Vitamin, Prayer Cloths, And Pills!

Vitamin, Prayer Cloths, And Pills!

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” Galatians 1:8

Vitamins,Prayer, Clothes, & Pills!

“You! Right there in that hotel room! God loves  you, Stop what you are doing. Jesus want to change your life!” I have heard  similar messages before many years ago when I have been up late watching TV. I am night owl. I go to bed around 3-5 am eve

Vitamins, Prayer Cloths, & Pills!

Back in the early 90s my husband and I preached in facilities, prisons, churches, shelters, and colleges throughout Ohio. We were honored and humbled that God would even use us to share the good news of the Gospel with others. I got a call from Glenn and Darcel Leonard asking to join us in one of the prisons we ministered in that week. They wanted to share their testimony with the inmates.

I drove to the maximum security prison we were to minister at that week with a Christian Rap group that worked with us. Glenn was one of the members of The Temptations back in the day. He still performs with them on tour. Darcel was one of the lead dancers on the Solid Gold Show. It was a top music hit show that aired every week. She was the Black female dancer with the long hair that draped every graceful move she made. It was exciting to work with them on such a rare occasion. They flew in by helicopter. It was a Black history month event. We were invited by the Nation of Islam in the prison to come and share the arts, even though we were a Christian group. Our ministry showcased the arts in all disciplines as a vehicle for preaching the Gospel. It was called On One Accord.

As a visual artist I had also arranged with the inmates and the chaplain to exhibit the artwork of the inmates during the events in the hall. I loved prison ministry because they were always open to anything unique that God used to give them strength and hope.

After we finished ministering the arts in dance, rap, poetry, and music Glenn and Darcel shared their testimonies. He talked about having a cocaine addiction that ran thousands of dollars and more a day. He was up watching late night TV and he said the preacher ministering late night on the television started talking to him while he was in the hotel room. It was not the drugs that had kicked in, but he said God knew he was in need of deliverance. He said the guy spoke as if he knew he was in that room dying from drugs and hurting from depression. He gave his life to the Lord in that hotel room that night. He said he was changed. His marriage was restored. His testimony touched the heart of all the men there. The altar was packed with men crying, getting saved, and praying.

“You! Right there in that hotel room! God loves you, Stop what you are doing. Jesus wants to change your life!” I have heard similar messages before many years ago when I have been up late nights watching TV. I am a night owl. I go to bed around 3-5 am every night. I am up creating, writing, or reading. Recently, I’ve noticed some disturbing trends. What ever happened to the types of penetrating messages on Christian TV, that have the power to point people to Jesus?

The airways are now full of Christian infomercials, finance seminars, and gimmicks. It is the format for most of the major Christian networks. Vitamins, prayer cloths, and pills! Paid advertisements.

My concern is that if I needed spiritual help and was looking for a Christian message I might not find the Jesus of the Bible on the airways at 3 am in the morning.  Let me go old-school for a minute to make my point…

Over the last 21 years, I have studied all the great revivals, and moves of God over the centuries. There are some that I question but most of them were real moves of the God in the earth. From the Welsh revival, to the Azusa Street revival of 1906. There have been great outpourings of the Holy Spirit to reach the hearts of men and women. The revivals consistently took place before or after great events hit communities worldwide. The basic moves of the revivals were repentance and restoration to God through Jesus Christ. The revivals also were God restoring the things lost through the church’s structuring of the Gospel that caused it to become ineffective. God restored gifts and power back to the church. He touched the churches that had no power, no compassion, and had lost the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

The revival movements were not based upon race, economics, or the financial makeup of the communities. The revivals were moves of God for a hurting world. There were historically documented records of miracles, signs, wonders, and healings. The Azusa Street revival ended when they tried to control the outpouring. Also racism was a factor. Some of the White preachers who witnessed the events, later did not like fellowshipping with Blacks. This is a hidden factor for the end of that revival. White leaders claimed to have birthed that move of God instead of giving full credit to William J. Seymour, a Black man. They started their own school of the Holy Spirit that segregated the Gospel. However the movement for a racially free Gospel from the Azusa Street experience continued.

The church today even on the airwaves is highly segregated. The most segregated time in America is every day of the week, not just Sunday. However many of the White ministers that are on the Black networks are selling vitamins, prayer cloths, and seed money gimmicks. The only color seen is green. With all the pains in the Black community you would think they would care more about preaching Christ to the hurting instead of asking for money from the poor. Africa is not the only place hurting, though it is very bad.

 The revival movement were  not  based upon the race, economic, or the financial make up of the communities.  The revivals  were moves of God for a hurting world.  There was historical records of  miracles, signs,  wonders, and healing.  The Azusa Street revival ended when they tried to control the outpouring. Also racism was a factor. Some of the white preachers who witness the event later did not like fellowshipping with blacks. This is a hidden factor at the end of that revival. They claim to have birthed that move of God instead of giving  full credit to William J. Seymour. They started their own school of the Holy Spirit that segregated the gospel. However the movement for  racial free gospel from the Azusa Street experience continued.

The church today even on the airwaves is highly segregated. The most segregated time in America is every day of the week, not just Sunday. However many of the White ministers that are on the Black networks are selling vitamins, prayer cloths, and seed money gimmicks. The only color seen is green. With all the pains in the Black community you would think they would care more about preaching Christ to the hurting instead of asking for money from the poor. Africa is not the only place hurting, though it is very bad.

The Black preachers on those same networks are also selling vitamins and gimmicks. I saw one preacher selling small imitations of the Ark of the Covenant. He said if you bought it, you would get your blessings. What God has for all of us is free. It is because of his love for us that he helps us. We cannot earn or pay off God. Jesus made a way for us to come to him for all our needs, as we walk in faith. Faith means just believing. Faith is free. During the 1930’s the same types of snake oil preachers ripped off those who were broken in spirit. Some things never change.

After studying the revival movements for many years I became frustrated with what appeared to be fake revivals that were ineffective in helping hurting people. They were geared toward false preachers helping themselves. Every great revival I studied came to an end when men started organizing, and trying to control the movements with stoic programs. God’s love wants to reach out to those in need. Some in modern day churches are reaching into the pockets of people and not reaching for their hearts and souls.

Now… with all that said, on Christian TV I see more “Elmer Gantry” gimmicks being presented than the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the cross that gives us victory and deliverance. I do believe it is important to take care of yourself and eat right. I do believe we need good financial principles in our lives. I do believe God can use oil or cloths to heal a person if they are showing faith in it to work. It’s by faith not magic. That is God’s grace to work with us where we are. The role of ministering to the lost has changed its agenda. It is not the purpose of the Gospel of good news to push products, money making schemes, or health care.

 

However in the Bible we are to heal the sick and pray with the power of God for those in need. The cross of Jesus Christ made a way for us to have power from on high. There is more to being a Christian than just taking vitamins and paying seed money to everyone on the air. The infomercials of vitamins and health gimmicks have taken the place of tent revivals, miracles, signs, and wonders. They are pushing faith in products instead of faith in God who has all power to heal whatever we go through. In the Bible the man who was blind was healed by Jesus. Jesus did not sell him vitamins or a prayer cloth. This new craze in the church is not walking by faith, but is walking in self help.

If I could help myself, then I wouldn’t need Jesus. I tried helping myself without him in my life. I could not do it. I needed his power, his word, his spirit and his love to get through this life. I accepted Jesus in my life because I came to the end of myself. I needed something greater and more powerful than me to live this life. I did not create myself therefore I needed my God who understands what he created, to get me through. It is spiritually very hard to watch the Christian networks push pills and gimmicks instead of power, healing, and deliverance

There was a time when instead of being encouraged to take vitamins by life coaches, we were encouraged to pray for miracles. There was a time that if you had a need you were encouraged to pray for God to answer a prayer without you having to pay off God first to get it. I believe in the power of prayer. There was a time when the gospel was free. Now the church is saturated with gimmicks, oils, cloths, little temples, statues, vitamins, and seminars. In the Bible, Jesus healed them all. He gave us the same authority to pray for one another. He still answers prayers.

I can’t imagine Jesus passing out vitamins to the lost and conducting seminars on how to start a business. The gospel that we are to believe in as Christians is based upon faith not fear. It is based upon truth, not self help. During the 90s the church got off into a self help movement. The arrival of the millennium ushered in a time of, “Get it for yourself” . The prosperity movement in the church on the airwaves encourages you to get things to make you happy. True happiness is peace with God through Jesus, and peace of mind.

As America is going through such a hard time economically it is the hearts and souls of men and women that are broken that need true healing, love, power, and hope. Maybe things financially or health wise for you may not change quickly. However, there is a peace of mind, power, strength, and hope you can get as you believe in the true gospel of Christ when it is being preached

I was told many years ago by great ministers of the gospel to always know your salvation. I have read in the word that there was coming a time when the word of God would be hard to find because men’s hearts would become cold.  I see more schemes and corrupt teachings that are being presented as the gospel truth. At 3 am when I am up I find very few Christian networks presenting the gospel. I hear so much political hatred because we have a Black president. They preach that the world is ending because the democrats are in power. They preach hatred instead of love. They try to back it up with end-times scriptures. They call President Obama Hitler. They sanction hatred and fear on conservative networks. I keep wondering where were these same preachers when Bush was in office? The world is ending because America is controlled by someone other than a White man?

Those who can speak out against it are too busy selling vitamins and requesting seed money. The true prophets of God who would speak out will not get airtime to address this hatred and misuse of the gospel. Unless they sell vitamins or oils they are silenced. The constitution has become more important to some Christians than the Bible. That is not the gospel I signed up for. The church is losing its ability to love. Love is the key factor of being a Christian. There are no vitamins that can make you love. That comes from walking with God, having a heart change, and having his heart for the world.

The preachers who are preaching the true gospel are not Christian celebrities. Their preaching gets lost in the midst of massive, desperate Christian celebrities caught up sometimes on prosperity and business ventures. Those preachers who are preaching the true gospel are a blessing to me. You have to hunt through the channels to find them. They are sincere in their efforts. It gives me hope to stay in my lane, preach the good news of Jesus, and focus on what God has called me to do. I skip past the vitamins, life coaches, and seed money schemes. I know the gospel is free. I know healing is available and free through Christ Jesus from my own health issues and those in my family. I know God is real and that his word is alive and still powerful!

There is a need to examine and really discern what is being taught on the airwaves. My mother used to say before she went on to glory that you have to know Jesus for yourself. The older saints I have listened to over the years who survived the Great Depression and hard times in America didn’t have vitamins or seminars. They knew God for themselves because of what he did for them. Their testimonies are about a God who is always on time. Their songs came from how they got over with simple faith. We have lost some of that and should reach back to go forward with the simple gospel of good news. Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected for our sins for us to have eternal life with God.

I am up now at 2 am. In a few hours from now I will flip by the Christian stations looking for an encouraging word. Maybe I will find a preacher who is still preaching with passion, power, and hope. I know for sure I will see the vitamins, health, and money guys pushing for me to get up and call in to order some pills or send seed money. That’s when I know it’s time to just go to sleep, pray, and talk to God for myself. I encourage anyone who is in need of spiritual help in their lives to take a few minutes and pray. Open up the Bible and read the gospel of John. Read and pray to know him for yourself.

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One thought on “Vitamin, Prayer Cloths, And Pills!

  1. Pingback: Vitamin, Prayer Cloths, And Pills! « Double Latte Books | Nail It To The Cross

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