‘Christian’ Fleece-athons

Why Giving to Life FM is Bad Stewardship


Community radio station 107.9 Life FM once again has its hand out for more of its listener’s cash. A recent bulk mail from the broadcaster to it’s ‘partners’ was the expected annual plea for financial assistance, and true to form the asking amount this year exceeds the year before. Now one might wonder (in fact many more should wonder) why an organization apparently so ‘blessed of God’ is so perpetually penny poor. Behind the cloistered walls of their boardrooms and water fountain chats, the whispers go along the lines of . . . ‘too many Christians have deep pockets and short arms’ - I have heard them. However the real answer to this question and other curiosities must come with first dispelling some popular myths concerning the claims of this community broadcaster.


Myth # 1: Life FM is a valid Christian Ministry.

Life FM is no more a Christian ministry than Burger King produces health food. Like too many churches today, Life FM is little more than an entertainment agency for people who desire an alternative to the crassness of the secular music world. It is fair to say however that when Life FM (originally Alta Mira FM) was initially conceived, its ministry intentions were godlier and reverently sought. But with the advent of the charismatic intrusion and the unquestioning allegiance to Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven stupidity which teaches that the way to evangelize society is to emulate it, Life FM has evolved into a compromised, tepid excuse for audio recreation.


Myth# 2: Life FM is a Christian voice to the people of Adelaide.

Life FM does not preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact according to its own creed it is about sharing the relevance of the gospel of Christ which is about as subjective as one can get. Misrepresenting the apostle Paul’s annunciation in 1 Corinthians 9:22 of being ‘all things to all men that some might be won for the gospel’, [and he was talking strictly of himself btw] Life FM and it’s influential financial bedfellows have embraced an ‘end justifies the means’ credo which has seen it present a weak, compromised, all embracing version of anything BUT the gospel.


One needn’t be a theologian to know that Paul’s, ‘all things’ are quite obviously things that are not already forbidden, things such as idolatry, partiality, cowardice, compromise, spiritual harlotry and the like. Things in which Life FM unashamedly and continually engage. Their current promotion, ‘Discover 06’ the quest to find Adelaide’s ‘most talented Christian’ is testimony to that. Can someone – anyone - show me from scripture where believers are encouraged to do such a thing? When were believers ever instructed to stand toe to toe with one another in a contest to see who was better than whom? Didn’t the disciples ask such a thing of the Savior in Matthew 18:1? And what was His reply? vs. 4 ‘HUMBLE YOURSELVES as children’. Far cry from an ‘I’m better than you’ talent quest! This is nothing but Christianized worldliness. Christian Idol. In the words of Andrew Peterson: “Scrubbing each other till their tombs are white . . . they chisel epitaphs of piety” all in the name of evangelization - or ego! Whatever happened to ‘come out and be separate’?


Myth #3: The money you give will keep us on air.

There is a better chance the money you give will be whittled away paying staff back pay. In my eleven and a half years at Life FM I know of many instances when paid staff, many with children, were not paid, often for several weeks at a time. This is a blatant violation of 1 Tim 5:17-18


Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, ‘the labourer is worthy of his reward’.


The word translated ‘worthy’, [axios] means ‘due’ - as in ‘what is due a person for a work rendered’ while the word translated ‘reward’ [misthos] means ‘wages’. The whole impetus of the verse is not withholding what is due those who labor - and yet this is precisely what Life FM has consistently done. Concerning wages, one former manager of Life FM once said to me personally, “I wouldn’t pay them [the staff] the correct wage even if I could afford to because I want them here for the right reasons”. Not only is this attitude and practice immoral, unethical and in direct violation of the Word of God, it is actually illegal according to Australian Industrial Relations law. It is inconceivable that the Heavenly Father would bless such an organization on the one hand because of its so called, ‘ministry’ and yet turn a blind eye to its heinous breaches of civil and moral law on the other.


Myth # 4: Life FM is cash strapped because God is testing its faithfulness with regard to endurance.

The only reason Life FM is perpetually cash strapped is yet again because of scriptural violation – the cart before the horse, the tail wagging the dog call it what you will; their priorities are skew whiff and until they correct them they will always be broke and their donors will be pouring good money after bad into a bottomless bucket. There is an order to the Father’s reasoning, especially when it comes to finance and stewardship. In an enlightening passage the Savior Himself unveils His ways.


Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(Matthew 6:27-33)


But seek ye ‘FIRST’ the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and [after that] all these things shall be added unto you. (Definition mine)

Drink that in folks.


Myth # 5: Life FM is religiously impartial and non partisan.

         Life FM will do whatever it takes to ensure its own financial viability, ethical or unethical the fervency of which directly reflects the sponsor’s financial ‘support’. It is far more interested in its bottom line than it is in scriptural truth and biblical principals, though it will obviously deny such a claim. However my censure and eventual departure from the station is testimony to the truth of the assertion.


Game play: . . . Tony criticizes major sponsor Paradise Community Church for unethical and unbiblical behavior, Paradise Community Church moves behind the scenes to silence Tony by threatening to withdraw financial support from Life FM, Life FM rapidly cowers to sponsor and gags Tony, and Tony leaves in utter disgust.


I have a letter in my files signed by the current GM, Timothy Millar stating quite the opposite to Y’shua’s proclamation in Matthew 6. According to Millar they [Life FM] seek first the THINGS they need. Notice Y’shua said it was the heathen that chased after their needs and that faith in the Father’s provision was the real issue. Millar thinks money will buy the station out of trouble when it has always been faith in the provision of the Father after having first sought His righteousness.


No wonder they are broke!


One final point – as an illustration of this organization’s lack of ethical credibility  . . . The form letter I received was addressed to, ‘Tony and Fiona Dean’. This ‘compassionate partner’ has consistently failed to correct the address error despite 4 separate requests on my part for them to do so – you see I have been divorced 4 years, and what is even more insensitive to me is that these are people I worked with for 11 and a half years – people who know what happened. So much for their book work, so much for their compassion, so much for their ‘ministry’.


The Father calls His own to be faithful stewards of finances. Consider the facts so that you may make an informed and prayerful decision. Remember, righteous talk doesn’t make for righteousness – or as Jesus so aptly puts it in Matthew 7:16 . . . you shall know them by their fruit!




In His Everlasting Embrace

Tony Dean


Director, Moriah Ministries Australia

April, 2006