What's Up With The Money?

 

Tiny fangs prick the soft tissue of the horses gums, lips, and nostrils. The dreaded horseleech has taken residence well below the piercing rays of the sun's dance on the lakes surface. Suddenly aware of the ambush and betrayal, the beast lurches from the bite of the parasite, who with deliberate intent preys on the poor soul’s vulnerable unsuspecting position.

"Give, give!” They cry. “Make a vow! Sow a seed! A faith gift! A token of faith! To show God you mean business! Lay a gift at the apostle's feet so he can move, to heal you, to save you, he has to see you're serious! To open your heavenly account! Deposit into God's bank! Give Jesus a big gift for his birthday!”

Parasites are in God's house! Leeches hiding in the murk of their own lying doctrines, prey on the hurting, the desperate, the poor. Perhaps one of the most blatantly disgraceful practices of ritual abuse being carried out against God's people today is the cursed so-called “offering”. Time after time the brass collection plate works it's way through the crowds. If the count is low the signal is given and it'll go around again until the “daily nut” is cracked. Most people can't afford the price tag hung on the “salvation” being sold today at the local tabernacle.

Shameless importunate beggars and hucksters turning a fast buck by emotionally extorting people into giving 10% 20% 40%- 100%! Fleecing the sheep for their own gain. Living in palaces while the ones they "minister" to are losing their homes and meager possessions to debt in order to line the pockets of the fat, greedy hirelings who falsely call themselves “pastor”, “bishop”, “reverend”, “apostle”, “prophet”, “teacher”, “evangelist”, “doctor”. Men and women seeking nothing but a paid position on the church payroll and selling the gospel of materialism and "blessing" - falsely so-called: “Give give give!... To get.” “Thy money perish
with thee… Repent therefore of this thy wickedness…” Acts 8:20-22

Somebody has to say something.

When, God forbid, police officers are on the take and everybody's got their hand into something illegal: bribes or payoffs in order to help bolster a meager pay, nobody wants to blow the whistle for fear their own little "take" will be lost. Besides those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, right?

When God forbid, a government becomes corrupt and money and dirt are being funneled and collected. A cloak of silence and a web of deceit is woven over any hope of justice rendering it impotent. "Don't tell on me, or I’ll tell on you". Blackmail and extortion run rampant everyone is afraid enough of the light of truth to have a mutual agreement to keep it dark.

And God forbid, when an entire church system gets corrupt, covetous and rich, and atrocious merchandising becomes the norm and manipulation for financial gain is the accepted practice to attain to the new measure of spiritual success. It seems everyone wants in and nobody is going to say anything about it, right?

Well somebody should! Even those who are admittedly opposed to the flagrant despicable practices of merchandising, scammery and outright extortion going on in the church don't want to say too much for fear it'll cut into the big brass plate being passed for them. "No, no it's not selling, it's a ‘suggested offering’ of $29.99”... right.

Come on, people lets face the facts, we're on the take and nobody wants to rock the boat. Bit by bit mammon has become the new god of the church. Matthew 6:24

Freely you’ve received, freely give.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the path of a would be convert to Christ these days, is the disgraceful coercion and money grubbing going on in the church. The world sees the obvious rip off, finagling and con artists in the pulpit and wants no part of it. Yet the church seems willfully blind to this disgraceful blot.

What a shameful introduction many have to Jesus Christ today, when they have to sit through an hour of fund raising before and after a twenty minute sermonette about tithing and giving “Is this what your God is all about?”, they say. Has the gospel been reduced to this? What happened to Jesus?

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone”. Matthew 23:23

We have become more corrupt than the church system that crucified Jesus Christ. Soft on sin, flimsy on doctrine, drunken with false grace, but completely obsessed and consumed by tithing and money. The love of money will make us hate God. The love of money will make us slander and malign God's people. The love of money will make us kill anyone who interferes with our wallet or pocketbook. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God”. Luke 16:13-15

Fame, power, wealth, all that men may call “Success” God hates when it is done at his expense.

How much worse when it is done in his name? How does covetousness affect true doctrine? When greed is called faith and wealth is called blessing ("Blessed are the... rich?") when being of modest means is deemed a curse from God, when life is measured by salary, when gain is godliness.... we find ourselves in complete opposition to the clear instruction of the Word of God. Jehovah jireh, the God who provided a sin sacrifice for man so we could be free has become Jehovah Visa our line of credit for material goods. We have been enticed off the right track.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I Timothy 6:9-12

The devil is hard at work in the church seeking to dethrone God from his rightful place as “chief worth” and set in his place anything else. But in the church he needs to be subtle to beguile the elect so he replaces God with a godly- sounding things like: Revival, fads like "Jabez", charasmania, Pentecostalism, miracle services, music, deliverance ministry, "spiritual warfare", good works, financial seminars, blessings... anything he can, to draw. Satan operates undetected in most pulpits, crowds seduce them from God and make a fast buck. Ironically, we pay top dollar to be led astray. His primary objective: to remove the true word of God being preached, which promises to save, heal, bless, deliver, revive... isn't that what we came to God for to begin with?

 

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” Galatians 3:1

But the devil has duped us. Step by step he's turned us back to the vomit we left behind- mammon, the god of this world.

 

“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”. Galatians 5:7-9

A beautiful stained glass, dazzling colors, fit just so to compose the intended picture of the creator. It was meant to be lit with the pure white light in order to be seen in its true brilliance. If it is lit with a green light, some of it will still dazzle: greens, blues but other places will be muddied, reds orange etc. So the Bible was intended to be revealed by the pure white light of the Holy Spirit only. When a greedy covetous spirit 'reveals' the word, some doctrines seem right, others become muddy or just don’t quite seem to fit anymore; but the Bible is a perfect picture, unique in its total consistency throughout. From Genesis 1:1 - Revelation 22:21, it's relevant, complete and balanced. But men of unclean spirits are attempting to “reveal” the scriptures, as they ought not. We must test every doctrine by every word of God. The full counsel of God, not just bits and pieces taken out of context and distorted in order to subvert the hearer.

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. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. II Peter 2:1-3

We have been warned that the false doctrines brought in by these false teachers will simply reduce us to a marketable group to whom they will peddle their wares. "Christian" music: a multi billion dollar market, "Christian" books: even in the slumping, defeated secular book market, are still rising in overwhelming sales, "prophecy" material: how much wrong stuff can you sell? Billion$ "Christian" fiction? "Christian" video$? (Part 12 is coming out April 2004). We are inundated with merchandise. Bookstores in church lobbies? Didn't Jesus make a whip and overthrow the tables? Do you suppose some of those tables could have been prophets, evangelists, even musicians peddling their wares, albums, tapes, and videos?

I fear that the church has been transformed into a merchandised target market. Even non- believers, atheists, witches and sorcerers are making big profits off undiscerning unsuspecting sheep who pay to be poisoned by their false doctrines. Often, only cleverly disguised new age religious teachings and philosophies. Prophets, teachers, evangelists, musicians all charge to come to churches. Pastors go and pay for “gifts”: fresh fire, laughing, revival, (did someone say Simon the sorcerer?). Apostles demand money and gifts be laid at their feet. Pastors, deacons, ushers are all on the payroll! Hired! Voted in or out, depending on performance. Pastorates are granted to PhD's from seminaries, instead of men filled with the Holy Ghost. God’s holy calling reduced to a good paying job rather than a holy call. I wonder- should we incorporate? May the Lord lead us into all truth.

The church looks acts and does business like a Madison Ave. regular! advertising, marketing and selling merchandise. Do you know who's funding all this nonsense? We are. We are paying to be leavened with false doctrines and devoured by hirelings and wolves.


“I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:33-35

Paul was probably the hardest working apostle ever. His life lives on as a testimony and an example of a true minister of the Lord. His attitude toward money was very bold. In I Corinthians chapter 9, he explains in depth that he has every right in God's law to take freely from them. Yet he worked a job because it was more important for him to be an example than to live a life of ease. But why?

What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. I Corinthians 9:18

Recently a big name evangelist from America held a crusade in India. His antics and shameless attempts to extort money from the crowds were a stench and a humiliation in the eyes of God and man. This evangelist returned to America with hype and lies about victorious conquests in Jesus name and collected tens of thousands of dollars for a great "Crusade to India". In India the people would talk of it saying; "I would never convert to Christianity, their God is broke. All their people are begging us Hindu's for money, so pathetic.”

Sadly, the church is so far off the gospel now that it is pathetic. The American gospel doesn't even sell anywhere but here in America. Where are the men of God who will freely give what they were freely given?

"It's more blessed to give than receive".

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. I Peter 5:1-4

AMEN!

 
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