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Devotionals

Defending Jesse Duplantis; Are You Kidding Me?

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828ministries.com H3'ed 6/8/18
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"1. The moment we embrace lack and limits for another is the moment we embrace lack and limits for ourselves. Many years ago, I was the youth pastor of one of the wealthiest churches in the nation. My wife and I were earning $24,000 a year, and the rumor was my senior pastor was earning well over $100,000. He was also given a new Cadillac every couple of years, and he lived in a beautiful home. One day, I was pondering whether my pastor really needed such a high income. I wasn't complaining in the least. I was simply wondering. God heard my not-so-private thoughts and initiated a dialogue with me, though at first I didn't realize it was him. "So, would $40,000 a year be sufficient for your pastor?" That's the question that dropped into my mind. My silent reply was something like, "Well, no. He's been faithful in ministry for years. He's surely worthy of more than that." "How about $50,000?" "No, that's still too low. I appreciate all he has done and he certainly can earn more." "$75,000?" At this point, I was keenly aware that I was in a fearful conversation with God. I didn't even answer that final question. He didn't wait for a response. What he said next struck me and has impacted my finances and my ministry ever since. "Don't you ever again presume I should consult you when I decide how to financially resource and bless one of my children. The moment you make a judgment on another's finances is the moment your finances will come under judgment. When you embrace lack and limits for another, you will not find success breaking through lack and limits in your own life. If you affirm lack for another, you will experience lack yourself." I've never questioned another's financial situation again. I bless those who are financially blessed, period. In fact, I've met many people who faithfully tithe and give who are always struggling financially. In addition to what I addressed in my other article referenced above, I believe this issue is very often a cause. "But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to get wealth, so that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is today" (Deut. 8:18)." -- John Burton

What a load of utter garbage. If you believe this conversation occurred then I have a bridge to sell you. This is one of the first gambits of the false teacher -- direct revelation. This way less people will be inclined to question what is clearly unbiblical. By claiming God told me, you essentially trump up your beliefs to the level of Scripture. Not to mention the entire premise is asinine. Questioning the need to spend 54 million dollars on an airplane is prudent and wise not a cause for judgment.

"2. It's not being used for personal pleasure. It's a tool to reach people with the gospel. If a pastor announced a fundraiser for a new church van, would you protest? Of course not. It's an important tool for ministry. Pastors regularly raise funds for important works including millions for new buildings, buses, missions and other ministries. Jesse is believing for fast transportation so he can reach more people. I find no fault in that. In fact, what if Jesse stood in faith for a $54 million jet personally, instead of for his ministry? That way, he could use it any way he desired, including for ministry. You might consider that to be a strange point, but consider this: I use my car in the same way. I have a 501(c)(3) ministry, but my car was not secured through my nonprofit. I own it personally. So, I use it to go to Walmart, on vacation and to various ministry destinations. The problem is that many are judging Jesse's motive, which is radically irresponsible. They presume to know just what's in his heart and, therefore, judge that his attempts to secure the airplane are immoral. They presume he's coveting. They think he's selfish. That judgment is out of line. There is not one person alive, with the possible exception of those who are very close to him, who knows what his motive is. Biblically, we are mandated to judge fruit, but until we have clear proof of indiscretion, it's foolish and irresponsible to say we know what his motives are." -- John Burton

The fact that other ministers may abuse spending money does not validate this one and there is no comparing a church van to a Falcon 7X. The larger point of course is that Jesse Duplantis does not preach the Gospel. It reminds me of when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees who would go halfway around the world for a single proselyte only to make them twice the son of hell that they were. Jesse preaches a false gospel of prosperity and word faith. We should be buying him a donkey to slow him down. Now, if he were man of moderation then I agree challenging motives would be wrong. But when you live in a 3.5 million dollar mansion, preach prosperity, and now are asking for another 54 million to jet set around the world, well if it walks like a duck. I will go out on a limb here and say that there are no set of circumstances where a preacher should ask for 54 million dollars. No context that makes this somehow more palatable. Don't hand me this baloney about it being all for Jesus. Burton also forgets that our judgment is not relegated merely to fruit. In 1Corinthians we are to judge those in the church. It also misses the point that using the constraints regarding our brethren does not apply to wolves that are devouring our brethren. Jesse Duplantis is not my brother. He is slaughtering my brothers. His motives are glaringly obvious for anyone not trying to defend the utterly indefensible.

"3. Why is it any of your business? As I sit back and watch people become unraveled about this, I have to wonder, Why are you so uptight about someone you don't even know? The truth is that this is none of your business. Stay silent. Nothing immoral has occurred. No crimes have been committed." -- John Burton

Mr. Burton. The Bible says it is my business. The word of God is filled with warnings about false teachers. We are our brother's keeper. You see the problem is that you are focusing on the wolf instead of the sheep. Nothing immoral has occurred? Are you serious? This is a man who has made millions of dollars on the backs of poor people and now he wants to take another 54 million from them to fly in luxury. He will have to stand before Christ and answer for it one day and now you will stand with him in answering for this defense at the expense of the sheep of the Lord.

"4. If it is your business, what specifically has God told you to do in response? While I doubt God chose to consult you about Jesse's situation, let's pretend he did. God doesn't gossip. He doesn't share information about someone else just so we can enjoy shaming them. If he reveals another's immorality to you, I'd be shaking in my boots. The fear of the Lord should wreck you. His revelation means you have a sober responsibility to help bring restoration to the one in error. What would your first step be? For starters, that should mean implementing Matthew 18 protocol if you felt he sinned against you: "'Now if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother'" (Matt. 15:18). -- John Burton

Well the first thing the Lord has told me is to show you how to properly exegete a text. The scripture in Matthew 18 is when a brother sins against me personally, not when a wolf has attacked the sheep. I am under zero biblical obligations to coddle wolves, talk to them first, or ask them to stop behaving like a wolf. Next the Lord has asked me to tell you to stop hyper-spiritualizing the obvious. The Lord does not have to consult me about Jesse's situation. That is absurd. The Bible tells me all I need to know. It is not about Jesse -- it is about the sheep. The fear of the Lord does wreck me. I am not the one who shows no fear of the Lord in this situation. That would be you. I am not on the side of fleecing 54 million dollars from God's people so that a false gospel can be more widely preached.

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