Thursday 28 October 2010

The Collapse of The Prosperity Gospel: Another Mega Church facing Foreclosure in Minnesota: Pastor sells off Gulf Stream, now Church Building going...

Mac Hammond’s Living Word Christian Center facing foreclosure

By Andy Birkey | 08.23.10 | 1:15 pm

Updated: Property owned by Living Word Christian Center has gone into foreclosure, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office. On July 28, four parcels of land owned by the Brooklyn Park mega-church was bought at a sheriff’s sale for $5.1 million. Pastor Mac Hammond, who preaches a “prosperity gospel,” has been plagued by financial problems over the last few years. The church took millions from a man who was later convicted of fraud, and the IRS opened an investigation into the church’s finances stemming from favorable financial dealings between the church and Hammond.
County records show that TCF National Bank, which is also the mortgage lender to LWCC, bought the property. Per Minnesota law, Living Word has until July 28, 2011, to redeem the property by securing new financing. The church bought property in 1995 for $3.5 million. It’s unclear from county records whether the foreclosed property is the land on which the church itself sits; Living Word has not responded to the Minnesota Independent’s request for comment on the foreclosure or the church’s financial future.

Update: LWCC told the Minnesota Independent on Tuesday that they sold the property in 2006 and that Hennepin County records are misleading. Said Amy Rotenberg, “Living Word Christian Center actually sold that property to another entity and has had no continuing interest in it since 2006.” We’ll update this story should those records be modified.

Also, according to Rotenberg, “The church is not currently facing any financial issues.” She said, “We won our battle with the IRS” and that the church’s defense of the $2.2 million donated before Gerard Cellette was convicted of fraud should not be seen as a “financial problem.”

In early 2008, the church began to fall behind on its budget by $40,000 to $70,000, prompting Hammond to sell off his jet and forcing the church to cut its hour-long television broadcast to a half hour.

In May, the church was served with papers demanding the return of $2.2 million in money it received from Gerard Cellette, who had been convicted of fraud. Cellette ran a Ponzi scheme and lawyers for the victims were attempting to collect the money from Living Word for remuneration.

The church said in a statement in May that it felt it shouldn’t have to give the money back to the victims because of its status as a church. “This lawsuit, on behalf of Mr. Cellette’s investors, to take back the funds from LWCC and repay the investors is unfair. Our church is essentially being asked to be the guarantor to principally out-of-state, sophisticated investors that made bad investments with Mr. Cellette.”

It’s not the first time the church has invoked religious privilege following questions about its finances.

In 2007, the Minnesota Independent reported that Living Word had arranged favorable loans for Hammond and that Hammond had bought a stunt plane from the church and then leased it back to the church. That reporting led to an IRS investigation, and in 2008 the church sued to block the IRS from investigating.
The IRS wanted a look at Hammond’s and Living Word’s financial books, but Hammond invoked religious privilege.

“This case is about the First Amendment, the free exercise of religion and separation of church and state,” Walter Pickhardt, attorney for the church, said at the time. “Living Word did cooperate but the IRS didn’t follow correct procedures. It was an overbroad request.”

A judge ruled that the IRS did not follow the proper procedures in its investigation and the agency dropped its investigation.
In 2006, the church gained notoriety when Hammond took to the pulpit to endorse Rep. Michele Bachmann for her first election to Congress. Hammond’s backing prompted complaints to the IRS and raised eyebrows, since Hammond didn’t live in Bachmann’s district.

Hammond’s financial troubles come after years of financial growth for the church and for Hammond personally. The “prosperity gospel” Hammond preaches asserts that financial gain is a sign of God’s love. The church has several prayers about becoming debt-free.

“We, the body of Believers of Living Word Christian Center, declare we have been carved out for an end-time expression of El Shaddai, the God of abundance and no lack,” reads one such prayer on the church’s website. “We are taught how to live independent of this world system and how to have dominion over it, therefore, in Jesus’ name, we declare we are debt-free! The spirit of debt is destroyed over our lives and over this local church because of the anointing. We are the lender and not the borrower, the head and not the tail.”

Hammond isn’t the only prosperity preacher to have faced money troubles. As Christianity Today reporter Bobby Ross, Jr., notes, more than a few such figures are now struggling financially.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Crystal Cathedral, Robert Schuller, Bankruptcy, and Ugandan Church Conmen

Crystal Cathedral, Robert Schuller, Bankruptcy, and Ugandan Church Conmen

Kato Mivule | October, 19, 2010

There are many things going on in Christendom that would take many pages to document but one thing for sure is that there is no doubt that an invisible hand of God is shaking things up in His Church that whatever is not built on a solid foundation is collapsing.
In Uganda, a newspaper article appeared in the Sunday Monitor, Uganda's weekly, (October 17, 2010) documenting how conmen purporting to be Pastors and “Men of God” are busy swindling Christians of their money. This is despite the fact that those being swindled are intelligent as the article pointed out.[1]

The article asks why such intelligent people fall to such schemes? I am trying to find an answer to that too as to why thousands of well educated intelligent Ugandans give themselves to such explicit fallacies as the Prosperity Gospel.

On the other hand Crystal Cathedral in California and their world famous Pastor, Robert Schuller filed for Bankruptcy. Now this is a big story and just a tip of the iceberg as many other Prosperity Gospel Mega Churches are going to follow suit.[2]

Robert Schuller and his Crystal Cathedral have been known for their doctrines on materialism, positive possibility thinking, lavish lifestyle, pomp, extravagance, and all other teachings associated with the prosperity gospel. Now, if this is not a shaking, I don't know what is, but alas! There is more to come...

Yet the tragic irony is the link between the story happening in East Africa about Ugandan Church conmen and in the West about the Prosperity Gospel Mongul, Robert Schuller and his Crystal Cathedral project.

Robert Schuller and his Crystal Cathedral represented what the Church of Jesus Christ is NOT meant to be.
Kato Mivule




By Andrew Kaggwa

Posted Sunday, October 17 2010 at 00:00

The church today has been infiltrated by conmen posing as pastors. This is eroding the flock’s trust in religious leaders and is beginning to bias many against this godly institution, writes Andrew Kaggwa.

Emmy, an old friend, was starting a business with Mark, a co-worker. She was and is a devoted Catholic, and Mark was born again. They had saved and sold off many of their belongings for the new venture.

According to Mark, his pastor had strongly advised about money and its unholy paths, thus on hearing about their new plans, he recommended they bring their money for a blessing. That was the end of their dreams; their investment money was taken by the pastor, who since then has tossed them up and down. Today, Emmy is a child counsellor, while Mark has since left the church and become a taxi conductor as a result of what the now-influential pastor did to them.

This story is not any different from the many church thefts today. But, before any judgment is passed, one needs to ask themselves how church leaders are capable of swindling innocent, smart and intelligent believers without the latter smelling a rat. Is this because the church too is full of lost believers, who have since changed from wanting blessings to yearning for luxury?

Emmy and Mark were too ambitious for returns that they almost let the pastor control their spiritual destiny. Many flocks have lost savings, land titles and cars because apostle so and so wants to bless everything associated to evil money. But then, some pastors go an extra mile with their trickery. They befriend their working-class flocks to the extent of visiting their homes. Through their genius, they can get hold of your phone, get some numbers off and that’s when the games begin. Con pastors don’t stumble upon strangers; they simply make it look that way but always look up all the necessary information beforehand.

Jennifer, a banker, was a victim to a pastor’s trickery after he called her with a prosperity tale. “He told me God had shown him my number during prayers and in three minutes I had become a devoted member of his congregation,” she says. Jennifer was then told her co-worker was bewitching her and stumbling her prophesied success. The pastor was able to extort offertory money and airtime to allegedly call her co-worker to get her to confess. “Before this, he would invite me to his house for overnight prayers and rush off in the morning without leaving up keep money for his family; this automatically meant I had to foot the food bills,” says Jennifer.

Sadly, she later found out that the said “witch” had resisted this pastor’s attempt to con her, causing him to paint her with witchcraft accusations to cover his back in case she tried exposing him.

According to Namara, a dedicated born again Christian, some dubious pastors hire about 20 to 30 undercover employees whose work is to befriend believers and gather vital information like who they are, what they do, where they come from or what has brought them to church. This is mostly common with pastors who preach prosperity. It is unheard of for any such pastor to say to a believer, “God has shown me that you will praise him in poverty,” or “God has told me you will be a pastor.” It’s always a story that will get one giving tirelessly because it carries a ray of hope.

For others, common grievances work best. From unemployment to marriage issues, there’s always at least two or one believer in that bracket. The pastor’s role here is to make them seem easy to deal with. For example, he won’t mention a campus girl having marital problems even though they exist in the congregation. To him, a campus girl will usually need tuition and better grades and it’s exactly what he will talk about.

Some Christians criticise churches that invite wealthy believers for prayers.
“All churches, be it Catholic, Pentecostal, Anglican or those other, give wealthy believers star treatment; front seats and acknowledgements in the hope that they will return the favour,” says Geraldine, a devoted Catholic.

In most churches lately, pastors use soothing words of hope, quote what they want you to listen to and some even provide special blessings for those who pay a specific amount for them. During a service I attended recently, the choir played songs that enticed, threatened or sweet-talked one into giving back to God. The pastor interrupted to emphasise how our power of relief was “within us, in our pockets”. She openly enticed the congregation into giving big chunks of money for a blessing.

“The Lord tells me you’re in need of a blessing because you need a promotion. If you really need what brought you here, in Jesus’ name, come get your prosperity blessing with Shs250,000,” she screamed into the microphone. She went on to lament how people who used taxis on their way to church were going to cruise their own expensive cars soon. This went on in different categories, even the students who needed tuition, decent boyfriends or jobs paid Shs5,000 for their blessings.

To me, this was direct thieving and I wondered why everyone wasn’t seeing through her lies and tricks. Is it because many believe that doubting a church leader is tantamount to disbelief in God? Some people I talked to think pastors are emotional and spiritual blackmailers; just like Jennifer was blackmailed into believing it was her responsibility to facilitate the pastor, others will be lured with a scripture verse because pastors know that Christians do not doubt the Bible.

Performing miracles or having the power to move something does not prove the authority of these works, since almost all strong Pentecostal churches have witnessed miracles. People can never doubt a man of miracles even if he intends to swindle them, but some con pastors have been known to do research about people they intend to con massively.

Con pastors are simply smart and shrewd; yet their most formidable tool is the Bible - they understand and know how to twist it to their own advantage. If we don’t stick to what the carpenter’s son stood for, we might definitely lose this godly institution to cons.


[1] “Daily Monitor: - Religion: Is the church losing its identity to conmen?.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 18-Oct-2010].

[2] “Crystal Cathedral megachurch files for bankruptcy - Yahoo! News.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 18-Oct-2010].


From scripture to Stripture: Pastor Robert Schuller’s Amazing New Age ‘Christianity’


Crystal Cathedral megachurch files for bankruptcy

New Age Secular Humanism Invades Uganda and Africa


"Self-Esteem: The New Reformation"

What do I mean by sin? Answer: Any human condition or act that robs God of glory by stripping one of his children of their right to divine dignity. ... I can offer still another answer: `Sin is any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem.'" (p. 14)

"And what is `hell'? It is the loss of pride that naturally follows separation from God -- the ultimate and unfailing source of our soul's sense of self-respect. `My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' was Christ's encounter with hell. In that `hellish' death our Lord experienced the ultimate horror -- humiliation, shame, and loss of pride as a human being. A person is in hell when he has lost his self-esteem. Can you imagine any condition more tragic than to live life and eternity in shame?" (pp. 14-15)

"Labels such as, `evangelical,' `fundamental,' `charismatic,' `liberal' contribute to polarization and produce a climate of implied or outspoken distrust. Respectful dialogue becomes virtually impossible. What we desperately need to offset this disunity and distrust is a new and cleansing theology of communication." (p. 27)

"Are we aware that theology has failed to accommodate and apply proven insights in human behavior as revealed by twentieth-century psychologists?

"A widespread tension has too long existed between psychologists and theologians. Both disciplines should be committed to the healing of the human spirit. Both can and must learn from each other. Neither one can claim to have 'the whole truth.' Conflict between theology and psychology points to a need for growth and accommodation until the contradiction in thought is reconciled on the altar of truth. What we need is a theological restructuring which synergizes scientific and spiritual truths as related to the human being." (p. 27)

"What is our Lord's greatest passion for his church today? Believe that he wants his followers to respect themselves as equal children of God and to treat all other human beings with that same respect. ... I believe we know that Jesus would say something like this to us: '...Receive and the enjoy the fruit of salvation: Self-esteem, self-worth. ...

"If the gospel of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed as a theology of self-esteem, imagine the health this could generate in society!" (p. 47)
"Many sincere students within the larger body of believers are turned off by a theology that offers nothing more than a classical heaven and hell proposition. The alternative theology of mission focuses on peace, brotherhood, and economic equality. And the tension between these two theologies of mission is strong in the church today. Somehow a strong fresh theology of mission must be articulated that will allow sincere followers of both points of view to merge mind, motive, method, and message." (p. 60) [The dialectic process -- merging opposites into a new truth]

"We are born to soar. We are children of God. ... The Fatherhood of God offers a deep spiritual cure for the inferiority complex and lays the firm foundation for a solid spiritual self-esteem." (p. 60)

"Classical theology defines sin as `rebellion against God.' The answer is not incorrect as much as it is shallow and insulting to the human being. Every person deserves to be treated with dignity even if he or she is a `rebellious sinner'." (p. 65)

"The core of original sin, then is LOT--Lack Of Trust. Or, it could be considered an innate inability to adequately value ourselves. Label it a 'negative self-image,' but do not say that the central core of the human soul is wickedness.
"... positive Christianity does not hold to human depravity, but to human inability. I am humanly unable to correct my negative self-image until I encounter a life-changing experience with non- judgmental love bestowed upon me by a Person whom I admire so much that to be unconditionally accepted by him is to be born again." (p. 67)

"To be born again means that we must be changed from a negative to a positive self-image--from inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from doubt to trust." (p. 68

"The Cross sanctifies the ego trip. For the Cross protected our Lord's perfect self-esteem from turning into sinful pride." (p. 75)
"Historical theology has too often failed to interpret repentance as a positive creative force. ... Essentially, if Christianity is to succeed in the next millennium, it must cease to be a negative religion and must become positive." (p. 104)

"Negative-thinking theologians looked at the doctrine of sin, salvation and repentance... through distorted glasses tinted with mortification mentality. Too many prayers of confession of sin and repentance have been destructive to the emotional health of Christians.... I am not fully forgiven until I allow God to write his new dream for my life on the blackboard of my mind, and I dare to believe 'I am; therefore, I can. I am a child of God. ... God has a great plan to redeem society

"The emerging church, reformed according to the needs of self-esteem-starved-souls under the Lordship of Christ.... will help us to affirm the concept that 'While god's ideas may seem humanly impossible, he will give us these ideas which will lead to glorious, self-esteem-generating success.'" (104-105)

"Protestants quote their Bible, Fundamentalists declare their orthodox theological dogmas, and we are all expected to renounce private reflection and peacefully acquiesce to these pronouncements. And the result is that the dignity of the person is violated by such oppressive, intelligence- smothering forms of communication."
"Christ is the Ideal One, for he was Self-Esteem Incarnate." (p. 135)

"...the kingdom of God is that invisible collection of committed Christians that transcends cultures, ideologies... and creeds-- all bound by the golden commitment to say nothing and do nothing that would attack the self-esteem, the self-respect, and the dignity of any other human being, whether or not they are committed members of the kingdom of God. The dignity of the person then is the irreducible cell of true Christianity." (p. 135)

"The tragedy of Christendom today is the existence of entire congregations of church members who are dominated by emotionally deprived or emotionally under-developed persons. These congregations have been accurately labeled `God's Frozen People.' ... And they do this by exercising narrow authoritarianism in doctrines and practices and by sowing seeds of suspicion and dissension in the religious community. ... By contrast, strong persons--self-assured personalities, whose egos find their nourishment in a self-esteem-generating personal relationship with Jesus Christ--dare to face contrary opinions, diverse interpretations, and deviations of theology without becoming disrespectful, judgmental, or accusatory." (pp. 153-154)
"The classical error of historical Christianity is that we have never started with the value of the person. Rather, we have started from the `unworthiness of the sinner...." (p. 162)

Who is Dr Robert Schuller?
Posted by: AdminMagill on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 07:54 PM

Ministry & Church

Crystal Cathedral

Hour of Power television show

Robert Schuller School of Preaching (Institute for Successful Christian Leadership)

Crystal Cathedral Academy (School for Children)

Crystal Cathedral High School

Beliefs & Key Doctrines

Possibility thinking

Self Esteem

Positive confession

Ministry Emphasis

Positive life examples

Achieving your dream/vision for your life

Television broadcasts

Ecumenism with an emphasis on monotheism


Leader training emphasis

Books Authored
• 11 books written by Schuller, are listed on his web site. His most recent book is: Mountain Moving Faith: Here’s How it Works
Known Associates
• The Pope (Schuller has had a number of audiences with the Catholic Primate)
• Other Word-Faith teachers
• Bill Hybels (Schuller works closely with him)


Norman Vincent Peale (deceased).


Positive messages of hope and constructive living in this world.


Little systematic bible-based teaching

A false self esteem gospel that is leading people to place their hope in themselves rather than the Christian God of salvation, through Christ Jesus

An unbiblical reliance on self development

Truth Watch: Assessment / Warning

Arguably, Dr Robert Schuller is the most dangerous leader within the Western Christian World. He reaches into the homes of millions with his TV programme, tapes, books and radio programmes.

His ‘self-esteem’ gospel is not the gospel of Jesus Christ, but it has a seductive power with its emphasis on salvation by feeling good about ones self through the power of positive thinking. Schuller’s saviour is his good friend and mentor, Norman Vincent Peale from whom he inherited his power of positive thinking teachings.

On his Hour of Power TV broadcast (25/3/01) Schuler preached that we enter the Kingdom of God when we ‘have a dream…focus on the dream…[and] fuel the dream’. Theologically, this is nonsense, but perfectly consistent with a man who is on record as saying that:
• The Church needs a theology that is man-centred, not God-centred
• Jesus bore the cross to sanctify our self esteem
• Self-love is the ultimate will of man (Self Esteem: The New Reformation, 1982)
• He focuses on the things the major faiths can agree on
• Transendental Meditation, Zen Buddhism and yoga are valid methods for harnessing God’s divine laws
• "Its time to go to the Pope and say, ‘what do we have to do to come home?’" (1987)
• If he came back and found his grandchildren were Muslims it wouldn’t bother him
• When the Bible says a people without a vision perish it is talking about the ‘inner eye’ of visualisation (Psychology Today, 1985)
Schuller’s ‘doctrinal’ position on sin is so far from biblical truth that any mature Christian immediately recognises that it is part of “no gospel at all” (Galatians 1:7). It is a perversion of an essential part of the true gospel (Galatians 1:7). Schuller redefines sin as any human condition or act that robs someone of their divine dignity (c.f. 1 Timothy 1:9; Romans 5:19; 2 John 3:4 and 1 John 5:17 for descriptions of sin).

Schuller shamelessly maintains that repentance from sin is a positive, highly motivated redirection of ones life. What happened to turning to the cross, accepting the finished work Christ Jesus did to redeem us from our fallen natures and reconcile us to our Father in heaven?

Schuller is trying to please men and thus contradicts Paul’s warning that, “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

Schuller’s false belief in the saving merits of self-esteem entirely contradicts Scripture which clearly tells us to deny self (Luke 9:23; 14:26). In the Great Commission our Lord Jesus already knows we love [respect and protect] ourselves. He tells us to respect and protect others in self-sacrifice not self-esteem (2 Timothy 3:2-5; Matthew 26:36-40). In 2 Timothy 3:2-5 Paul includes self-love in a long list of depraved behaviour. Perhaps it is significant that being “lovers of themselves” (NIV) heads the list.

Schuller elevates how we feel about ourselves above Scriptural injunctions to test our actions and thoughts against God’s word and bring ourselves into submissions to His righteous commands. It is by humbling ourselves before a holy God that we find true esteem – God’s esteem for us. It is on that basis alone that we can feel ‘good’ about ourselves. Schuller turns Scripture on its head.

Schuller’s mentor, Norman Vincent Peale, was heavily influenced by psychology, with strong links to both Freudian and Jungian psychiatry. The Scriptures played second fiddle to his positive thinking and positive confession gospel. Interviewed on the Phil Donahue show in 1984 Peale, a 33rd degree mason, is recorded as saying “Its not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God, I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto Shrine”. Peale was merely religious. He defined religion as “…a scientific methodology for thinking your ways through problems” (Book: Stay alive All Your Life, p. 147). He also believed that Jews and Muslims and other non-Christians worship the true God. He denied the virgin birth, did not believe Christ was eternal and refused to accept that Jesus Christ’s death atoned for sin. Peale was no Christian despite being the pastor of a reformed church for 52 years. Schuller has done little more than repackage his mentor’s false theology.

Schuller’s positive confession-self-esteem teachings closely aligns with the ‘word-faith’ beliefs of men like Kenneth Haggin, Kenneth Copeland and their mentors E W Kenyon and William Branham. Biblical truth is replaced with the power of a positive confession. It is not what we believe in our hearts about the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ that saves us, it is the power of a positive confession. Whatever we confess with our mouths in faith will happen. This is witchcraft long before it even approaches anything remotely Christian.

Visualising what one wants and then speaking it into being has got everything to do with the magic arts and nothing to do with Christianity. If Christians want something from the Lord they pray to God in faith, trusting that the Lord’s will, shall be done. The operation of faith in a Christian context has nothing to do with visualisation (a Buddhist practice popularised in Charismatic circles by Yonggi Cho) and speaking things into being. Instead, the Christian relies not on their own power (Copeland’s the god within us) but the grace and good pleasure of an all powerful God who is not subject to the manipulation of a positive confession.

Schuller is just one of a pack of false teachers. Many born again believers are not fooled by men like him. Sadly some professing Christian are. If you are one of them refer to the following references and go back to the Scriptures. God’s word easily exposes Schuller’s false gospel.


• The Holy Bible (NIV)
• Hunt, D. (1998). Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and Church. Harvest house, Oregon
Norman Vincent Peale
Word-faith error

Deceptions: Graham, Peale & Schuller

2 Corinthians 11: 3-4

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."

Those who are new to what's happening in the religious realm are probably unfamiliar with events that have recently taken place. There is a rapid move to try to unite all denominations worldwide. From the papacy to Pentecostals, from Lutherans to witch doctors, there is an incredible move to bring all religions together. Many bear the label of being Bible-believing or upholding the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, many have simply become vehicles and fronts of compromise and contradiction.
The 'Christian' ecumenical movement is being applauded by many politicians around the world and is viewed as instrumental in helping to unite Europe into the European union.

ENI News Service,15 September 1998

"...President Santer told the general assembly of the European Ecumenical Commission for Church and Society (EECCS)..."I hope the churches will make their voices heard in this respect, and help us to overcome the proliferation of obstacles on our path,".... EECCS is mainly comprised of national councils of churches from western Europe ...Santer welcomed plans for the integration of EECCS and another major church body, the Geneva-based Conference of European Churches (CEC), which has 125 Anglican, Protestant and Orthodox member churches from all parts of Europe, including from the former Soviet Union... "The Conference of European Churches is especially well placed to undertake this mission, as it represents the churches of the Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant traditions, and thus provides a forum for discussion between Christian traditions of East and West," Santer said... Santer pointed out that Christianity continued to "pervade Europe, its nations and its cultures" and that the resulting "cultural consensus" had been an "astonishingly effective contributory factor in the process of the unification of Europe".
"...But stressing the importance of interfaith dialogue, Santer said that other spiritual and cultural traditions - particularly Judaism and Islam - had also made "great contributions to the development of Europe and the emergence of a European spirit".

The future of the European Union depended on enabling the various ethnic, cultural and religious traditions to live together, Santer said, adding that this was "too ambitious an objective for politicians to attain on their own". He called for initiatives and commitments from churches and church-related organisations.
Churches and church agencies played a major role in many of the programmes sponsored by the European Commission, President Santer said, particularly in the areas of social policy and development aid. But increasingly, he added, issues related to the "meaning, spiritual direction and ethical dimension of European integration" had come to the fore in the dialogue between the European Commission and EECCS...."(The above is presented as a report---I am in no ways in agreement with, nor do I support the Ecumenical news or the groups referred to)
In a summation of those thoughts, one person suggested this: " the totalitarian State desperately needs the Church to build the "cultural consensus" needed for unification, which is "too ambitious an objective for politicians to attain on their own."

Many believe that their religious leaders are not politically motivated, or if they are it is for the purpose of promoting and protecting their views of morality, or family. That often means uniting with those of various denominations or faiths who may not uphold the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. The justification becomes that it is necessary to unite in order to make any impact in the political arena. But, what is the purpose of having a Christian party, or trying to impose Biblical values on a world that is rejecting Christ? Is that what Christ called us to?

Galatians 1:6-9

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

Some believe they can reconstruct society and pave the way to a Christian world before Christ returns. Dominionist theology involves the perception that Christians have a mandate to rule the nations in the name of Christ. Many believe that all this can take place through a worldwide revival, thereby turning entire nations to Christianity. Others believe the Church will rule united under one religious ruler, the pope, until Christ returns. Hence the world ecumenical movement back to Rome. Christian denominations as well as Hindu and Muslims are entering into dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church to unite with Rome. Many of the uniting issues revolve around social concerns first and doctrinal issues being second. Though there may be disagreements about doctrine, they do not view them as insurmountable.

Some of the things that have been uncovered are very disturbing, not only because of whom is involved, but also because of the magnitude of consequences due to the nature of the information. We must be lovers of truth. This means evaluating Christian people or groups and their words and actions against scripture. In fact, we are required to do so. It isn't easy and it can become very disheartening to understand that those we may have esteemed as "solid" may be a deception.

When people speak of various social issues, their true beliefs about God, and their relationship with Christ become evident. For example: a review of Tony Campolo, speaker, and Promise Keeper, on the issue of homosexuality. He believes that it is best that gay men should be involved with only one partner, rather than a multitude of sexual partners. Are homosexual relationships then acceptable before God if one holds to that line of thinking?

Many Christians also use psychology as a means to solving social and family problems. It is highly accepted in the secular world as a religion of its own and as one of the means to deal with various issues and people. Christians embrace the philosophy as acceptable because people like James Dobson, and many other religious leaders, possibly including their own pastors, promote it.

Where did psychology come from? It came from people like Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, who determined to find answers to sin issues and life, by excluding God. Carl Jung was heavily involved in the occult. Freud wanted to exclude any reference to a need for God or an acknowledgment that He existed. Is it Biblical to uphold psychology in Christian circles simply because 'Christian' and secular leadership does?

Matthew 6:24 "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 7:17-18 "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."

In other words, if the source of some idea or thought came from the occult, the idea or philosophy cannot become good. It cannot come from God simply because someone embraces it and they claim to be of God. It can not change trees or roots.

Billy Graham

Researching and weighing to Scripture also means that we must seek the truth, no matter what the opposition, or whether people will hear and understand the facts. The following is part of a correspondence regarding well-known evangelist Billy Graham in which some statements I made were being questioned.

"This really surprises me to hear such things of Billy Graham. I have a hard time believing that he doesn't think that Jesus is the only way. I am almost positive I have heard him quote the verse "I am the way, truth, life, no one comes to the father but through me

Billy Graham has said those verses, probably hundreds or thousands of times. Due to reading a review of Graham's autobiography by a former pastor who became a reporter, I started to look into Billy Graham and what he really believes. One fact that I noticed quickly and which disturbed me was that one complete chapter of the autobiography is devoted to his viewpoint of Bill and Hillary Clinton being godly people and god-fearing. Recent current events show where the Clinton's truly stand in their views on morality and godly living.

Other information came to my attention in the form of an interview that Billy Graham had done. I had seen other documentation regarding the same interview and have done a lot of background research about things he has said and upheld over the years. One thing that I felt initially, before the background research, was that if he is saying things contrary to scripture because he isn't well, or because of his age, then his family should protect him. They should stop the interviews so that his ministry and credibility are not destroyed. In saying that, though, I have done enough research to know that all is not, and has not been, what it seems.

Titus 2:7-8 "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you."
When researching the following interview that took place on television with Robert Schuller, I phoned directly to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. The purpose was to verify the information and also obtain a copy of the interview directly from them.

The individual I spoke with was new to the department. However, upon my inquiry he went and got a copy of the requested interview and verified that Dr. Graham had indeed said what is quoted below. I then asked for a copy of the interview and at first he sounded quite willing to accommodate that request. However, he then left the telephone for a fairly lengthy time. When he came back, his tone had changed and he said his supervisor said they no longer gave out copies of the interview. He said it was because Billy Graham didn't really mean it like it sounds. However, further research has revealed that Billy Graham has said the same thing, in various ways, in many interviews over many years.

I then contacted the Robert Schuller organization and asked for verification and tried to obtain the transcript. I had already received a copy from another source, but wanted verification that it was correct. It was.

Television Interview of Billy Graham by Robert Schuller, Hour Of Power, Part 1, an approximately 7 minute long Broadcast in Southern California on Saturday, May 31, 1997. The following is an exact transcript of an excerpt close to the end of the Broadcast.

SCHULLER: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?

GRAHAM: Well, Christianity and being a true believer--you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called by GOD. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven.

SCHULLER: What, what I hear you saying that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and souls and life, even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?

GRAHAM: Yes, it is, because I believe that I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.

SCHULLER: I, I'm so thrilled to hear you say this. There's a wideness in God's mercy.
GRAHAM: There is. There definitely is.

John 5:23 "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him."

John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

2 John 9-10 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed."

The Television interview of Dr. Billy Graham by Dr. Schuller continued: Part II, which was broadcast on Sunday, June 8, 1997. The following is an accurate transcript of a segment.

SCHULLER: You knew ...Fulton Sheen. You knew these men. Your comments on both of these men [Fulton Sheen and Norman V. Peale].

GRAHAM: The primary way of communication is to live life, let people see that you're living what you proclaim....[comments on his friendship and conversations with Fulton Sheen] I lost a very dear friend, and since that time, the whole relationship between me and my work, and you and your work, and the Roman Catholic Church has changed. They open their arms to welcome us and we have the support of the Catholic Church almost everywhere we go. And I think that we must come to the place where we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, not on what denomination or what church or what group we belong to."

To obtain the entire interview contact: Crystal Cathedral Ministries, PO Box 100, Garden Grove, CA 92642 telephone 714--971-4000

In the above quote by Dr. Graham, he stated, "...He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world. They are members of the Body of Christ because they have been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are SAVED, AND THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BE WITH US IN HEAVEN."

This statement directly agrees with the Roman Catholic Universal Catechism, page 224; par. 847: " Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience, those too may achieve eternal salvation. "

We know that God's Word never fails to provide the insight and guidance in all issues in our life. It is inerrant. It is truth. In saying that, we must then ask if what Dr. Graham stated above is in line with the Word of God?
Acts 4:12 " Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. "

John 14:6 " Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

2 Thessalonians 2:11-15 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."

Someone also sent the following message and information to me.
"I too have seen Billy Graham's version of "universalism" - that people may have Jesus in their heart without being conscious of it... (From a transcript of an interview with David Frost, May 1997). "It took place the day before the interview with Robert Schuller - Here's one part I found to be particularly disturbing:"

FROST: "A quote: "If ever there was a woman called of God to proclaim the strip - Scriptures, my daughter Ann is one. She's one of the great Bible teachers among women today. I have a great appreciation for her and other women who have a gift of God." Does that mean that you are in favor of the ordination of women? "

REV. GRAHAM: "It's -- it would be according to the circle I was in because I'm -- I feel that I belong to all the churches. I'm equally at home in an Anglican or a Baptist church or a Brethren assembly or a Roman Catholic Church. And I would have to say that I would identify with the customs and the culture and the theology of that particular church."

2 Thessalonians 3:6 "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
It has been documented that Billy Graham is also a 33° Mason. Although a statement has been issued to the contrary by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, there were at least two Lodges that had posted him as one of their famous freemasons.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

Billy Graham has consistently moved towards Rome and the papacy, and has never tried to dissuade others of the false teachings involved in it, or any other faith. In fact, for example, any Catholics that attend his crusades are moved to Catholic counselors if they seek counseling. Many in the Christian community believe that his ministry is without blemish and would be highly offended by what has been stated above.

Robert Schuller & Norman Vincent Peale

Dr. Grahams association with Robert Schuller causes us to review even in a small way, the ministry that Dr. Schuller is associated with.
Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral is part of The Reformed Church in America (RCA) This is the oldest denomination in America and has it's roots in the Dutch Reformed Church. Robert Schuller has patterned his ministry after the teachings and self-based psychology of Norman Vincent Peale. Peale had pastored the Marble Collegiate Church, which is also a Reformed Church. Like Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Shuller is also a 33° Mason.

It should be noted that Norman Vincent Peale, upheld by Billy Graham and Robert Shuller, held doctrines that were also contrary to the word of God. In a television interview with Phil Donahue in 1984, Peale said: "It's not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine...I've been to Shinto shrines; and God is everywhere."

"Donahue exclaimed, "But you're a Christian minister; you're supposed to tell me that Christ is the Way, and the Truth and the Life, aren't you?" Peale replied, "Christ is one of the ways! God is everywhere." Peale told Donahue when he got to the Pearly Gates, "St Peter would say, I like Phil Donahue; let him in!" (1)
Galatians 1:8-9 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

1 Timothy 4:1-2 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"
The newsletters, put out by the Crystal Cathedral also provide much insight into what Dr. Schuller embraces and promotes as sound doctrine. The following are excerpts from his February 1998 "Powerlines".

Schuller tells Larry King Why He's Happily Married

"...during a recent on-air interview what was the key to the longevity of his marriage.

Schuller replied that one of his psychology professors at Hope College had told him:" Schuller, when you get serious about a girl use your head first and your heart will follow."

"That changed everything," Schuller continued, " I began to say, I need a girl I can live with for the rest of my life and be happy."

And Schuller added: "When I don't agree with my wife, I sure listen because she might be right and I might be wrong."

This is the Schuller recipe for a happy, long lasting marriage! ..."
1 Timothy 6:3-4 "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings."

The Powerlines Newsletter continues with a lengthy presentation regarding a statue of Jesus which Dr. Schuller had commissioned. It was to be placed on the Crystal Cathedral grounds.

SMILING JESUS: Life Size Bronze Masterpiece for Cathedral Ground
"The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes" was created for the Crystal Cathedral grounds by famed Christian sculptor John Soderberg. ...this unique masterpiece will be unveiled in our gardens on Palm Sunday, April 5th. ( Picture: Dr Schuller directs John Soderberg as he puts a smile on Jesus' face.)

"This is the first time in the history of religious art that a prominent sculptor has yielded a beautiful bronze statue of Christ that actually depicts our blessed Lord smiling," Dr. Robert Schuller said.

Dr. Schuller spent a considerable amount of time in John Soderberg's studio in Mesa Verde, Arizona putting the finishing touches on the facial features of the smiling Jesus. It was important for Dr. Schuller to have this masterpiece show Jesus Christ as a positive, happy figure who smiled often.

John Soderberg told Powerlines that this is the most important and difficult piece of work he's ever done. It took him two years, and the hardest thing was to capture all his feelings about Christ. He did fifteen different faces before he found the right combination of emotions, power, gentleness and love....

He met Dr. Schuller several years ago when he was commissioned to sculpt the figures of Billy Graham, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller that are in the Robert Schuller Center...and he met all his subjects except Bishop Sheen.
The idea for the smiling Jesus came when Soderberg told Schuller that he had been wanting to do a piece of art about Jesus since he was a kid.

John Soderberg says that Dr. Schuller's vision, kindness and simple power were his inspiration for the statue because "that's how I feel about Christ---simple, deep and spiritual."... end quote

A close look at the facial features, the cheekbone structure, the shape of the lips, the smile and one might get the impression that the inspiration that the artist took from Dr. Schuller came through in more than spiritual ways. One can't help but wonder how our Lord Jesus feels about being modelled after Dr. Schuller. Pictures showing the statues of Billy Graham, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller also on display at the Crystal Cathedral, makes one wonder why they exist. According to Dr. Schuller, they are there as a reminder of "great men of the faith" whom Dr. Schuller views individually as his heroes. They all clearly belong together.

Amos 3:3 "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"

2 Corinthians 10:12 "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

2 Corinthians 10:17-18 "But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth."


Robert Schuller states this in a pamphlet: "Without a hero, we all lack the motivational commitment to excel. We need heroes in athletics, heroes in music. Yes, we all have a desperate need for heroes to inspire us..."

There is no Scripture to reflect that. On the contrary, God says:
Jeremiah 17:7 "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is."

" One of the members of my Board is Bob Brown...He said, "It's time the young kids of America hear the positive thinking messages that points people to Jesus Christ like Billy Graham, and 'posi-tive-izes' the Christian faith like Norman Peale and makes faith intelligent like Fulton Sheen."

"...You have to have a positive message. Don't preach, witness. There is a difference. Be a bright light. You must have a gospel that leads people to Billy Graham. You have to have positive Norman Peale. And the message must be intelligent and not contradict, but cooperate with truth that comes to us from science... like Fulton Sheen. You need a powerful message..."
In other articles like Good Fruit from Evil Trees: Part 1 &2, these issues are discussed, including the concept that "true Knowledge is found in science". The Bible tells the message clearly, it does not need the help of man's wisdom.
Jeremiah 17:5 "Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord."

"...but you can step in and be a bright light! And people will say, "Wow, is that the spirit of Jesus Christ? Then I want to change! I want to be a better, more beautiful, kinder, more gentle, more honest person. I want to be more helpful." Heroes: Find One! Be one! Jesus Christ is my Hero of Heroes..." (Pamphlet, "Heroes! Find One! Be One! Dr. Robert Schuller)

Colossians 2:6-8 "As ye therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Another excerpt from "Powerlines" includes the following promotional material: It describes "rewarding" people for sending donations by mailing them a replica of a statue of an eagle. The original life size eagle statue is also on display at the Crystal Cathedral Gardens.

"Eagles Club Porcelain (it was started in the last newsletter) ...created this replica of the life size eagle soon to be placed at the Crystal Cathedral Gardens to be handcrafted in porcelain.

This beautiful piece was lovingly selected by Dr. Schuller to honor all those generous people who fly at his side, making the Hour of Power possible through their contributions.... "

Colossians 2:4 " And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words."

2 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."

The Crystal Cathedrals Reformed Church

As stated above, Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral is a member of the Reformed Church of America, which belongs to the WARC:
The ecumenical WARC has members from Presbyterian, United, Congregational and other Reformed denominations around the world. A brief discussion explaining the World Council of Churches (WCC) is found with David Cloud

"The World Council of Churches (WCC) is an international ecumenical union of more than 300 denominations representing more than 400 million professing Christians. It was officially formed in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1948 with 147 denominations. Today there are 307. The goal of the World Council was plainly stated at its convening Assembly in August 1948. Former General Secretary of the WCC, W.A. Visser 't Hooft, verbalized the sentiments of the ecumenists gathered for that historic occasion:

"'Our name indicates our weakness and our shame before God, for there can be and there is finally only one Church of Christ on earth. Our plurality is a deep anomaly. But our name indicates also that we are aware of that situation, that we do not accept it passively, THAT WE WOULD MOVE FORWARD TOWARDS THE MANIFESTATION OF THE ONE HOLY CHURCH' (The Genesis and Formation of the World Council of Churches, p. 66)

"Though the Roman Catholic Church is not officially a member of the WCC, it has worked closely with the WCC since the 1960s. Many Catholics serve today in leadership positions within the WCC. Edward Panosian notes, 'Rome's conception of the ecumenical movement is the joining of all churches--eventually all religions--to Rome. Rome does not join the WCC; she invites the WCC to join her. The whole ecumenical program has been called `the reversal of the Reformation'" (The World Council of Churches, p. 40).

"We could describe the error of the WCC under a wide number of categories. We could speak of its Doctrinal Heresy, its Modernism, its Marxism, its Humanism, its Feminism, its Sacramentalism, its Syncretism, its Universalism. The simple fact is that the WCC fails every biblical test which could be applied. It is patently and grossly unscriptural."

[Way of Life Literature, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277. The Way of Life web site is The End Times Apostasy Online Database is located at this web site. (360) 675-8311 (voice), 240-8347 (fax). (e-mail)]
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

These are difficult times and there are many, many deceptions, false teachings and teachers. Jesus himself warns us of these things with Scripture after Scripture. We are never to put people on a pedestal, only Christ. One person told me that if I kept taking people like Billy Graham down off pedestals, soon I would also take God down off a pedestal. Sadly, that person has never spoken to me again.

My response was and continues to be that God is the only one we should have elevated and on a pedestal in our hearts. No man is perfect, all sin, and all can be deceived. We would do well to only fully trust and believe God, and weigh all things to Scripture rather than having men as our gods.

1 John 4:1-6 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."

All Scripture Quotes taken from the Authorized King James Bible

1. Hugh Pyle, Sword of the Lord, Dec.14,1984, also quoted in : from the Berean Call-Oct.1997---it's noted source was.. Christian News, (May 12, 1997)11
Copyright . All articles are the sole property of and Vicky Dillen



Dr.Robert Schuller’s satanic error



Wednesday 20 October 2010

End of the Prosperity Gospel: Crystal Cathedral File For Bankrupcy

Crystal Cathedral megachurch files for bankruptcy

By AMY TAXIN, Associated Press Writer Amy Taxin, Associated Press Writer 31 mins ago

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – Crystal Cathedral, the megachurch birthplace of the televangelist show "Hour of Power," filed for bankruptcy Monday in Southern California after struggling to emerge from debt that exceeds $43 million.

In addition to a $36 million mortgage, the Orange County-based church owes $7.5 million to several hundred vendors for services ranging from advertising to the use of live animals in Easter and Christmas services.

The church had been negotiating a repayment plan with vendors, but several filed lawsuits seeking quicker payment, which prompted a coalition formed by creditors to fall apart.

"Tough times never last, every storm comes to an end. Right now, people need to hear that message more than ever," Sheila Schuller Coleman, the Cathedral's senior pastor and daughter of the founder, told reporters outside the worship hall decked with a soaring glass spire.

"Everybody is hurting today. We are no exception," she said.

The church, founded in the mid-1950s by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller Sr., has already ordered major layoffs, cut the number of stations airing the "Hour of Power" and sold property to stay afloat.

In addition, the 10,000-member church canceled this year's "Glory of Easter" pageant, which attracts thousands of visitors and is a regional holiday staple.

The church was founded at a drive-in theater and attracted congregants with its sermons on the power of positive thinking. Its worship hall opened in 1970 and remains an architectural wonder and tourist destination.

The "Hour of Power" telecast, filmed in the cathedral's main sanctuary, at one point attracted 1.3 million viewers in 156 countries.

Church leaders said the Crystal Cathedral's Sunday services and weekly-telecast "Hour of Power" will continue while in bankruptcy.

Other megachurches have also suffered from the downturn and reduced charitable giving.

Crystal Cathedral saw revenue drop roughly 30 percent in 2009 and simply couldn't slash expenses quickly enough to avoid accruing the debt, said Jim Penner, a church pastor and executive producer of the "Hour of Power."

Vendors owed money by the church formed a committee in April and agreed to a moratorium to negotiate a repayment plan with the Crystal Cathedral. But after several filed lawsuits and obtained writs of attachment to try to collect their cash, it was difficult to keep the group together, Penner said.

Now, the church is avoiding credit entirely and spends only the roughly $2 million it receives each month in donations and revenue, Penner said. The church still hopes to pay all of the vendors back in full, he said.

"What we're doing now is we're trying to walk what we preach, we're paying cash for things as we go," he said.

Landmark OC Megachurch Declares Bankruptcy

Joanna Brooks

October 20, 2010, 8:56AM
The Rev. Robert Schueller’s Crystal Cathedral, a landmark of 1980s televangelist glitz and home of the world famous Hour of Power, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing a $36 million mortgage and $7 million in other debts.
Schueller, who grew up an Iowa farmboy, began his ministry in Orange County, California, in 1955, convening his first services at the Orange Drive-in Theater. In 1957, Schueller invited pop psychologist Vincent Norman Peale to speak, minting the brand of accentuate-the-positive-preaching that propelled him to the heights of his success in the 1980s.

In those years, they bussed Orange County public school kids like me on field trips to the Crystal Cathedral, so we could gaze up in wonder at row-upon-row of glass ceiling panes, each one of them bearing a little metal plaque inscribed with the name of a donor. But times have changed in the OC, and the money, youth (at least the white youth) and positivity have all moved south, away from the Cathedral and right into the heart of Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church territory. Nor has there been a successful transition from Schueller to a next generation of Cathedral leadership.

In the last year, church revenues have dropped 30%, 140 employees have been laid off, and its opulent Easter pageant (which once drew hundreds of thousands) was cancelled. Considering the fact that they still haven’t paid the lady who loaned them the camels for last year’s Christmas pageant, it’s safe to say that the Cathedral may cancel the 2010 Glory of Christmas production as well.

Is it any wonder that some of the most progressive, sustainable developments in 21st-century Southern California religion are now happening without conventional church or synagogue real estate? I’m thinking, for example, about the IKAR Jewish community of Los Angeles, which convenes services and social gatherings in an eclectic mix of spaces from spas to parks to community centers across town. I’ve even heard that my home denomination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is experimenting with a modular meeting house designed to grow (and collapse) to meet the growing (or shrinking) needs of populations around the world.



By Arthur Owiti. updated May 3, 2010

It is interesting that many people are clamoring for political freedom forgetting that there is real bondage taking place in the church.The church building funds or cathedrals are taking up a lot of the time for sound doctrine in the church.It is because of such obligations, many pastors are preaching a diluted message ,politicians are owning churches and the real spiritual building is collapsing.

In one article on this issue , I wrote that the church building issue is a snare to many traps which well meaning Christians and Christian leaders have found themselves in .The emphasis of the physical is just a subtle form of Pharisee Christianity that glories in the flesh and the ordinances .

However the apostasy in the church today ha sled to many churches to return to Old Testament practices which include restoring the Levitical form of worship and this through physical buildings.


Here in Africa we are having a sorry state of affairs in this area.Because of Western Christianity's emphasis on grandeur and gigantic buildings that show off glory and prestige , some African church leaders have copied and pasted the same craft.However these guys only copy and paste what brings money and not what is good.

For example there are quite a number of faceless Western Christian leaders who have "tents" - they do not live off the the flock they teach .This is also happening in Kenya especially with the turn of events that followed the economic recession.

Sadly they are a minority.No wonder many leaders here are not copying and pasting that good trait of Christian leadership, which is bibilical.

So the leaders become Kings in the church buildings or palaces where the serfs come and give money for many church projects in the name of giving to God.The worst is calling it tithe so that one will always feel that he is robber when he has not brought the tax required by God to his house.


Visiting some places in rural Africa , it is irony of ironies to see big half done buildings amidst a poor people.The congregants are struggling to pay for the bills that are required to finish the buildings.The Pastor labors to preach sermons that can draw money out of the pockets of the poor.It is a shame.

In one area they told me that because of the costs of building , the church members have been politely coerced to build the church with their little knowledge about building.Men and women in the village building the church which should have been built by seasoned builders.Yet they have given enough tithes and offerings ...a case of double torture ...Why oppress the congregants in this manner.

So not only is the church building demanding money,it is demanding their muscle.The question is which building are Christians supposed to build?


These deceived Christians are building the wrong building..They are serfs with their own money supporting their serfdom.The true building is the fellowship of believers who take care of another both spiritually and physically.The materials we use is prayer the word of God and sharing with one another.Giving is out of liberty and not out of fear of robbing God neither out of legalistic requirements.

Sadly what we see today is buildings of stone where people do not share with one another spiritually but just always hear Deuteronomy 28 being preached for the coffers to be full to build an extension for the already big yet empty building.
This futile effort leaves the inner man undone .

This church building project is nothing but new slavery that bind the preacher to preach soothing messages to get money, that makes politicians new Constantines and denies the sheep the word of God which they need for spirpitual growth.


Object of Veneration or Worship ..It is an idol
Falsely called the temple of God
Object of Sentimentality when they catch fire and burn ..people cry and say God's house is on fire.
Shadow of the church the body of Christ the true temple of God ...which one should we be focused on shadows or reality ?
Store house of the tithe and offerings instead of going to the poor and widows or more money goes into other unnecessary affairs than the poor and widows
The justification of the clergy laity system

In Christ Jesus,
Arthur Owiti


The absolute OBSESSION with "BUILDING PROJECTS" has left the Body of Christ impoverished and enslaved to the greed of men seeking their own KINGDOMS. Pastors and Church leaders count on the ignorance and fear within God's people. Little concern is paid to the consequences of BEATING GOD'S SHEEP! These men, seeking only REPUTATION and personal financial GAIN, are using the redeemed of the Lord as PACK MULES and ASSES to carry the load for their own religious tombs.

They are leading the people of God into the bondage of modern day Pharaoh's. Can you imagine? A great PRICE was paid in RIGHTEOUS BLOOD for the redemption of God's Elect, only to be led back to Egypt to labor in the construction of modern day PYRAMIDS---Sepulchers filled with the bones of the APOSTATE.

A cleansing is taking place in America. Huge and expensive "BUILDING PROJECTS" have been STOPPED IN THEIR TRACKS because of the economic fiascos of the RICH. When you DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, HE WILL STEP ON YOUR FEET! That is what is happening in the world of Mega Churches here in America. Bankruptcies abound, and "WORD OF FAITH" late comers are falling like dominoes. Multi-million dollar building complexes are standing empty in the wind and rain giving credence to that declaration "the foolish man built he house upon SAND". God is laughing at them. They beg for His attention, but Heaven is a BRASS WALL against them. God's people are weeping for Egypt and cannot understand why their mourning falls on deaf ears like a wise parent allows a BRAT to throw his fit while patiently waiting for the spoiled child to get over his tantrum.

If you are frustrated, if no matter how much you pray and fast, weep and wail, agonize and question the Almighty because he REFUSES to allow your plans to come to fruition----it's time for you to fall to prostration and GIVE THANKS for God's grace. It's time to come to your senses and realize that God is STEARING YOU AWAY from Egypt just because he is MERCIFUL. Why, as Paul, are you KICKING AGAINST THE THORNS? Don't you see what is happening? Don't you see that you have been misled by false apostles?

I say with all the truth and sincerity that is within me----ENCUMBERING GOD'S PEOPLE IS NOT FROM GOD! STOP WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO DO-----STOP IT NOW before it's too late. The LENDER will not understand when you tell him that you cannot meet the next MORTGAGE PAYMENT! He will repossess the land and you will be in worst financial condition than at the first.

Most will ignore this plea because they just cannot turn from their "dream, their vision", but this is not God's vision for his people. God's vision for his people is for them to flourish----free from the fret of missing a LAND PAYMENT. Danny McDowell

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Yiiiii Pastor Wilson Bugembe, Are sure Pastor Peter Ssematimba is Saved?

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier( 2 Timothy 2;4)

Pastor Wilson, Bugembe recently launched his ANI? Album. In his song ANI?(who can sit where God sits), Pastor Bugembe depicts the incredible mercy of God; a God who loves sinners and the reprobate. In this song, Pastor Bugembe categorically states that Paddy Bitama(a secular comedian) and Pastor Peter Sematimba are saved(born again). Pastor Bugembe amused me one time when he sang that Jesus was born on Christmas Day. Can you Imagine that born again pastors do not know that Christmas is just a roman catholic hoax.Pastor Bugembe has also participated in ecumenical music festivals with the likes of Fr.Musaala- the singing roman catholic priest.

Peter Sematimba is a proprietor of Super FM radio station. On his radio station, Beer is freely advertised, obscenities and vulgar language are freely used and secular entertainment events are advertised. Secular music is played 24 hours on Pastor Peter Sematimba’s station.

Who is Peter Sematimba?

Pastor Sematimba amused us one time when he kissed the ring of the roman catholic Cardinal. He also one time performed late Michael Jackson obscene cloche grabbing stroke.I was one time in taxi that had tuned Pastor Sematimba’s super fm. A Luganda devil conjuring song was airing on the Pastor’s Radio. The song is called Namalerere Akona enkonere….In this song the singer sings ……nkowola emisambwa…( I Invoke the devils). How can a born again pastor play a devil conjuring song on his station.

Pastor Peter Ssematimba Performs Michael Jackson Obscene Dance

Pastor Peter Sematimba’s designer Jesus and Spiritual politics


Who is Peter Sematimba?

--Pastor Peter Sematimba is the proprietor of Super FM radio station. He told Elizabeth Namazzi why he’s not religious and his passion for good cars
QHow would you describe yourself?

AI’m a God-fearing, God-loving, Jesus-crazy man who loves his wife, children, family and friends. I’m loyal, ambitious and absolutely convinced that nothing is impossible for me ‘coz I got Jesus on my side. I’m a go-getter so I don’t just sit and wait for things. I love good things; wealth, health and I believe I deserve to have them. I respect but don’t fear people. People say I’m very smart and intelligent, I wonder what you think?

Q What were you like as a youth?

A Very inquisitive, playful and cheeky. I was constantly curious about what my ultimate purpose was. I used to dream about good things that I wanted to have. I was always curious about the opposite sex. That got me into a lot trouble with my younger aunts and older female cousins because they were always the targets of my experiments and research.

Q Why are there car models and magazines all over your office?

A Oh, I just love cars. I understand cars, I know cars. You will find car magazines in my bathrooms at work and home. We are talking about good cars here, not just everything that moves on four wheels. They are beautiful, sexy, exciting, inspiring, loyal and absolutely satisfying. They quickly become an extension of the owner. Oh my! They don’t complain, argue and they never say no, kinda like the perfect woman... just kidding.

Q Is your wife like a car?

A Well... let’s see... uhmm. Is she going to read this article? Actually she is a bit better. You see, I find her beautiful, sexy, exciting, inspiring, loyal and satisfying, but unlike cars she is a bit more independent. You see she can and does indeed sometimes say no. Fortunately sometimes her nos have come as great advice, especially when she is correcting or averting mistakes.

Q Are you religious?

A No I’m not. And I am glad that I am not. You see religion is all about man reaching out to God and vice versa. What I have is a personal relationship with God and God is not religious. That’s why a lot of (religious) people don’t understand me. I’m living my life to please Jesus and not necessarily people. It will not come as a surprise to me that I am and will probably continue to bewilder traditional religious parameters and ways.

Q Did you get saved to make money?

A No. I accepted Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation from God because I was looking for the most precious thing of all things and that is a personal relationship with God. Now some of the very definite fruits of this relationship are His forgiveness of all my sins and prosperity. Whilst most people think that prosperity is only money, it actually is an abundance of everything — peace, wisdom, love, favour and yes, money.

Q When was your turning point?

AIt happened in 1978. Although I was very young, I got a personal realisation that God loved me. I realised that He loved and cared for me as an individual. I went with that and started walking with him in my own way. In October 2003, I got a deeper revelation of what it meant to have personal relationship with God through my Lord Jesus Christ. I decided to become more intense and public about my relationship with Him. I decided to once and for all make God the undisputed priority of my life.

Q Do you regret hosting those Dr. Senga programmes?

A No I don’t, absolutely not. You see, sex is one of the most beautiful, enchanting and enjoyable things and experiences God has created. Now just as one needs to learn how to cook so as to enjoy cooking, one also needs to learn about sex in order to enjoy it. I wonder why people pretend and shy away from something they are all crazy about! Ooba kyikyi? I wonder why.
Published on: Sunday, 28th August, 2005

Pastor Bugembe launches Ani album


Posted Monday, October 11 2010 at 00:00
There is something about Pastor Wilson Bugembe and his music that defines certainty: his music is insightful, emotionally captivating and tells of an expressive preacher. For Pastor Wilson Bugembe coincidence favoured him as much of his music is a tale of his life story which was not any rosy.
His concert on Friday told a bit about the person and his music; it was an uplifting praise-worship that soothed the heart with rich language characterised by oratory woven songa and the biblical allusions that matched the precedence this musical preacher has set. He was launching his latest offering, Ani which is coincidentally less by a ‘k’ from the title of his previous Kani album.
Clad in a grey suit, a double coloured tie- of black and purple- Pastor Bugembe led his Light the World Church Mass Choir in live performance as the Big Five band plucked away and drummed, live. He did songs from his albums like Yellow, Wandibadde Muffu, Mukama Njagala Kumanya, Kani- all tracks, and more songs like Erinya Yesu, Bwalikujukira and Ekiroto among others.
Pastor Bugembe stood firm on his position to attack pastors like Pastor Augustine Yiga of Revival Christian Church in Kawaala who Bugembe criticises for preaching revenge in claiming to help believers redirect or send back evil spirits to whoever sent them. “It is important that we read the Bible and understand it, so I would urge you to check what kind of church you go to,” Pastor Bugembe preached in one of the songs.
That was before he ‘unmasked’ the joker in him, throwing jibes at the media which he likened to poultry farmers keen on feeding chicken anticipating the day they’ll be feasting on it. This was his allusion to how media treats celebrities.
The guest of honour, Monica Asiimwe of Halleluyah Property Agency, applauded Pastor Bugembe who he likened to Moses in the Bible; for being an inspiration where despite being a former street child has gone against odds to prove himself to the world. Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP) party president was one of the invited guests but sent a written apology.
“I would like to thank you all for coming. It drizzled earlier on in the day but you have not betrayed me. I couldn’t help thinking of what happened to my musical brother, Gen. Mega Dee a fortnight ago. May the good lord richly bless you,” Pastor Bugembe thanked fans, on bended knees.


Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols( Amos 5:23)

The great falling away

We are living in the time of the great falling away(1 Thesa 2:11) where many ‘born again Christians’ can no longer discern between truth and lies. An era where many born Christians have already taken the mark of the beast.


The so called born again prosperity churches are bringing the junk from the world to the church, so that the money keeps flowing in. Besides, LTV, Uganda now has two more 'christian' TV channels i.e Channels 44 owned by the TBN super boy, Pastor Robert Kayanja, and the other one is called STV, owned by Pastor F.Njawuzi of Redeemed church Kawempe. Pastor Kayanja’s TV broadcasts many American Secular films and Pastor F.Njawuzi’s TV broadcasts movies on a daily basis such as Police Academy etc. It is amazing that a man of God can allow a vulgar American film to be aired on his station. Such are the incredible antics of today’s prosperity gospel. Instead of spending time teaching people about the word of God, the history of the church, cults, the history of the bible etc, they have invested in telling Christians to love filthy of the world.

The dancing church

If you have attended the so called prosperity churches, you should have realized that most of the time in these churches is spent singing and dancing. There is very little attention given to studying the word of God and helping Christians to be discerning. The devil is using this obsession with music to keep Christians deceived. When you look at the way the so called born again Christians dress, you can not differentiate between a born again Christian and street prostitute. The so called born again Christians put on tattoos, miniskirts etc . The so called Christian boys put on ear pins and earrings, dreadlocks and all this junk from the world. No wonder the world looks at born again Christians as the greatest hypocrites of our time.

The single eye

Romancing the Lord Jesus Christ Can you Imagine !!!

In Uganda many born Christians have sung the so called love songs for Jesus. In these songs they portray the Lord Jesus Christ as their sexual Lover and as a great lover. They dance for their lover erotically, they dress for their lover erotically. Some of the ‘noises’ they make in these videos are similar to the ones made during a carnal sexual act. In Uganda one musician has sung a song titled; Omukwano gwa Yesu( the love of Jesus), another one has sung a song titled; Oli Kimuli Kyange Jehovah( You are my flower Jehovah). All these erotic songs are an abominations before God. All this is indicative of how rotten our Christianity has gotten. This shows how sin has blinded the minds of Christians to an extent that they do not understand the glory, purity and holiness of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ is not a sexual lover

The Lord Jesus Christ out of Agape love died on the cross to save us from our sins. The Lord Jesus Christ is an Agape lover and not a sexual lover. Depicting the lord Jesus Christ as a sexual lover is blasphemy of the highest order. Some of these young people who sing these songs are doing it out of ignorance, but they ought to be guided. As a musician, before you launch any song or video, ask your self a question, can I sing like this to Jesus in heaven? You must ask your self; can this song survive the glory of the Lord? You must ask your self; does my song comprise any sexual antics? Be ware that erotic Christian music is an abomination before God.

Thursday 7 October 2010


Tithing: A mere Prosperity Gospel Hoax

Kizito Michael George

Dear editor, of late Ugandan Christians have come up openly to challenge the tithing heresy in newspapers, yours inclusive. Prosperity pastors are now trying to defend the heresy because they know that their prosperity ‘ponzi’ scheme is about to collapse like a sac of rotten potatoes. In the 3 –October -2010 edition of the Sunday monitor, one APOSTLE EDWARD SSEWANYANA ridiculously defended the tithing heresy. His defense echoes knowledge of ‘striptures’ instead of scriptures.

He first of all argues that Christians should tithe because Abraham and Jacob tithed. His arguments fail to take cognizant of the fact that the tithing of Abraham and Jacob is different from the tithing of Christians today. To begin with, Abraham tithed on war loot. He tithed 10 percent of this war loot and retained nothing. He never tithed money. Secondly Jacob’s tithing was conditional, he said he would only tithe on condition that God blesses him. Today, pastors tell the flock that tithing is compulsory and if you do not tithe, you receive curses. This is a very serious disconnect.

Secondly, he categorically argues that since the New Testament regards Abraham as, “the father of us all” (Romans 4:16), born again Christians should emulate his tithing lifestyle. This is a very weak argument because one could as well argue that since Abraham practiced circumcision of the physical body, born again Christians should also circumcise their bodies. He also argues that Abram or Abraham’s financial prosperity can only be traced to his tithing lifestyle but fails to back up this with scriptural evidence. Can he give us examples in the bible where Abraham did not tithe on war loot. Or where he tithed 10 percent and retained 90% . God promised in Genesis 12:2-3 that he was going to bless Abraham even before Abraham tithed in Genesis 14:20. God never said I will bless you if you give me tithes. Apostle Ssewanyana further contradicts himself by saying that Abraham was rich even before tithing(Genesis 13:2).

He also reiterated that the tithe should be given to Jesus Christ, the new Melchisedec . The million dollar question to him is ‘’How can Jesus from the tribe of Judah receive tithes’’? He fails to provide scriptural evidence to prove that the Early Christians tithed. Isn’t it surprising to note that tithing was not an issue at all in the Jerusalem council of Acts 15. This council resolved whether gentiles should keep the mosaic law. Among the resolutions tithing is conspicuously absent. Apostle Ssewanyana also ridiculously argues that Apostle Paul supported tithing.

He does not seem to know that Apostle Paul never told people to tithe but to Give. Giving and tithing are two different concepts. In fact in 2 Cor.9:7, Apostle Paul says categorically that giving must be from the heart and should not be coerced. It should be noted that today‘s prosperity pastors coercive people to tithe. We need to remember that the New Testament is a covenant of the heart and not of the flesh. That is why circumcision according to the New Testament is an issue of the heart.

There is absolutely no scripture in the bible where Apostle Paul or Jesus Christ told born again Christians to tithe. Christ taught giving (Luke 6:38). In Mathew23:23 Christ was taking to Pharisees and not Christians. Yes, they ought to have tithed because they believed in the Mosaic Law. Secondly, they ought have tithed because the New Testament period of grace had not come. Apostle Ssewanyana does not know that according to the New testament God no longer dwells in temples made with human hands(Acts 17:24). Born again Christians are the true temples of God(Corinthians 3: 9, 16 ). How can a temple of God pay tithes?? In addition the New Testament calls all born again believers priests (1 Peter 2:9, Rev. 5:10). How can a born again priest pay tithes?

Many pastors are knowledgeable about striptures (they read bits and pieces of verses that promote their greed) instead of scriptures. They have turned the gospel of grace into a gospel of greed. This tithing heresy is being perpetuated because of the failure of born again Christians to search God in his word. This heresy aims at sustaining the greed and luxurious life styles of prosperity Pastors. The tithing heresy is the foundation of the exploitative prosperity gospel. Once born again Christianity reject this hoax, the whole prosperity edifice will come crumbling like a sac of rotten potatoes.

Did you know that formerly tithes were eaten by the tither(thithing person) in the temple(Deu: 14:22ff). However, this temple was destroyed in 70A.D as predicted by our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt 24: 1-2).Therefore according to New Testament Christianity God no longer dwells in temples made with human hands(Acts 17:24). Born again Christians are the true temples of God(Corinthians 3: 9, 16 ). How can a temple of God pay tithes?? Lastly according to the Old Testament money was not tithaible (Deut 7:11ff) therefore churches that tell people to tithe money are lying to you. Some pastors argue that according to the Old Testament people tithed the fruit of the trees, corn etc because there was no money back then. This is a lie, there was money back then, remember Abraham bought a field where he buried Sarah at 400 pieces of silver(Gen 23:13-16), do you also remember that Joseph was sold by his bothers for 20 pieces of silver(Gen 37:28). So, there was money back then. Therefore tithing money is just another big lie.

The author is the president of Watchman Africa Discernment Ministry

Tithing in the New Testament is not optional

Posted Sunday, October 3 2010 at 00:00

I fully believe that Christians are not justified by the Law of Moses and should not lean on it for salvation. However, tithing as a principle was practiced even before Moses received the commandments or Laws on Mount Sinai.

Abraham was the first example of a tither. Hebrews 7:6 mentions that Melchisedec, the priest of the Most High God, “received tithes of Abraham.” Though only one incident of Melchisedec receiving tithes from Abraham is mentioned (Gen14:20), we cannot rule out that Abraham gave tithes on other occasions too.

Abraham’s grandson, Jacob could not have come out to make a commitment to tithe on a consistent basis to the Lord if his grandfather only tithed once and stopped there. Jacob made a lifelong commitment to tithe when he told God that, “of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee,” Genesis 28:22.

Abraham and Jacob lived approximately 400 years before Moses the law-giver was born. Their tithing lifestyle cannot be ignored on the pretext that they were under the law since there was no law at that time at all. Since Abraham was the father of us all, as born again Christians, we have to emulate his tithing spirit. One of the benefits that Abraham received from his lifestyle of tithing was financial prosperity - “Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold” (Genesis 13:2).

Since the Old Testament tithing system changed with the establishment of the New Covenant, the recipient of the tithe also changed. Someone else took up the office of the priesthood of Melchisedec, “Even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb 6:20). Jesus now continues to receive the tithe from Abraham’s children, those who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation (Heb 7:8).
In a practical sense, the tithe is received by Jesus Christ through the Church and especially through the church leadership that includes the apostles, prophets and pastors (Eph 4:11). Just like the Levites ministered in the temple and received tithes that were brought to the temple, that same right belongs to the church leadership today.

In Matthew 23:23, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for neglecting judgment, mercy and faith but at the same time commends them for being faithful tithers. Jesus clearly says that tithe is one of the things that a believer ought to do.

Behind the mask of being the “gallant defenders of the faith”, those who oppose tithe are actually bound by a selfish, miserly and stingy spirit that is inconsistent with the generous faith of the New Testament (Acts 4:34, 2 Cor 9:6-7). The motive that ought to prompt liberality in tithing as a service to God ought to be greater now than in Old Testament times, hence Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrews in consecrating both themselves and their substance to God.
A Christian who does not tithe is not a non-believer but is a disobedient child of God who is actually opposing the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ through withholding resources over which God has made them stewards to further the preaching of the gospel through the church.

Apostle Edward Ssewanyana