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I am disgusted! And more than a little sad. As I was leaving work two nights ago, I heard on the radio that Congress is looking into the finances of several large television ministries. Because I’d only heard a blurb, I went online to learn more about the investigation the next day.


From the AP:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-11-07-televangelist-probe_N.htm?csp=34&loc=interstitialskip


Acting on tips about preachers who ride in Rolls Royces and have purportedly paid $30,000 for a conference table, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday he's investigating the finances of six well-known TV ministers.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said those under scrutiny include faith healer Benny Hinn, Georgia megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar and one of the nation's best known female preachers, Joyce Meyer.”

The other three are Paula White, Eddie Long and Kenneth Copeland.


On the CBS forum where I initially read the story, there were pages upon pages upon pages of comments from people who were glad to see these evangelists taken down a peg. Many of them proclaimed themselves to be Christians. Unable to stomach any more, I had to leave that board alone.


Today, while doing a little reading to get some ideas for a Christmas article to write for my church’s newsletter, I went to Crosswalk.com. This website holds a special place in my heart. This is where I found my first online Bible and other study resources. Though I’d only read a couple articles there in the past, I thought it might be a good place to begin my Christmas research.


Before I could even get that far, I found a link to the forum where people were discussing the televangelist investigation. And here comes the disgust.


Again, I found post after post on Crosswalk.com about how people are glad that the televangelists are finally getting their due. As I continued to read, a deep sadness filled my heart. These were people who claimed to be staunch believers in God’s Word, but here they were exhibiting decidedly unchristlike characteristics for all and sundry.


The statements standing up for our Christian brothers and sisters who have now found themselves under Congressional scrutiny were practically non-existent. It’s absolutely sickening how quickly these evangelists were thrown under the bus. And by the very people who are supposed to have their backs. It’s really no wonder that non Christians think of us as hypocritical jokes.


I don’t know one way or the other if these allegations are true or false. What I do know is that I’ve heard a couple of these evangelists preach the Word and my life is better for it. Have I sown into their ministries? No. I haven’t reached that level of prosperity, yet and I pay my tithes to my home church. Will I sow into their ministries in the future? Absolutely!


If they are indeed corrupt, I’m more than content to let God handle it. Especially since He’s the only who can see the entire picture and especially their hearts. Until God reveals otherwise, I consider the ministries with which I’m familiar to be good ground. After all, everything that they have is God ordained. I’m not about to go against anything that God has ordered. It’s a pointless waste of time anyway. As we learn in Revelation 3:7-8, any door that God opens, no man can shut and any that he shuts, no man can open.


God prospers those who obey Him and do His will. It’s utterly ridiculous to me that all these people announce the evangelists as corrupt simply because God has prospered them. They moan about all the help that could be given to the poor with that money. That might be a valid argument if it were actually the way God works. He blesses us to be a blessing to others from the overflow. Don’t believe me? Let’s see how effective you are at helping the poor the next time you can’t afford food for your own table because you’re saving up for your rent.


It’s really amusing to me when people bring up Peter and Paul and how they  didn’t have big houses and fancy chariots as justification that these televangelists are living out of God’s will. I have the feeling that they don’t consider the type of life those men had. Their ministry needed them to be mobile. I don’t think a big house would fit in the chariot all that well no matter how fancy it was. And those weren’t the days of the ATM card that fit in your pocket with some folded cash. Lugging around bags of gold coins probably wouldn’t have been all that easy, so at least in Peter’s case, he could’ve sent what he had minus his tithes back home to his wife. But she isn’t mentioned after Jesus healed her mother in Matthew 8:14, so we can only speculate.


But if you want justification, let’s go a little further back. As someone, the lone voice of support, pointed out, neither Abraham, nor David, nor Solomon were poor men. I’d like to add Isaac and Joseph to that list. Every time Abraham left a kingdom after lying about his Sarah being his sister he had half of the King’s loot with him. Isaac snuck off with most of his father in law’s livestock. Joseph headed up Egypt for the Pharaoh. David was so blessed that even though he couldn’t build the temple himself, he was still able to give over $100 million in today’s currency to the project. Solomon built on the wealth his father had.


Given that, I can’t understand why in the world people, especially other Christians, hate on ministers simply because they have a Rolls Royce. As for me, I’m going to bind that spirit of jealousy and celebrate instead. All that Rolls Royce means is that if God can do it for that person, He can do it for me. He even knows that I prefer a Lexus hybrid over a Rolls.


In closing, the passage from Luke 6:36-38 seems to be especially appropriate for this situation.


Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Televangelists Under Fire: All Christians Feeling the Heat