Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Defrauding Others in Order to Preach the Gospel?
Really! There are things that ought not to be even mentioned among brethren. Recently, I wanted to involve brethren to help me expose a book. A pastor friend advised me not to involve pastors to sell the book. “The books may be sold but you will not see the money!” He warned.
This was no news for I had experienced this in another form. This was also confirmed firsthand by a Christian author who had stocked her books in the bookshops of some very renowned Churches in a country I will leave unnamed for now. She fell short of naming the names, kind of ‘protecting them.’ I was afraid to hear who they were, so I didn’t pressurize her to reveal them. But she told me: “You will be shocked if I told you the names.” Talk of dead conscience (1 Tim. 4:2). How can ‘respected’ pastors and bishops be identified with fraud?—people who tell others not to steal when they do exactly that (Rom. 2:21). Is this the epitome of a people having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof (2 Tim. 3:5).
It was supposed to be a spiritual common sense that believers don’t defraud one another. But the Lord God is merciful enough not to take chances a result of which we are warned against fraud:
“That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.”—1 Thessalonians 4:6.
I have come to learn that there are two categories of ‘believing fraudsters’. One group is that which have a taste for missions—not a bad thing at this point. Any money that lands in their hands, they use for missions. After all, isn’t the pursuit of souls the most noble venture to use money for? Many ministers judge the success of their ministry by the number of people they lead to Christ or the crowd they influence with the Word of God. It is a kind of ‘the end justifies the means.’
I am afraid many so-called believers will get a shock of their life if they don’t wake up in time from the diabolic trance they seem to be in now. We must not behave as if we love people more than God loves them. We must remain faithful in our dealings. If God doesn’t provide the money in a right way, it is better to wait with the mission. The Bible implies that one can preach to people and they go to heaven without the preacher necessarily getting there. That is the fact against which the apostle Paul took self-counsel.
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”—1 Corinthians 9:27.
God will not reject anyone because the person who preached to him never made it to heaven. And God will not allow anyone to enter heaven on the account of how many people he led to Christ. The transforming power of the Gospel must work in the life of everyone who confesses the name of the Lord Jesus.
The other group is that which is hypnotized by the desires for material prosperity. They want to be seen as prosperous and so when they handle the Scripture, they employ all interpretational gimmicks and nuances to justify their pursuit. I call it hypnosis because someone in his right mind cannot dare flout the overt principles of loyalty to Christ and honesty with one another. Otherwise, how can one help himself on what is not his and still get away with it? (John 12:6).
One of the most profound characteristics of people lost in chasing after wealth is that they are presumptuously daring. I still don’t understand how Judas Iscariot could steal from Jesus’ ministry with the Lord physically present. Didn’t it bother him that Christ knew everything? Greed and covetousness also cause people to be impetuous, acting on the spur of the moment without considering the guaranteed and the possible consequences. Isn’t it sad what happened to Gehazi, Elisha’s servant?
“But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.”—2 Kings 5:20.
Gehazi’s sin of going and getting gifts from Naaman called for another sin. He couldn’t get the gifts without lying to Naaman and when Elisha confronted him, he also lied to him. He ended up getting Naaman’s leprosy not only for himself but for his descendants as well. If only he could undo what he had done. His greed and covetousness cost him so much without benefitting so little.
That was a bit of digressing. Let us come back to the subject of discussion. If God says, I want to give you your own but I want to see how you are going to take care of someone else’s, will that be a difficult assignment? The interesting thing is that more often, God puts us under a test without us knowing that He is testing us before promoting us. Whether we know that we are under a test or not, the secret that I could as well make a chorus is: Always do the right thing! If you do that, you’ll always be passing tests you were not even aware you were undergoing.
When Jesus asked, “And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Lk. 16:12). Jesus implied that if we can’t take care of what belongs to somebody else how will we take care of our own? ‘Our own’ is still Someone’s. It is stewardship at every turn. What this means is that we are supposed to take care of things whether they belong to someone or they belong to us.We must not ‘steal’ and con people in order to preach the gospel. This may be like king Saul taking the best of sheep and cattle from Amalekites to sacrifice to God who had instructed him to destroy everything (1 Sam. 15:15). The question is: Were they really going to sacrifice these animals, or they were just trying to find a way of escape after having been caught? In the same way, we can ask: Are we still serving the interests of God when we defraud others in order to preach the gospel or in order to project an image of being materially blessed by God?
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR, LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE AS A MEMBER OR ANONYMOUSLY
Read more articles by Daniel Owino Ogweno or search for other articles by topic below.
Main Site Articles
Most Read Articles
Highly Acclaimed Challenge Articles.
New Release Christian Books for Free for a Simple Review.
NEW - Surprise Me With an Article - Click here for a random URL
God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
LEARN & TRUST JESUS HERE
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.