Profits of the Church Business
A Christian movement characterized by multi-level marketing, Pentecostal signs and wonders, and post-millennial optimism.
Largely behind the scenes, a group of mostly self-proclaimed “apostles,” leading ministries from North Carolina to Southern California, has attracted millions of followers with promises of direct access to God through signs and wonders.
Their movement, which Christerson and Flory called “Independent Network Charismatic” or “INC” Christianity, has become one of the fastest-growing faith groups in the United States. Apostles like Bill Johnson, Mike Bickle, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, and Ché Ahn claim millions of followers. They’re also aided by an army of fellow ministers who fall under their “spiritual covering.”
Many of these apostles run megachurches, including Bethel Church in Redding California, HRock Church in Pasadena, and the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. But their real power lies in their innovative approach to selling faith. They’ve combined multi-level marketing, Pentecostal signs and wonders, and post-millennial optimism to connect directly with millions of spiritual customers. That allows them to reap millions in donations, conference fees, and book and DVD sales. And because these INC apostles claim to get direction straight from God, they operate with almost no oversight.
What’s the difference between INC Christians and the prosperity gospel movement or megachurch networks like the Association of Related Churches (ARC)?
Probably the closest kinship would be prosperity gospel movement. But it’s a little different in that the INC movement has a network that cooperates more often. My sense of the prosperity gospel is that it consists of individual entrepreneurs, TV preachers, and megachurch leaders, but there’s not as much cooperation.
Also, the theology is different. The prosperity gospel would focus more on the individual’s health and wealth. This group is unique in that they really think God has put these apostles on earth to basically transform the world. It’s a sort of trickle-down Christianity, where these apostles are at the top of the mountain, exercising this power from the top down. That’s how the kingdom of God comes in.
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE “The ‘Prophets’ and ‘Apostles’ Leading the Quiet Revolution in American Religion“.
EDITORS NOTE: After reading this article, it was disheartening but at the same time funny. It is not funny that people are being taken advantage of spiritually and financially by non-denominational ecumenical business men who are lying psychopaths.
What struck me as funny is it showed a reflection of how Kent Hovind’s Creation Science Evangelism is being run.
Ernest Land the CEO of Creation Science Evangelism is a guru of the multilevel marketing gimmick. What is even more disturbing is Kent Hovind has warned his followers of a digital currency being one step closer to a Luciferian New World Order religion – but doesn’t mind his CEO helping in the formation of DibCoin a digital currency multilevel marketing gimmick.
Yes, the same Kent Hovind who said that people can take the mark of the beast and still be saved…