TV church made $69 MILLION last year?!?!

@laylomo (166)
United States
November 11, 2007 10:25pm CST
The Reverend Creflo Dollar, an Atlanta minister, released his church's finances in response to a Senate investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing that targets him and five other well-known televangelists. His church, World Changers Church International, in 2006 took in $69 million. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, head Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, launched an investigation after receiving tips about preachers who ride in Rolls Royces and lived extravagantly. Dollar preaches the prosperity gospel; god will reward those worthy with material goods. Moreover, he claims he paid off his extravagant lifestyle with his own money. What do you think about this? Does the government have the right to interfere in these matters? Is this minster nothing more than a scammer, cheating Christians out of their money?
3 people like this
5 responses
@zenmachado (1619)
• United States
12 Nov 07
I dont think that its a foul idea for the gov. to check up on the religious institutions. If we look to past church actions.. they have been very prevalent with comminting fraud, not unlike many general businesses. 69 mil is plenty cash.. and its suppose to be for spiritual benefits, not having kick asss rides...
3 people like this
@MntlWard (880)
• United States
12 Nov 07
This guy is a scammer of the worst sort. This kind of thing is what's wrong with organized religion. A charismatic guy who knows the lingo that Christians recognize can convince way too many of those Christians to believe in stupid things like prosperity theology, which is the exact opposite of what Jesus told his disciples, who were told to *abandon* their possessions and follow Him.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Nov 07
exactly! he is "slicker" than a used car salesman lol! just look at his fantastic showbiz name...DOLLAR!
2 people like this
@laylomo (166)
• United States
12 Nov 07
Haha, I remember what my European history teacher used to say: "When has organized religion done what it's supposed to?"
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Nov 07
MntlWard, to call someone a scammer without evidence is very unwise. I think that the problem here maybe the fact that people are under the assumption that ministers/preachers are not suppose to be rich. While I know that most churches have become more like corporations, the fact remains that God's promises for prosperity are also for the preachers/ministers. True, Jesus commanded his followers to abandon all and follow Him. If you read that chapter further, you would have discovered that Jesus also told His followers they would be rewarded not just in His kingdom, but also in this life! In John chapter 14, Jesus promises his followers that whatsoever they ask in His name, that shall they receive! (Yes Lord, I believe) And the New Testament also stresses "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. ..." Luke 6:38. It is neither sinful nor criminal to accumulate wealth (and wealth is not limited to material possessions). If the members or contributors are giving offerings and tithing out of their own free will, then I find no fault in Creflo Dollar's wealth. However, I do admonish preachers/ministers to always look out for those who, in an attempt to impress, give way beyong their capabilities. Unless there are cases of outright extortions and/or intimidation into giving, I hereby say that, Creflo Dollar is simply blessed.
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
12 Nov 07
Churches have turned into big business and it's disgusting. WE have one near us that looks like a Starbucks inside. There's not even a "real" minister, the services are televised on huge screens via satelite. It's sad that all the money these places are making are just lining pockets and not going to charity.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Nov 07
Who says that the monies made by churches have to all go to charity? Soccermom, these ministers, the honest or dishonest, are professionals: They spend their time caring for their various churches (though degree of care may be questioned); and therefore, should be compensated. And what they each do with their earned money is none of our business, just like what you and I do with our money should not be anyone's business!
@Netsbridge (3243)
• United States
12 Nov 07
I think that the major problem here has to do with the assumptions that ministers/preachers are not suppose to be rich. Well, God's promises in the Bible are not just for the congregation! The preachers are also included in all the promises - If the preacher/minister is preaching the Bible and the people, out of their own free will, are sending offerings and tithing, then I see no fault whatsoever. However, I do expect the ministers to look out and have considerations for members, who in their quest to impress, are giving offerings and seem to be tithing way beyong their obvious capabilities.
@laylomo (166)
• United States
13 Nov 07
Sure, it's all up to free choice. If people want to send their money to a televangelist, then let them. But when these leaders benefit financially from a supposed non-profit organization, as churches are supposed to be, then that's wrong, both morally and legally. This is the justification used by the senator - he might be skimming money. The members who send the church money aren't sending money so he can buy a mansion, they're sending money to further the church's message. Moreover, ministers can be rich. When they become rich because of their church, then that's when it becomes a scam. I'm pretty sure that's what the other responses meant.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Nov 07
There is nothing wrong with a minister/preacher being wealthy! If a church is filled with wealthy members who tithe and give offerings, then it should be of no surprise to see the preacher/minister living wealthy out of their earnings. Infact, if you pay attention to Biblical texts, you will find that ministers, such as priests, were never poor! And what a minister/preacher decides to do with his or her earned income should not be anyone's business, just like what you or I earn should not be anyone's business! I will only fault a minister if he or she were living out of church money rather than his or her rightfully earned income.
@laylomo (166)
• United States
15 Nov 07
Fine. I've already conceded there is nothing wrong with how ministers use their money, and I never said that they cannot be rich. Dollar said he has money because of investments and real estate ventures. That's perfectly acceptable. But the point you're missing, perhaps, is that he is benefiting directly from the church. Looking at church records, the "church" "BOUGHT" him a Rolls Royce. He even admitted that the church did so. If that's not benefiting off the church, I don't know what is.
@rouwel23 (1353)
• Philippines
13 Nov 07
well there is a separation indeed of church and state, so the government could not interfere with the church. It is the church's perogative to not divulge themselves. It is not scamming since they are not forcing their members to give money to them. does your preacher have to be very poor and walking in the streets to say that they are holy.
@laylomo (166)
• United States
13 Nov 07
If the ministers are taking money from the church (supposed non-profit organization), is it okay for them to be rich in that case?
1 person likes this