Televangelist Shake-down by Government

It seems a government sponsored crackdown is coming to televangelists.
Listen, I don’t know most of these preachers, but I do know some of them.  I don’t know if they are right or wrong in their finances, but can we consider their ministry, their mega-ministries, as a corporate entity, and see if these expenditures are unreasonable?
I do know of one televangelist, Jesse Duplantis, who was given a brand new convertible corvette.  Not a Rolls Royce, but a pricey car, nonetheless.  Another large ministry that I’m very close to, had 2 mercedes given to the preacher and his wife, as gifts.  And what is wrong with that?  They were gifts!  I give my pastor gifts often, as I’m sure many of you do.  I can’t afford to give a mercedes, but if I could, I’m sure I would.  This particular preacher, while he is wealthy because of personally owned businesses and book deals, does not take 1 penny from the ministry, or donations to the ministry.  I have no problem treating his book royalties as a personal income source, and therefore cannot find fault in him becoming fabulously wealthy from them.
The fact of the matter is, these aren’t local churches…they are international giant ministries with literally millions and millions of dollars coming through them.  If a minister took even 1% of contributions as his income, some of these would have ample money to buy a Rolls Royce and live in palatial estates. 
I will use Jesse Duplantis as an example again.  His ministry owns a jet.  He is sometimes in 2 or 3 conferences a day, in different states.  He could not meet that demanding timeline on US Airways.  It simply couldn’t be done.  There are financially responsible and ethical reasons for mega-ministries to own a private jet. 
Back to just the sheer amount of money some of these people make…quite a bit comes from their books.  If I wrote a book about serving God, and published it, I’d expect to take home the money from it…and would thank God for giving me the understanding it took to write the book to begin with.  Should they not keep their book money, minus tithes of course?  It’s not from donations or anything to do with the work of the ministry.  I think this is just fine. 
I’m not saying that some or many of these mega-ministry preachers don’t mismanage the ministry’s money, but I think if you consider the size and girth of the money coming into the ministry, the number of people buying their books and videos, that you will find this large income is not unethical…it’s simply a derivative of the vastness of the ministry.
I think that Scott Adams actually may have explained this best.  It’s part of our human nature, that if we find people better off than us, to malign and abuse them back into only a normal level of happiness.  And that’s just sad.

3 thoughts on “Televangelist Shake-down by Government

  1. I agree with that.  But one day, when I’m making lots of money, and I buy my pastor a nice car, that most people in the church can’t afford, I hope the crackdown doesn’t take it away. 🙂
    Kidding…I think a pastor should reasonably take home the average or slightly above his or her congregation.  I say above, because I think, as a member of a congregation who loves his pastor, that the church should want to bless their pastor over and above just what the salary is.  For instance, for pastor appreciation this year, we’re sending our pastor and spouse on 4 vacations over the next year, once every quarter. 
    I’m all for accountability…I’m not sure that a senator calling a hearing to poke and prod into church ministries is the correct way to handle it.  It doesn’t sound like separation of church and state to me, it sounds like the beginning of a slippery slope of the government meddling in and attempting to control church affairs.

  2. I have no problem with pastors earning millions of dollars from their businesses. They should not, however, be taking money from churches that amounts to more than the average salary of the people in their congregations. If they’re managing their finances legitimately, then they won’t have any problems with this crackdown.

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