“There is no way we can know how many unbelievers rejected the gospel because they saw the church supporting quacks who swaggered, bragged, lied, flattered, bribed, stole and tearfully begged their way into our lives—while we applauded them and sent them money.
I hate to compare any minister of God to a gangster. But the sad truth is that today there are a handful (well, maybe more) of unscrupulous preachers who share some of Capone’s most disgusting traits. They are notoriously greedy. They are masters of deception and manipulation. They have bought their way into the charismatic religious subculture and used their uncanny hypnotic ability to control major Christian TV networks.
And, like Capone, their days are numbered. Justice will soon catch up with them.
These false prophets probably all started out with a genuine call from God, but success destroyed them. They were lured away from true faith by fame and money, and when their ministries mushroomed they resorted to compromise to keep their machines rolling. Now, in the midst of the Great Recession, God is closing in on them.
We were the gullible ones. When they said, “The Lord promises you untold wealth if you will simply give a thousand dollars right now,” we went to the phones and put the donations on our credit cards. God forgive us.
We were the undiscerning ones. When they said, “I need your sacrificial gift today so I can repair my private jet,” we didn’t ask why a servant of God wasn’t humble enough to fly coach class to a Third World nation. God forgive us.
We were the foolish ones. When it was revealed that they were living in immorality, mistreating their wives or populating cities with illegitimate children, [blackmailing their ministry partner and covering up sexual abuse in their church] we listened to their spin doctors instead of demanding that ministry leaders act like Christians. God forgive us.
We were the naïve ones. When they begged for $2 million more in donations because of a budget shortfall, we didn’t feel comfortable asking why they needed that $10,000-a-night hotel suite. In fact, if we did question it, another Christian was quick to say, “Don’t criticize! The Bible says, ‘Touch not the Lord’s anointed!'” God forgive us.
We have treated these charlatans like Al Capone—as if they were untouchable—and as a result their corruption has spread throughout charismatic churches like a plague. Our movement is eaten up with materialism, pride, deception and sexual sin because we were afraid to call these Bozos what they really are—insecure, selfish, egotistical and emotionally dysfunctional.”
-Fire In My Bones by J. Lee Grady
Here is an excerpt from a sermon by Leonard Ravenhill. Ravenhill was a godly man who pulled no punches. I believe he had it right when he spoke out against the misuse of the Lord’s money. Were he alive today I am sure he would speak out against Steven Furtick. I am also certain that he would speak out against those who enable C.J. Mahaney. I have come to the conclusion that these men band together because they don’t wish to destroy the goose that continues to lay the golden egg. Their mutual admiration society keeps the cash flowing via book sales and conferences.
The audio below sounds very similar to the mutual admiration society of Steven Furtick and Craig Groeschel and I would submit the kind words are uttered for the same purpose – keep the cash flowing. The speakers are Mark Dever, John Piper and Wayne Grudem. All are speaking at C.J. Mahaney’s church in Louisville, KY. Notice the deep concern each of them expresses for the victims of sexual abuse in Mahaney’s church? No? I didn’t either. That is because there is no concern expressed.
Here we have Al Mohler extending sainthood to C.J. Mahaney. This video was made prior to the “greatest sexual abuse scandal in the Evangelical Church” breaking, but that hasn’t caused Mohler to change his opinion.