Why Christians Wander Away
by Patricia Backora
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Many of My servants have faithfully warned you not to be quick to put your confidence in “Big Name Ministries” on the air or on the Internet. These televangelist scandals you hear and read so much about, they’re awful and they’re tragic, but unfortunately, there’s often an element of truth about them. Those who used to cry on TV and beg and plead for sinners to accept Jesus, well, they’re making a mess of their own lives now by doing the very things they warned others not to do. Some of them even exhorted you to look forward to going to heaven if you were poor here on this earth, and to invest what little you had in their ministry of mooch.
My, what beautiful music you heard on their network! What angelic faces were raised to heaven singing the sweetest songs of praise unto the Lord. Those clean-cut, smiling televangelist families made you feel like raggedy hillbillies who could learn a few things from them about proper family values. Despite the fact they live in a wonderful world of their own, far removed from the grit and grime of ordinary people’s workaday lives, and you couldn’t reach them to pray for you personally even if you wanted to.
So many of you fell hook, line and sinker for their song and dance act. You swore they were paragons of holiness you must look up to, and besides, if they weren’t there to pray for (prey on) you, then who else would? In their own subtle way, preying preachers made you feel guilty for sending in a prayer request without making at least a small donation to “save souls for Jesus”.
You’d see one or two preachers hollering and screaming about moral decay in America, and wasn’t it a shame Americans didn’t know how to keep their homes together? Then you’d find out they themselves had left their first husband or wife for someone sexier-looking. You might have read about hush money being paid to keep dirty little secrets concealed from the public. No, a frilly white dress and stage makeup does NOT transform an ordinary woman into an angel. Nor does having lots of money and fame make someone holier.
Some folks have dumped a ton of money into these TV ministries, lured by the promise that “My god can’t fail to multiply back a hundred-fold what you send in tomorrow’s mail.” Which Jesus are they talking about when they promote a jet-setting savior who wore designer duds and rode a Cadillac donkey on his missionary trips? Those TV preachers got so many of My people’s hopes higher, and higher, then…CRASH! Foreclosure day came, the husband lost his job, someone got sick, marriages broke up. No good ever comes from perverting the gospel of Christ with a make-believe mixture of Las Vegas luck and scattered, misapplied, twisted Biblical references. No, I the Lord am NOT honor-bound to bless the GAMBLING some of My people do with their rent money or paychecks. Your earnings are needed to buy the necessities of life for your families and to pay people you owe (2 Thes.3:12; Rom.13:8). If you rob the landlord to send some TV preacher a “faith seed”, it will yield thorns of bitterness instead of a blessing, and unless I directly intervene, the money will NOT be there to pay the landlord on rent day. Neither Paul nor any of the other apostles ever taught the Christians to gamble with their paychecks. If you want to gamble, go do it in Las Vegas, not at church, and definitely not in My Name. That rich celebrity Christ with the diamond jewelry and Cadillac donkey only exists in the warped imagination of TV preachers and mega-church (beg-a-church) ministers of darkness.
And why are these thieves able to swindle My flock so easily? Desperation, spiritual blindness and ignorance of what My Word really does teach about proper giving and receiving. Preachers count on people being so obsessed with getting their bills paid and finding their next meal that they don’t have time to spend in My Presence hearing my voice for themselves and rightly dividing My Word of truth. TV preachers seem to be a quick-fix solution to their problems. They give off such an aura of purity and holiness on TV, with their soft singing, their modulated, earnest voices, the beautiful studio backdrop glistening with gold, the heavenly music, the impassioned pleas for you to come to Christ and bring your wallet along with you for the ride. How much closer can you get to heaven than watching them?
Satan doesn’t appear as a gruesome warty monster waving a pitchfork and yelling for you to watch out because he’s gonna gobble you up. He’s a sly old snake of a devil (Gen.3:1; Eph.6:11), and a master of deceit. He appeared to Eve as a gorgeous creature who beguiled her with his smooth sales pitch. He sold her a piece of fruit in exchange for her soul, and it took the death of My precious Son to win her soul back. Preachers are selling you a sweet delusion as insubstantial as cotton candy. Oh, it tastes great for five minutes. But it just might leave you with a toothache and a sick belly if you eat too much of it. There’s no real nutrition in such deceitful empty calories. It’s just so much sweetness pumped up with hot air. Preachers spout off a lot of hot air to bribe or even intimidate My people to send in their hard-earned cash. They’re spiritual snake charmers doing spiritual witchcraft to beguile My flock, and they often attribute such deceitful works of darkness to My Holy Spirit! THESE FILTHY THIEVES BLASPHEME THE HOLY GHOST FOR CASH by persuading you that he’s the one telling you to gamble away your family’s money for a miracle that never comes!
So why do so many Christians get suckered in by these bums? If your hog gets well fed from your own trough, it won’t go wandering off to somebody else’s pen to feed. As long as the Prodigal Son stayed home where he belonged, he had plenty of good food to eat. But when he wandered off and reached a point of desperation, he was willing to eat anything to fill his hungry belly.
But what if the Prodigal Son had wandered away because no food was available at his house? Many believers get only an empty sermon and powerless programs at their local church, and virtually no fellowship or friendship. Christians are sometimes reluctant to pray for one another because they don’t really feel like their prayers will make any difference. Or, they’re too spiritually cold or backslidden to even want to pray for anyone else. They can’t even seem to get their own prayers to work to meet their own needs!
The overworked pastor is expected to shoulder the vast majority of the burden at some churches, while the rest of the congregation are paying, passive spectators. Such passivity is encouraged by church leaders, self-appointed blind leaders of the blind. They WANT the people to depend ON THEM, and largely discourage or limit the body ministry taught by Paul in I Corinthians chapter 12. When the sermon is preached, the pastor will read through certain passages and skip over any verses which teach the miraculous works of God done through members of the church. “Non-miraculous” verses will be read in the passage, because they don’t present so much of a challenge to a weak faith. Christians are taught that the day of miracles is past, so no use asking the pastor to pray for that sickness to get healed, or that money need to be met. If you’re broke they’ll only tell you to get an extra job. Evangelism among the lost is strictly achieved through verbal persuasion, not the power of the Holy Spirit to miraculously meet needs, as was the case in the first-century church (Gal.3:5; I Cor.4:20; I Cor.12:10,28).
Sadly, a lot of believers depend on the warmth and friendliness broadcast by TV preachers because they aren’t getting any close fellowship with REAL people in their meetings. That preacher looks you in the eye and speaks in such a sweet, entreating voice that he or she MUST have your best interest at heart. They MUST love you! So take a giant leap of faith and land in the promised land of prosperity. Does this not sound like what satan told My Son when He was being tempted in the wilderness, jump off the pinnacle of the Temple because God won’t let you down? What did Jesus say to the devil? He told satan to get lost. You shall not tempt the Lord thy God (Matt.4:7). No good ever comes from “jumping off a cliff” as an “act of faith”. When preachers use soft lighting, sweet music, and fancy theatrics to make you think it’s the Holy Ghost moving you to do something stupid, grab your wallet and RUN! It will be better for Ananias and Sapphira in the day of judgment than for that servant of satan.
The reason for the “success” of TV preachers is because generally speaking, My latter-day church has FAILED to do what I’ve called them to do. Instead of feeding the hungry, I see so many poor moms and kids being turned away at church offices and told to go find extra work, and that happens while the pastor is living like a king! Instead of praying earnestly for the sick to be healed, I see preachers laying the blame for sickness and other problems squarely on the shoulders of Christians who are getting “cursed” for failure to “tithe”, despite the fact tithing is NOT commanded to Christians under the New Covenant.
Instead of preaching a powerful Christ who conquered satan, death and hell and rose from the grave, I see a weak Jesus preached who can’t do anything but help you have a good attitude about the attacks of the enemy. Instead of a Good Shepherd Who feeds the sheep and fed the crowds literal bread, I see a rich tycoon Christ who only feeds people “spiritually”, while taking literal bread out of the pockets of the poor. All the while this imaginary jesus praises the rich and despises the poor. Prosperity preachers promote another Christ who’s nothing but a motivational guru who peddles earthly prosperity for your “most sacrificial offering.” And in the minds of many, the fancy-dancy preacher IS Christ (the antichrist spirit). When he says “give to God”, he really means himself because he needs another new car or plane.
Concerts and puppet shows have replaced prayer meetings in many religious gatherings. In America the so-called church has become a business, just a big staged show to entertain lazy saints. What praying that gets done is often powerless because My people have been taught that the day of miracles is past, and I’ve done everything I’m going to do about the devil till I come back.
To diminish My role in your life is to strip Me of My power and glory. It is then you lean on and exalt yourself as the only one who can make a difference, and the devil wants you to think that way so he can whip you with one hand tied behind his back. Do you not know, My dear children, that apart from Me you can do absolutely nothing (John 15:5)?
Be deceived no longer. What you’ve heard on the news and the Internet are only the first faint rumblings of a thunderous earthquake of judgment coming in My own House. In the coming days, weeks, and months, you will hear of even more lurid revelations about those famous preachers who were once the bedrock of your misplaced faith.
Everything that can be shaken in these last days before My appearing WILL be shaken, in order that your confidence may be in God, not in the arm of the flesh (I Cor.2:5; I Pet.1:21).
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