Beware of False Fisherman for God

The original intention of this blog was to showcase 21st century examples of Fisherman for God.  This past weekend though I saw an article in a couple of locations concerning a ministry that has gone astray.

Paul wrote in in I Thessalonians 2: 1-9

You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure.2 We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition.3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you.4 On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed–God is our witness.  6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.  As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.

The Trinity Broadcasting Network TBN which also runs The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida seems to have missed these verses.  No one would deny that according to the scripture, our pastors should receive a salary for their work but that there is a responsible limit as stewards of God’s church.  The TBN founders apparently don’t believe that there should be a limit to how they should live or benefit from the $93 million in donations received in 2010 alone.   The founders Mr and Mrs Crouch have his and her’s mansions in both California and Orlando Florida.  There are so corporate jets valued at $8 million and $49 million.  The Crouch’s and staff also eat extravagant $1000 meals paid with tax-exempt money.  While The Holy Land Experience was being remodeled, Mrs Crouch rented 2 suites at the  Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando for 2 years, one suite was reserved for her while the other was for her two Maltese dogs.  Mr. Crouch travels around Newport Beach California  in a chauffeured Bentley.

The Crouch’s preach Prosperity Gospel meaning that they speak uplifting talk and encouragement and when people donate they will receive rewards from God.  “Prosperity theology is a false theology,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Between its message and its reputation for high spending, Mr. Mohler said, “TBN has been a huge embarrassment to evangelical Christianity for decades.”

TBN and the Crouch’s are a prime example of why Christians are having a hard time being Fishers of Men for God.  The non-believer takes a look at examples such as these and can’t see anything but hypocrisy.  What the Bible teaches and Christ’s example don’t mesh with pastors and organizations that live an opulent lifestyle from the donations and tithes of those searching for a relationship with God.  God does not measure each of us based upon what we give and to  preach in such a way is equivalent to false teaching.

I haven’t visited The Holy Land Experience and after learning these facts this past weekend, I will never visit it and tend on telling others not to as well.  TBN, you may have started out with the right intentions in the 1970’s with your teachings but you have strayed from God’s true word.

To read more about this story visit this website.

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