I don’t know why but I’ve personally come across COUNTLESS numbers of Christian tracks, programs and ministries that ask for CONSTANT DONATIONS in the name of Jesus Christ!
And something about that just doesn’t sit right with me.
With so many FREE & wonderful bible study programs out there that are funded of their own accord, why do all these other “Christian” ministries out there feel the need to ask for money all the time? In fact, there’s been quite a number of cases most recently where Christian ministries were brought to light by the media over “financial fraud”.
But the truth is, the gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation is FREE! For Jesus Christ NEVER once said in the bible, “baptize them in my name, then ask them for $20” or “have the inhabitants of the city of Bethlehem pay you $50, just to be able to hear my message!”
And quite frankly, I’ve listened to lots of Christian radio programming while driving to and from work or watched some Christian evangelist programming on TV from time to time. And most of these programs (specifically, the Christian radio programming that I listen to the most) have GREAT Christian messages about how we need to repent of our sins, develop a more closer spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ, etc.
But then, as soon as some of the programs are over, or sometimes right in the middle of them, there’s a short pause followed by constant proclamations of “and now you can order the whole CD set of this program with a generous donation of $25 or more” or “for your donation of any amount, we’ll send you such and such program” or some like thing and my heart just ACHES with sadness each and every time I hear something like that. For the gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation is FREE. So why should people have to pay up the WAZOO or be FORCED to make a donation for such programs like “how to have a better prayer life”, etc? Because the truth is, ALL the questions about how to have a better prayer life, etc. can be found in the very pages of the bible, itself!
But don’t get me wrong, though. There ARE still many great FREE Christian resources out there. They are just few and far between and hard to find. But in fact, walk into just about ANY Christian bookstore today and (assuming it’s about the same everywhere and not just here in my local town), the prices are OUTRAGEOUS (using Jesus as a “cash cow”), an author’s picture oftentimes takes up the whole entire book cover (worshiping the creator instead of the creator/idolatry), not to mention there are things like “scripture candy” (pretty much milking it — the $$$ — for all it’s worth, something CLEARLY forbidden in the bible. Think about the time of John 2:16 when it was said “And [Jesus Christ] said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise”.
So when I see “disposable things” in a Christian bookstore like “scripture candy”, I am truly appalled for I feel as though they are taking it a bit too far and making the gospel a sort’ve “joke” because as soon as one eats the candy, they are “eating up” a piece of written scripture, sort’ve speak, and something about that just doesn’t sit right with me, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. And not only that but every single time I stepped foot inside the local Christian bookstore, not only did this weird creepy sense of foreboding come over me (can’t explain it — has this ever happened to anyone else or is it just me?) but they watched me like a hawk and tried to sell me things I clearly didn’t need (EXPENSIVE things!)
In fact, I almost always felt like I had been a character out of the Stephan King movie “Needful Things” every time I went in there (to the local Christian bookstore). And once more, they NEVER really talked about Jesus Christ or salvation or even asked how my day or my life was going. They were there to make $$$$, PERIOD! [And yes, I know that some people gotta make a living — that’s true — but do they REALLY need to charge $150-$200 for a brand new bible? That is just CRAZY!!!) So I stopped going there a long while ago for those express purposes. And how sad. And how my soul grieves.
It seems there is no longer a true/biblical Christian store here, anymore. And not only that but the people of my town are (sadly) seeming to become more and more “liberal” over time. This used to be a town where (it seemed to ME, atleast) that people actually CARED about God and his holy divine commands in the bible some 15 years ago. Today, in the year 2014, one would be hard-pressed to find a Christian in my town that even does so much as BELIEVES in the 100% accuracy of the bible, let alone follows it! 😦
15 years ago, the New Age section of the local Hastings [and notice I said Hastings, I’m not talking about the same “Christian bookstore” up above] took up ONE small shelf while the Christianity section took up about 3 whole AISLES! TODAY in the year 2014, the New Age section pretty much takes up 1-3 whole AISLES while the Christian section only takes up half an aisle. And OF the things on the Christian shelf section, MOST of those things are what I call “liberal-leaned” literature. There’s TONS of NIVS, NKJV, ESV, NLT, etc. and my soul just GRIEVES, relentlessly.
Because I know full well that most of these “newer” bible translations are actually serving to lead MANY astray by changing/omitting hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of words from the original KJV text and as a result are more likely to be of the viewpoint “it’s OK to be gay” which is one of the most SINGLE, most damnable lies and heresies of the ENTIRE 21ST CENTURY (next to “once saved, always saved”, which I believe I discussed in a previous post on here). But I will discuss the former more in detail in my next post.
But in fact, I was mulling around an idea in my head the other day. Something called “The Gospel Project”. What I would do is publish various bible verses (such as John 3:16) on Vistaprint cards. And then, I would leave them in various unsuspecting places for people to see, or gather up a small pile of them in my hand on a very windy day and then throw them up in the air and let the wind do its magic since I know the Lord Jesus will let the wind blow the cards wherever he wills and allow them all to be viewed by whomever he wills. I also thought of self-publishing small little packets proving how Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and then anonymously distributing it to local Jewish centers in the area and/or possibly printing off another small packet firmly yet lovingly explaining why homosexual practitioners are “lost souls” that need to come back to God and that yes, homosexual relations are a sin, etc.
Basically, I’ve been trying to brainstorm of various ways that I can freely distribute the gospel and fulfilled bible prophecy to people OTHER than just through this blog! But I have to admit. In a nation and even a town of mostly “liberals”, I am somewhat afraid of how the gospel messages will be received. But, I must be strong and have faith in the Lord Jesus for it was said in Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible“.
And like I said up above, I know that all people gotta make a living, somehow. But when one is charging $150-$200 for bibles, you REALLY got to ask yourself what this world is coming to. Beware of bibles being sold for high prices, as the bible states it must be FREELY GIVEN! That’s exactly why I don’t necessarily agree with the concept of a “Christian bookstore” that’s set up like a business. A business is set up to make money, not save souls. Think how many more souls they could help save if they gave out free bibles. I’m sure they could help save a TON!
Not every lost soul in NEED of being saved has a free $200 floating around in their pockets to purchase a bible. Especially in TODAY’S economy where even some poor folks with PhD’s are now homeless due to losing their homes and jobs and in many cases, their own families (due to death/natural disasters) and very livelihoods. Now, a book in a Christian bookstore or Christian section OF a secular bookstore on how to get closer to God, okay fine, sell it for $15-$20 (a reasonable price). But the holy bible? The one thing that people actually NEED in their lives? There are many ways/solutions to give it out FREE or to sponsor FREE power point presentations/etc. on the gospel of Jesus Christ if one truly cares about all the poor, lost souls out there.
If Jesus Christ means something to you, then spread his gospel of salvation/forgiveness for sins but do it FREELY. Don’t charge a penny.