Thursday, August 24, 2017

diamond ringThe preacher appears wearing a suit, shirt, tie and shoes that 98% of his congregation will never afford.  His watch is a Rolex and his finger supporting a gold ring decorated with a very large diamond.  He owns a chauffeur driven luxury car and a jet that will transport a dozen people.  His house, worth millions, has no mortgage.  He reminds his audience, that if they will give liberally, God will double or triple it back to them.  Look how the Lord has blessed him!  He empties their pockets to replenish his.  His congregation numbers into the thousands and his radio and TV audience is counted into the millions!  Rather than leave him in disappointment, people flock to his church seeking his faith so they may share in his kind of lifestyle!

If those material things fail to come to a member, he reminds him that this failure is due to a lack of faith.  He tells stories of those who do believe and how they have contributed a thousand dollars to his ministry and a week later a check arrived that equaled twice what they had given!  Out of guilt, his audience continues to contribute to his opulence.  The heaviness of their guilt is seen in their sacrificial giving.  They will do without in order to have the same faith he possesses.

The preacher informs his audience that God has blessed him with divine miraculous power.  If someone seeks healing and it doesn’t happen, it is not his nor God’s fault, but because the individual being healed doesn’t have the proper faith.  Yet, his audiences continue to swell.  People are told that the devil will continue to give them the symptoms, but they are to deny they have them.  If they doubt, the ailment will return.  Again, the fault lies in their lack of faith.  Some become so despondent when nothing happens that depression overwhelms them.  Again, they are charged with having too little faith.  So, they dig deeper to give him more!

Some relative may see through this “get rich gospel” and attempt to extract his loved one from this church.  The relative is seen, not as a helper, but an agent of Satan.  Adherents of that view have been told that Abraham had wealth because of his faith and David enjoyed being king because of his, therefore, they need to follow this view to have that same kind of faith.  They can have it by supporting the preacher!  Give him a dollar and two or three will be returned to them by the Lord.

“Get rich quick,” is tied in with one’s faith, but it produces a lot of money for those who peddle that gospel, not the payee!  These preachers seek those who have little Bible knowledge.  They want people who don’t know the scriptures well enough to identify the view for what it is.  It is a religious scam to quickly make the peddlers rich!  They keep their sheep corralled by telling them disbelief in the pew is at fault.  No honest, sincere believer wants to own a weak faith.  So, they try harder and dig deeper into their pockets to support the opulence of the preacher.  Making him rich will one day lead to the same life style for them that he enjoys.  God has ordained it because the preacher says so!

Too bad those preachers don’t practice what they preach and give all their wealth to their membership.  Why not?  If what he preaches is correct, let him wait on God and soon the mailman will bring him a check that is twice or three times more than the fortune he gave away!  When he is sick, don’t go to the hospital, call other preachers to come in and miraculously heal him.  Going to a doctor, entering the hospital, or having surgery would show a lack of faith on his part!

In the first century money was given by members into the first day of the week collection to aid those who had benevolent needs in other places.  In Acts 2, at the beginning of the church, the same thing took place (Acts 2:45).  It wasn’t given to make the apostles, prophets, and evangelists rich!  Jesus himself did not ride from town to town in a silver and gold chariot, drawn by six horses, with a hired driver.  Jesus didn’t have a house of his own.  Neither did the soldiers gamble at the cross for his gold diamond ring or his expensive wardrobe.  Were he and his apostles weak in faith because they were not blessed with wealth?  Is that why they were without what these modern preachers enjoy?

J.D. Greear made this statement,

“The primary purpose of giving is not that God would get money out of our pockets, but he would get the idols out of our heart.”

Perhaps some who seek to get rich by following such schemes or giving to the wrong person and for the wrong reason!