Pastors Under Probe for Lavish Lifestyles

15 November 2007
The Straits Times 

They are accused of spending donations on items like private jets and mansions.

Mr Roberts boarding a plane for New York to appear on the Larry King Live Show last week to answer allegations against him in a lawsuit. His ministry is one of those under investigation. -- PHOTO: APATLANTA – TELEVANGELIST leaders at several mega-churches in the United States have come under scrutiny following accusations that they have used donations illegally to fund opulent lifestyles.

A Senate committee is investigating leaders from six ministries, including Mr Creflo Dollar, the senior pastor of World Changers Church International, who preaches that God will reward the faithful with material riches.

It is a gospel that has won him a 25,000-strong congregation – and a Rolls Royce, a mansion and a private Gulfstream jet.

In a separate case, Mr Richard Roberts, president of the evangelical Oral Roberts University (ORU), is facing similar accusations of living lavishly on misspent university funds…… (continued)

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18 thoughts on “Pastors Under Probe for Lavish Lifestyles

  1. sad at how these “leaders of God” stumble others by living such lifestyles that does not concur with e teachings of the Bible. surely they are not men above reproach…

  2. Living such a lifestyle is not wrong, if you earn it by your mean, not by donation. I think Christian still can be rich and spend whatever they like as long as they don’t put Christian status in stake.
    With their mean of earning millions, they live a good life – travel where they like, if they want they can do some good – no so much of an obligation.
    Man in his one and only life, in the world he answered for his life; in heaven he must answer to God. If anyone claimed he can answer for some other people’s life, he talking crap. Nobody can answer for another person’s life.
    For me, I really hate people trying to manipulate my thinking, if they are so good – why didn’t I see success in their life? Of course, we must beware of wolf hidden in the sheep skin, for me, I must also be aware of pig hidden in the tiger skin – people with good character but say something stupid.

  3. Hi Caesar,

    Well, I also hope to become rich also in the future ;p

    Not to say that Christians cannot be rich, but as you say, the means by which I earn our wealth should be a legitimate one. Definitely, there are rich Christians around who are good examples to society & they make use of their riches to influence the world positively. I hope you will become one too. 🙂

    However, what I think abt the people mentioned in Andrew’s blog article are that they are church leaders (pastors) who unfortunately live a lifestyle that cause others (believers & non-believers) to question the genuniness of our Faith and perhaps some to fall away. The Bible says clearly that an church leader must live a life above reproach, meaning an open transparent life that no one can accuse of wrongdoing or questionable behavior.

    “So an elder must be a man whose life is ABOVE REPROACH. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a GOOD REPUTATION. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.” 1 Tim 3:2 (TLB version)

  4. so wat are ur thoughts abt the article Andrew?

    I just had a debate when my friend from city harvest posted this on his blog.

    It stems from the prosperity gospel which basically feeds off human’s self-centredness.

  5. Use riches to influence the world, sound like buying Christian. One must successful in order to influence the world. Trust of love is never based on money.
    I also know that people keep a lot of things from me, I don’t blame them. Because I myself also keep a lot of insight from my QT for myself. Only sometime I wrote in my blog or my friend’s blogs. I don’t cast pearl to swine.
    Sometime, people ask me thing just to prove their saying, purposely making me look ugly. Sometime, negative people come and say negative thing – you know it really suck my positive. Like John Gray say, people with negative after talking positive people, they feel better. But at the same the positive feel less positive. I think such an act are very selfish.
    Do something good for yourself at the expense of others.

  6. “However, what I think abt the people mentioned in Andrew’s blog article are that they are church leaders (pastors) who unfortunately live a lifestyle that cause others (believers & non-believers) to question the genuniness of our Faith and perhaps some to fall away. The Bible says clearly that an church leader must live a life above reproach, meaning an open transparent life that no one can accuse of wrongdoing or questionable behavior.”

    Faith is more of a inside job, you cannot have faith by just seeing your pastor. If one’s faith is build on the outside thing, I don’t he or she have any faith. I say to myself, even my pastor fell short of it. It will not shaken my faith – that is faith. I still can remember one day, pastor say something of a guy appointed by a famous pastor. He did his mission work very well, until he see picture of people suffering – he have doubts – if God is good, why is that suffering. Then he turned away from God. Yes, Jesus come down to take away your eternal suffering. But in this world, you still have suffering.
    I think that Jesus himself have say something like thing. That is no point of blaming other, when you don’t faith. And such thing happen is like a rock to test our faith. You can build your faith in this cornerstone, or you trip and fell by it. If one never see the false, how can he tell what real is real. There a lot of people think they have to fight the dark forces of the world to get their salvation – but Jesus already won the battle. By the way, their job is to tell the good news – that is why Gospel is call good news.

  7. there is really nothing very original about our system of governance through the rule of money just like your pair of levis you have been wearing which is also imported.

    the world reflects the church in the west, and the church reflects the world.

    if CEO can live it up, the question is, why not the servant of God(pastor etc) who is even HIGHER in standing( at least in the eyes of God’s people)than the worldly leader? isn’t that the ‘logical argument’ that itching years love to hear?

    truth be told, the church is run like a business empire now. everything is for sale from songs to sermons. like one mighty incorporated said, if you run a multi billion dollar organsisation, why should you not paid likewise?

    so the same worldly argument seeps into the church or rather, from the church, the perverted doctrine polluted the world and justified the rich man lifestyle over the damn poor old lazarus!

  8. Everyone of us will have to be answerable for how we chose to live our lives on the Day of Judgement. So let’s leave all that fingerpointing to the ONE who have the right to do that.

    Sad that how some of these news might have stumbled some people, be it Christians or not. But we have to be realistic that no one is infallible. We all fall, some way or another, sometimes publicly, sometimes not. Whatever the case, as long as we repent and get up again and again, not giving up on ourselves and not giving up on others as well, we are not too far from GOD coz HE is surely there to help us. HE is afterall GOD of the most important reconciliation the world ever needs!

    Our faith is in our LORD JESUS CHRIST. GOD will bring to justice what is not right in HIS time. We have already seen how GOD is tightening the belt. Yet, let us all be full of grace to one another and continue to pursue GOD and HIS will for our lives.

    *Salute to Apostle Paul for the tentmaker he was, for the life he’d led. It’s not about blessings (in their various form), it’s about GOD 🙂

  9. “But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it FREE Of CHARGE, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. ”
    1 Cor9

  10. strange logic.let’s say you have been lied to and cheated by your teacher. someone comes along and point that out to you. instead of honestly looking at the evidences and verifying the facts, you turned to your detractor, smiled smugly and then said: never mind, let God be the judge.

    the unspoken message seems to be : i want to be conned and let the teacher continues with the con. i don’t really care because it is someone else problem, not mine. i find that a rather troubling state of mental disposition and logic. or the mind has somehow been lulled into slumber.

    if the teacher has really been perpetrating falsehood, don’t you think you have a responsibility to warn others less more be cheated? unless in your mind still, despite the definitive word and the spirit in which it was written or said, you still harbor the con?

    it has to be. your delusional smugness seems to provide the credence.

  11. passerby:

    I agree with your logical points. However I guess the complication arises when the one that lied and cheated is our “parents” whom we place our trust on.

    Would we be able or should we rat on them?

    I am just adding this illustration for a food for thought.

  12. “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” Mat23

    When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Gal2

    “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man
    shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered
    thy soul.” Eze33

  13. God calls us to have wisdom in interacting with others. Of course, God gave us brains. God also gives the Holy Spirit and spirit of discernment or wisdom to those who ask for it. So, if there is something really wrong with how our money is being used by somebody else (whether it is a church leader or anybody else ) , of course we can make a stand and refuse to contribute to the wrong use of money. At the same time, none of us is in any position to judge or condemn them to hell. God still calls us to love , bless and pray for them.

    An analogy is to our family (for this is the family of Christ ; brothers-in-Christ and sisters-in-Christ ).

    Even if our biological father and mother cheat us , we don’t smugly condemn them and eagerly heap abuse on them, do we ? NO, we feel sad but still hope and believe the best in them.

    At the same time, let’s not be overly suspicious of the church , which is GOD’s idea. “And on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail ,” said Jesus.

    Most church leaders are not misusing money; it’s only those who do that are most notorious/famous.

    I know my church leaders are not.

    And of course we should not let all these discussions be an EXCUSE to excuse ourselves from contributing money to the church, which is GOD’s work. . . It’s always easy to make excuses for not giving tithes and offerings , isn’t it ?

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