Raul Rakes It In…

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167 Responses

  1. Erunner says:

    Is this stuff somehow made available to the public or do insiders make it available. As I read the article the other day I thought that if an insider is going to make this information public then the next thing he/she should do is quit attending that church. But then by leaving it would become clear they were the party who leaked the information. I don’t think I could do that if that’s how it happens.

  2. Michael says:

    990’s are public records…they’re just hard to get a hold of at times…

  3. Erunner says:

    So many could be helped in so many ways. There will be a lot of explaining to do if folks are inclined to find and make public this financial information.

  4. Joe says:

    I see 430k with raul and his wife combined in salaries. Where is the other 600-700k ?

  5. Alex says:

    Joe, you’re math is off, there are three numbers to add for 2013 which total over $500K and years 2011-2013 are over $1,300,000 as the caption accurately notes.

  6. Laura Scott says:

    Good grief, that is honestly gross.

  7. victorious says:

    Am I reading this right? This looks like the 990 for an evangelistic ministry that is separate from CCGS which as a church, is not required to file a 990. So it seems as if he is making this money on top of any salary and other benefits from the church?

    How would all the volunteers who donate their labor and cash feel about this?

  8. Michael says:

    vic,

    Now that you bring it up…I think you’re right.

    I can’t fathom that, but that is what we’re looking at.

  9. Michael says:

    Alex…victorious has it right.
    That’s just his “evangelistic” arm, not his church salary.
    I can’t believe what we’re seeing…

  10. Alex says:

    Raul was on my step-dad’s CC board for many years…so was Rosales and Gary Ruff. Lance Cook is a close friend in that branch of Calvary Chapel and PJay could tell you about all he witnessed as a fellow CC pastor with that crew…and it’s not good.

  11. Let’s put this on the table,but someone will have to help me here because my memory fades on everything except the baseball of my youth.

    Calvary Chapel has always been a money making operation as a stated goal. In otherwords this is not new and it has never been a secret. There was a time that the young pastors were taught a formula for multiple services – and this is where my memory gets weak.

    They were told if you have one service you can only pay for the basics to run the operation. If you add a 2nd service your then have the money to fund this or that and if you added a 3rd service, it provided funds for another something. Remember, all the fixed costs are paid from the 1st service, so the 2nd service was much more profitable and the 3rd service was all gravy, 100% profit.

    I remember this from the early 80s. My point again is that the program was money driven from the get go.

    Anyone else remember that? I remember reading it in a book on the CCCM bookstore shelf that contained the, well whatever was before the School of Ministry and I head it on a cassette tape.

  12. Michael says:

    Vic, Alex…hang tough, we have an expert looking at these.
    The compensation is from the church as a related organization.

  13. Alex says:

    Hopefully Raul doesn’t order a hit from the mafia and forget to call it off this time.

  14. Alex says:

    Michael, ya, it seems to be a all his related church comp under one 990 umbrella, but I’m not an expert.

  15. Joe says:

    @ Alex..Your right, it was in the title. Since you you deep connections at the cia =) jk.

    One would think Greg Lauries money package would be public since since its a 501c3. But the big money is the books and cd’s, most if not all big time ministers make there millions there, because they pocket 100%. And its hard to track because its under differant 501c3 and some of the account recievables is cash $

  16. Alex says:

    394K from one pile, 64K from another pile, then his wife’s 60K.

  17. jlo says:

    I know when I searched my previous pastors entities, I came up with three, other than his church. The names indicated one was musically geared, one was speaker geared, and one was vague to be a catch all. While I never sought out the financials, as I didn’t have the stomach for it, I can only image the bank that was being brought in.

    Now to be fair, he appears to live a modest lifestyle compared to others of his mega size. But as we know appearances can be deceiving. Or perhaps not.

  18. Scott says:

    You can get a lot of this information from Guidestar.org

    No big investigative skills or unnamed sources needed. Upgrade your subscription on Guidestar from free to pay and do a little digging and knock yourself out.

  19. Michael says:

    Ok, my delirium has been cleared. 🙂

    The compensation we see must be from the church as he takes no salary from this organization.

    This is a pretty significant charity that is supporting a number of churches in South America and a couple of Bible colleges.

    This is completely above board and commendable, even if the compensation is outlandish from the church.

    Vic had me spinning for a minute… 🙂

  20. Alex says:

    Scott, no, it’s magic…and we are specially anointed.

    If you send me your money, I would appreciate it to keep this ministry that is supernaturally gifted going…

    Just make sure the check doesn’t bounce or you’ll make Jesus angry, OK? 😉

  21. Michael says:

    I just used propublica for free…

  22. victorious says:

    Thanks I opened up a normal sized browser and was able to enlarge the 990
    Document to see that the 394 K in salary was from the related organization(s) which is most likely the church CCGS but could possibly include something from the Somebody Loves You Crusades NP.

    Does Harvest Crusades 990’s show Greg’s income from related organizations?

  23. Barry Bowen says:

    The Foundation Center’s 990 Finder is even easier to use than Guidestar. No registration required. 990s are easy to find for non-profits when you know their real name. Some of the televangelists and megachurch pastors use DBAs/fictional names for their organizations.

    @ Joe – Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusades filed 990s but they don’t include income for related organizations. Churches are exempt from filing 990s but a small percentage does file.

  24. Babylon's Dread says:

    I really don’t care what they make and don’t think it is worthy of our time.

  25. Alex says:

    Dread, how much do you make?

  26. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I posted that whole doc if you want to post it up over there…

  27. Alex says:

    I’m sure it’s an uncomfortable issue for pastors who make 6 figures or more (not sure you do, but my guess is somewhere in $100,000’s).

    That’s OK, I love you anyway, at least you’re not a jerk or a child abuser.

  28. Alex says:

    Thanks for the heads up Michael.

    Barry Bowen is a stud at investigating these things, he’s been all over TBN for years.

    It would be great to find out what the Big Names in Calvary Chapel and Evangelicalism take from the Jesus Money….I think it would be healthy for folks to know…and may shame some into repenting in that area.

  29. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex,

    I expected that question … my total compensation from the church is less than a hundred thousand. I have 4 graduate degrees and 37 years experience. How much do you make?

    I have no trouble seeing the outrage people carry over the numbers you are showing. I just don’t care. They are not stealing it. It is between them and their constituency.

    If you are going to have open salaries then everyone should have open salaries. I don’t think they have to be open, should be open or need to be open.

    I simply do not care what the man is making nor do I feel compelled to make it an issue. Nor will I defend my own compensation or be bullied by follow up questions.

  30. Alex says:

    Ya, I’ve got the whole thing for 2011, 2012 and 2013. I just pulled out the most pertinent piece, but no harm in having the whole thing for folks to peruse.

  31. Alex says:

    Good for you Dread. Well done.

    I don’t make any money as a non-profit that solicits money from people “for Jesus”

    So my income from Jesus is zero.

  32. Alex says:

    Dread said, “They are not stealing it. It is between them and their constituency.”

    I disagree. I think Morally, they are stealing it.

    Similar to a Wall Street CEO or Politician we would call ‘Crooks’…

  33. Michael says:

    I need to hit the hay…lets agree to disagree or agree agreeably and take a break for the night.

  34. Babylon's Dread says:

    Well,

    This is free market Christianity. These men are entrepreneurs. It may offend you but they live and work in a culture and a system that rewards their success as gatherers, teachers, leaders and yes pastors.

    Decry the system that rewards success if you want to. It is the same system you live within. They take freewill offerings and no one is coerced to give money to them. People become convinced of the value and they give just as surely as your customers are convinced of what you are offering and they give.

    The reality is that these people make a simple exchange upon which they agree. Go ahead and expose it. I am doubtful that the constituency will agree with you that there is theft. Some will no doubt see it as excessive. You will be surprised at how many do not.

    Furthermore the charisms of these leaders provide an economy for a whole tribe of others to profit from. These free market churches provide jobs and others gladly join themselves to the ministries of successful pastors that they too might benefit from the effectiveness.

    I said it on the other thread and it was missed. This is the routinization of charisma and it is the process that is followed by every church movement. A leader rises whose gifts provide a shelter for many others to receive. Charles Fromm has written a Doctoral thesis applauding the process.

  35. Alex said “I don’t make any money as a non-profit that solicits money from people “for Jesus”

    No, just as a gun runner. 😉

    “Barry Bowen is a stud at investigating these things, he’s been all over TBN for years.”

    And what kind of an effect has it had? TBN had a bit of a drop when Paul died but I think they are right up there in the collecting department again. I know they have built 3 new studios in the past 18 months..

    Again, you can shine the public light, but the crowds love them some celebrities.

  36. brian says:

    I make about 40K a year or so and for my area that about 12+ K below the median income. Like I said in the past post. Im an idiot.

  37. Alex says:

    Dread, your analogy breaks down and is a False Analogy b/c they are selling the Gospel and Jesus…and those who are in business outside of church sell a product or service…

    …or are you stating that Jesus and the Gospel have become a product to sell?

  38. Michael says:

    The whole TBN story, which has been exposed over and over again to no avail says some scary things about the state of evangelicalism.

    My guess is that many will not object to these disclosures and will brand the ones making these disclosures as the villains.

    My email is running about 3-1 against me.

    This isn’t how Calvin, Luther, and those who preceded them nor those who came after them lived…calling it free market religion is true, but that is an unholy imposition of our economic and political beliefs on the ministry.

    Maybe, I’m just getting old and tired, but I find it greatly disheartening.

    I believe the faithful man who tills hard ground in godless places loving a few well is truly more “successful”.

  39. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Again, you can shine the public light, but the crowds love them some celebrities.”

    Yes, however, what is right is right…whether all of the public responds correctly or not. Sometimes you do what is right and let the chips fall where they may…if folks still support the immorality, then so be it…at least it was exposed for what it is…and they can make an informed choice.

  40. Alex says:

    Michael, don’t let the naysayers discourage you…listen to the burning in your conscience and do what is right, not necessarily what is popular or convenient.

  41. pstrmike says:

    @34
    Nice modernist approach, but highly questionable as to it being a Kingdom construct.

  42. Scott says:

    Alex, people give to churches like Raul Ries because they want to. No one is sticking a gun to their heads. I can’t believe I just used a gun analogy with a gun dealer 😉

  43. Alex, your church treats Jesus as a product, as a common commodity every time they ask someone to make a decision for Jesus. Put jesus to the test and see if he is not just what you need for your life. 9 out of 10 pastors recommend Jesus for your life.

    Aren’t you tired of your life the way it is, try Jesus. Decision theology is nothing more than selling jesus as the best option.

  44. Michael says:

    Alex,

    I will.
    This has been a long week and I have to pace myself these days.
    I’m wiped out already.

    My concern is also with the guy who just makes it…and nobody tells his story.

  45. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex,

    Yes … of course I am.
    They are operating in a free market economy, offering something that people want and pay for. Saying they are selling Jesus is a way to spin it if you want. They are certainly living within the confines of a market economy that rewards what they do.

    I am ok if you hate it. I am sure they are ok too. The fact is that most people who try what we do, fail. They cannot produce followers who will pay the bills and they fall by the wayside.

    I am not saying other factors are not at work but that is always the case… even in your work.
    Further, bringing these guys down usually hurst the ones who make a living off of their success. These successful leaders simply go do something else and succeed again.

  46. I think that CC pewsters, especially in the mega churches want their pastors a little crooked, a little edgy – that way they can relate and not feel so guilty about their own sinful pathetic lives.

    Remember when all the “big guys” all ended up on Harleys… at the same time. LOL, outlaw pastors. I remember when Skip drove his Harley up on the stage – I think of the 1,000 people there that day, I was the only one offended. Tell me men wouldn’t throw money at these guys? I think i even saw some women throw their panties on stageat the church..

    The pwesters shower them with money and think they are getting great value. Who am I to tell them to quit.?

  47. Alex says:

    1 Timothy 6:5 Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.

    “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

    “”But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”

    “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you.”

  48. Alex says:

    …made even worse when the wealth is gained from selling the Gospel and Jesus for greedy excessive profit.

    I think God, if he is real, will judge that harshly.

  49. Barry Bowen says:

    MLD, you asked the question “And what kind of an effect has it had?”

    I spend several hours each week talking to victims of televangelists. They feel alone because almost no one will support them, encourage them.

    When an article is posted that exposes religious fraud, they are grateful because someone was willing to speak out.

    If the Justice Department decides to file criminal charges against TBN, it will be because whistleblowers (I am one) have provided enough information to warrant a trial.

    If you read the Bible closely, you will see that silence in the face of fraud isn’t an option.

    More money is embezzled by religious leaders than is spent on world missions. Ries could take a pay cut and the money saved could fund a missionary.

  50. Barry, for a supposed bright guy, you missed the point. I don’t support crooks or wrong doing. But you shine the light on the pastors and leaders without paying attention to the idol worshiping crowds.

    Does Taylor Swift coerce people into making her rich? Why do we think that the TBN people are forcing people to open their wallets. (I have never given a dime to TBN – have you?) Just as people worship Taylor Swift, they do the same to a Greg Laurie or you fill in the name.

    You mention the government intervention. Why don’t they act? Because the idol worshipers lobby the congressmen to stand down and leave their gods alone. As I said, the crowds demand that they have celebrity and will not let anything stand in their way. And the contributions keep rolling in.

  51. What is a victim of a televangelist? Does the guy walk into their house everyday at 5 pm and turn on the TV and make them watch?

    Then I have an aunt who is a victim of QVC – on welfare and has packages coninually showing up to her section 8 housing.

    Perhaps we need a religious red ribbon week – Just Say No!

  52. But I would be all for shutting down TBN for being liars through their teachings and theology. There is the danger.

  53. Alex says:

    Barry, I agree with you. Word of warning….trying to convince MLD of anything is like trying to convince Lenny that he can’t pet things without killing them.

  54. brian says:

    “listen to the burning in your conscience and do what is right, ” My mother gave me one of those things it was sort of why I stuck with what I do for going on 34 years, I hate having one. I really do admire those guys being able to walk away with all that cash and the power while smiling at all their followers. Some of my “followers” over the years lack the cognitive ability to smile and to a one none of them had a dime or even a penny to give me. God I disgust myself.

  55. Passing By says:

    Looks like the old CC one time hippies have sold out and now have to feed the beast within. Jesus weeps. Shame on you pastors, shame on you.

  56. Passing By says:

    ……and the ending will read ” he finished well in the flesh. God Help Us!

  57. Linda Pappas says:

    Haven’t read through the comments of others yet.

    That the total number of contribution was roughly $629,000. plus other source of contributions.

    That RR received: $450,000
    And that 3 Corporate Director, one being Sharon, his wife, 1 Chief Financial Officer, and 1 Secretary/Treasurer received a total of: $377.762

    While those directly doing the work to build and provide the materials for those facility and those doing the actual training and pastoring to those in this country were given a total of: $125,235 to cover all their expenses.

    I cannot number the times I have heard a CC remind the congregation of the work being done in the missionary field and how they need our prayers and our “support.” At the same time also knowing they are require to seek separate support apart from that already being put into the plate during the regular scheduled Bible/Sunday Meetings. With CC, they have another Pastor overseeing funds being sent in to support the missionaries. Wonder how much of this goes directly to the missionary and how much goes to “operations.” I actually asked this question regarding another overseas ministry being done in Africa by a CC affiliate. There response: all the money goes directly to the needs of this ministry. I had to ask my question several times and put it in different ways. Finally, after many attempts of asking a simple question, “how much of my donation goes directly to those in the front lines serving the people and fighting for their lives against this war they are in?” Response: “Oh, we don’t give out that kind of information, but be assure they are provided with what they need.” My response, “Great, take me off your donation list and refund me the money I have contributed that have gone directly into your pockets in the United States. I specifically earmarked my donation to go to this person, not to be divvy up and then them being given what was left. If I wanted to support you, I would not have specified a name.”

    If I ever find a missionary that receives direct funds without having another person dipping their hand into the funds, that is the person I am going to support. God bless each and every one of them.

    Volunteerism at its best.

    What respect I held towards this pastor, no longer exist, if what I think I am reading is accurate.

  58. Michael says:

    Linda,

    As I read the doc all the money noted was spent on the missions…it looks like a very worthy charity.

    The only issue we can raise here based on what we have is the salary paid to Ries from the church.

    That income has to be listed because it’s a related organization.

    Because we don’t have the churches financials we need to proceed with a measure of caution in reaching other conclusions.

  59. Barry Bowen says:

    MLD,

    I am writing a book about religious financial fraud. I’ve interviewed a widow who believes a televangelist had her husband killed. At least three of my sources are people that have been sued by televangelists. These people are real victims.

    By the way, you wrote, “TBN had a bit of a drop when Paul died but I think they are right up there in the collecting department again.”

    TBN files 990s under the name Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana and they show a huge drop in revenue from 2011 to 2012 (from $176 million to $144 million). The 2013 Form 990 isn’t available yet.

  60. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    Ditto on what Alex stated:

    “Michael, don’t let the naysayers discourage you…listen to the burning in your conscience and do what is right, not necessarily what is popular or convenient.”

    Amen and Amen, and that we who do stand up against such can take comfort in knowing that He is on our side and not those who would excuse such ungodly and immoral behavior.

    Whether, or not people want to know, they need to know, then it is upon them to choose who they will serve. Most likely those who are also good at avoiding being held to an account all in the name of Jesus, of course.

    There is a much larger sector of the Christina community that want to know, however. Those that just would like to silence you seems to have the louder voices and I might add, more offensive voices at that. Don’t pay attention, but don’t ignore them either. For what they say will tell you the true intent of their heart and in this, it will equip and strengthen to you to continue to fight the good fight for the sake the CHURCH and truly, in His NAME.

  61. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    “As I read the doc all the money noted was spent on the missions…it looks like a very worthy charity.”

    Read what the 990 covers: that is what is being done in other countries only.

    Then read what the contributions totals.
    Later it itemizes who received what.
    For Ministry support: it lists only $125,235.

    That is hardly anything considering what this 990 is detailing within the stated ministry. That is, what these contributions are being taken in and how it is being disbursed.

    How many people are involved directly in the missionary work done there, being it in construction, maintenance, or pastoring, teaching, evangelizing, and on hands missionary work other than just Bible studies? This amount: $125 k is hardly enough to survive on unless people are donating their time and free material from other source of donations within the country.

  62. Michael says:

    Linda,

    Look at page 2 items 4a, 4b, and 4c

    They paid out over 600,000 dollars.

    This 990 only covers this org with these overseas missions.

    We don’t have any idea what else the church does because we don’t have their budget.

  63. Michael says:

    The schedule F on page 21 shows another breakdown that is over 400,000.

    I’m too tired to discern the difference at this point.

  64. Linda Pappas says:

    Thank you, Michael

    I am tired as well—will take another look tomorrow with fresh eyes and renewed energy.

    Good night all. God bless and keep you.

  65. brian says:

    I know you are tired and I envy that. Going into day two/three not sleeping.

  66. Bob says:

    Where are Neo’s clever comments on this subject? Family business meeting?

  67. Neo says:

    Right here, Bob. My “clever” remark already was made yesterday. But since you shoot first and think second, I’ll repeat…

    Whether or not pastors and clergy agree with the posting of these numbers (and I don’t), one thing is that it will cause them all to evaluate themselves as soon as they read the post.

  68. Neo says:

    Further. Bob. I’m looking forward to the day you add something substantive to the conversation as far as Scripturally and Theologically speaking. That will be a great day!

  69. Bob says:

    Scripturally or Theologically? I think your answer says it all.

    What is that you might ask? There is no justification for the robbery these men, and if you and your church are in anyway similar, afflict on the sheep of His church. If you can’t provide biblical text to back my statement up then you don’t know it well enough or you are hiding it in the darkness.

    Further please inform myself and others what your idea of substantive is and while your at it provide us with financial data how you and your ministry rank in comparison with those given here and over at Alex’s blog.

    Thank you, in the name of transparency.

  70. Neo says:

    I make less than six figures. I always have. And I should.

    I am not wealthy neither am I in poverty.

    My father drove me to school in a car with no floor board even though he pastored the largest church in Oregon. I was raised in the same home throughout my childhood. He displayed to me how not to take in or showcase wealth in the ministry… maybe even too far the other way, in my opinion.

    Why should I defend myself to a guy named “Bob”? Only because I placed myself in that position by posting on this website. However, “Bob”, I do see your view points on people and pastors. But I have no idea where you stand on issues such as Justification, Preterism, or Communion. Not that I want to know. It’s just that I don’t. Small people only talk about people…. “Bob”.

  71. Bob says:

    Neo, good story.

    Now let’s see this thread is about Raul R and his money. And you try to redirect the flack away from you, a mega-church, pastor whose church can easily be compared from the out side with others.

    Who’s the deceptive one here? A small little man named “Bob?”

    There’s no “justification” for robbing God’s people.
    All will come to light when He returns.
    “…I never knew you…”

    Now I think you can locate the text which follow those positions.

    Or could it be said, “…because he too is a son of Abraham…”

  72. Neo says:

    Okay. You lost me, now. Can’t track.

    I don’t justify anyone. Nor defend. Nor prosecute.

    If I judge, it will be measured back to me in the same proportion.

    It’s too much trouble to judge.

    I’m only giving my POV, Bob, because you specifically requested it.

    So I gave you some clever comments. That aren’t so clever. Bob.

    God bless you today, Bob.

  73. Bob says:

    Neo

    BTW the technique you use with this statent, “I do see your views on people and pastors,” is what’s know as a counter-attack and is normally done to deflect the issue brought up. You are very good.

    Thank you again.

  74. Bob says:

    Statement, not statent

  75. Michael says:

    I’m running on empty this morning, but I thought about what BD and MLD said half the night.

    They speak the truth.
    It’s shocking to me and unpleasant that it is true, but at this level church is a business, God is the product, and most people don’t care.

    My contention is that all of the above is unbiblical and unholy…it is not what God intended.

    I’ve said it a thousand times in the last few years…the next Reformation must come from the bottom up.

    It’s not happening yet.

  76. Neo says:

    The money costs too much.

  77. Charles says:

    Funny thing that Louis Heitzig get 2500 dollars for working one hour a week for Samaritans Purse

    http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2013/581/437/2013-581437002-0ac1957f-9.pdf

  78. Linda Pappas says:

    Michael,

    Took another look at the 990. I see what you were saying. Yes, the primary issue would be RR and others (family members) wages or salary.

    Although the contributions are not used to pay the salary of the chief officers, the bulk of the contribution appears to being used to pay for the land and to develop it. As for supporting the pastors, it appears that they get $20,000 or less annually.

    Does not state where these contributions and grants come from, but it does say that this “charity” and Hidden Manna is connected to CC Diamond Bar.

    So who does these assets belong to? The family or the church.

  79. “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

    So I don’t care if Taylor Swift gets rich. But this is MINISTRY, not business. I remember researching the 990s about a decade ago, and becoming very cynical. I had previously thought it was the televangelists who were in it for the money – but then to find out that RC Sproul was in it for the money and nepotism, too. It really was a punch to the gut for a young reformed guy.

  80. Alex says:

    I think it’s a good litmus test.

    If your conscience has no problem with these guys making millions from selling the Gospel and Jesus…then that says as much about you as it does about them.

    …and this from the guy that many on here probably consider not a real Christian.

  81. I would like some of the old seasoned CC veterans to go back and read my #11 – does it ring a bell, call up a memory of some financial teachings to young pastors in the early 80s?

  82. Michael says:

    Heitzig proves MLD’s point.

    We exposed and then others exposed and he was very exposed.
    He’s just fine now, thank you.

    The problem is in the pews as much as the pulpit.

  83. pstrmike says:

    Michael @77,

    I don’t disagree with Dread’s or mld’s assessments of today’s church. What they are describing has more to do with Hobbes’ Social Contract Theories than Kingdom construction as found in the New Testament. Sad but true.

    But as you said, it doesn’t make it right. Any work that is not constructed around God’s design which will be earmarked by a demonstrable set of ethics (which must go beyond a statement of faith) should rightfully be held in suspicion.

    I would like to read Fromm’s dissertation (perhaps Dread can give me a reference). I think his research would be useful and inform my own. In my own dissertation, that it yet to be written, I am going to take a different track,, researching the rise of modernism and the decline of spirituality. At least the hopeful ending would cover what some people are doing to restore that imbalance. And that is where the true reformation will catalyze.

  84. Michael says:

    pstrmike,

    I would like to read that dissertation myself.

    The key here, as you said, is the rise of modernism and the decline of spirituality.

    The fact that most find the system imminently defendable is a gut shot.

  85. Alex,
    “If your conscience has no problem with these guys making millions from selling the Gospel and Jesus…”

    Actually i think most of these guys are selling a false gospel and a false Jesus and this is why none of them get any of my dough – not because I am concerned they will misuse it.

    It’s like TBN – they are a Satan led organization and anyone who participates with them (the TV personality guys) have all signed a pact with the devil. So, they get none of my money. I expect people led by the devil to cheat and steal.

    This is the message we need to get out -not tracking down guy’s 990s but tracking down and exposing their sermon notes … although I think most of them wing it without notes. 😉

  86. Alex says:

    Neo repeated an often used refrain that simply isn’t really true if you are a “bible believing Christian!”

    Neo said, “If I judge, it will be measured back to me in the same proportion.

    It’s too much trouble to judge.”

    Well, the bible presents quite a mixed or dual Narrative regarding Judging:

    “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?”

    “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

    “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.”

    “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good”

    Many more verses…that’s just a few.

  87. Alex says:

    MLD said, “t’s like TBN – they are a Satan led organization and anyone who participates with them (the TV personality guys) have all signed a pact with the devil. So, they get none of my money. I expect people led by the devil to cheat and steal.’

    Well, I agree with you there LOL. I just believe it’s a “both”…tell folks what you stated “and” publish how much these clowns make from all the widow’s mites they collect.

  88. Linda Pappas says:

    ” I am going to take a different track,, researching the rise of modernism and the decline of spirituality. At least the hopeful ending would cover what some people are doing to restore that imbalance. And that is where the true reformation will catalyze.”

    This is what I have been saying all along in terms of where the church began to really get off track.

    As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord only.

  89. pstrmike says:

    @88
    well said Alex. The Bible doesn’t tell us to stick our heads in the sand. Thankfully, God didn’t…

  90. Alex says:

    MLD, I saw the fruits of your #11 first hand. That is the same strategy my step-dad employed while building his franchise. It really was like building a business.

  91. Bob Sweat says:

    First of all, I’m sure that everyone knows that I’m Bob Sweat not “Bob” who is also posting.

    When it comes to judging, I have always looked at judging as “issuing a judgement or sentence”. I have no right to do that, because that is God’s call. I do have the obligation to stand for righteousness and call wrong, wrong. I agree with what synapsesoffish said earlier, “So I don’t care if Taylor Swift gets rich. But this is MINISTRY, not business.”

    While I respect those of you who feel that the salary of a pastor should not be open for review by the congregation, I disagree. My salary was always open for my congregation to see. Maybe that’s why I was given all the meat, eggs, and milk my family needed. 🙂

  92. Neo says:

    Nah… I’m talking about a principle here. Whether you are a Bible believer or not. Jesus is giving a spiritual axiom…you judge and you will be judged in proportion. In other words, throw stones while in a glass house…..

    My point isn’t whether to call guys on the carpet or not. My point is that I pick my battles because I know there will be pushback. So it’s important to figure out which battles are important enough to fight and small enough to win. Which is to say that this isn’t my battle. Right now. Even though “Bob” called me out.

    So the “judge not” is not a command in this situation. It’s a principle of the cosmos….

    And for me, right now, too much trouble,

    I am glad Martin Luther didn’t shirk from the battle he was called to in 1511.

  93. Neo says:

    Or 1517 for that matter 🙂

  94. Alex says:

    Bob Sweat, EXCELLENT differentiation between Judging eternal position vs. Judging character, integrity, morality, right vs. wrong etc.

    That is as good as I’ve ever seen it divided…and correctly so.

    Don’t judge someone’s salvational position….but do judge whether what they are doing is right or wrong.

    Judge those who beat their children with sticks and paddles and rods and leave bruises and draw blood etc….it is wrong, call it wrong, loudly.

    Don’t judge whether or not they are going to hell for it. Only God can make that judgment.

  95. Neo says:

    …and yes, Judgment begins in the house of God (if one wants to validate this post about salaries and stuff).

  96. Alex says:

    Neo, I disagree…Jesus was not saying “don’t judge” in that manner…he was warning against HYPOCRISY which is what his indictment of the Pharisees was…”Do as they say, but not as they do!” etc.

    I judge regarding Child Abuse and I hold myself to the same standard (and more).

    I judge regarding taking Jesus Money…and I don’t take a dime.

  97. Alex says:

    Neo said, “So the “judge not” is not a command in this situation. It’s a principle of the cosmos….”

    LOL, that is hogwash and your own mythology.

    Folks who live their lives trying not to judge others in the incorrect manner you misinterpret get judged all the time.

    The Cosmos must be broken…b/c there is no correlation at all to what you are espousing.

  98. Alex says:

    The only consistent Position is the “Don’t be a hypocrite” position when it comes to judging.

    Jesus judged and judges, Paul judged, every Pastor in America judges, every pew-sitter judges, every humanist/secularist judges, every albino Buddhist midget judges.

    Humanity judges right and wrong all the time. Many Christians spend their lives judging the salvation of others….”That person isn’t a real Christian!” “That denomination isn’t a real Christian!” “Those heathens are going to hell!” etc.

    Jesus confronted the Pharisees and pretty much gave us the context for Judging….

    He said, “Do as they say/teach/judge….don’t do as they do/practice/example”

    Judge, but judge righteously…don’t be a hypocrite. Don’t preach against homosexuality and then get caught with a male prostitute. Don’t preach against Greed and then get caught making $500,000 per year from Jesus. Don’t preach against adultery and then get caught with P-orn tapes, etc.

  99. Neo says:

    It’s all how one defines “judge”, Alex. Both linguistically and contextually. Of course, this is always the conundrum of language.

    “Judge” has lots of meanings.

  100. Bob says:

    Neo:

    The reason I pick on you in this thread is because you are the very representation and the dynasty of the church you stand up and preach at. You may hate it, try to weasel around it say clever “thoughtful things,” hide behind popular monikers, even attempt to not judge others (as if such statements make you exempt in such matters) and yet when the suns sets every day you are the image of your church.

    Every time you receive a pay check, expense money, housing allowance, cell phone bills, medical insurance or what ever, you have received something others have given their life for. The truth is it never comes down to the amount you get, it could be $100.00 or $100,000.00 that money comes from others and with it comes a great responsibility.

    I get paid a substantial amount for what I do and I make no bones about it, I am responsible for every penny and the service I provide for it.

    So man up and either except your position or quit and become one of the masses who attend and give their hard earned money for the services you provide them. Now are you worth their money? That is for you to judge in a moral and biblical sense.

    Personally I really don’t care if you make $10.00 or $100.00 an hour. What I do care about is this; if you are a pastor are you leading and teaching people about Jesus or are you just tickling their ears, filling them with the party line or just wanting to be liked and cool. You judge!

    Remember I’m just a little man, who loves Jesus.

    And BTW that’s my answer to Michael’s other thread.

  101. To the non Sweaty Bob,,
    Would you make the same accusations against Billy Graham as you do against Neo?

  102. Bob says:

    MLD:

    🙂

    Thanks!

    Billy Graham did a whole lot preaching, but the subject here is the Mega-church income and who receives it.

    I will state this quite clear, I don’t care how much a pastor, ministry leader gets paid.

    The question in my mind is this, and I believe it’s also quite clear, can they live with it?

    A man who loves Jesus knows his calling and lives his entire life, with all his sins and failures, in such a way that demonstrates that love. A man who loves his church or organization demonstrates that in the same way.

    The reason I have come to appreciate Michael and his blog is this; he continually states he is a “Calvinist” and yet he demonstrates a love for Jesus which goes far beyond Calvin and his message.

    What are the contrasts between Billy Graham and Neo? May you be the judge on that matter.

    Thanks!

    BTW, Who do you love?

    And for linguistic purposes, you are free to pick the Greek version of love you desire.

    🙂

  103. Bob says:

    MLD:

    I forgot to answer your question directly; Yes, if Billy Graham posted on this blog or I knew him personally, I would say the say things to him.

    Oh and I have to my personal friends in the “ministry” and they do to me.

    Here’s the simplest and best question we ask, “Where’s God in this?”

  104. Neo says:

    Bob. I’m not understanding what I haven’t accepted. I accept it. Or in your words, “except it”. What I do not accept is rudeness. I will both show and receive respect or not bother interacting. This is a universal law.

  105. Neo says:

    ….I stand up and preach at? I’m having great difficulty following some of your thoughts and I think this presents a problem. Maybe an impasse.

  106. Bob,
    I was just comparing the local pastor (Neo) who pastored down the road from me 10 miles for 8 yrs taking the heat and comforting his people vs Billy Graham who just jumped from town to town grabbing the bucks and leaving.

  107. Bob says:

    MLD:

    I understand what you are asking. Anytime a man becomes a prominent public figure problems also arise with it. I remember Billy Graham being called the Pastor to the President, or something like that. I also remember his making some really dumb statements about international affairs.

    In the end I believe his legacy is a good one for Jesus and yes, his ministry probably did divert funds from your local pastor.

    Personally I don’t care if Neo and his clan take every possible contributory dime from their community, he has to judge himself and answer that he is worth it.

    He doesn’t seem to get it.

  108. Neo says:

    Bob. Get exactly what? Can you succinctly put exactly what I don’t understand, accept, or get? If you can, I might be able to respond. But you seem to be leveling ambiguous charges….

  109. Alex says:

    Neo, I judge you a decent guy…but I should stop judging 🙂

  110. Bob says:

    MLD:

    Billy Graham eventually stopped being Billy Graham the individual person who drinks coffee every morning. He became the face and image of the whole organization. To this day it is still the Billy Graham Ministry and his children live under that banner.

    When I put on my costume for work I represent the people and name of that organization. When I wrong someone my organization is wrong and liable for my actions. I accept that and do my best to live up to the policies and ideals my customers come to expect.

    When I start talking about faith, God and Jesus I put on another cloak and with it also comes a similar responsibility.

    You and I both know, the reality is there is no luke warm.

  111. covered says:

    Neo, do you realize that with every one of your snarky, smart **s comments, you are adding credibility to “Bob’s” posts? A wise many would meditate on #102 rather than pick on grammer and eluding to how smart you are and how dumb anyone is who challenges you. All said in God’s love of course. And I hope that you have a blessed day…

  112. Alex says:

    I think at minimum…all should be able to agree that if you are going to get paid that large amount of money…don’t hide it.

    Let the public know. That way they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to support your “ministry” with their hard-earned dollars knowing you are a Jesus Millionaire.

  113. covered says:

    “man” not “many” @114

  114. Neo says:

    Okay. It’d be best for me to hit the eject button here. I am totally confused by this. I’m missing something here so better than digging any deeper I’ll toss the shovel. Sorry for misunderstanding. Sorry for being an donkey. Laters.

  115. Neo says:

    a donkey, to be specific.

  116. Neo says:

    And how in the world did I just get affirmation from MLD and Alex on the same thread? This is like the PP Twilight Zone! LOL

  117. Sinner and Saint says:

    As a disclaimer, I think Raul’s salary is greedy, and sad.

    That being said…what is the right amount of compensation for a pastor? Obviously there are many factors, but is there a limit no matter where you live? Is the guy making $75k in a place where his average congregant’s household income is $40k guilty as well?

    I was once asked to be on the board for a nearby church where the pastor and the elders “weren’t getting along” … the finances of the church were a mess and we were asked to come in and help them out. Come to find out the pastor was making over $60k per year; in a church that brought in less than $80k. We quickly gave him a pay reduction and started paying their other bills, my point is the pastor and his elders (when they were getting along) had decided that this was the proper salary…giving him 80% of the church’s overall budget didn’t seem strange to them…the problem isn’t just in mega churches.

  118. covered says:

    Sinner and Saint, this is one of those topics that will bring many opinions. Years ago, I heard it taught that paying the pastor what the median income of the congregation is would be appropriate and I agree with that.

    In my case when I was approached by people to help plant the church I currently pastor, the men who were called at that time to help lead spent much time and prayer concerning my compensation. They sought counsel from other pastor’s and from a church accountant who was involved in planting several churches and familiar with this topic. What this group of elders did was ask me to provide a detailed list of all of my family’s living expenses. Based on that list and the knowledge of what the median income was in our community, they arrived at a figure for my salary. It does not include a car allowance, a cell phone, a vacation, or health insurance. What they also did then and currently do now is confirm that I feel as though I can pay my bills and provide for the needs of my family based on my current salary and if not, provide information which outlines where I have a need and they will determine the appropriate action. Now, for over 4 years my salary has remained the same and we have never struggled. My income is dead center of the median income of our community and anyone who wants to know what that income is, can freely come and ask.

    The accountant that I made reference to is also a Board member and he very graciously explained to the other’s that for me to be an effective shepherd, I cannot be worried that my electricity and water will be turned off.

    Now I may have shared much more information than you or any other person here wanted to know but let me just say that the method I outlined has worked just fine. I make around $40k a year and am blessed for that. If I needed more, I believe the church would have no problem providing more.

    The Lord has provided for our every need and I would rather explain why I need $40k instead of justifying $400k.

  119. Michael says:

    covered,

    That’s really good stuff…

  120. PJay says:

    Alex, & others,
    Glad to see you shine a light on this abuse of God’s local church. Insiders from CCGS know that each pastoral staff member was paid between 60-70k a year, and told to sacrifice for the sake of the ministry.
    My favorite story was the building of Raul’s home in the gated community of La Verne. Raul was able to send 2-3 staff members a day to his home in order to work on his home so he could minister. That issue being what it is, I find his efforts appalling considering the incredible difference from what he was being paid to that of his staff.
    Allow me to comment, if any church board wishes to compensate their pastor 1 million dollars a year in salary, that will be a decision they have to answer to God for, and to any congregants. The troubling nature of this disclosure is represented as an issue in conduct (paragraph 2) and church practice (the 990’s posted by Alex).
    The above abuses seem in direct opposition to the very words of God who has asked that we “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

    PJay, out!

  121. Alex says:

    Covered, you are the real deal. I very much respect pastors like yourself (and Michael and many on here).

  122. Sinner and Saint says:

    Covered,

    You’re probably right…I just looked up the median household income in the city I live. It’s about what I made when I pastored…I now make more than double that running my own business. Probably why I’m not beating down any doors to pastor anytime soon 🙂

    Actually if I ever pastor again, I would like to structure things so that I don’t depend upon the church for my income…I use my gift of teaching, others use their gifts, and no one is required to put in full time hours. I would then be free to pursue my entrepreneurial enterprises. Might be a pipe dream but I’ve thought about it a lot.

  123. Alex says:

    If a pastor can be so greedy as to get rich from selling the gospel and Jesus…he’s lost his way and is in it for the wrong reasons…and the dynamic certainly does change…big time.

  124. Alex says:

    The big celebrity rich pastors could no more sell all they had and go back to living like a regular working-class schmuck than the Rich Young Ruler could. Once you’ve got the Power and the Fame and Money…there’s no turning back.

  125. Bob Sweat says:

    Covered

    It was good exchanging emails yesterday.

  126. PJay says:

    Alex,
    I noticed you provided documents from So Send I You, did you also look into Hidden Manna Corporation, which is the governing arm of CCGS?I believe Cathy Barrett is still listed as the CFO.

  127. Alex says:

    PJay!!!!! 🙂

  128. PJay says:

    Alex!!!!! 🙂

  129. Alex says:

    PJay, I will look into that entity, thank you.

    Hope you are well friend. I know you counted the costs and did the right thing years ago by breaking away from that Group and I know it wasn’t without a lot of trouble from them.

  130. Alex says:

    “Hidden Manna”…how appropriate. Well, let’s see if we can “unhide” it.

  131. covered says:

    Sinner and Saint, please consider this analogy. I believe that Paul’s reason for “tent making” was honorable but it was for a specific purpose in proving some people wrong as to his motives for teaching.

    If you are a plumber by day and a pastor by night, you couldn’t possibly be engaged, spiritually as to the needs of the people. Our church is on a growth spurt but averages around 100 people on Sunday and 40 on Wed evenings. My time in studying for both of these days is in excess of 16-20 hours a week including prayer prior to preparation.

    This week I will have 5 counseling appointments that are recurring weekly not counting home visits and unscheduled “emergency” appointments. I meet with the elders at least once a week depending on the needs and we have a time of devotion and prayer taking at least 2-3 hrs a week.

    I think that if you are a pastor, it’s full time and we should be compensated as needed to provide for your family. We should not be ashamed or have to explain why we get paid, unless it’s to explain why we make too much 🙂

    My church rightfully expect me to be available for their every need and like it or not, I think that’s what a shepherd does. Finally, hopefully you noticed a huge void in my schedule…. I have a family who loves me and wants to (hopefully) see me too. It is a huge blessing to be called a pastor and I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else. Again, if this is too much information than I apologize. Finally just for the record, my time here is catagorized as educational 🙂

  132. PJay says:

    Alex,
    Thanks for asking friend. Yes, the break resulting in trouble and death of self. However, Jesus said it best… “truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

    Enjoying new life today, with lots of scares that tell incredible stories of redemption.

  133. covered says:

    Hi Bob Sweat, it was my pleasure and I look forward to more dialogue with you. I find you to be someone here I could learn from.

  134. Sinner and Saint says:

    Covered,

    I completely understand the demands, I pastored full time for many years. I’m just reevaluating, that’s all. Sometimes I think the church is too dependent upon the pastor, maybe if he worked full time elsewhere it would force others who have gifts to step up and use them (counseling, administration, etc).

    It would be messy, but kind of interesting. Sometimes I wonder if the full time paid pastor isn’t one of the leading causes of much of the problems we see in the church.

    I have no problem with you being paid full time for what you do, in fact I think you’re underpaid…I couldn’t live on $40k.

  135. I always make the suggestions on boards i participate is to pay the pastor some above the median. You don’t want your pastor looking poor or worried about finances. Just because the median is the median doesn’t mean it is a good salary.

    I remember once at a small SBC church I met the pastor for breakfast and as we left, I looked at his tires and they were bald, with a capital B. He didn’t have the money, I gave him my credit card and told him to buy new tires. And then I went to the board and asked how they could let that happen (I was new at the church.) i told them if you want to see how your pastor is doing, look at his shoes and look at his tires.

  136. Alex says:

    MLD said, “I remember once at a small SBC church I met the pastor for breakfast and as we left, I looked at his tires and they were bald, with a capital B. He didn’t have the money, I gave him my credit card and told him to buy new tires. And then I went to the board and asked how they could let that happen (I was new at the church.) i told them if you want to see how your pastor is doing, look at his shoes and look at his tires.”

    I may disagree with you at times, and you may be difficult at times in your arguing…but you are a good man.

  137. covered says:

    Sinner and Saint, you appear to have a humble heart and I hope that you weren’t harmed by pastoring as many have.

    The church I pastor was born from a pastor who did much more damage than good I believe. I was his assistant and while his greed issues were minimal, his biggest issue was with women who weren’t his and already spoken for. Maybe he was emulating King David and Solomon in which case, I stand corrected 🙂

  138. covered says:

    MLD, “look at his shoes and look at his tires”, awesome!

  139. Sinner and Saint says:

    Covered,

    Pastoring nearly killed me…it was my single passion for most of my life. It became an idol and my source of value. Because of that I became addicted…to people’s approval. I needed it as much as a junkie needs his next fix.

    I was devastated by people…I still battle resentment and bitterness. But it was a gift, it allowed me to see my idol for what it was. I didn’t know how much I needed Jesus, until he was all that I had.

    The thought of pastoring a group of people again scares me to death…I have the utmost respect for you and what you do, its not for the faint of heart. In fact I wonder if the “modern” pastor, and all that’s expected of him was really ever intended, it doesn’t seem good for any involved.

  140. covered says:

    Sinner and Saint, your words just floored me. Thanks for sharing your powerful testimony.

  141. covered says:

    Sinner and Saint, it just dawned on me that maybe if you raked in over 500k like Raul, you could have made it work 🙂 sorry but I couldn’t resist. I need to study for tonight but thanks for sharing.

  142. pstrmike says:

    SnS,
    The ideal of no one getting paid full time in a church makes alot of sense. If a church had a group of elders, each performing limited functions, much could be accomplished and everyone could be free to pursue their entrepreneurial ideals rather than channeling that drive through the church.

    Of course, the problem is when elders develop their own agenda, which I have seen happen more than once. Everyone would have to be committed to the church and its common vision. Its not really a problem to have many chefs in the kitchen as long as they are all committed to work from the same recipe, a commitment that is without deviation

  143. As a shout out to Steve Wright, I have seen his shoes and tires on several occasions and he isn’t making excessive dough. 😉

  144. Sinner and Saint says:

    pstrmike,

    great thoughts…I agree completely. I’ve been on the receiving end of the other cooks in the kitchen turning their knives on me, getting stabbed by your friends hurts like hell, and serving the people a meal mixed with your own blood is not great for them either.

  145. Alex says:

    MLD, ya, that is something Steve W. does very well…he has a great record with regards to being a good steward with the Jesus Money. Can’t take that away from him and it is to be noted and commended.

  146. Alex says:

    …but he is OU which is a big character flaw…Go ‘Pokes!

  147. Alex says:

    1995 Bedlam Bowl

    The big fullback, #6, is my “little” brother Geoff. He overcame a lot after being abused terribly by our pastor step-dad…but it did make him physically and mentally tough.

  148. Alex says:

    You can see big Geoffro in the locker room scene right behind Coach Les Miles.

  149. Babylon's Dread says:

    My descriptions of the system is not an endorsement or a hearty embrace of our system. I am just deadly honest about the facts… we live in a free market church system

    If you gather people you have benefits from that work. If you fail to do so it is the same reality as a failed business. Many people live in feeder systems they come to people like me all the time and ask for my support of their failed support system. Sometimes the value of what they do compels me. Often it does not. Often I tell them to raise supporters if they want support.

    Denominational systems worked and still work if the brand is effective or the endowments are in place. The free church system that we have has internal checks and balances but those are only as good as the people who lead them.

    by all means read Chuck Fromm

    Fromm, Charles. “Textual Communities and New Song in the Multimedia Age: The Routinization of Charisma in the Jesus Movement.” PhD diss., Fuller Theological Seminary, 2006.

    If you are from the Jesus People Movement this is a great read… historical data, social analysis, and a hearty apologetic for winners and losers in the free market system. It also explains why some do very well and others fail

    Fromm believes the routinization of charisma is not just inevitable… (history agrees) but it is essential and salutary ( a split vote) Fromm was clearly in the winners circle.

    It really was a fascinating read and there is more for me to mine from it.

    Money is always the driver, it was the real driver in the Reformation, but as always better motives and deeper desires are mixed in. Without the European princes desire to get Rome from their pockets there would have been no Luther… and no reformation on the scale we had it.

    Nowadays many spiritual movements are rooted in deep desire to know God but when that succeeds it draws crowds and crowds bring money and money becomes the driver …

    You guys might want to bring down Ries the way MD was brought down. Lots of innocent people will suffer and Ries will quietly retire. But truly significant change always requires thunder lightning dark clouds and earthquakes… so keep praying.

  150. Steve Wright says:

    covered (and anyone reading),

    If I was on your elder board I would move immediately to give you about a 50% raise – with the stipulation that the money, after taxes, would go to purchase health and longterm care insurance on both you and your wife, life & disability on you, and have a little to put aside for retirement for you both as well.

    Obviously, I am not privy to your entire situation, nor am I asking – it is really a larger point using your example as a jumping off point. You may have some of these needs already “covered” (pun very much intended) 🙂

    Do not let the church purchase them, even though it saves a few dollars in taxes. You own them on yourselves and be responsible for paying them – the additional understanding is that if you were to spend the money elsewhere, the church would not have any moral obligation to provide what insurance would have paid. If you really wanted to be upfront, bring copies of the policies when they are renewed (and paid) to the Board meetings. If the church can’t afford it all at once, brainstorm the greatest need(s) and get what you can with that being a very shortterm goal once the finances are there.

    Personally, over 25% of my after tax income from the church is used for this protection for my wife and minor children (and in our case there is a group health insurance plan through the church covering others besides me – the only fringe benefit provided)

    As we age especially, but even in earlier years of ministry, these expenses should be seen as needs and at the end of the day it is for the best interest of the CHURCH, not just the pastor and his family.

    I have to run so followup will be much later.

  151. covered says:

    Steve, thank you for your counsel. Definitely something to consider. I can say that as it stands right now, that type of compensation would be a stretch.

    Like you, I am headed out to teach and appreciate your input.

  152. Alex says:

    Dread said, “You guys might want to bring down Ries the way MD was brought down”

    Actually, no. It would be a true miracle and it would shock the hell out of me…but I actually just wish Raul would repent and set a good example and return to his first love.

  153. Alex says:

    Nothing would make me happier than to see one of these guys truly come clean and repent.

    I know it is about as likely as Dread walking on water or turning water into wine…but I would sincerely love to see any of that.

    Nope, not gonna happen…I have faith in man and his greed and lust and pride and his ability to compartmentalize and spin away sin and wrongdoing. The bigger the leader, the more I believe it.

  154. Alex says:

    Closest I saw was Dread’s friend Ted Faggard, but he got caught before the repentance and there was no way for him to wiggle out of it or explain it away b/c he was guilty of the Evangelical Taboo sin of homosexuality.

  155. Babylon's Dread says:

    Ted was very confessional afterwards as well. Anyone can look up those old programs and see that Ted repented and publicly confessed many times.

    Ted is still my dear friend.

  156. Babylon's Dread says:

    Alex,

    On the other matter I continue to pray for you to get justice. I advocated that you pursue justice long ago and am glad you have done so. May it roll down like a river …

  157. Alex says:

    Yes, he certainly did after he was caught. I was on this blog when he came on here and answered questions. I asked him some direct questions and he answered honestly. He seems a good man and he did confess and repent. I actually like him and hope he’s doing well.

  158. Alex says:

    Dread, thank you for that. I think justice is being served in a process of just hanging tough and not going away.

    If the ruling is favorable it will be a big blow to BG.

  159. Jtk says:

    I could see Dread turning water into wine a lot easier than I could see a CC guy “do church” the way Michael does it….

  160. Antonio Clifton Jr says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is so up in arms about this, do you even know how much it costs to maintain a lavish lifestyle, to pay the bills on the Beamer and the Harley not to mention the couple of homes and the surfing trips? Why don’t you check what CEO’s make and pick on them, and doesn’t the Bible say “he became poor so we can become rich,” besides how are we going to reach the rich if we don’t become rich too! Hey “where God guides He provides!” That’s what we tell the poor and needy while we eat caviar and get in our luxury jet! So keep the money coming in, I think Jesus wants me to get a yatch, and my wife needs new implants!

  161. Dale Haynes says:

    I’ve just stumbled onto this site in the process of researching Greg Laurie (sp?), and have enjoyed nearly the entire dialogue, even when it gets testy. Especially comments #51-52 by Martin Luther’s Disciple (MLD) concerning the responsibility of the sheep. Though, again, almost all the other remarks have their points; and the mere fact that the dialogue exists is interesting.

    Thumbnail autobio: Raised Jehovah’s Witness. Threw baby of Scripture out with bathwater of Watchtower cult. 20-year descent into prodigal-son nihilism (I hear your “if he exists,” Alex). Finally admitted to self that self’s “scientific” atheism was nothing more than bitter, elaborate, morally convenient denial in the face of the METICULOUSLY ENCRYPTED DESIGN & MANUFACTURING BLUEPRINTS at the heart of the entire biological realm, including but not limited to the (global!) death-resurrection-ascension token/witness of the salvific — pollination — chrysalis. Repented of prodigal-son behaviors 15 years ago. Discovered existence of contemporary Messianic Jewish community required and virtually predicted by Jeremiah 30-33, by Israel’s Acts 2 seen in light of Israel’s Joel 2:27, by Romans 11:1-5 at the logical heart of the pivotal argument of Romans 9-11, and by the fact that the word church comes from a Greek word — kuriakon NOT ekklesia — that was not used in Matthew 16:18 and was apparently retrojected into Israel’s Renewed Covenant scripture by the moneymaking careeri$t in$titution calling itself the Church and marketing itself to antisemitic masse$ as the New Israel now entrusted with the superseded Jews’ greatest occult treasures (Scripture, Election, Messiah).

    That’s the rather eccentric journey this Gentile (per AncestryDNA) brings to his own late investigation of supersessioni$t Calvary Chapel. Like this antisemitic world’s phenomenally profitable Roman Catholicism and Protestantism before it, CC is making money hand over fist by assuring grateful immortality-hungry $heep in Southern California and beyond of irrevocable justification free from the contamination of lifelong Torah-observant Jews like Israel’s Yeshua of Nazareth — their Jesus is essentially an extremely profitable Gentile parody — and Rabbi Paul. This investigation is informed by the terrible Matthew 7:21-23 read in the context of 7:13-20. And by Romans 11:1-5, written by a rabbi who never once uses the scripturally rare (3X) word Christian in any of his many Epistles, read in the light of Jeremiah 30-33 and Joel 2:27.

    My entrenched habit of radical skepticism cannot truthfully deny that the worst or most suspect behaviors of careeri$t Chri$tianity do not exceed the horror of Mattityahu 7:21-23. What’s amazing to me is that Yeshua evidently considers even the “rich,” spiritually smug ekklesia of Ephesus, the last congregation He addresses in Revelation, a congregation that has effectively left Him standing outside (even as it no doubt preaches Him…or at least a clever imitation), as rightfully His. Nor is Messianic Judaism, the continuous faithful “remnant” of Israel as near as this researcher can tell, by any means exempt from the divine critique of its own Jewish Scripture. The Letter of Yaakov/Jacob (mysteriously renamed James by English Christianity) targets a synagogue — check the Greek of “James” 2:2 — whose Yeshua-believing leadership was, so typical of Israel’s unflattering history, sucking up to the wealthy and despising the poor (and normally uncredentialed), and contains some of the harshest pastoral admonition found anywhere in generally unflattering Scripture.

  162. Dale Haynes says:

    (cont’d) I meant Laodicea, of course, not Ephesus.

  163. Rae says:

    As a sheep of this church, i am horrified and all you educated touting pastors have no idea what you are talking about when you categorize us with your generalizations. I wonder if any of you know Jesus at all. I left ccgs because of the division he stirs in his own church, but this board of rants is far beyond the dialogue a God fearing man rooted in the words of Jesus would spew. The end of times is so close, i can smell it. In His time, and His will be done.

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