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Christian News Today

Ephesians 5:11 & Mark 4:22

 

Assembly Of God U.S.A

 

The Assembly of God denomination in America unlike other denominations is not a democratic organization. It is an old boys club made up of pastors to support pastors. It’s hierarchy including superintendents are appointed by pastors and not by members. Ministers instead of a church member preside over board meetings unlike in other more democratically operated Protestant churches. Many of its churches are owned by pastors rather than by members. In America it’s a very small religious, arrogant and hypocritical denomination which produced the three Musketeers: Jim Bakker (1987), Jimmy Swaggart (1988), and Karl Strader (1989). Together, these so called men of God have robbed, raped and even murdered the defenseless elderly people in their communities and affected many lives across America.

 

The money that flows through the Assembly of God denomination, as well as other denominations in America and is not openly accounted for, is in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, and offers religious politicians and unscrupulous scoundrels a gold mine or “cash cow” as Roy Aldrich called it. Some of the things that go on in AG (Assembly of God) CHC (Carpenter’s Home Church) and Baptist Christians make the soap operas on television appear mild in comparison.

 

More money is embezzled from the church each year ($16 billion) than is given to foreign missions ($15 billion) reported the newly published second edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia. The exhaustive survey of global Christianity contains some good news. It notes that Christianity has become “the most extensive and universal religion in history,” with some 2 billion adherents—one in three of the world’s population—at the start of the new millennium.

Spiritual Abuse in AOG & PAOC

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,

but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. MT 7:15

By Don Wise

 

Spiritual abuse is very common in churches in North America and England by those whose spiritual authority doesn’t come from God but is their own invention. Due to insecurity the leader uses his religious position to control or dominate another person and uses negative words and actions to bring about submission both doctrinal and physical.  Many leaders spend a lot of time focusing on their own authority and reminding others of it because they cannot demonstrate authority, spiritual power, and credibility by their lives and message. They believe that the members are there to meet the needs of the leader and not the reverse! It’s very stupid to simply receive and act upon a spiritual directive because you are ‘supposed to be submissive’, or because someone is ‘in authority’. God alone is our Lord and to Him we give account and not to a mortal men who is here today and gone tomorrow.  The clergy was not created to rule over the laity.

Any leadership that advocates a particular doctrine or view point to remain in good standing with the particular religious group is dangerous to our spiritual health and physical sanity. And when they restore to ‘scare tactics’  or intimidation of any sort such as “ The Lord told me things about you” or “God will curse you if you leave our group”  they are deceived ones deceiving others. Any group that practices publicly shaming, exposing, or threatening to remove people from the group is already defeated and is part of Satan’s army. Mind you I have known people who have   been ‘removed’ for asking too many questions, for disobeying the unspoken rules, or for disagreeing with authority. Yes, people are made public examples in order to send a message to those who remain. Some examples of spiritual abuse from church leadership:

 

·        Verbally attacking the sheep with harsh words

·        Leadership controlling relationships-friends, spouse, family members. 

·        Forbidding you to spend time with certain people.

·        Leadership demanding that you “obey” them or else…

·        Manipulation-using the word of God to get something “they” want

·        Forbidding you to NOT go somewhere, such as another church service or special meeting.

·        Forbidding you NOT to miss one of their services for any reason.

·        Forbidding you to worship in freedom. (dancing, flags etc…)

·        Totally not allowing any of gifts to flow in a service. 

·        Money can be a spiritual abuse, if taken in a un-godly manner.

·        When any sort of leadership seems to think they “own” you.

 

 

Jesus told us to beware of “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15. And we have a wolf in Pastor Peter Marshall of Victory International Church, Hamilton, Ontario http://www.victoryinternational.org/#   and the Pentecostal Assembly of Canada has chosen to turn a blind eye to his lies and deeds.  But it’s not surprising considering the fact that the Pentecostal Assembly of Canada, which is the Canadian fraternal autonomous arm of the Assemblies of God USA and is an association of pastors who devoid of the participation of members elect pastors to be district superintendents and don’t have any integrity or open accountability. Amongst Christian denominations in North America, PAOC and AOG are different in that they were created by pastors and exist for pastors and not for members.

Many have become aware to the fact that a very small religious, arrogant and hypocritical denomination—The Assembly of God, produced the three Musketeers: Bakker (1987), Swaggart (1988), and Strader (1989). Together, So called men of God have robbed, raped and even murdered the defenseless elderly people in their communities and affected many lives across America. See the following WEB sites:

http://ag.org/top/contact.cfm

http://www.christiannews.0catch.com/bakker.htm

http://www.evolvefish.com/fish/product902.html

http://tmatt.gospelcom.net/column/1996/12/04/

http://www.davidicke.net/religiousfrauds/pentecostal/godfraud.html

http://www.christiannews.0catch.com/strader.htm

http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040327/NEWS/403270360/1134

http://www.wcie.net/danielstrader/

http://www.cephasministry.com/pentecostals_carpenters_church.html

http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/12/Floridian/Strength_in_numbers.shtml

http://www.gospelassemblyfree.com/facts/anointed.htm

http://www.christiannews.0catch.com/hinn.htm

http://www.jsm.org/exploreJSM.cfm

http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/interviews/ann_seaman.html

Pastor Peter Marshall told his sheep that he" was fired five years ago by Philipps Environmental Services" - a company that was kicked out Canada because it was stealing Canadians blind. And as a result he became a Pastor of Victory International Church in Hamilton since he was out of work.  Pastor Peter told me and some of his sheep that he "was earning an annual salary of around  $ 1,000,000 dollars" and got a nice severance package when he was fired. He said he" has invested in stocks and bonds in Canada and USA" as he is married to an American. 

On March 7, 2004, Pentecostal Assemblies of God Senior Peter Marshall  caused quite a  stir in Victory International Church, Hamilton, Ontario, before he collected money for his new building drive by stating  that "the success of a Christian was evident by the amount of money he had, for had not God blessed Abraham with much silver and gold?" And he suggested that his sheep "sell their jewelry or whatever they had that they had too much off including their registered retirement savings plan and give the money to the church building fund." He had also preached previously that the poor widow who out of her poverty put in her entire livelihood that she had became a millionaire here on earth for God rewards a cheerful giver! Typical of most Assembly of God and PAOC pastors, Peter Marshall hand picked his church board who rubber stamped all his expenditures, and did not disclose to the church financial statements nor his salary! He removed at will even by telling lies all those who requested accountability or questioned his autocracy! As a matter of fact he never told any members the truth of who owned the church or how it was run! See http://freedom.ubcmiami.org/index.php?submenu=FinancialAccountability&src=gendocs&link=FinancialAccountability

Financial Accountability

What do they do with the money at that church?

by Bill White, Senior Pastor

First, we take it very seriously!

We view the tithes and offerings of every contributor as "God’s money." Our primary desire is to honor our Lord and His purpose in how we manage every penny as stewards who will give account. We are accountable to God for how we handle His money!

Unlike Mel Gibson who totally funded his move and ministry, the Passion, this Pastor who is a millionaire and used to earn one million dollars are year as a VP for an American Corporation felt it was wise to take the sheep's money rather than spend his own! But to touch their savings plan is the work of a real wolf who will not support them when they lose it? Mind you the pastor did go back on his word that he wouldn’t fleece the sheep as God would provide the needed funds miraculously? But then his spiritual father Evangelistic Ted Shuttlesworth who told him to get a new building told Pastor Peter Marshall that the Lord was with him and he should ask for $ 500,000 not just $ 200,000 from the sheep! http://www.tedshuttlesworth.com/frommetoyou.html

Visiting American Evangelist Ted Shuttlesworth preached Sunday morning April 11, 2004 at Victory International church Hamilton Ontario and he made some quite incriminating remarks. He admitted to the church audience that there was a special arrangement with Victory International Church concerning giving by Canadians to his American ministry. In other words Victory International Church was acting as an agent for Ted Shuttlesworth until the applied Canadian charter is approved by the Canadian Government. (http://www.tedshuttlesworth.com/frommetoyou.html  ).

Ted also warned that sheep were not to make any negative remarks against Evangelists and pastors or God would judge them for it.

It’s to be noted   Peter Marshall sold his present church and is purchasing a large commercial building in the east end where Pepsi is located on the direct advice of Ted Shuttleworth"  Ted Shuttlesworth earned a salary of $ 91,000 u.s in 2001 Peter Marshall considers Ted Shuttlesworth to be his spiritual father and has been traveling in the States with Ted over the years. http://documents.guidestar.org/2001/521/213/2001-521213895-1-9.pdf

But an in house investigation by pastors, police chiefs, or the anybody about one of their own without the involvement of outsiders is always bias and only whitewashes one of their own.  And the investigation of Pastor Peter Marshall was no different. Their  finding  was reflected by their words "after careful review we have found no issues of wrong doing?"  So on April 18, 2004 Pastor Peter Marshall was again berating the sheep openly from the pulpit during the Sunday morning services  for not being consistent in their tithes, for not being regular in the church attendance during the mid week service, for not praising the Lord long enough, etc. Mind you half of the normal attendees didn’t attend. Hypocritically the AOG position paper states:

We look with grave concern on those who do not believe in congregational church government, who do not trust the maturity of local church bodies to govern themselves under Scripture and the Spirit. Such leaders prefer more authoritarian structures where their own word or decrees are unchallenged. . The church must always remember that leadership gifts are not given for the exaltation of a few but for the equipping of all God’s people for ministry. http://www.ag.org/top/beliefs/position_papers/4195_apostles_prophets.cfm

It’s obvious from AOG position papers that Pastors such as Peter Marshall are off the wall as they prefer more authoritarian structures where their own word or decrees are unchallenged!  But the fact remains that amongst Christian denominations in North America, PAOC and AOG, are different in that they were created by pastors and exist for pastors and not members. Many are now waking up to the fact that a very small religious, arrogant and hypocritical denomination—The Assembly of God, produced the three Musketeers: Bakker (1987), Swaggart (1988), and Strader (1989). Together, So called men of God have robbed, raped and even murdered the defenseless elderly people in their communities and affected many lives across America.

The Lakeland Ledger and the Tampa Tribune (Bill Heery, Keith Kohn) have been writing since 1994 about Pastor Karl and Dan Strader of Carpenter's Home Church (Original name First Assembly of God of Lakeland) until the present and about the many things that have been going on there. How the Pastor's son was arrested and jailed for 45 years for robbing the elderly sheep and members of the church of the life savings and in particularly Roy Aldrich who died as a result of their actions . http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040327/NEWS/403270360/1004

With an estimated total viewership of ten million, the money that TV preachers  rake in by any reckoning, are immense. In his heyday Jimmy Swaggart was making close to US$140 million a year. The Bakkers were close behind with an estimated yearly income of US$130 million. Jerry Falwell netted, by his own reckoning, about US$60 million a year.

The money, which was meant for their ministry, went to maintain their extravagant lifestyles. Swaggart bought himself a US$ 1.5 million mansion. In his show of fatherly affection, he bought another mansion, worth US$700,000 for his son, Donnie with money loaned by his ministry.  The Bakkers had bought mansions and luxury cars, even the doghouse was air-conditioned.

CNN aired  on Sunday November 2, 1997 a documentary about former Assembly of God  Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart whose ministry net worth is one hundred million dollars  and is run by the Swaggart family.  Financial statements alone of the Jimmy Swaggart Evangelistic Association do not reveal the fact that Jimmy Swaggart, his wife and his son, earn over six hundred thousand dollars in annual salaries and drive a fleet of six Mercedes Benz.  Jimmy Swaggart lied on camera when questioned by CNN about his salary.  He stated he was not really drawing a salary although IRS records showed otherwise.

It is a very sad state when prominent TV Evangelists such as Jimmy  Swaggart who can shout, dance and preach better than the rest of them lie about their salaries and hide them. In addition the financial statements of JSEA do not reveal that Jimmy Swaggart Ministry loaned Jimmy 4.2 million dollars to build his fancy estate.

How many times have believers been subjected to mishandled scripture with an implicit or explicit "touch not God's anointed" if any dared to question? This is in contrast to the Biblical admonition to "try the spirits", (1 John 4:1). Fear is not of God and teaching which incorporates psychological intimidation is corrupt and deceptive. One of the easiest ways to determine what "spirit" motivates a person "in authority" is to question them. A godly man or woman will never be offended or become indignant if someone dares to question them and compare what is said with the Word of God. However, if one is motivated by an "authoritarian" spirit of conceit or arrogance, the questioner will soon know it. Peter warned the elders (pastors and spiritual guides of the church) not to be domineering [arrogant, dictatorial, overbearing] over the flock of God, but to be patterns and models of Christian living (I Pet. 5:3, AMPL.)

Many prominent pastors and evangelists today make the claim that because "souls" are being saved and "healings" take place in their meetings, that this somehow validates their ministry. While these things may be well and good, they are no indication of "divine" sanction. A.A. Allen was a drunkard, Jimmy Swaggart a whoremonger, Jim Bakker a thief, Larry Lea a prevaricator, and Robert Tilton a charlatan - yet ALL of these saw thousands saved and miracles take place in their meetings. Because one is blessed with "prosperity" and has a "following" of thousands, doesn't mean a darn thing when it comes to integrity and godly sanction, for "he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust," (Matt. 5:45).

Twenty-six years ago I experienced the greatest miracle of my life - salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This experience came in a Pentecostal "holiness" church where, unbeknown to me at the time, the pastor was committing adultery, one of the deacons (or "pillars" of the church as they were called) visited a prostitute on a regular basis, another deacon kept a large supply of porno magazines in his home, and still another was a philanderer. This taught me that just because God moves in a particular setting, it is no indication that those who bear the message are "godly."(TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED? By John R. Anderson - January 1997) http://www.gospelassemblyfree.com/facts/anointed.htm

The measure of a man is not how much power, wealth and fame that he has but how he handles these things. Unfortunately “power corrupts.” The media, Independent (England), June 15, 2003, reported that ‘Jim Bakker's back’:

The life of Jim Bakker, the world's most famous fallen tele-evangelist, has always been about numbers, and we are not just talking hymns and psalms. There was the $1.9m salary he paid himself in 1986, the last full year that he led the Praise The Lord (PTL) Ministry that he founded in 1972 with his thickly mascara'd wife, Tammy Faye. At the time, he owned six luxury mansions, 47 bank accounts and a single Rolls-Royce. He was accustomed to raising $1m from his TV-goggling disciples across America every two days. Then came 1989, when he was charged, and convicted, on 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy for stealing $3.7m from his flock to fund his fabulous lifestyle.

We could go on in this vein for ever. It was never exactly clear how many sexual partners (allegedly both women and men) he enjoyed in those crazy days before his reckoning with the law and crushing humiliation. We do know he paid $265,000 in cash to buy the silence of a church secretary he had been involved with in 1980.

The opulence of the Bakkers' lifestyle at the height of their reign could not be measured in simple figures, however. They enjoyed the American Dream, but a garishly inflated version of it. They had an air-conditioned dog kennel and gold-plated bathrooms. Theirs was the kind of money that bought everything except good taste. Tammy Faye, who used glove puppets to help explain the Word of the Lord on air, is still seen today as the gold standard for eye shadow run amok. There is even a documentary film about her simply called The Eyes of Tammy Faye Bakker. Jim had a monkey face. His apple-shiny cheeks contrived to look at once bloated and stretched.

The Bakkers flaunted their wealth and used it to raise more and more of it. They offered a model of extravagant living that viewers drank in, presumably not in a spirit of post-modern irony. At its peak, the PTL broadcasts touched 13.5 million American households every day. The Bakkers are still being pursued for $3m (£1.9m) in unpaid income tax.

Bakker was defrocked by his denomination, the Assemblies of God, for "conduct unbecoming of a minister", and all of America, and his fellow television evangelists, turned against him. Jerry Falwell publicly declared Bakker a sexual deviant, an embezzler and a liar. After taking over the PTL Club, as it was known, and taking it into bankruptcy, Falwell called its founder "the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in two thousand years of church history". Few at the time disagreed.

While Apostle Paul wrote to Jim Bakker and his pastoral friends:

We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. (2 Corinthians 6:3)

Avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us. (2 Corinthians 8:20)

 

Where is the justice or integrity in all of this?

Yes, where is the justice or integrity in all of this? Christian Religionists, Evangelicals, Baptists,  Charismatics and Pentecostals, all teach, that as stewards of God, everything we have belongs to Him and it is very important that we provide:

“Honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” (2 Corinthians 8:21)

Yet, very few churches and religious organizations, who although they state they believe the bible and the importance to provide “honorable things,” most of them don’t belong to an organization that practices financial responsibility and open accountability. Also, they keep the salary of the senior pastor of the Church or the senior evangelist, a secret. Why? I can’t answer that, but I do know it does give offense, in the secular and religious world. If you are honorable there is no reason not to reveal your income if it is within acceptable norms.

The salaries of other public servants, including the President of United States and the first Lady, are known.    In an intelligent society such as ours, any church or organization that is not openly accountable, shouldn’t be soliciting money from its members or adherents, who are the public at large. Somehow, all churches and church corporations should be warned and told they must be accountable, and be open and do all things above board where possible.

Many pastors and evangelists in America live and behave like kings of their own kingdoms, rather than like servants of the living God, as they should be. Humility and submission are words they must reintroduce into their own vocabulary and lives before they teach others. Contrary to many pastors’ and evangelists’ point of view, we as Christians don’t exist primarily to serve them or to give them money but to serve the King of kings and Lord or lords. In our Heavenly Father’s eyes, we are all equally important. He has no favorites and is definitely not a respecter of persons and shows partiality to no one-although, some pastors and evangelists would like us to believe otherwise.

References:

Western Ontario district of the PAOC District Superintendent David Shepherd - 905-637-5566 - dshepherd@wod.paoc.org  http://www.wod.paoc.org/www/aboutus.cfm

Pastor Peter Marshall  Victory International Church 92 Parkdale Ave. N. Hamilton Ontario 905 549 0981  info@victoryinternational.org   http://www.victoryinternational.org/

Reverend Bill Morrow  General Superintendent  The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada 2450 Milltower Court Mississauga, Ontario L5N 5Z6  Phone: (905) 542-7400  info@paoc.org  http://www.paoc.org/contact/contact.html

Karl Strader Carpenter's Home Church  777 Carpenter's Way Lakeland, FL 33809 (863) 859-1477  mail@stephenstrader.org  http://www.carpentershomechurch.net

Check Out Money Changers and Thieves

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Karl Strader

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The Other Graham

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