I always seem to get stuck in arguments about ministers who use their religious influence for personal gain. My debating mates are always quick to point out passages that support “honoring” those who preach the Word of God. But when I go through the Bible, I can’t seem to find any circumstances where Jesus or His apostles lived luxurious and comfortable lives as they spread the Gospel. You can make the argument that Paul was pretty well off. Of course, that period came and went once he was converted. What endowments they did receive for themselves were actually used to advance the Gospel moreso than their own individual needs.
So whenever I hear somebody on TV claim that they received “a Word from the Lord”, I immediately start to cringe. Chances are, it won’t be much longer after that when they’ll inform the viewer that this word can be theirs for a “love offering” of no less than $29.95 + S&H. Oddly, not many people ask these pimps one of the most burning questions I can think of: If this is a “Word from the Lord”, why sell it? With the emergence of all those internets out there, I’m sure that there are just as many web pages where you can openly and freely share the Word as those where you can sell it.
Besides, last I checked, whenever the apostles had a Word from God, they recorded it and sent it all throughout the world freely. We call those little recordings “Epistles”. Essentially, these epistles became the "open source" way of ministering.
In a related note, I recently received an email that pokes fun at how many of the
profits prophets hustle folks from the pulpit. At first, it gave me a pretty good chuckle. But when I think about how all freakishly deceptive most of these cats are and how easily they've infilitrated the pulpit, the joke really isn't all that funny. Anyway, here's the parody song from the email; sung to the tune of "Amazing Grace". Enjoy:
A big disgrace in Surround Sound
And Mega-sized big screens,
The lavish church is worth the cost
‘Long as we pay the lien.
T’was T.D. Jakes who learned to steer
And rip off mindless sheep
How quickly did that cash appear
When they were all deceived
Get comfy in your cushioned pew
Sit back, put up your feet
The ushers will just swipe your card
And print you a receipt
This Sunday features C’refalo
And then it’s Joel Osteen
And if the love seeds lack too much
Trust Benny Hinn to sing.
These pimps will live ten thousand years
When all of us are done
They’ll no less rob our bank accounts
Than when they first begun.
Those pimped disgraces do not share
The Word, as must be taught
The Word they claim God gave to them
Can only be store bought.
I really wish this was only humor.