First of all, I have a tremendous love for the Truth - the One Absolute Truth - the Word of God.
I hope not to offend anyone but this is my blog and I am compelled here at 1:30 in the morning to post because I am so tired of Paula White Ministries. Every year at this time she is all over the television "preaching" on first fruits. What got me so riled up this evening (or this morning) is a blatant misinterpretation of the beginning of Acts chapter 5. Please read:
But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."
5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?"
She said, "Yes, for so much."
9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."
10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.
11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. NKJV
First of all, Paula White doesn't quote the passages but proceeds to give her "paraphrase" if you will. She tries to use this scripture to promote her idea of "First Fruits" - basically trying to convince people to give their first week/month (whatever) paycheck to God (or her ministry). She proceeds to say that Ananias was struck dead for keeping back a part of the proceeds. She then says that his wife, Sapphira, later walks in and is struck dead for keeping back part. She fails to mention what Peter said to them. They were NOT struck dead for keeping anything! Read the passages and you tell me why they were struck dead? The way I understand it, it was for telling a lie. They didn't have to give ANYTHING. They could have given whatever they wanted - it's the lie that got them into trouble.
Pretty scary to know that there is an account recorded in the New Testament of two individuals being struck dead for telling a lie. People lie all the time. Little white lies - whatever. A lie is a lie.
Moving on. I get so tired of these t.v. people wanting money. Paula White claims you will financially prosper for giving your "First Fruits" to God. Why would you tell someone that? What do you tell them when they DON'T financially proper? That their faith was weak? How horrible.
Why do they charge money for people to hear the gospel? Don't they get enough money from all the givers to help spread the gospel? I would surely think so. She dresses better than me and has better nails and hair. I'm sure she has a pretty nice home. I'm not trying to say there is something wrong with her looking nice. But, if you have to charge people money to hear the gospel then you need to give up something. The gospel is for all.
We visited a local church here in our community - a very large congregation - they charge money to participate in their workshops! They claim it's to pay for materials. Quit spending all your money on elaborate buildings and stained glass windows and you could offer this for free. Isn't the saving of souls more important?
Sign up to have Paula White on your cell phone - pay this fee? Should it cost money to hear the gospel?
Man, we've gotten so far off track. Nothing gets me worked up more than the twisting of scriptures.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. NKJV