[anzac] CHARISMA is IN SHOCK - amazing article

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2007 12:15:21 -0700
NOTE:  J. Lee Grady is the Editor of Charisma magazine, and has
been very courageous in taking a stand against the kind of things
that he describes below:


"The DEADLY VIRUS of CELEBRITY CHRISTIANITY"
-by J. Lee Grady. (July 27).

Some bigheaded preachers demand rock star treatment. If the 
apostle Paul were around today he might throw rocks at them. 

Just when I thought we charismatics had finally taken enough 
abuse from the egomaniac ministers in our midst, I've learned that 
some of our leaders are taking things to a new extreme. We've 
moved beyond the red carpets, limousines and entourages of the 
1990s. A new strain of the celebrity virus is spreading in large 
segments of the church.

"What is this sickness spreading in the body of Christ? All I know 
is that God is grieved by all of this shameful carnality."

One friend of mine in Texas recently inquired to see if a prominent 
preacher could speak at her conference. The minister's assistant 
faxed back a list of requirements that had to be met in order to 
book a speaking engagement. The demands included: 
  a.. a five-figure honorarium 
  b.. a $10,000 gasoline deposit for the private plane 
  c.. a manicurist and hairstylist for the speaker 
  d.. a suite in a five-star hotel 
  e.. a luxury car from the airport to the hotel (2004 model or newer) 
  f.. room-temperature Perrier   

This really makes me wonder how the apostle Paul, Timothy or 
Priscilla managed ministering to so many people in Ephesus, 
Corinth and Thessalonica. How did they survive without a 
manicurist if they broke a nail while laying hands on the sick?

I was relieved to know that this celebrity preacher's requirements 
in 2007 did not include a set of armed bodyguards - because I just 
might want to jump uninvited into her Rolls-Royce and say a few words.

It gets worse, if you can believe it. At a charismatic conference in 
an East Coast city recently, a pastor stood on a stage in front of 
a large crowd and smugly announced that the guest speaker was 
"more than an apostle." Then the host asked everyone to bow 
down to the person, claiming that this posture was necessary to 
release God's power.

"This is the only way you can receive this kind of anointing!" the 
host declared, bowing in front of the speaker. Immediately, about 
80 percent of the audience fell prostrate on the floor. The few who 
were uncomfortable with the weird spiritual control in the room 
either walked out or stood in silent protest.

So today, I guess it's not enough to feed a celebrity preacher's ego 
by treating them like a rock star. We also are required to worship him.

And apparently in some places you even have to pay big bucks to 
speak with him. In a city in the South, a well-known preacher is 
known to ask for money in order to secure a five- or 10-minute 
counseling session. The minister uses Proverbs 18:16, "A man's 
gift makes room for him and brings him before great men" (NASB),
to support this bizarre practice. Some people are known to give 
more than $1,000 for a short meeting.

People on fixed incomes need not apply. (That would include 
lepers, blind beggars, Samaritan women or any other social 
outcasts who were welcomed and healed by Jesus without payment.)

What has become of the American church? What is this sickness 
spreading in the body of Christ? I don't know whom to blame more 
for it: The narcissistic minister who craves the attention, or the 
spiritually naive crowds who place these arrogant people on their 
shaky pedestals. All I know is that God is grieved by all of this 
shameful carnality.

How far we have fallen from authentic New Testament faith. Paul, 
who carried the anointing of an apostle but often described himself 
as a bond slave, told the Thessalonians, "Having so fond an 
affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only 
the gospel of God but also our own lives" (1 Thess. 2:8).

New Testament Christianity is humble, selfless and authentic. And 
those who carry the truth don't preach for selfish gain or to meet 
an emotional need for attention. May God help us root out the false 
apostles and false teachers who are making the American church 
sick with their man-centered, money-focused heresies.

~SOURCE:  http://www.charismanews.com/