This is an open letter to apologetics ministries in the United States.
Most of us are familiar with the chilling reality that the majority of people today do not know God.
2 states, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
This verse came to my mind this week as I visited with a ministry friend. He was discussing a criticism of his ministry by another ministry, almost a decade ago. The dissing attitude of this “rival” ministry was off-base—I’m familiar with the particulars of the dispute—and it hurt this man’s ministry for some time.
This trend is a growing one, I perceive. As the economy forces ministries to stretch every dollar, the competition for donations increases, let’s be honest. Quite ironically, there is a Darwinian feel to it all: “rival” ministries operate more like political opponents than brethren.
Let’s take this one more step. It is fairly obvious that some ministries exist to serve as a job for their founders. That is the goal.
Others seek to build a personal legacy. Nothing is more infuriating than a ministry head taking his own counsel and announcing grand expansion plans, which require massive infusions of cash. Hence, more earnest pleas for donations from already hurting donors.
This is unconscionable. It is not so different from pork-barrel spending in Congress. Huge amounts of tax dollars are spent on insane, frivolous projects that benefit no one.
I do not think they would mind, and so I will relate a story. The first time I met Henry and John Morris (now president of the Institute for Creation Research), these men shared their hearts. Their overriding desire was to see lost souls won to Christ. That was the agenda. It is still John’s agenda, at ICR; his sweet father has since gone home to be with the Lord.
I really wish more ministry heads shared their heart. Many do not, although they are good actors.
I am familiar with two ministries that basically duplicate the other’s efforts. This is not wrong in and of itself; there are certainly plenty of people who need to be reached in our culture. Yet the real problem in this instance is that one ministry split into two. Each has allocated money for similar projects. Now, to be fair, one of these ministries masked its malevolent intentions to destroy the other, so its new “rival” set up shop for survival and, I think, a genuine desire to reach the culture.
The point is, however, that human egos force their arrogance—their narcissism—on everyone else. It is ironic that what is often needed to launch a far-reaching Christian ministry is a personality capable of marketing that ministry. Eventually, this is a recipe for over-indulgence and even malfeasance.
Interestingly, in my personal experience, I find that Bible prophecy ministries in general are not burdened by this human failure. Perhaps it is their sense of urgency that time is growing rapidly short and there is no time for ego. Kudos to them!
Frankly, I do not think the narcissists who lead some Christian ministries can be reached by appealing to their better natures. However, one can appeal to those ministry leaders who share the ICR agenda. And, one can appeal to those of you who donate money: prayerfully ask for discernment when sharing your hard-earned money.
I wish the megalomaniacs who sit in seats of power in Christian ministry could be reached. Failing that, let’s pray that the Lord would be merciful to all of us as we still wear these decaying suits of humanity. As Thomas Ice likes to say, Maranatha!