An Indictment Against The Church

By Edwin Christiaan

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 1. Timothy 2:1-2 NLT

The Church, or the Body of Christ if you will, is supposed to have the power through prayer to be able to change the spiritual condition of this nation, or any nation for that matter. The frequently quoted scripture, where God says: If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (2. Chronicles 7:14 NLT) has not had an impact on this land of America at all!

The Church has been praying for revival for years and yet nothing is really happening, despite the many so-called prophetic promises given over the years saying that we will see a great move of God in America that we will cause a multitude of sinners to come to repentance. A real revival! Instead, we see an increase of sin in the Church, like the Bible says in the book of Romans chapter 2, verse 24: No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”

God showed me that there are three major areas of sin in the Church that needs to be addressed and immediately stopped in order for God’s revival power to move among His children, and make the world (the Gentiles) see that the Church is a true follower of Jesus Christ.

The first area of sin in the Church
The Church needs to STOP selling merchandise in the church! Stop the selling of books, CD’s, and DVD’s. Also, it needs to stop charging for conferences, teachings, prayers, prophecies, and meals!

The Church is supposed to follow the example of her Savior and Provider Jesus Christ!

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 1. Peter 2:21 NLT

Jesus Christ NEVER charged anybody for his teachings or conferences. Neither did he charge anybody for meals. As a matter of fact, Jesus miraculously fed thousands of His followers with only five loaves of bread and two fish! (See Luke 9:10-17) Jesus trusted the Father for the provision, so he could give it free of charge to the people.

Jesus said: Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8 NKJV

The Church justifies the selling of merchandise and the charging of teachings and conferences with the argument that they need the money to cover expenses, and in doing so keeping the ministry afloat. But the Church doesn’t understand that if God is the one who builds the Church, it can trust God to take care of it! A Church ministry is never dependent on the donations from people, but on God, who will take care and build what is His! Church leaders must lean on God for provision, and not on people!

For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God. Hebrews 3:4 NLT

Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Psalm 127:1 NLT

One day, Jesus went into the temple and drove out the people buying and selling animals for sacrifices. He also knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He stopped everyone from using the temple as a marketplace.

And He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:17 NLT) 

The time has come for the Church to throw out the bookstore and merchandise tables with the sale of books, CD’s, DVD’s, crosses, jewelry, banners – you name it – out of the Church, and instead make the Church a house of prayer, what it’s supposed to be!

The second area of sin in the Church
The Church needs to STOP imposing tithing on its parishioners, which obliges them to pay 10% of their gross monetary income to the Church. It is even a fact that many well-known pastors are guilt-tripping their church members by telling them not to even think about coming to the front of the church for prayer if they are not tithing to their church, because they are robbing God! These pastors shamelessly use the Old Testament Law scripture in Malachi 3:8-10, which was actually meant for the Israelites so they could take care of the Levite priests by giving them 10% of their fruits and vegetables. This tithing principle cannot be translated to a modern day giving of monetary tithes to the Church!

There are also other Church leaders, who are telling their congregants that they would never accept anyone to their ministry team who is not a tither. They tell them that Abraham also paid tithes, but fail to point out that the Bible says that Abraham, in a onetime event, gave a tenth of all he had captured in battle, a tenth of the spoil, to the king and priest Melchizedek. (See Hebrews 7:1-2) Again, this has nothing to do with giving tithes to the Church and cannot be adopted as a church practice today! As matter of fact, in the same chapter it is said that our High Priest Jesus Christ came to set the old requirements of the law aside:

Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19 NLT

That’s why neither Jesus Christ nor His disciples ever taught the Church to tithe! EVER!!!

Here are the only requirements the disciples told us believers in Christ not to do, and it did not include tithing:

Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. Acts 15:20 NLT

The first church in the book of Acts should be the greatest example for the modern-day Church, as they sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need and they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. (Acts 2:45, 4:32 NLT) 

As a result, there were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. (Acts 4:34-35 NLT) 

The first Church really put the words of Jesus Christ in action, who said: It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35 NLT)

It is no wonder that this first Church experienced true revival. In one day, about 3000 people gave their lives to Christ and were baptized. (See Acts 2:41.) And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47 NLT)

The apostles NEVER taught the Church to tithe. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church the following: You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. (2. Corinthians 9:7-8 NLT)

The third area of sin in the Church
The Church needs to STOP mixing and confusing the gifts and fruit of the Spirit! There is an epidemic of spiritually illiterate Church leaders, who are not able to discern gifting from fruit, and therefore they are not able to know what comes from God or from the Devil. Their “spiritual discernment” often comes from a Google search of people to find out whether they are from God or not, and they end up being deceived. They are the ones the apostle Paul talks about, who don’t have any godly discernment, when he said:

You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. 2. Corinthians 11:4 NLT

These Church leaders are absolutely oblivious, and don’t understand that having the gift of an evangelist, pastor, teacher, prophet, apostle, or healer is not same as obediently walking in the fruit of the Spirit, which produces a character and behavior of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

In other words, you can be a gifted evangelist for instance, and yet be unloving, restless, unkind, unfaithful, rude, rebellious, selfish, jealous, have lustful pleasures and outburst of anger, impure, sexually immoral, abusive, a drunkard, cause quarreling and division, and so on. All of these are bad fruits and anyone who is living this sort of lifestyle will not enter Heaven. (See Galatians 5:19-21)

We need to understand that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance; it is freely given to us. But, the fruit of the Holy Spirit deals with our character that needs to be walked out as part of our salvation in Jesus Christ. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. (Philippians 2:12 NLT)

Here is the way Jesus taught how to discern people whether they are coming from God or coming from Satan:

Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Matthew 7:15-16 NLT

Jesus explained further saying that a good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. (Matthew 7:17-18 NLT)

Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. Matthew 7:20 NLT

Jesus also made it very clear that being gifted and doing miracles for God does not mean you will enter into heaven, but producing good fruit through obedience in God does! Just look at these scriptures:

So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 7:19 NLT

Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.‘ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’  Matthew 7:21-23 NLT

Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. Titus 1:16 NLT

The powerless Church is busy praying for revival, but in the eyes of the world, the Church is nothing but a joke and a laughing stock.

It’s time for the Church to step up and learn to discern light from darkness and bear good godly fruit for the world to taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8 NLT)

I rest my case!