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Should the CHURCH Ever NOT Be Transparent?

Scott on December 6, 2007 at 2:36 pm

As John reported here, the U.S. government has begun to try and get involved in the goings on at the some of the major televangelistic/media ministries. So far, the six “ministers” and “ministries” that have received letters of inquiry are:

Creflo Dollar (World Changers Church International)

Benny Hinn (World Healing Center Church, Inc)

Kenneth & Gloria Copeland (Kenneth Copeland Ministries)

Randy & Paula White (Without Walls International Church)

Joyce Meyer (Joyce Meyer Ministries)

Eddie Long (New Birth Missionary Baptist Church)

Specifically, Sen. Charles Grassley (R) of Iowa wants to see documentation related to the types of spending in which these organizations are engaged in an attempt to see if their excessive and/or exorbitant ways violate the US tax code and specifically those segments of the code related to the tax exempt status of religious organizations.

To date, the ministries have responded accordingly:

Creflo Dollar has refused to cooperate with the probe

Benny Hinn released a statement today saying that he will not respond to the senate inquiry until next year.

Joyce Meyer has complied with the request.

No word yet on the Copelands, the Whites or Eddie Long.

As has been stated before here and elsewhere, the first and primary problem with this whole situation is that the Body of Christ has allowed these idiots/charlatans/liars to thrive. Naïve and gullible believers who are ignorant and/or lazy in their faith allow for these hucksters to move in and take advantage.

Sad. Very Sad.

But now comes a second problem and along with it a very serious question – Is there ever a time when the Church (the body of Christ) is NOT transparent? Should there ever be a time when a church or a minister should refuse to answer questions, especially questions related to the validity of their work and their mission?

It seems to me that if “the world,” into which these ministries (and I use that term loosely) are supposed to be shining the light of God, has issues and questions related to the very heart and soul of the gospel and the validity of the work these organizations do, then these people should open up their doors, open up their books and say, “Come on in. Let us know what else you need.”

But maybe that’s just me.

For those in the Church who believe that the government should be hands-off, try these on for size:

I Thessalonians 5:21-22 (ESV)

test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

Romans 16: 17-18 (ESV)

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

2 Peter 3:16-17 (ESV)

There are some things in them [Paul's letters] that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

If the Church is ignorant and/or lazy and/or unwilling to make the tough decisions about these types of people and groups, it isn’t fair that the same Church cries foul and demands a hands-off approach when it comes to watching over these religiously affiliated groups.

It appears as though it has fallen to the unbelieving world to step in.

Again I say Sad. Very Sad.

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Category: Religion & Faith |

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