Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, is launching an investigation of six major ministries, two of which are in the Atlanta Metro area. Here’s the article:
Wow, picking a horse in this race is difficult, that’s for sure. On the one hand, you’ve got the intrusive, overreaching arm of the federal government prying its bulbous nose into affairs of the church. On the other, you’ve got six “ministries” that are out of control, submit to little if any authority higher than themselves (ecclesiastically), and which justify blatant excess on the part of their “pastors”. I’m sort of surprised that “America’s Pastor”, Mr. Osteen, isn’t in this number (but a guy can hope, can’t he?).
Seems to me here’s how this ought to shake out:
1. The Senate ought to investigate only on the basis of whether laws were broken. It has no prerogative whatever to call these preachers on the carpet for what they do in their “ministries” so long as there are no infractions of law. If people who follow these folks are willing to pay them exorbitant salaries, and people are foolish enough to send in their checks, it isn’t in the purview of government to say anything about it. Period. If Chuck Grassley thinks otherwise (and I don’t know if he does or not, honestly), then who does he think he is? He says he’s looking at misuse of donations; fine. He’d better find a law that touches on this, or he’s way, way out of line.
2. The evangelical church ought to rise up and much more vociferously condemn these charlatans for their anti-Biblical health-and-wealth prosperity message (and many, many other excesses), as well as their independence. I’ll tell you, some of my readers won’t like this, and my home church is independent (but full of integrity, by God’s grace), but I just don’t believe in independence much at all when it comes to churches. Autonomy, yes; independence, where there is nobody to whom we are accountable, no. Instead, what we do is put their pictures up in lights, buy their books, watch their TV programs. These shysters ought to be repudiated by every Christian who gives a rip about the glory of God and the priority of His Word.