November 19, 2005

Money – The Answer is: Money

"You cannot serve God and mammon." That is truer today, I think, than it was when Jesus spoke those words 2,000 years ago. The occasion that has me pondering this truth was some editorial blogs by Charisma Magazine’s own Lee Grady. In the last one, "I Think We Lost Pentecost," Lee laments the state of the Charismatic/Pentecostal churches today having no fervor or moving in the gifts, but are now just filled with programs. In his exasperation he asks the question: "Does anybody out there notice that something is missing?" [You can read Lee Grady’s blogs and reply to them online at: http://forums.strang.com/viewforum.php?f=7 ]

In the past couple of weeks, Lee wrote two other editorials "It's Getting Really Weird Out There" and "When Heresy Goes Unchecked." In the "Weird" article Lee gives an overview of various scandals brewing in Charismatic churches such as a pastor prophesying to the women in the congregation to go get breast implants. And in the "Heresy" one he hones in on the apostasy of Carlton Pearson who now teaches Universalism (no hell – all are redeemed). Lee noted: "Pearson has a banner on his Web site that announces: ‘God Is Not A Christian.’ And his church is hosting a combined service on Nov. 17 with a local Unitarian congregation in Tulsa." And Lee laments that many churches still invite Pearson to speak and he receives criticism from Charisma readers for being judgmental.

One of the churches that still highlights Pearson is that of Archbishop (that’s what he calls himself) Earl Paulk’s Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Atlanta. In his November 4th editorial, "Ashamed and Outraged in Atlanta," Lee railed against Paulk exposing him as the pervert he is, giving a rundown of all the sordid sexual allegations that have been leveled at Paulk. Lee describes the latest one: "Today the 78-year-old pastor faces what could be the most difficult test of his career. A former parishioner, Mona Brewer, has alleged in a lawsuit filed in August that Paulk forced her to have sex with him and others—including visiting Charismatic preachers."

Yet, for all of Lee’s hand-wringing Charisma magazine still accepts ads for some of the very scoundrels Lee despises. In the current November issue of Charisma, there is a two-full page ad paid for by indicted tax-evader Morris Cerullo. It is advertising a January 3-7, 2006 conference at Anaheim Convention Center for people to attend at the admission price of $115.00. The faces of its speakers jump out in the ad – well-known for their money-grubbing and/or heretical teachings that include spiritual con-men like Steve Munsey, Rick Joyner, Mike Murdock, John Avanzini, Juanita Bynum, and Benny Hinn.

What does all of this have to do with money? Everything!!

  • The pitiful condition of dead churches and lackluster congregations;
  • Heretics being welcomed if they happen to be "Christian" celebrities;
  • Church leaders overlooking blatant sin in the camp;
  • Charisma Magazine accepting ads that promote all of the above;
  • Lee Grady hanging in there with Charisma in spite of it all.

Money, money, and more money. It’s the motivating factor in the apostasy of the church.

Why do pastors resort to using "church growth" gimmicks? Money – to fill the pews and thereby fill the offering plate. So what if it results in making goats comfortable and the sheep unfed and the Holy Spirit absent.

Why do mega churches and "Christian" television networks, magazines and bookstores undergird heretical con artists? Money. All kinds of money: offering money; advertising dollars; product sales revenue. It all comes down to money.

And why do even solid teachers and church leaders continue to associate with "Christian" churches and organizations that compromise for money? Money. They don’t want to lose their program on TBN. They don’t want to lose their job at Charisma. They don’t want to lose the tithes of the goats.

In Lee Grady’s 1994 book he asked the question, "What Happened to the Fire?" Then in 1995 he grabbed onto the holy laughter and "Toronto Blessing" fads in hopes of recapturing the evading presence of the Holy Spirit. But he was deceived and now he is back to the same place, wondering where Pentecost has gone. It’s gone the way of mammon. There can be no moving of the Holy Spirit upon His people in today’s mixed multitudes. And it’s only going to get worse as the prophesied harlot church develops – the one that says "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked" (Rev. 3:17).

But Lee Grady doesn’t want to hear about Bible prophecy. This week as Lee wrote all his insightful editorials, he wrote one that was not. In "Chicken Little Christians" Lee put down Christians who focus on the soon return of the Lord as "religious pessimists" and compared them to Chicken Little crying "the sky is falling." Yet, it is the study of Bible prophecy that would give Lee the answers to his nagging questions about the lukewarm church. But he won’t go there.

The harlot church has no power, only tricks and programs. But God is merciful and He still has His uncompromising remnant to whom He says, "you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name" (Rev. 3:8). I hope Lee Grady gets off the fence and takes a stand against Charisma’s advertising department. It may cost him his job and his benefits, but it beats losing God’s favor.

Lord Jesus, purge your remnant from a love of money. Help us to see You as our Provider and not to put our trust in riches or the things of this world that are perishing. Give us boldness to stand up and not compromise when finances are a consideration. Strengthen what little power that remains in Your people and forgive us for quenching the Holy Spirit in our lives when we’ve allowed mammon to direct our paths. To God be the glory, forever and ever. Amen!

 

Responses

From Mark Shalom, Jackie.
Your comments are right on! But it's not about the money - that's only one-fourth. Its about what I've called for years "The 4 P's". Power - Position - Prestige - Pay = Money. So these heretics, etc etc have even more to lose than money. They will lose ALL that is important to them. Shlom in Y'shua,

Hi Mark-I agree all those P's come into play. However, if someone comes to their senses and can give up their pursuit of power, position, and prestige, they still might not be able to part with their money. That's why Jesus emphasized it so much, such as when he told the rich young ruler: Luke 18:22 "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." At that, the man walked away and Jesus then made the most remarkable statement in verses 24-25: "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." That blew the minds of his disciples. So I still think that since "the love of money is the root of all evil" it is the last thing to go on the road to repentance. Thanks for writing and sharing, Jackie

Hit Counter