Are All Televangelists Crooks?

Are All Televangelists Crooks? November 17, 2010

It’s no surprise that some people have a negative view of religious speakers who use television to engage their audience.  With stories of corruption and greed, it’s easy to see why people would write off all televangelists as crooks.  Yes, there are things that some televangelists do that bother me beyond belief (I’ll get to that in a minute).  However, television can be a great way to spread the Gospel – as long as it’s done in a way that reflects the love of Christ.

Let me be sure to say that no one is perfect and corruption and greed can arise when humans are present.  It all comes down to motives and what your heart is focused on.

I’ll do my best to present my opinion on both sides of the argument – for and against televangelists.  Our views may be different and I encourage you to share your opinion in a respectful way in the comments.

What I don’t like about televangelists

Gifts for support are driven by fear

I’ve seen this firsthand with people I know.  Some programs will deliver a message of fear in order to distribute ‘emergency packets’ or ‘end of the world prep kits.’  This seriously bothers me because these people are using fear to close a sale on a religious program.

2 Timothy 1:7 says For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Our purchases of items and giving to ministries should not be driven by fear.

Don’t pay for prayer

Yes, I hate to say this, but there are programs that say ‘our team will pray for you if you support the ministry.’  Prayer is never something that should be associated with giving a certain amount of money or being a part of a monthly subscription.

If you or someone you know is in need of prayer, call the National Prayer Center for support from volunteers who aren’t looking to sell you anything.

Taking scripture out of context

I know that it can be difficult sometimes to pinpoint the exact meaning behind a verse.  Unfortunately, there are some televangelist programs that will do this all too often.  Twisting scripture to manipulate your audience to give is deceitful and bothers me when I see it.

What I like about televangelists

Gospel is reaching the ends of the earth

Using television to spread the gospel is an awesome thing when it’s done by a group of people who share a passion for missions and reaching people for Christ.  There are still places in the world that won’t allow Christians to physically enter the country, but the Word of God can still be spread through television, radio, and the Internet.

Homebound believers can be fed spiritually

Unfortunately, some people aren’t able to make it to church to be fed spiritually.  Broadcasting God’s Word through television and the web provides encouragement and support for thousands of viewers who aren’t able to leave their home.

At the end of the day, you really just need to turn to the word of God and compare what you’re hearing with what YOU are studying in the Bible.

What are your thoughts about televangelists?  Please be respectful with your comments.  It’s ok to share your negative views as long as you aren’t being crude or distasteful.

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