An interesting article has just come out from Lee Grady called “Say Goodbye to the Untouchable Preachers”. This article is basically an appeal for “charismatic” Christians, or those believing in the present day operation of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, to WAKE UP concerning certain high profile ministers who apart from whatever legitimate gifts they have also been doing the wrong thing. Grady refers to people who “use their uncanny hypnotic ability to control major Christian TV networks”, to people who said, “The Lord promises you untold wealth if you will simply give a thousand dollars right now.” and to people who said “I need your sacrificial gift today so I can repair my private jet” or who “populated cities with illegitimate children”. Ok, so it sounds like he is talking about some of the popular preachers on TBN and GOD TV.
Interestingly, when I last went to the article by Lee Grady on charismamag.com, the ads that were coming up on the side were for Singaporean megachurch pastor (apostle?) Joseph Prince, according to whose teaching repentance is absolutely not required for one to be right with God. So on the one side, Lee Grady is bemoaning the total lack of standards amongst certain high profile ministries, and selling a new book called “The Holy Spirit is not for sale”, while on the same page Strang, his employer, is spruiking the teaching of Joseph Prince whose views on “the uncompromised gospel of grace” I have referred to in other articles on this website.
In my view we have a mixed message going out. On the one hand, preachers like Joseph Prince whose books are promoted on the same webpage as Grady’s article would tell us that, because of God’s grace, we essentially have a free pass to sin. Not that Joseph Prince would necessarily ENCOURAGE people to sin. But he would feel that Christians can relax about the issue, because their eternal salvation is secure whether they repent or not. And for modern charismatic teachers like Joseph Prince what REALLY matters is success – influence, money, results etc. He believes that these things can be obtained by simply effortlessly tapping into God’s grace. So if Prince is right, what could be so harmful about charismatic superstar preachers who lie to obtain money, who mistreat their spouses, divorce them or conceive children out of wedlock. They are ANOINTED PREACHERS after all! People have been blessed and thousands have come to Christ through their influence! They are enjoying the effortless success that comes to those who tap into God’s grace, right? Who are WE to speak out against them? We should accept them as they are, no? We should “Judge not, lest we be judged”!
Dear friends, the things that have been happening in the visible church for some time have caused many of us to inwardly mourn. It is time for people to start thinking in a different way. If salvation and spiritual success can co-exist with a sinful life, let us preach that message (as some are). If on the other hand, those who practice lawlessness will be cast into the Lake of Fire as Jesus taught (Matthew 7:21-23) notwithstanding their outstanding track record of charismatic faith exploits, then let us preach that.
Those who wish to enter Eternal Life should repent! Get your eyes OFF the hypnotic televangelists who want to take your money! Get your eyes onto the Word of God. Consider deeply what the Lord Jesus Christ taught. Make that your standard of life, even if at first it seems like you are the only one who believes that way.
The New Testament makes it clear enough that it takes a certain amount of WISDOM to be saved. Fools, that is, MORAL REBELS, need to repent. Paul writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:15 says:
“and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Those who have read the book of Proverbs will remember that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”. Those who have lost the fear of the LORD have also forsaken wisdom. And unless they repent, they have also forsaken the Savior.
“Anointed people” – people who have been set apart for God as preachers, or leaders of churches, are required to live exemplary lives as Christians. We have greatly erred if we consider that such people should be “untouchable”. Concerning Elders, the Bible says, “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all”. In the New Testament, you are not even qualified to be a DEACON if you are not first tested and found blameless. Forget about being qualified to be an “apostle”, “prophet/apostle”, “apostle/bishop”, “Big shot” ad nauseum … I believe we are better off living without all these titles if we won’t tell the truth and we won’t keep our hormones under control. Jesus had something else to say in Luke 17.
Luke 17:10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
May the Lord grant us a recovery of the truth of the gospel in this generation amongst those of us who love to experience the grace and power of God in its many forms.