I have learned something in my almost 40 years in dealing with religious cults, summed up in the familiar phrase: “follow the money.”
These three words, if used faithfully and correctly in one’s life, can answer some of life’s most vexing questions. By “following the money,” you will gain insight into one of the main—if not the main—motivations of religious cults (and of groups in general).
Take, for example, the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG), a growing cult birthed in South Korea. Growing by leaps and bounds, their membership may be over the one million mark.
With a growing Youtube and social media presence, this group presents a carefully choreographed face to the world of being a helpful, caring and “look how much good we do for the world” religious organization.
Their cheery and slick ad’s, however, hide their true sinister side, which is a corrupt, power and control hungry group whose main existence is—you guessed it—$$$. Lots and lots of money.
Like most religious groups (and I’m saddened to write this includes legitimate Christian organizations), collecting money from their sheep is the main priority and reason for their existence. “Follow the money” and you will learn why they wake up in the mornings.
Recently, I stumbled upon an outdoor meeting the WMSCOG was holding in Tucson, AZ. They called it an “Ascension Day Worship.” At the height of this gathering, approximately 40 to 50 people were in attendance. One could describe it as a religious service common throughout America on a typical Sunday.
Of course, during one portion of the service, it was time for the male leaders of the group to break out the red, super-sized collection bags and walk down the aisle, soliciting “donations” from those present. My own eyes were literally “following the money.”
“But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money…” 2 Timothy 3:2
The Bible warns that people in the last days will be guilty of the sin of greed, which can be defined as someone who loves money. Thus, we should not be surprised to discover that “religious” people, masquerading as Christians who don’t know the first thing about authentic Christianity, will be marked by their love of money. In America, where one of the many false gods is money, none should be surprised at this fact.
You will be astonished by the paradigm shift in your thinking and outlook on life when you begin to incorporate into your life the principle of “following the money.” It will open doors of such insight and understanding that you might wonder why you never thought of this type of revelation before.
I ask you to think about the lopsided importance that money has in our society, how the endless pursuit of it dictates so much of what we do every day. It is so deeply woven into virtually every aspect of our daily routines that, again, few even think about it. Fewer consider it to be a negative aspect of our culture.
Even more disturbing, the love of money has also tainted the true Church, the Bride of Christ. Many churches in America, particularly mega ones, are run more like successful corporations than places which exist to glorify the Name of Jesus.
If you remove the profit motive from many churches, para-churches, and other religious organizations, many of them would permanently shut their doors. The sad and revoting reality is this: countless churches and “Christian” ministries are in it for the simple fact they are “following the money.” And if there is one place in America where easy money is to be found, look no further than your local church.
This being said, it is not surprising that “ministries” are as common as mushrooms popping up in the fields after a summer thunderstorm. And cults, like sharks who smell blood in the water, congregate to places where they believe easy kills are there for the pickings.
The WMSCOG exists because they know, like so many other false religious groups (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Moonies, phony faith healers like Bennie Hinn, etc.), that religion is big business. Billions of dollars a year pour into the coffers of both legitimate and non-legitimate religious groups.
Wise and experienced people who have been around the block many times understand the dark nature of humanity. Young and idealistic people often have not lived life long enough to understand the power that money has over most of the population in the world today and how strong of a motivation money and greed is in the heart of the average person.
Again, the Bible clearly teaches that, in the last days, people will be lovers of money. I don’t know if we are the generation that will see the second coming of Jesus, but one thing I do know: we are closer to His coming than any other generation. And if we are living in the last days, one serious problem will be that people who love money will be a source of pain to us.
We have to face facts and reality: people love money, and many people will do whatever it takes to gather as much and as easily as they can. Another sad and sinister side of life is that many people would sell their own mothers if they could realize a handsome profit by doing so.
If you find what I just wrote difficult or even impossible to believe, you are no doubt younger than thirty years old and are idealistic in nature with the proverbial stars in your eyes, believing in the innate goodness of men and women evolving into increasingly better people as the years pass by.
You are in for a rude awakening as you pilgrim through this life.
Why is it that cults like the WMSCOG heavily recruit on college and university campuses? Because young people are there, idealists, who believe in the nonsense that spews out of the mouths of the leadership. Most university and college students born and raised in the United States have been pampered and raised in the lap of luxury and are clueless to what the “real world” has to offer.
Because of their idealistic nature and belief they can “change the world,” (some will), they are targeted by sinister people like those of the WMSCOG who understand they will become their own personal ATM machines.
Think about this: what easier way to earn money than having idealistic, happy and starry-eyed young people dropping money into the offering basket every Saturday during a WMSCOG meeting?
This is why the leadership of cults like the WMSCOG emphasize tithing so much. To be fair, this is also why many (and I would say most) mainline churches emphasize the same thing: it is all about the money. Money, money, money and more money.
When your eyes are opened to this reality, that money is the driving force behind the WMSCOG, all the pieces neatly fall into place. You will understand why they unceasingly recruit on university and college campuses, why they hold so many weekly meetings, why they incessantly teach on the importance of tithing, why they are such control freaks, etc. It is all about the god they worship, the false but powerful god of money.