Sunday, March 24, 2013

Praying for TBN

This year the Trinity Broadcasting Networkcelebrates its 40th anniversary. I used to watch TBN often especially during the early 1990s. Their programming (as well as teachings from other ministries) helped me grow as a young Christian. For awhile, my then-pastor had his TV program broadcast on TBN. 

In 2003, I got to tour TBN’s headquarters in Santa Ana, California. During which I met an evangelist named Edward who usually visited TBN once a month but hadn’t been there in three months. That morning the Lord specifically told Edward, “Go to TBN!” After buying one of my Evangelism 101 books, Edward said he would teach from it that night in a prison he ministers at. That would explain why I went through a lot of spiritual warfare that day.

Then in 2006, an incident occurred that didn’t set well with me. While watching one of TBN’s Praise-A-Thons, I called to make a donation but asked them not to send me that month’s love gift, which was a poster of a young King David. A few days later, the post office contacted me about wanting to deliver a package “postage due.” Realizing it was the poster from TBN, I refused delivery of that. I want to believe this was a mistake on TBN’s part.

TBN is often criticized for preaching a “prosperity gospel.” Critics need to remember it takes money to preach God’s word throughout the world especially through the printed page and electronic media. I also believe ministers should be allowed a decent salary (see 1 Timothy 5:17). Still I’m turned off when I hear televangelists repeatedly beg viewers to “pick up the phone” and make a donation. I know of ministries that have prospered without making any financial appeals.

In recent years, many claims of impropriety have come against TBN cofounders Paul and Jan Crouch. If any of these accusations are true, I pray that Paul and Jan take corrective action so they fulfill God’s plans and purposes for TBN. God wants to use every tool available to get the gospel out in these last days.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” - Matthew 6:33

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