Shame on ‘The Fleeced Flock’!

Posted on March 31, 2020


By David Ettinger

More Should Have Been Arrested!
This past Sunday, Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of The River at Tampa Bay Church in Florida was arrested for “holding crowded services” and thereby “defying government orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.”[1]  

Howard-Browne was arrested the day after, but released 40 minutes later. Too bad the entire congregation was not arrested on the charge of “being sheep led to the slaughter and allowing themselves to be fleeced”!

Some of you may think I’m being harsh, but I have no sympathy for “doormat” Christians – whether actual Christians or in name only.

Fleecing of the Flock
“Fleecing the flock” is a term used to describe pastors who preach a false gospel to their congregants with the goal of getting rich. You can find fleecing pastors in the pulpits of “prosperity doctrine” churches, and there is no shortage of them.

The “prosperity doctrine” teaches that the more you give to your pastor, the more you will receive from God. Fleecing pastors refer to such giving by their flocks as “seeds.” In other words, if you sow a “seed” of $500 – even if it drains your savings account – God will repay you 10-fold for your “sacrifice.”

Of course, it never works this way. Well, at least not for the flock. The fleecing pastors make out like bandits – and I mean that literally – while the foolish flock member is $500 poorer.

Rodney Howard-Browne is a fleecer, as well as a maniac who promotes his preposterous “laughing ministry” while also making a mockery of tongue-speaking. You can check out his videos on YouTube to see what I’m talking about.

Focus on the Flock
However, I want to focus on the flock – the congregants, of which there are millions worldwide – who allow these charlatans to get away with their fleecing.

Critics vehemently lambaste and condemn prosperity-doctrine pastors, especially those who rip off those with few funds. I agree with this, but I’ll at least admit that these pastors do not point guns at their congregants’ temples and demand they empty their wallets.

Rather, in allowing themselves to be fleeced, flock members are willing stooges. Don’t forget, part of the scam involves the promise to the giver that he or she will be blessed 10-fold (or more). So yes, on one hand I feel sorry for the little old lady who decimated her savings account to line the pastors’ pockets, but she also did so out of skewed intentions. She was not giving to God for the sake of promoting His kingdom, but out of dreams of wealth.

One of the characteristics of the fleeced is that they fail to read their Bibles, relying on what their fleecing pastors tell them, accepting their poison at face-value, never questioning whether or not such rubbish is legitimate.

Like affirmative-head-nodding zombies, they accept their fleecer’s claim that he or she is God’s anointed, and that to question or even remotely doubt what they say equates to blasphemy. So, when someone such as Rodney Howard-Browne tells them to show up at church despite stay-at-home directives in the face of a pandemic, they obediently obey, accepting it as God’s will.

Trying to convince the flock that Howard-Browne’s primary motive for holding church was to collect the tithes and offerings would be fruitless. They would reply: “May God curse you for criticizing God’s anointed!”

Shame on Them
So, yes, you can have sympathy for those who are fleeced, but I say, “Shame on them!”

A true love of God and sincere searching of the Scriptures would go a long way in setting them on the right path. But I don’t believe this is what most of the fleeced flock truly wants. I believe they want what the prosperity-doctrine preachers spew, and this makes them as culpable as those who are bleeding their coffers.

May those who love the Lord Jesus Christ be wise and on guard in this ever-increasing world of prosperity-doctrine and false-gospel-teaching charlatans who would skin us alive if they could.

Yes, there will always be fleecers, but may it never be said (from this point forward) that you were one of the fleeced!