A three-year investigation into financial improprieties at six Christian ministries whose television preaching bankrolled leaders’ lavish lifestyles has concluded with the formation of an independent commission to look into the lack of accountability by tax-exempt religious groups.
The investigation report
issued this week details the ministries’ luxury homes and cars, trips on private jets and expensive gifts, including two Rolls Royces that a third party reported was given to the Dollars as a gift from the church. [Read more...]
Even in an economic downturn, preachers in the “prosperity gospel” movement are drawing sizable, adoring audiences.
Their message — that if you have sufficient faith in God and the Bible and donate generously, God will multiply your offerings a hundredfold — is reassuring to many in hard times. [Read more...]
A Kenneth Copeland Ministry jet
worth $3.6 million has been denied tax-exempt status by the Tarrant Appraisal District, setting the stage for a battle that could require the minister to reveal his salary if he wants the jet to be tax-free.
Compensation paid Copeland and other members of his family has been the source of a U.S. senator’s inquiry
, but the televangelist has been unwilling
to disclose the information publicly.
If the ministry gives the compensation information to the appraisal district, it would be open to public disclosure, Law said. [Read more...]
The so-called ‘Prosperity Gospel
‘ — which claims that God wants you to be rich (but only after you give money to televangelists) — appears to work for a select group of people: relatives of the televangelists who came up with the ‘Blab-it-and-grab-it’ ploy. [Read more...]
Popular televangelist Kenneth Copeland is considered by many Christians to be a heretic. A key promoter of the so-called Word-Faith movement, which teaches that you can speak things into existence, and if you are sick it is because you don’t have enough faith.
Such faith is preferably expressed by sending money to teachers like Copeland. But Copeland does not have enough faith to allow a full investigation of his financial dealings. [Read more...]
Media-based televangelists benefiting from tax code exemptions are warned — Sen. Chuck Grassley is a terrier-like congressional inquisitor with time and a big stick on his side.
“I am not threatening them, at this point,” the Iowa Republican said. [Read more...]
Mr Copeland certainly practises what he preaches. According to a report into the pentecostal charismatics, commissioned by the Senate, the ministry built Mr Copeland and his wife Gloria a mansion “the size of an hotel” and enabled him to acquire a $20 million ( £10 million) Cessna Citation to help him to spread the word of God across the US. [Read more...]