Embarrassing Witnesses

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Matthew 10:16 (ESV)

One the greatest joys we have in producing this blog is sharing material from authors, pastors, thinkers, and theologians who are insightful and effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.  Whether you read these posts as a committed Christian or a scathing skeptic, we appeal to your intellect “with gentleness and respect,” as prescribed in 1 Peter 3:15.

We try to keep things positive, partly because so much of the negative passion that comes out in contemporary writing is self-defeating, but mostly because of the love that is modeled for us by Jesus Christ. We have produced lists of resources, people, and tools that—in addition to the material shared in individual posts—can help you discover the veracity of the Scriptures.

But…much as we would like never to write an unkind word, Jesus also modeled (in fact commanded) discernment.

There are people who make being a disciple of Jesus Christ much more difficult than it should be for the rest of us.  Some have large media outlets (even universities) behind them.  Some have presidential-sized egos and ambitions.  Some, quite frankly, are weirdoes and snake oil salesmen.  Some have been caught perpetrating scams.  Some have been investigated by the U.S. Senate for their overseas dealings or their accumulation of personal wealth while operating under the guise of tax-exempt ministries.  The common thread is a thirst for affluence, power, or attention (and strangely enough, an appetite for expensive jets).

They appeal to others, in the name of Jesus Christ, to give time and money to their ministries, and then teach that God wants all Christians (seemingly especially them) to have material wealth or success. These people are an embarrassment to the Christian faith.  They make reasonable persons skeptical—and deservedly so—of anyone who calls themselves a ‘Christian’.  And they make it harder for sincere Christians to reach a hurting world.

Personal Discipleship involves a great deal of study, and that study must include an awareness of misrepresentations and perversions of the Gospel.  We all fall short of the glory of God, and not one of us is without sin.  Got it.  We don’t tell people what to think on Veracity, but here are just a few things you might want to read (click on the photos) to avoid being ambushed in your efforts to share Jesus Christ.

Robertson Pat Robertson
 EW_Osteen Joel Osteen
 EW_Myer Joyce Meyer
 EW_Hinn Benny Hinn
 EW_Crouch Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Paul and Jan Crouch
 EW_Dollar Creflo Dollar
 EW_Jakes T.D. Jakes
 EW_Price Fred Price
 EW_Copeland Kenneth Copland
 EW_Tilton Robert Tilton
EW_Popoff Peter Popoff

There are organizations that monitor the flow of money into and through non-profits and Christian ministries, such as MinstryWatchECFA, and Wall Watchers.  You can tell a lot about the credibility of a ministry by how they handle the money.

There is a biblical pattern for integrity in ministry, modeled by the most effective evangelist who ever lived.  He made tents for a living—to keep his hands out of other people’s pockets—so that no one could accuse him of being motivated by greed or ego.

For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:5-10 (ESV)

About John Paine

This blog is topical and devotional--we post whatever interests us, whenever. If you want to follow in an orderly fashion, please see our Kaqexeß page. View all posts by John Paine

2 responses to “Embarrassing Witnesses

  • Clarke Morledge

    All I have to say is…. that’s a pretty amazing chunk of hair for a 75 year old woman on Jan Crouch…. what is up with that?

    Excuse while I place my hand on the TV set and receive a divine message 🙂

    • John Paine

      Oh sure, next I suppose you’ll say it’s a wig. 😉

      I tried to find photos that didn’t make these people look crazy–not an easy thing to do with some of them. Some bloggers have been very creative with Photoshop: Osteen as Hitler, Robertson gesturing with his middle finger, and so on.

      The really sad part is that this list comprises the majority of ‘religious’ programming in my neck of the woods. Given their ‘success’ and longevity, it reminds me of (comedian) Gallagher’s comment long ago that, “The brightness adjustment on the TV don’t work.” It’s definitely time for some better ambassadors.

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