If you would have told me 30 years ago that a Christian network in the future would play a part in the silencing of Godly men and women who were preaching the truth, denouncing corruption in the church and exposing liberalism and the teachers who promoted such views, I would have told you that maybe you should take a break from science fiction. But interestingly enough, that’s exactly what seems to be going on within the nation’s largest and most prominent Christian television network – the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Sometime during the week of June 11th, long time preacher Jack Van Impe became the second casualty in recent years when he was ultimately silenced by officials at TBN for comments and opinions expressed in a taped program set to air on their network, but after viewing, was considered a violation of their network policies of offending other ministers, even though this same offending program was aired the previous Monday.
So why did TBN become unhinged about Jack’s comments in his program enough to not only reject him by not airing his program, but forbade any future programs which contained his DVD full length program, “Reclaiming and Restoring Biblical Christianity” as well as moving him to another night where the audience viewership was 25% less than his current time slot, which would ultimately give him a much lower viewing audience which ultimately means less exposure. So what could Jack Van Impe have said, or was going to say that brought down the wrath of the Crouches and ultimately silenced a significant preacher of the gospel?
The answer, it seems, was Rick Warren and Islam.
It’s no secret to many who believe in traditional conservative Biblical views that Rick Warren has ultimately forsaken the gospel for a social gospel, which is no gospel at all, but a gospel of popular ideas not founded on the word. Warren’s belief’s of the removal of the cross in most churches, his pro-Islamic stance and his purpose driven theology, all point to a complete rejection of foundational Biblical truth.
What Jack apparently did, was discuss the major points of four (4) leading emergent evangelical leaders and how they were combining their doctrines to include Islam, something that our Lord has strictly forbidden (Ephesians. 5:11) as well as expose the many false teachings that are literally running rampant within the modern church and the people who are behind these teachings. Two prominent leaders, Rick Warren and Robert Schuller, were singled out concerning their liberal teaching and why merging Christianity and Islamic teachings is not only wrong, but damaging to the body of Christ. Schuller’s pro-gay stance has increasingly become all too well known here and here.
Once Impe began to reveal exactly what was being taught by these men and why their popular and accepted views are being held by many ecumenical leaders today, and why these same views would seriously hinder the gospel, not to mention it’s devastating affects on evangelism, folks over at Trinity began to get nervous, possibly outright upset that someone like Warren, who to many within the TBN camp is idolized, would start getting their feathers ruffled at the mere notion that one of their favorite Pastors was being labeled a false teacher.
It didn’t take long before the consequences of touching TBN’s favorite Pastors would be revealed, as the official statement by Impe’s own website clearly states, “On Wednesday afternoon we received a call from Matt Crouch of TBN informing us that they would not run that program, despite having aired it Monday evening. The reason he gave was that we specifically mentioned Rick Warren and Robert Schuller and that it is TBN’s policy that broadcasters are not allowed to rebuke other ministries. This is a rather hypocritical statement in light of the fact that they have never said anything in the past when we have rebuked others such as Bishop Spong, Bishop Pike, and in the past few months Harold Camping and Rob Bell. They also stated that they would not run any future program where we offered our DVD Reclaiming & Restoring Biblical Christianity as a premium for a donation to our ministry. A DVD that exposes false teachers and the heresies that they proclaim.”
So it seems that not only is it forbidden to examine the teachings of others, it’s also forbidden to challenge any viewpoint that is currently popular and accepted by the status quo. That’s where the censoring begins.
There was another man, a prophet of God by the name of Jeremiah, who went before the people of Israel and preached righteousness, exposing the false ideas accepted by many of his day and when they heard what this prophet declared as “thus sayeth the Lord” the people reacted angrily to the point where Jeremiah was thrown into prison at times, yet his declaration remained true.
But this is not TBN’s first rodeo when it comes to applying pressure to someone who is openly critical of another faith, one has to simply look to Hal Lindsey and see the affects of tolerance pressure when it is applied. Lindsey himself got into much hot water for questioning Islam and why the Islamic religion is dangerous not only to our nation, much less the world, but to the body of Christ. And yet, when Lindsey began to speak openly on his program, it didn’t take long for the Crouches to put a stop to his rhetoric and soon, Hal Lindsey was removed completely from the network and long time friends (Lindsey and Crouch) became divided. Lindsey was eventually brought back to TBN after much public swaying, but obviously the damage was already done.
The idea that a Christian network, ANY Christian network, would pressure a minister of the gospel in what they can or cannot say, should concern all of us who value God’s word. A true preacher of the word cannot be regulated, nor is he subject to sermon approval, the reason is simple, the gospel must be preached regardless of who it offends. Once we start silencing the gospel under the guides of tolerance and political correctness, we lose and not only us, souls lose as well.
At a time when Christians are accepting homosexuality within its walls, accepting worldliness, secularism and humanism, when Pastors can write books stating there is no Hell and that the atonement for man’s sin is not in the cross but through psychology and a purpose driven ideology, God will raise up a watchman or a Prophet that will declare what God has to say and no other. When a Pastor cannot state for certainty how a homosexual can be saved and delivered, when another wants the church to subscribe to ecumenicalism by joining up with Muslims, while another Pastor produces a popular movie which depicts a nearly half naked woman sitting on the couch undoing her bra, something is sadly wrong within the body of Christ and it takes someone with grit to expose and deal with this problem we are now facing.
Trinity Broadcasting is in error, and their new direction is clearly a sign of the times we are living in, when men would rather seek the praises of men rather than to promote Godliness and righteousness. When a Christian network begins to silence preachers and prophets of the gospel who are doing nothing more than warning the body of Christ what is happening in the church, it fulfills the warning of the apostle Paul, who saw this great falling away in our future, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3
I contacted Paul Crouch Jr. seeking a comment for this article and was given this reply, “We choose to lift up the Lord, not chastise others. That’s not our calling. If he (jack van impe) needs to do that, he can buy time on secular TV outlets. Remember, we would not allow anyone to criticize Jack Van Impe either, even though many would love to! (The sword cuts both ways.) Again, it’s not our mission. “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men…” end quote.
Again, it bears repeating, part of the gospel is weeding out the false and exposing those teachings which bring harm to the body of Christ, if we ignore those who are called of God to warn us of the poison many are bringing in, is that not lifting up the Lord by protecting his sheep he has entrusted us with?
All I can say is, judgment day is going to be a time of joy for many and a heartbreak for others.