Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Prosperity's Preposterous Propensity

It is happening again. Again is probably too optimistic a term. As long as people, including ministers, are prone to selfishness and sinful behavior there will be failings. However, it seems that there have been a rash of them in recent weeks (months, years).

In this entry I am not going to deal with
  • Oral Roberts or his visions
  • Jim Bakker and his crimes or moral failures
  • Jimmy Swaggart and his special friends
  • Ted Haggard and his unusual addictions
  • W.V. Grant and his healing gifts
  • Robert Tilton and his concern for supporters' prayer requests
  • Richard Roberts and his financial problems
  • Creflo Dollar and his gifts to policemen.
Those are all too easy. They can be dismissed because the issues involved lack of judgment and stupidity. But I do want to deal with three televangelists and their problems. These three are all smart people who should know better than what they have done. They are not thinking. Or maybe they think they are above and beyond scrutiny.
  • Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. It was recently disclosed that their ministry owns a $3.6 million jet, a $6 million dollar home that the Copelands live in on a 1500 acre property. This is true while the Copelands continue to stall and resist a Congressional investigation into their finances.
  • Thomas Weeks III. Reverend Weeks recently gained notoriety for his flamboyant wedding to popular preacher Juanita Bynum. There were extravagant gifts, rings and parties. Then there was an inevitable break-up including Weeks beating his wife in a parking lot. This sounds just like something you would read in your celebrity gossip magazine. Finally, Weeks was led from his church in handcuffs after falling half a million dollars behind in rent.
  • Randy and Paul White. The Whites have been mentioned in this blog before. ( Now they are in financial trouble. Their $12 million loan on their church property in Florida has been foreclosed. 
One of the saddest parts of this situation is that all of these are proponents of what I believe to be an heretical teaching. The belief is that God wants all his followers to be wealthy. Followers are taught that if they give to the ministry then they will be blessed with prosperity in return. 

I would suggest that everyone be a little more critical before giving to any ministry or church. Make sure you know where the money is going and what it will be used for. Pay close attention to those who are receiving the money. Do their lifestyles match their teachings? Do they live out the principles of Jesus in their lives?

Pay attention to what is going on and pray for those in authority.

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