Correction: After writing this post I realized that the offending network was the INSP Network and not TBN. However, TBN has its own set of heresies.

Now on to the original post.

I watch TBN a lot. The Bible tells us to “be angry, and sin not.” TBN always leads me to obey the first part of this verse. I am constantly stunned by the heresy that oozes from this network.

Mike Murdock (I refuse to link to his site) is a crook. He’s one of the leading salesmen for TBN. There are at least three different fund-raising telethons that play on an almost weekly basis on TBN of which he is the front man. His goal is to get you to plant a “seed” into the ministry of TBN. Specifically a $58 “seed” which should be planted monthly for twelve consecutive months.

I’ve heard him explain where he got the number 58 from but I don’t remember exactly what it represents. It’s something to the effect that he has counted 58 different kinds of blessings in the Bible.

During one of these telethons he says that God told him there are 300 people in the viewing audience whom God will bless abundantly if they will pledge $58 a month. He says that he doesn’t know exactly why God chose the number 300 but he just knows in his spirit that that’s the number of viewers God has called to give money to TBN. Here’s the deal though: this same “live” telethon plays at least once a week. The exact same one. They just rebroadcast it whenever they want. Does anyone see the problem with that? So are there 300 people that God calls every time this broadcasts? Or was it just the 300 from the original broadcast?

Murdock says that he is asking God for 1,000 miracles for these 300 givers during the following year. 1,000 miracles!!! That far outnumbers the miracles recorded in scripture.

During these telethons, when he’s not asking for your money, he tells these stories of how people all throughout the years of his ministry have witnessed incredible miracles in their lives after committing to plant this magical $58 seed. People were healed, people received incredible financial blessings, and unbelieving family members came to Christ only days after the first $58 seed was planted.

Does anybody remember Martin Luther? I do. The Reformation began with Luther protesting (among other things) the selling of indulgences by the Catholic church. These indulgences were essentially a fund raising effort by the Pope where you could buy your dead loved ones out of purgatory and into heaven. Murdock’s entire act smacks of this same wickedness.

And here’s another thing: Murdock is an Arminian. That means (this is a gigantic theological issue here that I’m not going to take the time to explain – I know many of my readers know the difference between Arminianism and Calvinism so I’ll just leave it at that) he believes that man is sovereign when it comes to whether or not he chooses salvation. So if Murdock believes that for $58 God might just save your husband, then that means the choice is God’s, not the husband’s. This completely refutes the entire basis of his theology. If man is sovereign in salvation then shouldn’t we send the money to the husband instead of God (read: TBN)?

I’ve also heard him encourage viewers to put the pledge on a credit card. Good grief!

Barf.

Now, let it be said that I have absolutely no problem with ministries (TV or otherwise) asking for money. Ministry costs money. I know that. But you will never hear MacArthur, Sproul, or Begg promising you a miracle if you support their ministry. And they usually stress the fact that you should support your local church first. Then if you are financially able to support their ministry, after having given to your own church, they welcome and appreciate your support because they don’t use advertising to pay for their radio time.

Thieves like Murdock (among many, many others) have done so much damage to Christianity and it’s sad. Now, not only does the public at large think Christians are crazy and foolish, they think we’re greedy. I dispise that.