Reaction to Mac Hammond’s defense

        In a previous post the situation with the IRS and Pastor Mac Hammond of Living Word Christian Center was discussed.  Since then Pastor Mac Hammond has issued a defense of what is going on with the IRS and the allegations.  Ultimately, through due process, they will be able to have their say and defend themselves against any allegations brought for by the investigation.

     In his defense, Pastor Hammond argues that the audit was only opened for political reasons.  He states an IRS official illegally opened the audit and did so at the behest of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington based on the perceived Michelle Bachmann endorsement.  This article isn’t really getting into delving into those facts.  It is worth pointing out again that Pastor Mac Hammond did state he would “almost welcome an IRS audit.” 

     The main concern is that a good portion of Pastor Mac Hammond’s defense is really a defense of the prosperity gospel.  He points to a national conspiracy to attack ministries involve in what he states has come to be called the “prosperity gospel.”  He even states “the gospel-the good news that God is good and our covenant of blessing will provide increase in every area of our life.”  However, that is NOT the Gospel.  The Gospel is John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth him shall have eternal life.

     Pastor Mac Hammond goes on to suggest that what is happening is politically motivated because the “enemies of the gospel” are afraid of wealthy Christians and the influence that they may weild.  He states that to limit the influence of the church, the wealth needs to be limited, and that is done by decreasing the willingness to donate.  Pastor Mac Hammond clearly delineates that “clergy” can and should be wealthy and that the media and enemies of the gospel want to keep them poor, and as such keep the church poor.  Pastor Mac goes on to state that God can do anything and that the only limits on what God can and will do is our faith.  In essence, it reads to me that our faith becomes the means by which to get God to do what we want, which usually is increasing our personal kingdoms such as by wealth. 

   The question again comes down to what Kingdom is really being built.  Do we give our all.  Pastor Mac Hammond in is defense graciously offered to sell all and give it to the church. Great, but until that happens it is just words that can make one look good.  Actions speak louder then words. Now Pastor Mac Hammond indicates he donates a large sum to the church which he indicates is how a person avoids the temptations of lukewarmness and decreased God-depenency.   The generosity is good, and praise God for that. Only God and Pastor Mac Hammond know what is at the core of the giving.  Only God and Pastor Mac Hammond truely know what kingdom he is really serving.  However, the defense Pastor Mac Hammond gives leaves me troubled, regardless of the facts. The defense is all about emphasizing prosperity and the church needs to be prosperous to influence society.

    The church is called to be salt and light to a community. But the influence of salt and light come not from the influence of wealth or from involvement in the political realm.  The influence of the church is in changing hearts and minds and drawing people into surrender to Yeshua.  It is about turning from self. There is a reason Jesus stated that it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, yet with God all things are possible.