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Pastors Gone Bad, Focusing on Themselves Instead of Christ

Cheryl is a licensed, ordained minister and has a BA in Psychology and Church ministry.


Not pastor bashing

When I address these subjects there are always preachers who accuse me of pastor bashing. I never disrespect anyone personally but address the issue. Consider Galatians 1:8-9. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. [9] As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." A growing number of believers in Christ, myself included, are finding that there has been a shift in what’s being preached. Ministers who once were on fire for Christ are now caught up in themselves. Sometimes this can be tricky because the gospel could be being preached. Upon closer inspection, however, you notice that Jesus is on the sideline, as the pastor is being exalted. Ephesians 5 tells us to expose works of darkness and anything that is exalted over Christ qualifies. Beware of those who are singing the song of the women on Gilligan's Island, "You need me." I say this bah humbug, we all need Jesus.

A new gospel

You have probably noticed that a lot of television preachers who used the be on fire for the Lord now seem money hungry. They spend more time talking about giving money to the church and them personally than they do telling sinners to repent. You may be getting tired of being told to sow seed, that due season is coming and that you must have a spiritual father for the Lord to bless you. An increasing number of preachers that I enjoyed during the 1990s have gone down this path. You might have noticed that you are hearing less about the cross, the resurrection, and salvation through the blood of Christ. Perhaps you are seeing pyramid schemes where you are told to give to your pastor, who in turn gives large sums to his spiritual father who is already a millionaire. You may be encouraged to purchase books and CDs and attend seminars that benefit your spiritual leader or his pastor friends. Perhaps you long to hear how Jesus saves and see repentant souls walk down the aisle to give their lives to him. You are also more than likely listening to messages that tell you how special the pastor and first lady are and maybe asked for money to give them expensive birthday parties, houses, and cars. This is the new gospel and it's not what Christ taught.

Nice photo but it has nothing to do with saving souls.

Nice photo but it has nothing to do with saving souls.

Dimming the light

You may notice television preachers have commercials in between their "gospel" messages that announce when they will be coming to a town near you. You might be annoyed at the images of pastors and first ladies grinning at each other in photos and on billboards as if this is a selling point. If all of this troubles you, it's His Spirit within you letting you know that something is wrong. Advertising and marketing an airbrushed preacher and spouse, and or the building will not save one soul from the flames of hell. The light of Jesus is being dimmed by ministers who are shining their own light, so don't be deceived. You might be hearing about blessing, favor, due season, and your time to shine, instead of being taught to be a humble servant of Christ. You are not crazy or out of order, you are jealous for Jesus. I have attended services in the past and recently seen online where pastors emphasize that you need to follow them and be in their church. They practically beg you to give to them through Paypal and Cash App yet say that God automatically blesses. If they had such favor with Him, and their message was true there would be no need to beg from you. Pushing their books instead of telling people to read the Bible is just plain wrong. The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, not a New York Times best seller.

Beware of holiday milking.

Beware of holiday milking.

Milking holidays

You might have noticed that some of the more popular televangelists now ask for special seeds on every occasion possible. Easter, Christmas, Passover, The Day of Atonement, their birthday, or wedding anniversary are all opportunities for you to sow into them and continue to fill their coffers. Jesus always spoke of giving to the least of these so a pastor begging for money for a private jet is not Biblical. Perhaps you were told that on Father's Day and Mothers Day you must give to your spiritual mother and father. If you are old enough you might recall a day when TV preachers asked for donations to help spread the gospel and they never told anyone what to give. Local pastors accepted the salary or love offering the church provided and did not ask congregants to fund a lavish lifestyle for them. I have covered all of this in other articles but today this is the manner in which I was led to bring it all together in a different manner. Our Heavenly Father has not changed and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The gospel is always leading sinners to know their sins are forgiven through his blood. Keep this in mind and you will find it easy to change the TV channel or stop attending a church where a pastor is preaching his own prosperity.

© 2020 Cheryl E Preston


Readmikenow on September 15, 2020:

Cheyrl, excellent article and it hit home with me. I don't think much of the "tele-evanglists" I've seen. Yes, they have their rationalizations for doing what they do. I have more respect for pastors I've known who focused on caring for their flock rather than seeking fame. I knew a minister who actually took up mountain climbing...his ministry was to go to a mountain outside of China to give people much desired bibles. He got the word of God to people around the world. I know another minister who went into the Army Reserves and went on missions with soldiers during the Afgan War and held may young Christian man as he departed this world among bullet and bombs going off around him. Another pastor I knew would walk into bad neighborhoods with only a Bible to serve people in need he saw. In my opinion...these ministers were serving God and answering their calling. I don't watch tele-evanglists and lost a friend because I think so little of them. I figure...so be it. I enjoyed reading your article.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 15, 2020:

Cheryl, folks do well to heed your warnings. I am really uncomfortable with preachers inserting commercial ads in the middle of the sermon. Makes me think that what they are selling is the primary reason for the broadcast. Thanks for the prophetic alerts!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 13, 2020:

Well done. I think of televangelists as entertainment, much like radio talk show hosts.

There is an interesting one in Joel Osteen. He receives no salary for "preaching" from a 70 million dollar church budget. Perhaps not all sheep are wolves wearing their coat.

I think you are right on if anyone takes these cash clowns real.

Jeshurun from Nellore AP India on September 12, 2020:

Good perception about preachers.