Beware Of The Prosperity “Gain is Godliness” Heresy!
by David J. Stewart | September 2018
1st Timothy 6:1-6, “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
I ran across a news story today about a Megachurch named the Crossroads Christian Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. The senior pastor is Barry Cameron, who has been pastor since 1992. Mel Dietz served as the church's executive pastor from 1995 to 2015. The news story says that a Texas jury has unanimously awarded Pastor Mel Dietz a $3,700,000 settlement from the Crossroads Christian Church church, for supplemental retirement money owed to him and his wife, that the church wrongfully took from them. It is a shame when lawsuits happen in churches. I am disgusted with the extravagant salaries being paid to these pastors at this particular church in Texas. What a disgrace! That is my humble Christian opinion!!!
I afterwards noticed a disturbing Youtube video by Pastor Barry Cameron, titled, “Seven Secrets To Finances.” I watched the video and was disgusted by what I heard. Kindly, Pastor Cameron is a health, wealth and prosperity false prophet! In the video he makes the statement, “What you pursue determines what you possess!” There are many problems with that statement. As Christians, we ought not focus on earthly riches, which is the essence of the entire video by Pastor Cameron. His basic message is give to get, which is typical of the Charismatic Movement (700 Club, Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, et cetera). The churches are garbage nowadays! As the churches become more worldly, so also is the world becoming more churchy!!! Mr. Cameron is tricky with his words in the video, alleging that if you seek the things of God first in your life (he quotes Matthew 6:33), then God will give you financial wealth. That is easy for a guy who gets paid each nearly 10 TIMES what the average American earns! Really?
In the video, Pastor Cameron brags repeatedly about giving away $100 bills to people. Again, that is easy to do for a guy making nearly 10 TIMES what the average American earns (which is about $30,000 a year). I am leery of all Megachurches! Every single Megachurch that I know of is a dungheap of apostasy today. Pastor Mel Dietz' most recent annual salary at the Texas Megachurch was $238,667 a year in 2015 when he retired. So what do you think Pastor Barry Cameron gets paid per year? I'll guarantee you it's likely more than $238,667 a year! ...
At the time of their retirement, Mel Dietz's annual salary was $238,194 and Vicki Dietz's was $94,667.
SOURCE: Jury: Crossroads megachurch in Grand Prairie must pay couple nearly $4M after using retirement money to expand
That is unbiblical and repulsive, besides sickening! Pastor John F. MacArthur gets paid $246,868 a year! Servant of God? I think not! I have no respect for high-roller preachers, those rolling in cash and living the good life! I am not accusing Pastor Cameron of anything illegal; but sadly, I am exposing his false teaching on obtaining financial success through giving away money! That is totally unbiblical. There is not one verse in the Holy Bible that guarantees financial success if you give to God. I give away money all the time and it never comes back to me! I am thankful for what God has provided for me, but it doesn't increase (nor has it ever increased) in response to my generosity. Truthfully, it made me poorer, because I had less, because I gave away what God gave to me. Honestly, I would have had MORE MONEY if I had kept it all for myself and had not given anything away!!! That disproves Barry Cameron's bullcrap theology!!!
Nevertheless, I give because I love to give, and I NEVER expect anything in return. In my humble opinion, it is wicked what Pastor Cameron is doing, compelling people to give money so they can become financially successful. Shady pastors use such unethical psychological manipulation to suck money out of their gullible congregations. People are so easily manipulated! I do believe in giving to the poor, the needy, and to soul-winning ministries; however, there is no promise from God that guarantees earthly financial gain in response to giving. Anyone who teaches otherwise is a bold-faced liar!
The blessings which God promises will be realized in eternity. To give to the poor is to lend unto the Lord. Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” When we give to God, we are simply letting go of what is already His!!!
Giving a 10% Tithe is Not Taught in the New Testament
In the video, Pastor Barry Cameron pushes the heresy of a 10% tithe. There is not one Bible verse in the Scriptures that requires Christians to give 10% of their income to God! I am preaching THE TRUTH! Granted, everything that we own belongs to God! For that reason, all the more we ought NOT foolishly support ecumenical, deadbeat, lukewarm, shallow, money-based, ministries!!!
I have heard so much heresy squeezed from the Scriptures. One of the most exploited and abused passages in the Holy Bible is found in Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” I heard one shameful Baptist pastor teach his congregation that by giving money to the church, God will open a new window of financial wisdom, thereby giving that person the knowledge to get wealthy. That is false doctrine! The tithe was strictly for Old Testament Jews, not the New Testament Church. It is wrong to stretch the Scriptures, trying to connect dots that don't connect.
A popular teaching is that if you tithe 10%, you haven't given God anything, and you are robbing God if you don't also give Him OFFERINGS above and beyond the 10% TITHE. None of that is Biblical!!! There was a time when I ignorantly gave a 10% tithe, and then an additional 5% offering. That is a total of 15% that I gave to the church that I was attending. I was always broke and couldn't even afford to take my family out to eat (but the pastor always could). I was so broke on a regular basis that I couldn't even have a checking account, because it is very easy to hit the bottom of the barrel (i.e., bounced checks), when you're always scraping toward the bottom of the barrel. I used money orders to pay my bills for years, because I was too broke financially, and I was giving 15% tithes and offerings the entire time. That blows Barry Cameron's bogus prosperity heresy out of the water!!! The ONLY people that you'll ever hear pushing the 10% tithe heresy are the PASTORS who profit from it!!! I was lied to for many years by pastors, who twisted the Scriptures to benefit themselves. That is what I had been taught to do, tithe 10%, but it was unbiblical.
America's Bible colleges are getting bigger and fancier, parasiting off of its students and church members, pumping all that money into the church's pockets! The truth is that you cannot show me anything from the New Testament that obligates a believer to tithe a certain percentage to God. Everything that we own belongs to God. The Holy Bible tells us to give as we are able. 1st Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” This Scripture can be applied numerous ways. Clearly, the apostle Paul was being financially supported, in part, by the churches. But please understand that Paul was not living high on the hog, dwelling in extravagance, rolling in cash and parasiting off the churches, as many greedy televangelists are doing nowadays!!! I think is it appalling that ANY pastor would be paid a 6-digit salary per year in America!!!