Leadership Team Development, Quixtar, Amway, and Greed

LTD is Quixtar is Amway

In the past few months, I’ve been contacted by several individuals about joining Leadership Team Development. I did a little bit of research and found hints at a connection between LTD and Quixtar. I asked one of the individuals who had contacted me and she told me straight out that LTD is Quixtar. I did a little additional research and found out that LTD is headed up by Larry and Pam Winters, a couple who is “Double Diamond” pin level with Quixtar (see Quixtar Wiki). So, for anyone who is wondering, LTD is Quixtar. And, we all know that Quixtar is Amway.

The Perils of joining LTD, Quixtar, or Amway

These organizations (or should I say “this” organization, singular, since it’s all really the same thing) portray an “overt Christian emphasis” at “the rallies, events, and in the motivational material”1. Having only gone to these seminars when I was very young, I can’t speak to the accuracy of the Amway / Quixtar “Christian gospel” message, but it is clear to me that the members’ greedy pursuit of worldly riches conflicts with Christ’s preaching. My dad, who used to be a part of Amway and was motivated by Larry Winters’ tapes, described Amway’s “motivational meetings as nurtured by and nurturing greed.” Nurturing greed while also proclaiming the Gospel is dangerous and often leads people to the conclusion that Christ came and died on a cross to make us prosperous or wealthy here on this earth. This is a different gospel than the one Christ preached.

Following are some thoughts I’ve gathered about this topic – the dangers of greed, and how the pursuit of wealth stands in opposition to what should be our greatest treasure: Christ.

But first, I’ll reference another guy’s comment I found while doing some research about LTD.

I found it offensive that this couple tried to bill this as a ministry opportunity. I went, and took the wife with me because I really liked the couple, we need some friends, and they seemed genuine. Now, I wonder. I wanted to do some networking in the Christian world. Since I’m in finance for Christians, that is an important part of what I do. I did not expect to be invited to satiate my greed and carnal laziness. Oh yeah, did mention that one could make enough to take one’s child to Costa Rica to study Spanish, and work from there? Or that you could work only a few hours a day and make a quarter million?

It’s sad that people fall for this, but then it meets our most basic and carnal desires. We are sinfully lazy, lust for power and wealth, and are inherently rebellious towards those in authority. To be self-employed, make a lot of money, and do it in very few hours seems great right? It’s too good to be true, and don’t be taken in.

Excerpt from “LTD’s Pyramid Scheme

In my conversation with the second individual who invited me to join LTD, I was told, “Yes, people can be wealthy and a Christian … lol … I never knew either.” I’m not contesting the fact that someone can be both wealthy and a Christian. I just wonder how closely the pursuit of wealth, fame, popularity, knowledge, pleasure, etc, aligns with the pursuit of Christ. How does seeking after riches measure up to seeking Christ’s kingdom first? Revelation 22:20 says, “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” Can I sincerely pray “Come, Lord Jesus” while musing, “Show me the money!”? Is eager anticipation of Christ’s imminent return congruent with the pursuit of riches?

My point is not to suggest that earning money is a bad thing. It isn’t. I have a job, I’m earning a living. I would be a bad steward of those gifts which Christ has entrusted to me if I did not work. But, my chief goal in life is not to earn a lot of money, to “make it big” or to be successful, as the world defines it. Rather, my desire is to know Christ and make Him known. (You can read more of my thoughts about success in my paper, “Happiness Through Humility“.)

John Piper discusses the surpassing value of the pursuit of Christ in his book, Don’t Waste your Life. Piper comments, “God created us to live with a single passion to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives” (emphasis added). I simply cannot comprehend how building up treasure for myself here on earth makes much of Christ in my life.

What you think about, what you talk about betrays the state of your heart. I’m reminded of Luke 6:45 – “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” What is the abundance of your heart speaking?

Earthly riches will pass away. Recall James 1:9-11, “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.”

My concern is simply that the appeal of wealth and material success can be such a great temptation and we need to guard our hearts against our desire to pursue those things. These things are passing away with this world, but the word of Christ will stand.

On January 8, 2006 Joshua Harris gave a sermon titled Affluenza – the Disease of Greed at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD. They no longer have the MP3 available on their web site, though I’m sure they would provide it upon request. Anyway … I wish I could post the entire sermon text here – Harris hits the nail on the head when he preaches on Luke 12:13-21.

Sixteen out of the 38 parables of Jesus deal with money, possessions, their use, and their relationship to us.

Jesus never condemned wealth in and of itself, but he knows how easily our hearts can make money our god. Jesus knows and he wants us to understand that one of the greatest, if not the greatest hindrance to spiritual life and spiritual growth is material wealth and the temptations it brings with us. Friends, if we ignore the dangers of affluenza, we put ourselves in great spiritual peril.

Jesus says to all of us, “you DO have a money problem.” Money has too much of your heart. God wants us to see that when it comes to money problems, our greatest concern should be avoiding the pitfalls of covetousness.

Greed says that the quality of life, their worth is measured in the size of their bank account and the quality and quantity of their possessions. But in verse 15, Jesus warns us not to fall prey to this mindset. He says, “Take care. Be on your guard against all covetousness. Watch out for it because, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” In other words, watch out, don’t believe the lie of greed. Don’t buy into it. Because if you do, you’ll pass by what truly matters in life.”

Greed blinds us. It blinds us to what is truly important in life. It blinds us to spiritual realities and Jesus illustrates that by telling us a story of a rich man who has believed the lie of greed. It’s important to note that Jesus doesn’t say that having money or being skilled at making money is wrong … The issue is how we view the money we have, how we use the money we have. The rich man’s problem is not that he is rich, but that he is selfish. He hoards what he has. He uses it for his own pleasure and he puts his trust in his wealth.

Where do you put your trust? Is it in your wealth? Is it in the “safety” of America? Would you be satisfied if you never earned more than 40k per year (+ whatever normal inflation is)? Would you be satisfied with less? Or is your life meaningless if you can’t earn a bigger salary, have a bigger house, nicer car, and more possessions?

I like what Paul says in Philippians 4:12 – “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Paul’s happiness is not contingent upon worldly success. His life is not caught up in the pursuit of financial gain. Rather, it is in knowing Christ. Earlier in the book (1:21-24), he says, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” Earthly riches are the absolute last thing on Paul’s mind. For that matter, anything that is “of this world” is of no concern to Paul. His only reason for desiring to remain on earth is so that he may encourage the Philippians in their pursuit of Christ.

What is the state of your heart? For what do you live? Do you live to earn a lot of money, to buy a large house, to “keep up with the Joneses?” Or do you live to proclaim Christ’s message of salvation to this lost and desperately needy world? When you face Christ on that final day, will you joyously receive his praise, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” or will the way you live now require you look on Him with head hung low and receive his reprimand, “You wicked and lazy servant”?

References

60 thoughts on “Leadership Team Development, Quixtar, Amway, and Greed

  1. louisa

    erich:
    thanks so much for the intuitive post! there is so much temptation in the world today for christians and non christians alike. lets pray quixstar/ltd will no longer wear “christian” labels across their necks.

  2. venusallure

    Why would Christ refer to you/us as a “servant”??? Humility before God is all wella nd good but servitude? I am sure when homo sapeins were carved God was proud of the creation. He did not infuse us with such attitude of eternal servitude and subordinance. I would think God would be ashamed to see what any of us have made the entire role ofcreator out to be. Be it LTD,quixstars who misuse the name and rhyme or reason of God’s existence or idea of or be it religious fanatics who have taken it so and ran with it to the point of reducing God’s magnificant creation to a servant level. If slavery is abolished in world or so is beleived to why does it exist in thought mainly so in religious thought. Why are we not students or disciples of God. Why are we not his/her/it’s beloved creation or hated creation that he/she/it wishes to destroy? We do not know anything form anything so why “servant”? Why?

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Thanks for taking the time to share your comments with me. My apologies for taking so long to follow up on your comments.

      On what foundation are you basing your understanding of God? If you look through the Bible, I think it’s clear that serving God is not quite the lowly calling that you perceive it to be.

      The Bible teaches that we are all slaves to something – either to sin, or to righteousness. Take a look at Romans 6:

      16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

      20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      We've got two options: wallow in our deadness and enslavement to sin (this leads to death), or accept God's free gift of eternal life and experience freedom from sin. There's really no middle road.

      Our "enslavement" to righteousness does not produce in us the same sort of weariness produced by our enslavement to sin. In Matthew 10, Jesus says, "28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

      Why can this be? Why is Christ's yoke easy and burden light? Because He has done everything for us; He has taken the burden of our sins upon Himself. God has "made us alive together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:5). As Martin Luther wrote in A Mighty Fortress, "Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing."

      Feel free to write back if you've got more thoughts or questions!

      – Erich

  3. God's Child

    Whomever started this site, I am sorry. I am sorry your father was not successful in Amway and I am sorry that you have to make a website about it. Also, Amway is the best business out there for someone who wants to help others, to serve God. Yes, I said SERVE God, does that mean I am a servant? Yes. God gave the world to us, the least we could do is serve him back and help others in the world. Amway global is not just a hope that only a few can achieve. Anyone can have success if they just put their mind to it and know what they want. It is you, who I will pray for tonight. And if you choose to not post this, because it is actually the truth about Amway and is something opposite of your opinion, then what is the purpose of this website? To share your false opinion or to inform others?

    God Bless

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      God’s Child –

      Thanks for your comments.

      First, I want to clarify that this post was not a pity party for my dad’s bad experience with Amway. Actually, maybe it is. But not for the reason you gave. You said “I’m sorry your father was not successful in Amway.” My complaint is not that he was unsuccessful. Rather, my concern is with how his involvement affected his soul. He once wrote, “In the process of greedily building my own dream – my own idol, a friend confronted me with Jesus Christ, the only Son of the God Who created and sustains the universe. He broke my greedy, clutching fingers; He opened my hands to release me from the bars of a dark imprisonment; and I began to receive all that God has for me. I died to myself, and came to life with the life of Christ. If Christ is not living in you, I urge you to invite Him in. You may lose everything, but nothing of any value.”

      Now that I’ve got that straightened out, I’ve got a few questions for you:

      1. What do you mean by the statement, “God gave the world to us”?

      2. You said, “Anyone can have success if they just put their mind to it and know what they want.” Is this a true statement, or is it something you just believe for yourself? Can you show me, from the scriptures, where Christ teaches this?

      – Erich

  4. Ken

    On the topic of being wealthy and a Christian, and whether or not LTD plays on people’s greed, or their most basic desires.

    It’s great to earn a living, to earn a paycheck. It’s selfish to settle for that. I am a member of LTD. The couple that help me do this successfully did not settle, and on the side of their full-time jobs, donate a significant amount of money to their church.

    I’m not entirely sure, but I feel pretty confident saying that if for example, God forbid something happened to this couple and they were gone before their time, their Parish would miss them more so than the man woman or couple who were tithing 10% of the average $60,000 per year salary.

    To become wealthy and tithe 90% is the basic premise that I have found with the LTD Team, rather than to settle for mediocrity and tithe 10%.

    However, the reason you don’t see people who present LTD to others say this is because it would be comparable to the person who has no humility and would brag about all of the good deeds they do, while we all know that the best good deed is one that is done and never spoken of again.

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Ken –

      Thank you, as well, for your comments. It seems that my thoughts have generated quite an interest among you Amway / LTD folks!

      You gave a scenario in which a couple was “gone before their time.” I know this is somewhat off-topic while discussing LTD, but I feel it important to address. To suggest that someone could pass away “before their time” undermines God’s sovereignty over life. It is God who ordains the days of our lives. Consider the following verses:

      Psalm 139:16 – Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

      James 4:13-15 – Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

      Further in your scenario with the couple, you suggest, “their Parish would miss them more so than the man woman or couple who were tithing 10% of the average $60,000 per year salary.” Remember the parable of the widow who gave her two coins (Mark 12:41-44)? Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” The point is not HOW MUCH. “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains” (Psalm 24:1). God doesn’t need the wealthy couple’s 90%. What God desires is our hearts. He wants us to love Him and follow Him.

      – Erich

      1. Ken

        Thank you, Erich. I absolutely appreciate the Scripture examples you’ve given me. I only hope to one day be so well versed as you are. That is very impressive, so thank you!

        This has caused quite a stir! So, good for you! I’m sorry for the delayed response, I posted my reply to the article and never remembered to check this again.

        While I appreciate your examples, and I understand your sentiment exactly, I also think that the basic point I was trying to make is pretty clear. While the Parish may miss them more, I wouldn’t dare say that Jesus appreciated their contributions more, or looked with more favor on them. I simply mean that in regards to paying the property taxes or even the electric or heat, that the contributions of the people I know who contribute significant amounts of money probably go further toward accomplishing the fiscal goals the church has for that year, or even for that month.

        And to mention your first reference to Scripture, once again, the expression I said, ‘gone before their time’ is just that, an expression, no more, so please, let’s concentrate on the steak and not the peas.

        I’ve read a lot of stuff on here. Calling LTD, or Amway a cult. It’s simply not true. Granted, there are people out there who build this business that I would rather not be associated with. A couple of years ago I was exposed to this for the first time through an organization other than LTD, and was very concerned. I looked at it again a couple years later when a friend of mine in LTD asked if I might be interested, and it was the character of the PEOPLE that I would be working with that attracted me to this.

        Imagine your neighbor wanting to build a deck, but doesn’t know how to. So, he goes to Home Depot, gets the materials he thinks he needs, and kind of tacks a deck together that, really, doesn’t look so hot, you wouldn’t want to spend an evening watching the sunset on it if you get the idea. Do you blame Home Depot for the quality of this deck? No. You simply say, I guess my neighbor should have learned how to build a deck before he took on a project like that.

        This concept is absolutely no different when applied to this business. There are people who do it right, and there are people who make mistakes, and sometimes the rest of us are made to look pretty bad. Does that mean that this is a bad business? Absolutely not.

        So, I imagine this will be my last post, I have been in this business long enough now and if someone has checked it out for an hour or two, or a week or two, I can assure you, I know a lot more that’s wrong with it than you do. But, I also know a lot more that’s right with it. I have other things that I really need to focus on, and those things involve learning how to manage a high volume of income so that I can properly give it away.

        Thank you all, and God Bless.

        1. Beck

          Hi Ken,

          I just want to say that I appreciate the level headed perspective you’ve shared. Kudos to you for also acknowledging the pro’s, as well as the con’s in being involved with such organizations. You’re maturity (in both the spiritual and professional sense) is very eye opening, actually neutralized a lot of the irritation I’ve been feeling towards these companies.

          I guess my biggest concern is being pestered. I am so tired of being approached during my free time! It is so difficult to continue to politely decline these people, when all I am trying to do is make my purchases and leave! Do you have any suggestions to offer to make these approaches stop? I know these people are just doing what they’ve been trained to do, but it is becoming as disruptive and bothersome as telemarketing. Except I can’t screen the call and choose not to answer it … so it makes it worse.

          Is this how people are trained to market their product? Could you please explain a little bit more how members are taught to build their business? These are questions I’ve always asked the reps, and no one will answer except to say that I need to “come to a meeting.”

          Also–why is there no information available online about these companies? DC international does not have a website, and the LTD website is password protected. How can I find out more if the companies won’t grant access to the public?

          Ken, I really appreciate your time and patience with this topic. I will appreciate any replies you have to offer.

          1. JJ

            Beck,

            It is great to see you are a bit more level headed than in your second to last post.

            I don’t know who DC International is but I can speak of my experience with LTD.

            What we are “trained” to do is not “pester” people or be a weirdo, but rather go through your normal day. The goal is NOT to sell the opportunity or “peddle” products to random people (ie telemarketing approach). The goal is to find out if a person is looking for an opportunity to make extra money, after a bit of report has been established. If you are not looking, all that should be needed to say “No, I am not looking”. My guess, and I could be wrong, is if you visit the same grocery stores every week, would it be possible that these people also visit and use the same grocery store? I would not think they are sitting there all day hiding behind the banana pile waiting to pounce on people (that would be weird and funny). Just a suggestion.

            Yes, I will say there are those that can be overzealous and a bit….uh let’s say intense? Typically these are new people that haven’t been “trained” properly, or elect to ignore the training. Which as independent business owners, they have the right. Problem is, they make the rest of us look bad. Similar to a independent Denny’s, Hardee’s, or any other chain. One franchisee and damage the reputation for the whole company. Example–rotten food, terrible service, bones, etc. You get the idea.

            Thank you for commenting Beck it helps to be aware of how everyday people perceive this business, and hope that others will take your concern as a learning tool.

        2. Erich Musick Post author

          Ken –

          Thanks for the response, even if some time did elapse since I wrote back to you!

          It doesn’t sound like you plan on writing more, but, if you find some time, I’ve got a couple questions for you:

          You concluded by commenting that you were “learning how to manage a high volume of income so that I can properly give it away.”

          How long have you been involved with LTD? Have you found yourself to be successful in your business? How much money (or a percentage) have you saved in your family budget by buying products in the network?

          Thanks for dialoging with others and me on this topic!

          – Erich

        3. Ken

          Wow, I didn’t enter the right code, and it deleted everything i wrote…haha. Well, God certainly has a plan, I guess there was something He didn’t want me to say!

          First, LTD Team Member, your passion is awesome! JJ, Beck, Erich, thank you for the continued compliments. It makes it enjoyable to talk with you. I want to apologize for my first two posts, I was feeling a little defensive. Then, when I looked back and saw where this discussion was giong, instead of a one-sided attack, it’s turned into a great discussion. I couldn’t walk away from it with a good conscience.

          So, thank you everyone who has participated on here for that.

          Erich, you asked some very good questions. First, whoever posted the suggestion that you should attend a function, I have to agree. There’s no better way to see the hearts and mind of the leaders of this organization. Even were we face to face, I couldn’t convey it.

          But your questions about, saving money, have I been successful. Yes, I’ve saved money, and I feel I’ve been successful so far. I’ve been in this business for only 5 months. This is not a get-rich-quick business, nor am I rich. But let me just say, it is paying my rent reliably from month to month. I find I’m breathing easier, my relationships with everyone close to me (including God) are better, I feel I have less stress.

          And it’s not because I am making great money. That helps. But really, the change in my life has occurred from finding truly positive Christian people to be good role models in my life. They teach me to lead, the teach me how to be a good example, they openly and unashamedly talk about God. It’s an absolutely positive atmosphere.

          My sponsor and I are a bit competitive. We have fun that way. But, in 5 months, I’ve come to a point, where I am financially more stable than he is. I’m making more money. Therefore, since I am making more money than the person who brought me into this business, it is not a pyramid scheme of any kind. How that works, well, get registered, and I’ll show you how. Literally. I hope and pray every day for the right actions to help the people that I’ve registered make more money than myself. I try to serve my team every day. Because I sincerely care about them, their lives, their family’s lives, their finances, I want to help them when and where I can.

          I hope that answers a few of your questions, Erich. If you have any more, please, feel free to write m back. I’ll try to be better about checking this discussion board.

          Thanks again, and God Bless!!!

          Ken

  5. JJ

    Erich,

    It seems you are versed in the Good Book, which is great. It is something I aspire to myself.

    With regards to LTD…have you looked into it yourself? Or have you just taken what people on the internet say as your gospel (pun intended) :)? It seems from your post that you have little to no personal experience with LTD and/or Quixtar. I say this, because it is my experience they don’t use greed or our “lust, carnal” nature to propagate wealth. Although the leaders of LTD are predominantly Christian it doesn’t take away the fact that Amway Global/Quixtar is a business opportunity.

    Even when I first saw the business, I knew it wasn’t easy money or get rich quick or something for nothing. Why? Because it involves people. People are complicated, fearful and typically skeptical of everything.

    Also technically speaking LTD is NOT Amway/Quixtar. LTD is a business support organization that works within the rules and regulations of marketing products for Amway/Quixtar. It is a separate business entity unto itself. The “average Joe” can get started with Amway/Quixtar and not be involved with LTD or any other such organization. They can make the same amount of money based on the work and volume they move for Amway/Quixtar.

    Several things for yourself that I suggest.
    1) Personally experience LTD for yourself and make your own judgment. You can do this without spending money.
    2) For more information and discussion on the facts and open forums, a great website is http://www.thetruthaboutamway.com

    Hear stories from people that are in the business and making it work.

    I hope you take my advice.

    Have a great day and God bless you.

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      JJ –

      Thanks for your feedback! I appreciate the levelheadedness you exhibited in your comments; that has been mostly absent from several others’ comments.

      To answer your question, I have not looked into LTD much myself. But, I also did not base the majority of my thoughts on what I’ve read online. Rather, my motivation for writing in opposition to LTD and Amway/Quixtar is fueled primarily by what I’ve learned from my dad about his own experience with Amway several years ago. My goal is to challenge my readers, especially those who are involved with one of these organizations or considering joining, to love the Lord more, and to see the dangers of greed. Is it possible to be a member of LTD or Amway/Quixtar and not be consumed with greed? Sure. But, we learn in 2 Timothy 1-5, that “in the last days … people will be lovers of money … rather than lovers of God.” In Matthew 19:23-24, we hear Jesus say, “only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” It is very easy for us, myself included, to make other things, especially money, more important to us than following Jesus. My desire is that my readers would seek Christ and His kingdom FIRST, above all else – even money.

      Thanks again for commenting!

      – Erich

      1. JJ

        Erich,

        Again you display a great command of the Bible and associated passages. I also appreciate your level of commitment to spreading the word of God.

        My goal is to inform/educate you, from my perspective, LTD and their mission. Having met Larry Winters and hearing from him several times, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, he is a genuine Christian man. He explains in great detail, when he is allowed(Amway rules restrict him greatly in this regard), the difference of being “rich” and prosperous. He states time and time again, that money is a tool. It doesn’t make a man, it reveals the man. He also debunks the myth that “money is the root of all evil”. He states clearly the context and it is “the love of money is the root of all evil”.

        I would also encourage you to research why he formed LTD a couple years ago. You would be very surprised when you find out why.

        Some of his and his wife’s goals are to be able to live off 10% of their income and give away 90%. They also support several ministries across this country and abroad. They sow the good seed and have for years, and I think now they are reaping the harvest.

        Like I said, I would really encourage you to attend a weekend function and hear his heart and see his eyes, as well as the other leaders he has.

        Hope all is well with you and yours.

      2. JJ

        Also not sure if I clearly answered your question in your post.

        It is absolutely possible to be in LTD and Quixtar/Amway. The marketing plan itself, retail customers aside, is inherent to helping the new guy succeed and create volume. When they make money, you make money, but not before (at least to any appreciable level).

        You get paid on volume moved, not people recruited.

        1. Erich Musick Post author

          JJ –

          Thanks for writing back! You’re the first to dialogue with me about the topic – others have refrained from writing back after I’ve replied to them. I appreciate being able to have this conversation with you.

          I’ve got a few more questions for you.

          First, you mention how Larry Winters and his wife “support several ministries” and are “now reaping the harvest” from the good seed they have sown. Please correct me if I’m misunderstanding you, but it seems you’re drawing a connection between the Winters’ contributions to ministries and their financial success. Would you say that obedience to God and faithful giving will usually result in Him blessing us financially? If so, could you identify those passages in the Scriptures which lead you to that conclusion?

          In an earlier message, you encouraged me to “Hear stories from people that are in the business and making it work.” Do you have stories of this sort from your own experience with LTD that you could share with me?

          How has your involvement in LTD enabled you to love Jesus more?

          Finally, you shared Larry’s comments on 1 Timothy 6:10 (“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”). The verses immediately preceding this one say:

          6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition

          Two questions on this:
          1. What steps have you taken to guard yourself from desiring to be rich and falling into temptation (v9)?
          2. How do you define contentment (v6)

          Sorry I’ve got so many questions … I started writing and the questions started flowing …

          Hope you have a Christ-glorifying Lord’s day tomorrow!

          – Erich

  6. Becki

    First of all–thank YOU Erich for taking the time to create this site so that we all may be informed of the TRUTH!

    Similar to Amway and other pyramiding schemes, I have been pestered RELENTLESSLY by reps or whatever you call them from DC International. Please also get the word out that this organization all promotes Christian principles, BUT targets young/personable/attractive/athletic people to peddle their products (such as XS, etc.). They are told they are “Independent Business Owners” (mostly so they feel like they are doing something important or have been awarded prestige and status) but believe me–there is absolutely nothing elitist about being an independent business owner!

    Moreover, this company is extremely cryptic about releasing information and requires you to attend a “meeting” or “conference.” Sounds like a cult to me …

    Might I also add that there are DC International married couples that purposely patrol grocery stores in my area in the hopes of recruiting other 20 to 30 somethings to join their cult. I can’t tell you how many abrupt turns I’ve had to make down the WRONG aisle, cell phone conversations I’ve had to fake, and “about faces” I’ve had to do to avoid these people. I obviously speak from experience when I tell you its the SAME ones over, and over, and over … they really can’t take a hint. Is there anything remotely Christ-like about that? Or even socially acceptable? That’s borderline stalking!

    More recently, I was approached by a LTD rep or whatever via email who sung the praises of business opportunities available to me. She signed her name “so- and so” IBO (Independent Business Owner). Whooaaaaa. Another important business owner! Hogwash. I refuse to join a scheme that makes the people on top richer while I work harder to see a fraction of the revenue.

    I have not quoted any bible verses, and do not plan to as I do not want to escalate the ongoing battle of the verses I’ve seen in previous posts.

    Indeed, as God as my witness I LOVE THE LORD MY GOD WITH ALL MY HEART!! I can’t speak for Him, and say what I think He he preceives DC International and LTD to be. I know I have my convictions.

    I guess the bottomline here is to STAY EDUCATED (thanks Erich!) and go with your gut instincts.

  7. Chris cuchens

    erich:
    thanks so much for the intuitive post! there is so much temptation in the world today for christians and non christians alike. lets pray quixstar/ltd will no longer wear “christian” labels across their necks.

    I can understand and see why certain Christian mindsets could lead someone to believe and see a team like LTD in that light. But maybe this is also an example of appealing to people at their need level and reaching out to help those that are lost, because otherwise they might be turned off by a Christian message.

    An example of this was a man that lived 2000 years ago that started miracles of his ministry at a wedding by turning water into wine. I think the point of this was to meet people’s needs first and by serving them at that level, therefore opening them up to be receptive to a message that could truly fulfill their needs. I don’t believe this miracle was done to encourage drunkeness or imply that we should seek to involve alcohol in our life to enjoy it.

    Perhaps this is simply a business where Christian businessmen have chosen to become successful and use their full God given abilities, involve their faith, and hopefully reach out and help others at the same time.

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Chris –

      I think you make a good point about meeting people “where they’re at.” We see a similar attitude in Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:22. He says, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

      You suggested that LTD is a way to draw people in, lest they “be turned off by a Christian message.” I understand your point … without love, our message is meaningless (1 Cor 13). However, a focus on making the Gospel appealing to people is a misplaced priority. The Bible makes it very clear that the Gospel is offensive and that people will be opposed to it. Consider these passages:

      • 1 Corinthains 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
      • Matthew 10:35 – For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
      • 2 Timothy 3:12 – All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution

      Back to your suggestion that LTD is “an example of appealing to people at their need level and reaching out to help those that are lost” … a few questions:

      1. I assume you are speaking with regards to the needs of those who are encouraged to join LTD. Is that correct?
      2. What physical (as opposed to spiritual) needs are met?
      3. How does LTD meet those physical needs?
      4. How does LTD’s fulfillment of one’s physical needs relate to the meeting of one’s spiritual needs?

      – Erich

  8. LTDTEAMMEMBER

    Wait a minute!!! I know you probably won’t post this, because of my honest opinion. This is coming from an LTD team member, and I want your attention. I’m a Christian, and a core LTD member. Things being said by this post is very misleading. I really don’t have to take the time to write this, because Quixtar is a 6.8 billion dollar corporation, and LTD has helped many people overcome obstacles (they can’t be discredited, and their going to keep getting stronger). There’s probably a million negative things said about McDonalds, WalMart, and thousands of other stores, but that doesn’t stop them from being successful businesses. A McDonald’s opens up around the world every 6hours, and Walmart is the the 2nd Largest corporation in the world. SO, when I say that Quixtar is a 6.8 billion dollar corporation, and has the highest DB rating along with the BBB backing it up..(It’s hard to say that they are just a Rubber Dish Pyramid Scheme.. Thousands of other business have partnered up with Quixtar, like Barnes&Noble, Circuit City, BassProShops, and much much more. I don’t think that these companies would be partnered up with a “pyramid scheme”. THATS QUIXTAR for you!
    A couple key facts for your information…QUIXTAR IS THE NORTH AMERICAN IDENTITY OF AMWAY- this is true..WHO CARES!
    Quixtar is NOT LTD.. Quixtar is a supplier for LTD team members. LTD HAS NEVER USED THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AS THEIR LURE. IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT THE SECRET TO LTD IS THAT THERE ARE HUGE NUMBERS OF CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS. WOULDN’T IT BE AWESOME TO HAVE GOD BACKING UP YOUR BUSINESS? Just because there is a Christian service at a business function, doesn’t mean LTD is bad. The LTD team provides a place of worship for believers of all faiths. They don’t want to take Worship away for people that faithfully worship on SUNDAY.. I think it’s cool that this business has allowed me to get closer to GOD, and has strengthened my Christian walk.. THe LTD team has many principles that coincide with the BIBlE. IT’s AWESOME. SO many people are mislead by false information. I challenge anyone who has a problem with LTD or Quixtar to join on us at a meeting. Their eyes would be opened, and misconceptions be resolved. People need to stop spreading rumors, and just accept the facts. ESPECIALLY CHRISTIANS!
    TRY THESE WEBSITES
    LTDTEAM.COM (LOGIN =GUEST) and THISBIZNOW.COM
    ALSO, OUTTHINKTHEBOX.COM
    I’m not saying you don’t have the right to express your opinions, but at least get all the information before you make a comment about something. That goes for anything.. (LIKE THIS 2008 ELECTION ON NOV. 4)
    And.., I know there are people that have tried this business, and failed. Those people, in my opinion either didn’t stick around long enough to fully grasp the concept, didn’t have the will power, or just physically couldn’t do it. I don’t get my information from people who don’t have a clue about what they’re talking about, but those who have knowledge about the topic. And my team leaders have shared with me things that are so inspirational, and just downright awesome.. I take my advice from “rich” people, not just monetarily rich, but rich in life… AND THAT’S BIBLICAL… IT’S OK TO BE WEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS. GOD WANTS US TO LIVE ABUNDANTLY. LOOK IT UP IN THE BIBLE. I KNOW THAT JESUS was very humble, and he didn’t have riches. BUT THAT’S BECAUSE HE WANTED TO LET US KNOW THAT HE COULD PREACH GOD’S word with very little possessions, so there should be no excuses to reach the lost for us. DID YOU KNOW THAT LTD HAS CHARITY ORGANIZATIONS? THOUSANDS OF LIVES ARE AFFECTED FROM LTD ASSOCIATION, LED BY GOD. THAT’S A GOOD THING!
    I WAS SCEPTICAL AT FIRST TOO ABOUT THE BUSINESS, BUT NOW I FEEL LIKE THAT THERE’S NOTHING ELSE OUT THERE, WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OTHER’S LIVES, AND HAVE A TEAM TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS.. LTD RULES, AND QUIXTAR IS AWESOME.

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Dear anonymous LTDTEAMMEMBER –

      A few thoughts / questions in response to your comments:

      NOW I FEEL LIKE THAT THERE’S NOTHING ELSE OUT THERE, WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OTHER’S LIVES, AND HAVE A TEAM TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS

      What are your dreams?
      What about your church? Does your church not help people? Does your church not help achieve the ultimate dream of bringing others to Christ?
      What priority do you place in your own life on leading others to a recognition of their sinfulness and need for Christ as their savior?

      The LTD team provides a place of worship for believers of all faiths.

      Isn’t this counter to the spread of the Gospel? Again, I know LTD/Quixtar isn’t officially “Christian,” but once someone joins, the likelihood that they find Christ amidst the religious ambiguity seems somewhat low.

      THe LTD team has many principles that coincide with the BIBlE.

      Could you share some examples?

      You suggested I look up God’s views on abundance. What do you think about this passage?

      Luke 12:15-20
      And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

      I take my advice from “rich” people, not just monetarily rich, but rich in life

      I take my advice from the Scriptures. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” What is the relationship between obtaining the wealth you describe and being poor in spirit?

      I know there are people that have tried this business, and failed. Those people, in my opinion either didn’t stick around long enough to fully grasp the concept, didn’t have the will power, or just physically couldn’t do it.

      There seems to be a common suggestion from LTD members that those who fail simply don’t have enough motivation, or don’t try hard enough. Would you say that is true of ALL of the 60% that leave the organization annually?

      Quixtar is NOT LTD.. Quixtar is a supplier for LTD team members.

      Do LTD team members distribute products from other suppliers, or is Quixtar their sole source of products?

      Quixtar is not LTD any more than an individual McDonald’s franchise is not McDonald’s. McDonald’s is a supplier for McDonald’s franchises. Franchises are not owned by the McDonald’s corporation, but are owned and operated by someone with a different name. Yet we still call it McDonald’s.

      – Erich

      1. JJ

        Erich,

        I feel I need to speak to this line of questioning. Obviously this LTD member is excited and perhaps a bit over the top. Probably much like myself when I first started. Of course, at that time it was simply to look at a different way of making money, and I was excited about that.

        The LTD team provides a place of worship for believers of all faiths.

        Isn’t this counter to the spread of the Gospel? Again, I know LTD/Quixtar isn’t officially “Christian,” but once someone joins, the likelihood that they find Christ amidst the religious ambiguity seems somewhat low.

        It is counter to spreading the Gospel. However, when restrictions are placed on you from the company that ultimately pays you, you need to choose your battles. It doesn’t diminish the message on Sunday morning. They allow for separate religions to worship away from the Christian worship. Also, does it matter what the “likelihood” is? What if it only changed one life for the better and the Kingdom of God? Wouldn’t that be worth it in His eyes? I believe it would be!

        You suggested I look up God’s views on abundance. What do you think about this passage?

        Luke 12:15-20
        And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

        Notice he talks about possessions on this verse you quote. I believe LTDMEMBER said, “I take my advice from “rich” people, not just monetarily rich, but rich in life” So to be rich in life doesn’t not always mean worldly possessions. It could mean rich in a marriage, rich with friends and loved ones, rich in a spiritual walk, rich with giving. It could mean all these things and more.

        I take my advice from the Scriptures. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” What is the relationship between obtaining the wealth you describe and being poor in spirit?

        Depends on God calling to a person. Some it may be donating time a soup kitchen or church, others it may be going overseas to spread the Word and charity of our great Father. Others it may be to show that God wants us to prosper and serve others. Not just give handouts, but education and learning on how a person can achieve success through giving themselves away. “you will find yourself, by losing yourself”

        There seems to be a common suggestion from LTD members that those who fail simply don’t have enough motivation, or don’t try hard enough. Would you say that is true of ALL of the 60% that leave the organization annually?

        Two things here. There is a HUGE difference between quitting and failing. Failing happens when you have exhausted all resources to attain a goal. However, that goal may not always be financial, especially when you get around this team. Quitting is simply giving up well before all options have been explored or exhausted.
        Second, where did you get the stat about 60% leave annually?

        Do LTD team members distribute products from other suppliers, or is Quixtar their sole source of products?

        Only from Amway Global/Quixtar, because they are contractually bound to do so.

        Quixtar is not LTD any more than an individual McDonald’s franchise is not McDonald’s. McDonald’s is a supplier for McDonald’s franchises. Franchises are not owned by the McDonald’s corporation, but are owned and operated by someone with a different name. Yet we still call it McDonald’s.

        Not sure what you are getting at here.

      2. LTDTEAMMEMBER

        HERE’S MY ANSWER:

        Romans Chapter 12
        11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

        Proverbs Chapter 10
        4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

        Proverbs Chapter 13
        11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

        Ecclesiastes Chapter 5
        18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.
        19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.
        20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

        I WORK FOR WHAT I HAVE. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. QUIXTAR IS NOT A WELFARE PROGRAM.

        GOD DIDN’T SAY TO BECOME A LOWLY INDIVIDUAL AND LIVE A LIFE OF MEDIOCRITY. GOD WANTS US TO ACHIEVE OUR FULL POTENTIAL, AND BECOME A SHINING LIGHT TO THOSE WHO SEEK LIFE.

        HERE ARE LTD’S COINCIDENTAL VALUES

        Faith- firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust

        Service- contribution to the welfare of others; a helpful act

        Unity- continuity without deviation or change (as in purpose or action); the quality or state of being made one

        Psalm Chapter 133
        1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

        Honor-(character) good name or public esteem: reputation; one’s word given as a guarantee of performance; moral excellence and firmness

        Freedom- absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action; liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: independence

        Vision- (the dream) a strongly desired goal or purpose

        Duty- binding (in law or conscience) tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one’s position (as in life or in a group); the force of moral obligation

        Courage- mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty

        MY CHURCH IS MY ASSOCIATION OF CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS WHO SUPPORT, AND UPLIFT GOD AND MYSELF. YOU DON’T JUST HAVE TO BE AT YOUR CHURCH TO WORSHIP GOD. YOU CAN DO IT ANYWHERE. WHERE’s THERE’S TWO OR MORE GATHERED.

        I TAKE MY ADVICE FROM SCRIPTURE TOO! WHAT CHRISTIAN DOESN’t?

        BUT GOD PLACED HERE ON EARTH DISCIPLES WHO CAN MENTOR AND ENCOURAGE TO YOU TO FIGHT THE FIGHT!

        “THE ELDERS IN THE CHURCH”

        EVER HEARD OF THE 80/20 RULE? 20% of people in the world do 80% of the work. THAT’S WHY PEOPLE DON’t SUCCEED. THAT’s a fact.. FOR EVERYTHING…

        AND, by the way McDONALD’s DOESN’t HAVE McDonald’s SUPPLY THEIR FOOD, and SUPPORT. IT’S HAMBURGER UNIVERSITY as their knowledge base, and GOLDEN STATE FOODS as their food source.. SEPERATE ENTITIES!!!!

        DO THE RESEARCH… I COULD GO ALL DAY WITH THIS…

        1. JJ

          LTDTEAMMEMBER,

          Good post, a couple things. Can you use less CAPS in your posts.

          A couple factual errors. McDonald’s is no longer supplied solely by Golden State Foods.

          By my estimation Jesus was not a poor man. Didn’t he have a treasurer? And didn’t that treasurer steal from the treasury of Jesus without anyone knowing, except Jesus? If that were the case, wouldn’t there be quite a bit of money in the treasury to “skim off the top” with out the rest of the disciples knowing about it?

          Just some food for thought.

          1. LTDTEAMMEMBER

            Ok, I will use less CAPS. I guess I just wanted to get a point across to people who don’t take something as passionately as I do and put it down.

            To JJ:
            A couple of things myself,

            I was proving my point about McDonald’s in this statement by Erich:

            “Quixtar is not LTD any more than an individual McDonald’s franchise is not McDonald’s. McDonald’s is a supplier for McDonald’s franchises. Franchises are not owned by the McDonald’s corporation, but are owned and operated by someone with a different name. Yet we still call it McDonald’s.”

            First of all, Mcdonald’s Franchisees have to call it Mcdonalds because if the Franchisee called it his own name, it wouldn’t sell. That’s why Mcdonald’s is soo successful. It keeps everything the same, and people know what to expect. It’s Franchising.

            Once again, Quixtar is a supplier of LTD. LTD is a team of highly successful business owners, and Quixtar is just a supplier of over 1million goods and services.

            LTD team business members are part of the team, but are their own business. LTD is just the knowledge base.

            You have LTD as the the knowledge, Quixtar as the supplier, and then their’s you, as the business owner.

            In Mcdonalds, you have Hamburger U. as the knowledge, GoldenStateFoods, as the supplier, and you as the Franchisee.

            The franchisee of McDonalds is a “student” of Hamburger University, and their food supplier is GoldenStateFoods.

            And to JJ:

            Besides the point, yes it’s probably true that GoldenStateFoods is not their only supplier. There’s also Heinz Ketchup, and others.

            I didn’t know Jesus was wealthy.. I just know he lived a humble life. And if he was wealthy, he never used the money unless he had to. Because the life of Jesus was not glamorous. Not taking anything away from HIM.
            Jesus is the KING, and he reigns over all.

            Just a thought.

      3. Erich Musick Post author

        A couple of questions / comments … some for JJ, some for LTDTEAMMEMBER, and some for both.

        JJ – You commented on LTD Team Member’s excitement and suggested it was derived from seeing “different way of making money.” What about the “LTD” way of making money is/was exciting to you?

        You asked where I obtained the 60% statistic. A different LTD member volunteered it in an email to me. My dad also had heard a similar statistic. Here’s the excerpt from what the other guy said to me:

        Let me give you a stat about LTD and where they stand in the AmWay system. We are the fastest growing team and we also have the greatest turn over rate of anyone. We have a 40% growth and a 60% turn-over.

        ———

        JJ & LTD Team Member –

        My comment about McDonald’s was simply a response to the criticism of my comment that LTD and Quixtar are the same thing. I was pointing out that while they may not technically be the same thing, there are plenty of things that we generally consider to be the same which are not actually.

        Regarding the comment of Jesus being wealthy. Can you point me to the passages in which you find Jesus described as wealthy? Here’s what I find:

        John 12:4-7 NIV But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5″Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

        We learn from this passage that the money bag was used to hold gifts given to the disciples to be given to the poor. Jesus and his disciples were the middle man. How do we know this? Well, Judas wanted the lady to give the money “for the poor” so he could steal it. The only way he could steal it is if the money “for the poor” is what was stored in the money bag. Jesus wasn’t walking around making the big bucks. He was collecting for the poor. Saying that Jesus was wealthy is like saying a church is rich because it took in $1 mil to donate to World Vision.

        Then again, Christ, because He is God, is rich. The world is his, and all that is in it.

        In Mark 6, Jesus sends out the 12 disciples, two by two. “These were his instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.” (Mark 6:8)

        My point in writing the original article about LTD, Amway, and Quixtar is not so much to speak poorly of the organization but to challenge anyone reading to love Christ more. To see to it that he does not love the world, nor the things of the world. To warn of the dangers of loving money that Paul describes to Timothy: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (1 Timothy 6:8).

        The following quote is from an essay titled “Christ's Greatest Trophy” by J.C. Ryle. I read it earlier this week and it really challenged my thinking. I so often am focused on the here and now and lose sight of Him whom I am seeking to serve, of Him who died for my sins, of Him whom I will worship and with whom I will live for eternity. This was a good reminder of what it’s really about (emphasis added):

        I cannot describe what kind of place paradise is, because I cannot understand the condition of a soul separate from the body. But I ask no brighter view of paradise than this—that Christ is there. All other things, in the picture which imagination draws of the state between death and resurrection, are nothing in comparison of this. How He is there, and in what way He is there, I know not. Let me only see Christ in paradise when my eyes close in death, and that suffices me. Well does the psalmist say, 'In Your presence is fullness of joy' (Ps. 16:11). It was a true saying of a dying girl, when her mother tried to comfort her by describing what paradise would be. 'There,' she said to the child, 'there you will have no pains, and no sickness; there you will see your brothers and sisters, who have gone before you, and will be always happy.' 'Ah, mother,' was the reply, 'but there is one thing better than all, and that is, Christ will be there!'

        It may be you do not think much about your soul. It may be you know little of Christ as your Savior. and have never tasted by experience that He is precious. And yet perhaps you hope to go to paradise when you die. Surely this passage is one that should make you think. Paradise is a place where Christ is. Then can it be a place that you would enjoy?

        ———

        LTDTeam Member –

        Thanks for eliminating the caps in your most recent post. It makes it easier and more pleasant to read. I understand your desire to emphasize certain points. You can use “BBCode” for this purpose. That will allow you to make text Bold or Italic, for example. Above the comment box, see the “You may use BBCode within your posts; a reference is available here.” — Click the “here” link and that will show you how to do that.

        You’re right that you don’t have to be at church to worship God. However, my comment was directed at your statement: “NOW I FEEL LIKE THAT THERE’S NOTHING ELSE OUT THERE, WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OTHER’S LIVES, AND HAVE A TEAM TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS.” My point is simply that there are other things besides LTD which allow you to make a difference and achieve your dreams. Your church is one example. It is dangerous to start holding things other than Christ in higher regard than Him and His body.

        ———

        JJ & LTD Team Member –

        I was listening to a sermon today that touched on the relationship between money and missions. I’d like to share an excerpt from it. You can read the manuscript or listen to the preached version at the Desiring God web site.

        Lack of Money Is Not the Problem

        Of course, contrary to what the Prosperity Gospel teaches, wealth is not usually a blessing. It is usually a curse. Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:25). Wealth is a mortal danger for those who have it. It does not make us generous and humble. It makes us buy more stuff, and it numbs our conscience because we have to blind ourselves to our inconsistencies with the Calvary road.

        Paul said to the prosperity preachers of his day, "Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs" (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

        The Problem: We Have So Much Money

        No, it isn't for lack of money that there are 1,568 peoples with no missionaries. It's because we have so much. The comforts of the West have made us soft and cautious and fearful and indulgent and self-protecting, instead of tough and risk-taking and bold and self-controlled and self-sacrificing. When prosperity preachers fly their personal jets to the Two-thirds World and promise the poor that if they believe in Jesus, they will get rich, they are not doing Christian missions. They are destroying its foundations. That is not the gospel that saves and produces sacrifice.

        Where do missionaries come from? Most of the peoples that are still unreached today are in places that are dangerous. Nobody who has the mindset of the Prosperity Gospel is going to be a missionary among those peoples. The only ones who go will have the mind of Christ—who came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many, and who said, "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you (Mark 10:45; John 20:21). I don't send you to get rich. I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16).

        – Erich

      4. JJ

        Erich,

        Great posts! I liked a lot of what you said. I will comment on some of the questions and comments you made.
        1)60% turnover rate Well I think this comment is categorically false. Here’s why. There is turnover, no doubt in any thing, I am not disputing that. It has been my experience that when I became a member of LTD, before it was LTD, the total number of people was around 20,000. Just recently the corporation of Quixtar told us there were over 50,000 registered businesses. By your numbers there should be a loss in total numbers. I don’t see that.

        Jesus being wealthy My understanding through knowing the story of Juda, I deduced that he had to have been wealthy. Now, this doesn’t mean Jesus walked around with a ton of “bling”, dope slapping people with money. As LTDMEMBER points out he was very humble. I know this as well. Jesus never wanted for anything while he was here, at least material things. We don’t read anywhere that he was destitute or starving by circumstances beyond His control.
        Your statement

        Then again, Christ, because He is God, is rich. The world is his, and all that is in it.

        is spot on. People weren’t attracted to Him because of this, they were attracted because of His willingness to unconditionally serve people.

        Wealth is a mortal danger for those who have it. It does not make us generous and humble. It makes us buy more stuff, and it numbs our conscience because we have to blind ourselves to our inconsistencies with the Calvary road.

        To a degree I can agree with this, but where I differ is he is saying all wealthy people are bad. Learning to generous and humble, for most people I know, comes when you have nothing. Yet you still give what you don’t have. With this experience, and the teachings of Christ, a man is much more capable of handling “wealth” because he is already rich before he accumulates wealth.

        To be honest the next paragraph of that sermon is blatant fear-mongering to the people he was preaching to. He is teaching the old falsehood of money/wealth is evil. When, as I have stated before, it is the LOVE of money that is evil. Worshiping money as a false god is the sin, not having it and using it as a tool to serve others.

      5. Erich Musick Post author

        JJ –

        Employee Turnover
        Once again, I got this statistic from someone who is actually involved in LTD. I’m not sure where he heard the statistic, and I can’t speak to its accuracy. However, one point of clarification: I think you can still have growth despite turnover. From doing a little research online, it sounds like you calculate turnover by taking the number of employees who leave during a period of time and divide by the average number of employees during that period. Let’s take an example. A company has 200 employees Jan 1, 2007. During the year, 144 people quit and 244 new people join, leaving us with 280 employees Dec 31, 2007.

        Avg # employees = ((280 – 200) / 2 ) + 200 = 240
        Turnover = 144 / 240 = 60%
        Growth = (280 – 200) / 200 = 40%

        So, you see, this company has a turnover of 60% and it still has a growth rate of 40%.

        Jesus – Wealthy?
        You said, “I deduced that he had to have been wealthy.” I hold to my previous comment that the passage about Judas which I pointed out does not imply Jesus was wealthy. He was simply collecting money to give to the poor. Regardless, it sounds like we agree on the fact that Jesus wasn’t going around impressing others with money, but rather with the way that He loved them.

        “fear-mongering”

        Which paragraph did you feel was an example of this? Can you explain to me how Piper was playing on peoples’ fears in his sermon? Would you say that what he said is true of many people?

      6. JJ

        Erich,

        Good example with the employees. If that is what he meant, then I guess it would make sense. My question, regardless of how true it is, is why would turnover matter? Especially to this discussion? The real litmus test would be, how many people that accept Jesus into their lives within LTD have turned their back on Him since. That would be more appropriate, but darn harder to find out. Isn’t it about serving His Kingdom and no one else? How many of those people that leave are better off and lead better lives because they found peace with the Lord? Most I would wager.

        Nobody who has the mindset of the Prosperity Gospel is going to be a missionary among those peoples. The only ones who go will have the mind of Christ—who came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many…

        He is basically saying that all people who preach “prosperity gospel” refuse to go into places where their are poor people. This is an untrue statement, as well as the folks that teach “prosperity” only teach “how to get rich”. I didn’t know the Bible had two different gospels. Did I miss something in the preface to Genesis? Anything that says “here is the difference between prosperity gospel and poor and suffering gospel or the “holier than thou” gospel?” In fact doesn’t He say this in

        Mark 16:15,16: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.

        By “ye” doesn’t that mean EVERYONE?(or at least the believers) Assuming the person’s heart is in the right place with the Lord, why is one way of preaching the Gospel any worse or better than another way?

        Some of the biggest names in evangelical Christians often go to “those peoples” and serve personally and most definitely financially. Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer. These folks all preach prosperity and they dedicate significant portions of their time preaching and serving “those people”.

      7. Erich Musick Post author

        JJ –

        Turnover
        You make a good point regarding the relevancy of turnover in LTD to the advance of the gospel. However, considering the fact that Amway and LTD aren't Christian organizations, I think it is still a fair point in the discussion of the business aspect of things. It begs the question, "Why?" One of the facts that nagged at my dad through the duration of his involvement as an Amway distributor was the fact that he was paying more for the products through the network than he would outside of Amway.

        Prosperity Gospel
        You're right … the Bible doesn't have two different gospels. It has one. I know you're familiar with this, but for the benefit of those who are reading this and may not be, here's a brief synopsis of the Gospel.

        God created a perfect world and gave the first human beings – Adam and Eve – charge over all of His Creation. He gave them one simple command, but they disobeyed, thus separating them (and all of mankind) from God. We are all born sinful, we all are "children of wrath" by nature, "conduct[ing] ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind" rather than what is according to God. The punishment for our sin, our disobedience to a holy and righteous God is eternal death. But God "who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses" sent Christ to die on the cross to take his sins upon us. Whoever believes in Him will not die (spiritually) and suffer the consequences of his sin, but instead have eternal life in Heaven with God after this life.

        I have listened to enough of John Piper's sermons to know that this is what he would describe as THE gospel revealed to us in God's word. So, what, then, did he mean when he used the term, "prosperity gospel?" I am confident that he was not suggesting the scriptures suggest some other way to God. Rather, he was referring to alternative man-made "gospels" that people have created in order to satisfy the desires of the flesh.
        It should come to no surprise to us that man has created alternative "gospels." The Bible anticipates this:

        2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

        Galatians 1:6-8 – I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

        At the crux of the "prosperity gospel" that Piper references lies the sentiment that if we believe in God, He will make us wealthy, or prosperous; that all will go well in our lives, without problems. The biggest problem with the prosperity gospel is that it suggests Christ no longer died to save us from our sins, but to save us from poverty and to make us wealthy.

        Earlier in the sermon I quoted from before, Piper made the following remarks:

        The Poverty of the Prosperity Gospel
        This message was originally conceived as a response to what is often called the Prosperity Gospel—or the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Gospel. This distortion of the gospel is blatant among some prominent TV preachers. But what makes it relevant for a missions message is that it is one of the most tragic exports from America to the two-thirds world, especially Africa.

        This "gospel" says, to quote one of the founders of the movement, Kenneth Copeland, "There are certain laws governing prosperity revealed in God's Word. Faith causes them to function. They will work when they are put to work, and they will stop working when the force of faith is stopped" (The Laws of Prosperity, 19). And what is sadly obvious and prominent is that material prosperity, not spiritual prosperity through hardship, is the focus.

        Or as a more contemporary representative says more simply, "God desires us to become wealthy for him." (Tecoy Porter, Releasing Your Inner Treasure: 8 Kingdom Keys to Unlocking the Wealth Within You, xxvi). There is so much to say about this kind of preaching.

        True Missions: Dying to Material Prosperity
        But as I have prepared for this message, that part of what I want to do has receded to the background. I will mention it shortly, but what I hope to do is give you a more straightforward positive encouragement toward true biblical missions, and leave most of the criticism of the Prosperity Gospel for articles later on.

        At the heart of true biblical missions is the willingness to die to the cravings that prosperity preachers exploit. At the heart of true biblical missions (both for the goers and the senders) is an eagerness to live simply and give lavishly. At the heart of true biblical missions is suffering, not merely as a result of proclamation, but also as a means of proclamation—a means of making the saving sufferings of Christ known to the world. As Joseph Tson says, "Christ's sufferings are for propitiation; our sufferings are for propagation."

        I'd also recommend you check out Piper's other sermon, entitled Prosperity Preaching: Deceitful and Deadly

        Hank Hanegraaff addresses this topic in his book, Christianity in Crisis.

        I hope this description makes some sense to you … if you're interested in better understanding the prosperity gospel and how it deviates from the gospel of Jesus Christ, let me know and I can send you some more links, buy you a copy of this book, or discuss it further with you.

      8. JJ

        One of the facts that nagged at my dad through the duration of his involvement as an Amway distributor was the fact that he was paying more for the products through the network than he would outside of Amway.

        I may have misinterpreted what you meant here, but our Biblical discussion aside, this is probably the most heard of criticism of our business. And the most grossly exaggerated, exploited and uneducated excuse not to build this, or ANY business. It is a simple thought process problem. What is that problem? That you will CAN save your way to wealth! It simply will not happen. You mentioned the parable of the Talents…perfect example. The answer is, your dad, and many who quit do not compare apples to apples, rather apples to rotten oranges. What do I mean, they compare the price of Quixtar’s core line consumables with that of the Wal-Marts of the world, never bothering to check, quality and convenience. Not to mention the usage instructions. If you go through the main core lines of Quixtar/Amway, (Artistry-high end cosmetics, compare to Estee Lauder, Clinic–usually quite a bit cheaper and better. Nutrilite–No comparison world wide to Double X. SA8–Environmentally friendly, BEST Cleaning of all the top brands, including non-environmentally friendly brands and on within a few cents per load. Check Consumers Report 99/100 L.O.C. Liquid Organic Cleaner, far cheaper than the name brands per use.) And those were the brands when he was a distributor. It has since grown from there to include Ribbon, Gensona, eSpring, Simply Nutrilite, XS Energy as well as partner stores where people already shop.

        If, he or anyone else, wants to SAVE then they should continue to do exactly what they were doing before because that thought process will not get them anywhere in this business or any other business! Hope I made myself clear. Jesus doesn’t tolerate excuses and ignorance and neither do I. If you would like Erich, I could also list in my next post the next 5 reasons why people don’t build this business. I instead, looked for all the right reasons to build it. Most folk do not. They lack vision and a dream and we both know “A man without vision will perish”.

        Prosperity

        2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

        You mean like teachings that proclaim God wants his children to live near destitution, in FEAR of money, instead of respect of money? Teachings, or demonstrable interpretations that give people an excuse to remain poor? Who is to say what “simple” living is? My guess for Mr. Piper, would be anyone who is making as much or less than him. Anyone making more, must be lustful.

        Galatians 1:6-8 – I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

        Erich, pay close attention to the last sentence. “If anyone is preaching something different that YOU received, let him be accursed.” Now, I found my Lord and Savior through this business and business team, who are you or Mr. Piper to tell me I received my gospel incorrectly? Do you understand what I meant in how God reaches people? He may reach some people who want to live a “simple” life, great good for them. For others their calling may be missionary work, good for them, you won’t see me get in their way. What I think is the sham is for people to force their beliefs and understanding of God and the Bible on others. They are man, just like the rest of us, fallible to their experiences and lot in life. The Bible is for the everyday Christian to read and understand all of God’s laws for himself. Not pick and choose!

        At the crux of the “prosperity gospel” that Piper references lies the sentiment that if we believe in God, He will make us wealthy, or prosperous; that all will go well in our lives, without problems. The biggest problem with the prosperity gospel is that it suggests Christ no longer died to save us from our sins, but to save us from poverty and to make us wealthy.

        Well then I am glad LTD and its leaders do not teach your “prosperity” gospel. As I read it for myself, the salvation of Christ is a free gift, one we as men are not worthy of, and ANYONE can receive it. So, long as he/she raises His name on High before his/her peers they will be saved. No where did I ever read that you also make a bond to be broke and give all your money away–in fact doesn’t God say 10%?(Lev. 27:30;
        Num. 18:21, Deut. 12:6; 14:28 26:12; 2Ch 31:5; Neh. 10:38; 12:44; 13:12; Mal 3:10). Or, is it simply in the New Testament we should give as our heart commands, freely and cheerfully (1 Cor 16:2, 2 Cor 9:6-77, 2 Cor 8:8, MK 12: 41-44,? Isn’t God a business man too? Isn’t he in the business of saving souls? In any business you look for multiple streams of income to build a portfolio of different assets. Do you think God thinks like this as well? I do.

        You also mention somewhere about giving lavishly! If you are in a true walk with God would it matter how much money you had? Especially if you were giving lavishly, out of the cheerfulness of your hear? Now, that isn’t to say that the poor person who gives, does so any less lavishly, so long as they are on the right path with God. I also believe that Mr. Piper is confusing, having money and spending it, with the lust nature of our flesh.

        So, my question to you and Mr. Piper would be, what does it matter how much money a person makes, IF they are walking with Him throughout their lives?

      9. Erich Musick Post author

        JJ –

        I don't completely understand your comment about saving your way to wealth. Are you suggesting that spending more money is what it takes to become wealthier? I don't understand how that works.

        Even if Amway/Quixtar products are of a higher quality than one might purchase at Wal-mart, that does not mean that purchasing Amway/Quixtar products is advantageous or helpful to one's personal budget. If all you need is something of Wal-mart quality, then why spend more on something else, even if you're getting a good price on it? Let me explain with an example. Let's say I'm looking to purchase a car. All I need is a simple two-door, four cylinder car which I can pick up for $15k. BMW, one of the top of the line automobile manufacturers, makes a fancier, four-door, six-cylinder car for $35k. Now, I've got a friend who works for Lexus and can get me a deal on a car very similar to the BMW … $25k. What a steal! I'm saving $10k! But, you have to remember, all that I really needed was the $15k car. So, in reality, I'm actually losing $10k. Now, take the example with a grain of salt – there are lots of factors in buying a car – resale value, gas costs, etc. – but I think this still makes the point clearly.

        I instead, looked for all the right reasons to build it. Most folk do not. They lack vision and a dream and we both know “A man without vision will perish”.

        Which is more important? Having a vision? Or the object of that vision?

        You mean like teachings that proclaim God wants his children to live near destitution, in FEAR of money, instead of respect of money? Teachings, or demonstrable interpretations that give people an excuse to remain poor?

        You make the assumption that the opposite of pursuing wealth is pursuing poverty. I would argue that the opposite of pursuing wealth is pursuing Christ. Look at what Jesus says in Matthew 6:24: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

        In his letter to the Philippians, Paul says, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (4:11-13). Have you learned to be content in whatever situation you are in? Have your fellow LTD members learned to be content whether they are facing abundance or need? Or, do the meetings promote dissatisfaction with present conditions and suggest a need to pursue more?

        Earlier in Philippians, Paul lists his entitlements as a Pharisee. He concludes by saying, "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead."

        Is the primary goal of the Christians you know in LTD to "count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus the Lord"? Or is to become rich?

        Who is to say what “simple” living is? My guess for Mr. Piper, would be anyone who is making as much or less than him. Anyone making more, must be lustful.

        All of John Piper's sermons are available for a free download from http://desiringgod.org. I think if you listen to a few you will quickly discover that his heart is not how you have depicted it. Like me, he is concerned with peoples' hearts. I posted a quote in my original article from a different pastor:

        Jesus never condemned wealth in and of itself, but he knows how easily our hearts can make money our god. Jesus knows and he wants us to understand that one of the greatest, if not the greatest hindrance to spiritual life and spiritual growth is material wealth and the temptations it brings with us. Friends, if we ignore the dangers of affluenza, we put ourselves in great spiritual peril.

        From what you have observed, are your fellow LTD members diligent in their efforts to steer clear from the love of money?

        What I think is the sham is for people to force their beliefs and understanding of God and the Bible on others. They are man, just like the rest of us, fallible to their experiences and lot in life. The Bible is for the everyday Christian to read and understand all of God’s laws for himself. Not pick and choose!

        When you encounter a Muslim, do you share the Gospel with them, even though they might perceive it as you forcing your beliefs on them? I think this is an excuse many people use to avoid sharing the gospel. But, we have to remember God's command to "go into all the world, teaching people to obey all that Jesus has commanded."

        Isn’t God a business man too? Isn’t he in the business of saving souls? In any business you look for multiple streams of income to build a portfolio of different assets

        What would you say are God's "multiple streams of income" in building his kingdom?

        Well then I am glad LTD and its leaders do not teach your “prosperity” gospel.

        In one of your earlier comments, you mentioned some well-known preachers – Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer. I know these aren't leaders of LTD, but you might find it interesting to note that the Wikipedia article on "Prosperity Theology" lists them as proponents of this doctrine.

        Earlier I asked about the importance of one's vision vs. the object of one's vision. The key distinction to make between what a prosperity preacher will tell you and what the Bible says lies in this. If you look at Osteen's book, Your Best Life Now, you'll find that he talks about how people do not have things because they do not believe that they can attain them. This is faith for faith's sake. The Bible teaches that we are to have faith in Christ. Not in ourselves, not in material things.

        So, my question to you and Mr. Piper would be, what does it matter how much money a person makes, IF they are walking with Him throughout their lives?

        No, it does not matter how much money a person makes. But, a person's attitude toward the money they make does matter.

      10. JJ

        Are you suggesting that spending more money is what it takes to become wealthier? I don’t understand how that works.

        Traditional businesses, the answer is yes. It requires someone to take the risk and put out time, capital and effort. Often times at a sacrifice to personal income and/or savings. To say otherwise would stupid or deceitful. However, Amway/Quixtar offer the opportunity at a laughable expense (or investment–depends on your thought process). $150 to start, which is refundable for 6 months along with any products you purchase, including consumables. Go to your local grocery store and ask for this guarantee, then tell me the response.

        Even if Amway/Quixtar products are of a higher quality than one might purchase at Wal-mart, that does not mean that purchasing Amway/Quixtar products is advantageous or helpful to one’s personal budget.

        On the contrary. If all you are doing is purchasing products and comparing prices, often to incomparable products, then in some cases it may hurt and in others it may help. The advantage you have to being able to create wealth by increasing the volume. Through straight customers who want to purchase your wares, or through others that wish for an opportunity.
        Your example is flawed and doesn’t represent the business model. Say you decide to buy the Lexus at $25k but through word of mouth referrals, customers and other “sales” people, you receive a bonus of 31% of your purchase price ($7,750), plus bonuses for volume generated by other sales people you referred to that Lexus dealership and your commission was only 3% on their sales of one similar car ($2,250). You are left with a $15,000 car payment. All the while giving those 3 people the same opportunity you have to do the same thing. What if the next month you didn’t buy another car, but rather sold one and so did the same 3 people. Total cash in your pocket would be $10k. Or your car would now cost $5k. Then the following month the same thing…so in three month’s time your car is paid for plus 5k in your pocket.

        Which is more important? Having a vision? Or the object of that vision?

        This is a baited question at best. Most people’s vision/dream start small and gradually work to something of importance if they stick with it long enough.

        You make the assumption that the opposite of pursuing wealth is pursuing poverty. I would argue that the opposite of pursuing wealth is pursuing Christ.

        Not true, because I pursue Christ, I pursue abundance. Your assumption is that people who pursue abundance always turn away from Christ and that having that goal is some sort of sin. Potential for sin? Yes! Always a sin? Nope.

        No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

        And where have said anywhere that LTD teaches we serve money or the love of money. Quite to the contrary I have given my personal experience as well as the teachings of LTD regarding this topic. Are you conveniently forgetting this?

        Is the primary goal of the Christians you know in LTD to “count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus the Lord”? Or is to become rich?

        We do not count everything as a loss. At least in terms of what that word means today. I have learned to count everything joy. God wants us to live in abundance by his rules, the Kingdom is His and his blessings are always perfect. Erich, as I said before, I will not get into a tit for tat Bible quotation square off with you or anyone else. I will tell you my experiences truthfully and hopefully as articulate as I can.

        From what you have observed, are your fellow LTD members diligent in their efforts to steer clear from the love of money?

        I can’t and won’t speak of other members of LTD, but for me it is perfectly clear. I grew up dirt poor, in hardly a Christ filled home. I will tell you I thank God everyday for the blessings in my life. Not just monetarily, but also my awesome family. Without Him none of it would have been possible (more of a personal matter).

        I would not force my beliefs on anyone. If that Muslim you speak of asked about Christ, you bet I would let him know where I stand. I don’t apologize to anyone for my beliefs. God and Jesus are not weak and neither am I.

        What would you say are God’s “multiple streams of income” in building his kingdom?

        Have you been reading our dialogue? His multiple streams are how he reaches people. Missionaries, Pastors, Preachers, Musicians and dare I say it, Christian business men. How about the U.S.A. founded on Godly principles as an example to the world?

        If you look at Osteen’s book, Your Best Life Now, you’ll find that he talks about how people do not have things because they do not believe that they can attain them

        Erich, this completely depends on how you interpret his book. Your belief is that he teaches people they can not attain things because they lack faith in themselves and not Christ. Whereas, my interpretation is they do not have the “things” they want because they don’t know Christ and/or how His laws operate.

        Now some of my questions remain to you Erich.
        1)Who defines what a simple life is?
        2)Now, I found my Lord and Savior through this business and business team, who are you or Mr. Piper to tell me I received my gospel incorrectly?

      11. Erich Musick Post author

        JJ –

        I wanted to clarify something you said before I respond further.

        You said your interpretation of Osteen’s book is that he’s teaching that people “do not have the ‘things’ they want because they don’t know Christ and/or how His laws operate.”

        First, would you agree with Osteen’s teaching?

        Second, what is it about knowing Christ and/or how His laws operate that enables us to have the "things" we want?

        Third, do you think Job trusted God? Why did God allow Satan to take everything from him?

        – Erich

  9. Ken

    Hey Erich! What an awesome discussion here. I’ve posted a couple different times here but used a different e-mail this time.

    I just want to ask you something that’s been in my heart for a couple of weeks now.

    We can discuss this all day. There can be information flying back and forth and back and forth. We can all get together and give each other concepts for and against the business. I understand that you are on a quest here for knowledge about how the business of Quixtar and Amway works, and about how the mentorship of LTD works.

    Bottom line is, unless you give it a try yourself, first hand, you can never really know. Unless you come to a function to see what is in the hearts of our leaders you can never really know. That’s the only concept I will give in this post except to say that there is literally nothing to lose, and since you are
    A. passionate for knowledge, and
    B. obviously a very honest person as has become clear, I would be happy to sponsor you and let you try this out for yourself.

    I will serve you, and do all I can to help you succeed as I would serve and help all I can for anyone on my team. And once you do succeed, just imagine all the people you could help.

    Send me an e-mail and just let me know what you think about this.

    God Bless, Erich.
    Thanks,
    Ken

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Ken –

      Thanks for writing! I apologize that I never really responded to the last comment that you made on here.

      I find the following sentiment of yours interesting: “And once you do succeed, just imagine all the people you could help.” Through my discussions on here and with other LTD members via e-mail, I’ve gotten the impression that many are looking FIRST for God to bless them financially, so that they THEN can then serve Him and help others. This is backward. We aren’t to look for God to bless us financially so that we can help others. FIRST, we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Second, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. The greatest way we can love someone is to show them their need for a savior and the way to eternal life through Christ. I asked another guy, “Is your involvement in LTD allowing you enough time to pursue Christ and love him NOW, not just once you’re experiencing ‘financial freedom’?”

      If God so happens to bless us financially, then we should use that to glorify Him, just as we are to honor him with any other gifts he’s given to us. But, we shouldn’t pursue that gift. When it comes to God’s gifting, we’re supposed to desire the greater gifts (1 Cor 12:31). But, there is still “a more excellent way” – love. We don’t love others by giving them money. We love them by sharing Christ with them. I was listening to a sermon by John Piper, a pastor in Minneapolis, on the way to work yesterday and he said the following:

      “If you don’t love God, you can’t do anybody any ultimate good. You can feed them and clothe them and house them and keep them comfortable while they perish. But in God’s mind that is not what love is. Love does feed and clothe and house-and keeps the commandments which would include helping others know and love God in Christ. But if you don’t love God, you can’t do that. So if you don’t love God, you can’t love people in the way that counts for eternity.”

      Hopefully that helps to clarify where I’m coming from.

      I’m going to have to politely decline your invitation to experience LTD for myself. You may have noticed the following comment that I posted earlier:

      My point in writing the original article about LTD, Amway, and Quixtar is not so much to speak poorly of the organization but to challenge anyone reading [the article] to love Christ more. To see to it that he does not love the world, nor the things of the world. To warn of the dangers of loving money that Paul describes to Timothy: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (1 Timothy 6:8).

      I feel I am in a unique position to analyze the business and provide thoughts on it. As I may have mentioned before, my dad was involved in Amway and has talked with me about his experiences in the business. He is familiar with all the reasons that you guys provide for joining the organization. And he has seen how the desire for wealth affects people’s hearts and pursuit of Christ, the least of which not being his own.

      One last thought … another LTD member responded to some of my questions by saying, “What steps have I taken to guard myself from the desire to be rich? My question to you is, what is rich? Better than average? Lets say that it is better than average, since that is my goal, because I don’t want to be average. I’ve guarded myself from the desire to be rich by, understanding that my desire is not to be rich, but to help other people. Weather, that be that be helping them make enough money to be content, or allowing for them to help others that I can’t reach.”

      As citizens and residents of the United States, we are already above average. Just to put things in perspective, here are a few quotes I found from another article:

      In 2000 the per capita income of the U.S. was 360 percent higher than the world’s average per capita income (CPI). The U.S. boasted a CPI of $34,100 while the average world CPI was $7,410 (measured in international dollars). This does not give an accurate picture because the world’s average CPI includes the U.S and the other wealthy nations of Europe.

      … 56 percent of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty. They survive on an income of less than $730 per year or $2 per day.

      Have a good day!

      – Erich

  10. Kristina

    Erich,

    I just have one question for you as I read through these post that you seem to like writing. Why is it that if a person tries, works, and achieves in this business that you question their morals both spiritually and reality? And yet you dont question when a person works all of their life to climb the “Corporate Ladder,” to recieve more funds and lose all of their time with their spouse and children? Since you have not experienced LTD for yourself you have no true right to judge. Your dad might not of made it, by PERSONAL CHOICE, but your dad does not speak for the whole LTD team. My husband and I both have learned alot from Larry and Pam, along with the other people in this business. As a matter of fact, the team is just as close and important to us as our family. Until you have experienced LTD and its mentorship, you will never know the true value of the team and the business!!

    Thank you and may God Bless!
    -Kristina

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Kristina –

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on what I have written.

      And yet you dont question when a person works all of their life to climb the “Corporate Ladder,” to recieve more funds and lose all of their time with their spouse and children?

      In one of my previous comments, I said, “My point in writing the original article about LTD, Amway, and Quixtar is not so much to speak poorly of the organization but to challenge anyone reading to love Christ more. To see to it that he does not love the world, nor the things of the world. To warn of the dangers of loving money that Paul describes to Timothy: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (1 Timothy 6:8).”

      This includes anyone pursuing earthly riches, corporate ladder climbers included. What I’ve written here about greed and lusting after money is something that many, many Americans need desperately to hear. Writing about this topic has also been a good reminder to me of where I need to continually be refocusing my thoughts, away from the world and on to Christ.

      A common comment I have received from LTD members is that the business is something I have to experience for myself before I can critique it as I have here. Through these discussions I’ve had on my web site, I’ve bounced a lot of ideas off my dad and talked with him further about his experience as an Amway distributor. I can confidently say that he would back up every word that I’ve said. What would the difference be if I were to join and come to the same conclusions? Would that experience validate my perception of the business, or would you just write me off as a quitter, as you have my father?

      Someone suggested to me that perhaps my dad was involved with one of the “bad” leadership organizations within the distributor network. According to this person, LTD is different, as it is led by Larry and Pam Winters. I asked my dad about Larry Winters and he commented, “I listened to many of his tapes. He was one of my favorite speakers. We also used his system.”

      Perhaps the best view one can have of a situation is from the view of the outside. Evaluating the comments others have made on here through the lens of the Bible suggests to me that my original conclusions are actually quite accurate.

      – Erich

  11. Kris

    Quixtar is not LTD any more than an individual McDonald’s franchise is not McDonald’s. McDonald’s is a supplier for McDonald’s franchises. Franchises are not owned by the McDonald’s corporation, but are owned and operated by someone with a different name. Yet we still call it McDonald’s.

    – Erich

    Before you try to make a point…. please know that McDonald’s is not a supplier of McDonalds.. Golden State Foods is the food supplier and the corporation is a supplier of the McDonalds. You dont go into a McDonalds saying that you want to purchase one do you???? Yes they are called mcDonalds because the Entrepeneur knows that people know the McDonalds name and it is a PROVEN BUSINESS MODEL AND SYSTEM!!!! Just like LTD!!!! that is why they go to Hamburger University! Because if they stray from the business model…. their business will fail. Where as LTD if you stray from the business model it will take a lot longer to succeed and that is usally the people who write these insane posts saying that ltd is a pyramid scheme! those are the ones who are ignorant to the Facts!!!

  12. abby

    Glad I found this – very clear and direct post here, especially the title! Thanks for sharing. I’ll read your followup blog in Sept on this. Thanks, again.

  13. JJ

    Erich,

    Been away for awhile and haven’t been able to answer your post. Let me answer the last question you gave me. Regarding Osteen.
    I agree with Osteen. Why? Because he teaches hope through the Bible. That God wants the very best for us and that we should be obedient to His laws first. God blesses those who are obedient. Not to be confused with God’s love for his people.

    Blessing abound by working within God’s laws. Now it may not always be “what we want”, but it could be blessings in disguise.

    Regarding Job: Who knows the real reason why God allowed Satan charge over Job? In the end Job did come through victorious for the Lord.

    It saddens me that you have not taken anything from the posts so far in this discussion. I have to completely honest Erich. Your dad is probably a great guy, but taking advice from someone who didn’t succeed in this business is poor judgment on your part. It also reveals to me that you really had no intent to “learn” what LTD is all about. Your continued bias and inability to lend an true open ear to this discussion is apparent.

    If you really were seeking information about the heart of this organization you would:
    A) Attend an LTD weekend event
    B) Find a way to speak to some of the successful leaders regarding these questions and concerns.
    C) Have an open mind to what they will tell you (agree or disagree).

    As I have said, it is sad that you don’t have an open, inquisitive mind like Jesus.

    Good luck with all you do.

    JJ

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      JJ –

      I get the impression from the end of your comment that you are no longer interested in continuing this discussion further. That is fine; I'd like, however, to share a few additional thoughts with you – both in response to what you have said in this most recent comment, and well as in response to what you said earlier. If you feel inclined to comment further, great! Otherwise, that’s fine too.

      Thoughts on your 11/12 post:

      Even if Amway/Quixtar products are of a higher quality than one might purchase at Wal-mart, that does not mean that purchasing Amway/Quixtar products is advantageous or helpful to one’s personal budget.

      On the contrary. If all you are doing is purchasing products and comparing prices, often to incomparable products, then in some cases it may hurt and in others it may help. The advantage you have to being able to create wealth by increasing the volume. Through straight customers who want to purchase your wares, or through others that wish for an opportunity.

      So, it sounds like, at the most basic level – referrals, extra volume, etc. aside for a moment – it is possible that in some cases a person may save money, and in some cases they may not. Is that a correct understanding?
      You pointed out how my example of buying / selling cars is inconsistent with the LTD business model. Let me refine my example a little …

      Let's say in my example, I'm also a salesman at a different local dealership. I make 5% commission on any car I sell. So, if I buy the Lexus for $25k and then sell 5 cars for the same price at my dealership, I earn $6250. So, because I made a sale, the Lexus now only cost me $18,750. That reasoning is flawed. You can't go and combine your income and expenses like that. The Lexus cost me $25k period. It is more accurate to say that the way the cost of the Lexus affected my budget is offset by the fact that I'm selling cars for 5% commission. But that holds true for any source of income. The fact that I have a job as a Software Engineer and make X dollars per month would likewise offset the cost of the car.

      Is the primary goal of the Christians you know in LTD to “count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus the Lord”? Or is to become rich?

      We do not count everything as a loss. At least in terms of what that word means today. I have learned to count everything joy. God wants us to live in abundance by his rules, the Kingdom is His and his blessings are always perfect.

      What, then, does this word mean today?
      Would you consider suffering a blessing?
      What reason does your experience tell you that we should not follow Paul’s example and count all things as loss?

      Erich, as I said before, I will not get into a tit for tat Bible quotation square off with you or anyone else. I will tell you my experiences truthfully and hopefully as articulate as I can.

      JJ, you seem to hold your experiences in high regard. We must be careful not to let our experiences dictate our understanding of the scriptures. Rather, the Scriptures should be the light by which we interpret our experiences.

      In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul says, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."

      Studying the Bible, digging in to find out what it really says is not a worthless task. Rather, it is the means by which we can become equipped. It is discouraging to me that you are offended at my quoting of the scriptures.

      Osteen and God's Blessing
      Regardless of our conflicting interpretations of Osteen’s book, it appears we agree on one thing … that Osteen is addressing why people do not have “things” they want. In your more recent comment, you clarified your understanding of Osteen's book, saying that he is teaching that knowing Christ and how his laws work enables a person to receive blessing. I appreciate this clarification because before, I understood you to be saying that God's blessing is the same as "what we want." I'm glad that you've made this distinction because it's not consistent with the Bible to say that obedience to God results in us getting what we want. However, I think there are two important distinctions to make:
      However, I think it's still dangerous to connect blessing and obedience. We see in Matthew 5:45, "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." God doesn't bless only those who are obedient to Him, but He also cares for those who are disobedient. Yet, at the same time, we read in Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." I think there are a few important distinctions we need to make here:

      1. Good, or God's blessing, does not stem from our obedience. This applies not only to salvation (see Ephesians 2), and also to material blessing. God doesn't bless only those who are obedient to Him, but He also cares for those who are disobedient. Consider Matthew 5:45: For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
      2. Although God blesses both the righteous and the wicked, we read in Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." The key thing to remember here is that "good" is, as you have pointed out, often different than what we either expect or want.
      3. The Gospel has absolutely nothing to do with having stuff. Jesus did not die on the Cross so that we could have stuff. Even stuff like a nice family, good friends. Jesus died to save us from our sins. As a result, we have the Holy Spirit and will live with Him eternally. If anything, knowing Christ guarantees us suffering … not wealth. Consider the following passages:
      4. 2 Timothy 3:12 – all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

        Acts 14:22 – We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God

        2 Corinthians 4:17 – For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

        Luke 14:26 – If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

      I think many people fail to make these distinctions and mistakenly believe the lie that obeying God will make them rich, that Christ is the means to wealth.

      From what I've seen of Osteen's writings, he muddies the distinction that you've made and connected too closely the act of obedience – or even our own beliefs in our abilities – with wealth and material abundance. In his book Your Best Life Now, Osteen describes a couple who looks longingly at a beautiful home in Hawaii and says, "You will never live in a great place like that." Osteen attributes this person's inability to have what he wants to his failure to believe that he can have it:

      As long as you can’t imagine it, as long as you can’t see it, then it is not going to happen for you. The man correctly realized that his own thoughts and attitude were condemning him to mediocrity. He determined then and there to start believing better of himself, and believing better of God.

      It’s the same way with us. We have to conceive it on the inside before we’re ever going to receive it on the outside. If you don’t think you can have something good, then you never will. The barrier is in your mind. It’s not God’s lack of resources or your lack of talent that prevents you from prospering. Your own wrong thinking can keep you from God’s best.

      My Dad's Experience
      Several people have gotten on my case about my dad’s involvement with Amway, suggesting, as you have, that his failure to succeed is somehow an indication of bad judgment on his part. I think he would argue otherwise. His complaints about Amway are not primarily regarding the failure of his business but rather about how it affected his heart and understanding of God’s word. On his web site, he writes:

      In the process of greedily building my own dream – my own idol, a friend confronted me with Jesus Christ, the only Son of the God Who created and sustains the universe. He broke my greedy, clutching fingers; He opened my hands to release me from the bars of a dark imprisonment; and I began to receive all that God has for me. I died to myself, and came to life with the life of Christ.

      I’m not sure whether you read my comments to Kristina regarding this, so I’ll post them again for you:

      A common comment I have received from LTD members is that the business is something I have to experience for myself before I can critique it as I have here. Through these discussions I’ve had on my web site, I’ve bounced a lot of ideas off my dad and talked with him further about his experience as an Amway distributor. I can confidently say that he would back up every word that I’ve said. What would the difference be if I were to join and come to the same conclusions? Would that experience validate my perception of the business, or would LTD members just write me off as a quitter, as they do my father?

      Someone suggested to me that perhaps my dad was involved with one of the “bad” leadership organizations within the distributor network. According to this person, LTD is different, as it is led by Larry and Pam Winters. I asked my dad about Larry Winters and he commented, “I listened to many of his tapes. He was one of my favorite speakers. We also used his system.”

      Perhaps the best view one can have of a situation is from the view of the outside. Evaluating the comments others have made on here through the lens of the Bible suggests to me that my original conclusions are actually quite accurate.

      Finally, you left me with a few questions that I have left unanswered up until this point:

      1)Who defines what a simple life is?

      I’m not arguing the Bible tells us to live a simple or complicated life. Rather, I’m arguing that Christ must be at the center of one’s life. But not a following after Christ so that he will make us rich. Rather, we are to follow after Christ because we are desperately in need of Him for salvation from our sins. Consider Colossians 3:17: "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

      2)Now, I found my Lord and Savior through this business and business team, who are you or Mr. Piper to tell me I received my gospel incorrectly?

      JJ, I don't know you inside out like God does. I appreciate the kindness you've exhibited in your comments, and I don't see the same evidences of greed that my father describes when talking about his experiences in Amway. At the same time, what you and others have described about LTD concerns me. I still feel like the Gospel is linked too closely to financial success.

      I was listening to a sermon today about when Jesus kicked the money changers out of the temple in John 2. Here is an excerpt from the sermon … some of the descriptions this pastor uses in talking about the money changers don't seem to be far off from my perception of the LTD business.

      So what made Jesus so angry? The contrast he pointed out was between "my Father's house" and a marketplace. "My Father's house" means: This house is about knowing and loving and treasuring a person, my Father. In this temple, my Father has supreme place. He is the supreme treasure here. "A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere" (Psalm 84:11). "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you" (Psalms 73:25).

      But that focus has been replaced by a focus on trade. And there is no reference here to the people who needed the animals—the pilgrims who were buying the sheep and pigeons. The anger is all directed at those who were selling and handling the currency. Jesus could see through the veneer of religious helpfulness to the heart. In fact, in verse 25 John says, "He himself knew what was in man" (John 2:25).

      Hypocrisy and Love of Money
      What did he see? He saw that this bazaar, this emporium, was not advancing communion with his heavenly Father. It was not flowing from the love of God. It was flowing from the love of money. And what made it worse was that religious ritual, and vaunted helpfulness, were being used as a cover for greed—O the entanglements of greed and religion in our city and in our day! Another story just broke this week of a big church-based Ponzi scheme with a pastor bilking his people of $100 million!
      That's what Jesus saw—hypocrisy. Religion used as a front for greed. Empty forms of love for God plastering over the insatiable love of money. Jesus boils when he sees formal godliness as cover for gain (see 1 Timothy 6:5).

      You can read or download an MP3 of the entire sermon at http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/2008/3463_Destroy_This_Temple_and_in_Three_Days_I_Will_Raise_It_Up/

      Thanks for discussing this, JJ!

      – Erich

    2. JJ

      Erich,

      Boy that is mouthful.
      First—Let me say to those that say “get a life”. I truly hope you are not in LTD. It would be an absolute shame if you were. LTD does not teach that nor would it condone it. We have to be ambassadors for both LTD and Amway Global.

      Second—Erich, I am not offended by you quoting scripture in anyway, in fact I like it. My point being however, I wasn’t going to quote scripture, then to have you rebuke my scripture with additional scripture and the interpretation of it.

      I am going to try and keep this post short. You still seem to have no idea what LTD is about. Let me put it this way.

      LTD is not about money, wealth, and greed as you believe. Although they have a vehicle to make money. Here is what they teach. Now remember Amway has restrictions on what can and can not be said during a weekend event (due to our ridiculous politically correct society–that is for another topic). LTD teaches people that they are MORE than who they are. They achieve more, in all areas of their lives. When they feel better about themselves they can and do achieve more. Better relationships, better people skills, etc. When you build someone up from within–all the other “stuff” will happen.

      However, on Sunday mornings, when people can hear the gospel, they can understand where the teaching comes from. It is about FIRST getting your moral compass correct with the Lord, having Him fill you with the Holy Spirit. To need and want to have that personal relationship with Him, through His son Jesus. God, wants you to be a new creature, and you shouldn’t have to “go looking for Him”, through good works or deeds, but rather He is inside you. You shouldn’t need to look any further than yourself to realize He is with you.

      Understanding that He loves you and wants you to be more than you were or are. Through Him you achieve whatever it is that you seek. Why, because you realize you are the son of a great King (the King of kings). Through your salvation, you can start that journey to less sin instead of more sin. Or, to sin and be ok with it to when you sin, to have that pit in your stomach develop because you know it is wrong.

      Does this mean we won’t go through trials and tribulations?? Heck, it is because of those trials, temptations, and tribulations that we succeed and walk victoriously in His name. Do we fall occasionally? For sure we do! Welcome to the human condition! As born again Christians we get back up and continue to move toward perfection. Not because we want something from God, but rather because of God, and His love for us.

      Being in business, whether Amway or otherwise, has a direct correlation to this understanding. We can fail in business, but we can learn from our mistakes, get back up and move forward. It is because of the failures that most succeed in business, not because of the lack of failure. When you do something most are not willing to do, you will draw criticisms. Whether it is standing up for Christ, or venturing out and beginning a business. Being “persecuted” for doing something different is par for the course Erich and people should realize this if they ever want to be more than they are.

      Regarding your father and his experience. First, I am glad he found his way with Christ, that is cool. Please, don’t take offense, but his “process of greedily” building his dream, was absolutely his choice to build it that way. It has NO reflection on LTD, Amway, or anything else, only himself and his sinful nature. Amway is just the scapegoat he is using for his inequities and lack of personal responsibility. Here are several scriptures to ponder for your father.

      1 Cor 3:8
      8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
      Gal 6:5
      5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
      Rom 12:3
      3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

      In my opinion, it has nothing to go with a job or business, but rather where you put your faith in that job or business. If you put it toward the accumulation of money, they you are definitely out of the good graces of the Lord. However, put your faith in the Lord and yourself, and the result will be better. Even if at the very least it is only internally in your heart.

      Last thing. Do you agree that there is a difference between between being blessed by the Lord, and Him caring for His people? Or are you using the two terms synonymously?

  14. Marie

    Thank you so much for your post and the information. I had someone contact me telling me that I might be interested in LTD. When I asked for information he was hesitant to provide me with any information online or over the phone. I just thought it sounded a little sketchy.

    thanks again!

  15. kay

    honestly I probably shouldn’t even write this because truly the only person who needs to understand my motivations are God and myself.
    LTD has completely changed my life for the positive!
    Before I joined the team I was fastly spirally down a road most people in my age group were in and find comfortable. The party scene, the sliding by in your job scene, the bar scene, the guys who treated me bad or didn’t even care, the people who used me, etc.
    When I came to this team I realized that there were people out there who actually care about you and a true friends (INCLUDING THE PEOPLE WHO YOUR EFFORTS DON’T EVEN FINANCIALLY BENEFIT!!!). People who improved my poor self-image, who rejuvenated my sprirt, people who I could call at any time of the day which is more than I could say of the “friends” I had. They also vastly improved my relationship with Christ. Churches had previously ruined my relationship with him because I found nothing but hypocricy and judgement from the people. However, when I joined LTD I met some of the most Godly men and women I have ever encountered. They give of themselves more than anyone I know. They are truly selfless. Though they may own material things (which what? Motivates people, who join the team, who are then brought to Christ). God truly blesses this business whether you believe so or not. I have felt his presence in the room when we gather at conferences and it is un-mistakable.
    I believe God called me to this business because it saved my life in so many ways and I now have the opportunity to change other peoples lives. I cannot say I would still be here if not for this business because the road I was on would have probably lead me to my own destruction and I could not say where my eternal soul would have been then…

    Many of you have used the words “Pyramid Scheme” where people at the top earn all the money and the people on the bottom do all the work and get little compensation.
    Well in LTD I have ALWAYS been compensated for my work, more so than the people who sponsered me, and in fact I can succeed them in my business. And might I point out that EVERY job I have ever worked at is set up in a “pyramid” President-vice president-regional manager-general manager-department manager-supervisors-and employee, and the people at the top there made more money than I EVER did and I did a vast majority of the work, and there was little to no way to move up in the company and most of the time it was not based on your efforts but your popularity.

    I was sick of a JOB. In LTD I have no fear of being fired or getting laid off or the “economic crisis”.

    The “rich” people you speak of are not lazy at all! They have freedom from jobs so they can go out and do God’s work. Oh how amazing would it be to not have to go to a job I disliked for all of my life, but to have to freedom to do God’s work freely everyday, anywhere, and for everyone!

    God wants us to be successful, do you think he created life so we would be miserable working a 9-5 everyday with no time for family, stressed, angry, depressed, working toward a bleak future retirement? He wants us to strive and work hard to accomplish our dreams and to utilize the talents he gave us.

    Being a rich person does not make you less Godly. The “rich” people I have met in LTD are more humble and Christian and giving than my poor and broke friends who do nothing but complain everyday at work about what the job owes them, how they don’t want to be there, and they are rude and lazy and negative. My co-workers try to guilt me about being a Christian, and not drinking or partying, but my “rich” LTD friends stretch me and nurture my growth into the woman I have always wanted to be. Why would I take advice from broke people? Obviously their outlook on life has put them there, but I learn from successful people because they got themselves there and I can learn something from them.

    If it was all about greed for them, why would they hold Sunday altar calls at every conference where I have seen 100’s of people give themselves over to Christ and receive their first bibles free of charge. Why are the books recomended for reading 95% Chrisitianity books, positive thinking books, and books to make you more of a givier than taker. It has vastly improved my and my boyfriends relationship because it is now one where we are evenly yoked. They also talk about the importance of respect in relationships which is why they suggest men and women don’t live together until marriage, and that marriage is very sacred.

    I believe God does not want me to suffer through all of life, though suffering brings knowledge and experience. He wants my to be joyous in him and the things he has given me. That is why I praise him everyday for bringing me into this team that has restored my faith, my hope, and my joy. It deeply saddens me that you cannot look deeper to the work he is doing in this business and that you pray against it.

    I would normally turn a deaf ear to this negative speaking but I felt within me something that needed to show people the other side of what you are viewing. Unless you have experienced it, you cannot understand.
    We are breaking people of the chains they have been under and the burdens they are feeling.
    We are warriors who are fighting for the freedom of our families and others and our friends.

    If you ignore the good you will never understand. It is like saying that our armed forces are just greedy and bossy people who are trying to make other contries submit to our will. If you believe that as well, then I am sorry you do not truly appreciate the freedom our forefathers gave us and the brave men who fight for our rights and the rights of those who have no voice…

    If you do not see the good in the business that is fine, but there are thousands who do. Talking ill of us is just a waist of time you could be spending in your future with your goals and dreams. I felt the need to write this because I am sowing good seeds. Look at the companies who work with us, why would they put their reputation on the line for something that was negative? Being successful does not make you a bad person. However, you are sowing bad seeds by speaking ill of those of us who do good things. You have categorized us all in one group, yes there were some groups that ran their business in a way that most of us would not agree with, and yes LTD is differently run in a positive and professional manner. We don’t want to be “loaded”, we want to be free of a job so that we can spend as much time as possible with our families and our future children, so that the stress of our jobs don’t interfere in our marriages, so we can spend as much time as we can with God.

    I personally do it so that
    -elderly care for my parents someday is never a financial strain for me or my parents,or so I never have to settle for the least espensive treatment or hospital or care for them. So I can give them the best I can with all I have.
    -so that I can take family vacations anytime I want and build lasting memories.
    -so I can spend as much time as I can with my sister, mom, and dad and I can afford to travel to do so.
    -so I can afford for my future children to do the things they dream about whether it be sports, education, dance, etc.
    -so I can have a team of people in my life who are positive, Godly, amazing, encouraging, and whom I constantly learn from, and grow from.
    -so I can prove to myself that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind on.
    -so I can give freely to people who need it. (And yes although to God giving does not matter in dollar amounts, $5,000 vs $1 will do alot better good for one poor person).

    Not so I can have fancy cars or a big house or name brand clothes. But maybe I will have those things too. Don’t poor people splurge on themselves too? I know plently of people who own X Boxes when they could hardly pay their bills.

    This business is not for you, and that is fine. I believe that those who are in it are called to do so by God himslef.

    May he truly open your heart so that you may see…

    and any negative responses I receive from this only further prove the blindness, and validate my choices to become a positive person.

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Kay –

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on here! I apologize that such a brief response has been so long in coming. I wish I could respond to all that you’ve said, but time does not allow me that luxury.

      I have one simple question for you, and for anyone else reading this:

      Is Christ your treasure? If so, what does that look like in your life?

      – Erich

  16. sandtastesbad

    Why would Christ refer to you/us as a “servant”??? Humility before God is all wella nd good but servitude?

    in Acts 26:16 Jesus appears to Saul. Saul is the one who becomes Paul after a dramatic change in his life because of God. The lord says “Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness…”

    in Mark 10:45 Jesus says that “for even the son of man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as ransom for many.”

    Jude 1:1 “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James…”

    In this passage Jude is claiming his identity in that he is a servant of Christ. The life God wants us to live is one in complete submission to Him! This places Him on the throne and us as His servants. There are at least 100 references to being servants of God in the Bible, and that is because it is what the Christian life is about. We must seek to find joy in servanthood of Christ (which will come naturally if we are truly a servant).

  17. Eric

    Think of all the good that can come from having a little extra money. In today's times its hard enough for people to keep a job, or make house payments. My wife and I live paycheck to paycheck, so having a little extra would be great. With LTD (which is NOT quixtar, Quixtar is one of there suppliers) you have that chance. I want to return to the mission fields, and fundraising is a joke anymore, because no one has any extra to spend, so this I my chance, and its working. Someday I will have the freedom to travel and do missions for months at a time, and all on my own dime, why is that such a bad thing? If this business gets me there, then I am all for it! If your not intersted then thats fine, why would LTD members what to force someone into something they dont want to do, all that does is cost them time, and in turn hurts there buisness. All you have to do is say no, but realize that there is good in it.
    Someone said there business model is no good, but look around ALL business is modeled the same way. Find me one fast-food place that is not a franchise, you can't because that is how it's done!

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Eric –

      It sounds like you’re looking for God to bless you financially, so that you can then serve Him and help others. This is backward. We aren’t to look for God to bless us financially so that we can help others. FIRST, we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Second, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. The greatest way we can love someone is to show them their need for a savior and the way to eternal life through Christ. Is your involvement in LTD allowing you enough time to pursue Christ and love him NOW, not just once you’re experiencing “financial freedom.”

      If God so happens to bless us financially, then we should use that to glorify Him, just as we are to honor him with any other gifts he’s given to us. But, we shouldn’t pursue that gift. When it comes to God’s gifting, we’re supposed to desire the greater gifts (1 Cor 12:31). But, there is still “a more excellent way” – love. We don’t love others by giving them money. We love them by sharing Christ with them. John Piper, a pastor in Minneapolis, said the following in one of his sermons:

      If you don’t love God, you can’t do anybody any ultimate good. You can feed them and clothe them and house them and keep them comfortable while they perish. But in God’s mind that is not what love is. Love does feed and clothe and house—and keeps the commandments which would include helping others know and love God in Christ. But if you don’t love God, you can’t do that. So if you don’t love God, you can’t love people in the way that counts for eternity.

      – Erich

  18. David Huegel

    To whom it may concern,

    I feel very offended that anyone would say anything negative about this business opprotunity. I am a Christian and a business owner and see no relation with greed and this business. At the conferences they talk about victory and success stories and give God all credit for that. I believe that you are mistaken. You have not gathered enough information to write an article based on this.

    1. LTD is NOT Quixtar/Amway Global. LTD (Leadership Team Development) is affiliated with Amway only as an education entity.

    2. Larry and Pam Winters are not greedy. Greed is a sin. When you devote your life to helping others succeed I see nothing greedy about that.

    3. This organization has gave so much away to help others with ministry and mission work, how can you say they are greedy?

    4. Financial success is one of God’s promises to His people. All good things come from God. Is that a false statement? John 10:10 I believe would illustrate that best. God wants us to be successful and through that can be a blessing in other people’s lives.

    5. Yes God blesses everyone. The obedient see God’s blessings more abundantly. When we follow what God has for our life then we reap the benefits.

    I just got back from a conference recently and I can tell you from experience that it was Spirit led. These people are awesome people who have touched many others in a positive way. Just because the Amway business hasn’t worked for you, please don’t ruin it for everyone else because it has worked for so many others.

    I pose a question to you. If you make $1,000,000 per year, is that bad? It’s what you do with the money right? What if you give $750,000 away and live on the rest? $250,000 is a pretty good living. That’s how I want to live. I want to be able to provide money to people that need it. That is MY calling in life. That is what God has placed on my life. Through this business team I feel I will accomplish much. I can live a life of abundance while blessing others. Thank you for your time.

    1. David Huegel

      Why would Christ refer to you/us as a “servant”??? Humility before God is all wella nd good but servitude? I am sure when homo sapeins were carved God was proud of the creation. He did not infuse us with such attitude of eternal servitude and subordinance. I would think God would be ashamed to see what any of us have made the entire role ofcreator out to be. Be it LTD,quixstars who misuse the name and rhyme or reason of God’s existence or idea of or be it religious fanatics who have taken it so and ran with it to the point of reducing God’s magnificant creation to a servant level. If slavery is abolished in world or so is beleived to why does it exist in thought mainly so in religious thought. Why are we not students or disciples of God. Why are we not his/her/it’s beloved creation or hated creation that he/she/it wishes to destroy? We do not know anything form anything so why “servant”? Why?

      We are made to be selfless and serve others. It says it in The Word.

    2. Erich Musick Post author

      David –

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I’d like to touch on a few of the comments you made:

      1. LTD is NOT Quixtar/Amway Global. LTD (Leadership Team Development) is affiliated with Amway only as an education entity.

      It is my understanding that it would also be accurate to say that LTD is a group of Amway / Quixtar IBOs. Is that correct?

      4. Financial success is one of God’s promises to His people. All good things come from God. Is that a false statement? John 10:10 I believe would illustrate that best. God wants us to be successful and through that can be a blessing in other people’s lives.

      It is true that all good things come from God. In James 1:17, we read, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” However, I find no verse in God’s Word that connects financial success with God’s promises, as you suggest. I actually find that following God does not guarantee us wealth, but, if anything, suffering.

      Consider these passages:

      Luke 12:15-20
      And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

      I like what Paul says in Philippians 4:12 – “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Paul’s happiness is not contingent upon worldly success. His life is not caught up in the pursuit of financial gain. Rather, it is in knowing Christ. Earlier in the book (1:21-24), he says, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” Earthly riches are the absolute last thing on Paul’s mind. For that matter, anything that is “of this world” is of no concern to Paul. His only reason for desiring to remain on earth is so that he may encourage the Philippians in their pursuit of Christ.

      Are you pursuing Christ? Have you learned to be content in whatever situation you are in? Or, do the meetings promote dissatisfaction with present conditions and suggest a need to pursue more?

      I just got back from a conference recently and I can tell you from experience that it was Spirit led.

      In Galatians 5, we see the deeds of the flesh contrasted with those of the Spirit: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

      What are some of the ways that you saw love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control exhibited at this recent conference? From your experience in LTD, how have you seen the pursuit of these attitudes supersede the pursuit of wealth?

      Regarding your final comment, in which you express your desire to earn $1 mil / year so that you can give away $750k and keep the remaining $250: It sounds like you’re looking for God to bless you financially, so that you can then serve Him and help others. This is backward. We aren’t to look for God to bless us financially so that we can help others. FIRST, we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Second, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. The greatest way we can love someone is to show them their need for a savior and the way to eternal life through Christ. Is your involvement in LTD allowing you enough time to pursue Christ and love him NOW, not just once you’re experiencing “financial freedom” or giving away $750k annually.

      If God so happens to bless us financially, then we should use that to glorify Him, just as we are to honor him with any other gifts he’s given to us. But, we shouldn’t pursue that gift. When it comes to God’s gifting, we’re supposed to desire the greater gifts (1 Cor 12:31). But, there is still “a more excellent way” – love. We don’t love others by giving them money. We love them by sharing Christ with them. John Piper, a pastor in Minneapolis, said the following in one of his sermons:

      If you don't love God, you can't do anybody any ultimate good. You can feed them and clothe them and house them and keep them comfortable while they perish. But in God's mind that is not what love is. Love does feed and clothe and house—and keeps the commandments which would include helping others know and love God in Christ. But if you don't love God, you can't do that. So if you don't love God, you can't love people in the way that counts for eternity.

      In a different sermon, John Piper speaks to the relationship between money and missions – the ultimate act of helping others. You can read the entire manuscript or listen to the preached version at the Desiring God web site.

      Lack of Money Is Not the Problem

      Of course, contrary to what the Prosperity Gospel teaches, wealth is not usually a blessing. It is usually a curse. Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:25). Wealth is a mortal danger for those who have it. It does not make us generous and humble. It makes us buy more stuff, and it numbs our conscience because we have to blind ourselves to our inconsistencies with the Calvary road.

      Paul said to the prosperity preachers of his day, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

      The Problem: We Have So Much Money

      No, it isn’t for lack of money that there are 1,568 peoples with no missionaries. It’s because we have so much. The comforts of the West have made us soft and cautious and fearful and indulgent and self-protecting, instead of tough and risk-taking and bold and self-controlled and self-sacrificing. When prosperity preachers fly their personal jets to the Two-thirds World and promise the poor that if they believe in Jesus, they will get rich, they are not doing Christian missions. They are destroying its foundations. That is not the gospel that saves and produces sacrifice.

      Where do missionaries come from? Most of the peoples that are still unreached today are in places that are dangerous. Nobody who has the mindset of the Prosperity Gospel is going to be a missionary among those peoples. The only ones who go will have the mind of Christ—who came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many, and who said, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you (Mark 10:45; John 20:21). I don’t send you to get rich. I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16).

      – Erich

  19. Louis

    im not the most educated person when it comes to school. while i was a senior, all i could think about at that time is how am i going to spend all my time with the people who mean most to me and still have time to make money. my story, my twin brother came home one night from a meeting and was excited out of his mind! He told me what he had heard and i told him to not go any more because “it was too good to be true” (quoting Erich Musick) i REPEATALLY told him that they were a scam and were going to take his money, my money, and my mothers money. well one night, im driving in my honda , out and about. He recieves a call , hes meeting some of his LTD friends in ihop. i said, “only for five minutes!” i walk inside, and it was so strange, they were really nice… maybe cause they wanted something from me or maybe thats just the way they are, but it couldnt be both. i hear manufactures and business owner and im like what are you guys talking about? they asked me if i keep my eyes open to make additional income. i said yes. they showed me a plan, that could match my income and eventually surpass it within 12 to 18 months. its been 9 months scince that day and i now make a very strong double digit income. Im 20. i graduated from HIGH school in May 24, 2008, i worked only 8 to 15 hrs a week on this. i just STUCK around and FOLLOWED the LTD system. which is “BY SERVING OTHERS ,WE ALL BECOME FREE” And most importantly because of this LTD team, and NO thanks to QUIXTAR I have a REAL relationship with Jesus, btw LTD is NOTTT quixtar. Golden State Foods supplies everything for McDonalds, golden state foods is not mcdonalds. golden state foods is golden state food. and mcdonald is mcdonald. plug in the varibles. as for my brother, he loves his job and isnt part of ltd. and for those who think that ltd is a pyramid>> you do know your boss has a boss. and his boss has a boss. and none of those guys are grabbing you by the hand teaching you how to make the money they make. oh and btw, i cant get fired. but people who have jobs can, and then what. and THANK YOU Enrich MuSICK, for posting this site, because if everyone got in ,WHO would be able to take our money when we spend it. in a way, making all this money and spending it, gives people a job and money too. i am being a blessing . oh and if you get a chance to really listen to THE MOVEMENT cd by author strokes, you’ll get the message of what the LTD morales are. have a great evening Blogger Smiley

    1. Erich Musick Post author

      Louis –

      Not sure whether you’ve read much of the discussion after the original post. I have one simple question for you that I’ve asked several others:

      Is Christ your treasure? If so, what does that look like in your life?

      – Erich

  20. Erich Musick Post author

    To all who have taken the time to comment –

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. It’s been interesting to discuss all sorts of aspects of this topic, but I simply don’t have the time to keep up with these discussions. You each have only one person to write to (me), whereas I am singlehandedly trying to respond adequately to all who write. In the past day alone, I’ve received 3 or 4 messages, both on here and via e-mail.

    So, if I asked a question on here that you wanted to have a chance to answer, shoot me an email through my contact page and I will read it and respond if I have time.

    JJ – I have not forgotten about you and would like to reply to your most recent post at some point.

    One final comment … my other reason for closing comments is that I felt that the same ideas were being reiterated repeatedly. New people would join the discussion, not having read the existing discussion, and I was finding myself doing a lot of copy-and-pasting. If you were hoping to put in your two cents, I’d recommend reading through the entire discussion because it is likely that someone else said something similar and I already replied to it.

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