Fair Warning


For more than two years I've been advising our readers that some charismatic churches in this country are headed for serious trouble. I know many of you are probably tired of my waving this red flag, but I can't stop now. My sense of alarm is growing by the day.

More warning bells went off recently when I learned that the British government had shut down one of England's largest congregations, Victory Christian Centre in London, because of financial mismanagement. Pastor Douglas Goodman, known for his American-style message of instant prosperity, has restarted his church at a new location while he faces criminal charges in court.

I know this situation is on the other side of the Atlantic, but let's not assume that a similar government crackdown can't happen here. What is going on in American pulpits today makes this crisis in London look like a tea party at Buckingham Palace. My prediction: The greed, manipulation and financial foolishness on display in American churches today is going to be exposed--and some people are going to the woodshed if they don't get their acts together.

Don't get me wrong: I don't think the majority of churches are guilty of financial mismanagement--and I know charismatics aren't the only Christians capable of creating this type of scandal. But a small group of people in our circle could ruin it for the rest of us.

Have you noticed that the message is all about money these days? Just turn on Christian television or visit a few conferences, and you'll start waving red flags too. We've been taken hostage by what I call the charismatic cartel. These people conduct ministry like an underground spiritual mafia--pocketing huge profits while they fleece the flock. It's really sad what's happening out there:

* I know of a traveling "faith" preacher who routinely requires a $7,000 spending allowance--in addition to his honorarium--when he speaks at a church. He also requires luxury transportation to and from the mall.

* A prominent TV preacher now tells his audiences that those who give $2,400 in the offering will receive a "24-hour miracle." (I wonder if it comes with a money-back guarantee?)

* Many preachers now ask people in the crowd to stand if they can give large amounts of money in the offering. Then, those who make the pledge are promised prophecies or special blessings.

* A preacher on a Christian television station in my city recently promised donors that if they would give "right now" they would get a new house in return for their generosity. I guess they figure heaven is running some kind of game show.

You'll never convince me that Jesus is pleased with this craziness--no matter how you try to sanctify it with religious buzzwords. My Bible says that men who love money aren't fit for the ministry. It also says that God doesn't like it when His shepherds extort money from God's people to enrich themselves (see Ezek. 34:1-10).

I'm not looking forward to the day when God sends agents from the IRS or the FBI to root out corruption in "Spirit-filled" churches. But it will happen soon unless we repent of our selfishness and boycott those who are turning God's house into a den of thieves.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit