DANCE OF THE CHARLATAN
If memory would serve me well, I think it was in the early seventies salvation of souls became rampant among Christians of those days. One could mistaken the humble appearance of the then 'born-again' for docility until you hear then handle the Word or pray. The language they spoke by the tongue was authentic. It brought out fire of the Holy Ghost at all revivals they organized. They were not poor but their parties (fellowship) were held with squash drink and cookies. They were acutely smart and intelligent - top brains in the arts and sciences, yet they spoke scriptures proverbially at all times. The demons in me did not allow me to acknowledge them but the spirit of God in them enabled them to acknowledge sinners like me. They prayed the likes of me into the Kingdom and now I continually wish to be more like them.
That was then! What we see of some of our Christian leaders these days is mind boggling. The philosophy of 'being in the world but not of the world' has rapidly changed to 'being in the world and conform with the world.' Many have brought a consultancy approach into preaching of the Gospel with demands for jumbo honorarium. The craving for exotic gifts through manipulative levies has reached bewildering proportion and it appears many have forgotten the One who actually died on the cross.
It has become conventional for some leaders to accompany their travel detail with time table of their special diet (three square meals a day). One would at least expect the guest speaker to experience first hand the lifestyle of their hosts and make their hospitality less assiduous. Rather they choose to command treatment of royalty as they masquerade as men of God. "For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple," (Romans 16:18)
The preachers who drink organic tea with organic milk in an organic breakfast setting should at least bring forth organic message. Never, it is organic spiritual foolery that sometimes permeate their messages. However when the call for 'dollar' on the other hand comes up at the end of the message, their charlatanic nature becomes obvious. The power of organic consumptions wheedle (cajole) the gullible to part with his or her money. For how long will the vulnerability of those who truly seek the help of God be abused?
A few years back, I witnessed a highly respected man of God perform what I call the dance of the charlatan. Truly the man of God preached a very good message for some forty-five minutes. This should not be a surprise for the gift of God is without repentance (Romans 11:29). He then proceeded to make a dollar call that lasted another forty-five minutes. He started by declaring that God wanted to make millionaires of those who would sow a seed of $6,000:00 that night. A few people trickled out. Then God changed His mind and included those who could afford $3,000.00. Many more people answered the call. Later the man declared God has changed His mind to include those who could afford only $1,000.00. The prize of purchasing the millionaire title eventually dropped to $500.00! Sounded very much like reverse auction.
That was not the end. I was jolted on my seat when the man shouted, "okay, bring whatever you have..." Seriously? I muttered, from $6,000.00 to whatever you have?. I took another look at the man, his caliber matched the ongoing macabre. The spiritual opium unleashed nullified gains of the good message he preached at the beginning. After that meeting I wondered aloud to the hearing of the Holy Spirit as to why the need for such desperation for money in the assembly of God's people. The Holy Spirit counseled. "White elephant projects lead to the disease of financial elephantiasis among God's people."
PRAYER POINTS "Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence— As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil— To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, The mountains shook at Your presence. For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him." (Isaiah 64:1-4)
1. Lord visit us with the fire of your revival 2, Bring back unto us that old time religion. 3. Give us hearts of repentance 4. Let thine Kingdom come now!
Dr. Niran Fafowora