Sunday, August 8, 2010

Say Goodbye to the Untouchable Preachers by Lee Grady

God is shaking His church and removing corruption. But we share the blame for giving charlatans a platform.

Al Capone once controlled all of Chicago. The notorious 1920s gangster bribed the city's mayor, bought the police and presided as king over an empire of casinos, speakeasies and smuggling operations. He dodged bullets for years and lived above the law—and earned the nickname "untouchable" because no one could bring him to justice.

Before Capone finally went to prison in 1932, he justified his crimes by saying: "All I do is satisfy a public demand." He didn't take responsibility for the pain he caused because he knew mayors, policemen, community leaders and bootleggers supported him the whole way.

"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.

But before we rejoice that these imposters are being removed from their pulpits and yanked off the airwaves, let's hit the pause button and reflect. How did these false preachers ever achieve such fame? It couldn't have happened without help from us.

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, 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.

If we had applied biblical discernment a long time ago we could have avoided this mess. 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.

When well-meaning Christians quote 1 Chronicles 16:22 ("Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm," NASB) to cover up corruption or charlatanism, they do horrible injustice to Scripture. This passage does not require us to stay quiet when a leader is abusing power or deceiving people.

On the contrary, we are called to confront sin in a spirit of love and honesty—and we certainly aren't showing love to the church if we allow the charismatic Al Capones of our generation to corrupt it.


  1. one of the best ever written. but several years to late but better late than never .
    I have seen it all and I do mean it all. I was once an elder at the cathedral of the holy spirit.I was the only elder that would question Earl Paulk and there is probably a lot more that will be revealed in the future about that place.

  2. It is a great blessing to me to finally see that respected leaders are publically addressing this abomination that has been going on WAY TOO LONG!

    How many times have some of God's people felt guilty because they could not give to these charlatans? How many times have precious little people, especially the elderly, robbed their piggy banks to give all that they had, thinking they would be blessed for it?

    One of these men came to a church that I was attending and was given approx. $28,000.00 twice. About all that he does in the pulpit is tell jokes, talk about his private plane and how God will bless those that give to him with the same things that he was blessed with. I had asked for $5,000.00 annual budget for the prison ministry and was given only $2500.00 and that was cut in half. And we wonder WHY judgement is coming and first in the household of God? The Word does not say that we need to give our money for planes, golden comode lids, etc. etc. it says to visit the sick, the widows, the orphans, those in prison, the poor, etc.

    How I LONG to hear the preaching of the TRUTH and NOTHING but the TRUTH!!! How I LONG to hear love songs of worship to our precious Lord that invites Him into our presence instead of so called Christian Rock and other music that is a disgrace to the Lord and to His Name!

    Thank you and may God bless you for printing the truth!

  3. You can huff and puff, but until you're willing to name names (I Tim 1:20; II Tim 1:15; 2:17; 4:14,15)and point out dates and places, it is not going to have much effect on those who do such things.

  4. We do truly all long for TRUTH! So let us have it by at least giving your readers access to the location of the information you have access to.

  5. Great post! Religious Correctness which, the beginnings of preceded Political Correctness by at least 30 years, is being exposed for what it really is, a few men controlling a willing many. The willing many are being called out from within by the Father Himself. You have to be careful that you do not become the few controlling men, while you are trying to help the many. Thousands of leaders have changed their agendas in mid-stream, after growing frustrated with the many.

  6. New Testament giving was a collection for a re-disbursement to the widows and orphans, the needy and the saints in full time ministry. I have heard it over and over from the pulpit " the church is the storehouse for God" yes and it seems the leaders re-disburse to their immediate family members and ignore those in real need, plying every penny from the poor as they sit in the congregation believing "they are giving to God"
    God does not need our money, He wants our bodies, living whole sacrifice unto Him, to speak out and declare His excellencies as the day draws near. We are no longer under a Levitical priesthood, Old Testament scriptures on tithing they continue to pull out every week on the tithe. The 10% to run the temple full time, hardly what we see today, the apostle Paul in New Testament asked for each to give "what he could afford" to be re-disbursed.
    Yes the greed is great and we have all given way beyond what we can afford, unfortunately not to be redisbursed to those in full time ministry or the needy amongst us. Instead of giving your "tithe" to your church this week find someone in genuine need and give that amount to them instead and be blessed greatly. God doesnt need it.


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