Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki says his $1 million-plus home and $75,000 car are “not much” of a reward for decades of clean and righteous living and taking his message to the masses.
In an interview with broadcaster Willie Jackson on Radio Live yesterday, Bishop Tamaki, who was accompanied by church spokesman Richard Lewis, said his expensive car and $1.25 million home at Maraetai in Manukau City were just reward for living right and working hard.
He said he had never been on a benefit, nor had it been in his mind that ministering to the church, which has a membership of 7000, was a vocation people took to make money.
“My wife and I have lived right, we don’t drink, smoke, we haven’t wasted our money, we have got some wisdom behind us,” he said. “Shouldn’t we have a house and a car by now?”
But a former high-ranking Destiny member told the Weekend Herald he and others left because people were hearing less about Jesus Christ and hearing more about the church’s leader.
The man, who has since joined another church in Auckland, had a close association with Bishop Tamaki but left after the two clashed over their theological differences.
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“You want people to focus on the content of what you’re saying, so when the finance, the glitz and the lifestyle take precedence over what you are saying, all people are seeing is the bling,” he said.
“What they didn’t hear much about was about being good, caring Christians and sure, the pastor shouldn’t be riding a Raleigh 20 bike, but there’s a fine line and if you want to reach more people you have to tone things down.’
The man said he could understand his former colleague Pastor Andrew Stock’s reasons for walking out of Brisbane’s Destiny Church this week allegedly because of concerns over the church’s covenant.