Credit Card Christianity
by David J. Stewart
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." -Matthew 6:24
It's a shame! It's a tragic shame! The word is going to Hell by the billions, and everywhere we turn, Christians are selling things. Who are you serving? I just don't understand the lack of faith. A man wrote me this week, asking about a certain online prophetic ministry that is selling all sorts of videos, tapes, and DVDs concerning the end-times. He wanted my opinion. I told him to save his money. The truth of the matter is that many people are EXPLOITING the end-times euphoria to get rich, and it is sickening.
Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it's wrong for Christians to sell books, videos, etc. What I am saying is two things here:
Most Christians today are FAR MORE CONCERNED about making money than they are about getting the truth out.
Many imposters are exploiting Christianity to get rich off the internet.
I call this "Credit Card Christianity." There's just something very disturbing about a Christian website, who's owners claim to love the Lord, that continually bombard their visitors with VISA, DISCOVER, or MASTER CARD logos; thus, pressuring them to BUY SOMETHING. Even many of our Independent Fundamental Baptist websites have turned aside after the love of money (1st Timothy 6:10). This is a shame! I recently went to a website that made me sad. I won't tell you the website, because I don't want to fight against my Christian brethren. His entire website is permeated with a spirit of greed. He is doing an injustice to the Body of Christ. His website, because of the domain name he chose, attracts MANY people. Tragically, people that come to his website seeking spiritual help are instead bombarded with insurance quotes, credit card advertisements, and he even charges money to list your church in his national directory. It's a shame!
Money, money, money! Satan, the god of this world (2nd Corinthians 4:4), controls people through the love of money. Oh!, the wickedness that has been committed in exchange for money! We see the world's greed all around us--sex perverted advertising, sleazy Hollywood, lying politicians, corrupt corporations, etc. Greed is a sin which the world takes lightly. The same should not be said about Christians. Televangelists are a curse upon America! How tragic that many Christians today are hungry for money. I'm not saying that every Christian ministry or website that sells something is bad. What I am saying is that the world is going Hell, and hundreds of millions of people are searching the internet for answers. What they're finding is advertisements and pressure to buy things. I can guarantee you that for every person that BUYS the truth, there are 100 others who weren't willing to pay for it. Let me ask you a question... what if you had to buy the Gospel to hear it (or read it)? You know as well as I do that MOST people wouldn't pay for it. So why do Christian organizations today horde the truth?
A year ago I wrote two leading Christian organizations in America, requesting permission to personally type out the books of great men of God. One organization said they'd get back to me, but never did. I wrote them back again and they said my request would be brought up at a board of directors meeting. I'm still waiting! The other organization wrote back and said "NO," threatening me not to place any of the requested preacher's books online. It's all about money folks. I even offered to start a whole new website, at my own expense, if they had issues with the content of my present website. Truthfully, they just don't care. Why aren't they placing the truths of those great men of God on the internet to reach others for Christ? I mean, 'com on, why does everything have to be for sale? What is wrong with you people? Don't you realize that 6,300,000,000 people will ALL BE DEAD in 125 years!!! So why the fuss over dollars and cents? It makes me angry. In Matthew 21:13 Jesus became angry over greed, calling those who exploited the house of God a "den of thieves." I don't sell anything on my web and never will. I've received request after request from people who want me to promote their website, and 95% of the time they're selling something. It is offensive to me.
Christianity began as a relationship with Jesus Christ. When it went to Greece it became a philosophy. When it went to Rome it became an organization. When it spread throughout Europe it became a culture. And when it came to America it became a business! God have mercy on Christians today.
I realize that many believers will disagree with me, especially the ones selling things. I realize that some ministries would have to close their doors if they didn't have the revenues from books sales, etc. I realize that many preachers are sustained by the sale of their books. I cannot say you are doing wrong. However, abundant proof of what I am trying to say is in clear view on the internet. Heresy abounds! Why are there only a handle of believers contending for the faith on the internet. I mean the Biblical faith. I've found DOZENS of websites that teach the damnable heresies of Lordship Salvation, Baptismal Regeneration, and a host of other false doctrines. I've also found DOZENS of websites attacking the Biblical Pretribulation Rapture. Only a small handful of Christians are exposing the godless public school system.
Why are the churches silent. You can argue the point if you want, and say I'm not being realistic; BUT the world is going to Hell and we need a lot more ammunition on the front lines. I'm trying to get the truth out, and I feel like a dentist who's trying to pull teeth. It's tragic that the great evangelists and men of God from the past are being forgotten, because of shortsighted ministry leaders who don't have a vision to genuinely reach the lost for Christ. It's tragic! These Christian ministries have their annual conferences, their seminars, their preacher's days--and the truth is kept circulating within their camp only. By God's hand of power, over 8000 people are coming to my web DAILY! I never dreamed of so many visitors. I realize that the days of my web ministry are limited, as the Devil's gang is working relentlessly to filter the truth from the public. If you're reading this, and you care, I challenge you to do what you can to get the truth onto the internet (whether it be sermons, books, videos, Sunday School lessons). I was greatly saddened last month, as I realized that there's virtually NOTHING on the internet concerning the bus ministry. Here's my recent contribution to do something about it. Good luck finding much else online concerning the bus ministry. Oh, you'll find a little here and there. Some church needs to build a meg-website of the bus ministry! I mean pictures, downloadable flyers you can print and distribute... the works! We desperately need some churches to flood the internet with bus ministry resources, especially songs, with audio, which can be sung on the bus. Oh ye of little faith!
What will the money you're making now matter 10,000 years from now? Does anyone care?
Crooks Who Exploit Christianity
Increasingly, we are seeing all sorts of new websites appearing, with things to sell concerning the end-times. The Word of God is the greatest book ever written on prophecy, let this be our guide. Now I'm not against books on prophecy and the end-times, not at all, just as long as the Word of God has the final say. However, I am against websites that are selling a bunch of products, WHILE the Gospel is vaguely mentioned, if at all. I don't want to mention any examples (and there are plenty), because I don't want to promote their greedy businesses. The questions to ask yourself are these ... ARE THEY CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH? DO THEY PRESENT THE GOSPEL? DO THEY MAKE IT CLEAR THAT SINNERS WHO DIE IN THEIR SINS WILL GO TO HELL FOREVER? Phooey on all these new websites that sell products; but NO Gospel is preached. Some websites will tell you they believe that Jesus is the Son of God; but they don't tell their visitors how to be saved. Listen folks, if you are a Christian with a website, you ought to be ashamed of yourself if the Gospel is not openly and clearly presented. What an opportunity to reach lost sinners for the Savior! Tragically, most of America's churches and Bible colleges with websites DON'T present the Gospel message on their web. Is this being cultured?
So, beware, the end-time mongers want your money! We're just seeing the beginning of all this greed and exploitation. Tons of websites are now appearing that sell everything concerning the 911 attacks to the Second Coming of Christ. All they're doing is REPACKAGING the same truth people could get for free if they weren't too lazy to read, research, and study. The big problem is that MOST of these new websites, which appear to be operated by Christians, aren't! These are religious liberals who hide the Gospel, have NO desire to contend for the faith, and just want to make lots of money. The end-times is a fascinating subject, and you can get rich selling things about it if you want; BUT, what about the lost? What about the people in poorer countries? My website has received tens-of-thousands of visitors from poorer countries around the world, such as Africa and Indonesia. They need the truth too.
It is my desire to counter the greed of our day by giving away as much truth as I can with the Lord's help. Won't you please do the same? You were born with nothing, and you will die with nothing. All that will matter when you enter eternity is two things:
Did you die in the Lord (Revelation 14:13), or in your sins (John 8:24)?
What did you do with your life for others , i.e., for the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:29)?
Matthew 19:29 states, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." What a contrast to the credit card Christianity which we see everywhere today. Please read, Christianity incorporated!