Are Televangelists Testing God?

In the book of Acts, there is a character that is fairly well known. However, I don’t think he is given the attention today that might be appropriate. His name is Simon the sorcerer and you can find his story in Acts 8:9-24. In this account, Simon tries to buy the ability to give the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. This is apparently an overflow from his previous way of life. He obviously was known for being able to perform great feats since the Scripture records that he had “amazed all the people of Samaria.”

Peter rebuked Simon for his attempt at “purchasing” the Holy Spirit. What this made me begin to think about was whether or not this might apply to some modern-day “Simons”? The only real difference between the modern-day Simons and Simon in Acts is that they are no longer trying to purchase the Holy Spirit, they are trying to sell Him. These peddlers of the Holy Spirit appear on what is often referred to as “Christian Television” and are known as “Televangelists.”

It sickens me every time I hear about what these “men and women of God” are trying to sell. Let me correct myself, it isn’t that they are selling something that aggravates me…it is the fact that they explain it as “sowing seed” in the kingdom of God (or some other similar phrase). Like giving money or buying this certain item will then impart them some special standing before the Holy God of the universe. So now we have ordinary men and women who can speak on behalf of God (pardon the sarcasm).

As I said, if these “ministries” were simply on TV promoting their teachings, it wouldn’t bother me nearly as much. The fact that they have as their goal to peddle the Holy Spirit makes me want to say the same thing the apostle Peter said to Simon, “May your money perish with you.”


Do you think this comparison of televangelists with Simon the sorcerer is fair, accurate, etc.?

What'd you think? 


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