Beware of celebrity pastors
Certain preachers do more harm than good. They seek to gain more church attenders to their church by offering illegal things. And by this I mean preaching a gospel which is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I remember an instance of a certain friend of mine who had turned Pentecostal (a Christian denomination). He claimed that his original denomination was not doing the right things. His mother had got cancer and for her healing they attended Pentecostal worship services. He didn’t specify which subunit of the Pentecostal church he would visit, however he did say that his mother got healed of her cancer. Praise God for that. Now when his original denomination came to know of this, they didn’t care if there was healing for the mother who was slowing dying. Their question to my friend was why did he not come to them. He told me that he was prepared to face the worst from them; excommunication.
So he told his preacher in plain words that he and his family attended the preachers church but never got their desire healing so they attended the Pentecostal church. The preacher was very angry on hearing this. He told this man, that go to so and so religion (it was a non-Christian religion) but never to the Pentecostal church again. My friend told the preacher on what basis is he telling him to not be a Christian. But the preacher kept repeating the same thing. So my friend was wise enough to realize that his pastor in fact was telling him to give up the Christian faith altogether and even worship false gods. Obviously, this made my friends decision to continue with the Pentecostal church even more stronger. Soon enough his entire family switched over officially to the Pentecostal church.
When he narrated this incident to me, I was very angry with the blasphemous preacher. I told my friend that though there are different reasons why healing might not happen in a certain church or denomination, the preacher had no business telling him to change over to a non-Christian religion. I later asked him a series of questions to understand if he understood that he has to follow the Bible, pray to Christ and believe in God. He was able to answer my questions to my satisfaction. So I think the current church he goes over to is fine enough.
It’s said that if the Devil controls the preacher/pastor of the local church then he can potentially control the entire local church too. I only partially agree with this because each individual of the local church has been given free will by God to decide to act right or to sin. However, there’s a way preacher could spoil his church especially if the people have more respect for their preacher than they have for the Lord. This is also applicable, if the people are either ignorant of the principles of the Bible or are too lazy to act on the words of the Gospel.
The experience may vary from local church to local church and from denomination to denomination but still a Christian must be alert that one must not be awestruck by any flamboyant preacher they meet. Just because a preacher dresses up in all white all the time does not mean the congregation too must wear only white all the time. There’s no Bible verse that says that Christians are to only wear white garments.
Let me share my own experience at church too when I was very young. There was a preacher who at least in my opinion dressed up unlike a true preacher. He wore clothes, footwear and spectacles which were way too expensive. Maybe others didn’t bother about it but I was concerned. However, there was one thing we all agreed upon; his treatment of females. His sermons were crafted in favour of women. So must women were in favour of him. Obviously the males didn’t like him that much. However, what even got some women angry was that he’d take certain of the girls into his room alone for like an hour or two. The girls when confronted by the congregation would refuse to tell what would happen. This raised suspicions of fornication among the church members. Yet people didn’t act as yet.
Now the preacher went to transgress upon the Gospel. In fact I myself was there when he preached a heresy. He said “You must learn to satisfy your emotions immediately. If you are in need of love and affection go to another human person, don’t wait for God because God cannot come down in form of a human person and eat and drink with you”. Immediately some of the people hearing him publicly denounced his teaching as blasphemous and he tried to defend his teaching in vain. However every time he went to preach at church he kept teaching the same thing. The outrage (yes it’s Biblical to get outraged at blasphemy) at the local church reached dangerous proportions for the preacher. So he was sent to another area where there was a church. Even there he continued preaching his stupid heresy even there.
The people of my local church were not done with him. They contacted the other local church to enquire about him and as suspected they found the preacher kept at his evil deeds. So he was kicked out of even that local church. No other church wanted him. Eventually he was taken to the top ranking church official and this preacher repeated his foolish doctrine even them. So they sacked him out of the denomination since he was intentionally unrepentant despite multiple warnings.
My local church was under criticism from Christians of the neighbouring areas who seem to love the “Do not judge” Bible verse over zealously instead of understanding the context. However, we asked the criticizers a practical question, ‘Since the accusation is about blasphemy and if indeed the preachers words are blasphemous, do you give your consent to his words and by this are you willing to face God’s judgement if the preacher actually taught wickedness?’ Nobody said ‘Yes’ to this question. This preacher had a celebrity following in the neighbouring areas, so the people from there tried to defend him until we told them word for word what he actually spoke. Plus some of us even mentioned the Bible verses which refute his heresy. Then the supporters of him stopped defending and left us in peace.
Though the context my article is about being on guard against celebrity preachers who try to twist the word of God, I feel its better to also give you the Bible verses which refute my local ex-preachers heresies(yes I don’t consider him my preacher anymore), just in case someone in your state/region preaches the same lies. In fact, if used right these also will help to be alert not to fall prey to celebrity preachers who invent their own lies or weird habit to follow instead of preaching the Gospel. Here are the Bible verses:
- Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- [Jesus said:] Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)