Ephesians 6:13-14

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, TO STAND. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about WITH TRUTH, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Another grevious sin that's quite prevalent among Pastors today in the Fundamentalist movement is "the love of money."
The Bible has much to say about this destructive sin. Let us read together in 1 Timothy chapter six, verses 5-11...
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
First, make sure you note that according to verse eleven, the Apostle Paul is speaking here to a "man of God" or a Pastor. And he warns him of the "love of money" proclaiming that it is the very "root of ALL Evil" in verse 10.
I must admit, when I first was saved and I read this verse, I really didn't understand it. How could someone loving money be the root of all the evil in the entire world? I really didn't see it, nor comprehend it. But I must say now I understand it completely. For the love of money (i.e. covetousness, or the wanting of gain for one's self), can lead a man to any means and yea even any sin to get what he desires. (i.e. fame, fortune, recognition, and material possessions).
But isn't it interesting that Paul warns a Preacher against this sin? How come not too many preachers preach against this sin of loving money? When was the last time you heard a message on it? Probably never. And if you did, it was probably not put in its proper context as a warning to a Pastor!
I personally believe the worst part about loving money, is that it will get you to trust it instead of trusting in God. And, if you love money, it'll eventually become your God, and your driving force in life, which will move you towards your goal of working in any means you can to secure to yourself more fortune. This then makes you a "heirling" who is working for money instead of working for God. And in our world today we see many a preacher who cares more about making themselves rich instead of practicing and preaching the true riches of God, such as love, joy, peace, and longsuffering.
Even within modern Fundamentalism, there are preachers guilty of the sin of the love of money, just like the religious Pharisees of old were. I've met them, and I see them not only in many pastorates across the country, but I also see a great cloud of their number growing as they are hatched out of Bible Colleges and Christian Theological Universities like chicks in poultry hatcheries. This new breed is taught in modern Bible schools that they are to be measured by their "success," which they are taught depends upon how big their salaries are, how many people sit in their congregation, and how gigantic of a "church house," "temple" or "cathedral" they build. Because success is measured in physical value of assets, the emphasis quickly turns to the carnal instead of the spiritual, and this pressures a minister to spend more time working to acheive things in his own strength, than to simply get on his knees and beg a powerful God to simply work on his behalf.
The emphasis is no longer on prayer and fasting, rather on pleasure and feasting. And the minister eventually gets to the place where he feels he's not acheived anything for God if he doesn't have a small, visible kingdom to show for it. In short, he becomes a Laodicean, and he can't even see his sinful, backslidden and carnal condition.
Just look at what God says about such a man in Revelation Rev 3:14-20:
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Even though the Pastor thinks his possessions are his because he has acheived much in his service for the Lord, God says otherwise. God calls him, "...wretched, poor, miserable, blind, and naked." (vs 17)
And God even stresses his need to REPENT (vs 19), as he tells him that He's not even been invited inside the church (vs 20). Everything the Pastor has done, he's done without God, yet he did in in God's name. And he's profited off of all he's done.
With this in mind, I'd just like to give a brief personal experience of a time when I met a Pastor who's sin was the love of money. By the way, they are very easy to spot as they are always talking about money (out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh), and how much they have done and are doing for God.
Once my wife and I visited a church I was invited to preach in. While there the Pastor gave us the tour. My wife and I kept looking at each other as he kept saying things like, "Look at those pews. We just had those put in. They cost me 30,ooo dollars! And look over there, we just had the parking lot repaved, it cost me 25,000 dollars!" On and on he went pointing out things and then telling us how much it cost.
Several things bothered me. First, he kept saying it cost "him" that much, but the truth of the matter is the church (the people, i.e. the CONGREGATION) fit the bill. That is they paid for it, not him. Secondly, why was he bragging on all that stuff, and how much it was worth?
As I got to know the Pastor better, it was blatantly obvious his God was money, and he was very "political" in his connections, and very "business minded" in his approach to the things of God.
I started the morning by listening to the Sunday School in the Spanish ministry. As I listened, many things jumped out to me that were wrong. For example, the teacher said, "Cain killed Able with the jawbone of an ass!" I immediately laughed out loud, but was asked to keep quiet and not disrupt the service. But the jawbone of the ass story was that of Sampson, not Cain and Abel. Over and over the Sunday School teacher made small errors, and mistakes and mis-spoke like that, and it became blatantly obvious that he didn't know his Bible. I had to bit my tongue time and again, but I remained quiet.
When it came time for the Sunday morning service, in which I was the guest speaker, I waited patiently as they sang hymns. Finally, they sat everyone down, and then they followed through with a church "program," in which they gave those who brought visitors a five dollar gift card to Wal-mart, and to each visitor they gave the same. I thought about that and my blood boiled. That's actually paying people to come to church!!!
On and on the program went, and eventually I was given the pulpit at forty-five minutes after the hour. I preached twenty minutes, (the shortest sermon of my life), and can you believe the Pastor actually got mad at me for going five minutes longer than my alotted time?
I was asked to preach the evening service, and again it was the same thing. Programs took up much of the service, and one of the things they did was ask the congregation how many tracts they'd passed out that week. They went around the entire church, one by one, asking people to give the number they'd distributed and I watched the Pastor as he wrote down each response and the church applauded each person for passing out tracts. At the end, before I was called to preach, the Pastor totalled up the exact number of tracts gotten out and announced it to the church, which then was received with thunderous applaus, as they rejoiced that they had done so much for the Lord. But in my mind, I remember thinking, "What is going on here? How is this pleasing to God? These people are getting their reward down here! Why then should they expect to get rewarded for passing out tracts up in heaven?" For it appeared to me that most of those who passed out tracts did it only for show, or to brag about how many they'd passed out that week, or just to not look lazy in the eyes of others. It became batantly obvious, they didn't pass out tracts because they loved the Lord, they did it to get attention from the eyes of others!
I then stood up and preached on the blood of Jesus Christ, and I felt like I was in a tree full of owls. No one seemed excited, happy, or thankful. I even told them, "According to the Bible, salvation is by blood atonement, and because of this Christianity used to be called 'That old slaughter house religion!' How many of you have ever heard that?" In a crowd of over 100 people, not a hand was raised.
The Pastor after the service took up an offering for my wife and I, saying, "Everything collected will go directly to Bro. Breaker." It didn't, and the next day I was only given a small check from the church and sent on my way. (Another sin that's common in Fundamentalist churches).
I learned later that the Pastor was in all the famous Fundamentalists magazines, and recently received a reward for being the fastest growing church in that state. Yet it appeared to me, he only cared about his money, his kingdom, and was only interested in the praise of men, and not about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You might say, "Oh, Bro. Breaker. There you go again. You think you are right and everyone else is wrong, and everyone is apostate but you!" (Which some have recently said). But wait! Let me tell you the rest of the story. I spoke with Spanish Pastor the next day, and we talked about several things. He confessed to me that he knew there were some things wrong in that church, and he didn't like them. But he said was the head of the Spanish Bible School there, and that the English Pastor held power over the student's and their visas (many of them were from other countries), and had threatened, "If you hispanics don't do what I say, I will deport you back to your own countries!"
Now what do you make of such a thing? I'm telling you a personal illustration of something I've seen with my own eyes in an Independent Baptist Church, and I'm asking you, does that sound right to you?
Clearly, the sin of "THE LOVE OF MONEY" has quite an influence over people, and can do a lot of damage to the cause of Christ, as it makes men slaves to a man, instead of free in Christ.
Sadly, I've seen situations like this one in more than one church. Pastors, who love money more than God, set themselves up as Baptist Popes, who use their power and influence to get gain. But gain is not godliness! The scriptures plainly tell us that!
I'm not saying that all Pastors or bad, and that the whole Independent Baptist Movement is apostate. I'm sure there are still some good churches and some spirit-filled Pastors out there who are living for God and preaching hard against sin. But I am saying they are also a lot of Pastors out there guilty of this sin of the love of money. And, I am saying the way the Independent Baptist movement is set up, with it's traditions, and giving too much power to one man, and it's making a "business" out of Christianity, it's easy for Pastors to slip into that mentality, as the pressure is on them to build big churches, and have a lot of money coming in order to build more ministries in order to look good in the eyes of the brethren.
One thing I've learned is when you pressure a man, it's a lot easier for him to compromise. And when a man believes he must be successful to look good in the eyes of other Pastors, you can write it down, he will eventually compromise in order to reach that goal!
Modern Fundamentalists Independent Baptists are more and more being spit out of Bible Schools and Institutes that teach them they should strive to gain the support of their fellow ministers, rather than get alone with God through prayer and fasting. They are told the ultimate goal is to build a big church and get a name for themselves so they can set up new Bible Schools (where the real money is) and get a "doctorate" behind their names, so they can preach in other pulpits (where they usually receive big offerings) and write articles for big name Fundamentalist Bible Newspapers and Magazines. When they've acheived that, they can then "retire" (Oh, that really erks me! I'm going to have to write a blog on why there is no such thing as a Missionary or Pastor "retiring" for the ministry is a CALLING, and not a PROFESSION), and receive a pension in their old age.

They are also taught "loyalty" to their school or affiliation, or a Man, instead of loyalty to Christ, while they are encouraged to follow MAN MADE PROGRAMS, and METHODS, instead of simply following the word of God. Which often times leads to then becoming nothing more than Pharisees who desires the "praise of men" and "financial gain" instead of the favor of God, and his grace.
But it's been my experience, and I'm trying to be nice, respectful, and tactful here when I state this, that a lot of these "big-name" Fundamentalists are nothing but a bunch of old "blow hards" who have built themselves a kingdom, and then live off of those "serfs" they've subjagated.
They have set up a profitable, material "religion," which focuses on carnal things instead of focusing on spiritual. Because of this, men and women alike can sit on their church pews for years without ever hearing the Gospel, and die and go to Hell deceived into trusting in their religion, their denominational affiliation, or their Pastor, instead of trusting in the finished work of God alone on bloody Calvary.
While they claim the focus is on "winning souls," they never stop to think whether they are doing it the right way or not. So often they try to do it the way their school tells them, instead of the old time way of simply opening the scriptures and showing a man his sin, God's sacrifice, and man's need of trusting Christ as his substitute. Instead, the "soul winner" is told to simply get a person to quickly repeat a prayer after them, and then get them to church to be baptized. Or as many a Fundamentalist has put it, "Win them, wet them, and work them!" Sadly, they never deal with the reality that many of those they supposedly "win" to the Lord, never darken the door of the church thereafter. Or, if they do get someone "saved" and then "baptized" they oftentimes never come back. Why doesn't someone mention this simple fact?
Let me just give another personal example here, of how Baptist "tradition" has turned the emphasis to just "doing" instead of "taking the time to make sure it's done right!"
There is a very famous Pastor in modern Fundamentalism, who puts out a rather widely circulated monthly paper full of articles by many well-known fundamentalists. Once this man held a revival in his church, and afterwards, he had a baptism. At the beginning of his ministry, he usually asked the people if they were saved, and to give their testimony to the church. But as he became more famous, he would baptize them quickly, just to get it over with. During the revival after one of the services, this Pastor decided to "personally" baptize the "initates" himself (Big name guys usually let others do their dirty work nowadays). When he was about to dunk one of them in the water, he paused and decided to ask him whether he knew he was saved or not. The "canidate" responded, "Well,... I mean I guess so! ... You know, I mean, I really don't know for sure."
Embarrased, the Pastor quickly dunked him under, rather the deal with the backlash of possibly baptizing a man who wasn't even saved! (And in order to not look bad in front of the many other Pastors there in attendance at the revival).
Nothing but the best, huh? Want to know the worst of it? In his magazine he made it a point to list those converts who were baptized each month, as he liked to brag about it, and he made sure he counted that person who, you know, "...Really didn't know for sure if he was saved or not!"
Sound a little "fishy" to you? It does to me. I've been around and I've seen how modern Fundamentalism has become a "business" which makes "merchandise" out of people. (Wow, that almost sounds like a Bible verse. Oh yeah, it is!)
Here's another story for you. I once visited a large church in Michigan, where unbeknownst to be a rather well-known "big-wig" in the Fundamentalist movement attended. Because of his grand fame, and because I think he was feeding off of the praise of men, this man stood at the front of the church and greeted people as they came in. When I entered with a friend of mine, the man told me his name, and became upset that I didn't know who he was. He said things like, "I'm [his name], don't you know me? I'm [his name], I just came back from California where I had 500 saved, haven't you heard of me? I'm [his name] and I've just returned from Mexico where I had 800 saved. Don't you know me?"
I turned to my friend and said quietly in his ear, "Boy, there sure are a lot of 'I's' in this church!" Pointing out how full of himself this man was.
When I told the man I was sorry but I'd never heard of him, he said it was okay, and then he asked me who was and who my Pastor was. When I told him, and he found out it was someone he didn't like, he immediatly turned around and walked away without another word.
That wasn't the worst of it! Nope, right then over to my right came a small crowd of several Bible students who said ecstatically, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe it! You got to talk with [his name]! I can't believe it! You are so lucky!"
Does that sound right to you? Almost sounds like a "cult" doesn't it?
I found out later that the man was a "co-founder" of a large and well-known Fundamentalist Bible College and that he'd personally put up a large fortune to help start that academic institution, which many others I've talked to also look at as a "cult" in its own right, with many of it's graduates leaving that school and building their own "kingdoms" with methods devised by the founder. The graduates, often times by the fruit of their labours, prove they are infected with the sin of "the love of money." As they are often obsessed with the financial aspect of the ministry instead of the spiritual. (In fact, in the school they came from, people were even "ridiculed" for studying their Bibles to much! What?)
Right then and there it clicked in my mind! And I realized how money and Christianity mixed together make it a "business" which leads to apostasy, and cultic attitudes. And it's sad to see, but apostasy and apostate practices have their start in the destroying sin of "the love of money."
If you are a Pastor, how about asking yourself, "Am I guilty of this sin?" If so, REPENT TODAY! If not, praise the Lord! But please don't remain silent. Preach against this sin that this the root of all evil. For it is destroying our world, destroying our country, destroying our churches, and even destroying souls.
If you look at the early apostles, they were persecuted instead of prosperous. And they brought true revival in the world. That is quite a difference in comparison to today, where we see more religion in the world today than in any other time in history, but less redeemed saints of God who are completely sold out to God than any other time in the Church Age. Just think on that for a while. Or, as I like to say when I'm preaching, "In the times of the apostles, you found Christians who loved God enough to DIE for Him. Now, it's hard to even find a Christian who is willing LIVE for Him!" Why? Because they love money more than their Master.

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