Monday, April 14, 2008

Rhema is going down

South Africa's mega-church of note seems to be reeling under the weight of personal and corporate calamity. A report by a sunday weekly suggest that a 'unchristian spirit' is taking hold of this once proud expression of charismatic spirituality and practice. Seemingly, the marital woes of founder and senior pastor still haunts the church. It has been argued previously on this blog, that maybe this should have been a 'time out' for Pastor Ray, a time of reflection, of review, searching the heart of God again. Seemingly, it was business as usual at Rhema, as the article recounts bitter leadership battles and fall-outs amongst senior ministry personnel.

How are we to interpret this downward spiral ? Some other blogger has suggested in general that the salience of the megachurch charismatic revival has reached his peak in the 80s and that 'interest has declined since then'. (Steve Hayes) Many would despute that suggestion, pointing to the more and more Rhema-clones that we find in Black, Indian and Coloured communities, all over Africa. The point is however that issues of concern like the question of accountability, discipline (in particular in the case of sexual and financial matters) are coming back to not only haunt, by wreck havoc amongst the faithful. Hopefully, this signals a new dawn of ecclesial accountability, but also pastoral leadership.


Filly said...

Cleaning with Hysop as in Psalm 51 is a very painful, hot thing to go through. It is the SIN ITSELF that causes the pain, not Satan, and that is why God HATES sin and I hate sin. Sin destroys people, themselves. God’s refining fire is hot as hell, but we are fortunately not to go to that very real place if we stay focused on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

When one realizes the full impact of our OWN sins on other people, is the first step to cleansing and eventual healing.

Proverbs writes that ‘a man who hides his sin is not wise’ and well as ‘be sure that your sins will find you out’.

Luke 12:1-3

…………..“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. “

God’s Word is the ULTIMATE GUIDE to avoiding the potholes in life. People perish because of lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) because we do not read it thoroughly under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and trained by good shepherds who are ‘not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ’ and Him crucified for our SINS. The abundant life he brings is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:3-12). If there are material blessings (which we have ASKED for and God has given), then that is a bonus. It must be noted, however, that the wicked unbelievers also prosper. But if much is given, much is expected, to bless others and not sinfully become ‘superior’ because of the money. There are MANY pitfalls in the money route and Jesus spoke A LOT about money.

The writer in proverbs 30 prays that God not make him too poor that he might steal and not too rich that he forgets God. Forgetting God is this ‘superior’ attitude that makes BMW drivers not to use their flickers when turning. It is the things that come with money, that we ‘forget’ God and especially considering other people before ourselves.

Abiding under the shadow of His wings in Psalm 91 is saying that staying in obedience to God’s Word and Jesus and the Apostles teaching, keeps us protected under the “umbrella”. When we do things OUTSIDE the Word we make ourselves fair game for Satan. God gives us over to Satan to do his work in/on us. If we choose to cling to Jesus, we WILL survive.

The beginning of wisdom is to fear God, not man, therefore confess your sins to one another, so that the fire of God can ‘sear’ that thing and you become ‘dead’ to that sin. Godly sorrow will follow and sack cloth and ashes are sometimes required for OUR OWN benefit. Do not try to understand. God’s ways are mysterious and HE IS GOD afterall.

Seek wisdom through reading the GUIDEBOOK, the Bible, and get SOUND training in righteousness, according to the WORD, not some new revelations. The Word is the same, yesterday, today and FOREVER.

Those who have ears, listen.

Jesus is coming soon, perhaps today.

Reggie said...

Filly, what are you saying ?

Filly said...

To Reggie

I am explaining what happens/could happen in order to overcome sin for ALL believers as in Rev 3: 18 & 21. (Speaking to the Church of Laodicia)

Rev 3: 15-22

“15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me GOLD REFINED IN THE FIRE, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21 To him WHO OVERCOMES, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

I feel urgency about this for all, especially for our land to be healed by God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 and to be ready when the Lord comes again.

James 5:17
“16 Therefore CONFESS your sins to each other and PRAY for each other so that you may be HEALED. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I want to help people get FREE from sin, because it causes all our problems in this life. God’s ADVICE and WISDOM must be sought from the WORD with the Holy Spirit as teacher. Sin, literally kills us and causes a lack of peace and joy in this life.

1 Peter 3:6-7
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Filly said...

Thanks to Alpha for opening up the blogs again. May you be greatly blessed.

23/24 April 2008

A photograph of the Rhema Ministries’ advertising Billboard (approx 10 meters by 4) is as follows:

“The grass is definitely greener on this side (According to Psalm 23) Rhema ministries”

How can you be so blatant in your objectives (visions) and intentions? Shame on you?

This raises a number of pertinent questions (and more)

1. This advert is speaking to sheep
2. From which pastures must these sheep come?
3. Which shepherds must lose their sheep?
4. Does the one part of the body compete with another?
5. Does this unite the body or divide it?
6. Does it bring glory to God?
7. Does the name “Ministries’ now signify that this is no longer a ‘church’ or storehouse where the tithes must be brought according to Malachi 3:10 so that there IS FOOD IN GOD’S HOUSE?
8. Is it more about gaining tithers than souls for Christ?
9. Is bigger, better? David was punished for counting his following. (1 Chronicles 21)
10 Is this not just a worldly marketing type phrase?
11 Is it definitely greener where the people have an appearance of blessing in prosperity, but are up to their armpits in debt?

I know that the promises of God on sowing and reaping are true but more so on spiritual issues. People are trying so hard to appear that they are blessed by God and get into various bondages of debt and otherwise by impatience based on the promises which prosperity preachers go overboard with. Rhema (off TV) and pastors (other than Ray) manipulate the hearers for 7 to 15 minutes every service before the offering.

Is the church out of balance? As we know the devil, Satan, has us ALL deceived. (Revelations 13:14)

Are we concentrating more on the unconditional love of God and attainment of His blessings than to being obedient to our advocate Jesus Christ who will stand for us IF we abide IN HIM and He knows us?

1 Kings 18:24

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “SHOUT LOUDER!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention. “

The god of this world’s things like:

1. The Lawyers (1 Corinthians 6:7)
2. The Board to be re-shuffled in line with the World’s corporate ways. So is it a business afterall?
3. Mammon (Matt 6:24)
4. Moneychangers, selling books etc from the pulpit on the Lord’s day. (Matthew 21:12-13)
5. Hirelings (John 10:12)
6. Spokesmen and bodyguards and lies
7. Conditions of membership

…..”shouted louder and slashed themselves” like:

1. Enforcement of employment contracts
2. Suspension
3. Tears
4. Slaughtering of sheep
5. Petulance, where this was not disciplined out as children
6. Lack of self-control – not temperate (1 Tim 3:3)
7. Own way, own will

God loves us and we can all come to his mercy seat boldly, but we don’t have to shout.

I want to see Jesus lifted high, like a banner in the sky.

I would like to see a flood of good works without the trumpet, in volunteer tithing of time and resources to the LOCAL storehouse and a flood of righteous living and sharing the good things with all, that God may be praised, not individuals. Individual’s eternal rewards will be given when Jesus comes again.

Matthew 5:13
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

The ‘errors’ in my blogging are the stones that you can decide to pick up or lay down.

Yours humbly in Christ

Reggie said...

Some people are saying that Pastor Ray is like Mugabe now. Ever since King Saul, later Belshazzar (Dan 5:29), Emperors have struggled to let go of power. Even when Daniel interpreted the writing's on the wall, the Emperor still didn't wanted to let go... many times at the expense of the wonderful work he has done in the past.
Thanks for your thoughts, Filly...

Filly said...

Hi Reggie
Thank you. I agree with your scripture. We must pray for them. We must also pray for Mugabe to be saved, even in the last hour.

Speak to you more a little later.

Reggie said...

Filly, is there hope for Mugabe....It's like raising Lazarus

Filly said...

Oh I agree wholeheartedly.


You know Reggie, it amazes me that after all that has been said and has happened, Ray McCauley’s has not repented at all. He has admitted to ‘tickling’ the people’s ears, entertaining them, his anger etc, but never shown any kind of Godly sorrow for what he has done. He has not admitted to adultery though.

After two weeks when I wrote about it above in the blog, the billboard is still up, slandering other pastures that they are not as good as Rhema and I am sure that many “pastures” in Johannesburg are waiting for an apology and this blatant billboard taken down. If it was me, I would have torn it down with my bare hands or simply painted it white.

Jeremiah 8:6

“6 I have listened attentively,
but they DO NOT say what is RIGHT.
NO ONE REPENTS of his wickedness,
saying, “What have I done?”
Each pursues his OWN course
like a horse charging into battle.”

Ray McCauley thinks that if he ignores these things, they will go away. He puts plasters on bullet wounds, not even removing the bullets.

Jeremiah 8:11-12

“11 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say,
when there is no peace.
12 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.”

Last week’s sermon mentioned that Satan is the thief in John 10:10 that steals the joy. Since a guilty conscience and sin steals the joy, as I have seen, this did not sit comfortably with me. (Jude verse 8-10). So I went to the surrounding verses on John 10:10. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and Jews and referred to those gatekeepers who gain access to the fold by climbing in some other way, those that came before Him were thieves and robbers. The whole section is covering the Spiritual leaders and have been cross-referenced to 1 Tim 4:12, 1 Pet 5:1-3 and in particular Ezekiel 34 which is relevant to Rhema.

“greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) This chapter is referring to the Spirit of Truth within us, is greater than the spirit of error of the false prophets. We have discernment!

Jude (whole chapter) verse 8-10 below

“8 In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them.”

Scriptures are used in isolation (out of context) and one-liner part scriptures chanted and shouted like magic formulas which incite the audience to cheers and clapping causing ANY Word possibly received to be lost and only the preacher to be fed or edified. Entertainment again!

I don’t think that the world will praise God for ‘His favor’ when Pastor Geet from Rhema gets the power switched on last week in their load shedding (scheduled) time. Pastor Ray thanked this Pastor and laughs. What did that ‘teach’ the audience, lawlessness toward authority? Jesus never pushed himself forward. Load shedding is load SHARING, which is sharing a scarce resource with everyone in an equitable and SCHEDULED way. God is a just God. Hospitals have made plans, others not, but would have liked the power if it was available. If others had to be switched off to power the Rhema auditorium, this is total selfishness (self first). Most Churches have large or lovely stain glass windows that let the light of God shine in. At night, they ‘make plans’. As a note, other Churches also have a simple plain Cross boldly displayed. Any ‘designer type’ cross makes me think of a different gospel and a different spirit.

Ray McCauley still continues to try to justify his abundant wealth in a country where the disparity between the haves and have not’s is astronomical. Things that get reported in newspapers are the negative stuff, therefore the world sees his wealth as negative and do not praise God for it. There is no comment on the hundreds of people being patient in the traffic, but let a taxi come in the left yellow emergency lane and push in at the front, then hear the comments.

TD Jakes says “God is a good product’, and therefore can be compared to alcohol, it sells well and sheep are very dumb animals. There is an automatic market for the “product.”

2 Corinthians 11:3-5

“3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5 But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.””

Romans 1:16 – 17

“16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

John the Baptist preached ‘REPENT’ and Jesus first sermon starts with the word “REPENT’. Ray has replaced the word SIN with ‘wrongs’.

Ray McCauley is trying to fulfill the 5 fold ministry by himself, and this is impossible. (1 Cor 12:12-31). (1 Cor 3:5-9) God has given ALL these gifts to the Church, to various people to provide the necessary balance from the pulpit and functioning in the Church. Other Ministers/Pastors swop pulpits regularly with LOCAL preachers for this purpose where they are too small, but a large ‘church’ like Rhema should have them.

The shepherd has abandoned the sheep and gone to Durban to reportedly live the ‘high life’. (2 Tim 3:1-5). He should have been living in the area of the ‘church’ according to the middle to upper income average standard of living of the members in the area. He is not there to look for the one sheep that goes astray or to care the 99 sheep. (Ezek 34:8-10) He has built his bigger barns, the satellite church/halls, TV stations; more markets to penetrate and to sell more books, tapes, get tithes and of course the numbers etc and leave his Pastors and hired hands to manage the barns. (Luke 12:18-19). The fruit does not fall far from the tree. He only thinks of himself and his own desire to preach and not that of the sheep and does not trust God for himself.

Luke 6:44-45

“44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

Other Ministries, which I have encountered, that follow a particular vision, gifting, passion and desire, usually operate outside the worship services on Sundays. I believe that Rhema Ministries should now do the same so that the sheep can get a balanced diet in a local church not stay malnourished, but nurtured and grown as individuals. I would hope that these ministries operate within the body or accountable to a church/body which is not on the payroll, but not outside the body of Christ, to prevent these and other deception/s, but that’s for another time.

Matthew 16:24-26

“24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

1 Peter 3:17

“17 It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

I believe that Ray McCauley should take a ‘Furlough’ or ‘sabbatical’. Making a sermon on an electronic search of the Bible on the word ‘joy’ and ‘teaching’ them out of the context of each verse is surely not a basis for a sermon? He quoted how many times the word ‘joy’ is recorded in the Bible. My various translations show 182, 173, 44, 165, 218 times as a matter of interest.

Since he has been paid probably enough for 10 lifetimes, going on the selling price of his house, he should be able to do this. If Rhema have bought his Umghlanga residence as a pastoral palace, this would be shocking to the world and believers. However, if his wife brings in bills of R180,000.00 for a month in a hotel, reportedly true by what seems a Rhema employee and denied by the spokesman, he will have difficulty. If this is true, did Rhema pay this out of their funds or as a loan to Ray? Comments in the blogs in the report link to this blog, report Zelda’s lifestyle etc and Ray must be accompanying her in this lifestyle. A deacon’s wife and therefore also an Elder, Bishop and Pastor’s wives should be:

1 Timothy 3:11

“11 In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.”

Titus 2:3
“3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

1 Timothy 6:6-10

“6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Matthew 5:13-20 Jesus speaking

“17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” (Romans 5:17)


Romans 6:1-2

“1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

Ezek 21:24-27 (24 below)

“24 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘Because you people have brought to mind your guilt by your open rebellion, revealing your sins in all that you do—because you have done this, you will be taken captive.”

1 Peter 1:13-17

“13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be HOLY, because I am HOLY.”
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.”

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Reggie said...

I still maintain, that its sad really, given the way Rhema has been such a inspiration to christians and churches. I have a major issue with the prosperity gospel and the onscene opulance of these guys This has to be opposed as a herecy in our days...

Reggie said...

oops! :-0
its supose to be obscene... not onscene.

Filly said...

Hi Reggie
I agree totally with you on the prosperity bit. The inspiration of other churches, I am not sure if this 'inspiration' has not lead them to destruction.
Other Churches are not immune to disception as well if they have tried to follow them and not Christ himself.

Filly said...

And so we continue

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