Integrity in the Pulpit
We have taught for years that God cannot bless a mess. Mainly this has referred to the status of our Church books and records. When the money is funny, it limits God’s ability to sanction what is transpiring in any given service. We see this in the order of the tithe as outlined in Malachi 3. In this passage God promised that when we tithe He opens the windows of heaven and pours out blessings upon us—in other words, when the tithe is given in a service and that tithe is properly managed (because it is holy: Lev. 27), our Church services are conducted under an open heaven. Unfortunately there are still many in ministry who do not understand the value and importance of an open heaven.
Integrity Entails More than Just Money
As I travel the nation assisting Churches and Ministers to be all that God has destined them to be, I am saddened by the reports I get from Christians across the USA of a lack of integrity in the pulpit. One of these areas is how preachers will blatantly lie to those whom they are speaking. Whether it is Pastors or Evangelists, so many feel they must misrepresent facts and truth to confirm their ministry.
Among Christianity there is the often used phrase: “Evangelistically speaking.” Those who have been a Christian for any length of time knows that the phrase means that the facts or numbers reported are skewed or inflated. In the case of Evangelists, the number of conversions in their meetings usually includes not only those who actually accept Christ during their service, but also includes those who come forward to the altar. For instance, there may only be two people who accept Christ as their Savior, but because 50 people came to the altar, many Evangelists report 50 instead of two.
Another example is the inflated numbers when reporting those in attendance. For some reason we feel as if we are in competition with the Church down the street. When that Pastor declares he had 500 in attendance, other Pastors will report a higher number. I have actually seen some that have counted everyone that came into the Sanctuary, including those who went out and came back in. Many Pastors will include everyone that attended any service or function for the week into their attendance numbers. I was in a Church once that would probably seat 200, but I heard the Pastor tell someone that he had almost a thousand in attendance.
The Church has Lost its Witness within the Community
There was a time in our history when the Church and the Pastor was revered within a community. Even sinners respected the House of God and its Pastor. Those days are no longer. The Church and its Ministers are becoming more and more tainted in the eyes of the world with every passing day. So that we may look like a success to other Ministries, we have resorted to misrepresenting facts and the world has been watching.
I have been in services where the Preacher told everyone the anointing was on him because people were “falling out” when he prayed for them. The only problem was that most of those people would later declare that the Preacher pushed them so hard during the prayer that he, not God, actually knocked them down.
What Begins in the Church Bleeds over into the Community
The world has also watched as thousands of Ministers have been imprisoned for committing fraud to the U.S. Government; tax evasion; and in some cases, outright embezzlement. What message are we sending to a lost and dying world when Preachers are lying, stealing, and cheating just so it can appear as if they are more successful than they really are? God does not measure success by your numbers, but by your obedient stewardship of that which He has entrusted you. Is it any wonder that God has declared that judgment must begin in the House of God (1 Pet. 4:17)
If your Church and Ministry are really called by God, He doesn’t need you lying on His behalf to make you look good in the eyes of others. Whether your Church service has thousands in attendance or just a handful, if it and you are ordained by God, you are precious in His sight. According to the Parable of the Talents, the Master did not give each servant the same amount—He gave them what His experience with them told Him they could manage. It was only the servant with the one talent that was ashamed and hid it. Regardless of how many God gives you, it is your responsibility to properly manage them and to give a proper account to Him. Lying to make you look good in the eyes of others only shuts the heavens over your Church and your weekly services.
In addition to closing heaven over you, your misrepresentation will cause you to miss heaven when you die. According to Rev. 21:8 “all liars” will be cast into the Lake of Fire. It didn’t say some liars; it didn’t say all liars, but preachers; it didn’t say all liars except those who are trying to make God look good—God said all liars! It is time to get your House and Ministry in complete order. You do not have to misrepresent something to be a success. Your obedience to His mandate determines how He views your success!
We Can Help
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