When Christianity Is A Money Making Business: Don't Be Taken
Over the past few years there has been much controversy about the lucrative salaries of Pastors hailing from mega churches. Watch dog groups and the public have made many outcries against the lavish lifestyles of Christian leaders. Who aside from million dollar mansions, private jets and luxury cars, enjoy a lucrative salary; which some have chosen not to disclose. While other large ministries under scrutiny have agreed to show financial transparency. As a Christian I find both charge and accusation quite alarming.
In either scenario, the majority of these leaders have been accused of being ‘prosperity preachers‘, that claim if you send them a certain amount, or just give, give, give that it will make you prosperous. A word of advice: Christians are expected to give Pastors, elders, leaders and all authority their due (proper respect and tribute). We are not to lose sight of our own personal relationship with, or neglect coming into the presence of God, asking with faith and receiving with thanksgiving the Lord’s blessing. Further more, our tithe is ten percent of our wages, and naturally we are to pay all local and federal taxes. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the thing that are God‘s.” (Mark12:17)
Well, as it may be, there is nothing new under the sun. The latest controversies bring back memories of what my own pastor had taught the congregation about the rise and fall of big Ministers of the 1920’s up until the Tel-evangelist of the 1980’s, he stated, “The Christian’s eyes must always be on God”. I agree with him whole heartedly. It has been evident that of these pastors who have been built up in the public eye, almost just as many have taken great falls. The problem is when this happens, it has a profound and jolting effect on faithful followers and crucifies Christ all over again in the eyes of the world. This generally happens when the hearts of the a preacher and the congregation‘s have been taken from away from God. Yes, people who are desperate for a miracle or deliverance from some grievous situation begin to place faith in a man (of God) instead of God Himself . He (God) has blessed church leaders with powerful anointing, healing and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but they are only vessels used by the Lord and should not become idols. Problem is: people in desperation forget that. The Lord is the ultimate source. The Great I AM which is to say HE IS whatever you need him to be. He is your Healer, your Provider, and your Deliverer. What complicates matters further is such church leaders may have started out with good intentions, but
money may have become a stumbling block. Instead of looking to God to be a source of all their supply these Ministers begin telling the congregation what they want to hear with popular prosperity sermons like, “naming it and claiming it” instead of preaching what the Holy Spirit needs them (the Church) to hear. In addition, they eliminate sermons that are to be used to bring God’s people and the World to repentance and in proper standing with the Lord. The former sermon type becomes the vehicle used to raise membership (and money) instead of preaching the word of God, while the latter is not heard at all. The result is a false Gospel. Woe unto those Pastors!
How can you avoid getting caught in the trap?
1. Examine your motives and what doctrine you are listening to. Attend a bible believing church where the word of God is actually taught. 2. Every sermon should not be concentrated on accumulation of earthy goods. That means the congregation should be exhorted and edified according to the Bible.
3. Attend bible study to receive a solid foundation that will root and ground you in the word, and read the bible everyday for yourself.
During devotional time ask God give you understanding of His word, wisdom and discernment. My friend, I know that this is prayer that God will definitely answer. He will make you as rich as you want to be in these areas. Then after you ask, believe that it is done, and praise Him in your heart, mind and with your mouth.
No matter what one’s position is on the controversy of inflated minister salaries, a sure way of not being taken is to keep your eyes firmly placed on the Lord and His Word. Consult with Him concerning everything you do. Do not be so wowed by the gifting and the blessings God has given to the leaders of the church that you lose sight of the Blesser. He can do for you, just what he did for them if it is His will. As Christians we want God’s will for our lives and not our own will. Correct? For God examines the heart and He knows all your motives. Do you want spiritual gifting and financial blessing to show off, or live a lifestyle of excess and greed? God knows. Do you want to use what He gives you to bless hurting people, again our Heavenly Father knows. Honest answers to these question will show you if you have (or if you preach) a false Gospel or the Gospel of Christ. It cannot be both, “…you cannot serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24). Who do you serve today God or mammon?
© 2011 elimentree
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