Following up on the whole Oral Roberts University mess, as a graduate, I am disgusted with what looks like an orgy of self-indulgence by Richard and Lindsay Roberts. This is nothing new, though, since Oral was gold-plating his personal faucets when I was a student there. Something is seriously wrong when people who claim to be ministers of the gospel lavishly spend the Lord's money on themselves.
A 2,000 square foot closet just for Lindsay Roberts' clothes? Flying by private jet to the Bahamas on a "ministry trip" and staying at the Atlantis resort--one of the premier resort hotels in the world? This is ministry?
Not by any stretch of the imagination. It's people like this that give Christianity a bad name.
This is nothing but self-indulgence, theft of the Lord's money, and just plain sin. Paul warned us about this in Galatians: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love . . . . Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." Galatians 5:13; 6:7-9
Charisma Magazine's Lee Grady made an interesting comparison of the ORU mess to ENRON:
E is for entitlement. Do leaders in your church or organization feel they deserve to be treated like kings? That style may work OK in a monarchy, but Jesus said that in His kingdom leaders must behave like servants. Those with a spirit of entitlement should be disqualified.
N is for nepotism. When leaders show favoritism to family members, they create arbitrary double standards. Christian organizations must stop building spiritual dynasties.
R is for robbery. If a Christian leader is using donor funds to purchase lavish perks for himself, he is stealing from God. Let’s call it what it is. Though the Bible makes it clear that a Christian worker is worthy of his hire, it also condemns ministers who have their hands in the coffer. When the prophet Malachi asked the probing question, “Will a man rob God?” (Mal. 3:8 NASB) he was not just addressing people who didn’t tithe. He was pointing to greedy priests who stole part of the offerings meant for the poor.
O is for overinflated egos. Too many leaders today are drunk with power. Like Nebuchadnezzar, their pride has caused them to go insane. When an egomaniac drives an organization, you can be sure he will eventually crash—and hurt a lot of people in the process.
N is for negligence. God looks for integrity in the little things. He judges leaders not by the size of the crowd or the volume of their preaching but by the way they conduct themselves when no one is looking. In this hour when our enemies are ready to pounce on our every mistake, we must be faithful in the smallest things. That means we must get our houses in order financially. *
Christianity isn't about money or power or position. Christianity is about knowing and loving Jesus Christ--a relationship that produces the fruit of the Spirit, "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:22-24
Why should any of us have more than Jesus had on this earth? Why are we entitled to a life of privilege when He showed us a life of humility?
To Oral, Richard, Lindsay and assorted spoiled offspring . . . all I can say is, you just don't get it.