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    by Andrew Strom

    I only began to truly understand the magnitude of this crisis when

    I went to Uganda for the first time. I had ministered in Nigeria

    before, but I had always thought Nigeria was a special case.

    But not any more. Uganda opened my eyes. I realized the whole

    of Africa has been infected. And I mean on an epidemic scale. A

    tragic defilement, a complete undermining of the words of Jesus,

    a total loss of the pure milk of the word. Greed and corruption

    and "prosperity" lies on a vast scale.

    It is so difficult to put into words the tragedy of what has occurred in

    the Third World. These are Revival countries - where God has been

    moving in great power. They are nations full of the simple and the

    poor - who often make the most devoted lambs of Jesus. And now

    I feel like we are seeing the "rape" of these precious Third World

    Christians by a vast army of corrupted charlatans who call them-

    selves "God's preachers". Leaders by the thousand who have been

    utterly ruined by the greed-inducing lies of Western Christian media.

    And now they are ravaging God's precious sheep.

    This is not a small problem - it is enormous. Right across the

    continents of Africa and Asia and South America - where God has

    been moving the most - we find this gospel of greed beginning to

    utterly dominate the church - particularly in the big cities. In many

    places it is difficult to find pastors or leaders who are not gorging

    themselves with it. We are talking about corruption and sickness

    on such a scale that I do not believe the like of it has been seen

    since the days of Constantine. This is a crisis unlike almost any

    the church has known.

    I got an email from a pastor in Puerto Rico who wrote the following:

    "The prosperity and WOF false gospel has made extensive

    damage to the local Pentecostal/ Charismatic church.

    Nowadays WOF theology is the "standard theology" heard on

    Christian media (radio, music and TV). A Spanish-speaking

    subsidiary of TBN called ENLACE is spread all over Latin America

    with the name-and-claim-it 'gospel'..."

    Another man from Nigeria wrote to me:

    "When I heard your message, especially about the report of the

    church in Nigeria, you were right on the money... This money

    gospel has reshaped and taken over Christianity in Nigeria totally,

    and it saddens my heart... You agree with me that it's a major

    crisis in Lagos. Everything is about money and you seem a fool

    when you talk against it... "leadership, money, increase." So many,

    all over Africa."

    On one trip to Nigeria I stayed in the home of a pastor of a large

    church there. He had two brand-new Mercedes parked in the

    driveway as well as a new Lexus SUV. Inside was a 10-foot wide

    Plasma television with Satellite TV. And such things are not

    uncommon at all in the larger churches of Africa. In fact, more

    and more it is being seen as "normal". And how do they get all

    this money? By manipulating the poor, precious lambs of Jesus,

    of course. Screwing it out of a people who live in poverty the like

    of which you and I can hardly imagine. You should see the

    "offerings" these gentlemen take up - so manipulative it could

    almost make you physically ill. And where did they learn all

    these "money tricks"? Why - from Christian television, of course!

    And then they multiply it by 100.

    So what is to be done about all this? Has it already become so

    ingrained that it is hopeless trying to turn it around? Is the amount

    of money being spent on television by these sharks so great that

    the Truth simply can't compete? These are very good questions.

    Because television and radio are clearly the dominant factor in

    this race to destruction.

    As I said in a previous article, we have to make a personal choice

    in this crisis between Despair and 'Resolve'. We can either sink

    down in despair, or "Resolve" to stand and fight for the Truth and

    for the precious lambs of God. I have to take heart in the fact that

    Jesus says HE is the one who builds His Church - and the gates

    of hell will not prevail against her. I believe God has a plan - and

    it is a plan that involves you and me - and everyone else who knows

    the Truth and is willing to fight for it. We are Christ's ambassadors

    and He has a special mission for us - just like in every similar

    crisis down through history. All we have to do is stand and speak.

    God will do the rest.

    I love the example of David who came to Israel during a similar

    crisis. When he saw that the Israelites were faced by a taunting,

    God-mocking Philistine named Goliath he did not go aside to hold

    committee meetings - or even to pray for several days before

    acting! His heart was stirred within him and he cried, "What shall

    be done to the man that kills this Philistine, and takes away the

    reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine,

    that he should defy the armies of the living God?" (1 Sa 17:26).

    This is the reaction that God is looking for. It is a heart response

    birthed out of a kind of "holy indignation". And it results in a courage

    that stands boldly for Truth - without even thinking about the

    consequences. It is those who have this "holy indignation" that God

    is wanting to use in these last days. The crisis is severe. Who will

    stand for righteousness and truth? Only those who, like David, have

    drawn close to God and represent His heart. God's eyes are roaming

    the earth, seeking such ones to stand for Him at this very moment.

    May we all be part of the solution to this crisis, my friends. May

    we all - under the anointing of the Holy Spirit - simply stand and

    start declaring God's Truth into this situation. Simple fearless

    courage is still one of the few things on this earth that makes the

    devil tremble. It still only takes "five small stones." And so, it is

    time to quit ourselves like men - to gird ourselves for war. The

    eternal destiny of millions of Jesus' precious sheep hangs in the

    balance. Will we respond?