Thursday, February 14, 2013

Subtle Child Abuse


If you have watched “Christian” television” you have seen certain “ministries” show pictures of undernourished children, usually black or brown, from some third world country. And along with those pictures are usually pictures of the television minister, male of female, hugging a black child and seeing children being fed or given drinking water and even being presented with some gifts. It is all too predictable.

Now those children are probably real along with millions and millions of others. And many believers have given in some way to help such needs. And there are many ministries and outreaches, both large and small, which help children like these as well. But what makes these television spectacles so distasteful and so self serving is the way these videos and pictures are presented as leverage for giving to that particular ministry. Additionally, what should elicit righteous anger from believers is that many if not most of the people who head these ministries live in luxury which is in no small way supported by the attention and offerings derived by these unsuspecting children.

When we step back and assess such things and see the double minded motives as well as the lifestyles of these television people and we should be able to see just how disgusting the entire spectacle is. But this is how the capitalist church operates in the west. Money is the driving force, so you can promise miracles or financial prosperity or even use needy children as your hook and if that particular gimmick seems to work, well you work that corner of the street until it dries up. In fact, asking for monthly pledges is a clever way to receive from the same sources continually. It is a regular cornucopia of donations.

Because of some FCC guidelines, many ministries are very careful not to say that all the donations go to a certain place and outreach. That way they can harvest their own “cut” from the monthly take. And make no mistake, when you show pictures of needy black and brown children it is always beneficial to show emotion or a cracking voice or even tears while begging for support. And if the right camera did not capture those emotions, you can always do another take. Do not be deceived, it is that calculated.

There is no doubt the church should do more to help people all over the world, but as per the teachings of Jesus our right hand should not publicize that to the left hand. And even though some information may be important and vital, the western church has made fundraising a science which seems to benefit the preachers more than the children they use.


Anonymous said...

This is outright exploitation of the poor! It's terrifying to think what these people will have to answer for some day unless they repent.

Please, brothers and sisters, do not give to such enterprises!

There are many humble servants and ministries that really serve the least. If your heart is moved to obey the Lord and invest treasure in heaven this way, seek them out.

I can get 100% of any money donated to war and AIDS orphans in northern Uganda whom I have personally visited twice. Heaven's Family is another means to love the poor in Jesus' Name that I can endorse.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. When I see those ads, I am disturbed at the exploitation. If the need is so great, just ask. Showing the 'christian celebrity' talking about that child's condition to a camera, right in front of that child, teaches the child that adults need to manipulate the masses in order to get charity. These kids are smart and they know when people manipulate the situation, asking them to look sad for the cameras; it teaches them later in life to be look like victims and grift. It doesn't teach the child that the church helps regardless of cameras, but that they must constantly have an angle.

I agree, asking people to reach out to help feed and send aid, medication, clothes, is a necessary thing. But people do not have to be coerced into giving by watching intentionally-made pitiful images to stir the emotions.

This is marketing, playing on people's minds; it's also christian celebrities marketing themselves and their 'other' ministry, making themselves look caring and trustworthy.

I just can't buy any more fakery. It's been done a lot by many evangelists, and even though they may relieve hunger, or cold and poverty, they use so much of the donations for overhead costs, and possibly draw salaries from them. There's nothing worse that seeing grown men and women use disadvantaged children to lift up their 'name' and ministry.

Connie Neu said...

I read a confirmed article where jimmy swaggart was giving pennies on the dollar 2 a Childrens Charity..His accountant quit working 4 him because of the Lie..I give 2 the Mission in my City..The Gospel Missions help the poorest of the poor..They dont turn People away..They do not rake in millions every month either..Raising money has become a SCAM for many Ministries..

michael said...

When one takes the time with the assistance of the Holy Spirit to see the results of the hands in the book of Acts you should quickly realize all church growth and "prosperity" is local!

It was when the local churches began to grow in His Grace and the power of the Holy Spirit they prospered so when great famine came afterward to the church in Jerusalem then the "daughter" churches began collecting funds and I suppose other resources for them.

That pattern was not the norm! That kind of giving was the exception and a temporal fix not a long term solution.

I guess we indeed will experience "peace" with God once we are aligned with the God of Peace? Until then He will bring forces to bear upon your soul to assist you in finding His perfect peace.

And as for the exploitation of children it's a shameful thing! For the most part children are happy and joyful even under harsh times that they sometimes go through.
To isolate their plight for personal gain is reprehensible!

Anonymous said...

The fact that these same television ministries also promulgate the myth of America as a "Christian nation" really underscores what you're saying. It is no coincidence. The almighty dollar has become enshrined in their hearts and not the Almighty Lord.

I first became involved with Compassion International over 40 years ago. It has remained the most consistently trustworthy organization I've ever supported. I enthusiastically advocate for child sponsorship through Compassion. It has been an incredible blessing and a wonderful way to be "rich toward God."

Kim K.