19 January 2010

Carnival "Christians"

It came to my attention this week that I was no longer going to be punished for being frugal with my cable TV package selection. No longer would Comcast withhold from me the great blessings of the various "Christian" stations that are available. I have now been blessed with access to TBN and Daystar so that, in my free time, I may watch in wonder and awe as I learn the "secrets" discovered by Kim Clement or hear the supposed mysteries of the non-existent Bible codes shared by Perry Stone. No longer would I be deprived of the Crouch family's (of TBN fame) heretical and New Age beliefs or the no-doubt inspiring messages of "Pastor" Paula White. Let me insert a note here, acknowledging that these channels do indeed air the occasional legitimate teacher. Grant Jeffrey, David Reagan, and Hal Lindsey come to mind as men whose teachings on Bible prophecy I trust and respect. However, the other 99.2% of the programming on these channels is pure junk and, more often than not, borders on the heretical. It's this 99.2% of false teachers that I like to refer to as "Carnival Christians." I certainly am not trying to make light of the detrimental impact these people are having, but if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that watching most of these people spew off their falsities is first heartbreaking, but second entertaining.Forgive me, but sometimes I cannot help but laugh.

Not long ago, I read a few snippets about Larry and Tiz Huch and their "ministry." I was not familiar with the names until today. Yes, friends, today is the day that I learned why God doesn't seem to always answer prayer when and how I want Him to. You see, it's not because God's timing is perfect and ours, which wants an immediate answer, is not. It's not because God may be answering our prayer in a different manner than we expect or want. No, no, no. The reason that God isn't answering prayer is because we are not praying correctly! I couldn't believe it! At one point in today's show, Larry Huch stated, "I'm going to tell you how to pray." I thought, "well, surely a true Bible teacher would lead us to the Lord's Prayer where the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray and Jesus Himself stated,
“When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.” Luke 11:2-4.

But no, Larry had better, less obvious ideas. Larry introduced me to his new Jacob's Ladder gift set which not only includes 4 of his teachings, but also includes a tallit, a prayer bracelet, and 3 mezuzahs which are all apparently necessary in order for God to hear my prayers.


He even shared a story about a woman who had been searching for a new job and, at a conference she put on the prayer bracelet and within 3 minutes she received a phone call with a job offer! Well, that's it, I'm sold. Clearly I've been misled all these years to think that I could come before my Lord at anytime, prayer bracelet or not, and pray with confidence that He is hearing me. I didn't realize that I could "enter the throne room of God" by putting the tallit over my head each time I prayed. I didn't realize that the promises God made to Israel in Deuteronomy 11 were really literally for me. See, now I know that, by wearing my prayer bracelet and my tallit, and by hanging the mezuzah on my doorposts, God will bring me health, wealth, and prosperity. Oh, the darkness I've been living in all this time! Thank you, Larry and Tiz, for opening my eyes.

Now, I am not in any way trying to make light of those Jews, saved or unsaved, who may utilize the tallit or hang a mezuzah on their doorpost. Many of my neighbors are Jewish and do these things! What I am criticizing is this couple, who claim to be Christian teachers of God's Word, are teaching that using these items will make God respond instantly to our prayers. Nowhere does the Bible teach that we have to do anything or wear anything in order for God to hear our prayers. The only work that is required of us is to believe and have faith in Christ.
Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." John 6:29
We should never doubt that God hears our prayers and will respond in His perfect time and with His perfect answer.
"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15
 So leave your prayer bracelet at home. I promise that God will still be listening.

1 comment:

  1. Being a former member of Larry & Tiz's church in Portland, I tune in to Daystar occasionally to their program to be reminded how grateful I am to have been delivered from them! And, if it wasn't so sad, to have a good laugh.

    My favorite "sheep gouging" ad was his offer of a jewel encrusted shofar and if you would send $1,000, he would actually blow in it for you!

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