Embracing Debt | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

[TBC: In 2 Peter:2:3, the Lord warns, “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” The following article show that these false prophets are still around.

Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, encourages worshippers to embrace debt [Excerpts]

Followers of a church in the UK are urged to sell all their possessions and default on bills to fund ‘gifts to God’

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is also using false testimonies to tout for “offerings” from its congregation. It even uses sessions supposedly designed to help its worshippers with their financial troubles to elicit more donations.

At one of these sessions, witnessed by myself, the pastor encouraged his congregation to give cash in exchange for strips of his tie, which he said were invested with God’s power and could make financial miracles happen. The Church’s aggressive pursuit of tithes and offerings means that donations dwarf those made at mainstream churches. The Church’s accounts state that it received £8.8 million in donations in 2008-09, the most recent year for which figures are available. This is an average of £225,558 per congregation — 600 per cent more than raised by the Church of England.

The Universal Church is no stranger to controversy. In 2003, the Charity Commission ordered its trustees to implement a child protection policy after pastors failed to raise the alarm when Victoria Climbié was brought to a service to be exorcised of demons. The Church now has a policy in place.

The [worship] style is hyperactive. Thumping music and theatrical lights are used to good effect, and assistants patrol between the rows of seats — speaking in tongues and urging members of the congregation on in their prayers.

Three of the services were so-called “Hidden Treasures” sessions, which purport to provide “support, guidance and motivation to get your finances back on track”. At the first, the pastor urged worshippers to donate money in return for strips of his tie, which he said were invested with God’s power and could make miracles. At another, the pastor railed at the congregation for not giving enough, falling to his knees to mock those who believed that prayer alone could bring change. He then gave us the chance to reconsider, calling on his assistants to hand out Gift Aid envelopes.