Megachurches & Televangelists
At a Glance: Money-hungry, fake-smiling TV evangelists and preachers have given the Bible and Christianity a bad name. At the same time they deceive the gullible, they convince millions of nonbelievers that all Christians are just after your wallet. To be sure, pastors of megachurches and TV personalities like Joel Olsteen, Pat Robertson, T.D. Jakes, John Hagee, Benny Hinn, Robert Schuller, Paul Crouch, Rod Parsley, and Ernest Angley are the epitome of wolves in sheep's clothing.
LIE #1: GAIN IS GODLINESS & THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL
Don’t judge the Bible by what you see on TV. Over 95% of TV preachers/evangelists ARE after your wallet and they preach only what they think people want to hear. True Bible believers, found most often attending small God-fearing local churches, are not after your money. Additionally, true believers are often the ones saying things you don't want to hear (the truth).
I Tim. 6:5 "Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
Romans 16:17 “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”
II Peter 2:1-3 "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."
Sadly, most people today do not want to be convicted of their sin anyway. They like having their ears tickled. They like being told they're wonderful and that success is right around the corner (usually after one more donation).
II Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
Isaiah 30:10 "Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits"
LIE #2: THERE IS SOMETHING GREAT INSIDE OF YOU. POSITIVE PEP TALKS.
Televangelists and pastors of large churches just stick to the positive. They preach the smooth things. Everyone is a winner. Everything is great. Nothing is wrong. You’re headed places. You’re going places. You’re an important person. You’re just taking your own path. Nobody is perfect. Love yourself. Trust your heart. Believe in yourself.
You shouldn’t be. The Bible teaches you can only be saved when you realize you’re lost, you can only be strong when you’re weak, and you can only find your life by losing it.
Look at the message of Paul the Apostle, one of the greatest men to ever live. He certainly wouldn’t have sold many books or added many church members in today’s world.
Romans 7:24 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Contrary to the teachings of Joel Osteen, the Bible teaches us that we are wretches who are incapable of doing anything of value on our own. The only thing we should glory in is what Christ did.
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Galatians 6:14 “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Jesus teaches how we should think of ourselves in the following passage in Luke. He certainly wouldn’t have sold many books or added many church members in today’s world either.
Luke 18: 10-14 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
“Positive” ministries, such as Osteen’s, do nothing for people except give them a false sense of security. Don’t be fooled. If your idea of a good church (or preacher) is one that makes you feel good about yourself, you’re sadly mistaken.
II Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”
Nevertheless, the fact that there are hypocrites on TV and in some churches does not give you an excuse to not attend church at all. This is as illogical as never going to the hospital because you know of bad doctors. Find a good Bible-based church (this eliminates Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh-Day Adventist, Pentecostal, etc.) and attend it.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”