(Mat 7:15) Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
There is a lot of talk and buzz going on about the Reality TV series Preachers of L. A. slated to debut on the Oxygen Channel this Wednesday October 9th at 10:00PM. You can view a full episode at this link, http://features.oxygen.com/videos/vid:26810511#fbid=IFaoZw2N3Fe In my humble opinion it does as most often happens when Hollywood depicts Christianity. It shows high profile preachers in not the best light. The mansions, the cars, the bling I believe takes away from any positives that may be depicted in the series. Pastors should not live in shacks if at all possible they along with their families deserve a decent and comfortable place to live. However they should guard themselves from excess. One thing to remember is that for the three years of his ministry Jesus was essentially homeless (Mat 8:20) “And Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” this is worth noting. In the previous chapter where our text is found we also find these words (Mat 7:21) Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. (Mat 7:22) Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? (Mat 7:23) And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!
Pastors who have earned millions from book sells or other means not related to their ministry have the right to use those funds in any manner that they see fit. However I believe they should only receive a royalty from sermons and anything that is funded through or by the church. I have a real problem with Pastors who drive fine cars and live in big homes when most members of their congregation are on fixed income or have low paying jobs. The Pastor’s success should reflect that of his congregation’s. If he’s doing his job there are some who will listen and prosper as a result of the life changing Word of God that they are teaching. When Pastors teach Christ, and live it out everyone wins not just the pastor. Those who don’t get it must accept the blame for not hearing and following The Word of God because in reality God does not want any of us to lack. Now this is not an endorsement of Prosperity Gospel because God does not promise us that we’ll all be millionaires money should never be our focus when it comes to ministry. I admire and honor the many pastors who heeded God’s call and started out with a hand full of members in a home or hotel room and stuck with it and now reap the benefits of their labor.
There is a difference from these pastors and those who use gimmicks and in some cases lies about healings and people becoming rich in order to line their pockets with filthy lucre the word says as much. (Tit 1:10) For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: (Tit 1:11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. (Tit 1:12) One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies (KJV). We live in a society where people are anxious to hear everything except the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. (2Ti 4:3) For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear. (2Ti 4:4) And they will turn away their ears from the truth and will be turned to myths (MKJV). These are the times in which we live people love lies instead of the truth. Just as God chastened the prophets of old I believe we are seeing the same thing today.
Ezekiel 34:1) And the Word of Jehovah came to me, saying, (Ezekiel 34:2) Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah to the shepherds: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? (Ezekiel 34:3)You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you kill the fat ones, but you do not feed the flock. (Ezekiel 34:4)You have not made the weak strong, nor have you healed the sick, nor have you bound up the broken. You have not brought again those driven away, nor have you sought that which was lost; but you have ruled them with force and with cruelty. (Ezekiel 34:5) And they were scattered for lack of a shepherd. And they became food to all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. This is a clear depiction of some of those who are pastors they are serving themselves and not the people.
What is so sad is that there are pastors who are doing what’s right and they in some cases don’t get the fame or the recognition. They don’t pastor Mega Churches and they give their last dime to those members that are in need. You won’t find a reality series about these pastors and yet these are the ones who deserve it. These are the true examples of what pastoring is all about if your pastor is one of them support them help ease their burden and load. Personally I’d love to do a series on Real Pastors not to say that the Real Preachers of L.A. aren’t I’ll leave that for God to judge not me. I’m reminded of a story my dad told me about a dream that a preacher friend of his had. He dreamed that he saw Hell and it was full of preachers sad to say there will be a lot of so called preachers in hell on that day The Lord will instruct them to depart from him. As I stated as a Producer I’d love to share and tell the stories of those who are real servants of God that have given their all for the sake of the cross some are doing well financially others aren’t the one thing they share is the passion to tell the story of Jesus and his Love Be Encouraged and Blessed Minister Mike.