Poison in the Pot

by | Dec 31, 2004 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

I detect at least three toxic substances that are poisoning churches today.
During a time of severe famine in Israel, a group of prophets who were desperate to eat dinner prepared a curious meal. Because the crops had failed and bread was scarce, they sliced up some wild gourds in a kettle and cooked a mushy vegetable soup with an exotic odor and an unmistakably bitter aftertaste.

This stew may have looked tempting, but the recipe was untested and the ingredients were lethal. These hungry guys were clueless when it came to cooking, and they got very concerned after they wolfed down the first few spoonfuls. The Bible says the men cried out to the prophet Elisha: “‘There is death in the pot!'” (See 2 Kings 4:40).

Elisha saved the day when he threw some grain into the mix. Suddenly the poison stew was edible.

Before this episode, this same prophet had supernaturally purified toxic water by throwing salt into the spring near Jericho. Now he had decontaminated the food in Gilgal. Nobody went to the emergency room that day because the man of God had an instant cure for food poisoning.

Why is this story in the Bible? We might be tempted to laugh it off, as if it were warning us to beware when men get near the kitchen. But this is no joke: Elisha’s mealtime miracle has serious implications for us today.

I believe the American church is languishing in a season of spiritual famine. While revival is stirring in many parts of the world (see our cover story on page 24), church growth in our country is stagnant. Though New Testament-style miracles are triggering waves of conversions in Africa and Asia, we have empty altars.

To make matters worse, some leaders have responded to this famine by cooking up their own mess of gourd goulash. Rather than staying within the bounds of biblical integrity, they have concocted a false gospel made of wild and deadly ingredients. This stew appeals to hungry people but leaves them spiritually sick after the first swallow.

It is time for a taste test. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to visit us and purify what is on our stove. I detect at least three toxic substances that are poisoning churches today:

1. Greed. I’m grateful that Christian television takes the gospel to the masses. But I must confess that sometimes I get the dry heaves watching some of the antics used in religious fund-raising. If this stuff makes me gag, imagine how it affects the channel-surfing unbeliever who just happens to watch these embarrassing sideshows.

One Christian leader recently told his TV audience that they would likely go to hell if they didn’t give “right now” in the offering. Do we honestly believe this kind of spiritual extortion will go unpunished?

Elisha stepped in and corrected the problem in his pot. But who will confront the unrestrained greed that is spoiling our witness to the world? We must demand a higher level of integrity in Christian media.

2. Immorality. The apostle Paul warned the Corinthian church that sexual sin spreads like a plague if it is not confronted vigorously (see 1 Cor. 5:1-13). Yet in today’s church, renegade pastors have figured out a way to jump from one bed to another and remain on the church payroll. Anyone who dares to call for discipline is labeled legalistic.

The Catholic Church has had its share of scandal caused by pedophile priests. What will happen when God lifts the covers off the unconfessed sin in our ranks? We will live through another PTL-style spectacle if we don’t deal with the problem.

3. Arrogance. We Americans have perfected the art of pompous preaching. So much of our message focuses on how great we are, and this pride produces a subtle swagger that is contagious.

On one recent religious TV broadcast, a preacher announced that donors who mailed checks to the ministry would no longer experience suffering. “Today is the end of the suffering saint,” he declared. I wonder if this man’s message has reached Chinese or Pakistani Christians who are in prison for their faith.

One of the leaders who contributed an article to this issue of Charisma is Kevin Turner, a relatively unknown evangelist from Oklahoma. The first time I heard Kevin speak, he preached his entire sermon through tears. I know a lot of fancy preachers who display silk handkerchiefs in their suit pockets, but Kevin actually used his plain white handkerchief to wipe his tears while he told of ministering to persecuted Christians in Sudan.

His crying wasn’t faked. His message moved the audience to repentance,
brokenness and compassion. We need the Holy Spirit to add those missing ingredients to our pitiful porridge.

We need tears of humility. We need a passion for purity. We need a return to biblical integrity.

Please join me in praying that the Lord will turn up the heat, stir the pot and remove the poison.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Read Time: 3 Minutes 7 Seconds “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold,” (2 Sam. 5:17). When David heard that he was under...

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...


WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own...
Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the opportunity of making Jesus the Lord of her life. However, my father...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be resilient in turbulent times. One of the most powerful things you can...

Pin It on Pinterest