Make Sure You’re Serving the One You Think You Serve
This morning while I was praying, I got a new revelation. Here is what it adds up to: today’s megachurches are really concentration camps where Satan puts Christians in order to keep them in slavery. I have written about this general idea before, but the notion of churches AS camps set up by Satan is new.
The only disclaimer I will make here is that I’m not suggesting the things that happen in churches are as horrible as the things that happened during the Holocaust. It’s not a literal analogy, so don’t stretch it farther than it should go.
A few years back, I visited the Holocaust Memorial in Washington. I’ve written about this. One of the exhibits was a large model of the death camp at Auschwitz. Looking at the camp, I realized it was Satan’s parody of the Temple.
At the Temple, clean animals (which are symbolic of the Jews) were killed in a way sanctioned by God, releasing their blood. They were burned, and much of them was consumed. And it pleased God.
In the death camps, Jews (and others, of course) were killed by asphyxiation. Their blood remained in them. They were then burned, like sacrificial animals. In Judaism, cremation is not permitted, presumably because God knew deniers would claim the Jews had never existed, had their bones not been preserved. They already do this with regard to the millions who followed Moses.
The Nazis mocked the Temple by burning Jews. They mocked the Torah by tattooing them. They mocked the Levites’ portion by taking body parts from Jews and using them for various purposes. Like animals, the Jews were consumed.
I went through all that in earlier blog posts. But I’m not sure I mentioned this. The Nazis liked to decorate their camps with signs reading “Arbeit Macht Frei,” which means, “Work Makes You Free.” This also has significance.
We are saved by grace. When we receive miracles, we receive them by grace. No one earns anything from God. To say God owes you a thing you’ve earned is to equate yourself with God and to declare the crucifixion unnecessary. Work does not make you free. In fact, work is a curse, as we know from reading Genesis 3:17:
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to what your wife said and ate from the tree about which I gave you the order, ‘You are not to eat from it,’ the ground is cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you live.
If you don’t think work is a curse, look at how Adam lived before he fell. God planted trees from which we were allowed to take fruit “freely,” and he gave us every plant for food. It is true that Adam was created to “cultivate” or “serve in” the garden, but the entire operation was built and prepared by God, and there is no evidence that life there was hard.
Satan loves to put us to work. He put Adam, Eve, and their descendants to work. He put the Hebrews to work in Egypt. He took soulish Jacob and made him a slave to Laban, who was a heathen. He put Samson to work at a grain mill. He made the Jews work for the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans.
Now he makes Christians work for things God wants to give us for nothing. “Work makes you free,” he tells us, while he holds back the things God wants to give us. He is like a Nazi guard, holding back Red Cross packages that belong to prisoners.
He has a wonderful strategy for making us go along with this plan. He tells us a few things that are true: we’re not worthy, we owe God, and we need to serve God. Then he adds some lies: God helps those who help themselves, God will not pay any attention to us if we don’t work really hard for him, and God wants us to have the satisfaction of overcoming through effort and sacrifice.
A lot of that stuff sounds so reasonable! We do terrible things, and then we come to God and ask for forgiveness and help. It seems only natural that he would want us to prove ourselves and purify ourselves through work. That’s what we would expect, if we were God. If we expect him to give us things for nothing, and to do big things for us, we’re spoiled! We’re abusing his grace! We’re selfish!
None of that is true, however.
Think about it. The Jews sinned, and God allowed them to enter paradise through a simple system of repentance and sacrifice. That may be harder than what Christians do, but it’s still very easy, compared to saving oneself. We sin, and we believe that simply by repenting and asking for forgiveness, we receive eternal life–ETERNAL, which means unlimited generosity–in paradise! That’s as easy as easy gets. Talk about spoiled. That is the epitome.
If we believe these things so easily, how can we be crazy enough to think God won’t do comparatively tiny things for us? If God will give you eternal life in heaven for doing virtually nothing, won’t he help you change here on earth? Won’t he fight your enemies? Won’t he heal you? Compared to eternity in paradise, making a leg grow back is, in mathematical terms, nothing. Eternal life is an infinite blessing. Shrinking a cancer is a tiny, tiny, finite blessing. Destroying an addiction? Same thing. Yet we think God wants us to earn things.
In the charismatic churches, we somehow manage to be spoiled AND deny grace. That’s a remarkable achievement of which Satan must be proud. We are spoiled because we clamor for money, money, money, and we don’t think about granting God’s wishes, as we want him to grant ours. We deny grace because we believe we have to shovel huge cash offerings into ministries in order to get God’s help. If we buy God’s goods, are we blessed children, or are we just customers?
We also deny grace by teaching self-help and positive thinking. Those things are for people who don’t have God’s assistance. You will never see a Bible passage about Moses sitting in front of a mirror reciting the Stuart Smalley affirmations.
When a fool preaches nonsense about money, Satan will help him grow a congregation. This is just like what the Nazis did when they built camps. They wanted to concentrate people in a place where they could do them harm. Satan will grow a big church for a Benny Hinn or a Kenneth Copeland, and then he’ll hold people captive with Ponzi-like promises of future riches. The pastors will become addicted to money, and once that happens, they’ll slap down anyone who brings healthy doctrine in.
This is what happened to me at Trinity Church. The pastors loved money and fame, and they thought these things were always just around the corner, if they kept up their program of twisting doctrine. The people gave and gave and gave, and once they had money invested in worthless get-rich promises, they felt that in order to get the “harvest,” they had to keep going, so anyone who contradicted the Steve Munsey gospel was seen as an enemy of prosperity. You need faith to collect the prize, so anyone who says the prize isn’t coming is effectively robbing you of your future.
The circle of rationalizations gets tighter and tighter until the church becomes a money cult.
This has happened all over the US. Satan has helped bad churches grow large, and once the people are there, he robs them of their money and teaches them they always need to give more and serve more.
Satan has to do this, because he is not omnipresent. God doesn’t need even one church. If he wants to, he can unite and teach all of his people through the Holy Spirit. He can speak to a billion people at once, whether they’re together or not. Satan has no all-powerful spirit to tie people together, so he has to rely on conventional means, and that means he likes huge congregations.
The big-church model is inherently carnal. If God is God, he can give the same messages and the same help to an infinite number of small churches. He’s actually doing that, right now. The idea that he “needs” big churches to get the message out is a denial of his power, and it is also the height of human pride.
It reminds me of a story James Thurber told. A man had a large tree moved to his yard, and someone said, “Shows what God could do if he had money.”
Right now, all over this country, there are huge churches full of neutralized Christians whose pastors serve primarily–PRIMARILY–to prevent them from getting to know the Holy Spirit. Some of the pastors are outright crooks, but others are just afraid that if they quit talking about money for ten seconds, the loot will quit pouring in. They feel they have to spend every available minute talking about carnal tools.
Guess what happened to Steve Munsey, who harps on offerings night and day? You already know if you read this blog. His church has been in foreclosure for quite some time. The court will not permit him and his cronies to run it! How’s that for failure? And now we have numbers.
Munsey’s church took in about ten million dollars per year. Munsey took $900,000 per year for travel and meals. I don’t know if he was traveling by space shuttle or what, and I guarantee you, he took offerings wherever he went, and he was probably given food and lodging, so you would think he could get by without travel money, but still, that’s the figure. He also took $500,000 per year for private plane expenses. Isn’t that “travel”? He and his wife also took AT LEAST $700,000 in yearly compensation. These figures fluctuated over the years, but they are true. He also had his own zoo. Look it up. I’m begging you. Don’t believe me.
His mortgage was about $100,000 per month, so that’s roughly $1 million per year. He found over $2.1 million for ghetto-rich idiocy, but he couldn’t manage to write a comparatively small check once a month.
This is the man who inspired the leaders of Trinity Church. Businessmen have gone to jail for doing things like this, and TBN was letting him appear and beg for cash as recently as four months ago. I guarantee you, if he walked into Trinity today, they would assign people to follow him around and kowtow and cater. There is no way they would take him in the back, like lucid people, and say, “What on EARTH have you been up to?”
If you’re in a big church where they talk about self-help, and you’re not hearing about the Holy Spirit and prayer in tongues, you are a slave. Your church is a cult. It’s a spiritual concentration camp. Satan is just waiting for you to die, powerless, so he can scratch you off his threat list. He’s probably not happy that you’re in church, because any church can be turned against him with God’s help, but as long as churches have to exist, he is going to take them over and use them to keep people weak.
If you’re determined to work, work in prayer. This is the most important thing you do. Prayer parted the Red Sea. Prayer prevented the extermination of the entire Jewish people in Exodus. It sets people free, and it makes them more powerful and more virtuous.
Don’t be afraid to go to a small church. The size of a church has no relationship to its power. My little church has started four other churches. My old church is huge, and it has accomplished virtually nothing. For God, I mean.
Work does not make you free. Work will never make you free. God’s work created the world. The work of Jesus freed you from sin and enabled you to receive the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit, through you, will please God and solve your problems. Anything beyond that is garbage which will rot and be blown away in a generation.