With all the snow and terrible road conditions that encouraged people to stay in, I found myself watching an unusual amount of “Christian” broadcasting. Some of it was good, encouraging, enlightening and strengthening to the viewers.
However, I was appalled by the number of TV ministers who delivered wonderful messages, but changed their focus to a perverted doctrine of “sewing and reaping.” I believe in this principal in life for all people, whether they are followers of Christ or follow no one. What we sew, we will surely reap.
It was astonishing how many programs promised people if they would only “sew into the ministry” of that particular person, they would reap rewards from God or answered prayers.
Many people think of Jesus like this, “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, bless us now sweet holy child.”
A couple of times I had visions of Jesus in all of His righteous fury as he turned over money changers’ tables, knocked over crates and drove these vile profiteers from the temple in His day. He was a one man wrecking crew because of the corruption that was going on in the temple. People were buying and selling as a business and had lost respect for the holy place.
Some of the televised evangelists are no better. They use the hurts and desperation of people needing a touch from God to get money from them. The Bible specifically talks about the Judgement Throne of God when individuals in ministry stand before Him and say, “Didn’t I do this in your name?” They have the absurd audacity to stand before a righteous God and try to justify their own greed. God’s response to this is, “Depart from Me. I never knew you.”
Perhaps there is a reader with a need for physical healing, marital restoration, emotional healing, cleansing from sin or deliverance from addiction. I believe in a compassionate, loving God who still touches lives in miraculous ways, but it is never at the end of financial gain for the church or any individual.
Let me say it another way. If a minister or ministry attaches God’s blessings to mandatorily buying a product, giving money into their specific ministry, or a dollar amount attached to a particular answer to prayer, they are NOT doing God’s work. They are wicked and deceitful, taking full advantage of the vulnerability and desperation of people who need an intervention from God in their life or for a family member.
God’s blessings are not for sale. PERIOD.
This is not to be confused with giving tithes (one-tenth) of income into the local church body where an individual attends and fellowships with other Christians. That tithe is to be used in that church for meeting the financial needs of the local church and all of its outreach ministries. An offering to a local church body is also different. It is a gift given beyond the tithe to support something like missions, a youth group activity or a specific need within the church.
Television “ministries” have made multi-millionaires out of many men and women at the center. Even though I don’t think wealth is a sin or a bad thing, it is despicable if that personal accumulation of money comes from bilking it out of widows, poor or heartbroken people who are trying to go through a minister to get an answer from God.
The price for our relationship with God was paid on the cross of Christ over 2,000 years ago. The healing and miraculous power of God is free and cannot be bought.
If a person wants to “sew into a ministry,” let them look no further than their home church, and/or ministries where full financial accountability is publicly available. Any minister who hides his/her finances and any church that refuses to provide information about what the financial income and output is, probably is hiding more than financial records.
For any hurting individual who may be reading this, make your needs known to God through prayer. He will hear you. It is impossible to buy an answer from heaven.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.