We’ve all seen it while channel surfing. There are certain channels that are dedicated to uplifting or decidedly Christian broadcasts. In addition to family-friendly entertainment, there are the TV evangelists who get behind their expensive pulpits, talk about spiritual truths, and generally get their congregation of thousands excited. At the end of the message, the scene cuts to the pastor sitting in a plush chair, staring at the camera. The pastor tells the viewer that they need money for this project. This set of messages costs this much. They will likely mention a special, give the website, address, and telephone number.
Are there people out there doing what they are called to do, broadcasting their messages to millions in addition to their already large congregation? Yes. Do they take your funds and use them for the assigned project? Yes. Does it help build the kingdom in a positive way? Absolutely.
But then there are the other types of people who basically promise the audience great riches if they make a donation to their ministry. “If you send $100, God will return it to you a thousand fold!” “Everyone who buys this cloth will receive healing!” “The Lord will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory! I will personally pray for your finances to increase when you pledge to become a $50 a month partner in my ministry. Together we can win the world for the Lord!”
Do you smell a rat in all that? I do, too. Does God promise blessings to those who follow Him? Yes. Does he promise riches to everyone? Unfortunately, no. And the people who have a ministry through television know that as well as I do. They also know that a section of their audience is gullible and will send them the amount they desire if they believe that the Lord will send them more in return.
That, unfortunately, is a scam. Those people aren’t trying to do the Lord’s work any more. If they’ve decided to deceive people in order to get donations, they’re doing harm to the very team they claim to be rooting for.
A lot of people don’t like television evangelists because they ask for money. I get it – ministry takes money. The bigger the ministry, the bigger the needs. No one likes being asked for money.
But the section of “ministers” who are deceiving their followers into paying their pledges are using the wrong tactics. They’re twisting Scripture and lying to their audience. They’re using tactics that the other side does for the exact same reason – they work. In essence, those types of people are stealing from their audience. The gullible believe it. They send in their check and wait for God to bless them. I am certain that God blesses the effort in such a gift. But I am also certain that there is not a lot of thousand fold returns on the $100 donations given.
The reality is this – sometimes you will not always have the money for what you need. The $100 is better spent toward the $500 car repair than the guy on TV promising a miracle.
The people who believe the ministers and send in their money will eventually realize that it will not always work just like they said. And some will grow bitter, because a “Christian” lied to them.
A true Christian will not sugarcoat the truth. God does perform miracles and meet your needs. And sometimes there are hard times. Anyone that tells you otherwise is not reading from the same book I am. I’m tired of defending my faith and setting the record straight after others meet people who are supposedly on the same team I am.
True Christians will not lie or steal from you. Period.