A few weeks ago Jerms and I scrolled through some of the “religious channels” offered by direct TV. It was pretty late in the evening and we came across some very frightening programming. We watched preacher after preacher expound on the “name it and claim it” doctrine – which promised material wealth to all those who believed; we watched in horror as people professed complete healings after using “miracle holy water”, swatches of “holy cloth”, and other paraphernalia.
These preachers seemed to “prey on” (not to be confused with “pray on”) elderly people, minorities, and those who are ill. It was so sad to see these preachers standing there with bible in hand and distorting our Creator’s character and Word, and then using that distortion for their own personal gain. They are con artists that prey on the weak; in my opinion there is no profession that is lower.
We marveled at one particular preacher, the “Prophet Peter Popoff”, who pleaded with people to call in and receive his “Miracle water” so that they would be healed. Then I heard Jerms mutter, “God has a special place for you” towards the television. Of course James 3:1 tells us, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly”. Good luck with that Mr. Popoff & company.
Fortunately after a few more flicks of the channel we landed on Ravi Zacharias, who is an amazing intellect and teacher. The juxtaposition of the two types of “teachers” made it obvious who was authentic. Unfortunately it’s the first type that was occupying 99% of the television stations. They’re production was much fancier, some even donned purple suits and had audience members giving tear-jerking “testimonials”. Then there was Ravi, standing in an auditorium – I think he was at Harvard, going through his modest Powerpoint presentation, not asking for money, but instead asking people to open their minds to “maybe”.