[anzac] CIRCUIT RIDERS vs. TELEVANGELISTS

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 16:51:18 -0600
"The CIRCUIT RIDER vs. The TELEVANGELIST"
-by Michael Edds  <MichaelEdds@...>


In my continued research on the "old wells of revival" I have 
discovered  some incredibly contrasting bits of information. One 
of the top televangelists in the nation was recently invited to preach 
in Baltimore, Maryland.  His terms for coming were #1. That he 
must be picked up by a limousine at the airport, #2. that he must 
have $1,000 spending money, #3. That he must be guaranteed at 
least $10,000 in offerings.  This same televangelist/ pastor lives 
in a multi million dollar mansion, eats in the finest restaurants 
and wears the most expensive  tailor-made suits.  His writings 
and speaking engagements have garnered millions of dollars.  
He brags that he is a role model of the prosperity message of 
our day.  He pastors a mega church, appears on national and  
international television, has authored many books and draws 
tens of thousands to  hear him.  To his credit, he is a powerful, 
commanding speaker.  However, please contrast this to the 
following life and ministry of the great circuit rider, Francis 
Asbury in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

While still in his 20's, Bishop Francis Asbury  left his home and 
family forever in England to come to a wilderness called  America.  
He came to be a traveling preacher/evangelist in a nation  with 
little infrastructure such as roads, decent housing, few hotels  
and restaurants, poor sanitation and dangerous drinking water, 
few medical  professionals and limited law enforcement.  The 
nation had recently plunged into a violent war of independence 
against Asbury's native land of England.  The American frontier
was also ablaze  with war between the colonist and Native 
Americans  tribes.

Asbury was not greeted upon his arrival by a limo.  He  had to 
purchase a horse on which he traveled 6,000 a year for over 40 
years.  His financial reward was $60 a year, much of which he 
gave away or sent back to England to help his parents.  He wore 
hand-me-downs not tailor made suits.  He had no retirement, no 
insurance, no dental plan, and no 401 k.  He set no fee for his 
ministry.

What he did receive, he often gave away. He  traveled on "roads" 
on which his horse sank many times knee-deep in mud.   If a 
road did not exist, he would lead his horse over the steep, rocky 
inclines of the Appalachians to reach a pioneer community.  
Many times, his feet and  legs were bloodied and bruised by the
horrific journey.  When he came to a river where there was no 
bridge or ferry, he would swim his horse across.  Numerous times 
he was nearly drowned by an angry, swollen stream.  His "hotel" 
on many occasions was on a dirt floor in an overcrowded, rat-
infested frontier cabin.  Often times he  slept in the woods, on a 
mountain ledge or in a damp cave.  Many  days he would travel 
over 60 miles with nothing to eat.  The paths and  roads he traveled 
were full of dangers from murderers, thieves,  wolves, bears, 
poisonous snakes and roaming bands of Native Americans with 
whom  the frontiersmen were at war.  If he met someone who 
needed a cloak, food or money, he would take what he had and 
give it to the person in need.  Asbury sought out the forgotten, 
hidden places of early  America.  He traveled from New England, 
to the Midwest, and to the Deep South spreading the Gospel of 
Christ.  When he would meet a person who  was ill, he would 
minister to their physical needs with the last medication he had.  
He demanded nothing of others in order to  come into a community.  
The demands he made were on himself.  Frequently, his body 
would be racked with pain, illness, fever, hunger and  weakness.  
His physical being would cry out for rest and nourishment.  However, 
his spirit ruled his body.  When truly unable to travel, he would 
mount his horse and ride for 8 hours or more through blinding snow
storms,  torrential rain or in oppressive heat.
  
He too had been invited to Baltimore.  In  1816 he was traveling 
by buggy through Virginia headed to the annual conference  in 
Baltimore.  However, he was dying.  His last sermon was 
preached in  Richmond.  He had to be carried into the meeting 
room.  He commented, "I am too weak to walk but not to preach."
They sat him on a small table  and he ministered the Word for the 
last time.  He made it as far as  Spottsylvania twenty miles north 
of Richmond.  He body was rapidly failing.  He stopped at a friend's 
house on Saturday.  Shortly before he left this world he was asked, 
"Do you feel Jesus precious?"  Summoning his last remaining 
strength, the great circuit rider raised both hands in victory.  
Minutes later he laid his head on a friend's hand and gently slipped 
away to be with the Lord.  He owned no mansion, no land, and no 
bank account.  His net worth was what he wore on his body. He 
was buried in a borrowed grave plot.  

When Asbury came to America, there were few Methodist believers 
and fewer preachers.  At the end of his  ministry, there were over 
200,000 Methodist believers and almost 8,000  ministers.  He 
impacted lives of thousands upon thousands.  He changed  the very 
course of American history.  Among his converts were poor farmers,  
merchants, Governors of several states, frontiersmen, slaves, Native 
Americans,  State Supreme Court Justices, attorneys, physicians,
house wives, children,  youth and people from all walks of life.  He 
gave all he had.  He  sought nothing for himself.  His passion was to 
bring salvation  and the  Light of the Gospel to those in darkness of 
sin.  He loved a  nation and made it his own even though he was not 
her native son.  

Quite a CONTRAST between the CIRCUIT RIDER and the 
TELEVANGELIST!  

One was selfless, the other selfish.  One was  people-centered, 
the other ego-centered.  One was a Kingdom builder, the other 
an empire builder.  One drew souls into the Kingdom of God, the 
other drew the masses into an arena.  One demanded of himself, 
the other demanded  of others.  One gave freely, the other 
commanded a price.  One was a servant, the other a celebrity.
     
Hebrews 11:32-38 speaks about the  real heroes of the faith: They
were....."tortured, not accepting deliverance,  that they might obtain 
a better resurrection.  Still others had trial of mocking and beatings, 
and of chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were 
sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword.  They 
wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins,  being destitute, 
afflicted, tormented... they wandered in deserts, and mountains, in
dens and caves of the earth.... of whom the world was not worthy."
    
How long are we going to tolerate the "superstar syndrome" in the
church?  How long are we going to feed the ego and  pocketbooks 
of these self-seeking charlatans, regardless of how articulate they 
are?  How long will we continue to pack their arenas and buy their  
CDs, DVDs and books?  How long will we pick them up in limos, 
and line their wallets with thousands and thousands of dollars to 
spend on self?  How long will we tolerate apostasy??? 

My God, how far we have  fallen!!!!  God is calling on us as His 
people to repent and turn from our  wicked ways.  He is calling 
us to seek HIS face. I am praying that God will overthrow this 
current, perverted religious system and will fulfill Jeremiah 3:15 
and give us shepherds after His own heart.....  

-Mike Edds.