The Accuser of the Brethren

snake

“More churches have been destroyed by the accuser of the brethren and its faultfinding than by either immorality or misuse of church funds. So prevalent is this influence in our society that, among many, faultfinding has been elevated to the status of a ‘ministry‘! The Lord has promised, however, that in His house accusing one another will be replaced with prayer, and faultfinding with a love that covers a multitude of sins.”
 – Francis Frangipane.

Many years ago, I stumbled across a website devoted to exposing false prophets. Among those being “exposed” were Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, Jack Hayford, and even Billy Graham. As a young Christian, I was appalled. I had no idea that so many of the people I’d been listening to were false prophets! I was on the website for hours, reading about the sins of these men, the false prophecies they had given, the healings that had not taken place, the false doctrine they’d been spreading. I immediately sent the website link to a good friend of mine, a mature woman of faith, who wrote back with the following reply: “Why did you send this to me? What are you getting out of all this?” I was offended. What did she mean, “What am I getting out of this?” Didn’t she, too, want to keep from being deceived?! I have since come to understand her gentle rebuke for, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was participating in one of the oldest schemes of the devil (1).

The truth is that if we look hard enough, we can uncover the sins of any pastor, preacher, or brother in Christ. Given enough time, we can expose false doctrines and teachings. And if a minister claims to have a healing or prophetic ministry, we will eventually discover prophecies that were not fulfilled and people who were not healed (2). And yet, does this mean that these men are not Christians? And if they are Christians, do they deserve this type of persecution?

While correction is certainly biblical, accusation is a weapon of the enemy. When Jesus corrected the churches in Asia (Rev 2-3) He first praised them for their good works. This is the essence of Godly correction. This is the “spirit of gentleness” that Paul speaks of that is needed to “restore such a one” (Gal 6:1). In Mat 18:15, we are given the precedent for Godly correction that works to build and not destroy. The first step is to bring up the error “between you and him alone.” Should this fail to bring correction, the second step is to take with us “two or more witnesses” and again speak concerning the issue. Only after these two attempts have been tried and failed, are we to “tell it to the church.” Many, however, publish videos, tapes, sermons, newsletters, and even entire websites devoted to the public criticism and reproach of people they have never met or spoken to. They never present the virtues of the people they are attacking but set out only to expose their sin. Under the pretense of protecting sheep from “gnat sized” errors in doctrines or practices, they force the flock to swallow the “camel-sized” error of loveless correction (3).

Satan is called the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10). When we give heed to unbiblical forms of correction, or employ these methods ourselves, we open ourselves up to Satan’s influence in our own lives (Gal 6:1). Therefore, it is extremely important that we examine the method of correction employed by those who seek to warn us of so-called “false prophets” before we give audience to their teachings.  Likewise, those of us who see that a brother has fallen into sin must examine our motives and be sure to employ biblical methods of correction. Correction should never be about exposing sin, but restoring those around us to Jesus Christ. We must realize that “if the word of rebuke or correction does not offer grace for restoration, it is not the voice of [our] Shepherd. If [we] are Christ’s sheep, [we] will flee from it” (4). Let us remember that Christ has called us to unity in the body, and to love.

– “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13).

If we have participated in accusations against others, let us now seek forgiveness and begin to pray for those in leadership positions who are in such need of it. In many cases, those things which we deem wrong or lacking in the ministries of others are the very areas in which the Lord seeks to position us for intercession. “We must learn to pray for one another instead of praying on one another” (5). If we have been influenced by ungodly accusations against those in the Body, let us confess this now and renew our efforts to “believe all things, hope all things, and think no evil.”

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).

1.) I understand that most of the people who reject Benny Hinn and those like him do so out of a desire to protect themselves and others from deception, for it is true that many deceived groups have come from those who have claimed to hear God’s voice or work miracles. However, it is important to recognize that it is ultimately the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to “guide us in all truth” (John 16:13) and “keep us from stumbling” (Jude 24-25). We must be careful that in our zeal to protect ourselves we do not hinder our own growth. Will we live our lives attempting to remain free from error, only to make the bigger mistake of remaining powerless and out of communication with the Holy Spirit? Will we hide our talents and tell the Master when He comes that we were afraid of being wrong? We are each responsible for guarding our hearts against that which would attempt to destroy our faith. Bill Johnson once wrote: “I pay no attention to the warnings of possible excess from those who are satisfied with lack.” Likewise, I cannot entertain criticisms for those who walk in power by those content to walk in powerlessness. My faith is too valuable to me.

2.) Many who discredit these ministers point to prophecies that have not come to pass. They quote Deut. 18:20-22 which tells us that a prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in God’s name should be sentenced to death. It goes on to define speaking presumptuously, saying: “if the thing does not happen or come to pass… the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.” Yet it is important to note that Jonah was never considered a “false prophet” although Nineveh was not destroyed (Jonah 3). Ezekiel is not considered a “false prophet” although the destruction of Tyre was not completed during the Babylonian siege (Eze 26-29). Neither is Jeremiah considered a “false prophet” although he said that Zedekiah would die in peace (having my children killed in front of me, my eyes cut out, and dying in a prison is definitely not my definition of “peace.” [see Jer. 34:4-5; 52:10-11]). The point is that strict adherence to Deut. 18 can cause us to reject even Biblical prophets. Prophecy is a complicated matter, subject to interpretation, circumstance and perception. If we really want to find reasons to reject a prophet, we will eventually succeed.

Others focus on the sins of these men as credible reasons to disregard their teachings. Yet King David was both an adulterer and a murderer. Solomon infiltrated Israel with the worship of other Gods. Moses’ sin kept him from entering the Promised Land. Limiting ourselves to accepting only the teachings of those who have never fallen into sin would be to disregard large portions of the bible itself.

Still others may focus on the healings that have not taken place under those who have healing ministries. Yet Jesus’ ministry at the Pool of Bethesda only produced one healing, although there was “a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water” (John 5:3). Will we negate the miracle that took place there, because the others waiting were not healed as well? The ministries of Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, Oral Roberts, and others should be commended for the healings that have taken place, not condemned for those that have not.

3.) What those seeking to expose the deceitfulness of others may not realize is that in many ways they are actually causing more problems within the body of Christ than the “false prophets” themselves. These types of criticisms cause many believers to stumble and even doubt their faith. As Christians, we are all “members of one another” (Eph 4:25). Leviticus 18:6-10 tells us that we are not to uncover the nakedness of a relative “for their nakedness is yours.” When we expose the sins of other believers to the world, we are exposing all of Christianity to ridicule. Love, however, focuses on the good in others and always finds a redemptive way to “cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

Exposing the Accuser of the Brethren, Truths Compiled From the Writings of Francis Frangipane, Francis Frangipane, Arrow Publications, Cedar Rapids, LA, 1991, pg 12, 16 and 17

4.) Ibid, pg. 13

5.) Ibid pg 9 and 14

Bookmark and Share
Advertisements
This entry was posted in Criticism, Miscellaneous, PERSONAL. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Accuser of the Brethren

  1. Paul says:

    Hi Rina,

    I’m glad that you are one of God’s elect and want to live your life for him. I read your criticism about people who accuse false teachers. At the same time I just want to humbly point out to the fact that one reason many people criticise Pastors like Benny Hinn, Copeland etc is for the false teachings which they teach, other things standing, if people teach a wrong gospel, Paul said let them be accursed, and he did not leave himself out, he said let he himself be accursed if he were to teach a wrong gospel. I have seen many people who follow teachers like Benny Hinn amass a lot of wealth. And when the Government asks them to show proof of their wealth, they are hesitant because they know their wealth is not really legitimate. I’m from India. In here I have seen pastors call themselves men of God, amass a lot of wealth (one person I know made in 10 years somewhere around $80 million.. ) and thats in India. and when people of other religions stopped them from preaching, they bribed them. And still they say that they are being persecuted. Now is this a good testimony to people of other religions? As a true Christian should I stand with such wolves in sheeps clothing? Jesus Christ himself said that many would come to him on the day of Judgement and tell him that they worked miracles in his name, but Jesus would answer that “he never knew them”. Just because someone attracts and crowd and says the name of Jesus, it does not make them a servant of God. And of course if you want to look at the false teachings which they have taught, you just have to look anywhere.. anyone who quotes have quoted, which episode, which crusade etc, If Paul could publicly criticise peter, who was the head of the apostles, Leaders like John Macarthur are not doing anything wrong when they publish books on wrong teachings.. And just imagine, if the claims of miracles are wrong, how many christians like you and I are being misled, how much of God’s name is tarnished? If a preacher who calls himself to be a christian does not have any hurts about God’s name being tarnished by his wrong teachings/sayings/foolish cravings, then he is not fit to be a true preacher. And I have heard that some of them when 10000s are in front of them just speak one sentence about Jesus and the rest of the service is for healing/finances etc.. not to address man’s sinful state/God’s condemnation and his way of salvation. If when they are in front of so many people don’t want to preach the true gospel, do you really think these men are concerned about what God wants?

    Now if you read the lives of men of old, the martyrs who died for their faith, they were ready to die than even to do some sin which we might consider tolerable. Just read Foxe’s book of Christian martyrs. You will know what kind of faith it was people were ready to die for. There was a preacher called Whitfield who used to preach to up to 30000 people when there was no microphone and in open fields. He was mocked while preaching, people threw rotten vegetables and fruits at him and teased him, yet even skeptics ran to listen to his preaching because he was so earnest. He gave up his entire life and health just to preach the truth, with no compromise on the truth. There have been so many like him, you just have to read the annals of how the church came up and you will realise that the church today is far from what God would want each of us to be. I’m not perfect, not righteous, am a very very bad sinner, yet in my heart I wish to serve God. I know I’m bad and yet I can’t help speaking out at times when I see God’s name being trampled, his words misused. and thats the reason sometimes I speak out. I really don’t want you to feel that I was harshly speaking to you, but I just wanted you to at least consider that the men who speak against such people are not speaking because they want to defend themselves, but because they can’t bear the name of God being used for self gain. If I be wrong , I pray that God will correct me.

    In case you do want to read about the martyrs of old here is a link to Foxes Book of Christian Martyrs

    http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/foxe/bom/contents.htm

    Thanks for reading and God Bless!

  2. Rina says:

    Paul,

    Thank you for your comment. You bring out some really great points and I appreciate your feedback. Since your comment included so many different topics, I’m going to take it piecemeal and reply to them in turn. Hope that’s okay. To begin with, please let me clarify what I was trying to address in this post. I think it is important, when attempting to recognize false prophets and teachers, that we are careful not to embrace a critical spirit. It’s easy to point the finger and identify areas of sin in someone else’s life. What is much more difficult is to find the common good that is being done while Christ is being preached. There are biblical forms of correction that should be employed when we find that a fellow Christian is spreading false doctrines, teachings, or prophecies and I believe it’s important that we not participate in forms of correction that do not honor these principles. I appreciate your zeal for an authentic gospel and your desire to see others embracing authenticity as well, and I’d like to address some of the excellent points you made below…

    one reason many people criticize Pastors like Benny Hinn, Copeland etc is for the false teachings which they teach, other things standing, if people teach a wrong gospel, Paul said let them be accursed

    This is a great point, thank you for bringing it up. When Paul made the statement “let him be accursed” he was referencing those who taught that salvation was through our works, rather than through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (Galatians 1:9). He was not addressing minor discrepancies of doctrine. If this were the case, I’m afraid we’d all be “accursed.” I know I’m certainly not walking in 100% truth. It’s one of the reasons teachers will be more harshly judged (James 3:1). But the judgment should be by God, not by men.

    I’m from India. In here I have seen pastors call themselves men of God, amass a lot of wealth (one person I know made in 10 years somewhere around $80 million.. ) and thats in India. and when people of other religions stopped them from preaching, they bribed them. And still they say that they are being persecuted. Now is this a good testimony to people of other religions? As a true Christian should I stand with such wolves in sheeps clothing?

    I can certainly understand where you’re coming from here – it’s one of the reasons that my personal heroes are men like George Muller and Hudson Taylor who refused even to take a salary for their work. The exploitation of the lost is a tragic matter. I would like to point out, though, that it should be okay for a Pastor to generate revenue for the work that he does. In our society, it is acceptable for doctors to make millions, but should a pastor do the same, they’re automatically assumed to be fraudulent. I feel that this is a double standard of the worst sort. Doctors do a wonderful work, but it’s incomparible to the work of the ministry of the gospel. Should they not receive monetary blessings in return? Personally, I would rather follow in the footsteps of men like Muller and Taylor, but I don’t take issue with pastors and evangelists making money. Scripture tells us that those doing the work of God should not only be paid, but should be paid a double portion (1 Timothy 5:17-18). I don’t know the pastors in India who are bribing others and claiming they are persecuted, but I do know what Paul’s response to this type of problem was. He writes: “Some preach Christ from envy and strife, and some from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely… What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice” (Phil 1:15-18). Rather than take issue with how or with what motivation these people are preaching the gospel, we can all be glad that the gospel is, indeed, being preached and that people are being saved. I know that you, too, can be pleased about this for I can see your heart for the salvation of others.

    If Paul could publicly criticize Peter, who was the head of the apostles, Leaders like John Macarthur are not doing anything wrong when they publish books on wrong teachings.

    I can perfectly understand the desire to protect people from being deceived. And, as you say, even Paul publicly criticized Peter for his wrongdoings. It is important to note, though, that when Paul criticized Peter, he did it “to his face” (Galatians 2:11). I don’t know whether John Macarthur has ever contacted Benny regarding his false teachings, but my point is that there is a biblical way to give Godly correction and most of those who publish websites devoted to exposing the sins of others are not following the biblical precedent. Rather than devote books and websites to “exposing” false teachings, why don’t we devote websites to teaching the things that are biblically accurate? That way, we are getting the truth out there without the risk of slandering a member of the Body of Christ. It would certainly be a more honorable way to prevent deception than completely discrediting the ministry of another. Often, the very areas where we see problems in others are those areas in which God has called us to minister in. There may be a calling in your life for this purpose.

    Jesus Christ himself said that many would come to him on the day of Judgment and tell him that they worked miracles in his name, but Jesus would answer that “he never knew them”.

    Certainly, not all men who work miracles are men of God. Counterfeits and charlatans have always been with us. The Holy Spirit, who is given to us to “guide us in all truth” is ultimately responsible for keeping us from the deception that ultimately comes from those who are not from God (John 16:13). None of us can boast to be free from error. In my early walk I know that I believed, and taught others, many things that were incorrect. As I’ve matured, I’ve recognized these things. There isn’t any Christian who has not had similar experiences. But this does not negate the fact that I was a Christian, and that my heart was in the right place. The same can be said of any Christian minister who is concerned for the salvation of others. They may occasionally teach things that are false. But as Bill Johnson says, “we must learn to chew the meat and spit out the bones.”

    And I have heard that some of them when 10000s are in front of them just speak one sentence about Jesus and the rest of the service is for healing/finances etc.. not to address man’s sinful state/God’s condemnation and his way of salvation. If when they are in front of so many people don’t want to preach the true gospel, do you really think these men are concerned about what God wants?

    The sinful state of men is certainly one way to preach the gospel and reach people for Christ, and it is often very effective. God also says that miracles would accompany his gospel, and that people would be saved because of those miracles. Jesus Himself said that we should not believe in Him unless He did the works of His Father (John 10:25). Miracles were a huge part of Jesus’ ministry (John 3:2; 10:32, 37, 38; 14:10-12; Acts 2:22; Heb 2:4, etc.). They were also a huge part of the apostle’s ministry (Acts 8:6, 8:13, 15:12, 19:11; Gal 3:5; Romans 15:18-19, etc.). Miracles make up a vast portion of the “true gospel” and it’s a shame that the Church has failed to realize this. I think it important that ministers of the gospel acknowledge both aspects of the ministry and, as you say, not neglect the message of salvation, which embraces soul, spirit, and body (1).

    There was a preacher called Whitfield who used to preach to up to 30000 people when there was no microphone and in open fields. He was mocked while preaching, people threw rotten vegetables and fruits at him and teased him, yet even skeptics ran to listen to his preaching because he was so earnest. He gave up his entire life and health just to preach the truth, with no compromise on the truth.

    Whitfield was, indeed, an incredible man of God. There is so much we can learn from him and the life that he led. One thing to consider that can teach us much on this subject is the fact that Whitfield and Wesley founded the Methodist church where infant baptism is still practiced today. Most Christians dispute infant baptism in favor of believers baptism. Yet Whitfield was a man of God despite these beliefs. We should be more desirous to see the good in others, than to find the bad. Perhaps we can learn from Benny and others like him, despite their errors, just as we can learn from Whitfield.

    I know I’m bad and yet I can’t help speaking out at times when I see God’s name being trampled, his words misused. and thats the reason sometimes I speak out.

    I understand your heart in this, and your desire to keep others from being deceived. It is a noble thing to want to see others walking in truth. There is a way to warn people about false doctrines without entirely discrediting the ministry of others. When we hear someone speaking about an incorrect lesson they were taught, for example, we can point out to them where the teaching might have been in error, and invite them to study the subject with us. When we find someone reading a book written by a pastor whom we know to have some incorrect beliefs, it’s perfectly acceptable to say: “his teaching on such-and-such is great, but there are some things he says about thus-and-so that I don’t think are biblically accurate.” It’s one thing to point people in the right direction, it’s another thing to discredit the entire ministry of another in an attempt to prevent deception. Rather than devote websites to “exposing” false teachings, we can devote websites to teaching the things that are biblically accurate. Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit’s job to safeguard us from deception. We must have more faith in God’s ability to “lead us in all truth” than in Satan’s ability to deceive us (John 16:13). Your desire to reach others and to see them walk in truth is admirable and it can certainly be used for the glory of Jesus Christ.

    Thank you for taking the time to write, and for sending the link to Foxes Book of Martyrs. I wasn’t aware that it was online and I’m sure it will be a great resource for me in the future. I appreciate your commitment to holiness.

    Jon and Rina

    1.) When we saw Benny Hinn, he devoted the entire first service to the message of salvation. It may be that sometimes when these events are broadcasted on television, they are only showing the healing part of the service. Have you ever read Good Morning Holy Spirit, by Benny Hinn?

  3. Paul says:

    Thanks a lot for your reply.. And sorry for delaying mine… I really like the tolerant spirit that you have. I agree that even if our brother has a mistake we must still love him and consider him our brother and stand together for common good. Because when we reach heaven we are going to be with that brother. But of course that will happen when love is the motive and glorifying God the sole motive.. Still I just wanted to point out some things.

    Paul did speak about people being accursed if they preached a different gospel and I agree that at that time he meant it about the gospel of salvation through works. But since the holy spirit prompted him to write it and it is written even to the church today it does points any gospel which is not the true Gospel of which only God is the author. Any other gospel other than the true one is to be abhorred and cast away whether it deviates a little or more..

    Again about comparing a pastor who accumulates wealth and a doctor who accumulates wealth is wrong. Whoever is not a faithful steward of the wealth God gives to him and does not use it for the benefit of others but selfish gains is to be despised. The world might despise the pastor who accumulates wealth and not anyone of any other profession, but in God’s eyes whoever is not a faithful steward of the wealth God has entrusted to them is doing a sin. In Mathew 6 Jesus says “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also….” So Jesus himself said it is meaningless to lay treasures on earth.. And what do some of these men do?? And moreover Paul was content in every situation..even in poverty.. his eyes were not set on amassing wealth but on spreading the gospel. So that was where his heart was.. And again in the believers of the early church… the rich distributed all their wealth among the other poor believers.. so again that was what the bible shows about people who did the right thing with their wealth.. Amassing it and spending on personal luxuries was never right, Paul never said he wanted to buy even a horse so he could travel fast?? and nowadays people are talking about buying jet planes for their indulgence and saying they want it to spread the gospel.. As if there are no means of travelling fast….. Its easy to understand their wrong intention on this.. And Paul did rejoice in the fact that Christ was preached, but at the same time he did mention that the people were doing it for selfish ambition.. And thats all even people who point out wrong things are doing…. Besides have you seen how many people return disappointed from such meetings in which people want to be healed but don’t get it? God definitely does not intent on healing everyone who is sick… there are people who return so much hurt after meetings that the bad it does exceeds the good it does, So shouldn’t we speak out against this??

    The other thing is that whatever be the means to confronting the error in Peter’s teaching, Paul confronted it and he did so publicly, not privately, he did it in front of everyone .. as he has written. So criticising a person is public is not wrong. Besides the other thing is that Paul did not have to criticise Peter again, but in spite of so much criticism and pointing out of errors some of these teachers are not ready to correct their ways which leads to more men coming out against them because they know their ways are wrong.. As you yourself had written, one wrong teaching once is fine we can forgive errors because all of us are with errors, but constantly teaching something wrong which belittles the gospel / Christ is not something which should be taken lightly.

    And again if Miracles are true, they would speak of God’s presence, but as I told you the 1000s who return back disappointed at not receiving any healing don’t feel God’s presence, and its only because many of the healings which these people preach are false. Instead if the word was preached with power, it would have turned their hearts and set it right with God. When going home they would have pondered if their hearts were aright with God rather than being disappointed at not receiving their healing. Because God wants men’s hearts and their salvation more than their physical healing. Many men do these healings not because God wants them to do that but so that by doing these things they may have a name before men. And so that other christians might feel as if they are doing a great work. And if you look at Paul, Peter or the other apostles, they were primarily people who preached the word and ocassionally healed, never the other way round. So Healing is not a ministry, only preaching the gospel is a ministry..

    And I don’t think that Whitfield intended on forming a church, it was Wesley who formed the Methodist church, Whitfield was indeed the one whom God used for the revival but he did not want to form a church. Whitfield and Wesley had so many differences in their beliefs. George Whitefield, when asked whether he would found a denomination, said, “No; Brother John Wesley may do as he pleases, but let my name perish; let Christ’s name last for ever.” Amen to that! Let my name perish; but let Christ’s name last for ever. I shall be quite contented for you to go away and forget me.” So that is why Methodists still say that Wesley formed them though it was Whitfield who was greatly used by God. And again Whitfield’s office was preaching the gospel, the true Gospel, and that is the office of all true ministers, and not baptising. baptism is a personal decision, it is not the decision made by the minister. Even Paul says in Corinthians “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel”.

    And lastly I agree with you, we must never criticise a bretheren in public and try to slander if it causes any to stumble, There are times when we have to keep quiet for the sake of the weak brother. And in such cases as you said, we have to speak lovingly, not giving stress on the wrong teachings but the good ones. In fact I’m learning to be more tolerant. And I do pray earnestly that God will make me so, if that is what he wants from me. At the same time I do want you to give a thought at not being too soft at people who teach wrong doctrines for their personal gain, that is why I thought I would write so much one more time. I really admire your spirit of tolerance and indeed wish to have some in me as well, but again in being too tolerant we should not be soft on people whom God disapproves. So I thought I’d just write this one more time. Thanks a lot for spending your time on this and giving me insight. Maybe some of those ministers have changed for the good, and thats great, in that case I need to re examine my thoughts on them.

    And just to add something about myself. I’m Paul. I’m from the state of Kerala in India, working as a software Engineer in a city called Pune. My wish and desire is that I can be a true servant of God myself and be his faithful representative wherever i am. I hope and pray that God will make abundant use of your lives as well.

    • Rina says:

      Paul,

      I understand some of the concerns that you have about false ministers, etc. and can certainly relate to many of them. In the area of finances, especially, I can see how many in the body are fed up with what seems to be gross extravagance and excessiveness. You’re absolutely correct that there are abuses and there are people who minister for the purpose of selfish gain, and I do believe that these abuses should be addressed. My post was meant to address the difference between biblical correction and judgment. I believe that it is very important that we are careful about the method of correction we employ when we see a brother walking in sin. Paul did, indeed, correct Peter and did so “to his face.” Correction is a Godly thing, when we know that a brother or sister in Christ is living in a sinful way. When Paul corrected Peter, he chose to follow a biblical precedent by confronting Peter rather than writing and distributing letters denouncing Peter and his ministry, which is what many are doing today when the publish websites devoted to tearing others down. Paul also had a personal relationship with Peter that enabled him to stand in a position of authority in his correction. If these things are lacking in our relationships with the people we are correcting, then I believe we may be stepping into an area of judgment and this is what my original post was meant to address.

      I do agree with you that the money some ministers are making is sometimes exorbitant, and this can certainly be a stumbling block to their ministry at times. You bring up a great point about Jesus saying “do not store up treasures on earth” because this is certainly an issue in the church today. As for the extravagance of jet planes and etc., the Bible certainly makes it seem as if King Solomon and King David were living in opulence – opulence that God Himself blessed them with. My assumption would be that they probably had some pretty expensive camels. :o) Deut. 8:18 says that God establishes His covenant with us by giving us wealth: “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” Psalm 112:1-3 says that God blesses those who keep His commandments with “wealth and riches” (“blessed is the man that fears the Lord, that delights greatly in His commandments… Wealth and riches shall be in his house.”) There is a great deal of biblical evidence to point to the fact that, with the right spiritual mindset, wealth is a blessing from God. The problem isn’t necessarily the amount of material possessions a minister may have, but the hearts of those who would become consumed by monetary blessings instead of spiritual blessings, which cause them to serve money rather than God (Luke 16:13). Only God knows whether or not a particular minister has an impure heart in this regard. It’s simply not my job to point the finger of blame at anyone else for what I presume to be an excess.

      I can also understand how your heart goes out to those who experience disappointment when they come away from ministers without being healed. I believe that it is God’s will to heal all those who believe in Him and that Jesus made a payment for our healing at the cross (Isaiah 53:5). There are times when a sought-after healing doesn’t take place, but the problem does not lie with God. We must learn to live in the tension between God’s promises and our experiences (please see my post entitled “Enduring Faith.”) When Jesus ministered at the pool of Bethesda, there were a “great multitude” of sick people there, and yet only one received a healing (John 5:1-9). I don’t believe that it is God’s will for us to negate the healing of many, to prevent the disappoint of others. There were many Jews in Israel who came to Jesus seeking a sign and left Him disappointed (John 6:30, Mat 12:39, Luke 11:29-32).

      You wrote that healing is not a ministry. Healing is a sign that is supposed to follow all who believe (Mark 16:18, John 14:12). Whether we define this as a “ministry” or not, the fact is that Jesus said that those who believe in Him are supposed to heal the sick. Jesus himself said that if He did not do miracles, we should not believe Him (John 10:37, 38). I realize that many with healing ministries may not be the men and women of God that they seem to be. When John came to Jesus because he saw someone casting out a demon in Jesus’ name, John forbade him because the man was not a follower of Jesus. However, Jesus responded by saying: “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon afterward speak evil of me. For he who is not against us is on our side” (Mark 9:39, 40). Even if Benny Hinn (and others like him) is not a true follower of Jesus, he is sill doing works in Jesus’ name, and we can praise God for that.

  4. wendy says:

    It is interesting I would see this post at this time. I am puzzling through these issues myself. I have been having a conversation with someone about Christians and politics. In sharing writings I have stumbled across this issue. He commented that he liked the article I shared, but was “concerned” when he found out what stain of Christianity it came from. The man that is the founder had this sin in his life and believed this thing. Well then when I went to his article on line I also enjoyed what the man wrote BUT then I looked up the author and he has a doctrinal stand I don’t agree with. So what do we do? Do we throw out all that they say because we disagree on one issue? I think not, but I do believe there are some issues we do separate over. Basics of the Gospel. The virgin birth, the divinity of Christ, the resurrection ect. Those things are foundational but others such as pre, mid, or post trib. no we do not separate over those for those.

    I had some one call a Mormon a brother in Christ, I disagree, the doctrine is too far from the truth.

    One of the men you listed does not believe in the Trinity. I believe that is a major issue of orthodoxy. Also when someone sins we are to love and give forgiveness. But when someone has a pattern of sin with no repentance that is another thing. David did commit sins, grievous ones, but he always repented and turned from it. But when someone will not acknowledge and receive correction we must be wise.

    Neither stand is absolute. We do not ignore sin to walk in love as that is not true love. But we do not also reject all who fall but with grace seek to bring them restoration.

    As far as nationally known men, we have no access to them and must leave that to those who do. But if someone has gone to them, and followed the steps set forth in the Word, and they still do not repent then I think it is right for the to “tell it to the church”. When that person has made himself a public figure it must be to the whole body not the local one.

    But then it should end, the one who has told it to the church is the one who should , period. It should not them become fodder for sharing again and again.

    I hope I have come to a balance in this. I came from a church that allowed sin in the leadership because “love covers” in other words covers up. The only ones who were wrong were those who dared say something was wrong. But we should not glory in it being exposed. We should pray and humble ourselves lest we too fall.

    We must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. Thanks for your writing I got much out of it and it helped me work this through in my mind. And your point is well taken we much more easily error on the side of judgment than grace.

    • Rina says:

      Wendy, thank you for your well thought out response. I can relate to the struggle regarding whose teachings we should follow. I agree with you that we should not accept the teachings of everyone who claims Christianity and there are many whose teachings my husband and I no longer follow. There are others whom we believe have a great anointing in some areas, but fall short in others and so we choose which area’s in which we will open ourselves to their influence. As for having a pattern of sin, I also agree with you that if someone is exhibiting a pattern of unrepentant sin they are no longer walking in God’s truth. However, it doesn’t make everything they have to say “wrong.” King Solomon, for instance, infiltrated Israel with pagan worship and yet his teachings are a part of the Bible. I also agree that there should be accountability to someone. I only take issue with the fact that most of those who are publishing books and websites seeking to “expose” these people are not in right position to do so. For me, personally, I try to focus more on the teaching (i.e. can I find it in my bible? Does my spirit confirm the message? Etc.) than on the person doing the teaching. God can use even a sullied vessel to spread His message, and it is the role of the Holy Spirit to keep me in right understanding. It sounds to me like the balance you are speaking of is a good one and I would just encourage you to keep seeking God in the matter. “The Spirit… will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s