First, I want to make it clear that I am not against television ministries. Some of them are truly of God. However, I do feel that many of them are in error and it needs to be brought to light. If the blind lead the blind they will both fall into the ditch. I dont want any of us falling into the ditch. And, I feel it is time for some of us to step up and say something about these erroneous acts that have been taking place on Christian TV.
If youve been watching Christian television for the past few years, youll know what I mean when I say, that sometimes television evangelists go too far. How to buy healing, salvation, and blessings from God has become a seed-sowing revolution. Or should I say revelation, since they seem to think they have some kind of new idea. The problem is the Bible does not support their gain is godliness theory. Contrary to what many are preaching this is what the Bible says.
1 Timothy Chapter 6 verses 5-9:
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
The above scriptures instruct us to withdraw from those that teach gain is godliness. Here it is made clear that we are to be content with food and raiment. But this is not the message that is being preached today. In fact, while one well-known TV evangelist was preaching he stated, "If I told you how much money I have you wouldnt believe me." Yet, no matter how rich these ministers become, people just keep on giving to them.
The Bible says to give to the poor not give to the rich and famous. As a matter of fact, Jesus told a rich young man in Matthew 19 to go and sell what he had and give it to the poor. Strange we dont ever hear this preached anymore. Unless you are a Bible reader, you might not even know this Scripture is there.
Think About It: God never intended for anyone to brag about what they have in front of millions of people. The Word says that love is not boastful or proud. Love does not parade itself.
How to Reap an Abundance
Many televangelists talk about the abundant life. They refer to John 10:10 where Jesus said He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. But, the abundant life Jesus was talking about wasnt so much about prospering in this life as in the one to come. He saidto lay not up for ourselves treasures upon earth but lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-20)
Jesus didnt mean for us to try and buy the abundant life on earth, even though many are preaching it can be bought. If you sow money into their ministry youll reap abundance, they say. If you give to them you will become debt free. I have heard them say that many have become rich by giving to them. We know God blesses those who give. But, we arent supposed to give to get we are supposed to give to help. If we keep this godly principle at heart we will be blessed.
Many television evangelists strongly emphasize that if you dont drive an expensive car and live in a fancy house like them, youre notliving the abundant life. "Youre not serving the same God I serve", they boldly state. I guess the disciples didnt serve the same God they serve either. They didnt have an abundance of things but those guys could heal the sick and raise the dead at the drop of a hat. I dont see anyone else doing that.
My Point is This: If these preachers want to talk about abundance, lets talk about an abundance of miracles. People are dying and Id like to see them healed and Im sure their loved ones would too. I am not against having money. We all need it. But, the word abundance has a much deeper meaning than just money.
Trying to Sell Healing is Another Gimmick They Use
Lets face it, television ministries need money to pay their bills. As long as their money is gotten honestly and with integrity, there is nothing wrong with them having it. But, I must say I feel most of the ministers on television today havent gotten their money honestly. I feel they use too many gimmicks to heap riches for themselves. Gimmicks such as trying to sell healing. They tell us if we want to be healed to plant or sow a seed into their ministry. We dont have to send anyone money to be healed. All we have to do is call for the elders of the church. Lets read what James 5:14-15 says about healing.
"If any is sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up ."
Notice the above verse didnt say to send money to a TV ministry so you can be healed. It didnt say that the prayer of faith, along with a donation, would save the sick. No, it didnt say any of this.
My point is this: We need to be careful who we listen to. We shouldnt follow anyones instructions or advice if it doesnt line up with the Word of God. If someone tells you to send a donation or pledge so you can set your healing in motion, do not listen to them. Healing is free. These two wordshealing and moneyshould never be used in the same sentence together.
Money Couldnt Get the Job Done
I hate to even bring this up because it breaks my heart. But I knew a man who died although many people sowed seeds (gave money) for his healing. Now, I cant say for sure why God didnt heal this man, he was a man of God, but I do want to make this point, money apparently didnt help in this situation. But lets not judge too harshly here. None of us really know what we would do if we were in that same situation. This one thing we can be sure of, that no matter who tries to buy it, healing can not be bought. Jesus Christ has already bought and paid for it with His own Blood. We can all be healed through faith in Him.
Fact: Healing is received by faith not by money. Dont let anyone convince you otherwise.
Can The Anointing Be Bought?
I was watching TV one day when a commercial came on. It was a woman and her daughter, they said, "If you partner with us (send monthly gifts to our ministry) the same anointing we have on us will come on you." Isnt this close to what Simon said in Acts: 8:18-21 when Peter told him his money would perish with him?
"And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money. Saying, give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou has thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God."
The man in the above scripture goes on to make things right. But, sad to say, in these days and times many have not made things right. We are living in dangerous times and although a minister is called of God doesnt mean he or she wont wander off into error.
Fact: I am convinced that many do not even consider what they are doing is wrong. Their conscience has been seared with a hot iron, giving heed to seducing spirits. (I Timothy 4:1-2)
Prayer Cloths for Sale
Theres a lady who just came on the scene a few years ago. I think she has an extraordinary call on her life but one night she missed God. On a telethon she was handing out prayer cloths and she said, "Dont come up here and get a prayer cloth if you havent gave anything." She was soliciting funds for a television network. There is nothing wrong with having a telethon but to give out prayer cloths for a donation is against Bible principles. What if someone was there who didnt have any money to give? What if Jesus was there, would He approve of this? The answer to this question is a big resounding NO!
I dont understand why ministers, that are supposed to be called of God, keep on saying things that should never be said. Now, you might say that these ministers arent called of God. Well, I wont go as far as to say that because I remember a few times when I wasnt exactly right on the money (no pun intended) myself. What I am saying is that it is a sad day when you cant even receive a prayer cloth without paying for it.
Remember This: Those who dont have anything to give are those God wants to help the most.
In closing, let me point out again that I am not against television ministries. They are needed. What I am against is the message many of them are preaching and portraying to be the true gossip of Christ. Lets bind together and pray for those who have wandered off into error. Lets bind together and believe that Gods Anointed ones will return and preach the message God intended for them to preach.
I believe Ill just stop here and let you decide if your favorite television evangelist is one of the seed-sowing revolutionist weve been talking about.
Copyright 2004 by Darlene Osborne
Darlene is Publisher of The Christian Online Magazine/ChristianMagazine.org