(Series: "Christian Greed")

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Greed: deception #3: Having great theology means you are OK

by Bernie Dehler

(Note: this article mentions some prominent ministers with financial"issues." While I list a few of the problems, there are also some positive role-models, such as Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family. Click here to see how today's prominent ministers are being compensated. This is public information; 501(c)(3) para-church ministries are required to submit it by law. We, as donors, need to be good stewards and reward those ministries that demonstrate self-control.)

Which one looks more pleasing to God? Click here to find out.

When I say that certain ministers, who are well received in the Evangelical community, make too much money, there's a natural defense for them. Sure, the "Prosperity Gospel" preachers are messed-up theologically, so go after them. But how can Dr. John Hagee ($900,000), Billy Graham ($400,000), or Hank Hanegraaff ($400,000 together with his wife) have money issues or worldiness issues since they have correct theology?

Look in the Bible to see who else had correct theology: The rich young ruler. He claimed to obey all the commandments (Luke 18:19-21). I believe him; the Apostle Paul claimed the same thing about himself (Philippians 3:4-6), before he came to know Christ.

The experts in religion in that day were the Pharisees. But they also loved money (Luke 16:14-15). How could the religious experts be guilty? It's mind-boggling and ironic: the very people who speak for God and represent God... are lovers of money.

The simple answer is that it's not theology or knowledge that guides and saves us. Even the devil believes in Jesus... and shudders (James 2:19).

We must apply our beliefs to our lives. Without the fruit, people are just hypocrites (saying one thing but doing another). Ministers, above all others, are held to a higher standard (James 3:1). Be on guard for those who present a face of "false humility." We need to "clean the temple" (Matthew 21:12), so the Lord doesn't have to do it, or worse yet, non-believers (by pointing out hypocrisy in the Church).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ministers today seem to live such a lavish's shameful. Their wives often times don't work, yet have expensive clothes (no Walmart dresses for them), expensive jewelry, nails made up at all times. Ministers have free housing, numerous vacations each year, free health and life insurance, etc. I have no respect for these kinds of ministers.

5:33 PM  

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