Disclaimer: Please understand that this article is written to be a humorous way of exposing false teachings. Although it is written in a tongue-in-cheek style, the false teachings in it are very real. They are not connected to any one denomination, but are now permeating even mainstream churches. To find out more about these types of teachings, we suggest these articles on the Let Us Reason website.
Official Handbook of How to
Fleece the Flock for Fun and Profit
Rule number one: Before embarking upon this enterprise of fleecing the flock for fun and profit, one must establish oneself as a special “Anointed” spokesperson for God. This can be accomplished in several ways.
a) Learn the official “Anointed” Christian buzzwords. You can begin with repeating the word “anointed” in your conversations, making sure that people recognize that you have this special anointing. (See Rule 3 for a more complete list of buzzwords.) Setting up people in the audience to be “healed” is a good way of gaining the flock’s confidence. However, make certain the affliction they are healed of is something that is not visible or something that can be medically verified. Headaches and other aches and pains are good to capitalize on. Make certain that you choose the people beforehand so they will not give away what is happening.
Persuading people that you are giving them a secret, hidden knowledge that others do not have will draw them in like flies to honey. This will encourage them to have an awe of your knowledge. Once people recognize you have this anointing, then you can begin to claim apostleship or establish yourself as a prophet of God. This works well as people would rather hear from a prophet than to hear from God through study of His word. Remember to keep them from discovering that you “anointed” yourself. This is vital. If they see that you started out as the only one who said you were anointed, you will never get a flock going and will miss out on all the fun and profit there is when you start fleecing your flock.
b) Establish yourself as a prophet from God by making a few predictions. It does not matter if they don’t come to pass because you can always claim it was their lack of faith as to why it did not come to pass. The secret to being successful is always to shift the blame back onto them when in a tight spot. Whatever you do, never ever accept responsibility for the lack of failed prophesies as this will taint your image and hinder the pursuit of fleecing the flock for fun and profit. You must also keep your flock from any passages in the Bible that say that a prophet must have 100% accuracy such as Deuteronomy 18. It will be necessary to steer them clear from such passages and remind them that all people are fallible. If you keep the focus on the fallible people, your flock will not notice that prophecies are supposed to come from God who is infallible.
c) If anyone challenges you as a prophet of God, remind them of the verse that says “touch not the anointed of God” and of the consequences of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Never mind that neither of these passages have anything to do with you or the situation. It will sound very spiritual if you say it to them with a very stern look on your face and a loud voice. It is essential that you use fear as often as possible to make sure the flock maintains its fear of you. Fear is a great tool to use that will enable you to continue to fleece the flock.
d) Discourage the flock from reading the Bible for themselves. Remind them often of how the Holy Spirit spoke to you and this reduces the need for study of the Bible because you have knowledge that supersedes the Bible. Don’t forget to inject a verse here and there so they will be convinced that this is from God. Choose obscure verses so the flock doesn’t realize that they have nothing to do with what you are saying. Always use the King James Version because most people nowadays don’t understand it and you can use it to make verses say whatever you want them to. If challenged, invoke “divine revelation knowledge” and refer back to 1c. If any of the flock attempts to read the bible on their own, make sure you direct them to your interpretation of the scriptures by showing them what it “really” means. You can make a good profit on writing your own study Bible with your own notes in the margins. The leather versions can sell for more than $80 each and can give you a good source of income for many years.
e) The most annoying people are those who keep insisting on sound doctrine and one must guard against this attack at all cost. Your income and reputation are at stake on this one. However, this can be easily overcome through the buzzwords of “Can’t we all just get along? We all love the same Jesus”. Convince the flock that doctrine is divisive and that to love the Lord is all that matters. This works well because they then are the ones labeled as divisive and it questions their spirituality. When this is accomplished, it makes it easy to dismiss what they are saying.
f) Emotionalism is essential for a flock-fleecing ministry. Mimic the most successful fleecers and practice this often until you have it down pat. Aggressively prance back and forth across the stage while waving your arms wildly and be sure to talk fast and loud. For added emphasis, whisper at times to make them strain to hear you and then scream to make them jump out of their seats.
Tears and a lot of mopping of sweat from the forehead and mouth while preaching happens a lot while under the “anointing” and this assures the flock that they are receiving an “anointed” message. Dance a lot and say “Whoooeeee, I feel the anointing comin’ upon me, ….GLORY.” Be certain to make odd noises at times and call them speaking in tongues from the Spirit. This is highly impressive and will ensure the flock’s awe of you.
Rule number two: Gimmicks are essential.
For a ministry to thrive, money must regularly be fleeced from the flock. Don’t take all of the money at once because it would drain the well dry, and you must be careful to spread it out over a very long time in order to raise your own income. Keep holding out a little hope to them that your teachings work. This can be accomplished by showing how the Lord has blessed you when you drive up in your limo. Assure them that they too can become an anointed servant of God and be blessed in the same way. Some of the following gimmicks work well; they have been tried and tested. However, when the gimmicks begin to wane, one must use a little imagination to keep it fresh and exciting.
a) Anointed prayer cloths and trinkets. This one has been a big hit and a great success. This fleece does not work well with the older sheep but there are many new sheep who still find this to be exciting. You can have a variety of anointed cloths and trinkets that keep them going for quite awhile. Cloths and trinkets can be for healing, wealth, and power. The possibilities are almost limitless with a fertile imagination. The profit margin can be very large because the cloths and trinkets are cheap to buy and you can sell them for a good deal more than they are worth because of your special “anointing.”
b) Praying over letters. This is another great way to bring in the income since your monetary investment is virtually nothing. Have the flock send in prayer requests in letter form and you can set the price for praying over them. How much you charge depends upon how well you have convinced the sheep of your anointing. A good anointed prophet can receive a “donation” of 20 bucks or more per prayer if handled correctly. Remind them that they are furthering God’s kingdom while being blessed at the same time. Make sure you have a way of disposing of the letters so they don’t clutter up your personal office space.
c) If one chooses the deliverance ministry as their means of income and recognition, you can offer anointed trinkets to ward off the spirits and set the price according to the severity of the demon. I would not recommend the use of the term “dollars against demons” because this would not sound too spiritual. However, this ministry guarantees an income and recognition because the demons don’t stay bound very long and soon return. You will be called upon over and over to keep casting out the same demons from the same people. Fear works great in this gimmick because they soon become dependent upon you to keep the demons at bay. If they become divisive and question you, then is the time to dismiss them as dogs who keep returning to their own vomit. Remember, you do have an image that needs to be protected and never accept such non-sense questions as “why doesn’t it work?” The key for a successful ministry is to shift the blame back onto the sheep. Arrogance will be your best friend to keep yourself aloof from the flock.
d) The electronic age is wonderful and one must not neglect this means of income and recognition. You can convince the flock that God is ever present everywhere and this includes the internet. Have the demon-possessed or the sick place their hands or forehead on the screen and convince them that God is touching them through you through the monitor. Have your website designer post a picture of you that reaches out your hand to them. This will convince them that you are really reaching out to pray for them. State that the prayers will only come to pass if they send you money. Again, your reputation will determine how much you set the price at for these prayers. The power of suggestion works well; hypnotists have used this principle for many years. All that is needed is for the prospective customer to be convinced in their mind that the “anointing” is flowing through to them upon contact with the monitor screen. You can then request additional “donations” for further anointed touches.
Rule number three: Parrot the buzz words that only the “anointed” use, such words as “Plead the blood of Jesus”.
It doesn’t matter that there is no precedence in the Bible for this phrase. It sounds spiritual so use this phrase often. Repeated often enough, this makes it sound like there is some magical ingredient in the blood of Jesus and puts it on the same level as holy water, incense, burning of candles and wearing the cross that protects the believing flock. (These previous items can also be sold for profit, if they are “anointed”.)
a) Learning the lingo of the anointed will push you up the ladder of recognition and place you in the position of fleecing the flock for fun and profit at a much faster rate.
Talking directly to Satan is very impressive, but you must keep them from seeing that it’s not biblical. Suggested buzzwords and phrases to mimic are as the following and NEVER forget to “invoke” the “name of Jesus”. (Try to make Jesus as multi-syllabled as you can — Jeeeeeeeesssssuuuuuuuuuussss. The more syllables you can extract from it, the holier it sounds.)
· “Satan, I come against you in the name of Jesus.”
· “Satan, I bind you in the name of Jesus.”
· “Satan, I cast you out in the name of Jesus.”
· “Satan, I command you back into the pit of hell in Jesus name.”
· “Satan, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus.”
(Remember to emphasize the word “I”. This keeps the focus on you as the one who has the power to do these things. This also keeps the focus on Satan and be sure to ‘invoke” the name of Jesus for a religious touch that sounds “anointed”. If we can keep the focus off of Jesus, then this assures the flock of their need for us and of our position. To point to Jesus will hinder our standing and hinder our continued fleecing so exercise much caution in this area.)
b) More suggested buzz words and phrases:
· Claim, Confess, and Demand healing in the name of Jesus are good ones that draw attention to your anointing. Once again, the more arrogant you are, the more “anointed” you will appear to them.
· “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, Glory and Amen”. (Repeat over and over and for added emphasis, a loud whistle at times is good. The louder the better to let them hear your anointing.)
· “Glory bumps” and “Holy Ghost Giggles” are cute ones to throw in at times. This lets them see the “joy of the Lord” in you. If you ever are overcome with laughter at how easy it is to fleece your flock, just claim it is “holy laughter” and they will all join in with you (which can cause you to laugh even harder, but no worry, they will laugh harder with you all the way to the bank).
· Singing, Dancing, Speaking and Walking in the Spirit are sure fire “anointed” words that will be noticed.
c) Seed faith. This term indicates that they are planting a seed of faith and will reap a harvest of money because of it. Using this idea, you can get people to send you large amounts of money with the promise that they will receive a hundredfold back. People are greedy by nature and the lure of a promise of receiving thousands of dollars back is a powerful enticement. (But make certain you keep them from seeing Mark 10:29-30 because you don’t want to give them any hint that persecutions might also come their way. Keep them from any idea that the lifestyle you are promoting might someday cause them any discomfort.) Also, this provides you with an excellent opportunity to use guilt and intimidation to coerce people into sending you these large “love offerings.” Obviously, if they are not willing to send you this type of “love offering” then they do not have enough “faith” to plant. Accusing them of a lack of faith if they do not send you money in this way is highly effective and will assure you of a profitable ministry for many future years.
Remember that the corrupt nature of man is to seek after fame and fortune for themselves at the exclusion of others. You can be assured of a following as long as you continue to offer them the possibility of riches and power. Keeping this in mind, continue to appeal to the corrupt nature of man and spiritualize it by suggesting that the things they desire are the same things that God desires for them. Often repeat the phrases such as: “God desires for you to be rich, healthy and happy above everything else.” Avoid people who claim that spiritual maturity is more important in God’s eyes than financial success. Keep your flock from these types. They can be very devastating to your ministry.
If the flock lacks in anything, use intimidation and fear to keep them intact. This tactic assures the continuation of your own financial well-being. Remind them that if they lack in any of these things, it is their lack of faith that is preventing these “blessings” from God coming to pass.
Remember, you must walk the talk to retain credibility. This means, never ever mention that you may have a cold, may not be happy or may be struggling with finances. To make this mistake would be a sure fire way of destroying the flock fleecing ministry. You are the example of all that God wants for them and to show any signs of human weakness would undermine all that you have hoped to accomplish. Illusion is everything.
If you have those who start feeling like they want to leave, make a quick move to use fear and guilt to keep them in your flock. One tactic that is very effective is to threaten them with loss of their salvation if they leave. Also, threaten their children by saying that if they leave, their children will pay for their lack of faith. This is a good way of keeping them in line since most of them love their children very much.
This handbook is offered for free, however, a love offering would be greatly appreciated. Sending a “love” offering of 100 dollars would put you well on the way because you know that your “seed faith” will force God will give you a hundred fold in return for doing so. (wink, wink)