"No Steeple, Just People"


 Messages We've Received From Ripped Off Christians
Brothers and Sisters who are are disgusted with the spending at their church or were personally bilked out of hard-earned money by lazy, heartless weasels calling themselves ministers or prophets.

If you're a minister, pastor, prophet, apostle, bishop, deacon, elder, teacher, pope or otherwise responsible for the care of a flock of any size - know that God is watching.  There's no escape!

Read these carefully and ask if they came from someone at YOUR church that YOU screwed.
{Don't know what else to call it!}

How many more like this, O Lord?  How long will you linger before Justice comes? 

Hear our prayer, O Lord, and cleanse your people!  Protect us from the wolves in the churches!  Show them for what they are!  Give your people better discernment!  It stops NOW!

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Certainly I agree with everything you have written - my only problem is who DO you trust and where do you send your money to in India, for instance?  I know you could buy a bicycle for $80 there and have some evangelist pedal all over the place with the gospel - to villages that are demon-controlled and have not yet heard the gospel. However, the preachers here don't publicize these needs. If I knew where to send the money to someone I could verify was honest, I would be more inclined to send my money there - after all we shall all stand before the Lord and give an account of our lives. We had a case in point where the pastor collected about $130,000 for a building fund (think that is the right amount) and spent it on the side renting equipment he 'thought' we needed in the church, then when he left, there was $5:00 in the church account at the bank. Was no one watching the money flow and holding him accountable?? Apparently not. What do you suggest, besides holding the treasurers accountable, including the pastor.

Margaret

{STOP feeding the Beast!!  If they can't be good stewards, personally and as a church, they can't be trusted!  Read the parable of the talents.  Give only to those who CAN be trusted!}

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I found out about your web site through Andrew Strom's email list and I am very encouraged by it. For a long time I have loathed the financial condition of the American church. In 1995 I lived in Pakistan for 5 short months teaching English as a second language to Afghan refugees, so I am well aware of how unwisely the American church is spending it's money. One local church here in my area recently spent over $250,000 on just their organ. I just can't believe that God will ever bless that type of spending.

In Christ,

Dwayne

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dear mr. perry:

thank you for your letter.  my husband and i have been struggling for several years with the issue of money and the church.   years ago, my husband was attacked by a pastor and elders when he decided to give his tithe money to his parents who live in the projects in rome italy.

we decided to join a church here in Georgia and, my husband being an incredible singer, decided to join the choir.  the choir leader asked my husband if he tithed, because if he didn't he couldn't join.  we quit going.  we would like to go back to church somewhere and hopefully we will find some place.

anyway, much gratitude for your brave expose and words from the Holy  Spirit. 

very truly yours,

gwen

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Doug,

Thanks for your reply and encouragement. I would appreciate your prayers. I do not want bitterness to set in. Please feel free to share any of my testimony below or from the other email.

Here is my story. 

Many people in ministry do not want to hear from people who have been spiritually abused. I called so many churches for pray and Godly wisdom and few would even speak to me about what happened to me.

Spiritual abuse with manipulation and control is rampant in the church and seems to follow people in ministry who think they have "special giftings" and deserve to be worshiped because of their gift rather than be a servant like Jesus.

Sadly to say I was take in by such people and battered and abused. I am still recovering.    

My story sounds strange but is absolutely true. As you read the story you might ask WHY I did not leave earlier and why it took 4 years for me to see the truth. I have no answer except that deception is EXTREMELY subtle and I really believed that these people were more spiritual than me and truly heard from God. It happened so gradually and they blamed me and others that I actually came to believe that I was part of the problem. This made me fast more, pray more and give more time and money trying to make it happen. I realize now why women have a hard time leaving abusive relationships.

In 2000  I met and became friends with a couple of itinerant ministers who claimed to have "special" powers from God including a very powerful prophetic gift. My pastor was a woman and initially traveled the country doing prophetic ministry. When she prophesied it was very powerful and seemed to be right where I was. She said that she had frequently personal encounters with Jesus and angels etc.   She insisted I call her "Pastor Debra" even though they lived with me and told me that it was a lack of respect to call "ministers" by their first names. She also had many other self appointed titles including "apostolic prophetess". She had people bring her water to the pulpit AND carry her bible and purse to the pulpit and car. ( We had 10 members)!!!!!!!

One day they approached me and told me that God had told them to start a ministry in GA. This was about the time my divorce settlement came through (they had been praying the money would come in) and I was very depressed and lonely and they "ministered" to me through a difficult time. Of course I wanted to help them start the ministry and wanted to obey God. For about a year they lived with me and as the church grew moved into a rental home. I would have done ANYTHING for this couple and I DID. Over 4 years I went through about $270,000. I gave freely. They never asked outright but would encourage me to PRAY about their needs. They lived off the church which only had about 10 members. They talked constantly about COVERING and Spiritual Authority and yet answered to no one. They did not buy a building but had the church rent various buildings where we had to paint, carpet and move. We were in 4 building in 4 years.

Overtime the church did not grow at all and they seemed to despise me and the members of the church. They were very critical and talked about everyone. Everyone had either a "rebellious spirit" or "independent spirit" (according to them) and for a small church there was always some turmoil that they attributed to the devil. The elders and other pastor were never asked to pray about decisions and were not consulted before major decisions were made. They talked and put down every major ministry and talked about other local ministries. I was very disturbed by the spiritual pride and arrogance I saw but I keep thinking it was ME that had a problem and I was being tested. I kept making excuses for their behavior and encouraging others NOT to leave the church. I kept covering for them and praying, fasting and giving.  Every time someone went for counseling they would end up leaving upset and mad and would say she was mean. We would get up to about 30 members and lose 20. They said it was warfare and the devil was mad that THEY were in this city and they were fighting Jezabel and Ahab spirits. I and others prayed SO HARD for them and the church and against all the "spirits" that were affecting the church.

They focused  on "gold dust and oil" manifestations which they claim came upon the people everywhere they went EXCEPT here (they said we were a hardened people with lack of faith and that is why the manifestation would not come). They went so far on several occasions to actually get a FLASHLIGHT so the people could actually SEE the gold and oil supposedly on peoples hands. I saw nothing.

As elders we were told from the pulpit and privately that we were an extension of them and should minister to people who came to us at the church or by telephone and pray for them . When I did (and good things happened) I  was told I had evil spirits (Absalom). We were abused emotionally and we were frequently yelled at. We all thought it was part of the "prophetic personality".

Every church service we had food and fellowship and I was responsible for coming early to prepare the food and then stay late to clean up the mess. It was usually around midnight before I went home. They never offered to pay for any of the food but would invite 30-40 people for Sunday dinner and expect me to prepare all the food. Since we only had about 10 members it usually fell to me to do most everything.

It got to the point where she was using "thus saith the Lord" for EVERYTHING. We were treated badly and it got to the point where I was afraid of crossing her and when God spoke to me I would just pray and keep my mouth shut.

One member was told during a powerful prophetic word that she was appointed as an "armor bearer" and was told to quit her job and that the church  would pay all her expenses. The pastors opened a private business (a coffee shop for ministry) and put the church in a side room. She expected the church to pay the rent for the private building and was angry when people were not tithing.  The armor bearer was expected to work for minimum wage and got very behind on her bills.   Needless to say she is devastated.

In August of 2004 I went to them in love and tried to talk to them about the church, my concerns about hurting people and other issues. I told them I was going to take a Sabbatical and fast to hear from God and I felt they needed one also. I was very kind. They told others I attacked them and the following week they packed up and moved away. They called several people and told them that I did terrible things. All I did was QUESTION?

They told NO ONE where they were going and left me with a lot of bills.   They left very devastated people in their wake.

I am grateful to God for cutting me free from this deception and have learned a lot.

This is what I have learned.

  • Run like the wind when you meet ministers who focus on their "gifts" rather than Jesus.

  • Stay away from people who preach constantly about "spiritual covering and submission" and demand instant obedience.

  • Be watchful of people in ministry who want to use YOU to fulfill THEIR vision rather than the vision God has given you.

  • Be careful when you see ministers who do not answer to anyone but themselves.

  • Meanness and irritability are not  signs that someone is a prophet. Jesus was prophetic and He was NOT MEAN and nasty. He spoke a hard word but it was to the scribes and Pharisees.

  • Stay away from any ministry that criticizes or compares themselves to others and considers themselves "more spiritual" or "people who hear from God". God can speak to anyone and through anyone including a donkey!!!!!!!!

  • Remember  the Fruit of the Spirit and look for FRUIT in the church NOT just the gifts.

  • You have a VOICE and God DOES speak to you also! 

  • Listen to your own discernment and the inner voice of God. Be aware of WARNING SIGNS. There are ALWAYS warning signs;.don't ignore them.

If God brings a sign and a wonder you will NOT need a flashlight to see it!!!!!!!!!

JoAnn

{AMEN Sister!  A good lesson learned the hard way.  I pray your story will convict others and open their eyes.  The day I take a title of any kind, run from me as fast as you can! It always comes down to Jesus.  If they get Jesus wrong or are unwilling to follow his example, God is not in them.  Read I John and Titus 5. - Doug}

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I have just finished reading one of your "What have we Done" newsletters.  For the most part I am in very much agreement and would like to learn more.  I too have found that so many church's spend money so foolish and forgetting about the hurt, wounded, poor people that belong to our Savior Jesus Christ.  God is teaching and leading me to the Missionarys for they are the one's on the front line.

For some reason I have never believed in my heart to give a large amount of moneies to our Church and I guess I am holding back more because they have just built a beautiful church and now are having a problem making the payments.

Anyways, I am interested in receiving more newsletters and learning more about what to do.

Gary

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