24 January 2014

This 'n' That

photo: RikkisRefugeOther via photopin cc
I realize that ministries need money to function. I realize that, though they are not technically a "business," the faces behind those ministries or blogs need to eat and pay bills. Thus I am not opposed to these same ministries having some means by which a donation or contribution may be made by those who benefit from the ministry's resources. It is okay to have a "donate" button on your site. It is not okay if it is the first thing I see, or is the first thing that pops up when I visit your site. It is not okay for you to attempt to shame or guilt me into donating, and it is not okay to beg for "year end donations" twice a year, at both the end of your fiscal and the calendar year.

It also is not okay to harass me via email, "snail mail," or phone (I'm looking at you, Ligonier, whose resources I love but whose fundraising tactics I loathe). If you are that desperate for money, perhaps you ought to reconsider who it is that you are trusting for the continued existence of your ministry: man or God. And while we're on the topic of desperation, it is never, never okay to use chintzy and cheesy gimmicks to entice people to send you money. Unless you are Rod Parsley and are going to send me an anointed prayer cloth prayed over by modern-day "apostles," then don't even bother. If I want your T-shirt, then I'll go to your online store and buy one for $15. Don't insult me by offering it to me "free" for a minimum gift of $50.

And if you are going to offer me a "free" gift for a minimum donation, please don't make it a gift that is utterly obsolete. Case in point: a semi-popular "discernment" ministry recently sent out its usual newsletter with great excitement. Why all the enthusiasm? For a mere gift of $100, you can be the proud owner of . . . a VHS tape! Oh yes, they were special VHS tapes featuring a prominent apologist who has since gone to be with the Lord, but my question is this: For my $100, could you also please send me a VCR so that I can actually view the VHS tape? Actually, I prefer audio to video, so how much do I need to send for an 8-track or vinyl?

Oh, and while we're on the topic, for a mere gift of $5000 (that's 3 zeroes, just in case your eyesight is fuzzy), Do Not Be Surprised will send you one of our new, original coffee mugs. For a donation of an extra $500 (only 2 zeroes there), we'll even send you a bag of coffee, or something like it.

Yes, I'm kidding. But coffee does sound good right about now, doesn't it? Why not pour yourself a cup, grab a couple of cookies, and treat yourself to your week in review (kind of):
  • Martin Luther on the book of Romans.
  • Speaking of Luther, did he really endorse "bar" music for the church? 
  • If you frequent "discernment" blogs, then you no doubt saw the uproar over the Linger Conference and presence of The Master's College there as an exhibitor. Executive Director of Grace to You, Phil Johnson, received a barrage of questions about this even though he has no personal involvement with the college. I appreciated his response to these questions as recorded here. I also was happy to see, though, that TMC withdrew as an exhibitor at this bizarre-sounding event.
  • I urge you to read this lengthy article from Rolling Stone magazine (yes, I'm serious). It shares the story of Tyler Deaton, a man who led a small cult within the cult of IHOP, and of his murdered wife, Bethany.
  • You have to see these pictures of unborn animals in the womb.
  • Has it only been 20 years since the inception of the Toronto Blessing? Yes, 20 years of deceptive, damning doctrine that continues to be taught and disseminated throughout the visible church.
  • Ever notice how all of these man-generated revivals (think Passion, Code Orange and others) all talk about how the Holy Spirit is going to "show up" at their event? Wouldn't it be embarrassing if He didn't? I mean, what if the Holy Spirit is double-booked that weekend?
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Have you been keeping up with Grace to You's series of articles about preaching the Word?
  • One for all, or all for naught?
  • A partial review of Michael Brown's latest book, Authentic Fire (which is, unsurprisingly, a critique of John MacArthur's Strange Fire).
  • Here's a fun picture.
  • Joel Osteen is going to fill Yankee Stadium—and thus deceive the masses with his damning gospel.
  • Our great Redeemer:  

3 comments:

  1. VHS tape? Really. Oh good heavens...someone must have been cleaning out their storage locker!

    Concerned about a young member of my church who is away at college and attending a fellowship that is connected to IHOP. She is convinced that Mike Bickle is orthodox. Praying that she takes that article to heart.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Erin for your perseverance in offering us this meat each week. I hope you have a good week ahead:)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, I didn't think Jan of TBN had issues with Dispensationalism before...

    ReplyDelete

Please keep it pithy (in other words, if your comment is long enough to be its own blog post, don't bother), pertinent (please don't go off-topic), and respectful (to the author, to the other readers, and to the subject of the post). If you can't do that, your comment will not be posted.

If you haven't already, please read the Comment Policy in its entirety.