I just read in Christianity Today that an internet evangelist in Kentucky made a huge boo-boo due to his errant estimation of the end times. Ronald Weinland has been charged with tax evasion by Federal agents because he owes $357,000 in taxes. Robert Webb, Weinland’s attorney, claimed that there was no criminal intent because Weinland’s church believes that the end times began in May. How many things do you see wrong with this?
First of all, that ol’ boy has made a lot of cash to owe that much to the feds. I wonder how much of it was from people who had fallen for his end times hype and had given their money to the prophet who had predicted it. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Kentucky reported that Weinland’s law breaking went back as far as 2005, and it included an unreported Swiss bank account, using church funds for personal reasons, and understating his income on tax returns. The lawyer’s comment gives away the fact that Weinland doesn’t deny withholding taxes. It’s proven to go all the way back to 2005, so at what point did the profiting prophet think it would be okay to stop contributing to the society with his share of the cost of our government? Jesus will return someday, so does he think every Christian can choose when to stop paying taxes? There’s simply no justification for breaking both God’s law and the government’s.
Apparently, he spent too much time with the sections of the Bible about end times (which he got miserably wrong anyway) and not enough of the rest – like our responsibility to pay taxes and the whole telling the truth thing. There’s another thing that I can’t figure out about this guy: if he really believed the end times was coming, why didn’t he take Jesus seriously about storing up treasure in heaven instead of on earth?
Ironically, this guy should be on the look out for the end times ’cause God isn’t going to treat him kindly. The book of James warns that those who presume to be teachers of the Word will be judged more harshly than everyone else. That’s because God takes his Word seriously. People act based on what they believe, and God wants us to be transformed into Jesus’ likeness, not something else. Also, God doesn’t like to look foolish as a result of people who act in his Name.
Sorry, this blog is more of a rant than a finely tuned article. Too many people have been led astray. Too many have fallen a blind man into a pit. I pray the Spirit brings them back to their senses.