Written by cycleguy on July 22nd, 2019

I’m thinking it is not a coincidence that I would be reading Costi Hinn’s new book God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel the same time I would read a chapter in Skye Jethani’s book Immeasurable that goes by the title of Celebrity.  He begins his chapter with these words:

Celebrity pastors are not a new phenomenon, nor is our human tendency to exalt our leaders to unsustainable heights. What is new is the number of celebrity pastors and the speed with which they are being created and corrupted.

Skye places some of the blame on what he called the EIC (Evangelical Industrial Complex). He compares it too what outgoing President Eisenhower said about the military industrial complex (MIC).  His belief was those industries that were created to end the war would now push the country to start many more. His words were strangely prophetic.  The connection between the EIC and MIC is one of comparison. No, the EIC is not a military complex, BUT it is a force to be reckoned with.

So…what is the EIC?  It is (for lack of a better term) a conglomeration of companies that forego the ministry aspect, very often the “truth” aspect, for what I will call the “money aspect.” Much like an athlete at the top of his game receives offers galore for endorsements, etc, so the EIC does the same to authors, pastors, and churches.  Conferences do the same thing. Rather than ask someone who is conscientious about his lifestyle and his presentation of the gospel, the new young guy who is hip, vocal, a social media genius, and most of all charismatic, is invited. Who cares if his doctrine is skewed? Who cares if he is in the Prosperity (Un)gospel/name-it-claim-it garbage world? He’s popular. He’s funny. His church is growing (for dubious reasons).  He’s a draw.  It doesn’t matter. “Get him!” (or in these days even a “her”).  So we have a pastor who wants to shock his church by playing a very anti-God song for Easter. We have a woman “pastrix” (or whatever you would call her) who is vulgar and supportive of the LBGTQ+ agenda being given a book contract and notoriety. We have pastors who ask their people to sacrifice living in million dollar mansions. Say what? The danger of elevating immature leaders and not having any accountability is real.  There is a reason Paul tells Timothy a leader should not be a new convert.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there are faithful pastors laboring daily to love their people; to shepherd their flock; to prepare good, solid, gospel sermons week in and week out (not hiring a team of writers or plagiarizing); and to labor without gaining press.  They are unconcerned with being known or running their church like a CEO.  He loves. He laughs.  He cries. He visits. He counsels. He marries and buries those whom loves and labors among. IMHO they are the ones who deserve the applause. But then again, they are not really interested in that sort of recognition. The church they serve and the Father they love and serve is gratitude enough. I should know. I used to once crave the recognition. Now? My church family and my Father’s “Well done” is all I need.

I wrote this last Thursday and scheduled it for today because I will be in Sandusky, Ohio about all week with Jo making all the final preparations for vacating her sister’s apartment and bringing some things home in a U-Haul on the 29th.  I’d like to know what you think about today’s post, so even though I won’t have internet, my phone does have access my blogs.


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Linda Stoll says:

    ‘Meanwhile, back at the ranch’ says it all. Because that’s where the real impact is taking place, where the faithful work is done.

    That’s where the ‘well done’ is breathed and where the wounded are healed and mentored and grown …

    • cycleguy says:

      I agree with you Linda that is where the real impact takes place. Day in and day out. Those TV guys have no clue about the daily struggles everyday pastors face. I’ll take His “well done” any day. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Lisa notes says:

    This is spiritual maturity right here, to not need the world’s affirmation but to hear the Father say, “Well done.” Amen, Bill. It’s not a quick path to get to that place. (I’m still journeying there.) But it’s a beautiful resting place that we all should strive for. Blessings to you and Jo this week as you complete the work you’ve started with her sister. That is indeed God’s work, too.

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks Lisa. It took me a long time and way too many years to know God’s assurance in ministry. It is a beautiful resting place for sure. Thanks for your prayers.

  3. floyd says:

    Humanism sneaking into the church isn’t new, as you and the authors point out. People wanting to have their “ears tickled” has been around a long time.

    It’s not going away in this fallen world. Bless the real deal preachers and pastors who do the job with humility and one soul at a time. Your stores are in heaven!