Matthew 19:21-24 (New International Version)
21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Last July, World, a weekly Christian news magazine, ran a very interesting article about ministries and how they spend their money. Many of the things stated in the article came as no surprise to me, but infuriated me nonetheless. I wanted to post a link to that article on my blog then, but I never got around to it (click on the highlighted words to go to the links).
In light of the recent developments regarding the Roberts family of Oral Roberts University, I am now sharing this article on my blog in hopes that it'll help you discern where your money will be best used should you be happen to be one who supports these types of ministries. I think Wall Watchers is a ministry that should be getting more attention in the Christian community (hopefully, someone is grading their financial transparency as well :o). I also hope Christians will begin to voice their disdain for ministries that manipulate God's Word for their own selfish gain, mock His healing power, and prey on those desperate and less fortunate.
The World article quotes Paul Crouch of TBN telling viewers: "If you have been healed or saved or blessed through TBN, and have not contributed . . . you are robbing God and will lose your reward in heaven." Does that not make anyone else absolutely sick to their stomach? I'm serious...my heart is palpatating loudly in my chest right now as I type this. I have been reading the book of Jeremiah, and I can't help but think of the "lying prophets" condemned in Jeremiah 23. Why don't mainstream Christians speak out against such distortion of God's Truth??
I have to be totally honest (this is my blog, afterall), by choice I've watched very few TBN programs. The ones I have watched instantly gave me that same sick to my stomach, heart-palpatating, wanting to scream out "that is not the message of God's Word" feeling! There is just something deep inside me that is strongly repulsed by the prosperity message and the glitsy, pretentious people who often preach it. Not only is it unBiblical, falling in direct opposition to the example of Christ and the Bible's overall theme of humble, sacrificial servitude; this message is also unethical - asking less fortunate people to "sow their seed" into their ministry so that they can be blessed. Just so icky and so obviously wrong to me.
Back to the Oral Roberts University issue: My poor husband has his Bachelor's Degree from this university. After spending four years there (and several thousands of dollars), he saw a lot of hypocrisy and was already "sensitive" about sharing his alma mater with clients and co-workers in his corporate world workplace (he was attending ORU during the late 1980s prayer tower media-event...Oral claimed God would not allow him to live if he didn't raise millions of dollars...ugh). None of the recent allegations about the Roberts' family surprise Max in the least, and as a matter of fact, he could add some of his own to that list. How sad, that the degrees of thousands of graduates and future graduates will be devalued in the eyes of many. How completely more disdainful that the message of the Gospel is being devalued in the eyes of both the saved and the unsaved alike.
Isn't it time Christians speak up?