Rich" Gospel Imperils Christianity
wants you wealthy" message from Pentecostal televangelists could
backfire in persecution of Christians
Rev. Ted Pike
1517, Martin Luther heard Tetzel, representative of the Pope, telling the
German people that if they paid money to the church, the souls of their
loved ones would be released from purgatory. He was outraged. He wrote 95
theses, which protested "simony" - the promise of spiritual and
material benefit in exchange for giving money to the church.
simony is back with a vengeance. Three times a year, Trinity Broadcasting
Network, the globe spanning Pentecostal "Christian" TV network
with an audience of billions worldwide, raises approximately 50 million
dollars per "Praisethon" with the following message: "Give
money to TBN and God will give back to you one hundred times as much money
or material benefit. Jesus guarantees it!"
working - at least for the bank account of Trinity broadcasting.
Praisethon lights glow as believers, ranging from the elderly on Social
Security and mothers on welfare to wealthy business people, swell TBN's
budget - funding 21 satellites and 2,117 TV stations internationally.
it brings in big bucks, as it did when Luther was outraged by it nearly
500 years ago. Yet it is still simony - a practice as wicked today as when
Simon Magus, a Jewish magician in the Book of Acts, offered to pay money
to the Apostle Peter in exchange for spiritual and material blessing, and
barely escaped Peter's curse by repenting on the spot (Acts 8:9-24).
does simony lead? To the creation of rich religious leaders as it did in
the Middle Ages, but also to eventual disillusionment of a disappointed
and impoverished laity - and to cynicism by a skeptical world. Yet
curiously, the simony practiced by Trinity, Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn,
Kenneth Copland, etc., and most big time Pentecostal televangelists, has
escaped serious criticism by the popular media. Why?
believe our humanistic, anti-Christian media is biding its time; allowing
a cult of Christianity to wax so fat and brazen that it will be ripe for
scandal and slaughter when the moment comes for the axe to fall on
"anti-hate laws" have been passed and the evangelical church is
even more materialistic and compromised than it is today, suddenly the
full spotlight of the media will focus on the shameless victimization
which Pentecostal con-artists have visited on the poor, the elderly, the
struggling, by extorting from them their meager subsistence. It will
dramatize how such were told that they are "faithless" and
failing God if they do not give their rent and food money as
"seeds" to the charismatic ministries.
world will rise up in justified anger at this abuse by
"Christianity" (it won't know the difference between Pentecostal
simony and authentic Christianity) creating a firestorm of worldwide
revulsion against the church in general. Such outrage, along with
heightened belief that Christianity is hateful, judgmental, and
persecution engendering, may well provide the catalyst for the worldwide
persecution, which the Bible foretells.
claims to be preaching the gospel of Christ to billions. Increasingly, it
is clear that it is actually a "cargo cult" of Christianity,
preaching a "gospel of gain" (I Tim. 6:5) day and night, to the
shame and anger of the church's founder, Jesus Christ.
we should remember, although creator of all things, chose a life of such
poverty that at times He was without the comfort which the foxes and birds
enjoyed in their dens and nests. (Matt. 8:20) He said: "Blessed are
the poor" (Luke 6:20), and "It is easier for a camel to go
through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven."
"seed tithes" of faith, which simonist leaders require in order
for the gullible to be blessed materially, are actually the seeds of the
church's own destruction.
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