Predators in Pulpits?

August 13, 2018 at 12:07 PM 2 comments

Recall the book by the late W. Phillip Keller, Predators in Our Pulpits, published 1988. I recall reading this book and still have a copy and it wowed me. I also recall Mr. Keller stating that he wrote it because he felt compelled by God to so but also did not want people to write him about it either to provide positive or negative feedback. I got the real sense that he did not really want to write the book but was overwhelmed by what he believed at the time (and it is even more prevalent today), was the rise of predatory ministers in our pulpits. He wasn’t talking necessarily about specific sins like sexual sins (though that is part of it). He was referring to the predatory attitude that too many men (and a growing number of women), have toward their parishioners, taking advantage of them whenever they can. These leaders become more like demigods to those who follow them. They end up being above the law and actually decide what the law is and for those who question them, they are quick to chastise, ostracize, and even expel from the local church. This narcissistic behavior is by far, the way too many pulpit leaders treat their congregations and it is largely given a pass by those in the congregation who simply accept the “authority” of these people without being able to question.

As stated, there are too many leaders like this overseeing hundreds and thousands within their congregations. I was reading through a recent article at Pulpit & Pen concerning Pastor Steven Furtick, whom you may have at least heard of. There, I saw a video clip of a sermon Furtick preached not too long ago entitled, “You Must Be Important.” The gist of it is that “the devil ‘ties us up” because ‘he is so afraid of what might happen to him if we got loose,’ because we are just ‘so important to God’s purpose.’” [1] During these statements, people in the congregation can be heard applauding and shouting in agreement.

Unfortunately, there is nothing biblical about these statements made by Furtick. It was also interesting to watch his shenanigans as he presented his thesis. He stood on his toes, gripped the podium fiercely and quaked in his legs. This was a sign to those watching/listening that Furtick was under God’s “anointing” as he preached. So overcome with the power of the Lord that he was obviously very moved. While this appears to be a normal manifestation among people like Furtick and many others today, there is no evidence from Scripture that this is from God at all. Yes, at times, prophets fell over “as dead” though they weren’t dead. At other times, they may have shaken with fear over something that caused severe dread in them. They were human after all.

But the idea that when God’s power comes over someone, they start to shake and quake, whip their head from side to side, speak in a monotone and as a run-on sentence, these things are not evidenced in Scripture from godly people. Steven Furtick has been accepted in the New Apostolic Reformation fold and is “one of them.” Because of that, he is free to set his own agenda, create his own doctrine and in general, hoodwink those who attend his church.

Steven’s message about us being so important that the devil makes every effort to “tie us up” due to his abject fear of us if we “got loose” is really garbage. It is a very subtle form of narcissism in an attempt to create high levels of self-esteem in people. This is one of the reasons that people like Furtick are so loved, admired, and even adored. Their “ministries” are one huge self-aggrandizing display of love, affection, and stroking of the sin nature.

God does not need us. He has chosen to use us as part of His plan but even when we fail, He still accomplishes His purposes. Even when the world stands against, He succeeds (Psalm 2). God is not hindered by the flesh, the devil, or the world. His purposes march onward.

Furtick is attempting to “free” people from the “tyranny” of defeat by causing people to focus not on their need to move away from Self, but to actually embrace Self, the exact opposite of what Jesus taught (Matthew 16:24). This is exactly what Satan has attempted to do since the Garden of Eden, to feed Self. It is his best measure to keep people from truly being free in Christ because this idea of seeing ourselves as exceedingly important to God is really the epitome of re-engineering sinful Self to regain its position of authority over our lives. Furtick has increasingly become more and more heretical over the years. I wish people would walk away. They don’t because they don’t think for themselves. They don’t think for themselves because they do not read God’s Word daily or talk with Him often based on what they read in His Word.

Throughout the book of Romans, Paul traces humanity’s problem and outlines God’s solution in no uncertain terms. The entire book of Romans is truly a masterpiece of doctrine and authority and Paul painstakingly draws conclusions that are inescapable. Yet today, we have pastors/leaders who draw other conclusions. They don’t wish to offend. They refuse to talk about sin the way Paul talks about sin. They won’t lower themselves because it will make people in the congregation feel bad about themselves. What good is that? Certainly, if left there, no good at all. Why is there such disdain today for the way Paul has explained things? Because people don’t want to hear it.

Was reading through Jeremiah this morning for my devotions. By the way, are you reading His Word daily? I hope so. I’m sure you eat every day or drink. God’s Word is food for our soul. We need to imbibe every day.

In Jeremiah, it is interesting to read how many times God condemned the people of Israel for their wanton blasphemy, rebellion, and idolatry. They passed their young ones through the fires of Molech or sacrificed them to Baal. They did this while also worshiping Jehovah God in His sanctuary! They thought they could live two lives and God would ignore the bad things because they outwardly did some of the things He wanted them to do.

God warned in Jeremiah chapters 20, 21, 22, and 23 that Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon was coming to destroy Jerusalem and take the people captive if they did not turn their lives around (from the heart). God would put up with it no longer. Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar came and over the course of three assaults of Jerusalem, took people captive and removed all of Jerusalem’s treasures. God had warned them. They went into 70 years of captivity.

God reserves the right to chastise, to discipline, and even to remove us from this life (early) if need be for our rebelliousness. How often do you hear this preached? Instead, we hear how wonderful we are and how important to God’s purposes.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem just days before His arrest, public humiliation, illegal trials, and execution, people shouted “Hosanna!” and placed palm branches before Him on the path. The religious leaders told Jesus He needed to tell the people to stop doing that (What, did He think He was a King or something?!). Recall Jesus’ response, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Luke 19:40 ESV; read the entire passage, Luke 19:28-40). So if people stopped doing what God wanted them to do, the lifeless rocks would take over!

I was on a social network yesterday and came across a post by a person who stated that we need to constantly be in prayer for Jimmy Swaggart Ministries because of Satan’s constant attack on it. Another person agreed and added that Jimmy Swaggart is the greatest preacher of this century. If you ask Steven Furtick, he’d disagree saying that T. D. Jakes, the oneness Pentecostal preacher who essentially denies the Trinity, the very character of God as revealed in Scripture.

That aside, regarding Swaggart, I have to ask, why is he still in the ministry? Didn’t he “cheat” on his wife by visiting a prostitute? Some may argue there’s no proof he did anything other than watch. He paid for services. He cheated on his wife in spiritual adultery. Yes, he “confessed” on national TV, but what did he say? He tried to argue as David had that he (Swaggart) sinned only against God. I beg to differ. I know what David meant that his sin was a direct affront to God legally and judicially. However, looked what happened to David because of his sin. Bathsheba lost the child she carried after being impregnated by David and he ultimately drove a huge wedge between himself and his son(s). He ultimately lost his kingdom, but God put off bringing judgment onto the whole nation (yes, the whole nation because God always deals with Israel as though one man and in this case, the leader of that nation compromised God’s law seriously), until after Solomon, but it did come.

Did God forgive David? I’m sure of it. Did God remove the consequences of David’s adultery and murder (of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah)? No, and He had no obligation to do so. Jimmy Swaggart disqualified himself from being in ministry because of serious moral failure. It doesn’t matter that he can preach or even bring people to tears or seeming repentance. Paul makes this very clear in his letters to Timothy and Titus regarding the qualifications of an “overseer.” Swaggart should not be in the ministry any longer because of absolute moral failure. He’s not the only one either. There are many who fail morally, lie low for a while, then get back up and start a new ministry.

By the way, I am not saying that we need to join in condemning people like Swaggart at all! That’s not my point. They need to be called out for their error, but not personally condemned and they should be called out in love, the same way we might warn a recalcitrant child of their error. It may sound a bit mean, but what is the intention of the parent? It is to correct and often, correction involves emotional pain for a short while but it pays dividends if heeded.

Moses and Peter tell us to “be holy” because God is holy (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16). We take that so lightly, don’t we? We give ourselves so many excuses to fail and fall. “Hey, I’m only human!” But if God lives within us through the Presence of His Holy Spirit, then we have resident within us the power to overcome and actually live a holy life. No, we won’t be able to do so perfectly, but we should definitely be on that road. God will honor our efforts.

Too many pastors and leaders are types of predators, going after people for whatever they can get out of it. Their goal is to make people feel good about themselves. In Furtick’s case, he’s preaching something that is not true, which only feeds the flesh. In Swaggart’s case, though he likely believes his moral failure and resultant admission of it “humbled” him and made him more “approachable” to the average person. He is now more “relatable.” The same thing is true of Jim Bakker and a host of others.

Last year, an arrest warrant was issued for NARpostle David Tomberlin. Tomberlin is associated with Todd Bentley, another NAR apostle, who cheated on his wife, divorced, then married the woman he was cheating with, who is now part of his “prophetic” (pathetic?) ministry. Regarding Tomberlin…

Tomberlin is currently embroiled in a major scandal in Thailand, involving multiple ‘wives’, an arrest warrant for kidnapping and evidence of heavy involvement in prostitution for years while continuing to operate a large Christian preaching platform known as ‘David Tomberlin Ministries’.

I don’t know if you’ve been keeping track, but there are over 45,000 (yes, that’s thousand) sealed indictments that will be released over the coming months. Many have to do with pedophilia, sex and child trafficking. This is going to rock the world and it should.

Folks, God gives YOU discernment and wisdom for those who seek Him. How is that fanned into flame? Through the daily study of His Word. It is the greatest safeguard against moral failure and keeps us from being caught up in the traps of people who say they serve God but inwardly they only serve themselves (their stomachs; Romans 16:18; Philippians 3:19).

Please don’t take my word for any of this. Research things yourself please. Read His Word. Find out what people are preaching today. Dig up the truth. You and you alone are responsible before God for what you choose to believe. Believe what is soundly based on the entirety of God’s Word.

 

 

[1] http://pulpitandpen.org/2018/07/24/possibly-the-scariest-steven-furtick-video-ever/

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, emergent church, Emotional virtue, eternity, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism. Tags: , , , .

Zechariah’s Message and Warning Also Applies to Christians Public Decorum Is Gone like the Dinosaur

2 Comments

  • 1. Rosie Montgomery  |  August 14, 2018 at 11:47 AM

    I thought I was being judgemental when I commence to my inner voice who I know now was the Holy Spirit about these Television Evangelists but the more I study my Word the more i realize and must admit they have a Zeal but not according to the Truth of who God Is and how He must be proclaimed. Sin and the Sin nature are not or rarely dealt for and for this reason the Son of Man came to destroy the works of the devil. Their audience don’t know there is such from what I used to hear of these Evangelists before I withdrew and commence to just reading my Bible. I am a Bible Study teacher now and minister each week at a women shelter and it amazes me still how often I hear the ladies say I am in a Church but has never heard the gospel preached. Thank You

    • 2. modres  |  August 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM

      Thank you, Rosie.😎👍🏼


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