Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Evangelical groups are worried about the Grassley inquiry

Though I'm concerned that we are misunderstood I'm not embarrassed by this inquiry since the prosperity gospel really isn't the gospel. This has nothing to do with the biblical Christianity:

Among the many conservative Christians who feel misunderstood by the general public, the six televangelists under investigation by a Senate committee are an embarrassment.

The ministers' on-air faith healings and fundraising, backed by self- serving misinterpretations of Scripture, reinforce offensive stereotypes of greedy preachers and their unquestioning followers, critics say.

But traditional Christians aren't universally celebrating the inquiry. Some are wondering whether the investigation led by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is the right way to end any wrongdoing, especially if the result is more government oversight of all ministries.

"We're not representing any of the parties involved, but when I see a senator charging into organizations, wielding this kind of budget ax and laying bare religious figures and expenditures, huge constitutional questions are being raised," said Garry McCaleb, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, a religious liberty legal group founded by James Dobson of Focus on the Family and other influential evangelicals.

Craig Parshall, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Religious Broadcasters, a trade association, said the questions that Grassley sent the six ministries about their finances were too broad. None of the televangelists is a member of the NRB.

"We don't have any inside information of the financial workings of the six ministries involved," Parshall said. "What we're concerned about is the future of Christian broadcasting and Christian ministries—nonprofit ones—if this inquiry is either broadened or ratcheted up and hearings are held and new legislation is considered."


All the ministries preach a form of Word of Faith theology, known as prosperity gospel, which effectively teaches that God wants believers to be rich. The ministries have said separately that they are committed to following the tax laws, but it is not known whether they will all comply with Grassley's request by the deadline.

"This has nothing to do with church doctrine," said Grassley, who has been investigating nonprofit compliance with the tax code for years. "This has everything to do the with tax exemption of an organization."

But Grassley irked some religious leaders when he quipped about the lifestyles of the preachers under investigation, saying Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey, not a Rolls Royce.
The solution to this is easy, just tell Grassley that opulence is part of the religion and that the pastor has to be the example of wealth to sell the message. It really doesn't matter how Grassley and others view their form of Christianity it matters what they believe. It's their religion and doesn't have to conform to historical, biblical Christianity to be a religion.

I share the concerns of these leaders because once the camel gets it's noise in the tent, the rest is sure to follow.

Related Posts:
Sen. Charles Grassley Asks Ministries To Turn Over Financial Records