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Many televangelist scandals are rooted in misappropriation of funds, using the money they shouldn’t be for their own personal gain. A lot of the televangelists who people have negative opinions of teaching the “prosperity gospel,” which is a distortion of the true gospel. Ministers of the so-called “prosperity gospel” may make false and exaggerated promises for the sake of receiving financial donations: “If you give me ____, God will multiply it and give you _____ (usually money).” The greed within them causes them to speak falsely and distort the Word of God for their own selfish purposes, whether they realize it or not. Viewers may see some of these preachers flaunting their wealth, but are less certain if their donations are truly being used for kingdom purposes. First Timothy 6:9–10 warns: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” In reality, the Bible promises us hardships and persecution (John 15:20; 2 Timothy 3:12). True believers recognize the error of the “prosperity gospel” teaching, but some less mature believers are enticed by its lure and end up jaded and disappointed later.
MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…
plural noun: heretics
- a person believing in or practicing religious heresy.synonyms: dissident, dissenter, nonconformist, unorthodox thinker, heterodox thinker, apostate, freethinker, iconoclast, schismatic, renegade; sceptic, agnostic, atheist, nontheist, nonbeliever, unbeliever, idolater, idolatress, pagan, heathen; separatist, sectarian, revisionist; raretergiversator, recreant, recusant, nullifidian; archaic paynimpaynim”he was condemned as a heretic
- and executed at the stake”
- a person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted. The Bible identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.
In the prosperity gospel, also known as the “Word of Faith Movement,” the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite—God uses the believer. Prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God’s will. The prosperity gospel movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.
There’s no doubt that pastors have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. Getting rich is likely the last thing on most preachers’ minds; however, some persons of the cloth have accumulated their share of riches through public speaking, books, network TV shows – and of course, the collection plate. Here we’ll look at 10 of the richest pastors around, their net worth, and just how they accumulated their fortunes.
10. Joyce Meyer
She owns a private jet and several homes. | Joyce Meyers Ministries via Facebook
- Net worth: $8 million
During a childhood of sexual abuse, Joyce Meyer became a born-again Christian while in elementary school. She started teaching Bible classes that eventually were broadcast on the radio. In 1985, Meyer formed her own ministry, Life in the Word, and she also began airing a weekly TV show, Enjoying Everyday Life in 1995. She has a net worth of $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Meyer, 74, travels to public speaking engagements on her private jet. In 2004, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article listed her and her husband’s assets, which were reportedly all paid for by her ministry. They included her $10 million jet and several million-dollar homes, as well as a $107,000 silver Mercedes. After receiving criticism for these financial perks, Meyer announced plans to take a reduced salary and derive more of her personal income from her outside book sales.
Next: A spiritual adviser to the presidents is a multimillionaire.
9. T.D. Jakes
He’s friendly with the presidents. | Cooper Neill/Getty Images for MegaFest 2017
- Net worth: $18 million
T.D. Jakes spoke at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009. He also accompanied President George W. Bush to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Jakes founded The Potter’s House, a nondenominational megachurch. His sermons can be seen on Trinity Broadcasting Network and other religious channels.
Jakes’ net worth has been estimated at $18 million. He talked about his wealth with Oprah in a 2012 interview, and stated that he draws income from his megachurch, in addition to earning money off his best-selling books and producing movies.
Next: Preaching runs in this wealthy family’s blood.
8. Franklin Graham ,It should be noted Mr. Graham is not part of the prosperity gospel community
Rick Diamond/Getty Images
- Net worth: $25 million
Although Franklin Graham is an evangelist and son of well-known pastor Billy Graham, he didn’t convert to Christianity until he was 22 years old. He eventually went on to take over organizing events for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, of which he is now CEO and president. He has also authored many books and frequently takes part in Christian revival tours. His net worth is reported as $10 million.
The younger Graham, 65, came under criticism for calling Islam “a very evil and wicked religion” after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He came under further scrutiny when he remarked, “True Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can’t beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they’ve committed adultery … which they do practice in these other countries.”
Next: This rich pastor lives on 10% of his income.
7. Rick Warren
He donates most of his money to charity. | Alex Wong/Getty Images
- Net worth: $25 million
In 1980, Rick Warren founded the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Today the evangelical megachurch church is America’s fifth largest, and weekly attendance averages 20,000 people. Warren has also written best-selling book A Purpose Driven Life. His professed philosophy is to bring global harmony to the world by founding churches, promoting education, and helping the poor and sick.
Warren, 63, and his wife Kay Warren live on 10 percent of their income and donate the rest to charity. “I drive a 12-year-old Ford, have lived in the same house for the last 22 years, bought my watch at Wal-Mart, and I don’t own a boat or a jet,” Warren told Forbes. His net worth is $25 million, reported Celebrity Net Worth.
Next: His career-long audience has topped 2.2 billion.
6. Billy Graham
He was one of the first celebrity pastors. | Davis Turner/Getty Images
- Net worth: $25 million
Billy Graham, a Southern Baptist minister, became one of the first pastors to reach celebrity status. He gained popularity as his sermons were broadcast on radio stations and TV channels around the country. In 1950, he founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis. He also served as spiritual advisor to presidents Richard Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower and preached alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.
At the time of his death in February 2018 at age 99, Graham was estimated to have preached to over 2.2 billion people. He wrote 33 books, some of which became bestsellers. His net worth was reportedly $25 million.
Next: His congregation bought him a new jet.
5. Creflo Dollar
He was also arrested for a domestic disturbance. | Creflo A. Dollar via Facebook
- Net worth: $27 million
As his last name suggests, televangelist Creflo Dollar has amassed some riches – and he has the possessions to prove it. Dollar is an American Word of Faith teacher, pastor, and founder of the non-denominational World Changers Church International, based in Fulton County, Georgia. In 2007, he had a congregation of 30,000 as well as $69 million in cash collection revenue. Dollar preaches his philosophy that “it is the will of God for you to prosper in every way.”
Dollar has a reported net worth of $27 million. He has been criticized for his lifestyle and possessions, including two Rolls-Royce cars, a private jet, and million-dollar homes in Atlanta and Manhattan. When his Gulfstream jet ran off the runway, through the congregation and website donations, the ministry board was able to acquire a new one.
Next: A Houston mega-pastor is no stranger to controversy.
4. Joel Osteen
- Net worth: $40 million
Joel Osteen is senior pastor at Lakewood Church, the largest Protestant church in America. Weekly attendance at the Houston-based church is 52,000. In 1999, Osteen, now 54, inherited the church and its television ministry from his late father John Osteen. Today, 7 million people in 100 different countries watch Lakewood Church broadcasts every week. Osteen’s book Your Best Life Now was on the New York Times Best Seller list for 200 weeks.
Royalties from Osteen’s book sales, radio show, public speaking fees, and church collection reportedly generate $55 million per year. He and his wife, co-pastor Victoria Osteen, live with their two kids in a $10.5 million mansion in the Houston suburbs. Osteen’s net worth is reported as $40 million. In August 2017, after receiving criticism for not helping Hurricane Harvey victims, Osteen opened his 16,800-seat Houston megachurch to evacuees.
Next: The IRS famously raided this pastor’s headquarters.
3. Benny Hinn
He uses the church’s luxury goods. | Benny Hinn Ministries via Facebook
- Net worth: $60 million
Israeli-born televangelist Benny Hinn is best known for his “Miracle Crusades,” or faith healing summits, which are held in stadiums around the country and broadcast on his TV program This Is Your Day. He founded Orlando Christian Center church in 1983 and began holding his healing services there. Followers believe Hinn can heal any of their ailments if he prays over them.
Hinn’s personal use of church-owned luxury goods has attracted criticism. In April 2017, IRS and U.S. Postal Service criminal investigators raided Hinn’s headquarters in Grapevine, Texas. The Senate Finance Committee also investigated Hinn and five other televangelists in 2007. After several years, Hinn and the other pastors were cleared of wrongdoing. Hinn’s net worth is reported as $60 million.
Next: A charismatic televangelist is worth 9 figures.
2. Pat Robertson
He ran for president in 1988. | Mario Tama/Getty Images
- Net worth: $100 million
Televangelist Pat Robertson is a Southern Baptist with a charismatic ideology. In 1960, he founded Christian Broadcasting Network, which now broadcasts shows in 180 countries in 71 languages. The flagship show, The 700 Club, airs daily, featuring news, live guests, music, and testimony oriented around the Christian lifestyle.
In addition to his TV network, Robertson, 87, is a former Marine who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. president in 1988. He also founded Christian Coalition, a Christian Right organization that raises money for conservative political candidates. He is also founder, CEO, and chancellor of Regent University. Robertson’s net worth is reported as $100 million.
Next: Could America’s richest pastor be a billionaire?
1. Kenneth Copeland
The church funded his lakeside mansion and private jet. | Kenneth Copeland via Facebook
Net worth: $300 million
Kenneth Copeland converted to Christianity in the 1960s and went on to become a giant within the Word of Faith branch of Pentecostalism. He currently heads Kenneth Copeland Ministries and preaches through TV, books, DVDs, and CDs. Copeland preaches abundance and prosperity, commonly referred to as the prosperity gospel.
Kenneth Copeland Ministries is located on a 1,500-acre campus near Fort Worth, Texas. The grounds include a church as well as a private airstrip and hangar for a $17.5 million jet and other aircraft. Copeland reportedly lives in a $6.3 lakefront mansion funded by his church. Although Celebrity Net Worth reported he’s worth $300 million, other reports say Copeland could be worth $750 million or more. Source
They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.
Paul warned Timothy about such men in 1 Timothy 6:5, 9-11. These men of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (v. 9). The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10). If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20) and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas.
Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and instructed the Ephesians to avoid anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws that prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As the name “Word of Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.
A favorite term of prosperity gospel teachers is “positive confession.” This refers to the teaching that words themselves have creative power. What you say, prosperity teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer (as though man could require anything of God!). Thus, God’s ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith. James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Far from speaking things into existence in the future, we do not even know what tomorrow will bring or even whether we will be alive.
Instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the prosperity gospel emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”
Recommended Resource: Christianity in Crisis: 21st Century by Hank Hanegraaff
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
Like Joseph and Daniel of the Old Testament who served secular kings, we are called to serve everyone and help them fulfill their divine destiny. Jesus made it clear that people who want to lead or be great must be the servants of all. Serving is the way of leadership in the kingdom.
Forcing our way onto the world is not great leadership. Some accuse us of doing this very thing because we speak up on moral issues. It is important that we speak up on issues, but it’s also equally important that we love everyone no matter their persuasions.
Someday Jesus will rule the world; in the meantime, we should just serve well and let our good works speak of our Father who loves everyone.
Evil Exists So Spiritual Warfare Becomes Necessary!
MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…
Evil men don’t understand the importance of justice, but those who follow the Lord are much concerned about it. ~ Proverbs 28:5
Jesus come quick, there is nothing left in society that’s sacred….
THE WATCHMEN BRING THE MOST INTENSIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE TRAINING OF MODERN TIMES
New York, NY, USA – May 7, 2019: Renowned Non-Denominational Christian Movement, Hear the Watchmen has proudly announced that it is bringing the most intensive spiritual warfare training of modern times to Long Island with its upcoming workshop. This training workshop is titled ‘Spiritual Warfare’ and it is featuring the legendary Russ Dizdar. Moreover, tickets are now available online and the 4 Star Hyatt Regency of New York’s Long Island is expected to be packed with participants this summer. http://www.fox34.com/Global/story.asp?S=40428219
Pope and Imam Sign “One-World Religion” Covenant?
February 13, 2019 C.M.
A historic document signed recently by Pope Francis and leading Muslim Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb – whose official title is The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar – has many observers very concerned. This historic meeting between the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the most important Imam in Sunni Islam took place in Abu Dhabi at a gathering of religious leaders representing Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and other faiths. On the surface the covenant entitled “A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” stipulates its intention is to foster peace between nations, religions, and ethnic groups while combating extremism and violence. Obviously, this is an admirable effort worthy of support. Yet, certain ambiguous language in the document regarding God leads many to be cautious of the implications that may arise. Particularly, the idea that such a document could form the groundwork for a one-world religion!
Ambiguous Language Identifying God
While the document contains many remarks aimed at fostering a spirit of commonality between religions such as encouraging believers “to shake hands, embrace one another, kiss one another and even pray” together, it is the ambiguous reference to God that causes the greatest concern. The document uses the same term; God, to simultaneously reference the God of the Bible and Allah. One glaring example of this categorizes Christians and Muslims as “We, who believe in God.” Perhaps equally problematic is that the document claims that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” evident in the world were all intentionally “willed by God.” Moreover, the document claims that the idea that people should “adhere to a certain religion” should be rejected. Therefore, according to this document the perfect will of God allows for hundreds of different religions that must all be considered as equally valid. Such ideas have caused many to consider that the essence of this document is to push for a one-world religion. Sadly, this idea is not out of character for Pope Francis. In September 2015, during a stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Pope Francis stressed the unity between Christianity and Islam. Likewise, in January 2016 the Vatican released an extremely disturbing video in which Pope Francis declared that all of the major world religions are “seeking God or meeting God in different ways.”
Relevant Scripture Passages
It should be noted that many prophecy experts have long believed that numerous parallels can be drawn between the one-world religion described in Revelation 17:1-18, and the influence and power of the Roman Catholic Church. The book of Revelation describes a “great harlot,” or a false, one-world religion that will be prominent during the end times (Revelation 17:1-6). This one-world religion will be led by a “false prophet” (Revelation 13:11-15; 16:13; 19:10; 20:20). This false religion will dominate all people of the earth, all nations, and languages. While this inference is not certain, it certainly arouses our attention – especially in light of the history of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis’ statements in the past. Therefore, given the implications of this recent covenant between Pope Francis and Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb we should be in prayer.
PRAY: Pray that Christian leaders around the world would not be influenced by the ambiguous language used for God in this document. Pray that a clear distinction would remain between the God of the Bible and Allah. Pray that the Roman Catholic Church would not continue to make statements equating God with Allah.
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