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Prophets or Profiteering

stop-war-profiteeringIs there a man or woman among us who is unaware of the fact that America, and the world, have fallen into serious moral, economic, political, and religious decay? There may be a few who are so grossly blind that they cannot see the obvious, but they are the exception and not the rule. It is just too obvious where we are headed. If that is the case; if the case is so desperate; if things have gotten so reckless and violent, that even the ignorant and vision impaired can see it; is it a time for the gifted among us (preachers, authors, and radio celebs) to be profiting through the merchandising of men’s souls and printed materials that profess to hold answers? We have a few examples of such a thing happening in Scripture: Neh 5:1-11

“And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren. For there were those who said, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live.”  There were also some who said, “We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine.”  There were also those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards.” And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, “Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them. And I said to them, “According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?”

“Then they were silenced and found nothing to say.  Then I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury! Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them.”

Paul ask, “What is my reward then? Truly that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 1 Cor 9:18. “If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.” 1 Cor. 9:12 “Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?” 2 Cor. 11:7 “For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!” 2 Cor. 12:13. Has the Gospel been hindered today by the profiteering of its professors?

Promo for a book by Joseph Farah:

“Our nation’s economic well being, homeland security and once-great culture are all in danger,” says Farah. “People want answers, now more than ever. And providing answers is what Taking America Back is all about.”

“Taking America Back exposes the weaknesses in America’s current political and cultural systems and offers practical solutions that will revive freedom, decency, and justice in our nation.”

“The founders put it all on the line,” writes Farah. “They were willing to sacrifice their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. What, if anything, are Americans (including Farah) today willing to sacrifice?”

Is this really about taking the land, or is it about profits? How do we know that the founders were sincere in their message to take back America? Because of their sacrifice, that is how! Did they simply write books to enrich their coffers? Or did they lay it all on the line?

Excuse me, but haven’t we had enough books and sermons? Isn’t it time for action? Where is all the big talk when it means walking the walk, not just talking the talk.  Few authors and preachers actually get off their posteriors and do the things they write and preach about. Are these writers and speakers waiting for those who listen to and read their stuff to lead the charge? Good luck with that! Where are those who really do the things they write and preach about? Is Joseph Farah ready to sacrifice his own life, his own fortune, and his own sacred honor? Words will not answer that question, only action. Joe may not promise to do the things he talks about, but he does promise that “While supplies last, all copies of Taking America Back and Stop the Presses will be autographed by Joseph Farah. Order your autographed copies today exclusively from Shop.WND.com and don’t forget to look for the “Personalized Inscription” box during checkout!”

Is this a war we are engaged in, or is this just more “sports talk,” like arguing over who will win the super bowl, and maybe picking up a few extra bucks on a bet, but never actually getting onto the field? Is this just profiteering, like the local grocer or gas station raising prices, when they anticipate a shortage?

Joseph Farah is not alone by any measure. Pick your favorite preacher or author, they are nearly all accomplices in this end time madness. Let’s look at a well-known favorite, of whom I have read and supported. Have you heard of John MacArthur? John has, recently, written a book called The Truth War. I liked the book. It was well written and informative, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to investigate the deception that is taking place in the organized church. But, a few things concern me today that I really never thought about much in times past. This book is called The Truth War and I think that John really believes we are in a war for the truth; why else would he write such a book? Consider this; what would you think of a General, who recruited soldiers into his outfit, declared that we are at war with a terrible enemy, then wants you to go purchase the bullets needed to fight the war, manufactured by his company? Isn’t that what is happening here? Or is he just creating fear to sell books? Profiteering, it’s the American way, isn’t it? If I’m not mistaken, profiteering during times of real war could be termed “treason.”

I only mention these two because of their fame, wide audience, and large following, but the numbers of professing Christians taking advantage of their brothers and sisters are so many that they almost defy counting. Writing books and preaching sermons have never won wars. As the saying goes,  “wars are won on the ground.”  Precious few are willing to actually do the things they write about. Sooo many answers, and so few honorable actions. Are these “leaders” waiting for someone else to lay down their fame and fortunes? Maybe some “buck private” will step forward to lead the charge, maybe a “David;” but, I suppose this is, and has always been, God’s way. Are we looking for God in some earth shaking book or fire breathing sermon, or will we find God in the still small voice of some insignificant soul who couldn’t write a book or preach a sermon if his life depended on it, but knows how to discern the times, and what to do, and does it.

I’m anxious to hear all the varied reasons for protecting the bankrolls of these famous men. How did God’s will ever get done without radio, printing presses, and Christian book stores?

A few years ago I would never have written ths piece and would have justified all of these productions as needed “preaching and teaching,” but now it looks more like whore mongering, and the filthiness of the world system provoking fear and lusting for profits, in the name of Jesus. We despise the store owner who feeds on the fears of its customers and jacks up prices, or the man who creates shortages to increase prices, or the gas station who increases prices when a shortage is predicted, but the man with the pulpit, behind the microphone, or behind the typewriter is applauded when he does the very same thing.

I am reminded of how the Gospel is an offence to the rich and why it was preached to the poor of all sorts. What about your fame and fortune Joe and John? You are the men with answers; you are the declarers of war. What’s next, another book, another sermon, another declaration, another plea for funds?

Honestly the message of the Gospel is blasphemed because of the richness lavished on the organized church, and I cannot blame most of those doing the blaspheming. The Church of Laodicea is alive and well in America and you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see it. The Gospel message is corrupted in many ways, not least of these is by profiteering. We have no example of lavish lifestyles being afforded to prophets or preachers in their pursuit to proclaim the Gospel. 1 Tim 4:1-3,6-7 (Phi) God’s Spirit specifically tells us that in later days there will be men who abandon the true faith and allow themselves to be spiritually seduced by teachings of demons, teachings given by men who are lying hypocrites, whose consciences are as dead as seared flesh… You will be a faithful minister of Christ Jesus if you remind your church members of these things. You will show yourself as a man nourished by the message of the true faith and the sound teaching he has followed. But steer clear of all these heathen old wives’ tales. Again: Gal 1:6-9 (Phi) I am amazed that you have so quickly transferred your allegiance from him who called you by the grace of Christ to another “gospel”! Not that it is another gospel, but there are men who are upsetting your faith with a travesty of the gospel of Christ. Yet I say that if I, or an angel from Heaven, were to preach to you any other gospel than the one you have already heard, may he be damned! You have heard me say it before and now I say it again–may anybody who preaches any other gospel than the one you have already heard be a damned soul! Those are strong words and these are the latter days.

Notice the motive of dishonesty:

2 Pet 2:1-3 (NIV) But there were false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies. Many will follow their shameful ways and bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.

1 Tim 6:3-5 (Phi) This is the sort of thing you should teach and preach, and if anyone tries to teach some doctrinal novelty and does not follow sound teaching (which we base on our Lord Jesus Christ’s own words and which leads to Christlike living), then he is a conceited idiot! His mind is a morbid jungle of disputation and argument, things which lead to nothing but jealousy, quarreling, insults, and malicious innuendoes–continual wrangling, in fact, among men of warped minds who have lost their real hold on the truth but hope to make some profit out of the Christian religion.

Many are going to say that this letter is causing division, but am I causing division or being obedient? Wouldn’t you agree that preaching for profit is wrong? Wouldn’t you agree that using the Gospel to advance one’s own position in the world is wrong? Jude 1:19 (NIV) These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. The Laodicean Church is flourishing and is a mockery to real faith. It is easy to look at the Seeker churches, the Emerging churches, or the New Age churches and see the great deficit in faith and trust, but we wink at the conservative right-wing protestant churches that build that which Christ Himself said He would build. God says it is built in vain, but they refuse to see it. They claim to be protecting the “message” when they cannot see that they have also been deluded. God has allowed Satan to trick us into believing that if we obey God’s instructions, we are the ones “causing division”, instead of the false prophets and teachers (wolves) we are commanded to rebuke (Titus 1:11-2:1).

The conservative organized church, has created a dynasty, that has no intention of being shared with the new Emerging Mega church, who don’t play by the rules. They are like the Pharisees and the Sadducees, which neither played by the rules, and could not recognize the truth. The organized church today has been carried away with all kinds of strange teachings Heb. 13:9. What these men and their churches are doing does not pass the test, 1 Thes 5:21, Acts 17:11, 1 Tim. 4:11,16. The organized church does not look like the Church we see in the New Testament. Jesus commanded the church to return and do the first works over again. This command stands as our prime directive today, at this late hour. So, many of us have discerned that something is wrong with the organized church as a whole, but refuse to act in faith and separate from it, for fear of being found alone, with God. Our false hope of security in numbers will be our undoing, so we gravitate to popular places and people. Our hope is misplaced.

Don’t be deceived. God has hired many to do His bidding. Phil 1:15-18 (NIV) It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of good will. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Inside the organized church are some who God will call out, but don’t think that the great masses that now inhabit the walls of religious buildings are God’s Elect, it is not true, “Because (it is still true) strait (as in difficult) is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14

P.S. I hope I have to eat these words.

Steve Blackwell

One reply on “Prophets or Profiteering”

Steve,

May I encourage you that there always is, and God will always have, a remnant who will not bow their knee to these false Baals? You are right to bemoan all the profiteers that pop up in times like these. The Bible tells us "Freely you have received, freely give." Too much of this kind of thinking about "taking our government back" is based on Kingdom Now Dominionism, which is the opposite that Christ prophesied. The world will get worse and worse before He returns. Is that a defeatist attitutde? Not if it is the truth, and Jesus IS the Truth. The Beatles famously sang "It's only getting better, getting better all the time" and they were wrong.

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