What is secret money?
It is money paid for someone to keep certain information secret.
Orpah Winfrey recently created an entire multi-season show called “Greenleaf” which airs on Netflix. This fictional show tells how churches are trying to bury the truth. Unfortunately, far too many real-life examples prove the truths of this series.
In my own hometown of Colorado Springs, New Life Church and Pastor Brady Boyd paid a victim of sexual abuse from Ted Haggard to keep quiet about details of the very public fallout. Asked about it in a public interview, Pastor Brady said, “It was compassionate help.” However, it is not a biblical term and there are no positive examples of it in the Bible.
Since then, we’ve seen that same storyline unfold with Ravi Zacharias, Brian Houston, Bill Hybels, Jerry Fallwell Jr, and the list goes on and on. We learn more and more every day that churches and ministries have found this practice of non-disclosure to be acceptable.
However, the scriptures teach exactly the opposite. Every example of “secret money” in the scriptures is ungodly and used to some extent to suppress the truth and not allow the real story to be public.
Balak paid the prophet Balaam to silence God’s blessing on his people and curse them instead. The numbers record Balak telling Balaam, “I will make sure that you are richly rewarded, and I will do whatever you ask. Please come and curse these people for me ”(Numbers 22:17).
Balaam ultimately wouldn’t do it because, even as a pagan prophet, he feared the God of Israel.
Balak was livid. The scripture says, “And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he slapped his hands. And Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them these three times. Therefore, flee home now. I said, ‘I will certainly honor you,’ but the Lord has withheld honor from you. ‘ And Balaam said to Balak: “Did I not say to your messengers whom you sent to me:” If Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond word of the Lord? “(Numbers 24: 10-13)
Apparently, Balak failed to secure a nondisclosure agreement from Balaam. He clearly did not understand the power of God over the power of money, at least in Balaam’s life.
In the New Testament, Judas was paid to be silent by telling the truth about who Jesus is in Matthew 26: 14-16. He suppressed the truth in the name of a bribe.
In the sight of God, this is not an acceptable practice to manage things.
It is legal but it is not pious or biblical. So why are church leaders and councils doing this?
Councils have a lot of pressure on them to do the right thing and yet feel the need to suppress the truth for “the sake of the gospel.” Often times, leaders take responsibility for removal when it is known to the public. However, the Boards are just as to blame when they use the “suppression of the truth” for the “good” of the gospel.
What does the Bible say about leaders and councils who suppress the truth and pay wives to suppress the truth?
Ecclesiastes 7: 7 says, “… a bribe corrupts the heart.
Instead of using money to stifle the truth, the Bible actually tells us to buy the truth. God wants us to live with full disclosure.
Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction and understanding.
There is not a single example in the Bible to support this practice.
The holiness of God and of his Church must matter to us more than the reputation of the Church.
The Church is not ours, it’s His. The Church is the bride of Christ, and He wants her to return. Paying someone to suppress the truth is a sin. The Bible clearly says that in time the suppression of the truth will be exposed.
Controlling the story with money is never God’s way.
The Bible says very clearly that God does not want the victim or anyone else to take a bribe to hide the truth. Proverbs 17:23 says, “The wicked accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of righteousness. “
If anyone needed a nondisclosure statement, it would be King David after confessing to the Prophet Nathan that he had committed adultery with another man’s wife and had her husband murdered. But instead, King David allowed the true story of his life to be plastered around the world and throughout history through the Book of Samuel.
A man after God’s heart is not a man who does not sin but a man who does not try to cover his sin. When confronted, he repents and abandons it and does not attempt to control the public narrative through money-related nondisclosure agreements.
I fear that the heart of God has left the building of many churches in America because of the leadership’s willingness to hide and bury the truth about what happened.
I think Moses made it clear what God thinks of this in Deuteronomy: “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great and mighty and fearful God, who is not partial and does not take no bribe ”(Deuteronomy 10:17).
I believe the church in America is dying like Ananias and Sapphira did in Acts 5: 1-11 because it hides the truth about what happened in its churches and creates a record which is a lie.
May God do what he must to humble us so that we turn, repent and seek his face for his glory and for the true good of the gospel of Jesus to go out to all in Jesus name. Amen.