24 Comments

Paul Crouch Jr. Responds to Charisma


First, forgive the length of this, but I wanted to post it all which includes Lee Grady’s editorial (Lee Grady from Charisma Mag.) and the letter from Paul Crouch Jr. …who has more or less taken over the running and operation of the TBN network. This was sent out tonight from Jackie Alnor at Apostasy Alert:

*Opinions are welcome here or I’m sure they would be welcomed at the link she provided at Charisma Mag. forum.

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Paul Crouch Jr. has written a letter of rebuke to Charisma’s Lee Grady for his honest editorial on the government investigation into crooked televangelists. Here is the editorial, followed by Crouch’s letter. And here’s a link to the forum so that perhaps you all can chime in.

–Jackie

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Integrity, Accountability and the Grassley Investigation
By J. Lee Grady
Six charismatic ministries are under the microscope as a U.S. Senate committee scrutinizes their spending practices. Is this from the devil—or God?

Depending on how you look at it, Sen. Charles Grassley is either a crusader for righteousness or a devil with horns.

Some Christians feared he was the latter this week when the Iowa lawmaker, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, announced that he has launched an extensive investigation into the spending practices of six prominent charismatic ministries. As soon as news of the probe broke on Tuesday, I started getting calls from people who are worried that Grassley is plotting to take away the tax-exempt status of all evangelical churches in America.

I have been assured by one of Grassley’s top associates that he does not have a hidden agenda, and he is not conspiring to deny anybody of religious freedom. What the senator does want is assurance that these six organizations are not taking money that was donated to charity and misusing it to buy mansions, plastic surgeries and other lavish perks.

In letters that were made public on Tuesday, Grassley told Kenneth and Gloria Copeland; David and Joyce Meyer; Randy and Paula White; Creflo and Taffi Dollar; Eddie Long; and Benny Hinn that they have four weeks to send him a boatload of paperwork to prove they are in compliance with U.S. tax laws.

Grassley has been applauded in the past for blowing the whistle on financial abuses among secular nonprofit organizations including the American Red Cross. Now, because of complaints he has received from the public, the senator is turning his attention to these six ministries, demanding that they send him receipts for expensive purchases, minutes from board meetings, audited financial records and detailed compensation figures, among other documents.

Each of the ministries received a letter asking about specific expenditures or questionable practices. Among Grassley’s requests:

** A receipt for the Bentley convertible that Florida-based television preacher Paula White reportedly gave to Texas pastor T.D. Jakes

** Information from Bible teacher Joyce Meyer about expensive furnishings in her Missouri headquarters—including a $30,000 malachite table, a $23,000 toilet with a marble lid and a $19,000 pair of Dresden vases

** Paperwork explaining how Benny Hinn’s ministry purchased his $3 million home in Dana Point, Calif.

** Receipts and other records explaining how Eddie Long paid for his $1.4 million estate on 20 acres in suburban Atlanta

** Records about vacation trips to Hawaii and Fiji that Kenneth and Gloria Copeland took using their ministry plane

** Clarification from Atlanta faith preacher Creflo Dollar about his role in raising a hefty portion of a $2 million gift donated to Kenneth Copeland.
We charismatics certainly are in an awkward spot these days. At the same time that Oral Roberts University (ORU) is under the microscope for alleged financial mismanagement, some of the biggest names in our movement are now accused of bending tax rules and spending God’s money on themselves.

I am not going to rush to judgment in this case. I know that Meyer pumps hundreds of thousands of dollars into missionary outreach projects in many parts of the world, and the IRS recently notified her that Joyce Meyer Ministries is operating in compliance with tax rules. Hopefully her answers to Grassley’s questions will satisfy the Senate committee so she can continue her programs without interruption.

At the same time I can’t understand how some preachers can take their offerings with a straight face. How can anyone, for example, think that it is a wise use of God’s money to pay $10,000 a night for a hotel room on the way home from a foreign ministry trip?

Something needs to be said. Questions need to be asked. That’s why I refuse to demonize Grassley for launching this probe.

What is unfortunate about this investigation is that it had to be initiated by someone in the federal government. The Christian public should have demanded a higher level of accountability a long time ago. Why have we been silent when we know certain ministries are operating without a proper board of directors or without any accountability?

I’ve been praying about all the uncomfortable shaking that is taking place in the church today—from the embarrassing moral failures to the cavalier ministry divorces to the ORU scandal—and I sense that God is the one who is orchestrating these events.

I believe He is raising His holy plumb line over the church today. He is demanding that we come in line with His higher ways. He is decreeing: “I will have a holy people. I will expose greed, arrogance, larceny and corruption, and I will correct theological error that has led My people into materialism, selfishness and idolatry. The process will be painful, but in the end My people will be purified.”

I hope every one of these ministries can prove they’ve done nothing wrong. But if God wants to use a senator to help the American church clean up its act, then I say bring on the reformation.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. You can read a summary of Sen. Grassley’s report and the six letters HERE

***************

Dear Charisma Forum readers. The following letter from Paul Crouch Jr. of the Trinity Broadcasting System arrived tonight. I am interested in your reaction to his comments. He is responding to my column about the Grassley investigation. —Lee Grady

===========

November 12, 2007

An open letter to Charisma Magazine, J. Lee Grady and the body of Christ as a whole:

After finally getting over my shock at J. Lee Grady’s editorial from a few months ago titled, “Christian TV Needs an Extreme Makeover,” I see that Mr. Grady is once again heading into treacherous waters. His recent editorial about U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley’s call for an investigation of the finances of several prominent television ministries is something that could not only harm the church as we know it today, but the body of Christ as a whole.

On the surface, the Senate Finance Committee’s investigation (and let’s call it by its real intent: an inquisition) headed up by Senator Grassley might sound logical, and to some Christians maybe even a good idea. But the long term effects of this investigation could be devastating. Put aside your personal opinions about any of the six ministries being targeted, and forget how you feel about Christian television as a whole. The much bigger questions we should all be asking are: Do we want the government deciding anything when it comes to the faith we all hold dear? Should government be allowed to dictate what kind a car a minister can drive, or how large a house is permissible and even how much a minister may receive as a salary? Do we want to establish another Church of England, or was that why our forefathers came to this nation in the first place? Separation of church and state is a foundational principle guaranteed in our Constitution, and Mr. Grady’s editorial seems to be ignorant of that fact!

Also, let’s look at the “source” of Senator Grassley’s information. Ole Anthony, head of the Trinity Foundation, has been around for over twenty years as a self-proclaimed “reformer of the church” and “watchdog for the body of Christ.” Well, it doesn’t take more than one or two Google searches to find out that Ole Anthony’s claim to being the watchdog of Christian ministries is a little like the “fox guarding the chicken coop,” and brings to mind Matthew 7:3 where Christ said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Read a book by Wendy Duncan called, I Can’t Hear God Anymore. Enough said….) Why Ole mainly focuses in on “televangelism” is interesting to me, and obviously the senator is playing right into his hands. Why aren’t other faiths or, for that matter, other 501(c) (3) nonprofit organizations being questioned? What about the Catholic church, Jewish organizations, or even the Muslims? You get my point.

Martin Luther brought reformation to the church in 1517 with his “95 Theses” nailed to the Wittenberg door, but his actions were directed at the church itself and not with the prevailing government of the day! The body of Christ and God himself will deal with anyone not doing the right thing or compromising any ministry. We don’t need the government to step in and regulate anything when it comes to our faith or the church.

Scripture gives us the criteria by which we may judge fellow Believers. The Bible says in Matthew 7:20, “Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Are none of these ministries “bearing fruit?” I submit that the true test of a ministry can be determined by asking these questions: Are people getting saved, lives being touched and faith restored? Is the Word being communicated? How many suicides have been prevented? How many people have been delivered from drugs or alcohol and how many children put up for adoption as opposed to abortion? Are other benevolent works taking place such as feeding programs, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless? How many people have been guided off of welfare rolls? Or how many people will not be returning to jail and, instead, become positive influences on society, because of their faith? Case in point: Just this past week, a viewer called our prayer lines to report that she was about to commit suicide, but then saw Bishop Eddie Long—one of the ministries targeted by Senator Grassley—preach a message that literally saved her life and brought her to faith in Jesus. Mr. Grady didn’t bother to mention any of the good works these ministries are doing. So how much is a soul worth? Maybe we should direct some of these questions back on Senator Grassley and demand his responses by December 6th!

When it comes to “accountability,” I also take issue with Mr. Grady. Whether you agree with the philosophy or theology of anyone in the pulpit or on Christian TV is not the point. It doesn’t matter if they preach the prosperity Gospel and live in mansions, or the poverty Gospel and are all beggars. We must keep the government OUT of the church, or everything our founding fathers fought for is lost! The concept that God would use a senator to “bring on a reformation,” as Mr. Grady proclaims, is scary and ignorant of the facts. We are dealing with spiritual warfare here, and we must fight back. None of these ministries are required by law to do anything in response to Senator Grassley’s investigation, and I hope they don’t. All of us in the ministry answer to the IRS, franchise tax boards, county taxing authorities, etc., and that is sufficient oversight. I don’t care if Benny Hinn flies in a private plane, or if Creflo Dollar drives a Bentley. That’s between them and God. We as Christians are required to give—it’s an intrinsic part of our faith. God gave his best to redeem our souls, his only Son, and we are to do the same.

I leave you with a quote from Martin Niemoeller who was a prominent German pastor put in a concentration camp by the Nazis in 1937: “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Need I say more?

Paul F. Crouch, Jr.
Chief of Staff
Trinity Broadcasting Network

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24 comments on “Paul Crouch Jr. Responds to Charisma

  1. and the people cried ” let us chose our King!” and God allowed them to do so… and they paid a hefty price for it.

    These people (the congregation/followers) continue to cry ” let us choose our King” and they have set them up in Kingly mansions with all the Kingly services and utensils and furnishings, etc..

    we do not read the word and ask God to help us understand.
    no, we listen instead to our choice Kings. And now those who follow in their ‘ chosen King’s” pathways will pay a HEFTY PRICE.

  2. I did agree with Lee Grady on this:

    What is unfortunate about this investigation is that it had to be initiated by someone in the federal government. The Christian public should have demanded a higher level of accountability a long time ago. Why have we been silent when we know certain ministries are operating without a proper board of directors or without any accountability?

    It is sad that God is using a secular means to bring attention to the mis-use of money in these “Christian” corporations. But on the other hand, many Christians HAVE been speaking out for years on not only the high living these people have, but on their teachings of prosperity, etc …but the masses don’t care.

    So what can anyone within the Church do? Nothing but point it out, hoping the ones who follow these people will wake up and hear.

    The bottom line is if one wants their ears tickled, and wants to send in their money to these folks, no one can stop them.

    I think these ministries figured that out a long time ago.

  3. [...] I had re-read the article and pondered about what he had stated and two things came into my mind: (1): The Grassley Investigation and Lee Grady’s two excellent articles entitled Integrity, Accountability and the Grassley Investigation and In Defense of the Good Senator and also Paul Crouch, Jr.s “rebuttal”. [...]

  4. Crouch Jr., you’re ignoring the issue. The issue isn’t whether or not souls are getting saved, and if charitable works are being accomplished through these ministries(they are). Senator Grassley our Christian brother knows this.

    The issue of concern is, the blatant lack of financial integrity! Deal with it. Some individuals named ARE intentionally abusing tax laws for personal gain. It’s illegal and you know it. Stop complaining and crying wolf. Instead, RENDER TO CAESAR WHAT IS CAESAR’S AND GIVE TO GOD WHAT IS GOD’S!

  5. Regarding Paul Jr.: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?” This is the punch line to a joke about what a woman says to her husband who finds her in bed with another man. Or is it the reply prosperity preachers give their donors who see news spotlighting hidden ministry avarice? This archetype reply is funny because it works. But one wonders how long. http://www.inthatdayteachings.com

  6. Robert i pray that those folks who blindly follow [and support] these ministries, will have their eyes opened by this investigation. But you know what…these prosperity guru’s will always have a huge following, regardless of what comes out.

    I find that the saddest part of this whole mess.

    Kevin, i agree. It comes down to integrity. I also question just how many souls are really being born again also…if the lost are not hearing the Gospel but are instead hearing a false prosperity ‘gospel’…

  7. See Paul Crouch Jr. get rebuked by a prophet face to face:
    http://www.youtube.com/glynisbethel

  8. It’s no secret within the ivory tower chambers of the charismatic christian Higher Education community that for years dubious behaviours were being practiced at ORU by the Roberts elite. A number of highly placed ORU staff left long ago due to their insider knowledge of the goings-on there. They knew disclosure was inevitable and did not want to be associated with the fallout. Unfortunately certain of these did not learn from their experiences there and spread ORU’s infectious unethical practices to the new charismatic institutions they swarmed to such as TKC&S. If Jack Hayford is wise he will expose what has gone on behind the scenes of his institution before it is likewise too late.

  9. My cousin attended the King’s college in California. She was disappointed that it was nothing near like what is espoused in Jack Hayford’s teachings. Not much spiritual life or passion among faculty or students. A great amount of Pastor Jack worship by the institution instead. Too bad. She left.

  10. Ed, i hear that about most bible colleges today too. A close friend of mines niece has been attending Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary for the last few years–she has told me the change in her niece, since attending, from someone who lived according to scripture to someone who compromises now, has been remarkable.

    Something to think about: it is these institutions (bible colleges) from which todays pastors are coming from. And have been for some time.

    I read a book last year which not only opened my eyes but shocked me: click here; Will Our Son’s Defend The Faith?

    It was written by Daniel J. Ebert back in 1975.

    Those places of higher learning–our bible colleges, have been falling away from doctrinal truths for many years. They employ teachers and professors who don’t even believe in the infallibility of the word of God to teach these young people.

  11. I agree that the inquiry should not have come from a Senator but from the body of Christ. But, would Pastor Long, Pastor Dollar, Pastor Randy, etc. freely give up the information to Bro. or Sis. Tithe paying Church member or would they, like most pastors, manipulate those inquiring with scripture to make them think they are not entitled to that information?

    Those who are supporters of the ministries will not question, but those who take a stand are branded sowers of discord.

    I’ve seen arguments like, Rebuke not an elder, and obey them that have the rule over you, and pastor is worthy of double honor, etc. Accountability is not an attack on the “ecclesia”, but it seems anyone who challanges the behavior or practices of the “ministry” are accused of touching God’s anointed and doing the prophet harm. That scripture is now taken to mean that the “ministry” is untouchable – do what you want, who is going to question?

    I had an expereince at my church where the pastor’s wife said if there are any questions about where the money is going, come to the office and check the books for yourself – but you better be a tithe payer. Well, I am a tither and asked to see the books – basically calling her on the bluff – guess what? neither I nor you have seen the books. As a matter of fact, I was rebuked.

    Is it really necessary to have a $2 million house in one state and a $1.something million apartment/condo in another state? You can only live in one. Isn’t a nice $250,000 home just as nice as a million dollar palace? More real estate – more money to maintain it. You can only have one car – why have 5?

    I may be a little naive on the subject, because I am not of the charasmatic/WOF movements, but when they become defensive, is that not an indicator that something is wrong? I think if you have nothing to hide, then open the books.

  12. Hello:

    Well, if we were judging Paul Crouch Jr. by his works, it would be committing adultery on and then leaving his wife for a New Age preacher who used to be http://gcmwatch.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/tbn-youth-host-now-a-gay-christian/

  13. Sorry, my reply above was truncated. She used to be Miss Nude Can-Am Exotic

  14. When i read about that over at GCMWatch the other day, i was shocked Job. Didn’t have any idea of the relationship between Paul jr. and this new age teacher [i visited her website]…and that it caused his marriage to fail.

    Its been so long since i watched TBN, guess im really far behind the news concerning the antics of the people still there.

    After reading the account of Paul jr’s fall it makes his response [above] all the more ludicrous.

    These ministries have reached the point in which they proudly believe they should never be held accountable to anyone for ANYTHING they do…

  15. There will always be scammers as well as people willing to be scammed and there is probably little that the government can do to prevent that. One very important point that is missing in this discussion is that tax exempt organizations are required to keep records and to be able to establish exactly what percentage of the funds went for charitable purposes and what went into their planes and mansions. If I am trying to decide whether I should send money to Doctors Without Borders or TBN, I should be able to review detailed accounting statements before I donate.

  16. I think Paul’s comments are useful, but there’s much more to know about these end days, as well as the seaparation of church and state.

  17. if I were God, I’d reserve a level in he’ll for Anyone with a 23,000 dollar toilet and stills pleads for mamaw to send them money.

  18. Watch these movies America.

    The Rainmaker with Burt Lancaster
    The Candidate with Robert Redford

    Do not let your relatives send money to these people.
    We are screwing ourselves to the wall with all these
    crazy TV people running the world.
    Religion is boring…Life with God is an Adventure.

    Oil runs the Earth. Have a lovely day….Peace

  19. The Rich and the Kingdom of God

    16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
    17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

    18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

    Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”

    20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

    21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

    23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

    26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

    28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

  20. WoW I Wish I could of got on this earlier…first time I have read it. If the Christian community is not capable of holding each other accountable, thank you Lord for bringing in the govt. to do it. About 4-5 months ago I was at a friends house channeling surfing for something worthwhile on Christian Channel. As I expected all I found was the money grubbing begging ministries. Then I came across a little attractive lady sitting at a desk, with thee Bible doing a study…line upon line…precept upon precept. I told this friend…this is what the Lord wants from a T.V Ministries….Simply and purely the WORD….HIS WORD! I said all these mega churches better get ready in 2012 cuz there is gong to be a shaking,sifting,and a complete taking down of most if not all these Big T.V andMinistries and Mega Churches

  21. Go!!!! Son/Life Ministries….yes the Jimmy Swaggert Ministry!!! A true man of God who had taken a Great fall years back. But did not try to sugar coat it and gloss it over, but went on nat’l T.V confessed it and asked for forgiveness, from Jesus, His family, and the public. The Lord saw his life and rose him up from the ashes….one of the very, very, very, few reputable T.V Ministries left…Thank You Lord For restoring His Ministry…Keep all who work there PURE!!! Anointed!!! and Keep ALL Thier Eyes on the Cross! Amen

  22. I don’t like it that government is investigating Christian ministries. I like it much less that government HAS to investigate these ministries. Obviously, the church is not doing the job of self-correction. By that failure we open the door to a level of government intrusion that should make us all uncomfortable.

    I found especially telling Grady’s question, “How can anyone … think that it is a wise use of God’s money to pay $10,000 a night for a hotel room on the way home from a foreign ministry trip?” Perhaps the real issue is that we have allowed ministry leaders to forget that it is God’s money and not their own that pours into their ministries. Leaders of ministries are not owners but stewards. And as Paul says, it is required in stewards that they be found faithful.

    The fact of the matter is, if we Christians don’t hold our own ministries accountable, the government will. That’s just reality.

    • Ron i agree with you wholeheartedly, the Church, as a whole, has failed to openly correct and hold these ministries accountable.

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