For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.1 Timothy 6:10
The shouts were heard, “Tuhan berkati kita semua!”, “Kita akan menang!” “Percayalah, kamu akan diselamatkan!” (God will bless all of us, we will win, believe that you will be saved!). And the cries of self-glorification continue to ring relentlessly from the hallways of these false churches every week. Nothing new, nothing sanctifying and nothing except for mere talk, empty promises and conserving their customary false beliefs that self-glorification is the new religion that shall lead man to heaven.
And the shouts and cries were always about money and wealth; people in false churches attend Sunday services with the sole intention to seek blessings from God. If there is nothing in it for them, they won’t even be bothered dressing up on weekends to gather and cry out to God to be blessed. When their pastor speaks, it is always about how to be loved by God and finding ways to be enumerated by Him. Sermons are laden with implications that giving money to the church is a must and members are taught that the more they give, the more God will give back to them. Therefore, in a false church, members became the conduit between God and their pastors, for the latter to siphon money from heaven, apparently so according to the wry logic of these pastors.
When believers greet each other, it usually starts and ends with God bless you. Their once a week routine, became nothing more than mere self-support groups, coming in attendance to assure one another that God still cares for them. It is always about them, and them only. They themselves became the all important little “gods”, that is to be cherished, adored and worshiped by God. That’s how love is defined within the context of a false church.
Likewise, I was indeed surprised to read a quote shared on social media recently, that states – when money talks, the truth is silent. How true is this statement? First and foremost, we are fully aware that this phrase is not from the Scripture, thus its validity cannot be taken per se. So, what I am going to do today is I shall speak about money, everything about money, and at the end, I shall leave it to you to determine, whether the phrase above quoted by man, holds any water.
The Business Of False Churches
It is surely one type of business that has almost no risk attached with it. Anyone can start a church, without much resource. You don’t need specific qualifications or are there any regulatory rules you have to comply with in order to establish a church. Except for certain countries that do not welcome Christian communities, the conduct of setting up a church is almost similar and straightforward in most countries.
In Malaysia, you don’t even need to register with any governing bodies in order to start one. All you need is a handful of believers to come together with you every week, and you are good to go. Smaller church startups can begin from the settings of a home and eventually moving on to proper premises when finances permit them to. Keeping a church running is no different from keeping any other business running. You pay your rent, your utilities bills, and you collect the revenue from participating members. It’s basically the same vicious cycle.
But the advantage of running a church is that the church owner is not required to be accountable to anyone. For instance, there’s no law in Malaysia that states that a church must be a registered society or a company. And you don’t need to keep a church registered banking account either. Many churches use their pastors’ own banking accounts to facilitate fund management. And churches do not need to pay taxes or report audited accounts annually. It is one of the best business to run, especially for cowards who do not like business risks and for those who like to manage things in darkness. Churches are not regulated, they owe no due diligence to anyone (not even to their own members) and in the event of breach of trust or fraud, there’s very little room for accountability and remedy. Basically, the church owner himself, the pastor, decides what is right and what is wrong.
Because of the loose standards governing the establishment of churches, many churches were set up to have flourished during the good times in the past several decades. And some grew into giant, megachurches and became multi-million dollar businesses in their own right. Other than that, many other medium and smaller size churches sprouted from town to town, each having its own niche and its own belief system or denomination.
In the pretext of giving to God, many pastors preach the message of how important it is to give money to the church, in order for them to reap good weekly returns. But the reality is that, the money never goes to God and the money never reach the heavens. If you hear any preacher telling you that giving money to a church is giving to God, you can most certainly be sure that you have been told a lie. The money goes to the managers of the church, and in most cases the pastors themselves, who then decides what to do with the collected revenue. Although there are decent churches who manage their finances well, in good faith and fair honesty, but many don’t. And among those questionable cases, if you raise any doubts concerning how churches manage their money, you will usually be fed with more lies that you are not permitted to question affairs of money that belongs to God.
These unscrupulous preachers will take from the people, telling them that to give money to the church is a law from the Scripture, and thereafter these preachers leave no room for anyone to question them, on how the money is spent. After all, church money is the peoples’ money and members of any church technically have all the right to question matters related to their own money. But this is usually not the case. What goes into the offering bags, is no more than a river of no return, and nothing comes back to you except empty promises from preachers that God will give you back more if you give to the church.
Pastors in churches are technically playing God. They decide and in the customs of becoming a Christian, it is expected from every believer to fully submit to this unwritten rule absolutely with no second option or right to question them. So there you have it. I have spoken about money and nothing but money. Therefore, is the truth being made silent? Or are the facts about money made the truth even more clearer for all to see?
Coming up next in a few more days, “What You Sow Is What You Reap”. I shall be discussing in full detail, how these unscrupulous preachers will suffer the consequences of stealing money from God’s people, and the types of God’s wrath that shall soon be upon them and their families, and how sorrow awaits them in broad daylight.