By Philip Powell
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever — Hebrews 13:8
Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens — Psalm 119:89
LIVING as we do in a changing world with lowering standards both inside and outside the “church” it is imperative that ministers of the true Gospel know and proclaim the changelessness of: 1) God’s Character — “For I am the LORD, I do not change ...” (Malachi 3:6); and 2) God’s Word — “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away”(Matthew 24:35).
If you attend a church that does not emphasise these two things then it’s time to move on.
Yesterday (Sunday 22/04/07) Brisbane’s The Sunday Mail, and The Courier-Mail newspaper published an article entitled “A new brand of church” featuring three so called mega Assemblies of God in Australia — Hillsong Church (Sydney), Kings Christian Church (Sunshine Coast) and Garden City Christian Church (Brisbane). The sub-title of the story read, “How new-age churches are winning hearts and minds”, which I guess says it all. They are indeed NEW-AGE “churches” with a new-age message.
The story concentrates on Kings where you can be “pampered” with a free coffee and nail manicure and even a massage. They use gimmicks and giveaways and offer cars as bribes. The unashamed claim is that senior pastor Steve Penny (age 59) is a former Vietnam veteran who travelled Australia as a motorbike stunt man. One can but wonder what his next “stunt” will be.
Well for one he claims that the “tithe” — yes that’s 10 percent of every member’s income — belongs to church “ministers”. Biblically this is a con (a stunt). Tithing is not taught in the New Testament. It was part of the Old Testament tax system to support the theocratic state of Israel and designed to provide for the priestly tribe who owned no property and had no other form of income.1 One can only wonder how much is the aggregate “tithe” from the 1,500 members at Kings that the story claims and how much of that goes to senior pastor, Steve Penny.
The story claims that one of the members is multi-millionaire Joshua Hunt who recently bought Fitzroy Island off Cairns for $20 million. Hunt is also part of Kings “Boardroom” men’s group. Penny (wise and eternally foolish) offers “courage breakfast” talks to members of the “100K Club” — that’s people who give more than $100,000 per year to Kings.
Do not do your good deeds before men ... do not let not your left hand know what your right hand does ... that your good deeds may be in secret — Matthew 6:1-4
The mind boggles at the stunts that so called “stewards–ministers” (are they unjust?) will engage in for self-serving purposes. One such minister named his boat “office” so that inquirers could be “honestly” told that he was at his “office” when in fact he was sailing or fishing. He also told a group of young ministers that they needed to learn how to “use” people then “spit them out”. He wants business class whenever he travels by plane for “ministry”.
Whatever happened to our Lord’s warning, “You cannot serve God and mammon (wealth or riches)” (Luke 16:13)?
Sometimes tricks or stunts are used deliberately to deceive or for personal benefit. This type of thing inevitably leads to a lack of moral and ethical integrity such as that illustrated on pages 3 and 4 in this issue of CETF. Men will adopt all sorts of ruses, including flattery, to ingratiate themselves with others.
We commend to you this entire issue as a basis to understand things about:
Antichrist and the End Times
Today’s satanic deceptions
Conversions – Creation – Credentials
As you read on may you be inspired to throw in your lot fully with those of us who are taking a stand against today’s evils and for a purified ministry and church.