Posts Tagged ‘money’

 

In this post, I wrote about my reservations about God TV and unfortunately it has come to light that Rory and Wendy Alec’s marriage maybe over because of Rory’s ‘moral failure’. Wendy Alec explained what happened in a statement on the channel and you can see a small portion of it in the video below.

Now matter what your views are on them, we have to keep these two in our prayers because at the end of the day, these are two human individuals (plus their families) who are going through a very difficult time and it cannot be easy especially not only being in the limelight but being in the Christian limelight. Especially for Wendy now who has to carry on. It is hard enough dealing with this in private and they need God’s strength. HOWEVER, there is an underlying problem which is the real issue with God TV. The article below was taken from Christianity Today and was written by David Robertson

rory-and-wendy-alecThe news that God TV co-founder Rory Alec has been suspended from his post as presenter and head of the organisation, because of ‘moral failure’ has come as a shock to some in the Christian world. Others have a resigned sense of ‘oh no, here we go again’, while still others are quick to point out that we are all sinners and we should pray for and extend the grace of God to Rory and Wendy. All of these reactions are understandable but I would like to suggest that there is a danger that we won’t see the wood for the trees. The problem here is not primarily the adultery of one man, or the schadenfreude that critics of God TV might delight in. The problem goes much deeper and is something that the Church in the West really needs to get hold of.

I am not surprised at all by Rory’s ‘indiscretion’ – nor by the continual account of Christian CEOs or celebrity mega pastors being caught with either their hand in the till or their bodies in another’s bed. Why? Because whenever I have watched God TV, what comes across to me is that it is primarily about money and power. And when you have those two at the centre it’s not long before the third part of that particular unholy trinity, sex, rears its ugly head. Despite the fact that there were some occasional good things on it, I had to stop watching God TV because I used to get so depressed and angry. I have spent a great deal of time helping people whose faith, though initially boosted and encouraged by some of what they saw, eventually was battered, bruised and severely damaged by the theology and practices espoused on much of God TV. Take the example of so called ‘Missions’ weeks. They were nothing of the sort. They were purely and entirely about raising money. Now I realise that Rory and Wendy would tell us that it was about reaching one billion souls. That was hyperbolic sales talk, confusing the possibility that God TV “could” be seen on several million TV sets, with the idea that they “would” and that then all would believe. The manipulation, sales talk and constant pleading for money “for the work of the kingdom” was nauseating.

And the power. I have yet to see a God TV programme which extolled the virtues of weakness. Everything was about strength and power. Power-dressed shiny happy people beamed out of our TV screens a picture of wealth, health and success. Continually we were assured that somewhere out there was someone called Marge who had just been healed of cancer, or Tom whose marriage was about to be restored, or Dave whose business had just been boosted because of the cheque he wrote. There was nothing about Bill who had just lost his job, Susan whose daughter had just died, or Tim who went bankrupt after he mortgaged his house in order to give money to God TV. I even watched complete charlatans like Todd Bentley kick a woman in the face because ‘the Holy Spirit told him to’ and then pronounce that he had raised several people from the dead – however he could not name them because of ‘patient confidentiality’! He too of course fell into the money, power and sex trap – before GodTV, ‘graciously restored’ him and gave him yet another platform for his aberrations. And yet I know churches in the UK who were so desperate to ‘catch the anointing’ that they bought into all of this guff. This kind of TV is of more use to the New Atheist movement than it is to the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

After speaking at CLAN (the largest charismatic conference in Scotland), I was interviewed by God TV. The producer told me that he loved the interview but that there was no way it would ever be broadcast. When I asked why, his answer revealed a great deal about God TV: “Wendy wouldn’t like it”. God TV was not about what God wanted, or what the Church needed. It was the Rory and Wendy show, and the show of all those tele-evangelists who were wealthy enough to buy into it. The language was always hyper spiritual, the onstage hysteria real, but behind the scenes there were the usual power games and struggles associated with secular corporations.

And therein lies the problem. The Church is not a corporation. Nor is it an entertainment or an advertising agency. Godliness is not a way to get wealthy. Or famous. Or to have your own ‘ministry’. The Church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth. Much of modern corporate Christianity has become pillarless and groundless. As a result it has also become brainless, banal and spiritually bankrupt. And it is certainly not harmless. I was visited this week by a friend who has just returned from six weeks real mission work among the poor in Africa. In some of these really poor countries, the world of corporate, commercialised Christianity, imported from the wealthy West, has taken root. There are mega pastors selling holy water for $1000, stealing money from the old, the sick and the poor, in order to pay for their mega mansions and luxury cars. The problem with God TV is not the moral failure of Rory’s adultery. It is the moral failure of associating the Good News of Jesus to the poor with the prosperity gospel and health and wealth blasphemy of Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn and Joyce Meyer.

When I write like this the objection immediately comes. Don’t be so harsh and hard. Why are you speaking against a brother and sister like this? How is that like Christ? Well – did not Jesus call the religious hypocrites of his day “white-washed tombs, twice dead”? Did not Paul tell the Galatian false teachers to go the whole way and emasculate themselves?! I have a genuine concern for Wendy – as I watched the cruelty of her live ‘revival alert’ which was much more like a Dr Phil confessional, I was so saddened for that betrayed woman. And angry with the people who continue to feed the illusion that she is the anointed one to save a billion souls. At best it is delusional, at worst it is a horrible blasphemy to have an American ‘prophetess’ screaming down the phone at her that the Lord told her directly that the endtime harvest was coming through Wendy. And it is oh so cruel. Far crueller than my words.

But some will say – “It has helped me…God spoke to me through it.” I don’t doubt that. Poison is always far more effective when coated in sugar.

Some will warn me “Don’t criticise the work of the Holy Spirit”. I totally agree. But is it not a false assumption to declare that everything that claims to be of the Spirit is of the Spirit? Is it not wrong to attribute the work of the Spirit to the delusions and manipulations of man? We are to test the spirits. And how do we test? If they glorify Christ, speak according to the Word of God and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.

Rory Alec in his statement says that we should not look at him, but look at Christ. But TV says “look at me”. This is not to say that TV cannot be used as a medium to proclaim the Gospel. There are Christian TV stations that do a good job. But it is a medium that it is very difficult to use. The Christian evangelist, preacher, TV personality must be someone whose aim is to point away from themselves and towards Jesus Christ – and not just when we have a ‘moral failure’. We exist to serve Christ and His Church. They do not exist to serve us. Like John the Baptist we declare, “He must increase, I must decrease”. Ironically even as I write this I am listening to a preacher on God TV tell us “no, no, no – he wants us to increase!”

The simple truth that we need to grasp is this: The six billion souls will be reached, not through the slick marketing, self-promoting, mega powerful corporations; nor through the hysterical delusions and manipulation of self-appointed ‘apostolic-prophetic’ ministries, but rather through hundreds of thousands of local churches humbly and lovingly proclaiming and living Christ in local communities, with the Word of God, by the Spirit of God, through the people of God. It’s basic Christianity!

If you are in your 30s or 40s and was into computer games (like myself), you will remember that one of the hottest games out there was Street Fighter II. What you probably didn’t know is that there was a Church Edition of the game. To see some of the best highlights, look at the video below. Enjoy

On a serious note, if you think I am mocking those who are being ‘slain in the spirit’, that’s because I don’t believe in it. To understand my views, click here

Over my 20+ years of being a Christian, I have seen many fad and phases that the christian go through. This can range from ‘the year of jubilee’ to the ‘prayer of Jabez’. One of the most recent things I have witnessed is how many people are ‘decreeing and declaring’. Even though this post is about decreeing and declaring, you will get two traditions for the price of one in this video. Just watch one example of how being slain in the spirit works and how she she suggests to them what she is going to do. But also listen to the decreeing and declaring.

0:45 Before the congregation gave, the heavens were locked but because they have given, she decrees and declares that they are now open

1:11 Like a Tsunami, she decrees and decalres that God is going to move from her right to the left and from the front to the back

1:19 As she moves across the stage, she decrees that they will be slain in the spirit and will pick up mantles in the realm of the spirit (whatever that means)

1:31 As she moves across the stage, she decrees and declares that economics and finances will be shifted

1:40 She decrees and declares that the wealth of the wicked will be released to the congregation

1:46 She decrees and declares that the winds of the spirit are beginning to blow into homes (whatever that means)

1:52 She decrees and declares that the sons and daughters will be birth into the kingdom by virtue of their praise from prisons and crackhouses

2:10 She decrees and declares (again) that a supernatural anointing will sweep from her right

2:52 She decrees and declares that (I have no idea what she said)

2:58 She decrees and declares a double portion of the Elijah anointing

3:28 She decrees and declares about ?????

3:35 She decrees and declares the spirit of Jabez falls upon the women

3:40 She decrees and declares both to will and to do of his good pleasure and SHE release angels to ministries and to houses (this is totally unscriptural. See my post on commanding angels)

4:01 She decrees and declares every invisible that is buried is now destroyed (que???)

4:07 She decrees and declares that they are now a trailblazer

4:24 She decrees and declares new territories

4:30 She decrees and declares that the kingdom of heaven comes with force and a supernatural anointing

5:32 She decrees and declares channels, doors and gates open

5:46 She decrees and declares a ‘shifting’

Phew!!! That’s a lot of decreeing and declaring. This practice is just another form of the Word of Faith doctrine of positive confession which basically teaches that our words have creative power in them and are a container for our faith. It also sometimes known as name it and claim it where people are name what they want and ‘claim it’.

So I did a bit of research to see where people are getting this from and it seems to spring from the three following scriptures.

1. You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you;, So light will shine on your ways. (Job 22:28)

This is the primary scripture that is used for decreeing and declaring. If you look at the context, Eliphaz’s ‘friend’ was basically stating that the reason why Job went through his suffering was because of his wickedness. Wayne D Turner correctly points out that:

“Many Christians quote scripture way out of context and think nothing of it. I have often heard people quote Job 22:28 as a promise for Believers…..It’s one of those name-it-and-claim-it verses that goes with the prosperity-giving message that is often taught by preachers and teachers trying to bolster the financial giving of their audience. In fact, this verse does say, in essence, “Declare it, and it will happen just as you claim it.” Here’s the catch to this verse: Eliphaz is the one who said it, and he was wrong about nearly everything; he lacked a knowledge of the nature of God. He and his friends were rebuked by God himself for their bad counsel in Job 42:7-9. (See verse 7 where it says “The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right). So…when Christians quote scripture out of context as they do this verse, one might very well come away with a very skewed impression of the nature of God.”

2. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, (Proverb 18:21)

This is another proof text that on the surface seems to suggest that we can ‘speak life’ into every situation so that we can create a positive reality. Thats why sometimes when a person confesses that they are sick, the next thing that you may have heard in another believers mouth is ‘Don’t confess that’ or ‘that’s not your portion’ as if to say that by just confessing that you are well makes you well and that you ignore the fact that you may well be sick even with the evidence of vomiting all over the floor. This scripture does NOT mean that our words create reality but that our words can have consequences.

3. As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations” in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Roman 4:17)

Again the scripture itself tells you who “gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did”. It is not us. It is God. Yet many people use this scripture to state that we can do the same thing. Our words do not create reality. God’s words do. Don’t believe me? Confess that you are a millionaire and I will bet that none of you will become one just by saying it alone. It has so infiltrated the church on a massive scale even to the point where little children have been taught to do it and ‘decreed and declared’ that we wont be broke a day in their life as can be seen in the video below. My guess is that someone who was in that congregation is broke today

So in summary, there is nowhere in scripture where Jesus’s 12 disciples taught his disciples to go around decreeing and declaring in the fashion that we see today. You dont see them doing it and you dont see Paul or any other follower in the new testament doing it. Just because everyone is doing it doesnt make it biblical.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect – Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 5) : Armor Bearers

AtServiceThis is one of those traditions which seems to be predominantly found in the black church. But first thing is first. What is an armor bearer in the bible? As per Got Questions:

In Scripture, an armor-bearer (also spelled armorbearer and armor bearer) was a servant who carried additional weapons for commanders. Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 16:12), Jonathan (1 Samuel 14:6-17), and Joab (2 Samuel 18:15) had armor-bearers/armorbearers. Armor-bearers were also responsible for killing enemies wounded by their masters. After enemy soldiers were wounded with javelins or arrows, armor-bearers finished the job with clubs or swords. After the time of David, armor-bearers are no longer mentioned, likely due to the fact that commanders began to fight from chariots (1 Kings 12:18;20:33).

Now as those from other churches may not know what an armor bearer is in today’s churches, let me give you a little summary. An armor bearer is basically like a preachers right hand man/woman and serves them basically, like a glorified personal assistant. Some of their duties include (and I am not making this up), carrying the pastors bible and books, getting their water to quench their thirst while they are preaching, wiping the sweat off their head with a towel while they are preaching, bring and preachers bodyguard. Picking up the pastor and driving him to church. You don’t believe me? My friends across the pond at Real Talk Radio made me aware of this armor bearer ‘training’ video

Notice that one of the first thing that he says is that it will be less scriptural (in fact I didn’t hear any in this clip)

According to the video, the armor bearer:

  • will watch out for his wife
  • will watch out for his kids
  • will have closer access than the average church member
  • represents the preacher (note…not Christ)
  • ‘covers’ the preachers
  • ‘softens the blow’ for those who want to have access to the pastor
  • should be willing to change their schedule, their lifestyle and their work so that they are available for their Pastor
  • should be willing to use up their work vacation days to serve the Pastor

He also stated that that he was there early washing his pastors car and it caused problems in his marriage. If that isn’t a red flag, then I don’t know what is.

In some churches they MUST be a tither and ‘must make the advancement of the leader the important goal’. That alone flies in the face of scripture and borders on idolatory. In John 3:30 John the Baptist stated that he must decrease and Christ must increase but many churches are looking to increase the profile of their pastor.

If this sounds unbiblical and unhealthy to you, that’s because it is. Maybe its just me but it sounds very close to a slave and not a servant. You do not see any disciples in the new testamant who had an armor bearer as it is today. The closest person I can see was Peter in the Garden Of Gethsamene when he drew his sword to protect Jesus and Jesus told him to put it away so there goes that theory

When James and John wanted to be Jesus’s right (and left) hand men in Mark 10:35-45, Jesus told them that “even the Son of Man came NOT to be served but to serve” but for some reason , they get it twisted and think that they are greater than Jesus and should be served by their armor bearer at every opportunity. This is NOT biblical and is a tradition of man.

So how did we get from the biblical definition of an armor bearer to what we have today? The answer is that they have equated the armor bearer in the old testament carrying the weapon to the armor bearer today carrying the sword (the bible). This is a classic example of eisegesis which is a common practice with many traditions . They have come up with a idea and read it INTO the scriptural text. Instead of using exegesis and getting their doctrine OUT of the text. Let the scripture speak for itself and not what you want it to say.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect – Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

This is one of those traditional practices that you normally see at events such as ‘healing’ crusades and ‘deliverance’ ministries when the preacher lays hands on a person and they ‘fall out’ or as it is commonly known ‘get slain in the spirit’. It has almost become the norm in many churches that a lot of Christians do not even question it’s biblical validity and assume that it is from God.  See the video below as an example.

Question: Why is it that the only place in scripture where people fell backwards due to the power of God was the wicked men who came to arrest Jesus?  Selah

I know that one of the first thing people will say to defend this (or their favorite pastor/bishop/preacher) is ‘I know what I felt when it happened to me’ but we must remember that feelings and emotions are not an indication of truth. Feelings can change and deceive. See my post Emotionalism and Experience versus Sound Doctrine. The bible even states that Satan presents himself as an angel of light and he will perform many lying wonders. So what is the standard that we should follow? It is the scriptures and the scriptures alone. That is the plumbline.

My good friend, Steve Campbell wrote a good article called ‘Slain in the Spirit or just “Slain” stupid’ and I thought I would share it with you below

Just a couple of links to remind us that once again we must use the scriptures as the final authority for our faith and not these so called “fake healers and prophe-liars”…..

I’ve been saying for a while especially when you study and see the comparisons in the New Age Movement, that this whole “slain in the spirit” thing is false and has no place in Christianity…
People in the Charismatic Movement have mis-interpreted the scripture in Acts 2 and especially from verse 11 where scripture shows that some and not all of the many who had gathered accused the disciples of being drunk. This has been interpreted by The Charismatics as meaning that when the Holy Spirit comes upon you he makes you act in a manner that to others seems strange and some have even labeled this behaviour as being “Drunk in the Spirit”… Once again this teaching has no biblical foundation as the purpose of having the Holy Spirit is one of comfort, a guide and teacher…Look at John 14:26…  The Holy Spirit does not make you roll around on the floor like some socially dysfunctional person in order to show that God is working in your life.. Ephesians 5:18 tells us to ” be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
The only characters that I’ve seen in scripture who were “slain by the spirit” and not “slain in the spirit” were Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5……

Look at what happens from verse 12 in Acts 2, as Peter explains to the crowd the events that were occurring and made reference to the Prophet Joel’s prophecy in Joel 2:28-32.
He clearly states that the disciples were not drunk… A few major things happened on the Day Of Pentecost … The disciples spoke in tongues which were the dialects of approximately 18 different nationalities… They professed the gospel of Jesus Christ.. Peter then preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ with authority and articulacy.
Acts 2:37 shows the hearers of Peter’s sermon were “cut to the heart” ESV.. This meant that were convicted by what Peter had preached.
It then goes on to say that they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, which was the Gospel and they fellowshipped together giving and sharing their possessions to as many who had a need.
So we can see from reading the whole text that the Day of Pentecost was the birth of the Christian Church as we know it, and that the gospel was preached and the lost were saved..
We cannot just simply highlight the gift of receiving The Holy Spirit without actually showing it’s purpose.. Which is to enable us to preach the Gospel in any surroundings, especially a difficult one with clarity and authority….

We do a great disservice to the working of the Holy Spirit when we act in manner that is confusing to the unbeliever and does not audibly proclaim the wonderful works of God, which is the Gift Of Salvation to all of mankind.

So……. Have a look at these two clips and then decide if these acts truly bring people to repentance and convict them of their sin just as Peter’s preaching did on the day of Pentecost???

As Always…

Sola Scriptura..

Steve….

BUT DONT TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect – Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

Shai Linne talks about his song Fal$e Teacher$

Posted: April 8, 2013 in False Doctrine, False Teachers
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On Shai’s most recent album, “Lyrical Theology Part 1: Theology” he has a song devoted to False Teachers. This video gives a little background into why he felt it was important to address such a topic.

Listen to the song below

UPDATE: Paula White Ministries responded to this song which you can view by clicking here and see Shai’s response to their letter by clicking here

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