In the latest article of AE, [A Biblical Call to Action] the message clearly cites the need for action if we wish to see the end of oppression, corruption, and complete disregard of the ways of the true Church. This message is clear in the video reproduced here.
What is missing however is what action to take. On my part though, I will be precise and suggest what action to take.
First and foremost, we must understand how the “King” thinks and how he exists. What are his strengths, his weaknesses. What are OUR strengths and our weaknesses. We will never win this fight rushing head on. They have the money, the finances, and the support of their organization (whether they believe in him or not). Fear is a very great motivator and our King and his Knights sure know how to use this fear to keep everyone at bay. Check out the countless dictators this world has produced and find out how they have managed to keep their kingdom in their clutches for as long as they deemed necessary. Ours is not so far behind.
The Defenders, Detractors, or whatever we call ourselves, how many can and will come out in the open to protest the wrongdoings of the Church? Any number of groups we manage to gather at a particular place, they will merely double or triple it with their own people and meet us head on. They will protect their own and identify us and make our lives miserable. They will file criminal lawsuits against us. They will win under these circumstances. The only people who should understand us are still inside the Church unable to make a stand for fear of reprisal in all forms – expulsion, oppression, lawsuits, etc. How would the public react? They wouldn’t care less. Look at what has happened in the past months. No one has intervened despite pleas of help. No one not even the President of our country.
So how do we go about it. Let us study a few chapters in history. We are not discussing right or wrong here but merely change of leadership. President Marcos was King in the 70s. His word was law but ultimately this ended owed to failing health and an uncontrollable cabinet plus the final nail on his coffin when President Reagan removed his support and called for his immediate departure from Malacanang and the country. It took two decades before change took place.
Adolf Hitler, a man who swept the Germans up to incredible victories, was also the main reason Germany ultimately lost the war. He refused to accept reality, took no advice from his Generals and then made poor decisions. This way he ensured a relatively quick end of Nazi Germany. Hitler’s reign was from 1933 to 1945 when he was said to have committed suicide.
How about Preachers? Well, in this country they have this law that separates the State and the Church and of course that wonderous provision of tax exemption for Churches. But in other countries such as the United States, Churches with questionable backgrounds are investigated. Here are a few.
“1. Benny Hinn—Benny Hinn is known around the world for his large healing crusades. His television show airs in more than 200 countries, and during his time as an evangelist, Hinn claims to have seen people get healed from cancer and crippling diseases, and he even says he has seen a dead man resurrected.
While building his following, Hinn has earned quite a bit of money along the way. His ministry collects more than $200 million a year, and he’s admitted to his salary being over half a million. Hinn owns a private jet, lives in a $10 million house near the Pacific Ocean, stays in hotel rooms that cost thousands each night, and owns luxury vehicles. His lavish lifestyle was first exposed by Dateline NBC, and it’s now under investigation by the Senate.
2. Joyce Meyer—Since 1999, Joyce Meyer’s ministry has spent at least $4 million on 5 homes for Meyer and her children. Meyer’s house is a 10,000 square foot home with an 8-car garage, a large fountain, a gazebo, a private putting green, a pool, and pool house with a new $10,000 bathroom. Her salary was reported at $900,000 back in 2003, and she also enjoys use of a private jet and luxury cars. Needless to say, Meyer has been questioned for years, and she is once again under investigation by the government for possibly violating nonprofit laws.
3. Kenneth Copeland—Despite being under investigation, Kenneth Copeland refused to submit financial information about his ministry, saying “You can go get a subpoena, and I won’t give it to you. It’s not yours, it’s God’s and you’re not going to get it and that’s something I’ll go to prison over. So, just get over it.”
Copeland lives in a mansion that some have said is “the size of a hotel.” He also has acquired a $20 million Cessna Citation private jet for flying around the country to spread the word. And of course, he owns an airport for landing said airplane.
4. Creflo Dollar—Creflo Dollar was another televangelist who ignored the Senate’s request for probes into financial records. Dollar claimed he was concerned about the privacy of his donors, and he said that if the IRS requested it, he would send it over. However, since it was Congress asking for the information, he wouldn’t do so without a subpoena.
His church made $69 million back in 2006, and the church also provided him with a Rolls Royce. In Dollar’s words “Just because it (my life) is excessive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong.”
5. Eddie Long—According to Eddie Long, Jesus wasn’t broke, and leaders of churches shouldn’t be either. Long has earned millions in salary from his ministry, owns a million dollar home on a 20-acre lot, has use of a $350,000 Bentley, and pulls in a host of other benefits too.
Long was also in the group of televangelists who refused to give the Senate the information requested of the ministry. Senatore Grassley, the leader of this investigation, said “When I hear about leaders of charities being provided a $300,000 Bentley to drive around in, my fear is that it’s the taxpayers who subsidize this charity who are really being taken for a ride.”
6. Randy and Paula White—The White’s ministry brings in millions each year, and they own million dollar homes across the country (including in Trump Tower). The couple has been under constant scrutiny for mismanagement of church funds, and they recently got divorced, further complicating matters for the ministry. At last check, they also failed to provide the Senate with all requested records.”
Which only means that it can be done. A dictatorship is never permanent nor is a Preacher’s. A Church can change leadership when it warrants. The very popular 1990s Worldwide Church of God of Herbert Armstrong with their Plain Truth Magazine broke into splinters after his death. He expelled his son on faith issues and personally appointed a new leader Joseph Tkack to take his place before his death disregarding a supposed election process to choose his successor. Now the Worldwide Church of God is no more. It has taken a different name and splintered into so many groups with their own leaders. What was the problem of Armstrong’s leadership that after his death, his church disintegrated?
“Armstrong’s church was both authoritarian and totalitarian in its treatment of the membership. To maintain the membership’s loyalty, Armstrong’s ministers indoctrinated them to believe that they had been “called” by God into the only true Christian church on Earth and that all other Christian churches were Satanic counterfeits. If a called member were to question church doctrines, the member would be in peril of losing salvation and of being cast into the lake of fire on Judgment Day. Furthermore, ministers could arbitrarily disfellowship members who were suspected of any type of disloyalty. Disfellowshipping was openly announced in Sabbath services on a weekly basis but the reasons for it were rarely given. Still the church grew on a worldwide scale.
Armstrong taught a strict doctrine of tithing to the members. Ten percent of a member’s gross income was to be given to the church, and yet another ten percent was to be saved for traveling to one of the church’s annual feast days, the Feast of Tabernacles. Every third year, members were commanded to give a third tithe, slated to care for the “widows and orphans” of the church. Finally, the church observed seven high holy days throughout the year, on which members were asked to give offerings while baskets were passed. Every month Herbert Armstrong would mail out a co-worker letter to millions of non-members, as well as to his members, in which he would claim that the church was on the verge of financial collapse. In reality, the church headquarters in Pasadena rested on prime real estate and had been modestly estimated to value $300,000,000. Armstrong’s mansion was on Orange Grove Boulevard, on the route of the annual Rose Parade. The church possessed several mansions in that area, known as Millionaire’s Row, and it had built other large facilities on the thirty-acre property, leading up to the building of a spectacular concert hall dubbed Ambassador Auditorium.
Armstrong spared no expense in the building of his Auditorium. Its external walls were made of emerald onyx. The walls in the outer lobby were made of a rare pink onyx, and they contained expensive chandeliers, including two that had been owned by the Shah of Iran, hung from the gilt ceilings. In the concert hall, the walls were decorated with rosewood, so delicate that visitors were forbidden to take flash photographs.”
So, what does this all mean for us here in the Philippines? Is there no hope for us? That we should bear it all and hope for the best and pray to God for a miracle? Of course not. There is one more thing I would like to touch on. I’m sure all of you are familiar with the term Achilles heel. Well, it’s described as –
“An Achilles’ heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.”
“In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die young. To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx, which was supposed to offer powers of invulnerability, and dipped his body into the water; however, as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. One day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him shortly afterwards.”
Does our King have an Achilles Heel? Of course he has. In fact, it is where he derives his strength and power. It is also his Achilles Heel. MONEY. Plenty of it. He needs it so badly that he is willing to do anything and everything to get and keep it. It is the life source which keeps him and his organization alive. It is the blood that keeps his veins throbbing. Squeeze the blood flow you choke Medusa’s heart. You cut the flow, you kill the head. The body follows and crumbles. It cannot be avoided. Christ himself has said it countless times,“For the life of the flesh is in the blood”. Remove the “blood”, the flesh “dies”.
It is the only remaining doctrine that cannot be coerced for obedience. Why? It is purely voluntary.
“KJV – Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” [2 CORINTHIANS 9:7]
The only people he can control on the offerings of the Church are the ministers, workers, and partly their employees and Maytungkulin or Locale Officers. Ministers and Workers are persuaded to prepare authorizations allowing the church to deduct from their tulong or allowances how much same should go to their Mid-year and Yearly Pasalamats or Thanksgiving. Locale Officers Mid-Year and Yearly Thanksgiving Offerings are monitored through their Lagak Cards. But the majority of us and that is a staggering 90 percent are uncontrolled and therefore the only way they can encourage us to offer more is through sermons during worship service and lectures.
Just gauge the needs of one medium sized chapel here in Metro Manila. Look at the chapel. Does it need a repainting job? Is everything maintained as it should be? The locale funds, is it enough to cover all the needs, from physical repairs to replenishment of basic necessities of the locale? Or are we chipping in to cover the needs? Are the Officers satisfied or quietly complaining? Ask yourself that question, and answer it honestly. Multiply that with all the locales in your district and in your country and you’ll have a clear picture of what the INC is now.
Now, if all of a sudden none of us drops an offering during likom for a Thursday or Sunday or drop an envelope for the Tanging Handugan box, think what would happen? All chaos would break loose for the church administration. With the huge overhead to maintain and no funding coming in, this will slowly be felt by the ministers, workers, and all volunteer workers of the church. Loyalties will then subsequently change sides. An internal revolution will take place. Infighting will be fierce. The King will definitely not give in without a fight. He will turn heaven and earth if he has to. Use everything at his disposal. Every biblical passage of complete and undeniable submission to his governance. And as a last resort, most probably order the brethren to dispose all of their personal property and turn over same to the Church Administration for “divine” disposition. He will use the lesson on Ananias and Sapphira to gain complete submission. But he will not succeed. In this age and time? It merely shows his desperateness. Everything will fall in its rightful place – the round with the round, the triangle with the triangle, and the square with the square. Clear as the morning sky.
The aftermath. What happens then? We clean up the mess. Whatever that’s left of it. Build a new kingdom and come nightfall, sit beside your children and tell them a story that once upon a time not so long ago the people of God stood before their wicked King and boldly said, “Enough!”