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Editor’s journey


Money & power

SPRINGFIELD, MO. — Jesus criticized the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and challenged their quest for influence and recognition. Today the spirit of the Pharisees is alive in some Christian celebrities. Regrettably some wear arrogance like a priestly robe.

Their sermons are more characterized by self-promotion than lifting the name of Jesus, and their missions projects are more about offerings than outreach. Their ministry has become a business with a veneer of religion. Undoubtedly they once had a sincere passion to reach people for Christ, but now it’s more about money and power. They sell themselves and exploit God’s name for personal gain.

Who is responsible for the ascension of these "prophets of profit?" We are. We attend their meetings, support their projects and tune in to their infomercials.

Where is our spiritual discernment? Are we so awed by talent and charisma that we’ve become deaf to the voice of the Spirit? Many of us have become spectators who follow flamboyant personalities with lofty ambitions when we should support our pastor and other servants who live in moderation and exemplify humility.

Pentecost in the last century was birthed in the hearts of men and women who were more interested in the power of the Spirit than they were prestige among peers. But increasingly believers mimic pharisaical leaders and pursue recognition and position. Walking in the Spirit has given way to name dropping and marketing techniques.

It’s easy to stand in judgment of some Christian celebrities, but they are merely the byproduct of our consumerism. God needs to change our hearts and shift our priorities. We need Him to help us reject sensationalism and stardom and embrace the character of Jesus Christ. The church’s future depends on it.

– Hal Donaldson

E-mail the author at pe@ag.org.

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