Posts Tagged 'spiritual covering'

The “Spiritual Covering” Lie Gone Wrong

laying-of-hands

***UPDATE 5/17/09*** This article references a story that appeared on the blog “Endtimes Prophetic Words”. Many have accused that blog author of misdeeds and I allowed this forum for both parties to air their grievances. Unfortunately, the volley’s continue back and forth – so I have deleted all comments referencing personal accusations of the blog author AND her defense of herself. Further comments towards anything except the article will not be published.

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In the past I have spoken out about several lies that the charismatic church perpetuates in order to garner “submission” from others, specifically “spiritual covering”, “spiritual fatherhood/motherhood”, and the phony “apostolic covering” that we see permeating the church today. The “laying on of hands” (as the picture above depicts), is not “unholy” – in fact, it’s sanctioned by God (Acts 8:17, 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6, and so on) – but it is not a game to be played with. In fact, the (real) Apostle Paul clearly warned against “laying hands on anyone too hastily” (1 Timothy 5:22) – thereby calling for a serious reflection upon the call of ministry.

The misunderstood (yet often repeated) mantra is that you must be “launched” into ministry by a “spiritual father” or “spiritual mother”, and that person in turn becomes your “covering”. These people advance the notion that you must be “sent” into ministry by a “covering pastor/bishop/prophet/evangelist” – that you can’t simply respond to the call of God and the urging of the Holy Spirit and go forth declaring the Gospel to the nations.

Further, these liars like to separate those who were “sent” from those who “went”, thereby tainting the ministry credentials of those who “went” without a “covering”. I agree 100% that we all should be accountable to someone else in our Christian walk (think of it as a series of checks and balances), but I refuse to believe that God would bypass me to speak to someone else about me, especially since He said in His Word that He is already my “covering”, not the hireling who begs for my money every week.

Still, the covering scam keeps gaining traction. For example, TD Jakes is Eddie Long’s “spiritual daddy” (seems fitting). Eddie Long has “spiritual sons” from one coast to the other. If I attended the church of one of Eddie’s “sons” and I decided to stop attending so that I could lead weekly bible study and prayer in my basement with a few believers, then I am an outcast – one who did not properly submit to “spiritual authority” and rebelliously left my “fathers house uncovered”.

While one could chuckle at this foolishness from a distance, here’s yet another example of how this heretical thinking continues to grow like a cancer within the Body (courtesy of the blog End Times Prohetic Words):

Apostle Claims Pastor Shot Down Was God’s Judgment For No Apostolic Covering

As many of you know, the Rev. Fred Winters was recently tragically shot down and killed while delivering a sermon at First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois. This incident is tragic enough news.

However, a NAR [New Apostolic Reformation] apostle speculated to other apostles that being shot down in the pulpit was judgment from God starting in the House of God, because the pastor had no apostolic ‘covering’!

The article goes on to say:

There is a lot of bad pastoral/apostolic ’covering’ teaching in the church at large, the pimping and the abuse and the fearful superstition is not just prevalent within the NAR – but Lyrica’s is one of the worst statements I have heard. One worries where this type of thinking will lead as it morphs to its logical conclusions among sincere, passionate, devoted but blinded NARzie followers in Joel’s Army …. after all, many of us have not forgotten the NARzie false prophecies about civil war breaking out in the church, and what will happen to the NARzie critics or those who refuse to unify with them…. and spiritual warfare is headed to literal action and literal war as that is where dominionism is going, and must  go by its very nature.

The New Apostolic Reformation is a cult that mimics true Christianity but is sorely lacking a sound biblical foundation. In fact, this was the same group that was propping up and providing “spiritual covering” for Todd “The Tool of Satan” Bentley and his Lakeland, FL circus show last year – culminating in this demonic “apostolic confirmation service” (DISCLAIMER: In accordance to Ephesians 6:10-18, please pray before viewing or listening to any of Todd Bentley’s video or audio recordings. The only way to combat the evil of this day is with the unadulterated Word of God.).

If you think that I and others are engaging in hysterical emotionalism regarding the path that the church is currently on (particularly when a nutjob can kill a minister and other “ministers” explain the cause as a “lack of apostolic covering”), remember the Words of the Lord (my emphasis in bold):

John 16:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)

1“These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.

2“They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.

3These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.

4“But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

May God have mercy on those who labor in His vineyard while exposing the wickedness of this generation – and anxiously await His return.

The “Love has nothing to do with it Offering”…

vh1s-i-love-money-logo

Since I’ve already covered two of the most scurrilous scams that pulpit pimps use to take your money (the “tithe” and “first fruit”), it’s only fitting to end this series with the offering that completes the ponzi scheme “trifecta” – the ever vaulted “love offering”. You can thank reader John 8:32 for inspiring me by providing this juicy little morsel in the comment thread regarding the Pimp of Hampton’s ability to accumulate cash without paying his bills (my emphasis in bold):

…You know, this is a real sad “state of affairs”. Dre’ and his wife are fleecing the sheep for more than $750,000.00 a year, living in a home worth more than 1.4 million, has a Bentley, two Cadillacs, and a Mercedes Benz and can’t or won’t pay a $17,700.00 property tax bill. I wonder if he paid the taxes on the previous mansion he still owns. Oh and I also heard that the new leader of his elite security team, a man trying to be made in Dre’s image, has required his ministry members to not only tithe, but they are also required to give a consistant “love offering”.

Although the logo above is from VH1’s trash reality show “I Love Money” (a show about circus freaks from other trashy reality shows competing in challenges for cash), it might as well be on the doors of your church (as well as the giving envelopes handed out weekly) if your pastor solicits “love offerings”.

Let me be clear – just as I believe that Christians should give generously for the furtherance of the Gospel, I also believe that elders should be compensated with a fair salary (in proportion to their congregation) for their work in the ministry. In his defense of his Apostolic ministry in 1 Corinthians 9, Paul clearly states that he’s worth his wages:

1 Corinthians 9:7-11 (New American Standard Bible)

7Who at any time serves (A)as a soldier at his own expense? Who (B)plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?

 8I am not speaking these things (C)according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?

 9For it is written in the Law of Moses, “(D)YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING ” God is not concerned about (E)oxen, is He?

 10Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, (F)for our sake it was written, because (G)the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.

 11(H)If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

But before you start “dancing in the aisle” in support of your pimp, Paul also rejects the pursuit of material things in his spreading of the Gospel because he wanted the focus to remain on the Gospel – and not his right to “boast” in it:

1 Corinthians 9:14-18 (New American Standard Bible)

14So also (A)the Lord directed those who proclaim the (B)gospel to (C)get their living from the gospel.

 15But I have (D)used none of these things And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make (E)my boast an empty one.

 16For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for (F)I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach (G)the gospel.

 17For if I do this voluntarily, I have a (H)reward; but if against my will, I have a (I)stewardship entrusted to me.

 18What then is my (J)reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel (K)without charge, so as (L)not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

Paul’s point was a valid one – he was worthy of honest wages to support him while spreading the Gospel, but he was not worthy to sell the Gospel to the highest bidder, and therein lies the problem: pulpit pimps “sell” the Gospel and cajole you into giving them a “love offering” to gauge your “love” for them and their labor. In return, you are seen as a “faithful son or daughter”and shown favoritism (in violation of James 2:1-9) above those who sit next to you in the pews who don’t (or can’t) “honor the man/woman of God with their giving”.

It is sad, but fitting: pulpit pimps have bastardized the concepts of prosperity and abundant life to the point that they’ve convinced the sheep that God accepts bribes and doles out His love to them based on their giving. Accordingly (in pimp-sick minds), your gesture of love and support for their ministry can only be manifested in cash, and in turn, the pimp only loves you based on your “gifts” to him. Twisted logic indeed.

So, the pimp opens his bible to one of the few bible verses that he uses to guilt you into giving – Galatians 6:6-8 (“ready, read!”):

6(A)The one who is taught (B)the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.

 7(C)Do not be deceived, (D)God is not mocked; for (E)whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

 8(F)For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap (G)corruption, but (H)the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Before you know it, the hireling is prancing and preening across the book board, almost crowing:

“If (huh) you wanna obey gawd (huh), then you’ll honor his word (huh). The biiiiiible says (huh), that if you don’t pay the mand of gawd (huh) then you’re mocking him (huh). You don’t wanna mock gawd (huh) do ya?(huh) I said, (singing now) YOOOOUUU don’t wanna mock gawd, do you? (huh). Then open up yo pocket books (huh) and share (huh) with the mand of gawd (huh) that feeds you the word (huh). Say YYYEEEAAHHH”

The problem is that (as usual) the pimp has poorly exegeted this text and used it out of context…again. Galatians 6 is an admonishment from the Apostle Paul about the importance of Christians bearing one another’s burdens. Just as we should be willing to care for the material needs of those around us who are in lack, we should also feel a burden to care for the material needs of the earnest elders who teach and preach the Word – without compromise or games. The call to ministry is a burden – a holy and humbling burden, but a burden nonetheless, and sometimes burdens can cause financial strain on those who answer the call. I have seen preachers who visit the sick (personally), feed the poor (personally), and minister to the needs of others – yet their own families wear time-worn clothes and they stretch a baked chicken for a few days.

Bob Deffinbaugh gave a thorough exegesis of sowing and reaping and Galatians 6:6-18:

In verse 6 Paul does not stress payment for services rendered so much as it does participation in the ministry of the Word of God. There are other passages which deal with the obligation of the church toward those who spend full time in a teaching ministry (e.g. 1 Cor. 9:1-14; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 2 Tim. 2:3-7), but the emphasis never seems to be simply that of looking at a man’s ministry as a job, for which he is to be paid. There is more to it than just money. For example, in 1 Timothy 5:17 the expression “double honor” certainly calls for a generous provision of salary, but the “double honor” of financial provision conveys as well the esteem and appreciation which are elsewhere called for apart from monetary or material goods (e.g. 1 Thes. 5:12-13; 1 Cor. 16:18).

In Galatians 6:6, the verb form of the term “koinonia,” “fellowship” is translated “share.” While “sharing” in a financial or material way is encouraged in the New Testament, it does not normally include the idea of payment, but of mutual participation in ministry with and to other members of the body of Christ (cp. “contributing,” Rom. 12:13; “contribution,” Rom. 15:26; 2 Cor. 9:13; “sharing,” Heb. 13:16). Thus, the “sharing” of the Philippian church was not merely some kind of payment for Paul’s ministry to them, but a participation in Paul’s ministry to others (cp. Phil. 1:5; 4:15; cf. Matt. 10:40-42). Having “fellowship” materially with those who are in need is a demonstration of our unity and interdependence as members of Christ’s body, the church.

Deffinbaugh goes on to say that every hireling who calls himself (or herself) a teacher doesn’t deserve financial support (my emphasis in bold):

The responsibility here is that of those “who are taught” to those “who teach.” The inference is that we are obligated (in this context, at least, but see also 3 John 5-8) only to those who teach us. Just because a person is a self-proclaimed teacher is no basis for our obligation to him. It is those who have been taught who are obligated to the teacher. Frankly, there are a large number of “teachers” who should not be encouraged because of their shoddy methods and message, even if it is an orthodox one.

So herein lies the problem – the pimp breaks his own arm to pat himself on the back by declaring “you don’t know the gift you have before you”. He even solicits visiting pimps to heap adoration upon him – and to remind you that your pimp “could pastor anywhere in the world, but he has chosen to be used of God for your benefit!”. So the end result is that you are begged (weekly) to “support the vision and the visionary” by giving over and above your tithes and offering.

There’s just one big difference between your pimp and the Apostles who helped grow the early church (and earnest preachers who aren’t pimping the Gospel week after week) – YOUR PIMP LIVES IN A MANSION AND DRIVES A CAR THAT COST MORE THAN YOUR HOUSE! The Apostles literally moved from city to city relying on the care (food, clothings, other items) of the saints – your pimp moves from his driveway to his reserved parking space at the monument to his ego every week. The Apostles didn’t have a substantial salary, benefits package, or the coveted status of tax exempt clergy…YOUR PIMP ENJOYS ALL OF THESE THINGS, AND STILL DEMANDS A “LOVE OFFERING” AS WELL!

Further, despite the demonic prosperity gospel lie that “Jesus was rich…that’s why the soldiers cast lots at the foot of the cross because His clothes were expensive!” and “if Jesus wasn’t rich, then why did he have a treasurer?!?!” – Jesus Himself confirmed His homelessness (Luke 9:58). I could (and probably will) write a 4,000+ word essay (replete with scripture) debunking the “Jesus was rich” myth, but I’ll simply say this: Why would Jesus (THE essence of the Gospel message)not solicit “love offering” for spreading the Gospel – yet His (alleged) mouthpieces routinely do – IN ADDITION TO THEIR EXORBITANT SALARIES? Surely Jesus deserved a few scheckels while traveling here and there spreading His message, but He didn’t even give money to His disciples to go forth in His name.

Yet curiously, your pimp feels the need to guilt you into going over and above your weekly tax to him in order to “show your love”.

How can you honestly give a “love offering” for the care of your minister’s needs when your minister has no need for ANYTHING? Even worse, you honestly believe that he loves you more because you give him money? Sadly, this is a prototypical pimp-prostitute relationship: the prostitute thinks the pimp loves her because she’s a good earner, and the pimp makes her feel special for taking care of him.

It’s sick.

The bottom line is this: earnest elders deserve support to help care for the needs of them and their families (through a legitimate salary structure – and free will offering as the Lord leads). If his salary does not meet his needs, then he (like all of us) needs to learn to do more with less – or FIND A JOB THAT MEETS HIS SALARY DEMANDS. If the sheep decide to give the elder a “special offering”, then they should do so as the Lord wills – not under duress or in false allegiance to a thief.

When a pimp rely’s on your weekly love offerings to pay for gas for his new Bentley and his tailored clothing allowance, then he has left “needs” far behind and crossed over into lustfully profane “wants”.

At this point, you already know the drill: unless you enjoy being beat over the head for your last dime, you need to flee these degenerate cut-rate two-bit hustlers and their money-grubbing schemes. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when the pimp is unwilling to help you meet your needs in time of trouble.

He’ll be too busy spending your money at the Mall and the Bentley dealership…meeting his needs.

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