By: Derrick P. Rodgers

Religious mercenary: is a religious leader who serves merely for pay or sordid (very bad or dishonest) advantage: venal (willing to do dishonest things in return for money; also greedy, capable of being bought or obtained for money or other valuable consideration: purchasable; especially open to corrupt influence).

Jesus calls them hirelings: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.”
[John 10:11-13]

Many of today’s preachers are operating as spiritual mercenaries and this is quite evident in their structural construct and the content of their message. Some are more blatant than others are. Nonetheless, their intentions bleed through their superficial facade. Their interest in contending for the faith is minimal to nonexistent. The thrust of these preachers is to become well compensated and ultimately become rich. Therefore, they design their ministry to reach their ambitious goals. Everything they do, whether good or questionable, is designed with the motive and intent to benefit themselves financially.

Religious mercenaries will cloak their desires for becoming rich with their charismatic charm and appeal to sound reasonable all while mangling and distorting biblical truth.

Far too many spiritual mercenaries have been manufactured in the household of faith and have risen in the ranks of influence. In great part, this is why biblical truth cannot be preached in many of our congregations throughout the body of Christ.

However, in previous generations preachers became preachers because they had an encounter with God that was engineered by deep conviction. This encounter with the Father enabled preachers to sacrifice and deny themselves to fulfill the will of God, which resulted in people genuinely experiencing a Holy Spirit conversion. By and large, preachers of past generations cared about the sheep and their spiritual condition.

Today’s brand of empowerment specialists are aggressively concerned about personal greatness, fleshly influence, and an outward appearance of success. In their eyes, the sheep are a means to an end for fulfilling their “sordid advantage.”

Because of the extended tenor of the mercenary structure, preaching the simplistic instruction of the gospel has become an extinct function in many churches.

These spiritual mercenaries have communicated that “gain is godliness” and a countless number of leaders, and saints have bought into this vain form of hypocrisy.

The devastating effects of religious mercenaries and their structural behavior misleads many from experiencing true Holy Spirit conversions
and establishes corrupt ideology among the saints.

To ignore and not challenge this demonized stronghold within the church will establish a conglomerate of false believers overtime, causing future generations to fluently interact with Babylonian ideology becoming one with the world.

The signs of a religious mercenary are:

1. They almost always talk about money.
2. They teach that if you want to benefit from their messages you must sow a special seed.
3. They often conceal their financial conquest under the guise of “fulfilling the vision” or “fulfilling destiny”
4. They design their meetings to optimize the collection of finances by selling and charging you for attending their meetings, selling special seating, collecting two and three offerings, and anything else they can charge a fee for.
5. They lust for speaking engagements, not to build God’s Kingdom as they exclaim, but to build a financial base.
6. They are more concerned with becoming a business guru, and obsessed with building business ventures that offer streams of income rather than tending to the souls of men.
7. They view biblical spirituality as legalistic, irrelevant and a waste of their time.
8. They exclusively teach empowerment, prosperity and how to be successful.
9. They operate in prosperity evangelism to build their network of givers who are more susceptible to hearing and participating in their get rich schemes [aka: how to become successful].
10. They make promises of wealth transfers, breakthroughs and miracles if you sow that special seed.
11. They often are all over the place indulging in any and every adventure with the hopes of hitting the jackpot.
12. You will rarely to almost never hear them preach the need to repent from practiced sin.
13. Quite naturally they promote and fellowship with other mercenaries.