Tag Archives: called into the ministry

The Church Rat Race

28 Mar

I am sure many of you have heard of ‘the rat race.’

For those of you  who haven’t, allow me to enlighten you.  The rat race is a phrase coined for very ambitious people who want to attain to a level of status in life, in pursuit of ‘the American Dream.’

They go to college, they get married, have 2.5 kids, buy the 4.5 bedroom house with the white picket fence.  They bust their tails to climb the corporate ladder, to become a success.

Many sacrifice their relationships-even their relationship with God-to ‘successfully’ climb the corporate ladder and run that rat race to the TOP of corporate success.

Many work tirelessly and endlessly-burning the midnight oil-to trump their co-workers’ three-figure salary, or their neighbor’s newly constructed 6 bedroom home and Cadillac.

Then when they get there…they are making that BLING!  They are ‘ballin,’ and ‘high callin’.  They have reached the top of the corporate ladder.  They ran their race…and made it!  Frazzled as they may be, littered relationships all along the track where they ran the rat race…but it’s all been worth it, right????

No.  Sadly enough, once they reach the top, many realize that it was NOT worth it.  And feel hopelessly empty and unfulfilled once they have reached the top of the corporate ladder.

I want to let you know that there IS a rat race that goes on IN THE CHURCH as well.

Do you see that priest running that race up above in the picture?

That is how it really is in the church today.

The sad thing is that many who start going to church do not start going to enter into a rat race, but are attempting to get OUT of the rat race that they were in, in the world.

New converts blindly and trustingly start going to church after they realize that they ‘need Jesus.’ So culture and tradition has taught most that Jesus Christ of Nazareth can only be found within the confines of a church building.  So that’s where they go.  After being there for a period of time, it is expected of these converts to become apt enough in the Word and the things of God to go and witness and teach others.  Pretty soon, the ‘ministry bug’ hits them.  They hear a sermon, a false prophecy, or get a false confirmation from somewhere that they are called to ‘preach the gospel.’

It is the next step in the order of the church.  First, you join the church, become a member.  Then you sit and learn for a few years.  Then the pastor gives you a work to do.  It may be preaching behind a pulpit.  It may not.  It might be working in children’s ministry.  Or on the praise team.  Or teaching new convert’s class.  Or nursing home or prison ministry.  Pretty soon, it becomes a unspoken rule that ‘la creme de la creme’ of any work done in the church is to get behind a pulpit and ‘preach the gospel.’

If the pastor calls you out and says before the congregation ‘you are called to preach,’ or ‘prophesy…’ then that person is automatically revered above someone who just may work with children.  And because of the lack of TRUE identity that lies within the walls of the church-due by the very nature of its structure-breeds insecurity, competition, envy and jealousy amongst its ranks.

There is something about the almighty pulpit that spiritually and physically-in the eyes of the people-put ministers on pedestals.

Soon, these ministers-to-be find themselves thrust into a church rat race, towards the pulpit!

They climb the ministerial ladder that has been set up among the errant religious church system, that pits people against each other…who are supposed to be part of the same body.

They do this believing that this is the will of God for their lives…because a preacher said so.  The reason so many in the church lack identity is intentional.  It is a plot of the enemy to make ALL of the people JUST ALIKE.  To get the masses to come to one organization, and be ‘faithful’ to that organization.  To give their all to that organization.  To be loyal to a man or a woman of God…even moreso than to GOD Himself.

Its a rat race I believe most are thrust into ignorantly, sucked into the church ministerial system, because a leader saw their natural gifts and talents and are trying to benefit from them.  Most leaders raise up leaders so that when that church system is up and running, THEY will get the tithes and offerings from the church they helped raise up.

Some people intentionally enter the church rat race because it is their nature to be competitive and they seek power and control within the religious system.  They need a following, someone to cheer them on as they pursue their ‘careers’ in ministry, as well as needing the financial backing of the church.  Especially in the uncertain economic times we are living in, where else can one with virtually no education or viable work experience can gain a following and a sure income but within the ministry?

There are people that will literally kill folks to get to the pulpit.  Their ambitious natures are so strong that they will sacrifice their very relationships with God to enter into-and stay-in ministry.  In ‘The Makings of a False Prophet,” I go into detail as to why this is the case.

No matter the reason why people enter the church rat race, they do.  And sad to say, once they reach the pulpit, once they reach the heights of ministerial success, they realize that the price they paid to get there was NOT worth it.  They look back at all the littered, wasted relationships, the sacrifices made, the tears shed, the money spent, the time wasted….and get there and still are very much unfulfilled, still very much miserable, not feeling like they still are not doing what God would have them to do.

I personally know many people who have reached the heights of ministerial success, and yet are VERY miserable on the inside.  I get calls all the time from them.  They have more than one church, happily married, 5 bedroom house with the white picket fence, get invited to preach at this conference and the next….yet they are on the verge of suicide.

We all witnessed someone climbing the ministerial success ladder and his very public and shameful demise…that of Zachary Tims.  I mean if anyone had ‘made it’ ministerially, Tims was it.  He looked like Will Smith, was hosting TBN almost every day, pastored a mega church in Florida, beautiful wife and kids, the bling, the endorsement of Benny Hinn…yet in the end, his life was ramsackled with adultery, scandal and drug abuse.  And it literally cost him his life…

I am convinced most people who enter the church rat race do so blindly, not knowing what to expect. Not knowing what demons can be picked up along the way of running this rat race…They enter in only desiring to do what God says…they just mistakenly hear a religious demon that is interested in trapping them and destroying them.

If you have entered the church rat race and can’t get off the wheel alone, there IS help for you.

Just call (518) 4775759.

Troubled, Demonized ‘Ministerial’ Leaders…Past, Present, and…

24 Mar

When it comes to mental illness and the church, no one really talks about the reality of mental illness within the church.  Just like sex, drugs, and other maladies that are realities in the church, mental illness is a taboo topic.  Especially within the pentecostal and charismatic ranks, it is commonly taught and believed that if you are believed to be ‘saved, sanctified and Holy Ghost filled,’ that you cannot and will not suffer from mental illness.  That you will not have breakdowns.

And nothing could be further from the truth.

I have often wondered why leaders in the I.C. would stay away from teaching the people about mental illness.  They treat it like it’s not there.  They may dabble with preaching on depression, but depression is only a symptom of much deeper issues.

Then it began to occur to me that the reason why leaders stayed away from this topic was possibly because they are dealing with the exact same thing-mental illness-as the flock, and therefore, didn’t feel comfortable teaching on it…because they were in need of deliverance themselves.

If you research, you will be amazed at the number of denominational and church leaders and preachers who, in fact, suffered from some sort of mental illness themselves…and, for some, it even cost their lives.

Aimee Semple McPherson

‘Sister Aimee’ was a very famous evangelist who founded the Foursquare Church, opened the Angelus Temple in 1923 and is singlehandedly responsible for being one of the first people to ‘spread the gospel’ across the airwaves via the radio, suffered a mental breakdown in 1930.  She later died in 1944 from an accidental overdose of prescription barbituates.

A. A. Allen

Asa A. Allen was a healing and faith pentecostal evangelist that traveled across the country running healing lines and having very exuberant church services.  Allen, who started out in the Assemblies of God denomination, opened a TV ministry that continued to grow up until his death in 1971 from liver failure due to acute alcoholism.  Allen had been an alcoholic for  years and fellow preachers often stated that they had to cover for Allen because sometimes he was too drunk to minister.

C. H. Mason

COGIC founder Charles Harrison Mason founded the denomination in 1897.  COGIC, the 4th largest denomination and claiming millions of followers today, was one of the many (pentecostal) denominations that sprung out of the Azusa Street ‘revival’ in 1906.  It has been reported that Mason suffered from some sort of mental illness; one instance, he was said to be walking the streets of Tennessee naked, preaching to the air.  In an audio clip here (fast forward to 2:37), you can hear Mason ‘preach.’ In listening to this clip, one has to wonder if it was the Holy Ghost moving on him to speak, or was it ‘another spirit.’ Mason died of natural causes in 1961 at the age of 95.

Zachary Tims

Many of us know of Zachary Tims.  He was a regular host of the ‘Praise The Lord’ program and founded New Destiny Christian Center in 1996.  He battled drug addiction and had claimed he was delivered from drugs.  But on August 12 of last year, Tims was found dead in a hotel room with an envelope containing cocaine.  Tims’ autopsy results have been sealed by request of his mother from the general public.  Listen here (fast forward to 9:19) as Tims almost prophesies his own death a little over a month before he died.

Barry Keldie

Barry Keldie was the pastor of Providence Church (with ties to the Acts 29 Network and the Southern Baptist Convention) in 2005 in Frisco, TX.  To many, he seemed like a happy, well-adjusted father, pastor, husband, and friend.  But he battled chronic insomnia, that led to an addiction to sleeping pills during his pastorate.  At 31 years of age in 2010, Keldie accidentally overdosed on Tylenol PM.

Paul Morton

Having to his credit the Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship, Morton oversees thousands of full gospel churches nationwide.  He is also the founder of two churches, one based in New Orleans, the other in Atlanta.  Paul Morton is very popular among the pentecostal and charismatic ranks, often asked to preach (and sing) at many conferences.  Yet, at the height of his ministerial career, Morton describes in his book ‘Why Kingdoms Fall’ his mental breakdown.  Click here (fast forward to 3:57) to hear him testify about his mental breakdown. Morton is still the Presiding Prelate of the Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship today and claims to have been ‘delivered’ from bipolar disorder.  In his book, Morton claims he sought medical help. He credits prayer, love and support and supernatural healing for his deliverance.

George Bloomer

George Bloomer is known in the church world as an expert on demons and deliverance.  He is the founder and pastor of Bethel Family Worship Center in Durham, NC.  He is also a very popular preacher in christendom, much sought after and highly recommended by those who advocate and believe in deliverance.  Bloomer testifies about his life pre-salvation, which included drug addiction.  Bloomer claims he suffered a mental breakdown and became addicted to Prozac, all while preaching across the nation.  Click here (fast forward to 7:34) to see Bloomer ask the question ‘if a preacher can be crazy?’  Click here for Bloomer’s full testimony on his addiction to the prescription drug Prozac.

Juanita Bynum

Juanita Bynum is a household name.  There is no one who doesn’t know what she has done in the church world.  She first came on the scene when she preached at TD Jakes’ conference for women ‘Woman, Thou Art Loosed’ in 1997 a sermon series called ‘No More Sheets,’ chronicling her struggle with sexual purity.  In that series, she briefly talked about her struggles with mental illness.  But her ‘spiritual mother,’ Apostle Veter Nichols, goes into detail about Bynums’ struggles in her book, ‘Birthing of A Prophet.’  Nichols tells of Bynum having a nervous breakdown, her numerous suicide attempts due to relationship troubles and breakups, her struggles with anorexia nervosa and schizophrenia-all while ‘in ministry.’  When Bynum and her ex-husband Thomas Weeks got in a physical altercation on August 21, 2007, Bynum confessed that she had to seek therapy.  She is reportedly doing well and still ministering across the world.

Sam Kinison

Samuel B. Kinison is known to the world as the loud, brass comedian who became infamous for his ‘in-your-face’ style, controversial topics and how could you forget ‘the scream?’ What most don’t realize is that before becoming a famous comedian, Kinison was a pentecostal preacher out of an unknown pentecostal denomination.  He was known for his ‘fire and brimstone’ type of preaching. Click here to hear a sample of his preaching.  His ‘act’ changed drastically when he left the church.  I won’t post clips from his comedy act in that most of his comedy  was raunchy and replete with cursing…and may seem extremely blasphemous to most.  What I hear is was someone who didnt seek healing and deliverance after leaving the I.C.  After leaving the ministry and the I.C., unfortunately, Kinison did not maintain or seek a relationship with God and, as a result- even though he enjoyed much success as an actor and a much-sought-after comedian-he battled depression and drug addiction pretty much until his untimely death in 1992.

I have highlighted these who were and some still are active in ministry to bring up some points about how real mental illness is in the ministry.  It is not talked about, and it should be.

Stay tuned to part 2…

The Church Rat Race

8 Mar

I am sure many of you have heard of ‘the rat race.’

For those of you  who haven’t, allow me to enlighten you.  The rat race is a phrase coined for very ambitious people who want to attain to a level of status in life, in pursuit of ‘the American Dream.’

They go to college, they get married, have 2.5 kids, buy the 4.5 bedroom house with the white picket fence.  They bust their tails to climb the corporate ladder, to become a success.

Many sacrifice their relationships-even their relationship with God-to ‘successfully’ climb the corporate ladder and run that rat race to the TOP of corporate success.

Many work tirelessly and endlessly-burning the midnight oil-to trump their co-workers’ three-figure salary, or their neighbor’s newly constructed 6 bedroom home and Cadillac.

Then when they get there…they are making that BLING!  They are ‘ballin,’ and ‘high callin’.  They have reached the top of the corporate ladder.  They ran their race…and made it!  Frazzled as they may be, littered relationships all along the track where they ran the rat race…but it’s all been worth it, right????

No.  Sadly enough, once they reach the top, many realize that it was NOT worth it.  And feel hopelessly empty and unfulfilled once they have reached the top of the corporate ladder.

I want to let you know that there IS a rat race that goes on IN THE CHURCH as well.

Do you see that priest running that race up above in the picture?

That is how it really is in the church today.

The sad thing is that many who start going to church do not start going to enter into a rat race, but are attempting to get OUT of the rat race that they were in, in the world.

New converts blindly and trustingly start going to church after they realize that they ‘need Jesus.’ So culture and tradition has taught most that Jesus Christ of Nazareth can only be found within the confines of a church building.  So that’s where they go.  After being there for a period of time, it is expected of these converts to become apt enough in the Word and the things of God to go and witness and teach others.  Pretty soon, the ‘ministry bug’ hits them.  They hear a sermon, a false prophecy, or get a false confirmation from somewhere that they are called to ‘preach the gospel.’

It is the next step in the order of the church.  First, you join the church, become a member.  Then you sit and learn for a few years.  Then the pastor gives you a work to do.  It may be preaching behind a pulpit.  It may not.  It might be working in children’s ministry.  Or on the praise team.  Or teaching new convert’s class.  Or nursing home or prison ministry.  Pretty soon, it becomes a unspoken rule that ‘la creme de la creme’ of any work done in the church is to get behind a pulpit and ‘preach the gospel.’

If the pastor calls you out and says before the congregation ‘you are called to preach,’ or ‘prophesy…’ then that person is automatically revered above someone who just may work with children.  And because of the lack of TRUE identity that lies within the walls of the church-due by the very nature of its structure-breeds insecurity, competition, envy and jealousy amongst its ranks.

There is something about the almighty pulpit that spiritually and physically -in the eyes of the people-put ministers on pedestals.

Soon, these ministers-to-be find themselves thrust into a church rat race, towards the pulpit!

They climb the ministerial ladder that has been set up among the errant religious church system, that pits people against each other…who are supposed to be part of the same body.

They do this believing that this is the will of God for their lives…because a preacher said so.  The reason so many in the church lack identity is intentional.  It is a plot of the enemy to make ALL of the people JUST ALIKE.  To get the masses to come to one organization, and be ‘faithful’ to that organization.  To give their all to that organization.  To be loyal to a man or a woman of God…even moreso than to GOD Himself.

Its a rat race I believe most are thrust into ignorantly, sucked into the church ministerial system, because a leader saw their natural gifts and talents and are trying to benefit from them.  Most leaders raise up leaders so that when that church system is up and running, THEY will get the tithes and offerings from the church they helped raise up.

Some people intentionally enter the church rat race because it is their nature to be competitive and they seek power and control within the religious system.  They need a following, someone to cheer them on as they pursue their ‘careers’ in ministry, as well as needing the financial backing of the church.  Especially in the uncertain economic times we are living in, where else can one with virtually no education or viable work experience can gain a following and a sure income but within the ministry?

There are people that will literally kill folks to get to the pulpit.  Their ambitious natures are so strong that they will sacrifice their very relationships with God to enter into-and stay-in ministry.  In ‘The Makings of a False Prophet,” I go into detail as to why this is the case.

No matter the reason why people enter the church rat race, they do.  And sad to say, once they reach the pulpit, once they reach the heights of ministerial success, they realize that the price they paid to get there was NOT worth it.  They look back at all the littered, wasted relationships, the sacrifices made, the tears shed, the money spent, the time wasted….and get there and still are very much unfulfilled, still very much miserable, not feeling like they still are not doing what God would have them to do.

I personally know many people who have reached the heights of ministerial success, and yet are VERY miserable on the inside.  I get calls all the time from them.  They have more than one church, happily married, 5 bedroom house with the white picket fence, get invited to preach at this conference and the next….yet they are on the verge of suicide.

We all witnessed someone climbing the ministerial success ladder and his very public and shameful demise…that of Zachary Tims.  I mean if anyone had ‘made it’ ministerially, Tims was it.  He looked like Will Smith, was hosting TBN almost every day, pastored a mega church in Florida, beautiful wife and kids, the bling, the endorsement of Benny Hinn…yet in the end, his life was ramsackled with adultery, scandal and drug abuse.  And it literally cost him his life…

I am convinced most people who enter the church rat race do so blindly, not knowing what to expect. Not knowing what demons can be picked up along the way of running this rat race…They enter in only desiring to do what God says…they just mistakenly hear a religious demon that is interested in trapping them and destroying them.

If you have entered the church rat race and can’t get off the wheel alone, there IS help for you.

Just call (518) 4775759.

The Enemy Calls Preachers, Too!

16 Feb

“…the devil was telling me in my sleep, this was supposed to who I was supposed to be…”

In the video above, Pam talks about her experience of being ‘called into the ministry.’

She goes into detail of her heart’s disclosure(s) when she got the call…as she asks the hard questions that EVERYONE who is entering ministry should ask themselves.

And not only is it necessary to ask the hard questions, but to answer them…honestly.

In Pam Sheppard’s ‘Faces of a Religious Demon,’ I learned many things about the religious spirit.  Or rather, a lot of things I already felt were true in my spirit were repeated in this book.  It is by far one of the best books I have ever read.

What Pam and I both have concluded is that the enemy-in the form of a religious spirit-oftentimes will make a person believe that they are called into the ministry.  Many do not really grasp that concept because for so long in the institutionalized church, the ministry has been glamorized and made to be somewhat of a career.  When really it is a life of serving.

The religious spirit will use many supernatural means to call and confirm the call.  Many who are prone to be bamboozled into believing lies from the enemy are those who are strongly attracted to supernatural signs, those who are naturally manipulating and controlling, those who lust for power, fame, and fortune, and those who love to be the center of attention.

It is SO important to examine ourselves thoroughly before making any commitment to ministry of any kind.  We have to try the spirits and see if they be OF GOD.