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    Say Goodbye to the Untouchable Preachers

    Say Goodbye to the Untouchable Preachers

    J. Lee Grady has an absolutely great piece over at the Chrisma Magazine website.  Charisma is the charismatic slanted ministry magazine, and Grady has recently been calling out factions in his own circles.  In this piece, he makes some great observations that hopefully will continue to, as he puts it, 'shake up the church and remove corruption'...

    Here's some of what he writes:

    We were the gullible ones. When they said, "The Lord promises you untold wealth if you will simply give a thousand dollars right now," we went to the phones and put the donations on our credit cards. God forgive us.

    We were the undiscerning ones. When they said, "I need your sacrificial gift today so I can repair my private jet," we didn't ask why a servant of God wasn't humble enough to fly coach class to a Third World nation. God forgive us.

    We were the foolish ones. When it was revealed that they were living in immorality, mistreating their wives or populating cities with illegitimate children, we listened to their spin doctors instead of demanding that ministry leaders act like Christians. God forgive us.

    We were the naïve ones. When they begged for $2 million more in donations because of a budget shortfall, we didn't feel comfortable asking why they needed that $10,000-a-night hotel suite. In fact, if we did question it, another Christian was quick to say, "Don't criticize! The Bible says, ‘Touch not the Lord's anointed!'" God forgive us.

    We have treated these charlatans like Al Capone—as if they were untouchable—and as a result their corruption has spread throughout charismatic churches like a plague. Our movement is eaten up with materialism, pride, deception and sexual sin because we were afraid to call these Bozos what they really are—insecure, selfish, egotistical and emotionally dysfunctional.

    If we had applied biblical discernment a long time ago we could have avoided this mess. There is no way we can know how many unbelievers rejected the gospel because they saw the church supporting quacks who swaggered, bragged, lied, flattered, bribed, stole and tearfully begged their way into our lives—while we applauded them and sent them money.

    Without naming names, he calls individuals out.  Still, that's quite a bold step... calling leaders in your own circle 'deceptive and manipulating' and 'false prophets' is testicular enough... he takes it one step further when he lays blame with the people that gave them all the money and the power.  Knowing, all the while, that many of his publication's readers were probably the very ones who sent the checks.  That's uber-testicular, my friend.  He says:

    If we had applied biblical discernment a long time ago we could have avoided this mess.


    But true.

    All circles have their more excentric preachers and high rollers.  This isn't just a charismatic issue to be sure.  But I'm glad when someone says enough is enough.

    The only criticism I have in Grady's piece is that I don't see any of these people he's talking about going anywhere, just yet.  But I think the tide is turning.  Quickly.  Soon and very soon, the $2 million deficit will not be replentished.

    What are your thoughts?


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    1. Brandi Briscoe on Thu, August 12, 2010

      Amen! It’s about time! It’s not popular to hold these leaders accountable (trust me, I finally did it after 20 years in ministry and I was ousted) but it’s got to be done! We all make mistakes and everyone needs mercy, including leaders, but that doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye and allow intimidation to quiet us.

    2. stephen hammond on Thu, August 12, 2010

      Let’s see if he will practically walk out this next time one of these ‘Bozo’s’ or their ministry wants to take out ad space in one of his magazines.

    3. Michael Buckingham on Thu, August 12, 2010

      We must stop acting like the people on the Emperors New Clothes. We can show grace, but we must also be discerning.

      I turn on christian tv and it makes me shutter to see what christianity can become.

      I read what some of our church leaders are writing and am saddened to see the focus on their kingdom instead of God’s.

      And J. Lee is right, shame on us for allowing it. And God forgive us for attaching your name to it.

      It’s going to be uncomfortable but it must change, and that change begins with us.

    4. Jerry on Thu, August 12, 2010

      “My house is to be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers.” - Luke 19:46. it’s about time someone called these charlatans out. Not that there haven’t been many who have done so already, but J. Lee has a more visible platform to do it. I’ve said for years that these people exist on the backs of the spiritually immature who are emotionally charged, but do not have the discernment to see through these guys. Their leaders keep them immature by preaching an incomplete gospel.

      We need to pray for God to work in the lives of these people and get their talents focused on the work of God’s kingdom. Not that anyone should work for free, but that their main objectives would be the things that make God’s kingdom grow and not their own.

    5. Andymcadams on Thu, August 12, 2010

      What amazes me is that it has taken decades for believers in any particular circle to see this and speak out about it.  I agree with Michael that it causes one to shutter by looking at TV and seeing what Christianity can (and in many cases has) become. 

      I do think that most of the American public is wise enough to understand that what they see isn’t what God had intended.  But how sad that it has caused thousands to believe that it is a true picture of what all churches are really like and therefore stay away. 

      Yes…it’s sad and some will have to stand before God and give an answer for it…especially because of those that never gave Christ’s gospel a chance in their life because of it all.

    6. RevKev on Thu, August 12, 2010

      An agnostic friend said to my son, “I bet these guys make it hard for guys like your dad, don’t they?”  Among our unchurched community, ‘christian’ television is a joke… at BEST.  People who watch and contribute are considered foolish… at BEST.  I have kept the ‘christian’ stations blocked for years so I don’t get upset.  Thanks to J. Lee Grady for using his platform to point it out.

    7. Andymcadams on Thu, August 12, 2010

      AMEN TO Rev.Kev.  And to think of all the millions of dollars spent on so-called Christian TV.  It’s interesting to see that less then 2% of adult believers today have become Christians due to TV programs compared to around 82% that have been led to Jesus by way of a friend or damily member…ONE TO ONE.  Oh…and by the way…it’s free.

    8. Andymcadams on Thu, August 12, 2010

      Opps….I meant family member not damily member…lol

    9. Rev. Rober S. Helms on Fri, August 13, 2010

      It is my studied opinion that this problem will become worse before it gets better. I do understand that it does require money to operate a Christian entity, be it a ministry, website, publish a book, or specific ministries to those Christians in need, and of course the servant must trust in God to meet their living expenses, not as I would like to live but what is supplied by God.  However, it has been my general experience over 30 years of serving as pastor, counselor, and now author, that all the entities claiming to be Christian differ little, except for content, from secular enterprises when it comes to making as much money as possible, and maybe even more so because of a targeted and limited people group.  We need more people in Christian ministries, and related entities to stop thinking of money, and believing God, when He says He will supply our needs. is a refreshing website and thank you for being there. and thank you Zoecity as well.

    10. Jim B. on Fri, August 13, 2010

      My favorite illustration regarding the subject of the article listed is T.D. Jakes.  I was channel surfing a few years ago, and came upon Jakes, who I didn’t really know much about.  He was telling in great detail of his plans to put televisions in prisons to spread the gospel, and he needed 400K for this outreach.  In his plea for money he stated repeatedly that without this money he wouldn’t be able to reach the prisoners for Christ.  Yet, here is a man who lives in a 10 million dollar home, or so I’ve been told, and he drives a car worth about 400K-a Bentley.  My reaction to his plea was that he should sell his car and use that money, if it was a ministry that the Lord laid on his heart. 

      It’s always interesting that financially stepping out in faith is mostly for others to do, and rarely for those who ask for the money.

    11. Jud on Sat, August 14, 2010

      Sadly this is not isolated to Charismatic circles. The root problem as I see it is our cultures obsession with celebrity. When the church is modeling the culture to reach the culture then cultural dysfunction is what we reap. Our culture values talent, charm, charisma, style, smoothness etc. I’ve seen so many examples of the local church setting this up in a microcosym and maintaining an appearance of vibrancy and health.

      It’s not just grandmothers in lazyboys that are being duped.

      The question must be asked when we look at our leaders. Are they building Christ’s Kingdom or are they perpetuating their own?  Are we being drawn to them or are we (or flesh) being offended by their message? Are they preaching the Gospel or are they soft selling “life change”  or decisionism?

    12. eb on Sat, August 14, 2010

      Good for him!

    13. Al on Wed, August 18, 2010

      For a long time I have been feeling uneasy when my son is sitting next to me while I watch “christian” channels. After reading the article and the many responses, I am now able to say why: this is not the faith that I want my son to know. “Christianity” is a multi-billion business and the Gospel has been turned into a product. This business sells “hopes,” “healing” (which is rarely verified), “emotional experiences.”

      I still flip through different “christian” channels today, but mostly for the purpose of knowing who doing what.

    14. GG on Mon, August 23, 2010

      Charisma is not Lee Grady’s magazine.  It is Stephen Strang’s magazine.  Grady now only submits his column.  If you have an issue with Charisma, write them and let Grady continue telling the truth!

    15. Jane Vaughn on Tue, August 31, 2010

      Sometimes when I turn on christian tv and it makes me shutter to see what christianity can become.

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