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Thank God: someone has said it at last

It is very very sad that the following needs to be said. It's also very sad that no one has said it before. But it needed to be said. It's only an American who could say it; and at last someone has.


 
One of the Untouchable Preachers at work

Benny HinnSAY GOODBYE to the UNTOUCHABLE PREACHERS
-by J. Lee Grady.

God is shaking His church and removing corruption. But we share the blame for giving charlatans a platform.

Al Capone once controlled all of Chicago. The notorious 1920s gangster bribed the city's mayor, bought the police and presided as king over an empire of casinos, speakeasies and smuggling operations. He dodged bullets for years and lived above the law— and earned the nickname "untouchable" because no one could bring him to justice.

Before Capone finally went to prison in 1932, he justified his crimes by saying: "All I do is satisfy a public demand." He didn't take responsibility for the pain he caused because he knew mayors, policemen, community leaders and bootleggers supported him the whole way.

"There is no way we can know how many unbelievers rejected the gospel because they saw the church supporting quacks who swaggered, bragged, lied, flattered, bribed, stole and tearfully begged their way into our lives—while we applauded them and sent them money."

I hate to compare any minister of God to a gangster. But the sad truth is that today there are a handful (well, maybe more) of unscrupulous preachers who share some of Capone's most disgusting traits. They are notoriously greedy. They are masters of deception and manipulation. They have bought their way into the charismatic religious subculture and used their uncanny hypnotic ability to control major Christian TV networks.

And, like Capone, their days are numbered. Justice will soon catch up with them.

These false prophets probably all started out with a genuine call from God, but success destroyed them. They were lured away from true faith by fame and money, and when their ministries mushroomed they resorted to compromise to keep their machines rolling. Now, in the midst of the Great Recession, God is closing in on them.

But before we rejoice that these imposters are being removed from their pulpits and yanked off the airwaves, let's hit the pause button and reflect. How did these false preachers ever achieve such fame?
It couldn't have happened without help from us.

We were the gullible ones. When they said, "The Lord promises you untold wealth if you will simply give a thousand dollars right now," we went to the phones and put the donations on our credit cards. God forgive us.
American televangelist/healer's private jet
Benny Hinns JetWe were the undiscerning ones. When they said, "I need your sacrificial gift today so I can repair my private jet," we didn't ask why a servant of God wasn't humble enough to fly coach class to a Third World nation. God forgive us.

We were the foolish ones. When it was revealed that they were living in immorality, mistreating their wives or populating cities with illegitimate children, we listened to their spin doctors instead of demanding that ministry leaders act like Christians.
God forgive us.

We were the naïve ones. When they begged for $2 million more in donations because of a budget shortfall, we didn't feel comfortable asking why they needed that $10,000-a-night hotel suite. In fact, if we did question it, another Christian was quick to say, "Don't criticize! The Bible says, ‘Touch not the Lord's anointed!'" God forgive us.

International preacher's family estate
Mayer HomeWe have treated these charlatans like Al Capone—as if they were untouchable—and as a result their corruption has spread throughout charismatic churches like a plague. Our movement is eaten up with materialism, pride, deception and sexual sin because we were afraid to call these Bozos what they really are —insecure, selfish, egotistical and emotionally dysfunctional.

If we had applied biblical discernment a long time ago we could have avoided this mess. There is no way we can know how many unbelievers rejected the gospel because they saw the church supporting quacks who swaggered, bragged, lied, flattered, bribed, stole and tearfully begged their way into our lives—while we applauded them and sent them money.

When well-meaning Christians quote 1 Chronicles 16:22 ("Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm," NASB) to cover up corruption or charlatanism, they do horrible injustice to Scripture. This passage does not require us to stay quiet when a leader is abusing power or deceiving people.

On the contrary, we are called to confront sin in a spirit of love and honesty—and we certainly aren't showing love to the church if we allow the charismatic Al Capones of our generation to corrupt it.



J. Lee Grady
is the editor of Charisma magazine. He also spoke out at the time of the Todd Bentley controversy.


J Lee Grady, 04/08/2010

Feedback:
Pawlo 06/08/2010 22:26
"God is shaking His church and removing corruption. But we share the blame for giving charlatans a platform."

Now there's a set up line for deception if I ever saw one!
"God is shaking His church and removing corruption."
Surely this is contrary to scripture. What about expel the immoral brother? What about do not let anyone disqualify YOU from the prize? Do people really think that satan will stop deceiving now a false teacher has been exposed? Certainly not, he will now deceive with even greater power and effect!

"But we share the blame for giving charlatans a platform."
No, I think people who listened to this stuff never knew the truth in the first place and probably still don't. So are they to blame? But they are certainly in error.

"We were the gullible ones. When they said, "The Lord promises you untold wealth if you will simply give a thousand dollars right now," we went to the phones and put the donations on our credit cards. God forgive us"

Again the desires of the sinful nature are at the core of the error and there is little sign of repentance, just a few red faces and a drive for God to tidy it up and do a new thing.

2 Cor 11,3-4

3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.


Peter Carr 07/08/2010 10:26
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

"Pruning" might be the more appropriate analysis, God will only let His people go down wrong paths for so long before He steps in with the pruning equipment!

As for God's people being to blame, yes I agree, all who are born again of His Spirit have access to the things of God (means of grace) through the Holy Spirit, The Word who became flesh and the whole counsel of God. Often the problem that exists (particularly in the rich West) is shallowness.

As we all have access to the means of grace that God provides, we will all have to give an account one day!
Rom 14:12 "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."

And these charlatans will be held even more accountable (cf. the book of James)!



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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Christian Survival Resource > Thank God: someone has said it at last