Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Another day, another scandal involving a self-proclaimed man of God. This time, financial impropriety, using God's money as his own personal piggy bank, another black eye to what is an already hurting church.
Is it possible for a ministry to have success, and still remain above reproach? I believe that it is, as long as those in leadership remember one important fact. It is not their money, it is God's money!
I was twelve years old when I translated my grandfather's book Through the Fire, and after the first year the book had already sold over 100,000 copies. Since we self published, there was no percentage going to publishing houses, agents or publicists, all the proceeds went into the ministry account.
By any standard, my grandfather was within his rights to keep the money for himself, it was his life story, he had authored the book, but instead of keeping the money for himself, he decided to build an orphanage in Romania.
For as long as I knew him, my grandfather even refused to take a salary from the ministry, or a percentage of the proceeds from his books. We lived in a two bedroom apartment in Southern California, in a less than desirable neighborhood, for thirteen years, and whenever people would visit, and ask why we hadn't moved to a house, there were seven of us living there at the time, the answer was always, 'because we can make do with where we are.'
Other than the seven people living in that apartment, it also served as the headquarters of the hand of help ministry. Yes, it was tight, especially when we took in an elderly couple that had just emigrated from Romania, who lived with us for over a year, but each time we sat down as a family and discussed moving to a bigger place, we would always consider the good that could be accomplished with the extra money.
People were hungry, naked, homeless, in need of church buildings, and we realized that our self sacrifice, would go a long way to helping countless others.
Whether large or small, a ministry does not belong to an individual, it belongs to God. If it is blessed, it is our responsibility as faithful stewards to pass on the blessing, to be the hands, and feet, and heart of Christ.
When men forget the simple fact that it is God's money, and that they are simply stewards, they take liberties they should not take. It is a downward spiral, at first a little, and then a little more. Thus the reason for zero tolerance when it comes to compromising core principles that helped a ministry succeed in the first place.
It has been twenty years since hand of help was started, the orphanage is complete, and has been housing children for over ten years, over sixty churches have been built throughout Romania and Moldova, and countless souls were able to see the goodness of God, through the obedience of this ministry.
Our principles remain the same as when it first started, it is God's money, and thus it's supposed to go to God's work.
Because they have chosen compromise, and reward in this present life, many men will go down in infamy as those who stole from God. I know it sounds extreme, but it is the truth.
People are still starving, homeless, naked, cold, and in need of help, and if we have chosen a life of ministry, we have chosen to live not for ourselves but for others. Selflessness is a necessary virtue for pastors, preachers, and evangelists alike, and anyone that gives in to the flesh, anyone who resorts to selfishness, and profit by way of the Word, is culpable, and guilty before God.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.


Bonny said...

So many of us in the West have no idea what is like to 'do it tough'. Even those who think they are, still seem to have plasma television screens and DVD players. As a social worker I became tired of people complaining and grumbling that they had nothing - we have a welfare system in this country which means that no one goes without housing or food! I have lived in a country where people beg on the street with babies on their back, and have only one set of rags to wear...
The pastor of the little church we attend has given up everything to come here. They now live in a rented house, work jobs to support themselves, have suffered ill health and separation from their family back in the US. How much easier to give up and go home? How much easier to start a big, money-making programme to attract more to his church and thus more income?
One reason my husband remains a self-professed atheist is because he manages the fleet car sales for some of the big church accounts here in Sydney. He sees the greed, the tax dodging, and the dubious business practices of these so-called men of God who like to drive the latest model cars. He deals with them outside of the Sunday pulpit. Like most of the world, he doesn't distinguish between true Christians and false. It is all the one label, sadly. I am ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Which scandal, Michael?
Here's one from my neck of the woods which broke last week involving the senior pastor from a mega-church spending lavish sums of money on personal items:


Yahveh bring fire! I can't stand the stench anymore!!!

I think Yahveh is bringing judgement on His house. I think many churches will lose their 501c3IRS protection very quickly. They will have to pay taxes as well as property taxes, causing many to go under.

richa said...

dear brother,
i came across your blog 7 days back and i read it everyday since then.It is very nice to hear what you say because indeed your words are unadulterated.they speak truth,and indeed there are a ver few pastors and even the chosen vessels lay emphasis on humility.
i became a born again in january 2005 and i am a living testimony of my Lord Jesus's immense grace.
i went through a fire accident in january 2005,2 days after i became a born again and recieved the Holy spirit.God spoke to me through a brother who asked me to read isiah 43-2-which says u shall walk through the fire and it shall not burn you..
indeed that night we did not have an electricity and i burned a candle and started reading bible...i slept..around 12 am,i felt a warm finger touch my forehead(not in my flesh) and i got up to see there was fire all around my bed and i got out of bed filled with immense peace,and saw the last remnants of the bed sheet burning...indeed i had walked through the fire..
dear brother,i want to live a life for jesus.
i got married and came to be with my husband.now here i was trying to get a job,but God spoke to me that i will not get a job,as he was separating me.
Now i stay at home.read the bible and pray..
i used to feel lonely but now God has strengthened me and i feel joyful and at peace.
i feel Jesus will not leave me of forsake me.
brother,a few days back,i got up in the night and as i slept again,these words came as big bright letters...
take heed watch and pray...
i believe these are the last days,but is the Lord coming very soon in the rapture?
and i have seen a website of a lady 2007rapture.com where she says God spoke to her saying 2007 is the year.
brother,i want to know what has the Lord spoken to you regarding the rapture?

with love

James Kinsman said...

I do not know how one can ask for money, especially a pastor, after counting the money can consider it his own, or for his own endeavor's.

A verse struck out to me recently.

"Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also:

On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come." -1 Corinthians 16:1-2

1. Paul is referencing a collection, it would seem of money, or other substantial items that may help provide for and increase the work of God.

2. This collection is for the "saints." It is not only for the pastors, only for the missionaries, only for the apostles, only for the teachers, or only for the prophets. This collection is for every child of God, every saint of God as to be distributed without partiality to those who are in need. (Acts 4:35)

3. Every saint of God is to lay up something for this work. No one is left out of this, and each is to give according to his prosperity or goods. The giving is without partiality.

4. When Paul gets there, he will not have to ask for money, or take up a collection, since the collection will already have been stored up by each child of God and perhaps given in secret. Paul will not have to demand more money or guilt the visitors to give. It will be of the mindset "...do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" and will not hinder the work of the gospel.

Please correct me concerning taking up collections or offerings, as this is not the only reference in Scripture.

With love in Jesus,

Anonymous said...

Brother Michael,
I think what you said is true. Thank you for your sharing. I don't want to live a compromised life, but I feel I myself can not prevent myself from temptations. Each time I tell myself I will live for Him alone, I fail after that. I said "In every thing I do I honor you", but soon I realize I cheated Him. I'm struggling to live a life to please Him, but my effort always failed. But recently I found out the only thing I need to do is pray, ask the help from above. Only His grace can save me.
And pray for me and my husband.
My Lord bless you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Micahel,
You've preached a very difficult message for this day and time when the focus is on material prosperity. I am blessed by knowing how humbly you approach the possessions that God has allowed you to have...knowing that He owns it and holds us accountable. There is a lot for us to learn about how to handle and manage what we have for the glory of God.


Amy said...

Amen. Having or not having money does not matter as much as whether money has you, or your possessions have you. The more possessions we have, the more time is taken up with maintaining them. Michael, if your family had bought a large house, I wonder how much time keeping it up would have taken away from being available to the Lord. Just like with technology, people thought it would give us more time but we all know it actually resulted in less - just more expectation of how much more we should be able to do in that saved time.

The Lord requires different sufferings from each of us in different seasons. Just as Paul knew both sides of having no needs and having dire needs, it is the love of money and dependence on it that is wrong, not just having it as a resource. In contrast to these shepherds/wolves who have been proven false and greedy, there are men of God who may appear to live a relatively rich lifestyle, but they give freely and quietly and are suffering tremendous pain and lack in other areas due to their obedience. So I have learned not to judge by outward comparison.

Anonymous said...

Dear Richa, thank you for sharing your testimony, it really blessed me. I too ceased work recently, by the Lord's wonderful hand, as I knew that He desires that I spend more time in the Word and prayer in these times. My husband is not a Christian, so expected me to work full-time, to the detriment of the family and my health. However, the Lord gave him a complete change of heart, and by selling my car, it has been possible. In fact, the Lord has blessed me more financially than ever before, these last few months, even though I was on a very high income before. So, I really just wanted to encourage others, that the Lord can and does provide abundantly for those who seek His face. We know He commands even the ravens and the fish....if we continue in obedience, He will always provide, I have learnt that!
God bless,

Amy said...

By the way, I forgot I wanted to comment about Jim's comment on Paul's taking a collection. I'll probably say something to make someone somewhere mad, but I don't care. My understanding from the context of the time is that Paul was on his way to Jerusalem in connection with one of the feasts, probably tabernacles, before winter, and he was bringing these tithes and/or offerings to the saints and the poor in Jerusalem in obedience to God's instructions. Remember, Paul claimed to continue keeping the commandments. Since the Torah forbids buying and selling and exchanging of money on the Sabbath, which is when Paul typically taught in the synagogues, it is likely this is why he was simply telling them to have that taken care of beforehand so it wouldn't have to be an issue while he was there teaching on the Sabbath.

If you read all the Old Testament references to tithes and offerings, I believe you will see that it was for the purpose of holding feasts to the Lord as well as providing for any who were needy, and particularly providing whatever things were required in order for priests and other people to SERVE THE LORD. ! The priests were supposed to rotate in their duties, so if they were following God's instructions, no one should have been getting all that much more than the rest of the priests. Yes, Aaron's family was allowed more, but then, to whom much is given, much is required.

A Seed Sower said...

How totally honorable and precious, how like Christ and how like the Word of God, how unlike ministries and churches, and some who call themselves Christians today. God help us all to be more like Christ, and give of ourselves and our resources till it hurts, to further the Kingdom of God. Thank you for shareing this with us Bro Michael.
Helen B