Posted by: Captain Howdy | March 24, 2009

Money Cometh…Out of Your Pocket…Into Mine

Money Cometh…Out of Your Pocket…Into Mine

I was recently reading some sermon notes I had by a well-known faith preacher. We will call him Someone I Once Followed. The notes were on the topic of Faith (surprise!). As I was reading, I was reminded of some things I liked about the Word of Faith. What I was reading expressed a lot of commitment to the Bible as God’s Word. I had not heard that kind commitment to the Word of God in the denominations that I was familiar with. We had all believed that the Bible was inspired and inerrant but these Faith guys expressed reliance and dependence on the Bible in unequivocal terms. Their attitude was “This is God’s Word and I’ll do whatever it says, even if it seems to my own hurt.”

The Bible was also given as a basis for communion with God and as the only way to find fulfillment. I was not hearing these concepts expressed with such fire and enthusiasm until I encountered the WOF. That was part of the attraction for me. This was communicated very clearly in the Faith movement. It was a contrast to what I had been used to hearing. When I could find a clear point being communicated, it was something like “be committed and don’t get your hopes up.”

(A little footnote: I know people have itching ears to hear convenient messages but of those of us with orthodox doctrine fail to clearly and aggressively articulate the basic messages of Christianity backed with moral character, we are going to continue to face problems like this in the Evangelical movement.)

Anyway these faith preachers were inspiring because of their example of commitment to God’s Word. While reflecting on the notes I was reading, I was reminded of one of the many disappointments I’ve had with the WOF: there was something that the leaders and preachers ultimately had a greater commitment to than faith.

That something was money.

I have observed symptoms of the Faith movement’s love affair with money. The church I attended for years usually gave a mini-sermon before tithes were taken up. I had friends who were going through a severe financial crisis and stopped tithing. The pastor told them that failing to tithe was the biggest mistake they could have made. This from a guy who was famous for preaching that if people gave money to him, they would be blessed and have what amounted to good luck. This was back when Leroy Thompson’s “Money Cometh” message was hot and people were stuffing the preacher’s coat pocket with cash. If it was going to damage this couple so bad, why didn’t he give them money to tithe from? It wasn’t like he didn’t have the money. We could also talk a long time about WOF ministries being investigated for inappropriate use of non-profit money. Financial transparency is unheard of in Faith churches because the leader has final say on all church matters.

I don’t see how a minister can be “A man of the Word” and ignore Biblical admonitions to ethical behavior. I guess they really are “favorite Word people.”

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