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Big Name Evangelists

I think when big name evangelist's refuse to share information concerning their salaries, church income, exquisite homes,expensive vehicles, jets, etc.. sends the wrong message and is a poor witness. What do you think?

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 ---Bob on 2/5/09
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Mark_F._Butler: "I believe that it takes money to run an effective organization..."

Why do we need an earthly organization when all we need are christians spreading the gospel. Just imagine we can gather money from people for people instead of money for buildings, furniture, equipment, utilities, people, services, repairs, marketing, and the list goes on.

If christians would simply do their job on a personal level as they did during Jesus' time, "churches" wouldn't need to spend money of material things.
---Steveng on 8/19/09

Why do you want to know what an evangelist makes? Do you mean televangelists? They make a lot of money. Let them make whatever salary they want to make. If it is too much, they will answer to God. They should not be answerable to me or anyone else unless you want everyone to be answerable to all, including yourself. If you don't believe in a particular evangelist, don't support him. If we can't trust them with money, why trust them with souls...or with the Word of God?
---Mark on 8/19/09

I believe that it takes money to run an effective organization. Just wishing things are great does not work. The mortgage, electric and gas still have to be paid as well as your employee's salaries. If you send out material that has to be paid for. If you do visits it still costs money. It is a business and must be run like a business. And a business requires capital continuously.

Mark F. Butler, Executive Director
ACT International, Inc.
---Mark_F._Butler on 7/12/09

Amanda, you may be correct in saying they may be afraid of having their identity stolen, or perhaps having their true identity revealed.

They claim to be people of God, and don't want to be exposed as being servants of Satan, 2 Corinthians 11:13.
---Rob on 5/20/09

I agree. However, look at it this way, maybe they are afraid of getting their identity stolen?
---amand6348 on 5/19/09

Yes they should disclose their salaries. It is God's money NOT theirs. If I am giving to God, I want to know how HIS money will be used.

Billy Graham was a good example. He published his salary without shame. In spite of the millions and millions he took in, he limited his salary to $50,000 a year. It does not matter whether a big name televangelist is a celeb or not. They need to realize they work for God, and things should be different. The Catholic church even has the vow of poverty.
---obewan on 5/6/09

I choose not to listen to the TV Evangelist because of the fact that they are trying to sell you coffee mugs and trinkets and what have you. Did Jesus ever do anything like this when He was on earth and preaching the gospel? No, he relied on the generosity of people for sustenance and shelter.

As for reading Religious Authors, you can take five different authors, on the same subject, and you will get five different answers. I choose to follow the Bible and God and Jesus's teachings.
---Norma on 5/5/09

The truth can only be found in the word of God the Bible,and when giving? give to God by faith,i rather U pray 4 the spirit of revelation first so as to understand the word of God.Evangilist devote their life and time to take the Gospel allover, and they have Families, bills to take care off so how do U expect them to take care of the bills. besides as christains we are required to preach the gospel of Jesus to the world, so 4 those of us who may not participate physically? do it through our donations to these ministries. The bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God and how will they hear, if they don't preach and how will they preach if they are not sent? Rhoda
---Rhoda_Alonyo on 5/5/09

Reading this blog this morning I am reminded of the fact that the man who kept the money bag(and sometimes helped himself to the contents) was named Judas!!!!!
---mima on 4/9/09

The Bereans made the decision not to follow God ONLY, so they searched the scriptures in order to follow Paul the evangelist (taking their eyes off God).**

I could go mad, in a nice way, trying to figure out what this means.
---katavasia on 4/9/09

Big name evangelists are subject to the laws that others are subject to. If they try to wriggle out of filing tax returns, answering questions required by law about finances etc. they could end up in jail. I agree with you that refusing to give the information is a very bad witness to others.
---RitaH on 2/27/09

More Excellent Way, Acts 17: 11 does not say the Bereans made the decision not to follow God ONLY, so they searched the scriptures in order to follow Paul the evangalist.

The Bereans searched the scriptures daily to see if what paul said was true.

Please do not do not change scripture and do what is written in Romans 1:18-32, like taking Gods Truths and and turning them into lies.
---Rob on 2/11/09

Two thousand years ago, Jesus spoke to many people from all walks of life (so did Paul, apostles, etc.), yet we should not copy/imitate everything in scripture (Jesus also made a whip of chords and turned tables over). We should use good judgement and make sure that what we do makes Godly sense.

The Bereans made the decision not to follow God ONLY, so they searched the scriptures in order to follow Paul the evangelist (taking their eyes off God).

You cannot have a true devotion and deep relationship with God if you follow an evangelist.
---more_excellent_way on 2/11/09

ROB>>>Jesus is good. He does what is right and fair. Wicked men does as they please. They live to please themselves. God's people lives to please God. Because God knows what is right. Without God we just don't know what is right. Thank you.
---catherine on 2/11/09

rob,too get the full message you must read 18 states,he that believeth on him is not condemned( meaning jesus)and he that does not believith is my thoughts are those that are must believe on the name of jesus,that he came into the world as a light to men,without this believith you are condemned too live in darkness, because men love darkness,and you will do evil,because you live in darkness without jesus.
---tom2 on 2/10/09

Hi Rob,

John 3:19 Christ is speaking of the condemnation of men that believeth not on the Christ. These men manifest their evil ways by not believing in Christ.

The light spoken of is Christ - Jhn 8:12.

Wicked men hate Christ and the gospel of salvation by the grace of an almighty God. They would prefer to remain in the darkness of the law (man's works).

He that doeth truth cometh to the light. In other words, those who have been touched by the grace of God, and changed by Christ desire to follow him. They have a desire that their deeds ,done by God's assistance, might glorify God.
---trey on 2/10/09

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iam not sure with most people being in debt up too and beyond their ability too repay that anyone is leading a life of a good witness in the financial areas of life.between mortgage payments,car payments,credit cards,loans,most are so far in debt their thoughts are never on the kingdom.
---tom2 on 2/10/09

Has anyone ever read what is written in John 3:19-21. If so, I would like to hear your thoughts.
---Rob on 2/10/09

if they claim to follow the word of god, then how come they are serving 2 masters, or do they practice 'self-denial' or contentment which the bible commands us to do?

does their big salaries, luxury cars, multi-million $$$ homes & jet alliviate the poor. and where does it say in the bible about tax exemption for the church?

the messages it sends is HYPOCRISY not christianity or self denial or contentment, it also sends a message of greed, arrogance & self interpretation for personal gain.
---mike on 2/9/09

Hey Bob. No problem, I wasn't offended. I do think it's a mistake if people think that an evangelist or pastor is compelled by law to disclose what he makes. The charitable society that pays him is compelled to disclose a financial statement to the IRS and in Canada to the CRA. This then becomes public knowledge to any one who wishes to seek it. Thus, if I wish to know how much Benny Hinn makes I go to the IRS web site and find whatever information there is. But Benny, personally, does not have the legal responsibilty to disclose this information to anyone.
---john on 2/8/09

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I would highly recommend Ministry Watch as a tracking tool. They monitor the activities of some 500 various ministries and provide Evaluations, Transparency Rating and Donner Alerts on questionable programs.

It does not cover all programs but it is a space to start and a place to learn evaluation criteria to perform your own evaluations of more local programs not covered in the reports.
---Phil_the_Elder on 2/7/09

A "ministry" has been soliciting funds all over the world under the "memory" of a long-dead evangelist, had their property go into foreclosure in 2007. It was "miraculously" saved at the last minute by an out-of-state donor. The evangelist continued to solicit funds knowing he could not meet the obligations and he had already filed bankruptcy for the ministry. He continued to receive donations while telling everyone that he was broke and didn't have the money to move when he finally lost the property in 2008. This ministry bought a profitable funeral home/cemetery property for cash last week. These kinds of things are happening all over.
---KarenD on 2/7/09

Donna, thank you for the information, it was very good. Thats why I ask my fellow brethren for their opinions. Sometimes when we ask a question about a certain subject, we receive personal criticism based on the question rather than constructive criticism concerning the subject. I agree that the greatest majority of churches, ministries, etc are completely honest with their finances and use their assets to glorify God. Unfortunately, the media and government aren't concerned to much about small churches struggling to survive. I think the Jim and Tammy Baker fiasco started the ball rolling.
---Bob on 2/7/09

Mike Murdock has a program that he has rerun on the I network for the past 2 months. Where he gets 1000 people to send 1000 dollars. he might be doing a good work, i don't know. I only see him preach that one message.
---wayne on 2/7/09

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Reputable evangelists like Billy Graham and Samaritans Purse DO make their financial information available if requested.

ECFA (Evangelical Council for Accountability) is dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the publics trust by adherence of members to established standards for financial accountability, fund-raising and board governance. Members include Christian ministries, denominations, churches, educational institutions and other tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Often the ECFA logo is prominently displayed on their literature.

Besides, the IRS does require an accountiong from them. A valid Christian ministry, (member of ECFA or not) should not be insulted if asked to give evidence of their integrity.
---Donna66 on 2/6/09

Small and modestly presented ministries, probably aren't abusing their funds. But our very small church came under IRS scrutiny once for giving a "love offering" to a welfare family.

So now, our church does not make any monetary donations to the needy. We are not big enough to justify a "foundation", so we all give personal checks made out to the recipients, not the church. I guess that's OK, but it may have hurt our giving some.I think there are others, like me, who were much more comfortable giving anonymously through the church.
---Donna66 on 2/6/09

I appreciate your opinions, some good input from all of you. I'll check that website out Ralph, thanks for the info.
---Bob on 2/6/09

Bob,you said you would call them blessed?(those giving)maybe,deceived or even victims,the group of name it & claim it, preachers are,well I let the Bible say it...2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

The word "ravening" in Matt. 7:15 Is the Greek word Harpax,one of it's definitions is extortion,Jesus warned us of those guys.

I wonder what Copeland & Dollar do with versus like this...Luk 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich!for ye have received your consolation.
Luk 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger.Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
---joe on 2/6/09

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Mima, I have been in ministry for over 20 years. In our ministry no person has ever received a salary or compensation (even though we could) of any sort, or any time. We are all volunteers.

Being non-profit, and classified and a religous organization, we required to be certified by the Internal Revenue Service under the 501(c)3 tax code. We are also required to make all of our finances open for public review.
---Rob on 2/6/09

---Rob perhaps you are mistaken about the financial disclosure required for the 501(c) corporations.
---mima on 2/6/09

You can check out the ministrywatch website. They evaluate ministries on such things as transparency, excessive salaries, truth in advertising and how much of your money is actually used for the intended purpose. Many of your big name TV ministries are on what they call the "Donor Alert" list, meaning that you should maybe think twice about sending your money to them and the reasons why. There is also a list of exemplary ministries.
---ralph7477 on 2/6/09

Bob...All non-profits are subject to scrutiny by anyone once they file their yearly reports. However, individual ministers who receive compensation for their services are not subject to the same scrutiny. Benny Hinn (like many of the televangelists) has proven to be more interested in financial gain than anything else. We as Christian ministers need to remember to lift Jesus up instead of lifting up men. We are accountable for our own witness, not the poor witness of the money mongers. Remember! Lift JESUS HIGHER!
---SusieB on 2/6/09

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Most non-believers I encountered referred to these evangelist's as electronic preachers. When asked my opinion I would politely say: those giving are blessed and those receiving will give aocount to God for how they spend it. The reason I asked the above question is when Benny Hinn was interviewed one time on television, they showed his mansion in Florida, expensive cars in the driveway,and workers opening envelopes filled with checks. He was asked how much he was paid in salary twice and both times he would not give a figure. Its not a personal issue with me. I just wanted some opinions on this matter.
---Bob on 2/6/09

Any tax exempt organization or charities, such as churches and ministries, are reqired by law to make all of their finances availabe to the public for review, under the Internal Revenue Service Tax Code 501(c)3.
---Rob on 2/6/09

i feel when we as christians take our eyes
of Christ and start focusing on what
things of the world others have,it is just as poor of witness as those who are focused on what things of the world they have.
---kevin on 2/6/09

Why shouldn't they be forced to disclose it to the "general public"? For Pete's sake, they ASK the general public to contribute with their many donation pitches. A small church is different. They do not ask the general public to contribute with TV pitches that go out to millions of people at a time. The small donor that watches and responds to a TV pitch for money has every right to know exactly where that money is going and what it is going to pay for. If they know it is going to buy a second oceanfront mansion maybe they will rethink their donation!
---obewan on 2/6/09

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---katavasia asked a very good question,
"with whom SHOULD he be expected to share such information." I believe a correct answer would be full absolute open disclosure to the public at large. Be instantly ready to produce that disclosure to anyone who would inquire.

In actuality a big problem exists here. Little bitty ministries have difficulty with people giving them money. A group of four men that I work with( who giveaway chances on things to win) have this very problem from time to time.
---mima on 2/6/09

The problem is far past what a pastor earns,What counts for poor witness is the inability to witness PERIOD hiding behind the pulpit getting fat while the world is hungry. Why are YOU not launching evangelical tents and services based on recruiting soldiers for the cross?

Teaching men the principles of the gospel so that the man of God is well furnished and ready for the will of God. Teaching them how to be blameless, good husbands, peace makers,truce keepers,Loving their wives as Christ Loved the church and gave his body for it...............

---Carla5754 on 2/6/09

John, I'm on social security and live in senior citizen housing. Besides my computer I have some golf clubs and fishing equipment. My dues are 460.00 a year and I work on the golf course to pay my cart fees. My money is mostly spent on necessities. I know the church board sets salaries of their pastor, living quarters, etc.. Remember, non-believers do not believe as we do. They have to pay taxes and can't depend on thousands of people to help them buy their necessities. I still think it plants seeds of doubt. This subject came up most often when I was witnessing, along with hypocrisy. Didn't mean to offend you brother.
---Bob on 2/6/09

With whom should an independent evangelist with his own ministry who is responsible to no one--with whom SHOULD he be expected to share such information?

This is one of the big dangers of independent churches and ministries.
---katavasia on 2/6/09

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After the Jim Bakker fiasco, it became popular for evangelical organizations to advertise that they were accountable to some Christian accountability finance organization. It was like a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" for Christian groups. I don't hear much about it these days.

Personally, I spend little time listening to Christian radio or TV. I like one preacher on TV because he preaches a solid Bible sermon and never asks for money. Just plain Bible teaching, and nothing else.

To discuss TV evangelists here in a negative light is just plain gossip. The Holy Spirit indwells God's children to allow them to discern Truth from lies. Pray for the discernment and then listen to the Holy Spirit. The rest is gossip.
---Trish9863 on 2/5/09

Okay Bob. You tell us how much you made last year and what you spent your money on and what kind of toys you have around your house. Then I'll tell you how much I made and do the same. I'm a pastor and the church I serve has the right to know what they are giving me but why should the rest of the world? Is there a Scripture that says we have to disclose our salaries to the rest of the world? Or could it be that you would use the information as accusations against them because your opinion is that they shouldn't have many possessions? I'll patiently await your full disclosure of your financial information here.
---john on 2/6/09

Today, I watched Creflo Dollar on the Daystar Television Network. He was speaking at Kenneth Copeland's Church.

The title of his message was FAITH AND YOUR CONFESSIONS". He was telling people they have authority over all things on earth including God. He told people that God cannot do anything unless GOD FIRST RECEIVES OUR PERMISSION BECAUSE GOD IS ILLEGAL HEAR ON EARTH.

This is the exact same false teaching Myles Munroe taught at Benny Hinn's church.

They all are part of the Word of Faith Movement.
---Rob on 2/5/09

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