THE NON-PROPHET / FOR PROFIT MINISTRY MODEL: That which is Highly Esteemed among Men is Detestable in the Sight of God (2)

          “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.”

          They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

          Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.”

          They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication…” [John 8:37-41]

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          One of the many things the Lord Jesus was falsely accused of by religious people was illegitimacy in both physical birth and ministry calling. Everyone except His own mother and maybe a few others believed he was conceived in a sinful union out of wedlock. It is also apparent that some people thought Joseph was not His real father. Though they were correct, it was certainly not for the reason they thought.

          There were many other lies told about Him. He was said to be crazy, demon-possessed, a drunk, a glutton, a false prophet, and a liar. Even with a preponderance of obvious miracles performed by Him, most still did not believe the truth but preferred the lies. Only a relatively small percentage of His own people thought He was who He said He was.

          Hence, it was next to impossible for the Lord Jesus to have a good reputation within society in general, even though He is perfect, had never sinned, and never did anything wrong. He kept the Law of Moses perfectly and in the right spirit.

A GOOD REPUTATION WITH GOD OR MEN?

          Therefore, rather than personal reputations, the Lord cares much more about correcting whatever keeps people from real discipleship, such as false doctrines, false teachings, false operations, and false set-ups. He cares about removing all the stuff He never put there. It is far better to have a great reputation with the Lord and be thought of as an idiot in the eyes of the world than it is to reject God’s correction and sell out to His enemies.

          This presents a problem for the fakers, however, because much of the income in many ministries is tied to such things. Consequently, there is a ton of not-so-good stuff hidden behind the scenes that no one ever sees and the people involved must keep it that way or they will lose funding. It is the same in many churches.

          That is why the most important reason no one speaks out about minister frauds is because some of them bring in the greatest amount of cash. The cash not only enriches them, but in a general sense enriches everyone associated with them.

          It is the idea of a rising tide raising all ships. It is why so many ministers attempt to get their boat out on that particular body of water even if financial pirates are present. There’s just way too much money and influence to sail away from.

          Any churchgoer who pays any attention whatsoever knows that every individual church or ministry has to establish a good reputation and must always defend that reputation. One would think this would be based on fending off lies and otherwise unfounded malicious attacks that arise primarily from unseen evil forces intent on doing damage to a God-founded entity. These could in part be malcontents and disgruntled former members with axes to grind. But such are not the real reason for defensive ministry postures.

          Though such spiritual attacks do occur from time to time, most “attacks” are not attacks at all, but simply someone pointing out the sin and error most often found within church leadership. As a result, church leadership has long-since instituted a no-rebuke hierarchical set-up that protects it not only from actual attacks, but also from the Lord’s rebuke.

         This non-rebukable, non-accountable, top-of-the-pyramid leadership structure can thus go about its business with no fear of any possible spiritual correction that might harm its outward reputation.

          As a result, such non-New Testament leadership models grow ever-corrupt (with pretty faces) in their unceasing quest to dodge necessary correction in order to keep their monetary and worldly success and societal reputations intact—the leaders thereof have gained great esteem in the sight of men but not so with God.

          “And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.

          “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

          “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men…” [Matthew 10:11-17] [1]

          Church leadership learned a long time ago how to circumvent and censor the honest, informed people in their churches who, by the anointing of God and because of their love for the Truth, act as their Lord and Master did when He pointed out the spiritual errors of the religious elites of His time.

          Because the majority of that which can be classified as “church leadership” has obvious vested interests in their respective enterprises, they must protect those interests at all costs. What they need are supporters with money, the same way any legitimate business needs clients and customers. They need people who ask no questions, accept everything as presented, and always give as directed.

          Most churches and ministries are run like a business. If one disagrees, try doing church as usual with no money.

          A business cannot exist unless it has a commodity or product to sell. Good businesses create good products and people are willing to buy said products. Many churches and ministries are actually no different. If they are to exist and be successful they must have a good product that produces a good revenue stream. Without money they are out of business. It is a very simple proposition.

          Some ministers are actually honest about this. They know very well the nature of the set-up. They also know, however, that because they are honest they must do things the Lord’s way. They know that whatever money they receive must come with the approval of the Lord Jesus attached to it. They will not ask for money otherwise. They know the entire money issue is never “business as usual.” They know the money they receive as donations or earn through their own labor is due to the Lord’s blessing and approval.

          However, many ministers do not follow this clear spiritual protocol. They act like they do, but this acting is the same as all their other acting. They have in fact bought into an act that has been around for centuries. Maybe some of them are deluded, but most know it is a very simple proposition—money will either make them or break them. For them (the vast majority of Christian ministers), money is the solution. Without money they cannot operate or even exist.

          The very few honest ministers reject this entire notion. They know it is not Biblical. They know it does not stem from the teachings of the Lord. They know the Lord has called them to a specific work and as long as they draw breath they will do that work come hell or high water, whether they have any money or not.

          © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on October 29, 2015, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Honesty has a price in this present world. But our God is sovereign. And Heaven’s gift is well worth maintaining the Lord’s favor upon our heads. Thanks.

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    • Thank you, Gary. You said it well, as David said it:

      For the choir director; According to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David:

      My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.

      How long will you assail a man, that you may murder him, all of you, like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse.

      Selah.

      My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

      Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

      Selah.

      Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath. Do not trust in oppression and do not vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.

      Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God; And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, for You recompense a man according to his work. [Psalm 62:1-12]

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Which all begs the question, if these mighty men of the pulpit really believed God, why do they beg, extort, guilt trip and live off donations of men like parasites, claiming their “members” must “tithe”? This isn’t the Old Covenant, and they aren’t Levitical priests.

    George Mueller went straight to the Lord to have his legitimate needs met for the work he was doing, and his needs were met supernaturally, not by going to man. Isn’t there a curse attached to “leaning on the arm of the flesh, and/or trusting in man, not God”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Scarlett. What you state is all too true. Anxiety arises when bills are due without enough money to pay. Anxiety can be a blessing, however, if we use the energy to do something constructive toward whatever is causing it.

      The Lord gave the following illustration:

      “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” [Luke 14:28-30]

      Governments fix the above problem by merely forcing a tax upon the people. Others plead for donations. Sometimes these two become one.

      Regarding the tithe, it is no good if it is forced. The tithe is not a tax and never was. I believe in tithing, but only in the sense of giving, like any other giving. Regarding the OT tithe, it was not to be collected by force, but to assist the Levitical priesthood whose work was dedicated to the spiritual work of God. The other tribes, when thinking properly, understood this to be a process of each doing a relatively small part to help their brother do the will of God. However, if the Levites began demanding the tithe or set up a system in which the tithe was coerced, their heart was completely wrong. It is no different than a Christian making demands upon God in the attempt to force God to bless him or a minister making demands upon a congregation.

      Of course, there is no longer one tribe among twelve doing the spiritual work of God. WE ARE ALL MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL. The Lord Jesus has created a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS. Every real Christian is a priest in His kingdom. Therefore, no particular priests within His kingdom can properly make demands that the tithe belongs to them exclusively.

      The tithe is supposed to be given, but given to the where the Lord Jesus directs it. It is up to each believer to hear from the Lord regarding wherever that may be. There is certainly a blessing in the tithe, because one is supporting the Lord Jesus in His work. The tithe is not supposed to be self-administered but God-directed. Ten percent is a great starting point because it is relatively small but also substantial spiritually.

      When my children were young and we were in a church service at offering time, I specifically told them, “Now remember, we are not giving to the preacher or to the church. We are giving to the Lord Jesus.” One of my children told me a few years or so later, “When you were first telling me that I always thought the Lord Jesus was out in the back somewhere…”

      We know the Lord allowed for donations during His ministry. But there is no record of Him ever demanding money from His followers. He was never anxious about money. He had worked very hard for many years prior to ministry earning the large amount of money He would need to support His disciples and their families. He had worked off any possible anxiety regarding a lack of funding in advance. He knew He did His part and knew by faith that others would give as well. He knew He had enough to finish His tower.

      Before starting a church or ministry, the leaders thereof should never take for granted without faith that the money they need will always be there simply because they can force a tithe. Forcing the tithe has made spoiled arrogant brats out of many ministers.

      Though not found in the gospels, the apostle Paul said the Lord Jesus made the following statement: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” But let’s look at the context:

      “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” [Acts 20:33-35]

      Liked by 2 people

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