What questions does this chapter bring up that you would like to ask Wayne about?
Wayne, do you think charismatic church leaders and huge, lavish church buildings are a legitimate threat to the church Jesus is trying to build? And, if not, why do they seem to be so prevalent, at least here in the U.S.?
You’re probably familiar with this Wayne, but here is a link containing the ‘almost’ complete list of megachurches in the U.S., put together by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.
There are about 1,300 on the list, not including 3,000 Catholic Churches with memberships of 2,000 or more.
@RonL - what do you mean by “threat”?
I would like to wait for Wayne’s response, thanks. I don’t think I would be able to answer your question adequately. In no way was my question trying to start an argument or be combative, if that is what you are thinking.
I’m pretty sure nothing threatens the church Jesus is building. If the gates of hell can’t threaten it than a man on a big stage can’t either. I think Paul would say he’s excited that the Gospel is going out int he world, even if the people behind it are more interested in building their own kingdom rather than building his. False teachers have ALWAYS been a problem for Christianity, especially as they lead people to follow them rather than follow him. But through that muck and mire Jesus is able to make himself known and invite those who are listening on a better journey. He said his sheep would know his voice and a stranger they will not follow. At least for long. His followers might get sucked in for a season, but the nudging on the inside will eventually invite people beyond it.
I’m sorry for the genuine people that get lost in such machines, thinking it is the best way they can serve God and be part of his body. But if it’s him they’re after, it eventually won’t satisfy. It’s priorities are all wrong and Jesus said that what is valuable to humans is detestable in God’s eyes.
As to why there is so many in the US? There’s so much of everything in the US. Technology, a hungry marketplace, a ready audience is all available here. But the bigger problem these days is in Africa, where false teachers set up huge congregations and make millions of dollars in salary. Check out: http://www.accra24.com/2015/03/2015-top-10-richest-pastors-in-world.html
And that probably answers your question, where power, prestige, and high finance converge, there the vultures gather to exploit peoples hunger or fear of God. It’s sad.
But his church is still prevailing in the world, in spite of such things.
Nope wasn’t thinking along those lines at all. I was just trying to understand the question and how you were using the word “threat”.
Thanks Wayne. I would’ve never believed Nigeria. I’ve heard of and/or seen most of the others on the list. Somehow I can’t fathom Billy Graham, though, in the same category as a Benny Hinn.
Actually, in terms of size, the largest U.S. Church ranks well behind other churches in the world, which I also found unbelievable.
I guess I was thinking in terms of Satan’s power on the Earth. He could very well be using the megachurch as an instrument to lead people astray. But in the end, God wins. Sorry for my misunderstanding.
That’s so powerful! And so true. No matter what size the machine.