Forgotten Word Ministries
“The TBN Spring 2006 Praise-A-Thon, Another Fundraising Fiasco! ”
THE NOBLE BEREAN: Volume Nine May 2006
By Michael C. Gaudiosi - The Berean Radio Network
IT’S SPRING AGAIN; TIME TO SOW YOUR SEED! Now, I am not talking about planting seeds in a literal outdoor garden, rather it’s time to sow a seed in the form of a financial donation to, what some would call, the one and only means of the Gospel being preached to the entire world, that is the great Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN for short). During the week of April 17th TBN held the first of two annual fundraisers they call…the Praise-A-Thon!
I took some time to watch this weeklong circus; of course I did not spend every waking moment watching all of it (That’s what DVRs are for!) But, I did watch enough of it to put together this newsletter and share my reaction to this event, and even quote some of the notable “preachers” that graced my TV screen during this week of Spring 2006 Praise-A-Thon. Meaning yes, I do intend to name names! Now, please, before I begin, I apologize in advance if I seem to come across sarcastic, frustrated, even angry at times, but I thought I was prepared for what I was about to see and hear, and just when I thought I heard it all, I had not heard nothing yet! I really was not prepared as well as I thought to see and hear the things I did, which just made me grieved, saddened and sick once I started watching!
Folks, watching this Praise-A-Thon convinced me more than anything else that there really is no fear of God whatsoever in much of modern Christianity today, I mean that! Where is the fear and reverence for the Lord in His Church? It certainly was not found during this Praise-A-Thon week! The very fact that these people can go on international television, say and do the things they did, and literally demand, not plead, but DEMAND for people to “sow a seed” or you will not receive your “harvest” from God, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that there really is no fear of the Lord! As I have stated in past newsletters regarding this event, not once did I hear the Gospel preached! Not once was there a call for sinners to repent! Not once did I hear anything remotely close to warn sinners of God’s wrath and judgment to come! Instead, I heard more foolishness like the quotes I am about to share with you.
I want to start with a speaker who has become a rising star on the TBN scene; his name is Bishop John Francis, pastor of Ruach Ministries in the UK:
“God’s getting ready to open up some wombs. No, you didn’t understand what I’m saying. You think I’m talking about physical wombs, but I’m talking about some bank accounts. Some money’s about to be released.”
“My church is in the hood. My church is in the place where you would call the ghetto. But let me tell you something, we’re the most talked about people in my area cause everyone who comes to my church drives good cars, dress well, and most of them used to be on the street selling drugs, now they’re back into education. Some of them who had no qualifications, now have qualifications, are in best jobs because I’ve taught them about giving, I taught them that there is a release”.
(I wonder if Bishop Francis ever taught them about being born-again. I mean sure, he took them off the streets and now they have good jobs and good cars and nice clothes, but have they been truly saved? Have they been shown the true way to repentance and salvation? Would they still be in his church if they never received those nice things?)
Jesus said in Matthew 6:31-33 - Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Did Bishop Francis teach them this?)
Moving right along, the next set of quotes comes from another Bishop, that is, Clarence E. McClendon who is founder and president of Harvest Fire Crusades & Media, Inc. It is quite apparent from these quotes that Bishop McClendon really does think the foolishness of preaching is just that… foolishness, and that we need more than preaching the Word:
“You understand that miracles are an advertisement of the claims of Jesus. This is why God wants His Church moving in the miraculous, because a miracle will demonstrate what a thousand sermons can’t explain. You need to hear me right now, this is why God desires for His people to be moving in the miraculous”
1 Corinthians 1:21-23 - For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. (Does this sound like God desires His people to move in the miraculous in this scripture?)
It is also quite apparent that Bishop McClendon believes that every Christian can do miracles: “The unbeliever looks at us and marvels and says, anyone of them can get a miracle done, anyone of them can get a sick person healed, anyone of them can get a breakthrough in the financial realm” (Can anyone of them explain the way to be saved? I want an unbeliever to look at me and say: “what must I do to be saved!”)
1 Corinthians 12:29 - Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? (The obvious answer is no!)
Next is Rod Parsley, pastor of World Harvest Church in Columbus Ohio. In regards to Christian Television he said:
“It is the pulpit of our generation and everybody ought to be using it”(No, Mr. Parsley, everybody ought to be reading and studying their bibles!)
“When a word from God is given, reason is never required. Faith and faith alone must answer that door”(This is at the heart of the Word of Faith Movement. According to Rod Parsley when you get a “word from God” you’re not to use your God-given mind to rationalize or examine it by the scriptures, all you need to do is just accept it by faith. This is the means of manipulation these Word of Faith leaders use to get you to believe their false doctrine.)
1 Thessalonians 5:21 - Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
“Tonight I’m looking, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, the direction of the Lord for twelve individuals, uncommon men and women, who are at an uncommon position in your life and you have an uncommon seed of $10,000 that you’re going to release into the uncommon soil of TBN” (The approach here is you must give $10,000! Why? Because the Holy Spirit told Rod Parsley and this is the direction of the Lord! What if you do not have ten grand available? Well the next quote answers that!)
“Shout $10,000! You say you don’t have it? It’s in a savings account, it’s in stocks and bonds, it’s in an automobile you’re going to sell” (You are still required to give $10,000! There are no excuses not to, that is according to Rod Parsley!)
“You say, well you sound to me like you can buy a miracle, is that right? If that was true a rich man would own heaven” (Then why the urgency to give $10,000 into the “uncommon soil” of TBN? To the Word of Faith crowd, sowing a financial seed to TBN, always means God will cause you to reap a harvest of blessing, but this only happens when you go to the phone and pledge, so in reality, you are buying a miracle!)
2 Peter 2:3 - 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.
Mark Chironna who is overseer of The Master’s Touch International Church in Orlando, Florida was another of the TBN elite who spoke during the Praise-A-Thon. His quotes are as astounding as they are ridiculous:
“See when you discover you don’t need anything from anybody else, you’ll start creating your own wealth”
“Your wealth is right in your own backyard”
“What you need to do is rise up and say I have within me the ability and the power to create wealth, not to get it. If you’re gonna get it you haven’t got it, but if you can create it, it means it’s already inside you” (See Deuteronomy 8:18 below, Mark Chironna says I have it within me to create wealth. The scripture says otherwise.)
Deuteronomy 8:18 - But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
No denial of self whatsoever. The Bible says in Luke 14:27 - And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Mark Chironna tells a worldwide audience not to go after wealth, but to create it because it’s inside of you. What does the Bible say?)
Romans 8:6-9 - For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Romans 8:13 - For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Not once was this taught nor mentioned during the entire week of Praise-A-Thon!)
Evangelist Jesse Duplantis spoke some really big whoppers, in reference to the wealth of the wicked laid up for the righteous, Jesse said:
“So bless God this planet belongs to me and everything in it, cause God just told me, He gave it to me! So I have a right to be blessed in the city, blessed in the field, blessed going in, blessed going out! Don’t get mad at me, it’s not my fault, I took ownership, and if I took ownership then I took responsibility!” (Jesse has a right to be blessed? As if God owes him this? What about the right to be persecuted? What about the right to go through trials and tribulations? I did not hear a thing about that, even though the Bible states that we should rejoice in trials)
James 1:2-3 - My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Here is what Jesse said after he read Luke 4:18 and stated that the first thing Jesus said was to bring good news to the poor, what was the good news Jesse was talking about? Here is what he actually said:
“The first thing Jesus, comes out of His mouth, he says we got to get rid of poverty”
“The number one thing God wants to get rid of on this planet is poverty” (Now Jesse is trying to tells us that God’s top priority on earth is to remove poverty! Where does the scripture tell us that we must rid the world of our social ills and make it a better place? Actually Jesse does present the solution to poverty in his next statement)
“You know why we’re asking you to give? It’s so you can get out of that stinkin’ poverty mentality” (I hope people were able to watch this in the poorest third world nations, because there’s the answer! Give to TBN and you’ll get out of the poverty mentality and you’ll be able to think wealthy!)
“This is not a money message, but we’re asking for you to give money, so you can get some” (Not a money message? Then tell me exactly what Jesse meant by this statement!)
“God said, what else you want me to do?” (Amazing! God is at Jesse’s beckoned call!)
“If you believe that poverty is a blessing, the spirit of stupid has come upon you!” (Jesse’s idea of poverty is minimum wage, I consider my paycheck to be a blessing, and I make a very modest wage, so according to Jesse, I have the “spirit of stupid” on me. Also, can anyone point out to me where in scripture it mentions or describes the “spirit of stupid”)?
“I have the anointing of increase on my life”
Luke 3:14 - And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
Paula White is a “preacher” who frequently appears on TBN, has her own television program called “Paula White Today”. With these quotes it is very clear that Paula White embraces the false teaching of the Word of Faith Movement:
“But the moment you get up and go to that phone your faith is gonna activate the receiving of what is already been released in the spirit realm” (My faith cannot activate anything, because my faith is not in my faith, but my faith is in the Lord!)
“And God is saying when you get up and go to the phone you are activating your faith, see it’s faith that moves God. It is that faith that is an activator”
“So until you get up and activate the word of revelation, until you get up and activate the word of faith, until you get up and activate a rhema word, nothings gonna happen!” (Of course, this “activation of your faith” does not happen until you go to the phone and call in a pledge to TBN.)
Mark 11:22 - And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
It was inevitable that Paula White was going to name a specific dollar amount to go along with a scripture verse that speaks of wealth or prosperity, and in keeping with her track record, she did it again:
“Get up and go the phone, Psalm 68:19, for the next twelve months, you’re believing God daily to load you up with benefits” (These benefits come with a price: $68.19 a month for twelve months!)
Psalm 68:19 - Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
Jentezen Franklin stated: “The Bible said somebody’s gonna get a miracle if you’ll go to that phone” (Where in the scripture does it say to go to my phone and get a miracle??)
Bishop Eddie Long is not asking, but demanding you pledge: “This is not optional, this is a mandate of God and an opportunity to actually sow into kingdom ministry” (According to Bishop Long, you have no choice but to give, otherwise you disobey God!)
Here is probably the most unbelievable quote of the week and it’s from Bishop Long: “You’ve ruled over some things because you turned on this network, you had victory in your body, in your family, in your neighborhood, in your community. How dare you still sit up here as a parasite and suck and not give back!” (So now, according to Bishop Long, we owe our lives to TBN and if we don’t give money back to TBN, we’re parasites!)
It was Benny Hinn that sort of surprised me; he came across using a different approach. He preached a message about how he is sick and tired of feel good, positive preaching in the Church today. He states: “Jesus did not die so your emotions can feel good” (Sure, I can agree with that, the only problem is that Benny Hinn is on TV pledging for funds on a Christian Television Network that promotes the likes of Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer and so on, all of whom preach a feel good, emotional, positive gospel. Benny may speak a good game, but if he truly meant what he said he should have openly rebuked Paul Crouch for allowing such programs on TBN.)
Now, here is a very interesting quote from Benny Hinn: “When you preach the Gospel, He’ll bless you without praying for a blessing. When you preach the Gospel, you’ll touch the heart of God and He’ll open heaven for you”(If this be so, then why does TBN continually hold these Praise-A-Thons begging, pleading and even demanding people to give money? TBN Makes the claim that it is “God’s Network”, that it is the “arm of God”; also that it is an “ordained work of God”. If that is the case, then God will supply for the need! If TBN preaches the Gospel, as they say they do, then there is no need for these week long fundraising programs, because as Benny said, God will bring blessing without praying for it, and that He will open heaven and shower blessings on to TBN! Benny can really talk it up, but again, he should have rebuked Paul Crouch for even doing these Praise-A-Thons and not having true faith in the Lord to provide!)
TBN ought to remember the words of Gamaliel in Acts 5:38-39 - And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
In reference to the definition of prosperity Benny Hinn said: “It means no lack, no need, no bills, no debt” (How interesting he would say this on a week long fund-raising program! If TBN were in prosperity, it would have no lack, no need, no bills and no debt. The Lord would supply the need! But the very fact TBN holds these Praise-A-Thons twice a year pleading for funds the way they do means they have lack, they have need, they have bills and they certainly have debt!)
Note: I am aware that to run a church or ministry it does involve cost! I know this first hand! However, I also know that a true work of God will be amply provided for by His graciousness and the power of the Holy Spirit! There’s nothing wrong in asking for funds to run a church or ministry, it’s just plain wrong the way TBN does it!
SOLA SCRIPTURA – THE SCRIPTURE ALONE!
I realize that I will ruffle some feathers out there, but instead of sending me emails of how angry you are that I dare disagree with TBN’s fundraising tactics, search and study the Word of God for yourself and see if these TV preachers adhere to sound biblical doctrine. I can tell you honestly that they do not! If they did, there would be no need for this newsletter!
Some may say, “but Mike, TBN has won millions to Christ!” Well, that may be so, but just take a look at the type of programming they broadcast, with the Word of Faith and Charismatic leaders they allow on the air. The newborn Christian gets fed a steady diet of false teaching like the prosperity gospel, Word of Faith theology and the false doctrine of the Charismatic movement, and then takes on the very thinking of these TV preachers. I ought to know, when I was a young Christian, way back in the 1980’s, the very first thing I was exposed to was TBN. In fact, the very first preacher I saw right after I was born-again was Dwight Thompson (I did see Dwight live in person, but just the same, he is a TBN regular). Needless to say, I was then a believer of the Word of Faith teaching and a faithful follower of the Charismatic movement because of TBN. It reminds me of this passage of scripture:
Matthew 23: 15 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
The people and their quotes mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg. I had not even mentioned Steve Munsey and his pathetic “Law of Six” sales pitch, or Jentezen Franklin’s ridiculous tape measure sermon, using a tape measure as a prop. Or others like Dr. Nassir Saddiki and so on.
As for me, I will give my financial seed to my local church. My church needs the funds to go into the community and preach the Gospel, give out the Gospel of John-Book of Romans tracts. My church also uses the funds to support missionaries all over the world who sacrifice everything to win souls to Jesus Christ! That is the harvest I look for when I sow my financial seed!
I’ll finish this with one last quote. This is from Bishop Eddie Long: “What would happen if this (TBN) went off the air? What state would this world be in?” (To answer Bishop Long’s question, this world and the Church would be a much better place if TBN went off the air!)
Search the Scripture for yourself! SOLA SCRIPTURA! The Scripture ALONE! May the Lord bless you!
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