March 25, 2006
Stephen Strang in the Pits
The late Walter Martin often said, "You can tell a wolf in sheep’s
clothing by its diet. Wolves eat sheep." What would you say about a
Christian leader who would sell the names and addresses of his donors to
secular interests with the promise that his list would make them rich?
Well, that is exactly what Charisma’s publisher, Stephen Strang
A secular publication called "The NonProfit Times" was mis-delivered to me at work. It was addressed to our Vice President of Academic Resources. I paged through the magazine before I realized it wasn’t meant for me. What I saw on page 17 blew my mind. It was a picture of a red Nascar racecar speeding by a checkered flag. The flag read "$90/M Base Fundraising Rate." And the caption read, "We have over 1.5 Million ways to help you get outta the Pits and into the Winner’s Circle!" (Red emphasized in original.)
The bulleted list of come-ons were:
"Call for FREE Recommendation"
Master File . . . 800,000+ Enhanced Christian Magazine Files
Multi-Source . . . 750,000+ Enhanced Christian Donor File
Charisma . . . 350,000+ 70% Female – Average Age 52
Spirit Led Woman . . . 197,500+ 100% Female – Average Age 46
New Man . . . 185,000+ 100% Male – Average Age 48
MinistriesToday . . . 45,000+ 100% Ministry and Church Leaders
Do you think Jesus would be happy with Mr. Strang, selling out the Church for the almighty dollar?
I have a great idea – but fortunately for Stephen Strang, I don’t have the resources to carry it out. Wouldn’t it be great to get the lists and use them to send a postcard to each and every person and say, "Hi, we got your name and address from Stephen Strang for a large price and hope that you will tell him how happy you are to receive so many requests for donations from everybody from "The Fireman’s Fund" to the "Kiss a Tree Foundation."
If anyone reading this has the wherewithal to do this, the contact information provided in the ad is: "List Rental Manager – David Manning / Email – David.Manning@strang.com
Phone number – 407.333.7138 or Fax – 407.333.7100
Odd that they don’t include an Internet address. I looked up Strang’s website and could not find a word about this list rental. Do you think he’s trying to hide something from Christians? After all, this publication he’s advertising in is not geared toward Christians but toward the marketplace. All he has on his site besides promoting his publications and books is a promotion for Christians to make a fortune by participating in some scheme to refer people to Charisma’s on-line conference business. (You have to sign up before you can get the details mailed to you of the amount of money it’s going to set you back to get rich.)
It’s funny how senior editor of Charisma, Lee Grady, rightly slams the emphasis on riches by the Prosperity message, but at the same time he works for possibly the biggest lover of money in Christendom. I think Lee Grady needs to clean up his own backyard.
God lamented, "My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; They have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; They have forgotten their resting place" (Jeremiah 50:6).
To those who fleece the flock of God in order to enrich themselves, by propping up secular interests on the backs of the sheep, are evil hirelings and should be held to account. Strang’s behavior is that of a buzzard in the branches of the mustard tree, using it for his own enrichment.
"Then said he, ‘Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it’" (Luke 13:18-19).
Dear Jesus, please protect the sheep of Your hands from the savage wolves who are stalking us and trying to take advantage of our generous spirits that you have put in us. Help us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves as we are being led to the slaughter by unscrupulous hirelings. Give your people discernment and wisdom as we put our resources into places that will bear eternal dividends in our accounts in heaven. Stop the evil deeds of those who would abuse your flock and market the church of God for 30 pieces of silver. Bring such people to repentance if they belong to You. And if they are not of Your flock, expose their fangs to your little ones so they may escape the snare of the devil. Please gather Your scattered flock, Lord and lead us to safer pastures. We praise You, Lord, for Your love for us. Your Name be praised above all names. Amen!
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