This pastor has been accused of being on a "hobby horse" over the GMI issue. I suppose that is a legitimate accusation. Those who have contacted me defending GMI (and condemning me for saying bad things about a "Christian" brother and organization) have argued for its goodness by saying, "No one has lost a dime." However, documents are now in hand that say quite the contrary.
You had best do some investigation before "investing" money in GMI's "gifting program." See the Affidavits concerning the large amounts of money lost by Michael Miller, of Confluence, Pa., and June Smith, of Lancaster Pa.
See also three letters by William C. Smith, who personally lost over $79,000 and his friend, Roy Cotton, $90,000. Letters, 1 Feb, 1999, 8 Feb, 1999 and 15 Feb 1999.
Several states in which GM operates are issuing injunctions against its operation.
Those who heard some of GM's presentations in 1997 will find it interesting that despite GMI's claimed disdain for any corporation, Gerald Payne's Affidavit says that,
13. Prior to October 28, 1998, Greater Ministries
had an alliance with a corporation, Greater Ministries International,
Inc., a Florida corporation. On October 28, 1998, the Church
severed that alliance as an unholy alliance. A copy of the resolution
severing the alliance is attached.
14. The Church, Greater Ministries International Church is not, and has not ever been, an agent of the corporation, Greater Ministries International, Inc., a Florida corporation. (No. 726 M.D. 1998)
Either Payne's lied in his Affidavit or those who presented GM as not associated with a corporation were lying in 1997, in this pastor's opinion.
Though GM was praised in the 1997 as being an outstanding "Christian Ministry," "Pennsylvania had a cease and desist order in place (against GMI, ed.) since 1995" Tampa Tribune, 3/24/99 [http://www.tampatrib.com/news/min1000v.htm]
Why was not that brought up at the meetings in 97 and 98?
I have asked many times for and been unable to obtain documentation for GM's holdings in its public claim of owning and operating 200 gold mines (see TBE, 2/98). The refusal to provide documentation for this public claim, I suppose, is what "set me off" on this "hobby horse." However, it does appear that GMI may indeed be involved in mining operations, but those operations appear to be a little questionable, i.e., Liberia.
1. I have heard a GM representative speak twice, and both times, he spent some time telling how much he loves the Lord and what a great Christian ministry GM is. (GM placed a "curse" upon June Smith's family when she started asking about her money.)
2. Most of those who have contacted me about my stand against GM have accused me of attacking a "Christian" brother and ministry.
The Liberia article does not exhibit a good Christian testimony on GM's part, in my opinion (but I am only one man, so I could be wrong, misunderstanding the meaning of 1 Thes. 5:22).
However, those defending GM (and who are receiving money from the organization) say that because something appears in the news media, it cannot be true, e.g., "You must have two sources for anything to be true, and the media is only one source." The defense I have heard against media articles has been that you cannot trust the news media, for the news media is always out to destroy any kind of Christian ministry.
But now there are three sources, not counting the mdeia. The sworn statements by people involved in GM.
3. "Is GM a Ponzy?" At this point, I cannot say; however, it sure shows, in my opinion, all the marks of a Ponzy. But if you ask, "Is GM Scriptural?", I must say, based upon the word of God, that it is not, so Christians beware. When one knowingly violates the word of God, they destroy themselves. (Hosea 13:9.) Those who make their decisions based on money will get caught in the same web.
Do your home work.
Every pastor is required to cry aloud against things that are contrary to God's word. The same command says spare not --- that is, do not fail to proclaim the word of God and take a public stand even if it offends the religious leaders, the rich and powerful, or even if it offends friends and neighbors. (Isa. 58:1.) This pastor is amazed that men who have in the past cried aloud against sin are now silent over the GMI issue, which is so clearly unbiblical.
The following is presented for your information.
Affidavits filed in PA, The Biblical Examiner, 2/1999
"Gifting Program" Examined
Teachings of GM Examined
Affidavits of GM failing to keep its promise.
Greater Ministries International --- Questionable business history brought into Liberia.
Several articles in the Tampa Tribune covering the past couple years.
Pa. judge lowers boom on Tampa ministry. (That is, GMI.)
Greater Ministries officers ordered to sell stock in Florida bank
E-mail letter to the
Editor from SA Businessmen working
with GMI, and answer to his letter.