Jan 24, 2008

Prosperity Gospel? No!

I'm sure, by now, you've heard about the investigation of six well known televangelists by Senator Grassley.

Here's a short section out of an article written by Britt Towery.

Britt Towery
Back in November of last year Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent letters for financial information from six of the countless mega-church television preachers. The senator was widely portrayed as persecuting these millionaire preachers. The offended preachers surrounded their auditors with lawyers and let the senators, IRS and anyone interested know that they were not responding to such insolent questions.

The deadline for the televangelists to honor Sen. Grassley's request was Dec. 6. All he was seeking was any possibility of alleged donator abuse in their programs. Here it is nearly February and the game of cat and mouse goes on. Give but don't expect to know how the gift is used.

Sad story after sad story is the heritage of most of these televangelists. One single mom said she was fleeced for over 12 years by a TV preacher. "When I think of the times my electricity got turned off because I tithed and gave instead of paying my bills, I could scream. I was told to NOT pay my bills, but to tithe first and believe God for the money for my bills ... when my electricity was turned off I was told I had no faith."

Another wrote they were told: "Just send $65, and within 90 days God will turn my life around."

This just bothers me. This is so far removed from what the Bible says about what it means to follow Jesus Christ. All these promises of believe in Jesus and get rich are just sick. It is playing with the last hopes and dollars of those who desperately need help.

Am I saying that all televangelists are this way? No.

Am I saying that God is not using the televangelists to reach the hearts of people? No.

Am I saying that God will hold every single one of us accountable for our actions? Yes.

And part of the responsibility lies not only with the televangelists, but with the people who send them money. God never asks us to blindly support ministries or teachers. God expects us to be good financial stewards, and part of that means we have to know what the Bible teaches about prosperity gospel. And the only way to support prosperity gospel is if one is misreading the teachings of Jesus Christ.

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