An Update on Congressional Investigation into Mega-Churches…

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A second Christian ministry is refusing to meet a Thursday deadline for a Senate investigation into preachers’ salaries, perks and travel, The Associated Press has learned.

See related Shadow Democracy post and comment thread here

Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas, said in a statement to the AP on Thursday that he will not respond to the inquiry until next year.

A lawyer for preacher Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta had said Wednesday that the investigation should be referred to the IRS or the Senate panel should get a subpoena for the documents.

Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, sent lengthy questionnaires a month ago to six ministries so he could review whether pastors were complying with IRS rules that bar excessive personal gain through tax-exempt work.

Because these are “Religious” Non Profit organizations, the IRS has already deemed that they’re NOT required to turn over information regarding their finances. 

Do you believe in God?

Well even if you don’t, you an I can apply to the IRS for our own Religious non profit status and become exempt from paying federal taxes. Then we can go out and encourage wealthy people to withdraw their investments from 401K’s and other tax shelter investments and funnel their income through our bogus ministry and it will be perfectly legal. You can make a bundle!

Do you know how to sing???

I’ve got some old Jimmy Swaggart Gospel tapes that you can take home and practice from. I’ll brush up on my evangelical street type of ministry lingo and convince a few homeless people to come and visit us every Sunday at a low rent two bedroom house just to convince the IRS that we actually have a congregation. After acquiring our 501(c)(3) provision, we’ll take out business loans in order to hire expert accountants and financial advisors who will counsel our wealthy solicited investors.

We’ll make a fortune, and then we can ignore Congress too 🙂

Posted by: Dimitri Lawrence

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Posted on December 8, 2007, in Abuse of Power, Corruption, Culture, Law, Politics, Poverty, Religion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Remember when Aaron and Miriam complained against Moses? God struck back! I pitty Charles Grassley. God says “touch not mine anointed!” If Benny Hinn, Cleflo and others are wrong God is their boss, not Grassley! Grassley is overreaching and getting into a territory that is under God’s watch. People can say all they want about God’s servants while they can but God is watching and he will soon summon the complainers and Grassleys into his presence to explain who appointed them to mess with God’s servants. Woe unto those who attack God’s servant. You may no they are corrupt bla bla bla…That’s not your business! If you think they are corrupt pray for them and ask God who is their boss to change them. Otherwise remember, it is a terrible thing for you to fall into the hands of God for discipline as you try to straighten his anointed! Benny, Cleflo and others please keep preaching!!!

  2. John,

    You’re kidding right? I mean…please tell me you’re kidding.

  3. MJ "revoltingpawn"

    John…

    Is your comment a joke?

    Benny Hinn, Cleflo and others make their money under a system created by man and not God. They will answer to us…

    I am considering not approving comments by ignorant bible thumpers in the future. We were looking for intelligent discussion when created this blog.

  4. John is a kool-aid drinker

  5. Pastor Mike Grady/Toronto

    I think it is High Time that men of God STAND UP and speak the truth in love in response to what the Bible says about proper Christian conduct and how a Man of God should be an example to the Church and the unbeliever.First of all I believe the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,That Jesus was born of a Virgin,That Jesus died on the cross of Calvary to provide redemption from sin,and that Jesus rose on the 3rd. day.And I also believe that Jesus Christ is THE ONLY WAY in which a man can find Salvation and eternal life and apart from faith in Jesus Christ men will be judged by God who is Holy to an eternity in Hell for their wickedness and sin.I also believe what the Lord said in
    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Only those who are Born Again will be saved form God’s wrath and eternal torment in hell.

    Secondly the Bible clearly states that we are to consider all things by the Word of God so that we know how the Man of God should conduct himself.And the word of God says in 2 Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    And the word of truth is what we are to use to conduct our lifes.And if one studies God word they will find In 2nd Timothy 3:16-17:
    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    Gods word is profitable for many wonderful things and here in particular 4 Things. 1-For doctrine 2-For reproof 3-For correction 4-For instruction in righteousness

    And these 4 Things are provided by God to us for a reason because without sound doctrine,without reproof,without correction and without instruction in rightousness
    Then v:17 would not be correct which says:
    17: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    So when some suggest that someone is judging by agreeing with what Senator Grassley is bringing out in the open about these Pastors lifestyles.It has been reported in the US press that some of these 6 ministries Pastors under public scrunity that they fly in Cessana Jets,drive Rolls Royces and Bentley Convertables,live in Mansions worth from 2 Million Dollars up to 10 Million Dollars,stay in Presidentalial Suites for a sum of one Thousand Dollars up to Ten Thousand Dollars a night.One of these 6 Pastors when asked on CNN IF THEY BELIEVED JESUS WOULD AGREE TO THEM HAVING A ROLLS ROYCE? HE SAID “YES Jesus would agree”

    So when we look at what is taking place with Senator Grassley,s requested inquiry on ministries such as Benny Hinn,Keneth Copeland,Crefflo Dollar Joyce Myers and others and in light of the scandal at Oral Roberts University where as even the President Richard Roberts resigned on Friday after his accountant informed the world that he was instructed to “cook the books” by Richard Roberts himself and the accountant was Fired.

    And when you take into account that these 6 ministries teach false teachings that I Quote..”We are all little gods” and that we have the power to create through our words,and the Properity Gospel.Perhaps one is being judgemental if you think that Doctrine Reproof,Correction and Instruction in Rightousness is not an appropiate measure to be guided by not only in these 6 Pastors ministries but in any Christian ministries.And let me ask have you really dug into what The Word of Faith Movement teaches?I suggest that any one reading this finds out and become aware of what these ministries teach.The choice is yours.

    It’s about time that MEN OF GOD STAND UP and speak the word of truth in love and through Gods Word find Doctrine and Reproof false teachers and bring Correction so that people are not mislead and bring Instruction in righteousness so that people wiil be aware of what is happening.

    I am an ordained Pentecostal minister in Regent Park -St. Jamestown Toronto.And I have a duty as a watchman of the church God has called me to lead.Here are some scriptures to that warn us of the very things we are talking about.

    2nd.Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
    2: And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
    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.

    1 Timothy 4:1: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    1rst Timothy 6:3-11 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
    4: He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
    5: Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
    6: But godliness with contentment is great gain.
    7: For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
    8: And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
    9: But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
    10: For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
    11: But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

    1rst Peter 5:2: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
    3: Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

    If anyone would like to discuss what My views are on any of the above statements or on the bible in general,please feel free to respond to this email… Pastor Mike Grady info@mgrady.net

  6. Pastor Mike Grady/Toronto,
    I don’t know your age, but I’ve figured that within 50 to 80 years from now, YOU (just like the people who’ve written what’s in the bible) will utter the word “OPPS!!!”

  7. After reading all of the comments above those for and those against not only the Bible but also the ministries that have been instructed by the senator to give a copy of their financial information, I am suprised that no one has responded that appears to have any contact with any of the ministries. Also, while some comments were mentioned about the pastors specifically no one appears to have ever spoken with them or contacted them or been in any of their sermons. So I will comment on a few things. First off while I can’t say anything about every minister mentiioned I can speak about one minister which is Crefo Dollar. I didn’t believe a word he said even before the senator began his probe. I heard about Pastor Dollar over 10 years ago and everyone said all types of things about him. This included things like there is an ATM at the church, that you have to show the church your w-2 to join, that you can’t go to the church if you don’t make a certain amount of money, etc. I didn’t believe most of it but I believe if you want to see something then check it out for yourself. None of these things are true and not only are they not true he is not at all about money. I did find some things that are true. He does not collect a salary from the church and has not collected a salary from the church for a while now. All of his funds that he gets are from his own personal businesses. He has to like all other pastors reports his income and pay taxes. He ministers to several churches and travels the world throught out the year preaching and teaching what the Bible says so the plane he has is what the church purchased use for church travel to minister to save money on air travel. The Rolls Royce that was given to him was purchased by the church the church owns it and he rarely uses it. All of the property he owns he purchased with his own money from his own investments. I can’t say that the man is a criminal or not a criminal. I do know that anything the church spends money on is documented and supposedly all members can get a copy of it at anytime they want. Plus the IRS audit’s them every year so if they thought something was done wrong they would have said something a while back. LIke they do whenever anyone does not pay their taxes correctly. Now this was something I did because I thought he had to be a crook. His last name was Dollar. He had to be a crook. If he is though it will be found out. I don’t believe he is a crook when it comes to his finances though nor do I believe the church is doing anything wrong financially. Only time will tell that. I will say to anyone that wants to know more though about who and what the church does that they at least research it. That way before they make a blog about their opinion they will have information to use instead of Bible verses personal opinions against or for the church as a whole. Because when it comes down to it if you belive in God or don’t belive in God this investigation has nothing to be about the senator’s beliefs one way or the other. He wants to see if these ministries are praticing illegal activity. I beleve though the way the IRS audit’s people and organizations that if something were wrong we would have known by now. Especially considering that the IRS is one of the most persistent and detailed organizations in the world.

  8. Max,

    Well put. I agree with virtually all of your points.

  9. I am extremely disapoined of those who claim to be pastor and ministers of the Word of God! Christ is suppose to be seen through us but yet you guys are here gossiping against the Men and Women of God. Isn’t God suppose to be doing the judging? It is written, “Do not judge, or you will be judged.”

    I suggest all of you guys to read and study Mathew 7:1-6 and 1st Corinthians chapter 13, the whole thing which explains what LOVE is. It is also written, “Faith without deeds is dead.” We can’t no longer just be “knowers” of the Word Of God but workers! Judging someone that you have no proof of them comitting is clearly going against the Word Of God and its a shame that some of ya’ll are here telling the word that ya’ll are pastors. Im suprised you even told veiwers that.

    Some may take this as disrespect but please dont take this the wrong way. I am telling you this for your own sake not to “put ya’ll out there.” May God Bless You and Show You The Way

    Any questions please feel free to write to me!!!

    Love You in Christ

  10. Max, lets say you earn around $5million dollars a year. Lets say you don’t want to pay close to 50% in taxes. If you invest the majority of your money in tax shelters, stocks, bonds, or whatever, you really aren’t in a position to enjoy that money as you’re making it. How about giving all of your money to your church. ??? The church will now legally own your money. The church does NOT have to pay taxes on that money. But, since you’ll have a good relationship with your pastor, he’ll make purchases FOR you, in the name of the church. You want a Bentley like Creflo Dollar? let your church purchase it. It’s not LEGALLY yours, but YOU GET TO USE IT ANYTIME YOU WANT!!!!!

    You want a mansion? Your church will purchase it FOR you. It’s not LEGALLY yours, but guess who ONLY gets to live in it??? YOU DO!!!!!

    You want one of those super sonic private jets??? Your CHURCH will purchase it for you. It’s NOT LEGALLY yours, but guess who gets to fly in it when ever they want? YOU DO!!!!

    Guess what, max?? The Government will take almost 50% of your $5million a year income. Investing most of it in IRS approved tax shelters means you don’t get to enjoy most of it. But, by funneling it through your church means you get to enjoy it AS you’re making it.

    All of your investments are done IN THE NAME OF THE CHURCH. IT’S NOT LEGALLY YOURS BUT YOU CONTROL IT!!!!! (REAL ESTATE IS NUMBER ONE INVESTMENT WITH CHURCHES. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAD TO SELL OFF HUNDREDS OF RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE PROPERTIES TO PAY HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO SETTLE WITH THOSE WHO WERE MOLESTED BY PRIESTS.)

    The Church will charge you 10% Their accountants, financial advisers and attorneys are there to serve you and make sure that your tax liabilities are kept at a bare minimum.

  11. The only Federal taxes that are paid are for wages or income paid TO an individual. A pastor of a church may bring in $69million, but if the pastor only shows a personal income of $15,000, the federal taxes that he’ll pay are based on that amount of income only. Not on the $69million that the CHURCH took in, but if YOUR $5million is mixed in with that $69million, every purchase that the church makes with the money that was donated by you can be CONTROLLED by YOU!!

    This is the reason why Warren Buffet is “Giving” (smile) all of HIS money to charities that are controlled by HIS kids and by people HE knows, so that HE can control where the money goes and how it is used…. SOOOooooOOO, he really isn’t giving ANYTHING away.

    It’s a great way for WEALTHY … people… to enjoy most of THEIR money as THEY earn it without paying federal taxes.

    Now, if you’re in the middle to lower middle class like most people, you aren’t earning and contributing enough money to your church to make it worth while for them to grant you these services. You’ve got to be in the “Million Dollar Club” to be treated as Royalty. You’ll also have more fun with a pastor who doesn’t believe in “God”.

  12. Wanna know why the big guys in Washington can go to a university and earn $50K and up (in just a few hours) as speaking fees after leaving public office?

    Well, lets say I”m a millionaire and I need you (Mr. public official) to do me a favor that NO one else has the power to do. Legally, you are not able to accept any money from me, so what I’ll do is donate $50,000 to a university of your choice. You can pick it up after you leave your public office post. All you have to do is go speak there for a couple of hours and they’ll cut you a check.

  13. To: Mr. & Mrs. Middle or Lower Middle Class Mega Church member

    Re: The Truth About The *** PROSPERITY GOSPEL***
    King James Bible
    “For I say unto you, That unto every one which …hath…shall
    be given; …and from him that …hath not, …even that (which) he hath …shall …be… taken…away …from …him.”

    Which category do you believe you’re in? Which category do you believe your… M-e-g-a C-h-u-r-c-h …considers… YOU to be in???

    The Bible considers RICH people to be those “Which Hath”.

    The Bible considers the poor as those “Which Hath Not”.

    So, as a Mega Church member who tithes 10% of YOUR income, but you’re somewhere between middle to lower middle class or even below, and you’re HOPING that “God” is going to “Bless” you for your giving,… WHICH category does YOUR Mega Church …C-O-N-S-I-D-E-R… YOU to be in???

    Here is some NEWS for you … as far as YOUR Mega Church is concerned, the last part of that bible verse applies to YOU!!!
    YOU’RE not RICH so YOU are the one “Which Hath Not” so the little that you DO “Hath” …is being taken away from you A-L-R-E-A-D-Y!! (10% of your income and “offerings” being given to the church)

    The ONLY People… who are TRULY being “Blessed” (REPAID) by “GIVING” to a Mega Church are the …RICH… people, THOSE WHICH HATH (They also “HATH” access to the pastor 24 / 7). It is to THEM ..that …MORE IS… ALREADY… BEING …GIVEN!!! They’re NOT the ones who are W-A-I-T-I-N-G for “God” to BURST through the clouds and pour out blessings upon them. THEY’RE ALREADY RECEIVING IT in the form of B-E-N-E-F-I-T-S from the GOVERNMENT (IRS) AND THE PASTOR (FAVORS Through the Church) that YOU (as a “HATH NOT”) WILL NOT receive.

    If YOUR Pastor (who preaches about Prosperity) REALLY WANTED to see YOU prosper, don’t YOU think it would be a good idea for HIM to at LEAST tell you the TRUTH (IN FULL DETAIL ) about how HE’S Prospering???

    In motivational seminars, you’re told to “treat a successful businessman to lunch and ask him to TELL YOU how HE became successful”. Do you believe that YOUR Mega Church Pastor would be willing to put you down in his appointment book??

    Don’t YOU think it’s about time for you to be told the WHOLE truth before you decide to waste anymore of your time and money at that church???

    SINCERE LEADERS L-E-A-D B-Y E-X-A-M-P-L-E !!!

    IF HE’S WILLING… AND, IF HE IS SINCERE ABOUT WANTING TO SEE YOU PROSPER THE WAY HE HAS, THIS IS WHAT HE SHOULD TELL YOU:

    “Brother / Sister, Unless you’ve got some extraordinary talent, or some OTHER sure shot business plan to make Millions for yourself, If you want the “God” of the “Bible” to bless you, You Must be willing and motivated to do exactly what I and others LIKE me have already done AND are currently doing in order to have the type of success that we’re now enjoying. Do you really want it?? If so, then you can have it! Praise the Lord, Thank you Jesus!! So, this is what you have to do:
    ” You Have To Start …Y-O-U-R O-W-N Church!!! UNLESS YOU’RE WILLING TO START YOUR OWN CHURCH, YOU WON’T BE….. “BLESSED”….. LIKE ME OR ANY OTHER MEGA CHURCH PREACHER / EVANGELIST / PASTOR / MINISTER !!!”

    “Yes, My Brother, My Sister, when you yourself become a Mega Church Pastor like Me and you’ve got all of that money just ROOOOOOLIN’ IN, praise God, THEN you can have a Bentley AND a Rolls Royce. Thaaaats right, Brother / Sister. Why have only one? Have two! Praise the Lord. THEN you can have a Mansion on top of that Hill and have it staffed with maids, butlers who’ll wait on you and and foot!! WoooHooo!! Jeeeesus!! My Lord!! MMmmmmm!! And landscapers who’ll do all of the tendin’ to on that beautiful sprawlin’ property!! Boooooy, wait til’ ya see it. And The pool cleaners just keep that pool lookin’ just so blue and perrrrdy!! Just like lookin’ up at dah sky!! And Don’t forget you gotta have somebody to look after all dem other fancy cars you’ll be collectin’ . Glooooory tah God.”

    “THEN, My Brother / Sister, just wait til ya get to taste the finest most expensive foods, desserts that are all prepared for ya by your very own Professional Chef. Oh, my Lord, just wait till ya get a taste of that. MMMMMMMMMMM … ummmm!!! he he he!!”

    “THEN, You can wear the finest and most expensive Taylor made clothes fit for Kings AND Queens!! Oh, Yes Sir!! Cause You’re ACTIN’ LIKE The KINGS Kid Now. Yes, yes, Lord, thank yah!”

    “THEN, when ya need to get away from all the cryin’, and belly achin’ that’s goin’ on all around ya, Prrrrraaaaise the Lord, HE SAID HE’LL DELIVER YA, DIDN’T HE?? That’s just what he’ll do for ya… Thaaaaank ya Lord… Give him all the praise!! HE’ LL YOU MOUNTED UP ON WINGS ALL RIGHT! Glory da God!!”

    “Ya can just jump rrrrrright oooooon up in that beautiful private jet airplane and just flyyyyyyy right on away from here, Brother, and tah anywhere Ya Wont To. HA-LA-LUUU-YA! Can I get an AMEN, brother/sister?? Gloooory tah God, Thank yyyeeeah Jeeeeeesus!! Praaaaise him, just give him praise. Thank ya Lord.”

    “OOOOoooo, Ha-la-luuuuu-yah!!!! Ha-la-luuuuu-yah!!
    Glory to God!!”

    “Now, there’s just one more VERY important thaang ya gotta remember. The people who you’ve GOT to pray for, are the ones which HATH NOT. Those are the ones ya gotta lay hands on and pray over. It looks good. It’ll make em feel better. But never, never, never offer tah tell em exactly what they gotta do dah get tah where YOU are. If the Lord really wonts em ta know, just let HIM lead em to ya just like he led YOU tah me. Now ya got all a dat??”

    “Well, Praise The Lord. Just give em Praise! NOW HE CAN BLESS YA! NOW HE CAN CAUSE YA TAH PROSPER! HA HA HA !! GLOOORY TO GOD!!! JUST GOTTA HANG RIGHT ON IN THEIR BROTHER / SISTER and You’ll be blessed for sure!!”

  14. Just so people will understand, my family has worked for the Government as investigators for decades, both Military and civilian. It is my Mother who (even though she’s had a colorful career in both the Military and Civilian Government investigations) insists on sticking to her beliefs in the bible. She’s the weak link. She’s seen so much that disturbs her to a point where she chooses to look to “God” to keep her sane. My step father has had his own private investigation career for over 35 years. I work for him. My biological father tells me of how he had to disguise himself as a “Pentecostal Preacher” decades ago while investigating THREATS AGAINST GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS while in the state of Mississippi, just so he wouldn’t get lynched. He and Martin Luther King were good friends. He was also good friends with Supervisor Kenneth Hann, Mayer Hann, and he knew Janice Hann when she was just a little girl. He now keeps out of sight.

  15. I am not a prejudice person. But, what I don’t like, as a former Christian, is to see African American Preachers taking advantage of African American people who sincerely believe in the bible as the inspired word of “God”. This is what really gets to me. Well, maybe I am prejudice, because I haven’t expressed this same type of contempt for preachers of other races. Well, please forgive me. But, everyone should be glad that I haven’t been diagnosed with an incurable disease. If so, I could possibly be motivated to go out and do something bad to those few individuals who I greatly despise. THANK YOU JESUS FOR KEEPING ME IN GOOD HEALTH. ALL OF THOSE WHO I DESPISE SHOULD GIVE YOU PRAISE ALSO. THANK YOU, LORD!!!

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