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Pulpit Prosperity

I’m sure most of you have heard the brewing controversy over the pastors of some “Mega Churches” and their alleged financial impropriety.  Regardless of how this all ultimately plays out, the headlines have already stirred the pot about prosperity and religion.  Some feel that these ministers preach a message about prosperity in an effort to convince people to give more money to their church.   

When I see a pastor more concerned about his own prosperity than the souls in his congregation, no he can’t get my money, but more importantly he can’t get my ear!  I can’t sit in a church and listen to someone spew a message that contradicts how I feel in my heart.  When I see people that are more enthralled by the outfit the pastor was wearing, I am naturally going to give them a side glance. (If you can’t tell me what the message was about on Sunday, but you can tell me what color gators and what color cufflinks the preacher was wearing I’m gonna say you are the one with the problem!) 

I give my offerings to the church in good faith that the money is going towards doing God’s work.  None of us have the time to really police how every dime is being spent, but personally I believe that God will deal more harshly with anyone that steals from the church than I ever could.   

Two of the pastors mentioned in this probe are based out of Atlanta.  I am not a member of either church, so I am not an expert on their particular message.  I’ve attended World Changers a couple of times, but it was not for me.  Creflo Dollar could not meet my spiritual needs, so I could never call his place of worship my church home.  I do know several “World Changers”, and they love it, so I guess he gives a word that they need to hear.  I have never heard Eddie Long preach, but I know his church stays packed so he must be giving a word someone needs to hear as well.

My biggest concern in all of this is it’s propensity to put the black church under so much scrutiny, especially because our culture has always been rooted in the church.  Once upon a time, preachers lived off of love offerings and the helping hand fund.  Now that we are a more prosperous people, we give more money to ministry.  Currently our churches provide bigger outreach programs to our communities, and the demands on pastors are a lot greater than they were twenty years ago.  I guess it’s natural for “poor preachers” to be the exception not the rule in 2007.  Are poor preachers more reputable?  Should we naturally assume the preacher that can afford custom tailored suits is stealing from the building fund?   

There is a good argument to be made for each side here, but is it really our (me, you, the media, congress’s) argument to make?  Those of us that go to church should do so to hear a word from God.  Chances are if your spirit is not being nourished at a particular place, you’ll leave.  The question should then be, what are people looking for from their church, and is that need being met.   

They say you should never discuss politics or religion, so I guess I am really asking for it with this blog.  And before you ask: yes I do go to church.  No, I do not attend a “Mega Church”.   Yes, I do attend the congregational meetings, so I know how my church is disbursing money. Having said all that, what is your take on prosperity in the pulpit?



November 8, 2007 - Posted by | Faith, religion, Society


  1. I don’t know if anyone remembers the Reverend Leon Lonnie Love from In Living COlor. His last name was “love” and he was more concerned with luvin the ladies in the chuch that anything else. So by that lgic if names mean something, how can intelligent people follow a pastor with the last name “dollar”????? They should know he’s all about the $$$$. I think the big churches do a lot in the community maybe, but sometimes you go in there and feel nothing….like all they care about is saying they have 5000 members. I like my medium size church where the good reverend doctor knows my name and knows my childs name! If I miss a couple of sundays best believe my deacon is calling to make sure I havent jumped ship. Do big churches even assign you a deacon? Who do you call when you need prayer?

    Comment by Tameka | November 8, 2007

  2. To Whom It May Concern:

    For the past couple of days I have been inundated with circumstantial information from the Television, Radio, Internet, Emails, Blogs and just general conversation stemming from the letter Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent to the six televangelist Christian Pastors. For those that do not know Sen. Grassley is the highest ranking member of the Senate Finance Board. He has spearheaded a probe to investigate inappropriate spending of these Christian Pastors and their ministries. I felt it on my spirit to shed light on smear the tactics used by the government and the media to keep us in the dark and have us walking lost through the Matrix.

    This probe is in direct violation of the 1st Amendment, which protects churches from governmental intrusion. It is not a coincidence that this Amendment is number one. Our forefathers saw the problems with governmental involvement when it comes to ones beliefs/faith and decided to build our country’s philosophies to strongly oppose that. At this point, the compliance of the Christian Pastors and churches to open their business records is voluntary. But then again, is it voluntary? The government has publicly accused these men and women of God of wrong doing. The trial has already begun in the media, online and at water coolers in offices around the world. This play by the government is unprecedented, meaning that it has never happened before and is crossing a very fine line that affects us all.

    Let’s dig into it. All I have been hearing about in the media is marble toilets, Bentleys, private jets, lavish events and million dollars houses. Are we really talking about toilets, or is this the first step of a propaganda campaign to discredit yet another one of our African American leaders? For the record it was not an African American Pastor accused of the marble toilet, but on TV they are the ones getting more face time during these news editorials. If you do not think reports of $30,000 toilets are not a calculated psychological plot to outrage you, you must start to read between the lines. Why does the Senate have to send a letter to find out how much a Pastor makes annually, the cost of his/her house, cars he/she drives and their luxury spending? Isn’t that the IRS’s job? Wouldn’t they have access to that information without playing it out in the media? Wouldn’t the FAA have records of their private plane, the cost, the mileage and the itinerary? The answer, if you really do not know already, is they can find out whatever they want to know with a couple of strikes of a keyboard.

    Times have changed from the days of fried chicken sales and fish fry’s to raise money for our churches. When we were not financially prosperous it was all good. But when we started running our churches as successful business models and building debt free houses of worship it became a problem. Once we began employing hundreds and sending our children [with scholarships] to the same Universities as these government officials’ children attend, they wanted to investigate. Churches are businesses now, whether small or mega. The Pastor is somewhat of a CEO and if the company is successful, of course he/she will also bear fruit. Many of these Pastors are not only anointed to speak the word of God, but are very business savvy and have positioned themselves to receive several systems of revenue that are not church related. They create revenue flows from speaking engagements, publishing books, TV appearances, consulting, DVDs / CDs, real estate and just investing their money properly. Just because you see a person of God driving a nice car, does not mean they are stealing from the people. They have properly aligned themselves with the Lord and he has opened doors, opportunities, and other streams of income. Please do not get caught up the myth that God wants to see his people broke, he wants us to be fruitful.

    The primary reason I am writing you is that we must protect the integrity of our Pastors, Reverends and Ministers. In some communities, our churches are the only form of outreach. The church has become a modern day underground rail road, and the main champion to fight against social and governmental injustice. Look at history and look at present day race relations. Who organized the march on Washington and a few months ago the march in Jenna, LA.? The character assassinations of these men and women will affect us, Christianity, and our communities more than I think any of you would ever image.

    So before you cast judgment on these people, reply to an email without thinking, or answer a blog; pray for them. This investigation will impact us all. Trust, if any of their houses are not in order, the Lord Jesus will deal him them 100 times more than the government would ever be able to. They will definitely be accountable, because they are held to a higher standard. Yes, there are some with the wrong agendas and they should be exposed. But please don’t let the government, media or anyone else sway you from going to church and having a personal relationship with GOD. Thank you for reading and keep the faith.

    Be blessed.

    Acts 5:38-39

    Comment by The Lone Wolf | November 9, 2007

  3. My position is this…if these pastors are found to be in violation of how they’re using funds…then they oughtta be tried and convicted like any other criminal. It’s like the the “Bad Cop” syndrome…one crooked cop makes them all look a lot worse. While leaders of the church are merely men and women – I beleive that they should be held to a higher standard due to their position. They should take the good with the bad!

    I don’t care how much money any of them make but if they’re doing wrong by the members of their church…they should be dealt with…period. Ain’t nothing worse than a crooked man/woman of the cloth! Well…maybe there is…these pedophile teachers that’s running around here like they don’t have any sense.

    Comment by Linwood | November 19, 2007

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