Posts Tagged ‘finances’

 

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!

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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

As per my About Me section, when I started this blog, the main reason is, if I am honest is that I was fed up of just going with the flow of what had become the norm in a lot of Christendom and wanted to get things off my chest. Most christians that I knew (including me) had swallowed the health and wealth prosperity gospel. Watching some of the preachers on TBN and God TV such as Creflo Dollar and Benny Hinn without REALLY lining up what they said with correct interpretation of scripture. Some of these (and our) pastors were twisting scripture but because it was the norm, we were deceived into thinking that because everyone was saying it and because these were respected leaders, it must be true.

Over the past few years, I have been encouraged to know that many people are beginning to question what they have been fed. However, many think that they are saved but in reality are actually self-deceived because they are blinded by false promises constantly talking about blessings, breakthrough and/or divine favour. A classic example can be seen in the video below

Vodpod videos no longer available.

My message to you is this. Examine your motives for staying where you are. Are you TRULY being fed and growing spriritually or are you suffering spritually and just staying because of friends or because of loyalty to your church and/or your pastor even though they may not be preaching the gospel or may not be righly dividing scripture?  I was in that position once when I stayed out of loyalty, not because of a longing for correct use of scripture. I really depended on ‘Christian’ TV for my food. Obviously, each case will be different and it maybe that some pastors are approachable with your concerns and will seriously listen to you. In my own personal experience though, those occasions are rare. Click here and here for reasons why you should or shouldnt leave your church and please get some wise godly counsel but please don’t stay out of loyalty alone

UPDATE: When I started to write this post it was basically about what I have stated above and then I came across a few things this week which made me realise that blind loyalty comes in different forms. First check out the video below of Lexi interviewing Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen and First Gentleman (thats right, not Lady but Gentleman) Rashad. This is an example of what happens when people hold a low view of scripture and hold their opinions higher.

HT: I’m Speaking Truth

The people are all willing to ignore the explicit commands of scripture to justify their sins and you can see how their loyalty to the ‘bishop’ is as a result of this. Now I have no problems with people struggling with their sins, no matter what form it takes, whether it be homosexual sins or hetrosexual sins, but I do have a problem when people try to justify it as if God has given it the green light. NEWSFLASH: It is NOT OK.

24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:24-27)

Then today I came across this news story on Sky News

At least six people have dies in Britain after being told they had been healed of HIV and could stop taking their medication, Sky News has discovered

There is evidence evangelical churches in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow are claiming to cure HIV through God.

Sky sent three undercover reporters to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which is based in Southwark, south London.

To tell an HIV sufferer that they do not need to take their medication anymore is nothing less than evil and deceptive (see my post Derren Brown: Miracles for Sale). Now this church follows the false teacher T B Joshua and I do not have time to go into this man but you can google his name. Many people follow this man blindly as if he can do no wrong without lining up what he says with scripture

When peoples lives are being wrecked by ministries like this, I will not stay silent and will sound the alarm. Who knows? It may save a life

DONT BE BLINDED BY YOUR LOYALTY

If you have watched Christian TV for sometime and attended various church healing crusades and meetings, you will know that ‘healings’ such as below have become the norm.

Have you ever been supicious of these practices? Well you should be. This week on TV here in the UK, ‘Derren Brown: Miracles For Sale’ was aired. This was the advertisement for the program.

As per Channel 4, the documentary saw….

…Derren go undercover to investigate the reality behind the faith healing phenomenon, in America, and the belief in faith-inspiring miraculous recoveries.

With the cameras in hot pursuit, Derren undergoes his toughest project yet, going in search of an unsuspecting member of the British public prepared to adopt the guise of a Pastor and miracle worker. His chosen one is then tasked with six months in which to learn the trade and flourish across the pond as a convincing Pastor.

The final phase of the volunteer’s extraordinary challenge will see them attempt to perform faith healing miracles live in Texas – will Derren’s new recruit be accepted as a faith healer or cast away as fake healer? Is the belief in divine intervention really justified or will Derren expose the industry as one giant hoax?

On his first TV pursuit into faith healing, Derren says ‘You are about to see a world where greed and deceit raise their ugly heads, where lives have been needlessly lost and where hope, the most precious gift of all is pedalled at a price’.

An example of a life that has ‘been needlessly lost’ can be seen below

For those of you who are not familiar with Derren Brown, click here for more information. Even though none of this was a surprise to me, the program approached this subject from another angle and to be honest, the world did the job that the church should have done ages ago in speaking out against these charlatans. Derren basically trained a scuba diver to become a fake faith healer called ‘James Collins’ (initials J.C.). He was taught (with some help of others including Christians including those from the Trinity Foundation) all the ‘tricks of the trade’ and even though they used deception to do this project, I for one was glad that this practice was exposed. Not suprisingly, on Facebook and Twitter, people were condemning Derren for being wrong but some of these are the same people who will no doubtedly defend the likes of Benny Hinn and Todd Bentley and wouldnt call them evil. Oh the irony.

To see ‘James Collins’ in action using the techniques that he learnt, look at the videos below

As you can see , ‘Pastor James’ was very convincing. In preparation for this exposure, they even set up a fake website called Gifts Of the Spirit Minsitry which you can visit here.

Those who prey on the vulnerable and the desperate are not just wrong, they are down right evil especially when they con people out of their money and encourage some to throw away their medicine with some having fatal consequences. Derren was interviewed about why he made the program which you can read here and I have to say that I agree with his motives.

Even though the videos below are in the How False Prophets Work post, I thought it was worth repeating them here to see how these guys work and manipulate people for their money. There is nothing new under the sun.

Marjoe Gortner, self proclaimed false faith healer

Peter Popoff Exposed

Deception is rampant in churches today but what I have seen lately is that many people are beginning to wise up and wake up to this deception and I thank God for that. However, many are still asleep and it is for those that we must continue to pray as I believe that some will be lulled into hell because they were self-deceived. Many people will also get poorer as a result, many will be blinded by false promises and many will be disillusioned with God because they never got the blessing, breakthrough or divine favour that they were promised.

One post that I definitely will recommend is A Call for Discernment by Justin Peters who addresses this in his videos. Now let me make it clear, I personally believe that God can and does heal people today but he does this in his sovereignty and not how these tricksters do it. Some people get healed but some people never get healed.

So in conclusion, do not just swallow anything that is fed to you on TV or by any preacher (even your favorite ones) but like the Bereans in Acts 17:11, check the scriptures to see if it lines up and if it doesnt, reject it.

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. (Matthew 24:24)

Bad Hermeneutics (John MacArthur)

Posted: February 4, 2010 in Theology and Doctrine
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Taking God’s Word seriously means many hours of diligent study, which produces doctrinal coherence and theological consistency. That’s not what today’s evangelicals are known for. So how do we remedy that?

Charismatic Chaos

Posted: November 20, 2009 in False Doctrine, False Teachers, Theology and Doctrine
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Following my videos on Give me the Truth Part 1 and Part 2 and my post on ‘Did God actually say that?‘ I realise that the things mentioned in these posts happen predominantly in charismatic circles where I came from. Now let me say from the very start that not everything in charismatic churches is bad as there is bad in every church and I would agree with John Macarthur when he says:

I’m very much aware of the fact that not everyone who is associated with the Charismatic movement is engaged in the kind of extreme error that we will be, from time to time, referring to.  There are people who are more moderate.  There are people within the Charismatic movement who, themselves, are very, very concerned about the heresies and the aberrations that exist within that movement

However, there are so many things in there which is error that we cannot ignore it.

Here are some classic examples

Now there may be somethings below that you may not agree with but on the whole, I think that John Macarthur hits it right on the head. You can listen to each sermon by clicking on the appropriate link or download it by right clicking on the link and saving the files. 

Does God Still Give Revelation?

Does God Still Give Prophecies?

Proper Biblical Interpretation

Does God Do Miracles Today?

The Third Wave

How Do Spiritual Gifts Operate?

What Was Happening in the Early Church?

Does God Still Heal?

Speaking in Tongues

What Is True Spirituality?

Does God Promise Health and Wealth? Part 1

Does God Promise Health and Wealth? Part 2

Does Experience Determine Truth?

Well it was only going to be a matter of time before Todd Bentley got exposed for what he truly is. As you may or may not know, Todd Bentley filed for a legal separation from his wife.

According to Fresh Fire Ministries on 12 Aug their statement read as follows

Todd and Shonnah Bentley are presently experiencing significant friction in their relationship and are currently separated. We want to affirm that there has been no sexual immorality on the part of either Todd or Shonnah, nor has there ever been.

and according to Patricia King, it was our fault because of our ‘negative words’.

For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God? (1 Tim 3:5)

Then Fresh Fire Ministries released this statement a few days later regarding Todd’s adulterous affair with another woman

We wish to acknowledge, however, that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.

Someone obviously lied along the way.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord (through rightly dividing God’s word) . 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them (what many of us blogging have been doing over the past few months) . 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light (as we now see) , for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

Awake, you who sleep (who don’t read the bible for themselves),
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:9-13)

Now I pray that through godly counsel, his marriage is restored but I also pray that he will repent for his deceitful lies and for leading many christians astray. If any good can come out of this, hopefully it will encourage Christians to read the bible for themselves (Acts 17:11) and not just follow anyone who names the name of Christ

Related Posts:

Revival Shown on God TV…or is it?

What does the bible say about Benny Hinn?

Judge Not?

Its not all about Jesus’ according to Todd Bentley

Coming out of deception

Todd Bentley being discussed on CrossTalk America

How much more evidence do you need? The ministry of assault and battery

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 1 – A Form of godliness

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 2 – Scripture Twisting

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

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

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 7 – Signs and Wonders