Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Danger of Not Speaking Out


Matthew 7:15-20: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31).

Those engaged in apologetics often get criticized for always attacking other "Christians" who are just trying to bring people to Jesus Christ. "Do you always have to spend so much time attacking others?" Well, let me answer that with a question: How much time should a shepherd spend weeding the wolves out of his flock? How much time should someone spend heeding the warnings of Scripture that there are wolves right IN the church body? Maybe once a year, and let the wolves roam freely the rest of the year? Or should we constantly be on our guard?

Here is an example from the London Telegraph of how modern-day Christianity is reported:


There were only a few empty seats in Earls Court arena on Thursday night, almost all 10,000 places were taken....On the stage in front of them was a short, orange-looking man with a fat tie and a big grin. "Hallelujah," said Dr Morris Cerullo, prosperity preacher and "harvester of souls". "Oh Hallelujah. I'm just so glad to be here."

On the stage behind Cerullo stood several other of America's most determined money-raising evangelists, nodding their heads in approval: Pastor Benny Hinn, an Israeli, who heals believers by blowing on them; Dr Mike Murdock, a crooner, who sings amongst other things about the beauty of money. All of them with their own trademark way of persuading a congregation to part with cash, and all over here on a hunch that bewildered, binge-drinking Britain might finally have become as open to their message as the American Midwest.

"Oh-ba-ba-ba-ba" said Morris, looking at his watch as his congregation wrote out their cheques and credit card details: up to £250,000. It could have been funny, and on television, in another country, it sometimes is. But close up, the hybrid of Christianity and investment banking seemed to me less of a joke than a threat: if you don't give, Cerullo implied, God won't love you, and if he doesn't love you, he'll keep you poor. Worldly success is a measure of divine approval; after all, he points out, look at me.

Cerullo even ba-ba's like a sheep!! What an impresson to leave with the non-Christian of Jesus Christ. Is there anyone out there that DOESN'T see a problem with this brand of Christianity?

4 Comments:

At August 19, 2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Twice Burned said...

Sure there is! The LCMS!!

"Oh Hallelujah. I'm just so glad to be here."

At least “Hallelujah” is a Biblical word. I’d rather hear that than see the children of my congregation sing, “Yeeehawww” accompanied by country-western dance moves in front of the congregation during worship.

"Pastor Benny Hinn, an Israeli, who heals believers by blowing on them;"

Maybe he’s just trying to fan them into flame. It only takes a spark, you know.

"Oh-ba-ba-ba-ba" said Morris, looking at his watch as his congregation wrote out their cheques and credit card details: up to £250,000."

Some pastors bleat in imitation of a sheep; some snap their fingers in imitation of a ticking clock. The point is still to fill the coffers for Jesus.

"Dr Mike Murdock, a crooner, who sings amongst other things about the beauty of money."

How about the song our LWML always sang as we collected mites -- Mites are mighty warriors for the church of God.”

"All of them with their own trademark way of persuading a congregation to part with cash"

You wouldn’t by any chance also be referring to Rev. Nelson, Congregational Communications Director for LCMS in St. Louis, who couldn’t understand why my mother-in-law was offended by a telemarketing call from the LCMS soliciting funds for “putting new missionaries in the field,” would you?

 
At August 19, 2006 8:40 PM, Blogger The Heresy Hunter said...

Yes, unfortunately some of them have fallen into the "Purpose Driven" movement as well.

 
At August 19, 2006 8:46 PM, Blogger The Heresy Hunter said...

Just as an added note, to be fair, there are some, even in St. Louis, who have their heads screwed on straight! Along with author James White I was once able to stop Oneness singers/pastors Philip, Craig and Dean from performing at an LCMS church in St. Louis several years ago. Once the head office in St. Louis found out that they denied the Trinity, that was the end of that.

 
At August 20, 2006 9:02 AM, Blogger Whey Lay said...

Good post, I've struggled with how to approach this topic and usually think "Don't worry about it, they're obviously shiesters and anyone can see that." No, instead we should call it what it is, heresy. I know it sounds so unloving to call Prosperity Faith teachings that, but is it loving to allow the weakest of Christians who are looking for the promise of Christ to be materially attacked by these wolves. It's far better to attack a wolf than let the sheep be destroyed, out of fear of hurting the wolf.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home