Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Sweet Gig

The other day I received a letter in my email account. It was from someone who had visited my blog and had a question. A friend of his had hired a firm/ministry, (W.I.S.E. - Workplace. Intercessory. Support. Empowerment - found here) to provide intercessory prayer and prophecy for his company.

The website does not specify fees for this "service" but the one who wrote to me thought it to be in the $1,500 range for a month. I did not verify this.

Now, those of you who know me here would expect me to rant. Truthfully, it would feel good. But again, I'm not sure anything good comes from a rant. Those who agree with you will agree and those who support this kind of thing will simply tune out.

May I talk to those who are considering this kind of arrangement? Will you give me a few minutes of your time? May I please bring up some issues for you to think about?

I could debate with you many points where this kind of ministry has bought into the latest rhetoric of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). 7 Mountains Mandate, Apostolic Alliances, Prayer Mapping, Covering and the whole 90 yards are touched upon as you browse their site. I have covered many of these in this blog already so I won't do it here. You can follow Labels to read more or just write to me directly.

I ask you to at least consider ONE thought. HOW WILL YOU KNOW IT IS WORKING?

In their own words, they do not promise a rise financially for your company (good thing in the market we are now in!) They state that they don't promise you to necessarily prosper financially but it is insinuated that they will pray for that. (This way they can take credit for it if it does happen but do not have to take credit for anything if it does not)

They say that you should expect other things to get better though. Atmosphere around the office, relationships to be better, more surety about decisions that need to be made and such are promised. BUT - and here is the kicker - IF it does NOT go well for your business, they again make a way out for themselves by claiming that as they begin to pray the enemy may actually come against your business and "stir things up." Things may get worse - not better. This is brilliant actually because they can look at both possibilities to show you that their prayer and prophecy is WORKING - kinda - sorta...sigh...

You will never know if it is working. Any good thing will be because they prayed, any bad thing will be because they prayed. And they get paid to do this. This is the sweetest gig ever!!!

But here is the heartbreaking thing. This is what I wrote to the "friend."
The bad part is that when your business has its normal ups and downs, or your kid gets sick, or an employee cheats you or you loose your health, you will begin to wonder if God loves you. Here you are doing everything you can to prosper (soul as well as financial) and you are failing. God is not keeping up his part of the bargain -that, or you have done something wrong. (Not given enough, not prayed enough, not come under covering enough.) It will be your fault or someone else close to you. It suddenly becomes witchcraft. Your future depends on fulfilling what the gods are asking for. The end result is that you are now mad at God. He let you down. The one Father that truly loves you, who wants to walk through this life with you in both good and bad times, is now your enemy.

How do I know this? I walked through this path myself. I watched my business - then under the Apostles "Covering," - go through it's normal ups and downs. I bought into the "testimonies" of other business men, men who only told the good stuff. (One day I was talking to one of these "blessed" business owners. He admitted to me that it had been a hard year and was now being sued by a client. I was shocked! I had been led to believe that he was having the most amazing year ever.) I just felt that somehow I was doing something wrong. Then I was mad that God was not holding up his part. I tried harder and harder to do everything right.

When I finally walked out I realized that I had been put into a prison of my own imagination. God was not like this. I did not have to do all the stuff to keep my business safe or prospering. He did not promise me a business where nothing went wrong. He promised to be my God in the midst of my business - nothing more. And you know what? It is more than enough. It is wonderful.

And one final thing.....doesn't it make you wonder that if Jesus were to clean the "Temple" of today, he might just smash a few computers for hawking their wares/services online?

Picture from here


Fred Shope said...

I think a lot of "ministries" would be shocked at would Jesus would do.

Unknown said...

Wow... I'm supposed to remit fees for that which should be normal body activity? I wonder... how much should my hand charge my mouth for carrying food up there on a regular basis?

Daveda said...

Wow...It's sad how what God started as relationships, with Him and others, has turned into business for gain...I agree, I think many would be shocked as Jesus turned over "their tables."

Fani said...

Sometimes we don't think that the things that Jesus spoke against are happening in the church today and in our own churches

David Liem said...

How will you know it is working?

Can't we say them same thing about just about any prayer we offer up today?! Prayer just doesn't seem to work and we are left wondering if God even cares about us. The gospel writers record immediate answers to Jesus and the apostles prayers. That really just doesn't happen today. I'm very disillusioned by what the Bible says would happen for believers and what actually does happen for them. We developed excellent rationalizations for why it doesn't work which enables all of to use W.I.S.E. approach to each other and unbelievers. Maybe we should just admit; its not working like the Book says.

StephenT said...

Love how you communicate in this post. Your concern for your brothers and sisters is the focus. The "issues" we will always have with us. (Actually, not always, these too shall pass... A new heaven and a new earth was shipped UPS (unrevokable promise secured) almost two thousand years ago and is in transit and right on schedule. We don't know the delivery date, but He lets us track its nearness, and writes the delivery confirmation on our hearts ahead of time.)

David said...

Interesting post - and of course a few thoughts based on my understanding of the Bible, years in business, and a number in ministry.

-1 Christian workers are worthy of their hire. As a matter of fact I’d like to say that idea of “salaried” church positions doesn’t have a basis in the Bible. New Testament workers were supported by offerings, not salaries.
-2 You can’t charge for body ministry. If you receive an offering; receive it with thankfulness.
-3 Prophetic ministry is not a science, it is gift that God uses as He wills, yet it is subject to the prophetic person. God often uses prophecies to illuminate the unattended areas of our lives (business), not the current “crises.”
-4 Real prophetic ministry does stir up things in the spiritual realms. Good ideas don’t.
-5 Sound business practice is akin to studying your Bible and putting on the mind of Christ. The Lord birthed a business for me, and He told me to the dollar how much I would make in the first full year, and when it was over, I obeyed God and sold it.
-6 Prosperity is not sin. – laziness is. Business is hard work.
-7 What Jesus is concerned with is obedience, not sacrifice, not good ideas, and not results. Certainly there will be fruit from our Christian walk, but this can often be intangible.

Before you pounce on me – you can read what I believe on my blog


Anonymous said...

this is very weird. I'm not an Evangelical but this Prosperity Gosple sounds just wrong. It's too easy to manipulate people and lead them astray. Run don't walk away from this.