Sickness in the Church

Sickness in the Church

Sickness in the Church

After forty years
in the ministry of the Church of Jesus
Christ my wife and I have seen and concluded several things, not
that we have seen it all. There have been times when we have
added somewhat to the dilemma of the current state of the church
by the foolish things we have done and regret doing. But here is
a commentary on some of the things that we personally have
observed.

Dr Roy Halverson, the Chaplain to the American Senate for many
years, wrote a small booklet entitled "THE LIVING BODY" on his
retirement. Feeling somewhat disillusioned, he stated that the
Church is no longer an organism - it has become an organization,
a machine. It is no longer a relational body, but has degenerated
in to an institutional body.

He continued this very impacting statement by saying the
church of Jesus Christ began in Palestine as a movement. At the
end of the first century those who had the helm of the church
steered it into Greece and it became a philosophy. Later in the
third century, those who had control of the helm steered it into
Rome and it became an institution. Then in the Middle Ages, once
more the political controllers steered it into Europe and it
became a culture. Finally the helm has been seized by the powers
of the church and steered into America and it became an
enterprise.

People do not matter any longer, neither do they count in the
bigger picture. They are just automatic teller vending machines
set there to provide the necessaries to enable some tin god to
fulfill his egotistical dream. The western church in many
respects is now just like any other respectable secular club with
its levied due paying members.

This is not the church I want or will belong to. It is against
the very principles of Scripture, and I believe anathema to the
very heart of God. I watch these slick television evangelists
with their dyed hair, their Armani suits and white shoes as they
tickle the people and sell their snake oil for money.

They throw out the crumbs and watch folk flock at their feet
clamoring to get some of the tit bits and whilst doing so, these
predators, like cats in the night, come in for the kill. I sat
with the Governor General in a nation around five years ago and
listened while he begged me to try and stop TBN Christian
Television Network beaming into his country. I told him I do not
have the power or contacts to do that let alone gain their
attention that they should listen to me. Then I heard his reason
for that request. He told me that after many of these
Televangelists had come to his land they raised support for their
organizations by devious and fraudulent means, promising the
people such things as Elderships and formal Diplomas in return
for sending them a specific amount of money each year. He told me
of the millions of US dollars that were flowing out of his
country and how many of the national pastors had to leave their
churches and go back to work as the support was no longer there
in the pulpits for them.

I come back from overseas and watched this pantomime called
Christianity being played out on the stages of many churches and
feel a sense of shame as this is the body I belong to. We wonder
why it is that for all the activity in our fellowships the
statistics show the actual Christian religion is retreating and
dying in the west.

At the self-same time these polished orchestras of contempt
lull and coerce their congregations to the slaughterhouse with
promises of prosperity and power. They lead the sheep to the very
edge of the abyss itself and then step back as Judas sheep,
allowing the innocent to fall over the edge, destroyed both by
them and then ultimately by hell itself. Not a day goes by now in
my travel that I do not confront the deceit and fraudulent lies
of slick, pickpocket preachers that have made a life of fleecing
people for their own ends and the tragedy is, many of those
effected will never darken a church door again. The testimony of
Christianity throughout the world now is mocked and scoffed at,
especially in Muslim countries, and we are so blind and dense we
cannot figure out why. This conceited blindness envelops America
almost completely.

The church has become a habitation of devils and at one
extreme we have the religious bigots dressed in their gowns and
robes who pontificate about their righteousness and tradition
irrespective of their denomination, and at the other extreme we
have the artful Christian pickpockets and fortune tellers
promising success to all and sundry. The Bible reminds us of
God’s heart when it states – "I sought for a man
to stand in the gap but found no man"
, and again, "The
eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth
seeking for someone whom He might show himself strong on behalf
of."
We hear the cry of the lost themselves, saying, "No man
cares for my soul."

We the church are too busy building our bigger barns and
filling our earthly coffers, to be seeking an invisible,
intangible city not of this world. Our lust for power and finance
devours every moment here on earth. And why shouldn’t it,
we are building Christ’s church here on earth they tell us.
That is the nonsense modern Christianity and its salesmen have
espoused. It’s called Dominion Now theology.

As a young preacher I determined never to ask for money and
never to take an offering for myself, and last but not least in
the order of things, wherever I went, to never make my needs
known to people to coerce them to help. I also endeavoured to go
wherever there was an open door, regardless of where that place
was, Third World or otherwise, irrespective of whether I would
cover my costs or not.

But I have learned this. Most rich people do not part with
their money easily, and if they do, they want verified evidence
that it goes where it is supposed to, and they want to know it is
productive and evidenced by a visible return. I am not suggesting
here we are not to be accountable. I accept that much dishonour
has come to the church because of a lack of accountability, but
these rich people want a return for their money and to them it is
an investment - that is how they think.

Well I have news for them. Offerings are given to God, not to
men, and although we must be careful who we support, many of the
charlatans and preachers that I mentioned at the beginning of
this article have become that way because they resented living on
the dregs and struggling to survive on hand-me-downs and
leftovers. They decided there had to be something in it for them,
so they turned their ministries into profitable business
ventures, creating a den of thieves by merchandising and
franchising the house of God.

When deciding to give your support, make sure it is where you
are fed and nurtured spiritually. Give your tithes, or as I
prefer to call them, gifts of appreciation, unreservedly, knowing
that the scripture states you give unto God and from God you will
receive the reward. This giving is to the house where you are fed
and shepherded, not anywhere else, but let me add here, if you
are not being fed and shepherded, get out and find someone who
preaches the truth and loves his people! They could not carry on
in this way if you no longer supported their agenda and
lifestyle. It amazes me the number of folk I meet who complain to
me that they feel unwanted, and are demeaned in a congregation
where no appreciation is shown to them, yet they remain there and
allow this charade to carry on.

A final thought about the rich. They do not give of their
lack, they give of their abundance. One foolish preacher I heard
said, "I have a grievance with God. He tells us to give to the
poor, but the poor cannot be trusted with it. Give it to the rich
and they will go and invest it and make more." What blasphemy is
this? God states that he who gives to the poor lends unto God and
God will repay!

Another thing I have learnt is that in many cases it is not
the rich that give and support ministries, it is the poor! I have
sat with the richest people on this planet and most have never
considered I might have a need, even while I have laboured in
ministry to serve them. I have also sat with the poorest of this
world and watched their joy as they have tried to exhort me to
take the only things of earthly significance they own. I have
felt so ashamed and so distressed as on many occasions I have
been unable to persuade them otherwise. The best lesson I have
really learnt is this - It is more blessed to give than to
receive. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain
what he cannot lose.

About Brian Hay