Saturday, April 12, 2014

Big Business


Man’s addiction, man’s obsession, man’s insatiable pursuit of money really knows no bounds. Some would say drugs and pornography and sex are very big business, and they would be correct. However what can compare with the profit creating business of religion? And given the tax free status of churches and religious ministries, the money just keeps rolling in. Think about what man has used to line his own pockets.

He has made and sold crosses and other religious jewelry. He has invented slogans and sold bracelets and bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets. He has made and sold clothing associated with religion. There have been innumerable books and pamphlets which claim to speak for God or to accurately interpret Scripture. Millions of tapes and CDs of teachings and sermons have been sold. Christian conferences have used hotels and motels and have supported local restaurants and airlines and yes, have increased the financial portfolio of the speakers and singers. The Christian music industry is an incredible avenue of the transfer of wealth. How many billions have been made by the production of Bibles in all different translations or paraphrases and with all kinds of reference themes and different bindings? Books that “prove” that the signs show Jesus is coming back at a certain time have been legion. Billions have been spent on Christian television and have made many men and women extremely wealthy. Christmas and Easter are cash cows themselves. And billions have been spent on church buildings and the interest paid on those loans have lined the pockets of banks and other financial institutions.

Yes religion, and Christianity in particular, is big business. It seems as if the money changers scourged by Jesus has lost its value in instruction today. Capitalism is now a great god.

In fact at its heart patriotism and nationalism in America is rooted in money. The Revolutionary War was over unfair taxes. And the “American way of life” and the “American Dream” are fundamentally a route to personal prosperity. I realize people use the term “freedom”, however money is at the core of it all. And make no mistake, money is a driving force within the institution commonly known as the American church. When a church grows, and their offerings grow, what does it do? It builds bigger barns and hires more staff. Money dictates everything.

If you see in the American church the compromise, and the slide, and the powerless redundancy, and the comfortable friendship with this culture and you wonder why then I believe it can be summed up in one word. Money.


Mike W. said...

1 Peter 4:17 NASB
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

What? The Lord's judgment will BEGIN with us? The American church is about to be taken out behind God's woodshed for a well-deserved beating. And so many will wonder why?

Anonymous said...

It's not even enough for churches to fleece their sheep and sell their wares, but this behavior is turning hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands upon thousands of unbelievers away.

It's so easy to observe when reading what unbelievers are writing in daily internet conversations about how spurned they are by christians who show hypocrisy. These people hear what a worldly media presents, which is a tool of Satan, and then the christian 'performers' jump in joining with media making outrageous unscriptural comments, complaining and whining about how they feel harassed during airport security scans, for instance, and how they feel their freedoms are akin to communist nations. They provoke and bark and accuse and have no peace. Where is Christ's witness? There is thanklessness to such a degree that all we can do is beg the Lord for forgiveness. We are permanently meshed with this society that still complains in the midst of opulent wealth. They slander the secular men who the Lord has appointed to lead and turn them into whipping posts. They never have enough bad things to say and complain about.

There's no faith that God will provide and that He has things under His control. They fan the flames of war and provocation to the point that it sounds like they are itching for a fight. What kind of church have we become?

The days are truly wicked. The son of a great evangelist is due to speak at a breakfast prayer meeting at an NRA convention later this April. Considering the shooting tragedies and deaths of innocent children and the current sentiments of grieving families who are still in raw grief (and are begging for revised safety gun laws), it raises the question as to how an evangelist can commiserate with and support a multi-million or billion dollar organization that prides itself justified making us all believe Christ endorses it; it's enough for any lukewarm christian or searching soul to question his/her last straw of faith and throw the whole baby out with the bathwater.

The things these self-proclaimed ambassadors of Christ are doing is slowly trying to choke the Lord's Bride and prevent any others from coming in. It's money, political power, pride, and Satan's promise of the world on a platter to these christian rulers. I am so grieved lately with it all.


Lorena said...

If we become entangled again in the life we left behind, (all the cares of this world), where is that glorious freedom in the Father's Dear Son, Jesus. The church in North America is pursuing money. Everything done is done to acquire more money, more ways to get money. As you concluded brother..."Money"

Anonymous said...

I am not going to join in in your moaning. This type of nonsense will not bring anyone closer to Christ!

Anonymous said...

Amen, Pastor Rick!

Great post....albeit may offend the health, wealth, and prosperity crowd's belief system whose ultimate god is the "self."

Is Jesus really impressed with our stuff and the boasting a bragging of "how spiritual we are?"

Not really.

Anonymous said...

Words almost have no meaning anymore. We can't trust men, can't put faith in anything man-made. The true Church has been abandoned by clergy, and the world's making of 'christianity' is wrong. Proof that it's not effective or has nothing to do with Christ is that no one dares to speak out anymore. They are afraid. And if they are afraid, that tells us that we are not living in a safe haven "City on a Hill" christian nation.

If there was something to fight for, shepherds would be strengthening the flocks and keeping them away from the temptations of the world, but the silence of the shepherds is deafening. They don't want to correct, because that would mean they'd have to heed their own correction.

The spoiled undisciplined child, the 'denominational church', has gone astray and can't be corrected. It's become a self-important narcissistic entitled greedy power-hungry fame-hungry profit-driven organization.

No wonder there are few comments here. It's either too hard to even say anything about it, because we are on our knees asking for forgiveness, or it's because no one is getting their ears tickled by this post, "Big Business" and they are offended by it.

Anonymous said...

Being afraid doesn't mean that someone ceases to be a Christian. Christians can become afraid! They are still in Christ and He is their safe haven.

Correction comes from Christ. False shepherds are resisting His correction! They rarely heed anything "good" they teach!

Come to Jesus! He is tbe Author of Life.

Anonymous said...

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)

Anonymous said...

Excellent quote Anonymous 12:02!
Peace. That's some word! This is the true testimony of Jesus, Our Lord.

Peace He leaves with His children, His peace He gives unto them: not as the world giveth, gives He unto them.

Children of God, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid!

Rejoice in the Lord Jesus always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord Jesus is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

That's important! Show the LORD that you are thankful!

Not just now, but for the great mercy He has shown you in days gone by.

Let's bless the name of the only true God, the God of the Bible, for His gift - the peace of God, which transcends all understanding.

Such is His love for us that He guards our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Bless His name forevermore!

Josef Sefton

Cherie c. said...

Josef said:

"Peace. That's some word! This is the true testimony of Jesus, Our Lord. "

No Josef, with all love and respect; Jesus' testimony is His death, burial and resurrection.

He said, Repent, and be forgiven for the Kingdom is at hand. The Peace He spoke of is the Holy Spirit. The Comforter, His Spirit is where the peace comes from. But the testimony of our Lord is not Peace. That is just a blessing amongst many blessings when we obey God.

Death, burial, Resurrection!

Halleluiah, Thank You Lord! We are Redeemed!

your sister in Christ Jesus

Anonymous said...

Everything that Jesus testifies belongs to His testimony! Very true. Jesus' death, burial and resurrection bear testimony to whom He is and so too does His blessing of peace to His children!

Anonymous said...

The peace Jesus is talking about in this verse isn't the Holy Spirit and it's not dependent on a child of God's obedience.
God sovereignly decides!

Often His children get into situations when they are disobedient very frequently yet the LORD who is lovingly gracious still imparts His peace to them!