The unfortunate reality of stuff is that it wears down, breaks down, and becomes old. Take preacher I.V. Hilliard’s helicopter for example (Hilliard is the preacher for the New Light Christian Center church in Houston, TX). Apparently he owns a helicopter and it is in need of new blades. So, Hilliard sent out a newsletter to foster financial help from the members of his congregation. Here are some of the things he said in the flier:
- “Do you need better transportation? Does your car need repair or total replacement? Do you have a dream vehicle or luxury automobile you long to purchase? Are you trying to sell a car, truck or SUV? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these please carefully read the rest of this letter! It could change your life…”
- “We have an urgent transportation need [the helicopter] that the Lord said can be an opportunity for you to see His favor and His wisdom released to help you. Scripture teaches when you give to a Kingdom need God will raise up someone to use their power, their ability and their influence to help you.”
- “…I heard that still small voice of the Holy Spirit say tell your special partners who have special transportation needs and their obedience will release favor for their needs and desires.”
- “Send me the transportation need or dream you have by completing the online petition when you sow a $52.00 transportation favor seed believing in 52 days or 52 weeks you will experience breakthrough favor!”
To put is simply, Hilliard wants people to pay for new helicopter blades. He then gives a “divine promise” that those who contribute will experience a miraculous gift from God for their own transportation needs in the near future. This situation is wrong on so many levels.
First, and most importantly, I.V. Hilliard is not a prophet nor did the Holy Spirit give him a message to give to his congregation. Zechariah 13:2 talks about a time when the Lord would “remove the prophets…from the land.” The time when this took place was during the time of the apostles. 1 Corinthians 13:8 further supports this point. God no longer speaks directly to people nor asks them to communicate a “special message.” Every single piece of information we need for life and godliness and everything God wants us to preach to others already been revealed in the Bible (2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Therefore, what Hilliard is claiming is false.
Secondly, Hilliard demonstrates an obvious love for money and material possessions. He not only owns the $1 million helicopter, but he also owns a $2 million private jet, a $3 million hanger, and apparently lives in a very luxuriously home. Scripture clearly condemns the love of money and materialism (Matthew 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:10; Matthew 16:26). To sour the situation even more, Hilliard is telling others that by giving money to him, God will bring riches and possessions upon them as well. Why would God ever want to spawn more love for money and material possessions in arguably the wealthiest nation in the world? Hilliard’s claims are simply a contradiction to God’s teachings on money and material possessions.
No matter how much God blesses us financially in this life, let’s always remember to keep our earthly treasures in the proper place. As Jesus clearly stated, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21).