To focus on any one aspect of the Bible does not take into consideration the whole by which we are to base all Biblical truths, how they integrate, and not taking them out of context. This is something for us all to ponder, not judge. Jesus taught that how you spend your money is an accurate indicator of where your heart truly is. Let the giver beware. The fascinating thing about Prosperity Gospel preachers is that at least part of their message is true. God in fact does promise to bless those who tithe give a tenth from their income see Malachi It may not occur exactly the way some preachers promise, but God is true to his promise to bless those who give.
The major problem with Prosperity Gospel preaching is its over-emphasis on personal financial gain. The proper priorities are to love God with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves. Faith in Jesus Christ does.
In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, there are similar stories about a rich young man asking Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. To his query, Jesus responds that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He then takes the injured man to an inn and leaves money for him to be further cared for.
And the Samaritan is not expecting that he would gain wealth by helping the injured man, offering to bring yet more money to the innkeeper for the care of the man when he returns. I do not believe that the men and women cited in this question are examples that most Christians would find laudable. And I am sad that so many people have been taken in by their tactics. It is sad when people use religion to justify their own avarice. They give all people of faith a bad name. I do believe that God rewards the faithful. A basic principle of Judaism is that God looks out for those who are committed to truth and morality.
Every day of the year, and specifically on the holy day of Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement , Jewish people pray and ask for the blessings of a good life both spiritually and physically. We hope that our prayers will translate into health and prosperity in a real and tangible manner, but not always is that the case. With this in mind, even if a house of worship does base its religious mission on the Prosperity Gospel, I fail to understand how that justifies its clergy members indulging themselves with an ostentatious lifestyle. Of course employees of a religious organization should be properly compensated for their time and commitment, and should be able to lead a respectable, comfortable lifestyle.
However, clergy members who live large by buying expensive cars, flying on private jets, and surrounding themselves with extravagant luxury are essentially violating their commitment to serve their communities. In my opinion, these types of expenditures are a misappropriation of contribution dollars which should be directed toward improving communal life and aiding the less fortunate. Although it is only a minute portion of the clergy that abuses fiduciary duties, I truly hope that this government inquiry will shine a spotlight on the need for accountability and true commitment to the core ideals of our spiritual institutions.
2. Robert Morris
Under the current laws, the actions of such pastors may not be technically criminal, but they are certainly shameful — and such examples of corruption could cause great damage if they lead good people to become disillusioned during their quest for spirituality. And as the people crowd around to hear, both in first-century Galilee and 21st-century Montrose, I am more and more aware of how much we long for a sense of blessing in our lives. The surroundings are super modern, the lighting is super night-club-ish. The Beebs.
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Cool sneakers, tight jeans…. Those stringy metal necklaces. Amory: Yeah. Carl Lentz from New York City. And Chad Veach from Los Angeles.
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Justin Bieber in video : I just enjoy seeing people worship, praising God. Amory: Youth-focused Christian megachurches that try to show how cool they are, are not new. Good Morning America: We are excited about this one. We are back now with one of the biggest Christian bands in the world, Hillsong United. And an estimated 50 million people sing their songs in church every Sunday.
I do every Sunday. Ben: The Hillsong church has been described as a money making machine, pulling in millions upon millions of dollars from around the world.
Amory, say it with me Ben: The show featuring stories found in the vast ecosystem of online communities called Reddit. And our return has been supernatural. Amory: Invest in the Hillsong conference, and your return on investment, will be supernatural. The post was 4, words long. Amory: Pop as in pop music. This post was on the pop heads subreddit, where people nerd out about pop music. And the post was written by a woman named Kiki. Kiki: I'm an American. Ben: It sort of makes sense that Kiki is studying law.
Her Reddit post is heavily researched, with footnotes, links, separate sections on the church's beliefs, music, fundraising, scandals. It is carefully constructed. Someone whose reddit handle is Go West Young Kanye. Kiki: I really like puns. And at the time I really loved Kanye West. Amory: Kiki is very active in the Pop Heads community. Where fans go to talk about the music, and sometimes to talk about the gossip surrounding the music.
And Kiki stays up on all the latest goss by following insider accounts. Ben: Insider accounts are this kind of weird mix of actual insiders, people close to pop stars who are sources in gossip stories, and fakers, people who post a ton of gossip hoping some of it ends up being true, and then delete everything they get wrong.
Pretty genius. Amory: A few years ago, one of the accounts Kiki follows got something right. Kiki: They were talking about how Hillsong was going to start using Selena as kind of their public advocate. So who are Hillsong and what is this? Ben: What Kiki found was a church that in recent years seems to have been riding a tsunami of success and influence, with no small amount of help from celebrities and pop stars.
And rock star pastors, that in their public profiles, look a lot like those celebrities and pop stars. Media outlets like ABC News have developed a favorite phrase Kiki: You can pull up their Instagrams.
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Frank grew up extremely poor in New Zealand. Eventually, he made it to Australia and started a family in the s. The family reportedly lived at the poverty line. But Frank eventually became the protege of a Pentecostal minister. He built up his preaching skill set, started a church, started finding some success. In the last three decades that church has built a global reach. Amory: But, along with its history of financial growth, along with its cachet of coolness and celebrity participation, along with its promises to followers that it will help them reach prosperity and positivity, Hillsong has a darker history.
Ben: One that involves pedophilia, and a history of homophobia and religious conservatism that might surprise the people getting drawn to Hillsong. So we called one up. Brandy Zadrozny: My name's Brandy Zadrozny. Brandy: So I was personally interested in Hillsong. I grew up as a Southern Baptist, which has a very restrictive evangelical religion and it has a lot in common with Hillsong. So I wanted to write a bigger definitive piece on the history of Hillsong and their true core beliefs and how very uncool and ultraconservative their underlying beliefs are.
Brandy: It was great! It was really fun and people were really nice. And you really do feel like it's a second family. So they have got that part down. Ben: Do you think that the goldfish thing was a play on Jesus Fish? Brandy: I don't know actually, but I think it was like a communion thing. Or maybe it was just a snack, I don't know.
It was Sunday so a lot of people seemed, like, mildly hungover. I was at the afternoon service. There were a lot of sluggish hipsters for sure. Ben: Kiki made this point too. Kiki: It's basically a rock concert on Sunday and you can see Justin Bieber in the audience. So it doesn't come across as like a lot of proselytizing. And like it's not a very aggressive place. And I think that appeals to all people not just celebrities. Ben: I mean it's interesting here in Boston the place where they have these Hillsong services is like literally, I think essentially a nightclub.
I passed the church where Hillsong has their [service. And I was like, "What is this? Jesus, what is going on? Amory: Hillsong might feel like a brand new church, stylistically and in terms of visibility. Brandy: You know, when Hillsong was first started it wasn't known as Hillsong. But this church was started in Australia by this guy named Frank Houston in the s and he had a son named Brian Houston who married a woman named Bobbie Houston.
And they, in the 80s, went off and started their own church and they called it Hills Christian Life Center.
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And then Brian Houston merged his father's church with his own. These pastors may also attempt to reach potential members by writing books or creating other media. Pastors of established churches can also reach out to people in their community to grow membership in their congregation. Many churches looking for pastors post openings on job websites, but many rely on networking to find a suitable pastor or minister as well. You should attempt to build a network of contacts within your church community and connect with pastors of your faith in other areas as well. You can improve your job prospects by gaining experience working in associate pastor roles.
Associate pastors work under the guidance of pastors and ministers. You may lead religious services, run educational programs, perform outreach, or work with groups of people in your church community. You can learn more about becoming a pastor by speaking to your own pastor and with other pastors who share your faith. They can tell you what sort of education they pursued and what kinds of experiences they took part in on their way to their current position.
How to Become. Find a Ministry School. Search Over 14, Online Programs:. What kind of training is required to become a pastor? Are there any certification or licensure requirements?
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How long does it take to become a pastor? What does a pastor earn? What are the job prospects?