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Toolman
Dec 9th 2003, 05:19 PM
Following is an alphabetical list of popular word-faith ministers who have used television to build large followings:

Juanita Bynum

Headquarters: Waycross, Ga.

Reach: Her program, "Weapons of Power," is seen worldwide on TBN; she holds conferences throughout the United States.

Wealth: No information available.

In the news: In April, Bynum married Thomas Wesley Weeks III in the palatial Regent Wall Street Hotel in New York City. The ceremony featured a wedding party of 80, a platinum-colored satin bridal gown with a bodice covered in Swarovski crystals and a 7.76-carat diamond ring.

Kenneth and Gloria Copeland

Headquarters: Fort Worth, Texas

Reach: Ministry Web site says its TV show, "Believer's Voice of Victory," is seen by more than 76 million households on nearly 700 U.S. stations. Show also airs on about 135 international stations.

Wealth: A ministry official estimates the ministry's annual revenue at $70 million.

In the news: In June, the Copelands joined four other TV preachers who gathered around Oral Roberts, 85, considered the grandfather of the prosperity gospel, to pray for healing the failing founder of the university that bears his name.

Jan and Paul Crouch

Headquarters: Costa Mesa, Calif.

Reach: The Crouches are owners of Trinity Broadcast Network, the world's largest Christian TV network. TBN reaches millions of viewers on more than 5,000 TV stations and 33 international satellites around the world.

Wealth: The Crouches and their son Paul Crouch Jr. said they earned a total of $855,000 last year. TBN's annual income exceeds $100 million a year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The ministry provides the Crouches a $10 million, 80-acre, eight-home ranch near Dallas and two Land Rovers that the Crouches drive. In 2001, the couple bought a $5 million oceanfront estate in Newport Beach, Calif.

In the news: The ministry recently purchased the Nashville, Tenn., home and estate of the late country music performer Conway Twitty and opened Trinity Music City USA as a tourist attraction there.

Creflo Dollar

Headquarters: College Park, Ga.

Reach: Dollar's "Changing Your World" TV program on TBN reaches 150 countries.

Wealth: The ministry's income is unavailable, but newspaper accounts say the ministry paid $18 million in cash for his new 8,000-seat World Changers Church International on the southern edge of Atlanta. He drives a black Rolls-Royce and travels in a $5 million private jet.

In the news: Dollar's ministry became a focus of a court case involving boxer Evander Holyfield in 1999. The lawyer for Holyfield's ex-wife estimated that the fighter gave Dollar's ministry $7 million. Dollar refused to testify in the case.

Marilyn Hickey

Headquarters: Denver

Reach: Her TV show, "Today with Marilyn," on the TBN and Black Entertainment Television networks can be seen around the world. She has offices in England, South Africa and Australia, and is on the board of Oral Roberts University.

Wealth: Her ministry occupies a 260,000-square-foot former shopping mall in Denver. No information on ministry or her personal wealth is available.

In the news: She has been dubbed the "fairy godmother of the word-faith movement" and "the mistress of mail-order madness," by the Texas-based Christian Sentinel, a ministry that monitors what it calls "religious deception." Hickey got the "mistress" name for her use of trinkets - blessed cornmeal, cloths, seeds and coins - sent out to followers to urge them to send in money.

Benny Hinn

Headquarters: Grapevine, Texas

Reach: Hinn's "This is Your Day" program is seen throughout the United States and in nearly 200 foreign countries.

Wealth: The ministry took in $60 million in 2001. A news story earlier this year in the Colorado Springs Gazette said annual income now exceeds $90 million. Hinn told CNN in 1997 that he drew an annual salary of $500,000 to $1 million a year. He has a $3.5 million home in the Los Angeles area and drives an $80,000 Mercedes-Benz G500.

In the news: A "Dateline" segment on NBC examined five of Hinn's faith-healing "miracles," showing that none of the people was cured and that one woman with lung cancer died nine months later.

Rodney Howard-Browne

Headquarters: The River at Tampa Bay, Tampa, Fla.

Reach: His live broadcasts from his River at Tampa Bay Church stream online on his Internet site www.revival.com and can be seen worldwide.

Wealth: He and his wife, Adonica, oversee his $16 million church, which they founded in 1996. The couple live in a six-bedroom, four-bath lakefront home on Cory Lake in northwest Tampa. The home includes a dock, spa, pool and gazebo.

In the news: Howard-Browne has called himself the "bartender of holy laughter." Holy laughter was a controversial movement that swept evangelical circles in the mid-1990s. He would walk on stage laughing uncontrollably. The congregation would begin laughing. Howard-Browne would sweep his arm toward the crowd. People would appear "drunk on the Holy Spirit" and slide out of their chairs or dance in the aisles.

T.D. Jakes

Headquarters: Dallas

Reach: Jakes' "The Potter's House" TV program is seen throughout the world on TBN and Black Entertainment Television. His ministry boasts more than 26,000 members. A rally at the Georgia Dome in 1999 drew more than 100,000 people.

Wealth: He has mansions in Charleston, W.Va., and Dallas.

In the news: Called the best preacher in America by Time magazine in 2001.

Robert Tilton

Headquarters: Miami

Reach: He once ran his Farmers Branch Church in Dallas before scandal toppled it in the early 1990s. His show now airs on Black Entertainment Television and has a potential audience of 74 million homes.

Wealth: He is building a two-story home on a $1.39 million oceanfront lot on an island in Biscayne Bay off Miami Beach, and his ministry owns a 50-foot yacht. His ministry takes in about $24 million a year.

In the news: Tilton is rebounding after his ministry collapsed in scandal a decade ago amid news reports that prayer requests he said he personally prayed over were found in a trash bin after the money, food stamps and rings had been removed.

Randy and Paula White

Headquarters: The Without Walls International Church, Tampa, Fla.

Reach: The "Paula White Today" TV show can be seen worldwide on TBN and Black Entertainment Television. The ministry's Operation Explosion travels into public housing complexes with "rolling theatre-style pink trucks" to share Christianity in a Nickelodeon-type program for underprivileged children.

Wealth: The Whites live in a $2.1 million, 8,000-square-foot home facing Tampa Bay. Their ministry owns a jet airplane, a Cadillac Escalade and a Mercedes-Benz sedan.

In the news: Paula White calls Joyce Meyer her mentor; Meyer visited their church in September.

Peaceful Wisdom
Dec 9th 2003, 05:28 PM
So, whats you point? Can't ministers be rich?

Toolman
Dec 9th 2003, 06:04 PM
So, whats you point? Can't ministers be rich?
Obviously they can and very extravagently rich!

2 Corinthians 2:17 - Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

1 Timothy 6:5 - and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

melyssa
Dec 9th 2003, 07:41 PM
Well I can't speak for all of those ministers. But I do know that quite a few of them make their profits from books they write and sell, speaking engagements, etc. It's not money their taking from the church or anything like that. Of course they make a salary from preaching, but I think the majority of their wealth comes from other sources. I don't see anything wrong with this. They are using their talents AND helping others in the process, often bringing at one time hundreds to Christ.

To me this is noble, when there are so many self-proclaimed Christians who are stealing from the company they work for and in the process putting many others out of work.

These ministers have to live also, and if they are successful, ethical and moral at what they do -- God Bless each and every one of them!

Coll
Dec 9th 2003, 09:59 PM
I don't know, but I think that when someone begs for money so that they can help the poor, or spread the Gospel, and they ask you for say a donation of 50 dollars, and they say how much that 50 can do to help further the cause, and they drive a car that cost 2 times as much as my house, it makes me wonder where their heart is. To me $50 is alot of money, but I think that someone that can justify owning a private jet, or million dollar home would think nothing of $50. I just don't understand either if they are having say a drive to raise a certain amount of money, because they so desperatly need it, why don't they take a pay cut, or sell off their mercades to help cover costs, if the thing they are asking for the money for is so important to them, why don't they give more to it, rather than living in the lap of luxury. I don't think they should live in a cardboard box or anything, but I think most people can manage with out a yacht, of private, or multi million dollar home. These things are not necsessitites in life, yeah they may make things easier, but are not needed to live, or do your job.

But hey, I don't know maybe they give their 10% and the rest is theirs.

P.P.P.
Dec 9th 2003, 10:25 PM
HMMMM....How much money does Billy Graham have? Or Hank Hanegraff??? :confused:

Melissa made an excellent point, that the above people are all authors and as authors, the profits they make are theirs, not the ministries. I see you listed how much comes in to the ministry...where's the list about how much goes out? How do you know how much they give personally?

Ministers who travel all over the world probably SAVE money by the ministry owning a private plane. Do you have any idea how much plane tickets cost? And all the ministry supplies and Bibles they take are probably easier to take on their own plane.

The only point I see of this thread is to cast stones at people who are "big name" in the ministry.:confused:

bethany
Dec 9th 2003, 10:27 PM
Coll-- I reallly like your reply. This discussion reminds me of Billy Graham's wife refusing to keep fur coats that one of her friends kept giving her (I'm paraphrasing here). Basically, her friend wanted Mrs. Graham to be warm and also to have something really nice, but Mrs. G (her name is Ruth, isn't it?) would just give the coats aways because (1) other people needed it more than her (2) she didn't want others thinking that she was the next Tammy Fae Baker.

Being a teacher of the scripture means that others will judge you harshly. I think that's why I cringe whenever I hear of rich evangelists. Corrie ten Boom only lived out of her suitcase-- Paul only carried the clothes on his back... Money opens the door to greed and power-- I'm skeptical about teachers/leaders who don't mind being tempted by money.

Toolman
Dec 9th 2003, 10:31 PM
HMMMM....How much money does Billy Graham have? Or Hank Hanegraff??? :confused:

Melissa made an excellent point, that the above people are all authors and as authors, the profits they make are theirs, not the ministries. I see you listed how much comes in to the ministry...where's the list about how much goes out? How do you know how much they give personally?

Ministers who travel all over the world probably SAVE money by the ministry owning a private plane. Do you have any idea how much plane tickets cost? And all the ministry supplies and Bibles they take are probably easier to take on their own plane.

The only point I see of this thread is to cast stones at people who are "big name" in the ministry.:confused:

Billy Graham has limited his salary to 80K for many years. He chooses to live above reproach, since he makes his living preaching the Gospel.

The reason we don't know how much the salaries, out going giving, etc. of most of these ministries is because they will not submit to an independent audit and disclosure of said funds.

bethany
Dec 9th 2003, 10:37 PM
I like J. Wesley's saying,

"make as much money as you can,
save as much money as you can,
give as much money as you can"

<that's the jest of it it I believe>

Toolman
Dec 9th 2003, 10:49 PM
Christianity today article on Hanegraaff and CRI:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/008/6.19.html

Armistead14
Dec 9th 2003, 10:54 PM
These people are so obvious. They are false teachers. The whole punch line that they go by is, to send in your seed money and God will take away all of your problems. Send in your send money and you will be rich ,
happy and have no health problems. You know they seldom preach the Gospel of Christ, just send in your money. They have done so much damage to poor people that it's heart breaking.

Coll
Dec 9th 2003, 10:59 PM
I really don't know any of these people, I do know that I have heard wonderful things about all of them and horrible things about all of them. Like I said, maybe they give their tithe, and they feel thats what God wants them to give back.

It may well be less expensive to have your own plane if you travel alot, I wouldn't know really, I don't go further than my car will take me most of the time. I don't get out much, lol

does anyone really need a mercedes, would not any other car of the same size and, say, half the price do just as well?

Also if they will not allow themselves to be audited, that makes me wonder if they are hiding something, maybe they are not, but how does God look at that, them keeping their money matter secret? I don't know if there is scripture obout that.

I don't have a problem with them having money really, it just doesn't appear to me that they are being good stewards. That really is my point I guess, to me a mercedes is a status symbol, its not even a car.


Love,
Coll

Toolman
Dec 9th 2003, 11:06 PM
excerpt from an article on Billy Graham:

"Early on, Graham put himself on a modest salary and abolished "love offerings" -- donations made during and at the end of crusade services. He accepts no speaking fees or honoraria and has given away his book royalties."

http://www.midtod.com/9612/billygraham.phtml

Peaceful Wisdom
Dec 10th 2003, 01:21 AM
Why should how much they make bother you. Doesn't the bible (since you pulled it first) teach us that we are not to judge God's servants weather they be bad or good (as in David and Saul), but to esteem every man better than ourselves.
If you don't agree with them then pray. That's the trouble with most Christians nowadays, they love to point the finger while they say "Look at me, I'm not sinning but you are".
Sorry if I sounded a little harsh, but even if only one person gets to heaven through one of these people, then they served God's purpose.
I am sure you will not agree with me, so I will apoligize ahead of time for offending you.

Napalm
Dec 10th 2003, 01:34 AM
When i first become a christian my mother was in a church wicch was into the word of faith movement, of course none of us should be sick and all of us should be healthy. The problem is, i accepted Jesus in a bed of the hospital with hodgkin desease and i never was blessed by health, not that i dont belive that God dont give us prosperity, but that the new testament covanent is diferent in that issue from the old testement covanant. In the new testemant and mainly in the letters of the apostle Paul, we see the dificulties of the christian life and the grace and the prosperity of God can come in diferent ways, we see also (mainly in the book of acts that charity was one of the ways of showing Gods grace, now let me ask you, all those that need help, wherethey all in sin,they allhad lack of faith.
No the issue if they can be or not rich?????? Well the other day i was watching tv and there was this TV evangelist selling his book for a "seed of faith" of $77, did you ever saw Dr Billy Grahm sell any of his books on TV like this, whats a seed of faith????? Does God ask you more then whats in the Bible, do you have to pay to be blessed????? Honestly i dont think so.
Just go through the parking lot of those ministers you just mention and see who is really taking advantage of this situation.
Im not sayng that all of what they do is bad cause you can learn a lot about faith in this movement,but you can learn ot also from the Bible.
May God bless you

P.P.P.
Dec 10th 2003, 01:43 AM
I don't have a problem with them having money really, it just doesn't appear to me that they are being good stewards. Coll...
But that's my point. You don't know if they are good stewards or not. None of us do. And it's not our job, to determine it, it's God's job. :saint:

Toolman....
This whole thread seems to be started as a complaint about how much money some people have. Maybe they don't make their finances available to the public, because they don't think it's the public's business.
The MINISTRY finances, YES, I suppose, if you donate to the ministry, you have a right to see where the money goes. But their personal finances...NO.

I understand that T.D. Jakes has businesses OUTSIDE of ministry, where some of his money comes from.

The Bible is full of servants of God that are rich and full of servants of God that are poor. How is it decided who has money or not? I don't know. But I'm content to allow God the job of judging HIS servant's use of the resources they have.


Romans 14
4 Who are you to condemn God's servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord's power will help them do as they should.

Gods Creation
Dec 10th 2003, 03:09 AM
I think that it is our job to thank God that there are people like Benny Hinn in this world. Lets also not forget to thank God for the money that he gives them because it helps support their ministries a lot. Think about it, we don't lose from Benny Hinn being rich but only win. He uses his money and influence to talk in lots of places about God and many people get turned to Christianity. See! We win!

lrl
Dec 10th 2003, 03:18 AM
I am skeptical of ministries where the lead personality makes a ton of money. It's hard for me to swallow someone essentially using God for personal gain. Of course I can't know their hearts, nobody can. But I will say that knowing how much money they have becomes a distraction (btw.....I knew how well some of them did prior to this post), which I think is wrong. There is nothing wrong with showing the gifts God has given you. I don't like the fact there is such extravagence...........it does make me wonder if the money they receive is going to their Mercedes or the ministry. Like I said, all the laviscious things they have IS distracting........and I hope that nobody decides to follow their ministry simply because they want a "piece of that action". I guess I feel like the focus should be on God and the ministry, not what kind of car the guy (or gal) drives........and when the person has flashy things, it's easy for people to become distracted.

Now, having said all that, I DO think that IF (and only IF) the money they enjoy comes from book sales and other business ventures (that does NOT take anything away from their ministry), then I think that should be treated as private income and they shouldn't be held responsible (by the public) for what they do with it.

I have an example that better helps illustrate what I'm talking about. Three years ago, my dh and I tried a church here in town that (we discovered) was very charismatic (which was not the problem.....just setting the seen). The reason I wanted to try this church was that I had helped plan the travel arrangements for the pastor for a few years and knew his secretary well, and she suggested we give the church a try. Anyway, the Sunday we attended was a little shocking to us.........capped off by the pastor grabbing his head and shouting "the Lord is telling me that there is a lady in the church with a million dollars that she should be giving to the church" (they were building a new addition and needed more money). Now, his announcement didn't sit well with me for a number of reasons, the main reason being that I had serious reservations regarding how the money would be used. Since I had handled this man's travel, and KNEW FOR AN ABSOLUTE FACT that the church always paid for his plane tickets, and knew for an absolute fact that he ALWAYS flew first class (to the tune of thousands of dollars), I really wondered exactly WHAT that money would go for. I know they can justify it by saying that they are doing God's work and that the church should pay for it.....and to an extent, I agree. However, it would seem to me that the church would be better served by a pastor flying coach and using the money savings towards church expenses.

Anyway, after that day I've been very leary of pastor's that scream a lot and ask (demandingly) for money. Especially those that do these things AND live a very expensive lifestyle.

Toolman
Dec 10th 2003, 01:42 PM
Why should how much they make bother you. Doesn't the bible (since you pulled it first) teach us that we are not to judge God's servants weather they be bad or good (as in David and Saul), but to esteem every man better than ourselves.
The apostle Paul commented on teachers who preach the Gospel for the sake of making money and selfish ambition. He praised God that the Gospel was being preached. Phil 1:18 - The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

When false doctrine was being taught he confronted that with the truth.

All I did on this thread was post the income and extravagance of the life style of some of these ministers and let people respond negatively or positively.


If you don't agree with them then pray. That's the trouble with most Christians nowadays, they love to point the finger while they say "Look at me, I'm not sinning but you are".
I personally never said that or didn't say I don't pray for them. They should not be embarrassed for having this information disclosed if they are living above reproach. They should not be ashamed for their deeds to come out into the light.



Sorry if I sounded a little harsh, but even if only one person gets to heaven through one of these people, then they served God's purpose.
I am sure you will not agree with me, so I will apoligize ahead of time for offending you.

I absolutely agree with you. Even satan himself is serving God's purpose, as are all things. God is sovereign over His creation.

NLathrop
Dec 10th 2003, 02:25 PM
While I can understand people being skeptical of ministers who seem to have a "fortune", I would like to enlighten some of you about the REALITIES of being a minister.

Some who have read my posts before may remember me saying I come from a large family of ministers. I want to show you how sometimes, looks CAN be deceiving when it comes to the amount of money they bring in and their sources.

Lets start with my cousins...both AOG Ministers for at least 20 years. Until 2 weeks ago (when they moved to another city to head a different church) they lived in an affluenctial area of town we "poor people" call the rich neighborhood. First, lets look at the material possessions they have and how they live: A very beautiful home, 4-5 bedrooms, large basement, 2 car attached garage, beautifully decorated interior, lovely and expensive looking furniture, a newer mini-van for her, a newer "luxury" car for him, 2 other vehicles for their 2 eldest sons. Their eldest sons are away at college, semi-expensive colleges. They eat out for lunch EVERY Sunday after church, and not McDonald's or Taco Bell, but sitdown restaurants. Their wardrobe is exquisite, not designer but designer knockoffs. They have a timeshare and take at least 2 one-week vacations to the beach EVERY summer.

Sound familiar? Sound like the extravagant lifestyle these TV evangelists live?
But wait, before we jump to any conclusions that they are making a killing by spreading the Gospel of Jesus, lets look at their sources of income.

He draws a small salary from the church abd receives some small "love offerings" when he is a guest minister at other churches. His days with OUR church start in the early AM and normally do not end until late in the PM. He runs from city to city, hospital to hospital, wherever the congregation needs him for their current crisis, PLUS, when he is home, his phone constantly rings with people calling to discuss their current conflict with sin.
She draws a small salary from the church when they can AFFORD to pay her. She also holds down FOUR other jobs, outside the church, including traveling around Southern VA as a guest minister. These 4 other jobs are what pays for this "luxurious" lifestyle they seem to live.

BOTH of them are constantly giving of THEIR money to "church" events. When the Missionettes hold a banquet, policy has always been that the home ministers eat for free, as a thank-you for their support. BUT they refuse to eat for free and they typically give twice as much as the meals donation "asking price". They also spend tons of money buying things (jackets, mittens, hats, snacks, school supplies, etc) for the needy children that live in the neighborhood our church is in. The "luxury" newer car he drives was a donation from a member of the congregation who was "upgrading" their own personal car because the member was concerned the pastors original car might break down on him while he was doing his traveling. The cars their sons drive were partially paid for with income the sons make while they hold down their own jobs.

For people who are on the outside looking in, they appear very rich...and possibly "rich" from the money given in offerings and tithes to the church. Only when one stops to know them personally do they realize just how untrue this really is.


Now for my uncle, who is now retred from the full-time ministry. Now he only guest preaches at churches. He lives in a plush, older neighborhood in a "rich" area of town. He has almost always lived in the "upper-class" neighborhoods, but his money then was not made from the salary he made as a minister, but from the proceeds he made while recording Gospel music. His current home was a donation from a former congregation member who was well-to-do. She was moving out of state to live with family and gave my uncle the home, lock-stock-and barrel, for FREE as a thank-you for the years of service he had provided.


While I am not saying that all "rich" ministers are like these 3, we need to be careful when we pass judgment on them based on the amount of income they personally bring in and the type of lifestyle they are living. Unless we know the complete story we are merely passing judgment without grounds, which I do believe to be Biblically WRONG. We have no idea how much mone they actualyl get fromt heir ministry and how much they get from outside sources. We have no idea whether that fancy car was bought by them or given as a gift or donation.

melyssa
Dec 10th 2003, 02:41 PM
The reason we don't know how much the salaries, out going giving, etc. of most of these ministries is because they will not submit to an independent audit and disclosure of said funds.

I do know for a fact that the TD Jakes ministry is always open to an audit. I heard him speak on this on one of the Christian networks. He is very adamant about the ministry and his personal finances being available for audit. He wants his congregation and potential members to know he's upstanding.

Toolman
Dec 10th 2003, 02:42 PM
Toolman....
This whole thread seems to be started as a complaint about how much money some people have. Maybe they don't make their finances available to the public, because they don't think it's the public's business.
The MINISTRY finances, YES, I suppose, if you donate to the ministry, you have a right to see where the money goes. But their personal finances...NO.

PPP we are going to disagree here because I believe every penny that the ministry spends should be documented for the public to see. This is called living above reproach. And that includes the salary of each and every employee of the ministry. Most of these ministries DO NOT make that public information. I don't care about how much they make outside the ministry. What concerns me is where the money goes that comes into the ministry. This includes all ministries not just word of faith (CRI and Hannegraff, etc.)

Here is an example of bad stewardship to me:
" The ministry provides the Crouches a $10 million, 80-acre, eight-home ranch near Dallas and two Land Rovers that the Crouches drive."

I am not OK with that. Ministry money should NOT be spent on a 10 million ranch for ministers to live on.


I understand that T.D. Jakes has businesses OUTSIDE of ministry, where some of his money comes from.

I have no problem with any minister generating funds from outside work or businesses. But the funds of the ministry should be completely open to public scrutiny. I believe of all the ones mentioned TD stands out as more open to public audit.

Did we learn nothing from Jim and Tammy, Robert Tilton and others. Lets call those who minister the Gospel to live above reproach.

Toolman
Dec 10th 2003, 02:48 PM
Sound familiar? Sound like the extravagant lifestyle these TV evangelists live?
But wait, before we jump to any conclusions that they are making a killing by spreading the Gospel of Jesus, lets look at their sources of income.

He draws a small salary from the church abd receives some small "love offerings" when he is a guest minister at other churches. His days with OUR church start in the early AM and normally do not end until late in the PM. He runs from city to city, hospital to hospital, wherever the congregation needs him for their current crisis, PLUS, when he is home, his phone constantly rings with people calling to discuss their current conflict with sin.
She draws a small salary from the church when they can AFFORD to pay her. She also holds down FOUR other jobs, outside the church, including traveling around Southern VA as a guest minister. These 4 other jobs are what pays for this "luxurious" lifestyle they seem to live.

As long as they are making the Church finance available to the congregation and the public in general this should not be a problem.
Churches that are above reproach make their budget and finances be known publicly at least once a year. This would include all monies spent including salaries of paid employees. If this is done then there should be no problem.

Coll
Dec 10th 2003, 03:12 PM
P.P.P.
Why are there agency to watch over ministies and make sure they are being good stewards if it is not anyones job except God's?

I think there needs to be accountability for these people, I think if they are doing the Lords work they would have no problem sharing how much money they make and where it is being spent.


I grew up in an affluent area and have seen exessive lifestyles for most of my life when it comes to spending money frivulously. Maybe I am biased in this area because of this. I lived in an affluent area, yet my father held jobs like janitor, bus driver, milkmna, and such, we were not rich, I don't know how my parents afforded to live where we did.
Maybe I have some bitterness, or unresolved feelings about this, I will pray about it, please pray for me also.

I don't think I will ever see a mercedes as a need tho. I think a less flashy car gets around town just as well.

Love,
Coll

P.P.P.
Dec 10th 2003, 04:54 PM
PPP we are going to disagree here because I believe every penny that the ministry spends should be documented for the public to see. This is called living above reproach. And that includes the salary of each and every employee of the ministry..
Once a salary is paid to an employee, it becomes the employee's and it is no ones business what it is spent for.

As far as ministry funds, I believe that if you give to that ministry, then you have a right to know where the money goes. If you DON'T give to that ministry...then it is none of your business. Why should it be? You have nothing 'invested' in it.

I have heard many of the ministers that you mention say that their ministry finances are available to be reviewed by the people who give to the ministry, including T.B.N.

But if you don't give to that ministry, why would you NEED to know?

I guess my problem with this thread is that I just don't see why you have a problem with their finances. They have money...so what? They drive nice (fancy) cars? So what? The number of people that are saved and helped thru these ministries is what I care about, not where they live or what they drive.

Toolman
Dec 10th 2003, 05:40 PM
Once a salary is paid to an employee, it becomes the employee's and it is no ones business what it is spent for.

Agreed, I don't care what they spend it for after receiving it. But the amount of that salary should be available for ALL to see. There should be no reason to hide any of these amounts.

In public companies the same kind of accountability is expected and given to the public. Salary information of "normal" employees is usually lumped into 1 bucket and officers of the company salaries are individually reported.
The same should apply to any ministry to be above reproach.


As far as ministry funds, I believe that if you give to that ministry, then you have a right to know where the money goes. If you DON'T give to that ministry...then it is none of your business. Why should it be? You have nothing 'invested' in it.

Those ministries should take the higher road and in ministering be above reproach from those who are outside. This is why there are accountability groups for ministries, so they can be above reproach and not give the body of Christ another black eye like the Bakers/PTL or Tilton did.


I guess my problem with this thread is that I just don't see why you have a problem with their finances. They have money...so what? They drive nice (fancy) cars? So what? The number of people that are saved and helped thru these ministries is what I care about, not where they live or what they drive.

If any minister is stealing peoples money or being deceived by riches then you should care, if you truly believe them to be your brother/sister and the people they are stealing from are brothers/sisters. You should care about that.
I'm not saying these are but it is possible. Without full disclosure it is difficult to know one way or the other.

This is the same kind of attitude that got Jim and Tammy in trouble. Jim wrote extensively about it in his book called "I Was Wrong". Money was stolen by the ministry and used for extravagent living instead of the ministry it was promised to. That is why Mr. Baker had to go to prison.
I personally care if the body of Christ's money is being stolen. That concerns me, and why I believe these and all ministers must live above reproach and publicly proclaim all budget and finance. I demand this from my own Church and expect no less from other ministries.

The word says that those who are called to be teachers, preachers and elders must live above reproach. That means going the extra mile and fully disclosing all funds paid by the ministry and being audited by an external party.

P.P.P.
Dec 10th 2003, 05:48 PM
I demand this from my own Church and expect no less from other ministries.

Well, I guess this is where we differ. I don't DEMAND to know anything. I give money to God, thru the ministries I believe He has told me to, then I leave it in His capable hands.
If they are stealing from God, woe to them, He'll handle it, He doesn't need my help.

I do my best to be obedient to God, and leave the rest in His hands. I don't fuss or worry over what other people are doing. I'm busy keeping the 'plank out of my eye' instead of worrying about 'splinters in other peoples eyes'.

BirdOfPray
Dec 10th 2003, 06:05 PM
I don't think a pastor/minister/whatever should have to be poor and live off of nothing, but I think a $10 million home provided by the minstry is more than a little extravagant. There's a comfortable middle ground. My family is well off and we have a lovely house on 26 acres and horses and a pool and three cars ('98 Dodge Ram 1500, 2000 Honda Civic and 2001 (?) Toyota Camry). I'm going to a private Baptist university that's anything but cheap. We're living a good life and not hurting for money -- but that's a far cry from a huge, expensive 80-acre ranch. And when they say ranch, I can't imagine they mean a working ranch, so chances are it takes a lot of money to keep it up. I don't begrudge anyone a comfortable lifestyle, but I have trouble reconciling the facts when someone living extravagantly and talking about how much they need donations for this or that cause.

Toolman
Dec 10th 2003, 06:18 PM
Well, I guess this is where we differ. I don't DEMAND to know anything. I give money to God, thru the ministries I believe He has told me to, then I leave it in His capable hands.

Becaues of my conviction to be a good steward with what God has entrusted me with, I believe I am accountable to have knowledge of how those funds are being used. This is why I expect financial accountability from my local Church. To expect less could be detrimental to myself and my local body. Church elders are called to financial accountability.


.]If they are stealing from God, woe to them, He'll handle it, He doesn't need my help.

God doesn't NEED any of our help but He often uses us in each others life.
He used Nathan to reveal David's transgression to himself.
This is why we are a body, no man lives to himself. What 1 does effects another.


I do my best to be obedient to God, and leave the rest in His hands. I don't fuss or worry over what other people are doing. I'm busy keeping the 'plank out of my eye' instead of worrying about 'splinters in other peoples eyes'.

I don't think asking for financial accountability is being judgemental. I think it is wise to live above reproach in this area. I don't see why anyone would fight against this and not do it unless there is something shady going on. Raises a red flag of caution for me.
If discussing this helps one brother/sister not be ripped off by a shady ministry and become bitter then all the better. If discussing this helps future ministries become financially accountable then all the better.

Mighty Mutt
Dec 10th 2003, 06:43 PM
Here is the bottom line as I see it....

There are definitely false teachers and blasphemers who over the course of time (and especially as TV became widespread) who have repeatedly swindled earnest Christians out of millions of dollars. There are a few listed in the first post whom I believe to be in that group, and surprisingly it seems prevalent in the Word Faith cult.

That being said... no, God does not command that all his servants work for peanuts, only that they work for his kingdom and the things of God. Those that do so are blessed, sometimes with a little more money.

Those that are stealing from God's people and ultimately from God will also make a ton of money in some cases. But it certainly isn't a blessing, but a curse. And for every dollar one of those guys steals, it is another dollar added to his condemnation. And in the end, God's justice will prevail.

Perhaps some of those "preachers" listed would not be so wealthy if more of us Christians were in the Bible comparing the taught doctrine with the Word God has given us. But if that happened, I am sure a lot of these "ministries" would fail in the worldly, financial realm.

Again, God blesses his workers at his discretion. My pastor, for example, currently has no income from the church. Other pastors may make a good living. Others still are wealthy. Doesn't mean any one way is right, only that God is soveriegn.

Now I agree with Toolman to a large extent: each church should be accountable for their income and disbursements. At the same time, I really like Billy Graham's approach. He sets and example I would certainly try to follow as far as accountability and living above reproach. I think this is the wisest choice in the Christian church as we know for sure that there are many claiming to be one of us who are detroying the witness of Christ before an all-too-willing brood of vipers eager to see Christ besmirched and/or degraded.

If these preachers are on the level, maybe the big-money guys need to recognize this.

Toolman
Dec 10th 2003, 06:57 PM
That being said... no, God does not command that all his servants work for peanuts, only that they work for his kingdom and the things of God. Those that do so are blessed, sometimes with a little more money.


MM,

Great post and very insightful.

I also want to be clear that I do not believe that those who minister in the Church and are paid to do so should work for peanuts either.

I believe the ministers in the Church should be compensated with a salary that is in the average of or mildly above average those in their congregation.
If the average salary within a congregation is about X then the paid ministers should be paid about X or slightly above.

I think this is a good model because the ministers are not living at a means below those in the congregation, for to do so can cause resentment and bitterness and it is just not wise IMO.

To get slightly into Church govt. I believe this is why it is vitally important to have a group of elders who are overseeing the flock and overseeing the ministers in the Church. They should be men above reproach with a good report from outside the Church who are able to wisely make these types of financial decisions.

Lady Ashanti
Sep 9th 2008, 07:21 PM
I just posted a message I taught on this topic...:hmm:...shocked to see the same title here...

Cloudwalker
Sep 10th 2008, 03:28 PM
Since this is a very old thread, I'm going to go ahead and close it to avoid confusion.