I typically just chalk these charlatans up to the sentiment of, "Well, there's going to be those that preach a false Gospel. Those that are out there to deceive and build their financial kingdom's upon the back of the flock (and say that they "earned" or "deserve" it). Those that are wolves in sheep's clothing. That's just how it is and I will tell the truth about them when necessary, but I won't be vocal about those that malign the Gospel."
However, what one local church has done is so blatantly "out there" that I had to blog about it. Introducing the "Prosperity Conference". A four-day event all about acquiring money and "experiencing supernatural breakthrough in your finances". It is an utter shame that the church has been shifted away from giving the message of the Gospel to a lost and dying world to money-making workshops. Ironically, one of the guest speakers is, "Rich Stocks".
Is there anything wrong with learning how to make money? Of course not! Is it the role of the church? No. I can find no Biblical references at the establishment of the church when Jesus, the Apostles or His followers got together to learn how to make money. Instead Jesus' message and mission was about seeking and saving the lost.
Most of these money-hungry wolves have their covetous eyes fixed and focused on so many worldy things that they can't help themselves. Their goal is to get you to plant your financial "seed" so that they can buy their luxury vehicles, over-priced suits and lavish homes. They typically have no church structure and no one to report to for the sake of godly accountability. They claim that they are accountable to no one but God...and that they will be held. I pray that these pastors repent.
I guess what breaks my heart the most are the awesome, dedicated, Christians who fall into following these wolves. Some of them are "trapped" in one way or another and can't seem to get out. Typically, the leverage of "being helped out by the church" guilts the sheep into staying around.
The biggest guise of this whole movement is that they actually do give some of the money away. You'll hear some of them say, "Well, we gave $10,000 to this cause so they could build water wells in so-and-so country." Sounds good, huh? Yeah, they give $10,000 to a cause while they kept $500,000. Not a bad trade off! I love a statement that Paul Washer said. He said, "You will have to give account not of how much you give away, but how much you keep." How profound!
A random website that I found that hits the nail on the head. Click here.
If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:3-16