it as I know a lot of people would think that I was just a heresy hunter. If you want to read the full series, just follow the links at the bottom of the posts

2. To tithe or not to tithe – Tithing was one of those things that kept me in bondage early on in my days and I know keeps many in bondage today. Many preachers use old testament scriptures like Malachi 3:8-12 to manipulate people into giving money and making them feel that they have robbed God if they don’t give their 10%.  That was until I searched the scriptures for myself only to find that the new testament principle of giving is proportional giving and giving out of what you have and not out of what you don’t have thus getting yourself into debt. It is also about a person giving what THEY purpose in their heart (2 Cor 9:7) . I wrote this to make it plain why Christians are not under any obligation to tithe anymore under the new covenant.

3. How do you know that you are saved (that you are a Christian)? – I really enjoyed writing this blog because it became very apparent to me that many people thought that they were Christians but they were actually self-deceived. This troubled me so I wanted to have some kind of ‘test’ whereby a person could measure up themselves to. Luckily the books of 1 and 2 John has such a test and has been one of my most popular posts that is found when people do searches, which tells me that a lot of people really do want to know if they are a Christian or not.

4. So you think that you’re a Christian. Power testimonies from former false converts – This ties in to number 3. When I heard these testimonies, I knew there were countless amount of people in this situation and I wanted to share it because I wanted others to see if they could see themselves in the mirror and if so, do something about it. The worse deception ever is to think that you are a Christian when, in fact, you are not

5. Spending Quality Time with God – This post always comes to haunt me because I know that this is something that I am constantly guilty of not doing but it is a constant reminder of where our priorities should be  

6. When your children don’t want to follow God – This post was and still is a very personal one to me. It hurts me to know that my children (so far) have decided to not follow Christ. I can only pray that God orchestrates the events in their life to point them to him.

7. Every Man’s Battle - I wrote this because it is a taboo subject amongst Christian men but can be a deadly poison if not dealt with….especially when it comes to the summer.

8. The Money Challenge - If anything, this is a shame on most of us as Christians about what motivates us to share the  gospel with others. I never want to be  Christian that as the gospel group, Commissioned, say in one of their songs that we “tend to find security in our salvation. We should constantly think about the lost”

9. Should we ever question what the man of God says – This post goes hand in hand with the post of Touch not the Lord’s anointed. Say goodbye to the untouchable preachers. The reason why I started this whole blogging stuff is because I questioned everything that I had previously heard and decided to go back to the basics of the gospel. You know, things like the cross, salvation, sin, repentance, faith, discipleship and NOT breakthroughs, blessings and divine favour which seems to be so prevalent in churches these days.

10. Christ is the only way, now you choose - I have posted many videos over the years but I love this video because it puts everything in perspective about what Christ has done and how he has provided a way out for those who have repented and put their trust in him

Have you ever been a sucker and put your name on the mailing list of some of these so called preachers who are just after your money after which yo then get diluded with various mail asking for money or maybe your pastor just begs for it every Sunday in the guise of , if you give, you will be blessed. Courtesy of the FBI aka Preacher Bureau of Investigations, I challenge you to send this letter or even better, give it to them direct and see if they practice what they preach. I think I know what the response will be.

Dear Mr. Pastor Dude

Please do not send me another letter requesting that I support your ministries efforts around the world. I am not sure if you are aware of it or not but there exist ministry opportunities right here in (insert your City here) that are being ignored while you fly over us in order to get to (insert the City here).
Since you believe in sowing and reaping so much then why not exercise your supernatural faith by sowing a seed into my light bill or mortgage?  My mortgage is £989, and according to your preaching on sowing, if you pay it then you (Mr. Preacher Dude) can expect a 100 fold blessing from God.

Since you preach giving then I think it will be an awesome display of your faith in what you’re preaching if you take this opportunity and pay my mortgage today! Don’t sit there in fear Mr. Pastor Dude, God is waiting on you to apply your faith with this seed offering as you witness the power of sowing a seed.

And if you sow this seed today into my mortgage I will also add you to my list of preachers who have signed up to be a covenant partner with my Child Support Payments.

Covenant preachers will receive a special message from me each month highlighting how my bills are getting paid because of their faith. So today Mr. Pastor Dude, I am asking you to do your part and make sure the storehouse is full as according to Malachi 3:10 which ask that we bring all of the tithes into the storehouse.

Try God Mr. Pastor and see if he will open up a window and pour you out a blessing because you have sowed your seed in fertile ground, which just happens to be my bills.

Yours Truly

(Your Name)

Pastor Albert Odulele admits sex offences

Posted: March 6, 2011 in False Doctrine, False Teachers
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For those of you who dont know Pastor Albert Odulele is a very well know pastor here in the UK of Glory House

Below is a video on Channel 4 news explaining when Pastor Albert Odulele was charged

Well he has now admitted the offences. As per Channel 4:

Dr Albert Odulele, who runs Glory House International, admitted indecently assaulting a boy aged 14 and sexually assaulting a 21-year-old man – both former members of his congregation.

He entered the guilty pleas at Bexley Magistrates’ Court in south east London and was committed for sentencing at Woolwich Crown Court on a date yet to be set.

Magistrates granted him conditional bail at the brief hearing.

Odulele, who describes himself as a ‘teacher, preacher and evangelical preacher’, is a major figure in the world of evangelical Christianity.

His east London-based church says it has a congregation of 3,000.

There are also branches of Glory House International in Leeds, Birmingham, Nigeria and Brazil.

Worldwide following

And Odulele has attracted many more followers around the world through appearances at international evangelic conferences, on religious TV programmes and videos on YouTube.

His website describes him as an author, speaker and preacher, and boasts of his ‘charismatic style, prophetic delivery and prolific expression of truth’.

Channel 4 News understands the alleged assaults took place in 2003 and 2004.

The court heard how Odulele, 47, initially denied any wrongdoing after he was arrested last summer by the Metropolitan Police’s Major Child Abuse Investigation Unit.

But he later admitted to police that he had been ‘battling’ with his sexuality for years. He denied the offences were pre-planned.

Glory House International has been a registered charity for 18 years and has a turnover of £2 million a year.

I for one am glad that this has come to light because I believe that so many times, some of us hold leaders up high in an unhealthy way and never question what the the ‘man of God’ says. I have heard some of his messages and it is normally your typical doctrine revolving around prosperity, wealth transfer, self fulfillment, blessings, dominion now and everything else relating to the “What God has for you” doctrine.

Many Christians will be throwing out the ‘judge not’ line and will want to pretend that this stuff doesnt happen in Christendom but as Jesus said, you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32). Adversely, that means that if you dont know the truth (or chose not to) , then you will be kept in bondage. Hopefully this will help people to have their eyes opened and say goodbye to the untouchable preachers.

As my friend says, my prayers are with his victims and not his reputation.

UPDATE: Pastor Albert Odulele has been jailed for fondling a teenage boy. To read more, click here

In the UK, unfortunately there are many African churches and ‘Pastors’ who subscribe to the health and wealth prosperity message. It is also popular in Africa itself because it preys on the poor and the desperate who will do anything to get out of their situation, even if that means sowing a seed to get them out of debt but in reality puts them more into debt. 

Please listen to this video as it is a refreshing breathe of fresh air to hear something that is not only an African problem but a church problem

Related Posts:

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 5 – The Prosperity Gospel

Money cometh and the anointing money ritual

John Piper – Why I abominate the prosperity gospel

It is amazing to me how few Christians know their Bible regarding the topic of public rebuke and censure of brethren in sin—and especially that of ministers in error. After all, there are copious Scriptures on the topic throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The apostle Paul in particular detailed this topic within his epistles. Christians read these passages everyday… so why have not more believers contemplated their significance and application within the modern Church?

In fact, surprisingly, many will often will attack those who are attempting to apply these Scriptures to a specific situation which certainly calls for it. Labeling them as “critics” or “spreaders of strife,” such people will misapply the principles of public censure and rebuke against to those who are righteous… in DEFENSE of the ones in error. This is an obviously bizarre twist of both Scripture and circumstances, I know… but I have seen it done time and time again. Such twisted behavior is especially prevalent whenever a “popular” or charismatic minister is the topic of the public rebuke—and/or when people’s own agendas and “hero worship” cloud their good sense and proper judgment.

On the other hand, it is not surprising at all that believers are “in the dark on this topic” because many ministers teach doctrines convenient to their own agendas, and prefer to avoid teaching believers truths that might be applied against them. Never mind the fact that the honest pastor would actually have fewer problems in his/her church if they properly taught on the subject of Church discipline and public accountability of all believers—including preachers. Never mind the fact that such teaching is critical for the spiritual growth of believers—and inoculation of the church against both heresy and the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” who are often prowling for new victims.

No, many preachers (including pastors) are more inclined to shy away from such obvious doctrines of Scripture. Rather, many ministers often prefer to favor unbalanced teaching of biblical topics (particularly “tolerance,” “love,” “forgiveness,” and “submission to authority”) in an effort to avoid having people confront them on various issues ad nauseam. In fact, many preachers go to great lengths to avoid passages in the Bible that discuss confrontation of sin and public accountability.

In truth, many ministers are tired of people “messing with them” and “rebuking” them left and right (which often happens to us preachers when ignorant people want to make “big deals” over very small doctrinal differences). So these defensive ministers bend their teaching in such a way as to squash such “disrespect” and “disorder” in the Church (i.e. to keep the weird people off their backs). So it is understandable how some ministers can in self-interest find themselves stressing only “one side of the coin” within their teaching. However, this tendency is itself in GREAT error, and even leaves the ministers more vulnerable to temptations—as they can too-often end up using such distorted teaching to cover their own sins.

ALL ministers should be applying a balanced approach to these biblical topics in their teaching— one which quells error to the extremes in either direction (i.e. errant over-rebuke on one extreme, and the errant ignoring of obvious sin on the other). Otherwise they will likely eventually fail the self-imposed standard of integrity that the apostle Paul espoused as an example of all HONEST men and women of God in ministry:

But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit]. (1 Corinthians 9:27, AMP)

Paul not only taught that brethren in sin should be held accountable by the Church, he also maintained that same standard for ministers—including himself. Thus, Paul also had a self-imposed reason to strive for purity and holiness within both his own heart and the conduct of his own daily living: To avoid public embarrassment and reproach for being found a hypocrite.

Now, let me emphatically note that NO Christian or minister is immune to the temptations offered daily by a world in gross darkness (and the devil who controls it). However, a holy reverence for God—coupled with the knowledge that one will be held accountable by the Body of Christ once their sins are discovered—can have a POWERFUL deterrent effect that can keep the believer (and minister) on the “straight and narrow path” rather than giving in to the enemy’s solicitation:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14, NIV) Further, once a minister (or believer) is held accountable for such sins by the Body of Christ, it begins a process that will hopefully lead to their FULL REPENTANCE—and their subsequent restoration to pure living and profitable ministry.

Related Posts:

False Teachers: Naming names, is that biblical or loving?

Justin Peters ‘Wrong To Name Names on Revelation TV’

A Call for Discernment – Justin Peters

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 1

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 2

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 3

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 4

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 5

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 6

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part  7

Naming names: Is it biblical? – Part 8 – THE CONCLUSION

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers (Interlude) – My reason for doing this

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers  – The Conclusion

“I’m always amazed by the people who, despite God’s clear and emphatic commands through the Apostle Paul, say things like, “Ah, we need to forget about the differences in our doctrines, and we just need to love one another.” as though those two are consistent goals. Surely they haven’t come to realize that the only way we can love right is to live right, and the only way we can live right is to believe right.”

- Mark Kielar

The Judgment of Deception – Are You Deceived?

Posted: August 31, 2010 in False Doctrine, False Teachers
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Courtesy of  Ask the Chaplain

2 Peter 2:1,”… but there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

What do you think it means to deny the Lord? Many would say that any person or group that doesn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God would be denying the Lord and that would be true enough. False religions like Islam and Hinduism would fall into this category. Most orthodox Christians would include the pseudo Christian cults like Jehovah’s Witness’, Mormons, and others of that ilk. And they would be correct but are these false teachers Peter is referring to here?

If you look closely you will see that Peter says these false teachers will be “among you”. Since he was writing to a group of born again, Spirit filled believers, we must conclude that he is not talking about the obvious false religions or even pseudo Christian cults. The false teachers he is speaking of will be found within the Body of Christ.

Now how do you suppose that false teachers will get away with denying the Lord among a group of believers?

The word denying as it is used here is the Greek word arneomai {ar-neh’-om-ahee}. It is the same word used in Titus 1:16, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him….” Used in these contexts, the word means to contradict.

So a teacher that contradicts the Lord is in fact denying Him. He may say that Jesus is Lord. He may speak right sounding words claiming to be born again and he may have the biggest Bible you’ve ever seen but if his works or teaching contradicts the words of Jesus he is denying Him.

For example, when Benny Hinn claimed in 1999 that Jesus would physically appear at one of his upcoming crusades, he was contradicting the specific words of the Lord Jesus.

Math 24:23 -26
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

By making the claim that Jesus would physically appear at one of his crusades Hinn contradicted (denied) the words of the Lord and proved himself to be a false prophet and false teacher according to 2 Peter 2:1.

The so called principle of seed faith giving was first popularized by Oral Roberts almost 50 years ago. It proved to be so profitable to him that he essentially based his entire ministry on it. As with any other profitable venture others soon followed. Today it is used by virtually every “Faith” preacher, the majority of Christian television networks, and almost all TV preachers in general. It has even found its way into many mainstream and denominational churches.

How does seed faith giving work. It is loosely based (very loosely as we will see) on the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. Using the illustration of sowing seed, people are instructed that if they will give money to the church, the ministry, the TV network, the man of God, etc, God will multiply it back to them 30, 60, or 100 times more than they gave. In fact now days, about all you ever hear about is the 100 fold return. The 30 and 60 fold returns have pretty much been dropped altogether.

That’s a pretty good deal wouldn’t you say? Give God $1 and get back $100. Give God $100 and get back $10,000. Give God $10,000 and get back a cool million. And not only that, but you can also sow money and get back other things. Things like salvation for relatives, healing for incurable diseases, and deliverance from various demonic influences! That’s right; all you have to do is send your seed (meaning money) to the man of God!

Is this really what the parable of the sower is all about? What do you think? Let’s examine this important parable.

Luke 8:4-8 NASB
When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus explains the parable

Luke 8:11 NASB
Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.

Now right here anybody with even a minimal level of reading comprehension should be able to see that this parable has nothing to do with money. The seed is the word of God. Even a brand new baby Christian should be able to look at this and say “I don’t think these fellows are teaching this correctly”

Let’s continue with Jesus’ explanation

Luke 8:12-15 NASB
Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

This parable is about what happens when the word of God is sown or revealed in the heart of a person. It may be the most important parable Jesus taught. Why do I say that? Because Jesus said this:

Mark 4:13
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

Jesus is saying that if you don’t understand this parable you won’t understand any of the parables he taught. This is a foundational teaching!

By misapplying the parable of the sower, these false teachers do great damage to God’s people. First, by falsely claiming that God works like some kind of cosmic slot machine, but the real damage is in the fact that believers are robbed of the true meaning of this teaching.

The parable of the sower is at work every time God’s Word is revealed to you. In fact it is at work right now in many of you who are reading this.

I know that many of you will read this and say “I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that my favorite preacher would preach a false message” You’ll reject what I’m saying. You’ll actually be rejecting the words of Jesus.

The devil has come already to steal this word from you.

Some of you will hear what I say and receive it gladly. “Glory to God” you’ll say, “preach it brother…. Hallelujah” But you won’t take the time to really meditate on this word. You won’t really apply it.

And then a testing will come, a test to see if you really believe, trust in, rely on, and adhere to what you claim to believe. Testing is because of the word sown in your heart. You’ll be challenged. God Himself will allow that challenge, that test.

Will you pass the test? Or will you revert back to your traditional thinking?

And of course some of you will hear and believe but you won’t give this word the proper place in your life. You’ll think about it for a while. You’ll decide that it’s right but then you’ll get on with your life. You’ll get busy with your job, your family, your daily responsibilities and it will recede further and further into the recesses of your heart until it has no real value to you.

A lot of people think that today’s “Prosperity” teaching only affects those in the ‘Word-Faith’ movement. But it’s effects are felt far more widely than that. Jesus said, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” and we find that this insidious teaching has infected large sections of the body of Christ in all kinds of ways. -Especially in America. One of the main reasons for this is because it has aligned itself so successfully with CHRISTIAN TELEVISION.

The fact is, Christian TV can be costly, so it helps to have lots of money. And the “Prosperity” teaching is a proven money-maker for preachers. It really gets people giving! And so these kinds of preachers thrive on television. But it sure is a sick kind of “Christianity” that is presented. And totally unscriptural, as we shall see.

The Prosperity gospel basically teaches that not only does Jesus want to take away your sins and heal your body, but He also wants you to be prosperous and even “rich”. -Not just ‘SPIRITUALLY’ rich, but actually blessed with all kinds of possessions, cars and houses, etc. Because, of course, any kind of poverty and suffering is a “curse”, and we know that Jesus came to set us free from the ‘curse’.

Now of course there is some truth in this. If there wasn’t, then this false teaching would never get off the ground.

But the Bible makes it very clear that Jesus’ followers can expect to SHARE IN HIS SUFFERINGS (Rom 8:17, Lk 14:27, etc). The Scriptures also speak again and again of Jesus’ affinity with the POOR and His opposition to those who are rich. In fact, the sheer weight of Scriptures on this subject is staggering. It is amazing to me that the Prosperity teachers can get away with the things that they say. Doesn’t anybody read their Bible any more?

The fact is, these people can find only ONE verse that mentions “Prosperity” in the whole New Testament (-and it is of dubious help, as we shall see). And there are dozens and dozens of verses in opposition! But which one do they choose to quote again and again? Here it is in the King James version (-which is the only translation that helps them in any way): “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3 John 2). Now, it is interesting to note what this word “prosper” really means in this verse. Renowned Greek scholar W.E. Vine says that it simply speaks of “the prosperity of physical and spiritual health.” So it’s not about MONEY at all!

And thus we find that in all the later translations, this meaning is made clear. For example, the NIV translation says: “I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 2). Isn’t that interesting?

As I said, this is one of the ONLY VERSES that these Prosperity teachers quote in the entire New Testament. If they are honest, they will admit that most of the rest of the NT is squarely AGAINST THEM.

What I would encourage anyone to do, who wants to research this subject, is to get a Concordance and look up EVERY VERSE in the New Testament that contains these words: (1) Rich or Riches, (2) Money, (3) Poor, (4) Mammon (5) Possessions, (6) Treasure, (7) Sell or Sold, etc.

You will be absolutely amazed at how strong the NT Scriptures are on this subject. I did this exact search years ago, and was astonished at what I found.

When you look up the word ‘Rich’ you find Scriptures such as this: “Woe unto you that are rich! For you have received your consolation” (Lk 6:24) and “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Lk 18:24-25, NIV) and “People who want to GET RICH fall into temptation and a trap” (1 Tim 6:9) and “You rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you” (Ja 5:1). There are many more along similar lines. Go and look them up, and you will see!

We find that when Jesus was preaching kingdom principles he was very strong in this area. When the ‘Rich young man’ came to him, He told him: “SELL your possessions and give to the POOR, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mt 19:21, NIV). He also told his own disciples to “SELL your possessions and give to the POOR” (Lk 12:33).

In my recent article on “Tithing” we discussed the whole issue of ‘Giving’ in the New Testament. The fact is, there is no “law” telling Christians to give 10%. In fact, what the NT makes clear is that EVERYTHING we have literally belongs to God. Many people claim that “All I have is God’s” but they do not act like it! In the New Testament it is clear that it was EXPECTED for Christians to sell any spare possessions, land or houses, to give to their needy brothers and sisters – especially widows and orphans. They certainly weren’t giving their money to wealthy preachers on TV! And neither were they giving it to erect a new church building on the corner! (-Such things did not exist). They were giving from their HEART – and while some of it went to support the ministry, MOST of it clearly went to feed and clothe the POOR. (See Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:34-37).

Some people today want to go back to the Old Testament and use people like Solomon and Abraham as examples of RICH people to emulate. But what they fail to realize is that the Old Testament is a ‘type’ or a “SHADOW” of the New. (Col 2:16, Heb 10:1). The Old was a “physical” covenant, with a “physical” temple and rituals, etc. The “blessings” of God were also mostly PHYSICAL and material. But today we have a “spiritual” covenant – a “heart-based” covenant, with mostly SPIRITUAL blessings. That is why we should not seek Old Testament wealth today. -We live under a different covenant.

It is very obvious from the New Testament that there is NO SUCH THING as a ‘Prosperity’ gospel. In fact, it is the exact OPPOSITE. Jesus said, “Blessed are you who are POOR, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Lk 6:20). And James declared: “Has not God chosen those who are POOR in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (Ja 2:5, NIV). Jesus clearly stated that you “CANNOT serve God and Mammon” (Mt 6:24) and yet it is obvious that many Christians today are trying to serve BOTH. The ‘Prosperity’ teaching clearly encourages this. It is a very dangerous and harmful fallacy.

So does God want to bless His children or not? Of course He does! But He wants to bless us so that we can GIVE MORE AWAY – NOT so that we can hoard more luxuries to ourselves. How can it be right for some Christians to be wealthy and rolling in money and possessions, while just down the street there are Christians who barely have enough to eat? And what about our needy brothers and sisters overseas?

There is a prophecy about the coming move of God that one thing it will be built on is “Extravagant giving to the poor.” I truly believe this. I am convinced that it is something that is very high on God’s agenda.

“SEED-FAITH” GIVING

It is important that I make a few comments about the ‘Seed-Faith’ teaching here, because so many TV preachers use it to pressure people to give to their ministry. What it amounts to is a “Give-to-Get” doctrine that blatantly twists Scripture.

When a preacher says something like, “Sow a seed of $100 into my ministry today, and God will give you back 100-fold,” then they are operating out of this “Seed-Faith” doctrine. What they are really saying is, “Give to get”. The motivation for giving is not so much to bless that ministry, but to GET SOMETHING BACK from God. The motivation is all twisted. Do they really expect God to “bless” something so wrong-hearted?

But the TV preachers love this doctrine, because it enables them to gather huge sums of money. And surprisingly, studies have shown that it is the poor and needy who give most often to these TV preachers. Why is this? -Because these people often feel that only a financial “miracle” can save them. It is not uncommon for desperate Christians to give and give, well beyond their means, in the hope that God will rescue them. Some will even lose their homes. And the elderly and the sick often give sacrificially in the hope of some kind of improvement.

Many preachers are fully aware of the kind of people they are exploiting. How sick it all is. As Jesus said in Mt 23:14, ?Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses.? I shudder to think of the fate that awaits some of these preachers on Judgement Day.

Much of the reasoning behind this “Seed-Faith” teaching is a distortion of ‘Sowing and Reaping’, which is a biblical concept. But when it is distorted by preachers and sold as a means of “Giving to get” then it has gone well beyond the Scriptures. The purity of simply “giving from the heart” is lost and replaced with selfish motives. People give because the preacher “guarantees” they will get a ‘big return’ on their investment! The motivation is so wrong that it is no wonder that this doctrine has produced disastrous fruit in the church. It is one of the sickest things around.

So next time you hear a preacher using this kind of manipulation to get you to give him $100, make sure you rebuke the deception in the name of Jesus, and turn the television off!

We would all be far better off giving to the poor.

I have already expressed my disdain for a lot of so-called Christian TV these days especially when it comes to the Praise Tel Beg Fleece-A-Thons. I have talked especialy how biblical numerology is abused to manipulate the minds. I for one will continue to talk about these things that a lot of Christians want to sweep underneath the carpet at the expense of the poor and the desperate. These things are nothing more than a spiritual pyramid scheme where those at the bottom never really benefit but those at the top do. They add ‘testimonies’ on their website to show you that these principles ‘work’. They promote things such as prayer shawls and prosperity shawls but funny enough, these things never seem to work when they need money themselves, so who do they come to? The same gullible christians. J Lee Grady who also wrote the article, Say Goodbye to the Untouchable Preachers, exposes some of the gimmicks that are used.

Let’s stop the hypnotism, the guilt manipulation and the high-pressure gimmicks. It’s time to reclaim our lost credibility.

Normally I’d rather go to the dentist for a root canal than watch a telethon. But while channel surfing a few nights ago I tuned into PBS and discovered that Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of Soul, was hosting a fundraiser for the network. Seated at a piano, she was offering a 5-CD collection of classic rhythm and blues hits in exchange for a donation to public television.

It was simple. There were no gimmicks, no games and no strings attached in Aretha’s offer. If you gave the suggested gift, she explained, PBS would mail you a big slice of American pop culture—including songs by Gladys Knight and the Pips, Smokey Robinson, the Four Tops, Al Green and Aretha herself, singing her classic “Respect.”

My respect for PBS was still intact when the telethon ended, thanks to this low-key, no-pressure approach to fundraising. I can’t say that for some Christian networks, which have shamelessly extorted money from viewers over the years using heavy-handed guilt manipulation, hypnotic control and bizarre Scripture-twisting.

During the PBS telethon I wondered why Christian networks couldn’t simply offer music, books or other premiums instead of resorting to the typical arm-twisting and tear-jerking that we’ve come to expect. We need an overhaul in this area. Somebody needs to lead the way in pioneering a new style of on-air fundraising that doesn’t treat people like brainless zombies.

Here are five of my least favorite fundraising tactics. I wish all of them could be banned from the airwaves.

Gimmick #1: The magic Bible verse. You know the drill. The evangelist quotes Psalm 37:37 and then announces that if you will send $37.37 (“No more, no less!”) God will unleash all the blessings of King David upon you. (Hint: The phones seem to ring more frequently when the number seven is included in the Bible reference.)

Gimmick #2: The urgent, time-is-running-out plea. Before the preacher asks you to reach for your wallet, dramatic music is piped in. Then “Reverend Cheatem” talks about how the crippled man waited by the pool of Siloam, hoping that the angel would trouble the waters so he could be healed. “God is troubling the waters right now, my dear friend,” the preacher says with his eyes closed. “Go to the phones now, before it is too late. Only those who give in this holy, anointed moment will receive a supernatural blessing in return.”

Gimmick #3: The memorialized gift. One popular evangelist announced on-air that she needed thousands of dollars to build a prayer room. She promised that those who funded this noble effort would receive recognition with special brass nameplates that would be mounted on the wall of the facility. The implication was that people could buy prayer coverage, sort of like a spiritual insurance policy. (I’m not surprised—since this woman offered her loyal followers the status of “spiritual son” or “spiritual daughter” if they paid a $1,000 annual fee.)

Gimmick #4: The debt-breaking anointing. One preacher who specializes in telethons has raised millions by telling audiences that they are just one donation away from eliminating all red ink. All they have to do is give a sacrificial gift (usually four figures) to the TV network in the next few minutes. If they do this, God will wipe out their debts, no questions asked. No lifestyle changes necessary. (This technique was especially popular before the mortgage crisis.)

See how many times you hear the buzz word ‘anointing’ in the video below

Gimmick #5: The Day of Atonement offering. This particularly odd strategy has been popular in the last couple of years, especially among gullible Christians who believe God blesses anything and everything that has the word “Israel” attached to it. The preacher announces that if you write a check to their network, and wave it in the air before you mail it (preferably while wearing a Jewish prayer shawl), God will forgive your sins, restore your health, bring back your wayward children, provide angelic protection and bless you with more than a dozen other special favors.

I still don’t know what is more outrageous: That programmers allow such insanity on Christian television, or that gullible Christians fall for it year after year. Hopefully, emerging leaders in the religious broadcasting industry will restore our lost credibility by insisting on integrity, authenticity and good taste.