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The Church as a Business July 6, 2010

Posted by Henry in Matters of the Faith.
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One of the quickest ways to become rich today is to become a pastor and start your own church. Seriously, this is no joke! All you need to do is to declare that “God gave you a vision” to build the biggest church in Europe or America or Africa and you promote the vision heavily. You develop a seeker sensitive, purpose driven doctrine and employ church growth strategies to ensure the pews are filled. Another essential ingredient is to ensure you have a band and a choir to provide lively music and you provide a vibrant, fiery message to create a “spiritual atmosphere” and take the people on a “spiritual” high. You turn them into “spiritual” junkies so that they keep coming back for fix and they will even gladly pay for the privilege too when you make demands on them to part with their cash in the form of various seed sowing/offerings. You appoint yourself as the MD or CEO of “Your Name” Ministries Inc and you appoint your sons and daughters as members of the board. You prepare materials such as books, CDs, DVDs and you promote them in the church services by giving a taster to get the people interested and you impress upon them to buy these vital materials and get their friends to purchase them also. Thus you create a market not only in your church but across many churches. You then sit back and watch the cash rolling in and you say to yourself, “soul take thine ease and enjoy the fruits of thy labour.”

As you become richer and richer your lifestyle changes and you start to wear expensive clothing, wear expensive jewellery and drive expensive cars. Why heck, why stop here now, you may even establish an aeroplane fund to buy your own Lear jet and say it is for the church but only you and a select few confidants will be travelling in it on speaking engagements abroad. You are in high demand and you charge a hefty fee arranged prior to accepting the speaking assignment. To keep the charade going you convince the people that your wealth was solely derived from the blessing of having paid the $1000 seed or from tithing faithfully. You may even claim to pay the 90% tithe and live off 10% to encourage people to follow suit and give more, thinking they will be blessed likewise, and come to enjoy the “abundant life” too. You run the church with a strong hand and swiftly and forcefully put down any challenge to your authority as the senior pastor and head of the church. You may even misquote scriptures like, “Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm” to make the people afraid of saying anything that will expose you. You may also use other scriptures to demonstrate how the people should submit themselves to the pastors put above them.

The above scenario is unfortunately the way a lot of modern churches have been established and are controlled and this is allowed to happen because the people are gullible and undiscerning. When a pastor claims to have received a vision from God to build the biggest church in an area for example, we need to ask, is God competing against Himself? Why should He give one man such a vision when in all probability other smaller churches will be in the same area? Take GODTV for example where Rory and Wendy Alec claims that God gave them this vision of building this television ministry to bring about 1 billion souls for Christ. I think in many cases, rather than having received such a vision these desires are born out of hubris however noble the intentions seems to be. Indeed it is Jesus’ wish to see the gospel preached in all the world and this was the great commission given to the original apostles (Matt 28:19-20). If we notice though, none of the apostles were given any special mandate to “win” more souls than another. Further more Jesus said wherever two or three are gathered in His name He will be there in the midst (Matt 18:20).

It is therefore not about establishing huge church gatherings because the church is simply one body (of Christ). This idea of one man getting a vision to build a church however lends itself to such a venture becoming his own private business and thus lead to spiritual abuses. It may be called church, look like a church, sound like a church but in reality it is no more than a business owned and controlled by its owners. The members are therefore its customers who pay a fee for whatever services they enjoy. This is the sad state of affairs within some organisations called churches. On literally every street corner churches like these are popping up but they couldn’t be further away from the true gospel message.

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Comments»

1. harleyq2 - July 7, 2010

Hi, I had to come over and check out your blog. The bible passage that says [paraphrase] we have to test every spirit to see if it is true and this is the only way to discern whether the church is of God or man. I do make the same criticism of many tv evangelists and my own denomination. The business of church is quite a money maker but it’s the responsibility of each church member to check the message that he/she is hearing with what the bible says. I have found that every church has a fault but some are more aggregious than others. As christian, we have to be very vigilant

2. Tarre Stanley - July 7, 2010

As you so eloquently pointed out, the church, in part, has become a business, and to me it has been made possible by people who refuse to study;by people who want to have their ears tickled and even allowed by God himself, who has given them over to delusion because they loved not the truth. Thank God that the gates of hell shall not prevail over God`s true church. Bless you brother, keep on proclaiming the truth and living the truth, Tarre

3. Henry - July 7, 2010

Hello Harleyq2,
Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting. Indeed the scripture tells us to test every spirit to see if they are of God but a lot of church people don’t seem to want to bother to do this. They accept everyone who stands on the pulpit and tells them they are annointed. I agree it is each members responsibility to check the message against the Bible (like the Bereans did with Paul) but many don’t read their Bibles and so they assume that everthing that comes from the mouth of the “man of God” is gospel truth.

4. Henry - July 7, 2010

Tarre,
I couldn’t agree with you more and thanks for the encouragement. Bless you.

5. Ofelia Ancajas - July 15, 2010

Bravo! This is so true! Churches are becoming business enterprises!

6. Henry - July 17, 2010

Hello Ofelia Ancajas,
Welcome. Many have gone after the way of Balaam and are making merchandise of the people as scripture prophesied in 2 Peter 2. Yet for all people will not wake up and see the truth.

7. Ofelia Ancajas - August 1, 2010

I found this verse in the Bible, and just to share it in relation to the dilemma of the church regarding money:

‘No one who loves money can be judged innocent; his efforts to get rich has led him into sin. Many people have been ruined because of money, brought face to face with disaster. Money is a trap for those who are fascinated by it. A trap that every fool falls into.’ Sirach 31:5-7

(some of Bibles don’t have or have not included the Book of Sirach, but one can really draw good insights and wisdom from it)


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