Sunday, September 7, 2008

What the Church Does Not Want You to Know
Greg Espinosa
Cereb Press (2008)
ISBN 9780979757235
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (9/08)
“What the Church Does Not Want You to Know” contains an in-depth discussion about how churches have
evolved into corporate-like money making entities. As a result of this, the followers are the ones paying the
true price. Church members are threatened with damnation if they choose to leave. Espinosa was not just
disillusioned by the ministers; he was also disgusted by the behavior of the congregation. There is also a lot
of peer pressure among them for people to behave and even dress a certain way. This could include tithing,
or even with going to services. I have seen some of this myself. A church that I grew up in used to post
member’s contributions annually in the bulletin. Another church used to have a priest that expected members
to turn in copies of their tax returns so that he could make sure that they were tithing appropriate amounts.
To my own observation, cult-like behavior is promoted among many congregations. Another example of this
is of a church, in my town, that admonishes its members if they do not attend mid-week services and two
services on Sunday. It appears that God is only present in that church and if you do not attend, you miss out
on seeing Him. There are also collections at both services. Unfortunately, Espinosa has experienced similar
events in his own life. How disillusioning this is. Turning to the Bible, he discovered that it is not necessary
to go to church to have a close relationship with God. He found that he can go to God directly and experience
the Holy Spirit in his life, without having a middle man. He fills his book with biblical quotes to back up his
beliefs. He also enjoys living his life based upon his relationship with God, and not living in fear of
retribution by what someone else tells him, especially if that person stands to profit from what they say. He
hopes that readers will find their way to a close relationship with the Holy Spirit by reading the Bible on their
I found “What the Church Does Not Want You to Know” to be very interesting and well-supported with
biblical references. I have seen so much of the negative experiences that Espinosa writes about, either in
churches that I have attended, or from watching what my friends have gone through. Though I have to say I
have not had this experience with every church that I have attended. This book made me really appreciate the
church that I currently attend. I have not had any of the negative experiences that have been discussed in the
book. So I will keep going where I go. I do read the Bible and pray on my own, but I enjoy the music and
fellowship of the services.
“What the Church Does Not Want You to Know,” is an eye opener that will make its readers become more
aware of the traps that religions can put out to snare their members. I think it a very important book that
should be read by people who find their relationship with God to be very important (hopefully everybody). It
should definitely be read by those who have feelings that things are not right with their religion. It will help
them overcome fears of damnation because they are having doubts. Churches and religion are manmade; it is
our relationship with God that we should have no doubts about.

Spirituality Title: What The Church Does Not Want You To KnowAuthor: Greg EspinosaRating: Very Good! Publisher: cereb pressWeb Page: by: John Lehman View Bio

Reviewing the reading points on the back cover, I wondered why people would need a book to accomplish these things, such as, disentangle themselves from organized religion. Then I realized that when we disavow an organization that includes our friends and family we often are made to feel isolated, as if we are the one out of step with everyone else. That’s not true, and this book helps us realize it.
Greg Espinosa was never in debt until he started giving all his money to churches he now feels “have a profit through guilt” agenda. His message to you is that we can experience God’s love directly and that religious organizations, whose leaders live richly as wealthy executives and whose church buildings are the equivalent of plush corporate headquarters, need to be exposed for what they are. Two major points this straight-forward book makes are: 1) Freedom from man-made rules and regulations allows you to receive God’s blessings through faith; and 2) Removing the burden of guilt and fear that churches create to maintain their authority allows you to develop a true relationship with God. In other words, learn from God, and not from man!
The author says, “My honest desire is that you will know God personally, reject man’s spiritual authority, and put your faith in God to teach you--even as He promises He will.” He notes that people go to church more for other people’s approval than for God’s. We have been told all our lives that we should attend, so we do. And once there we are told that going to church will make us right with God regardless of how we act during the rest of the week. But, he adds, “make no mistake about this: religion is an industry, and churches are the storefronts.” Espinosa closely examines the scriptures churches use to encourage our behavior and differentiates “church” from a fellowship of true believers which can happen anywhere and which he considers very beautiful. But, he says, why do we go to pastors and ministers for answers, “I would not want my children to go to another man to learn how to love me, yet this is what churches claim they are teaching (concerning God).”
Only in the last chapters do we get some personal details from the author’s life (specifically, a Christian financial seminar he attends). I would have liked more throughout the book. Not to add credibility but because we are curious about the man behind these opinions and wonder how he came to them and what life is like for him and his family now. In any case the book is excellently edited; has very readable, short chapters; and exhibits a nice clear style.
Unfortunately I doubt it will be read by clergy or parishioners who for one reason or another are content with the status quo. Too bad. There is a lot to think about here. Those who do need reassurance in seeking a more personal relationship with God will find comfort, purpose and direction in Greg Espinosa’s words.
P.S. I like a book that ends with “A Prayer for You.” If all authors had this kind of concern and respect for their readers, we would have much better books.
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Thursday, June 12, 2008

ISBN 9780979757235


After years of involvement with various churches, Greg Espinosa's eyes were opened to an unsettling reality: that today's church is a huge business that uses emotional and spiritual blackmail to convince its millions of followers to give money to them. Lots of money. Greg was one of those followers. He gave so much of his own money that it wiped out his entire savings account. After telling others of his experience, Greg discovered that there were many other people, from other churches, who were going through the same confusion and financial hardships-while church leaders were living as richly as CEO's, and church buildings were growing into huge and lavish 'corporate headquarters.'
In his book, What the Church Does Not Want You to Know, Greg warns us of the greed of today's church and the falsehood of 'salvation-for-pay.'