"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ed Young: "No Secrets" or "No Answers"?



As most of you know, a local Dallas TV station aired a scathing investigative story during their ratings sweeep week, on Ed Young, pastor of SBC-affiliated Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX. Young posted his response to the story on his blog, with the post entitled "No Secrets".

Perhaps a better title would be "No Answers".

The news reporter claims credible sources have told him details of business transactions benefiting the Young's, the purchase of an 8-million dollar Falcon 50 private jet, and a total compensation package of $1.24 million.

Well, I want to focus not on the allegations or the news report...if true, its no big deal, just another millionaire preacher getting rich off of money given sacrificially by Christians who've been duped into thinking they're giving it to God. We've seen lots of these in the past 20 years. Nothing new there.

It is instructive, however, to examine the initial response of Young at his blog site 2/4/10, and the comments posted by his loyalists (counting over 130 as of this writing). They are using the same general template that other mega church pastors use when there are serious questions cast on their ministry. It is a template that hurts their ministry more than if they would be open and honest and transparent...and worst of all: its a template that demonstrates hypocrisy and arrogance on the part of the minister, and stupidy and gullibility on the part of the minister's followers - both of which do as much harm to the cause of Christ as the accusations themselves.

Here's the template response:

1. Whatever I did, my motives are right because I am called by God in my ministry.

You'll notice Ed starts off his response on his blog by saying he was called into the ministry by God. So what? That matters zilch when accusations of lavish spending and secrecy are raised. Every single minister who gets in trouble can make the same claim and it just has no relevance. I'd like to see a corporate CEO try that line of reasoning to address serious allegations against him.

2. The followers say: It doesn't matter, you're doing great things for God.

When a ministry has questions raised in the media, the minister's supporters will tend to not even want the questions answered. They instead express support by citing all the wonderful deeds the minister has done, and how their lives were blessed by him/her, as though any of that has relevance.

The vast majority of commenters on Ed's blog support him and cite all the wonderful things he has done for them and the Kingdom. Samples:

"Don't ever quit!!! Jesus is victorious!!! You and your family have had a significant impact on the lives of many."

"Pastor, I came to Christ because of a sermon you gave. My boyfriend and I chose to live a Christian life because of your teachings. Please, have no doubts as to why you became a pastor. The church is behind you and believes in you."

"My wife and I stand in support of you, Lisa, and your family during this time and are praying relentlessly against the wiles of Satan."

"The news piece was ridiculous. Since when do you have to disclose everything you own? Your members know that you have been signed on for amazing book deals because of the communicator you are and that has nothing to do with spending the church's money. "

"The salary and house doesn't bother me. Everyone who attends the church knows you make a lot of money. It's not like you or Lisa hide the bling, nor should you hide it. Like the old saying goes, 'If you’ve got it, flaunt it.' "

"The report was one-sided and clearly uneducated as to the vast amount of work done by both Fellowship and Ed Young to bring the Word to the entire world. Ed works harder than anyone I know - preaching, speaking, writing and being a father/husband. "


"At the end of the day I know that I am being obedient by tithing and serving the church. Whether or not these funds are being misused is not for me to judge. "

and my favorite:

"Immediatly after watching the news cast my husband and I went on line and tithed. We trust you Ed and Lisa and are continualy blessed by your leadership and teaching."

3. I absolutely will not answer your questions

Instead of answering questions like: yes, we do have a jet, and here's why...and no, we didn't take a vacation to the Bahamas and Mexico on the jet, or we did and we reimbursed the church for the cost of the plane...instead Ed states that he will not even so much as read or watch the news report! Imagine that, his ministry is on the news about HIS spending habits, and an airplane that HE rides in, and money HE takes from the ministry, and he will not watch or read the news account? Again, imagine a CEO giving that sort of response to allegations about his company. Ed's blog entry is entitled "No Secrets", but it really should be "No Answers".

These mega church pastors would sooner burn the place down than answer questions from lay people much less a pesky reporter. Does Ed really make a million and a quarter per year? Did the church or some ancillary 501(c)3 buy a jet? Did he take the jet to the Bahamas and Mexico? They will not answer. They owe no one any answers. To answer is to be weak. To answer would invite more questions, and they don't want more questions.

4. I am not accountable to the public or to the donors, only a few close advisers.

Ed says that "proper people" know the facts and hold him accountable. Sorry, but in the church setting that means zippo. Many mega churches have bylaws that essentially allow the pastor to hand pick the trustees and financial officers of the church, thus there is very little accountability. Not saying that is the case here...but the point is open disclosure of finanical records to each and every donor, like pastor compensation packages and gifts and air plane contracts - now THAT would be accountability.

5. My pay is fair and in-line with other similar pastors.

They will never, ever, release total compensation packages of the pastor. They will say things like "we have an independent group that ensures it is fair and equitible based on studies of like churches". Some might even speak of "salary" numbers but not include all of the "allowances". Some might even say statements like "I'm one of the lowest paid mega church pastors in the SBC."

But never, ever, will they release compensation numbers. Unless Senator Grassely asks, then its 50/50.

6. The questioner is "Satan", and the questions are a device of the devil to divide the church.

In the minds of the minister and his/her followers, accusations of impropriety are proof that the minister is doing the will of God. Look at any church scandal, and that is always the initial response. Anybody who dares to publicly call for answers on how money is spent by a mega church will be accused of "doing the work of Satan". The questioners will be told they are just "jealous". Some will warn the questioner that God will bring a plague on them.

This investigative report included an anonymous "former staff member". The template calls for him to be called a coward. If they can find out who he is, there is a good chance he will be slandered and ridiculed.

Again, more quotes on the blog:

"Strangely enough, all the report really did was make one person look like a coward. If you have a problem with your brother, bring it to him. Don't cover your head and have your voice changed. "

"Remember this is part of Satan's schemes to kill and destroy all who serve in the kingdom of God. "


"I can't help but think that this attack came to be at the end of a church-wide month long fast. Satan has to work extra hard to try to overpower the blessings of Fellowship Church."

"One gets attacked the most when one is doing what is right!"

"We are sorry that the devil is dancing and have lifted you up in our prayers. "

And my favorite:

"I am sure that when your and Lisa's feet hit the floor each morning the devil and his minions jump up and scream kicking it into Mach 3 with their hair catching fire because they know they have to 'work like hell' to attack all the advances that will be made in God's kingdom through His use of the gifts and talents He so kindly bestowed upon both of you."

7. The minister will receive a standing ovation in the first church service after the accusations.

Guaranteed. No matter the accusations, the minister will address them in a very vague way, not directly, will claim to not be perfect, will minimize the concerns, will use God's will as a defense, and will say that the devil gets busy when God's man is doing God's will.

And the minister will get a standing ovation from the faithful. He will act humble, maybe shed a tear out the corner of his eye.

What should Ed Young Do?

Ed Young should answer the questions directly. They are easy to answer. He can humble himself and give an answer for the plane and his salary. Maybe they did a cost/benefit analysis on all of his travel expenses and the jet made sense.

But he won't, and likely his congregation won't require him to.

155 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Bible directs us as Christians to always be ready to give an answer when questioned. To give answer to the "Hope" that is within us. There should never be a need to avoid questions as failure to do so just raises more questions. I believe Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggert fell into disrespect after their answers were proven wrong and deceitful. Even Pilate asked Jesus "what was truth". This plays out on television each and every day when someone is exposed for not telling the whole truth, especially after denying any previous wrongdoing.

Ministers, especially, should always be above reproach and avoid the very appearance of evil. There should never be one doubt regarding their love for Jesus, their relationships with their family, their finances, their ministry, and what they do for the Lord 24/7. Personal requirements are very important when one "goes forth" in the name of Jesus. Much is required of a person, especially ministers!

Rather than calling questioners the attack of Satan, why not just print their finances monthly for all to observe. Billy Graham did for years, with truth and no problems. CEO's of businesses have to provide their financial information to CPA's every year. Its no big deal, however when it is hidden it suddenly becomes a BIG DEAL!!! Where there is smoke there is usually fire. In some of these "preacher problems" it can become a raging inferno. People don't like it when their man made "heros" default on the misplaced faith others have in them.

FBC Choir Member said...

"Many mega churches have bylaws that essentially allow the pastor to hand pick the trustees and financial officers of the church,"

If you don't like the slate of trustee candidates the pastor nominates, then don't vote for them. I asked one of the trustees what would happen if the slate of candidates were defeated, and he said there would then be a general election.

Jon L. Estes said...

If his congregation won't ask him to, what business is it of anyone outside the church?

Anonymous said...

Choir Member 8:34 AM

Are you kidding? In most mega churches the same, (basically), hand picked by EACH OTHER, members have been ensconced forever. A "general election", ha, don't you believe it. Never happen!!! It's a closed society, so to speak, in most of these churches. For years, most never had a general election for ANYTHING. Just a group of "elitest, yes men". I have watched it for years...I don't expect anything to change. Members of most churches are TOLD only info regarding church business, on a need to know basis. Only enough info to get a "1,2,3, vote", the way they want it.. Just enough info to say "the people voted". RIGHT!!! Most of the time you never get the "full picture". It is all manipulated for public consumption. BTW, could I sell you a bridge over a desert?

Lydia said...

If his congregation won't ask him to, what business is it of anyone outside the church?

February 6, 2010 9:11 AM

Right out of the playbook. Jon, I hate to point out the obvious but didn't your mom ever ask you if all the kids were jumping off a bridge, would you jump, too?

Besides, Most SBC congregations today, after 30 years of the CR, have been taught the leader is God's anointed. I even saw you write that once on the BBC blog.

Thy Peace said...

What would these jet setting pastors do when the real tribulations start? Will they forsake their wealth and status to do the dirty work of boldly preaching against intimidation, bodily harm and without compensation?

It is coming. Then all will be sifted. Then Christians will know who is truly of God and who is of the devil.

Anonymous said...

Does the lavish lifestyles turn people away from Jesus Christ?

My answer is yes. I guess some people don't see it that way.

Parlin Family said...

Let me get this straight. If Ed Young drove a 2001 Ford Taurus, flew coach on Southwest Airlines, and lived in a $200,000 house, then all of a sudden you misguided fools would support FC? Come on. Ed Young will outlast his critics as he has at FC for 20 years. I will be bringing my tithe check tonight and cant wait to drop it in the bag when its passed in front of me. And, how do you know Ed wont answer some of these questions during this week's message? Thank you Ed and FC for always challenging the status quo of most churches without compromising the Truth of God's Word. Ed, "if they ain't talkin about ya, thats when you need to worry." REAL life-change is happening at FC, so they will always get my money. Its funny that you never hear small churches get attacked.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Parlins - you're right, Ed Young may very well answer the questions and give explanations on Sunday.

But the point is, its very, very unlikely. Wealthy mega church pastors don't explain or discuss such things, because they don't have to. They know their supporters aren't all that concerned about such things; in fact most of them know that their supporters take a perverse pride in knowing they are giving money so their pastor can be a rock star. Most of the loyal supporters will drop their tithe and even a little extra into the plate (or bag) after the heat gets turned up. Your church will probably collect a larger than average collection Sunday.

But perhaps he will surprise everyone and explain whether the church has a jet, what the decision making process was in justifying the jet, and whether those trips to the Bahamas and Mexico were ministry trips or vacations, and he might explain why he needs a $220,000 "parsonage allowance".

Just know that the unbelieving world sees the lavishness, and they see the arrogant responses when valid questions are raised, and they see the gullibility of the supporters, and it turns many people away from Christianity.

Signed,

A Happy "Misguided Fool"

Lydia said...

Parlin, You seem to have missed some important details. From the article posted yesterday:

One former staff member who says he was close to Young but wishes not to be identified, described it this way: "The lack of accountability. The lavish lifestyle that keeps increasing, while the attendance keeps decreasing."

Over the past few weeks, News 8 has been in contact with a number of individuals who were once close to Young at his massive Fellowship Church in Grapevine, disturbed by his direction and treatment of staff.

Young recently replaced his chief financial officer and replaced him with his personal attorney, business partner and fishing buddy, Dennis Brewer Jr.

With Brewer's help and a complex series of business creations and transactions, Young is now jetting around the country in a French-made Falcon 50 private jet; estimated value, $8.4 million.

Records obtained by News 8 indicate Fellowship Church became the operator of the jet in March of 2007. News 8 discovered the jet parked in a hangar at Alliance Airport north of Fort Worth, tucked away where only a select few can see it.

Those who hear him preach every Sunday have never been told about the aircraft.

"The staff members are told that there is no plane, and several staff members who have actually been on the plane have denied that there is a plane," said the former employee source.

Young, who declined an on-camera interview, told News 8 through a spokesman he "travels globally offering messages of inspiration and transformation to his peers and other pastors."

He makes no mention of traveling in a personal jet.

But FAA records show that as soon as Young took possession of the jet in 2007, the aircraft logged a week-long trip to the Bahamas.

One month later, Young's jet logged a six-day trip to Chetumal, Mexico, also known as the gateway to Belize.

But it's not just the jet and the international travel the Young keeps out of sight.

News 8 has also learned that Young's 10,000 square foot, $1.5 million estate on Lake Grapevine is not listed on the tax rolls in his name, but rather in the name of "Palometa Revocable Trust."

Records show that Young was paid $240,000 a year as a parsonage allowance; that's in addition what sources say is a $1 million yearly pastor's salary.

Young declined to discuss his salary and compensation with News 8, but his spokesman said the pastor's pay "is governed without his participation by an Independent Compensation Committee, relying on outside consultation with knowledgeable and experienced church leaders."

News 8 has also learned that in 2007, Young sold the intellectual property of Fellowship Church's marketing Web site, CreativePastors. He also sold the church's membership mailing list to a newly-formed, for-profit company called EY Publishing.

Today, CreativePastors.com is used by the Youngs to sell his sermons and books for profit.

"When did the intellectual property, when did the preaching and the Bible notes and the books become intellectual property for the pastor?" asked Ole Anthony of the Trinity Foundation in Dallas. "That's the property of the church."

Continued...

Lydia said...

part 2

Anthony says he and his Trinity Foundation investigative team have been monitoring Ed Young for the past three years. He believes Young has fallen into the same trap as many other televangelists he has investigated over the years.

"But now he's just bought in to greed in the name of God," Anthony said. "They are sanctifying greed, and that's what's so evil."

In the past few years, Young and his attorney, Dennis Brewer Jr., have created a number of for-profit companies generating money apart from Fellowship Church, including: Creative Pastors, CreativePastors.com, Creality Enterprises, Creality Publishing, EY Publishing, Ed Young Resources and UOI Resources.

All the businesses list the fifth floor of Dennis Brewer's law office in Las Colinas as their office address.

But the resources used to generate the profits come, in part, from the not-for-profit Fellowship Church. For example, Ed's favorite sermons that were delivered at the church.

SMU law professor Wayne Shaw is a former IRS agent who specializes in tax law. He says it's not unusual for pastors to accrue wealth from church resources, but it must be disclosed and separate from any for-profit business.

"They've been given a very special duty, and they get benefits for getting that special duty, such as tax exemptions, charitable contribution deductions," Shaw said. "I think it's owed to the public that there is transparency that the public sees that there is not something bad going on."


Ed Young could not operate in secrecy without your support. It amazes me how many lack discernment in the SBC. He is a charlatan/wolf we are warned about in scripture. And, Thy Peace is right...a day will come when this will be revealed in a very real way. I fear for your soul, Parlin. Do not let your pride keep you from admitting you have been supporting and following a Charlatan. Many of us have had to do that.

Anonymous said...

"But the point is, its very, very unlikely. Wealthy mega church pastors don't explain or discuss such things, because they don't have to."

I have to disagree with this, Tom. What they usually do is make the press the enemy and rally their supporters around a fake persecution of them from the press. They usually make folks think an attack on him is the same as an attack on church. The pew sitters almost always buy it.

Matt

Anonymous said...

A supporter of Young writes:

"The news piece was ridiculous. Since when do you have to disclose everything you own? Your members know that you have been signed on for amazing book deals because of the communicator you are and that has nothing to do with spending the church's money. "


Paul wrote:

And I, when I came to you, brothers,[a](A) did not come proclaiming to you(B) the testimony[b] of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except(C) Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3And(D) I was with you(E) in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of(F) the Spirit and of power, 5that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but(G) in the power of God. 1 Corin 2

If only these supporters of Young really understood the Word! It is ironic that with such great 'communication' skills they know it not at all.

Jon L. Estes said...

jle: If his congregation won't ask him to, what business is it of anyone outside the church?

February 6, 2010 9:11 AM

Lydia: "Right out of the playbook. Jon, I hate to point out the obvious but didn't your mom ever ask you if all the kids were jumping off a bridge, would you jump, too?

Besides, Most SBC congregations today, after 30 years of the CR, have been taught the leader is God's anointed. I even saw you write that once on the BBC blog."

I have no idea how you response makes any sense in reply to what I asked.

Again, I'll ask (more clearly for those who might not understand), if the church approves such and it is not illegal, immoral or unethical, what business is it of non-church members?

Jon L. Estes said...

"Does the lavish lifestyles turn people away from Jesus Christ?

My answer is yes. I guess some people don't see it that way."

Does constant complaining about things in the church turn people away from Jesus Christ?

Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

If a pastor says he is leading a church and says all that he does and leads them to do is "for the glory of God" or because "God told me to" - then it should be EASY to see the fruit of God being glorified. That means lots of new Christians and lots of growing believers who are out making disciples themselves.

If a pastor is retreating toward a small, closed group of "advisors," being less transparent with his congregation, and can't/won't answer questions, then it's a pretty safe bet he's not in it "for the glory of God."

Anonymous said...

Parlin Family said "I will be bringing my tithe check tonight and cant wait to drop it in the bag when its passed in front of me."
___________________________________

Really? You are giving 10% of your total gross income to the church, undesignated? Why? I beg of you to please share with us anywhere in the Old testament or the New testament where anyone, at any time, gave 10% of their wages to a local fellowship of believers. I know the Israelites were to bring food to the temple for the Levitical priests and the poor in Malachi. And that Abraham tithed the spoils of war once. And that Jesus told the hypocritical Pharisees they should tithe on some spices...but where are you getting this idea you should give 10% (and not more) to the budget of FC? You have been deceived. Give all your money to Ed Young for his kingly lifestyle if you want. But Jesus will want to know why you didn't help the poor and needy instead?

It is people like you that enable the Ed Youngs, Steve Gaines, Mac Brunsons, Creflo Dollars, Benny Hinns' et al of the world to live lives of millionaires on the money given "to God" out of a love for Jesus, that never gets to the work of the Lord but is "robbed" by these pastors. Please wake up sir. So many needy and hurting people could use your love and generousity.

Anonymous said...

Parlin family illustrates why pastors are not open, accountable and transparent. Because no matter what they do, or what they spend, some folks still "can't wait" to drop 10% of their income into the bag when it gets passed.

Jesus Wept!

Anonymous said...

Question: If Ed Young is so loving. And the leadership and congregation of FC are so Christlike, then why would the former staff member feel the need to cover his identity?

Or put another way, if you gave the order that Santiago was not to be touched. And your men follow orders or people die. Then why did Santiago need to be transferred off the island?

WE CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. Get to know him. These charlatans are not "God's man."

Anonymous said...

I have not read the report about Ed Young and the particular issues, only this blog.

I agree that any church employee's compensation should be available to any member of the church. I would not go to a church where that information was not available.

I will not say (nor have you said) that a jet or a certain salary is wrong per se. But if they are good decisions, there is nothing to hide, even if some would be critical.

I fall in the camp of folks who believe that Gospel ministers really do lose some authority when they have lifestyles that appear extravagant. It only hurts the church and its minister if the minister is seen as living a lavish lifestyle. Of course, these things are all on a continuum, so it's easy to become legalistic about this.

I do not see this issue as necessarily being connected to one type of polity. The typical Baptist church has the church vote on everything, but lots of committees that do the real work, and the pastor has no standing as an officer or board member. But he has de facto control because of his ability and personality etc. An elder polity, where the pastor is allowed to pick the elders, can have the same problem.

I have found that if truly independent and experienced elders who do try to follow what they believe to be God's will on things like this can be a help because they are equal with the pastor. The pastor is not "God's man" that everyone has to listen to. There is a plurality of leadership, where all of the elders hold equal status. And the pastor cannot run around the elders and persuade 50% plus one in large congregational meeting to take some action etc. But, again, no system is perfect.

Finally, while I hope that Ed will make a full explanation of things to the congregation and that the church finances, salaries will be open to any member of the church, I do not think that the church owes an explanation to the media, congress or whatever. That might be a good thing to do to help make your case to the wider public, but if a church does that it needs to understand that they are sacrificing important principles of independence for the sake of PR.

Louis

Anonymous said...

"Does constant complaining about things in the church turn people away from Jesus Christ?
"

Jon, You can call it complaining which is right out of the playbook to shut down dissent and even questioning. Some pastors even call it 'gossip' to really shut folks down and hide so much. They do this because it works. I do not think this is going to work as well for you here as it will with your own sheep, friend.

I will call it "warning" folks and making information known. Paul warned that wolves would come in and said at the time that some are even among you now.

It is sad that we have not only accepted wolves but refer to them as great men of God. That can only come from a lack of understanding of the Word.

Sunlight and transparancy are good things in the Body of Christ. It disinfects.

Matt

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Jon E.

Thanks, your comments have confirmed there is a #8 to the template.

#8. Other SBC pastors will stay silent, or accuse the questioners of hurting Christianity

Pastors like Jon have more questions and criticisms for those who dare to criticize a pastor, than the do for a pastor that might be robbing God and building personal wealth at the expense of generous believers.

It never fails.

They will use the church autonomy argument to stay silent.

But they will go after the questioners. Never the pastor. He is God's man. The questioners and critics are doing Satan's work.

Layman said...

jle: Again, I'll ask (more clearly for those who might not understand), if the church approves such and it is not illegal, immoral or unethical, what business is it of non-church members?
___________________________________
First, it concerns me because God's people are generously providing over $8 million dollars to meet the needs of so many hurting people and it is being misused for a luxury jet. If I love Jesus, and if I care about those that would have received the care and help they needed, then I will be upset to hear about this and pray that the sheep will wake up.

Second, "The church" does not, and cannot, approve things they don't know about. The pastor picks friends and family to approve everything. If they don't, and if they even dare ask one question, they will identified as malcontents, or as attacking the pastor, and will be removed promptly. So there is no possible way anything could be challenged unless it is by someone outside the inner circle. And when that person does ask, the preacher slanders them and tries to do whatever he can to "shut em down." Do you, can you, understand this pastor jle?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Wow. Ed's getting into Kenneth Copeland territory with that private jet! I can't believe this didn't leak out a long time ago. He's had it for almost three years.

The registration number (barely visible in the news footage) is N188FJ. That's a photo of the actual plane that Watchdog posted in his article. You can't track it on flightaware.com or flightwise.com because the "owner" has blocked access. (Imagine that!) However, it's listed on the FAA's site under "Fellowship Connection."

It was photographed in Seattle in May 2007, two months after EY took possession of it. What other young up-and-coming megapastor is in Seattle? Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps EY was on a mission "offering messages of inspiration and transformation to his peers and other pastors."

As I said, it doesn't surprise me that EY, the junior, bought an $8.4-million plane. It's that it hasn't leaked out before now.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Louis - about your last point...I disagree, I think they are accountable to the general public. Religious 501(c)3 organizations receive tremendous tax advantages - they pay no property taxes, and the pastors and "reverends" can structure their compensation to minimize taxes, much moreso than any average Joe.

I say that if they want to enjoy these tax benefits, they need to be transparent in those areas most ripe for abuse: pastor salary and compensation, nepotism, and non-ministry expenses.

If they want the tax breaks, they should have to be open and transparent to everyone.

Anonymous said...

"If a pastor says he is leading a church and says all that he does and leads them to do is "for the glory of God" or because "God told me to" - then it should be EASY to see the fruit of God being glorified. That means lots of new Christians and lots of growing believers who are out making disciples themselves.

That means lots of new Christians and lots of growing believers who are out making disciples themselves."

If I take your view to it's logical conclusion then Joel Osteen is preaching the Gospel because he is winning lots of 'converts'.

The question is what are these masses of folks converted 'to'?

When Jesus said that we have to drink His blood and eat His flesh to follow Him, MANY turned away. the Apostles stayed... including Judas.

Matt

New BBC Open Forum said...

Some of the comments on EY's blog are downright scary! Like lemmings off a cliff. As pastor Rod would say, it's getting worse and worse, Dr. Dog!

Anonymous said...

Matt - "converts" at Osteen's church may not necessarily = new Christians. So no, that is not the logical path on which to follow my statement about fruit.

My point was, I'm not sure any mega church out there is truly glorifying God or teaching people about Jesus and His love. It's become more about how to have a certain lifestyle, how to be successful and have a perfect family. With a few scriptures thrown in followed by the formula - walk the aisle, join this church and start giving.

Anonymous said...

"I say that if they want to enjoy these tax benefits, they need to be transparent in those areas most ripe for abuse: pastor salary and compensation, nepotism, and non-ministry expenses. "

I have to agree with this. They are just asking for investigations and a repeal of certain tax perks. And that will only hurt the small country pastor trying to make ends meet. A few of those still exist.

One big area of concern that is usually hidden well is in the Housing Allowance.

Gone are the days with the middle class parsonage. Now the pastor makes a nice salary PLUS the Housing Allowance. Even smaller church pastors are making 50-80 grand plus a Housing Allowance. What this means is foreign to most pew sitters. How many here would like a tax free Housing allowance to pay your mortgage as part of your compensation package?

Many mega church pastors are not only given a very large housing allowance but are also given (as a gift) the down payment by elders who pony up. Then, the church or a donor will also pay for renovation for a home office to be installed. I have seen this countless times and it happens over and over as pastors buy new and bigger homes.

Folks can do what they want but my guess is that if the pew sitters knew to the extent of what is taken by the pastor, they would not be so pleased and might just give less. That is a real fear for many pastors. This is why you see pastors like Jon call it 'complaining'.

I have to disagree with Louis, too. I have seen much more deception when a few men are in charge of the whole than with congregational polity. It is hard to hide stuff and then shut up the little old ladies. They tend to have more common sense than the old boys club. (wink)

Matt

Anonymous said...

Three things to remember and question in the follow-up and comments on this situation:

1. All of the comments allowed to be posted on Ed's blog and twiiter account are all screened. You won't see anything negative there.

2. Ed's basic defense is that his board approved all these transactions. There is no one at Fellowship who can identify members of the "board" except for Ed, Lisa, and Denny Brewer. Who else is on it? That is never made public.

3. Ed has stated numerous times that he will never have elders watching over him. So no accountability. He also made a speech to staff last fall where he said "it's my vision, do it my way or leave." Several have left since.

Pray that eyes are open.

Anonymous said...

My point was, I'm not sure any mega church out there is truly glorifying God or teaching people about Jesus and His love. It's become more about how to have a certain lifestyle, how to be successful and have a perfect family. With a few scriptures thrown in followed by the formula - walk the aisle, join this church and start giving.

February 6, 2010 12:21 PM

You are right on. You have stated the formula perfectly.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Pastors of small churches *usually* do not have large expensive homes, own private planes, yachts, custom cars, live in gated communities, earn millions, "host cruises for those that can "afford" it, etc,etc. If they go on a mission trip, it usually IS a mission trip. No, most of them are too busy visiting the sick,(themselves), witnessing to the unsaved (themselves) holding funerals,(themselves), performing wedding ceremonies (themselves), and putting their "own real sermons" together. You know, the sermons that lead people to Jesus. Boy, have some of you got a lot to LEARN!!!

A PASTOR IS SUPPOSED TO BE SERVANT NOT A TYPE OF GOD, or celebrity performer.

Thy Peace said...

This copy of Byroniac's comments is somewhat Off Topic for this post but fits in with the posts on tithing. And it also explains why Les Puryear was somewhat miffed about these posts on tithing in this blog.
-------------------------------------
Byroniac said...
Les Puryear's comment surprised me and causes me concern for the SBC. What also concerns me in relation to this is a fact that Dr. Russ Kelly on his website brought up: the existence of an official SBC policy document mandating that its employees endorse the pro-tithing position. Not to be a Chicken Little on this topic, but I'm guessing this could have major shakedown potential. I'm concerned for my friends in the SBC on this issue (and others) for future tests of fellowship and potential division.

SBC Position paper.

FRI FEB 05, 11:59:00 PM 2010
.
-------------------------------------

Jon L. Estes said...

"Pastors like Jon have more questions and criticisms for those who dare to criticize a pastor, than the do for a pastor that might be robbing God and building personal wealth at the expense of generous believers."

The problem with your statement Tom is that you have no idea who I talk to about what I am concerned about other than those who I can respond to directly here.

I have stated on more than one occasion, it is not my place to criticize someone to anyone other than that person directly.

I know you see it differently or you would not spew typed criticisms towards others who are not present to respond. I don't go there, period.

It is not your concern who I have spoken with about whatever other than those I have responded to directly on this blog, so don't ask.

I'll talk with you and others here but I will not join the gossip.

Anonymous said...

The question to be asked is, "Would Fellowship Church survive without Ed?" and if the answer is "No", then maybe he does earn his money. However, if that's the case, then it is an indictment of the church, because then it becomes obvious that the church is "Ed-centric" and not "Christ-centric".

If you go through the bookstore, you see that it is "Ed-centric" as there are not many other writer's works in prominent display and Ed's works, including artwork, dominate their bookstore.

Too much Ed for me. We left.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"One big area of concern that is usually hidden well is in the Housing Allowance."

Why do you think so many of these megachurches ordain every male staff member they hire? In many cases it's not because they've been called to the ministry. It's because of the tax perks. Could someone please remind me why ministers should be entitled to any different tax breaks than the sheep?

Why would anybody need a $240,000/year "housing allowance"? That's more money than many of the sheep will make in 10 or 15 years, yet they're the same ones being shaken down to give even more to support the Lifestyles of the Rich and Ordained.

It's odd to me, though not surprising, that this topic is causing a whole lot more chatter among the hardcore SBC Pattersonian crowd than the subject of molesting ministers in our churches. We "can't" keep a database of convicted and credibly accused molesters because each church is autonomous, but doggonit, if an SBC church chooses to call a female pastor or the pastor says storehouse tithing isn't law and gospel, let's give 'em the ax!

Anonymous said...

I've just read 34 comments and from my perspective Matt gets the "Patriot Award" for his summary - thus far from my reading I find printed links to documentation on subjects discussed.

This blog is not a gossip column as some want to say it is.

"I will call it "warning" folks and making information known. Paul warned that wolves would come in and said at the time that some are even among you now."

Anonymous said...

Pastor Jon says:

"I have stated on more than one occasion, it is not my place to criticize someone to anyone other than that person directly.

I'll talk with you and others here but I will not join the gossip."


Jon, Can you explain how a news report on TV is gossip?

What you are really saying is that Christians should help hide the evil, greed and deception by professing Christian leaders.

In actuality, your comments here only serve to prove how shallow and self serving so many pastors are. And of course, you only want to be held accountable by those you think are your peers who are just like you.

Duke

Jon L. Estes said...

Duke,

Discussing an issue is much different than what is happening here from many.

is the following comments made on this blog post, news discussion or speculation of another person.

Examples:
1 - What would these jet setting pastors do when the real tribulations start? Will they forsake their wealth and status to do the dirty work of boldly preaching against intimidation, bodily harm and without compensation?

It is coming. Then all will be sifted. Then Christians will know who is truly of God and who is of the devil.

2 - But the point is, its very, very unlikely. Wealthy mega church pastors don't explain or discuss such things, because they don't have to. They know their supporters aren't all that concerned about such things; in fact most of them know that their supporters take a perverse pride in knowing they are giving money so their pastor can be a rock star. Most of the loyal supporters will drop their tithe and even a little extra into the plate (or bag) after the heat gets turned up. Your church will probably collect a larger than average collection Sunday.

3 - But it's not just the jet and the international travel the Young keeps out of sight.

4 - Ed Young could not operate in secrecy without your support. It amazes me how many lack discernment in the SBC. He is a charlatan/wolf we are warned about in scripture. And, Thy Peace is right...a day will come when this will be revealed in a very real way. I fear for your soul, Parlin. Do not let your pride keep you from admitting you have been supporting and following a Charlatan. Many of us have had to do that.

5 - The question to be asked is, "Would Fellowship Church survive without Ed?" and if the answer is "No", then maybe he does earn his money. However, if that's the case, then it is an indictment of the church, because then it becomes obvious that the church is "Ed-centric" and not "Christ-centric".

If you go through the bookstore, you see that it is "Ed-centric" as there are not many other writer's works in prominent display and Ed's works, including artwork, dominate their bookstore.

Too much Ed for me. We left.

6 - Wow. Ed's getting into Kenneth Copeland territory with that private jet! I can't believe this didn't leak out a long time ago. He's had it for almost three years.

++

Look back over the many other posts Tom has provided and you will find a similar line of speculation.

Jon L. Estes said...

Duke,

You state:

"And of course, you only want to be held accountable by those you think are your peers who are just like you."

What do you know about me concerning who I am accountable to? Just like me? Please tell us about me? Don't make anything up or speculate be as assured in your assessment as you think you are in your accusation.

Anonymous said...

When are you people going to wake up?

Watchdog has been taking the clothes off of these PURPOSE DRIVEN wolves/pastors for some time. These PD pastors under the radar CHANGE every thing in traditional, Holy Spirit led, churches. They end up with a big business comprised of NEW MEMBERS who are fed FELT NEEDS sermons, more entertainment and very little GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. They changed the BYLAWS to completely control every aspect of the church.

You probably new that Andy Stanly even has a FRANCHISE system of churches. There is or was one here in Jacksonville. This is big business folks. Get use to it. This PD is in most all of the denominations. Welcome to the NEW AGE. While Christians slept the church was invaded. It is too late people. The camel is in the tent.

I am just some little guy who did a little background investigating into where this crap is coming from. Some of you have done far more than I. But some here are still trying to protect your pastor. From what? You had better wake up. If you think that your pastor does not know about PD you are fooling yourself. He is analyzing it or has checked it out. If he is wise he will not fall into the trap. But if finances become scarce he may change his mind.

Snap out of it people. Your churches could crumble any day now.

Anonymous said...

The Housing Allowance is for more than just paying the mortgage. It encompasses any housing expense such as utilities, cable/satelite, furniture, renovations. The only things not included are often referred to as M & M's (meals and maids).

Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange that Paul, Peter, and John never subscribed to Tithe, however each of them warned of deceivers and false teachers. We are in the last days and false teachers are all seen/heard/read over the tv, radio, and the internet. All I can say and pray for is that the Lord comes back today!!! The modern day church is an embarrasment to His name.

These charlatans will have to answer all questions and bend their knees then won't they?

Anonymous said...

Dog:

You are right about public accountability, but I the proper procedure for that is an IRS audit ordered under even-handed circumstances. That is, political officials (like Nixon, Johnson and others) can't use the audit tool to investigate people they would like too. And Grassley can't use a Senate committee either.

I am not an expert on IRS issues, but I believe they order audits randomly and by something called a DIF score. No one is supposed to know that makes up a DIF score.

So, if the IRS audits Young and his ministry by some random or objective basis, then I am 100% with you. But that process goes through the IRS channels. I don't believe IRS matters are public unless a case is filed in Tax Court or U.S. District Court.

I could be wrong about some of this info.

So, I agree with you on the public accountability, but it must go through the proper channels.

Louis

Anonymous said...

New BBC Open Forum:

Nicely done on the plane. Sincerely. Good job.

Louis

Anonymous said...

After seeing this, wouldn't it be refreshing for some evangelical pastors to take a vow of poverty - or at least lower middle class living. And then try to sign up other guys to join it?

That would really be an interesting phenomenon in the evangelical world.

But it would need a name.

Any ideas?

Louis

Anonymous said...

Question: I have heard that when the Purpose Driven Life took off that Rick Warren and his family purposely decided to stay in the middle class home, drive common automobiles, and not take most of money generated by the book.

Is that, or any version of that, true? I admit it's what I heard, but I have never known.

Louis

New BBC Open Forum said...

"The Housing Allowance is for more than just paying the mortgage. It encompasses any housing expense such as utilities, cable/satelite, furniture, renovations. The only things not included are often referred to as M & M's (meals and maids)."

Thanks. I'm well aware of what the housing allowance includes. I repeat, why would anybody need a $240,000/year "housing allowance"? That's $20,000 a month! And why should one dime of it (beyond the usual interest on the mortgage, etc. that's available to everyone) be tax exempt?

I'm still waiting for an answer to that as well as why only a 10% tithe is preached today as opposed to the 23+% in the OT. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

This why I admire Rick Warren so much...that minister is trying to give back to his church and NOT taking a salary at all. I wish more ministers could learn more from Rick.

Anonymous said...

This is the type of behavior and shenanigans we expect from politicians, not from preachers. Although it is unacceptable behavior from either. If this stuff doesn't tell you what shape the "CHURCH" is in today, I don't know what will. One can't tell the world from the church. I am absolutely appalled at what has happened to the "Church". How far it has come from the church that Jesus was Head of. I think this is why "the New Age churches pander to the very young and kool-aid drinkers that know nothing about the Bible. They can manipulate and control those that are "star struck" and Bible ignorant. Us older SAVED, Bible believers recognize the false church of today. I wonder IF these guys are even SAVED. I can't be part of any of this. Do they not realize that they must face Jesus one day. How tragic for them. How can they possibly use the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ to MAKE MILLIONS off of? I would be terrified of doing anything like this.

I will say that seeing this pattern take over churches has a way of separating the wheat from the tares. If anyone thinks NOW that these bloggers are wrong, and that WE should be ashamed to point out this unGODLY behavior that we are seeing, then I think that question is answered. I don't in any way feel guilty for speaking against what I see going on in churches today. Come quickly Lord Jesus, there is nothing left of Your church!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

"This why I admire Rick Warren so much...that minister is trying to give back to his church and NOT taking a salary at all. I wish more ministers could learn more from Rick."

Joel Osteen claims he doesn't either. They've both made millions off book sales, so giving up a salary isn't much of a sacrifice for either of them.

Anonymous said...

"This is why I admire Rick Warren so much".....

Are you kidding? You better check out Rick a little closer. Especially his recent stand on some political issues, that are hot topics today. Of course, the New Age movement that has taken over the church just loves him. They MAIL in millions to Rick whenever he asks for it. Do your homework. Check out what Purpose Driven really is.

Anonymous said...

I agree, New BBC Open Forum. I was not implying that you did not know what the housing allowance includes, just putting that information out for those who don't. Not only are housing allowances tax exempt, but ministers can also claim the mortgage interest deduction on their tax returns.

Me said...

Until the man has actually done something illegal it shouldnt really matter

New BBC Open Forum said...

My apologies, anon 7:05. That unintentionally came out a little snappish.

I could be mistaken, but the way I read IRS Topic 417, the housing allowance can be as much as "the reasonable pay for the minister's services." I'm not sure who defines "reasonable," but that seems to be saying that as much as half a minister's compensation can be designated as a tax-exempt "housing allowance." Also, ministers can opt out of paying self-employment tax (Social Security). Note from the first sentence of the IRS publication these rules apply to "licensed, commissioned, or ordained ministers."

Still waiting for the answers to those questions though. Anybody? Les? Joe? Jon? They're simple, honest questions to which I'd really like to hear honest answers.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Until the man has actually done something illegal it shouldnt really matter"

Oh, well, if that's our only standard now, I don't think Ted Haggard did anything illegal.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Oh, except for buying drugs. I guess that was illegal.

Anonymous said...

Tax Breaks for ministers are fair because in the average church the minister in responsible for 100% of SSI.(If they did not opt out) If you recieve a W2 which all pastors should who have a church that they work at instead of 1099 then you have to meet your standard deduction before you can start writing off anything. As a single pastor in the lower income status that is difficult. Only the well to do Pastors prosper form the breaks. To the average pastor it is really a big help on making ends meet if you are able to take advantage. So do not think all pastor are getting a benefit. This year it has help me save close to a thousand of my taxes. Instead of paying close to 9,000 on my 34,000 I will pay close to 8 grand. But most of that was due to medical bill and insurance payments.
Pastor Chris

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You can check off #7 of the template....standing O for Ed Young tonight at church.

From Twitterville:

Astateler: Standing O for Pastor Ed Young. Grapevine is packed!
about 2 hours ago from txt

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should stay out of the business of FC members and their leadership.

I only ask one favor in return. Stay out of my business. Fellowship is an evangelical based religious group whose soul purpose it would appear is to convert non Christians, or Christians who may already have a religion that they don't particularly feel like following.

So I would say, if your not open to scrutiny from outsiders, many of whom are simply trying to understand how FC members can accept these allegations without even an ounce of suspicion, then please control your own urges to question my beliefs or relationship with god.

Anonymous said...

Purpose Driven Ministry comes straight from the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. What's wrong with Discipleship, Evangelism, Fellowship, Ministry, and Worship?

Junkster said...

Jon Estes,
At least we can count on you to be transparent. We can see right through you. Maybe someday you, too, will get a really big church and really big salary, just like your heroes.

dfwgirl said...

I am a member of the Fellowship Church of 6 years. And have enjoyed every bit of it. I also volunteered every week average of 5 hours. Which i have made friends with staff and seen the behind the scenes too. I saw this coming 3yrs ago and mentioned it to staff and made to feel the bad guy. I also read and commented on the blog too. And noticed only positive blogs where posted. I did ask and want to know the answers too. Pass 5 yrs projects have been put on hold because of lack of money. Resources produced by staff and members with specialties not credited let alone paid. Their is a lot more members asking questions then it appears. Just hard to get answers while over head in the jet. Still love my church but don't like the cloak and danger. Knew this will out sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

Hate to say this so late, but I went and watched the TV report that the Dog linked to.

I have 2 thoughts, and they might sound contradictory, but here goes.

1. I am sad about the report. If true, it makes Young look like a fraud. I would be hoppin' mad if I tried to follow up as a member and couldn't get a straight story. Plus, $1,000,000 for compensation PLUS a $240,000 housing allowance. And all the other extravagance. It is all depressing.

2. The story is a hit piece. At the end, the reporter even says that it all may be legal. Makes me wonder why this story? There's no illegality. We have no idea who the staff member is. Why in the world would a story like this be put on TV if there is no legal issue at stake at this point? Seems weird.

Louis

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thank you for that information, Chris. I think I understand what you're saying, and you are correct that a minister must pay self-employment tax on his salary as well as his housing allowance, but he doesn't pay income tax on his housing allowance, and if he has a mortgage he can still deduct mortgage interest. (Of course, I know nothing about you or your particular case and it's none of my business, but if someone is having to pay $8000-9000 in tax on $34,000, even someone paying SE tax on 100% of his income, it seems to me he needs to resharpen his pencil or find a new tax accountant because that seems excessive.)

Some churches provide a Social Security allowance on which the minister must pay income and SE taxes. After running the numbers for a couple of scenarios I will concede that most ministers who make less than about $40,000 a year are probably in the same tax boat with most salaried and self-employed non-ministers making the same income. However, I can see a lot of loopholes there for those who make much more than that, and you made my point when you said, "Only the well to do Pastors prosper form the breaks." They are indeed prospering -- off the backs of their flocks, many of whom are apparently just fine and dandy with this arrangement. So more power to them!

For anyone who's interested, these articles shed a little more light on this subject:

Crown Financial Ministries > Social Security tax for ministers

Advice on ministers and their taxes

Guidestone > Ministerial Tax Issues

I'm grateful for those pastors who are loving shepherds of their congregations and aren't in it for the money. I am disgusted by the examples of those who are not.

I certainly don't expect preachers to be paupers, nor do I fault anybody for taking full advantage of all legal tax breaks.

Now, will someone please answer the tithe question?

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Why in the world would a story like this be put on TV if there is no legal issue at stake at this point?"

Louis, I know you're a lawyer, and therefore see things through that lens, but just because something is legal doesn't make it moral or ethical. At the very least, it was an ethics story involving a recognized local figure.

I thought the hooded figure with the Darth Vader voice was a bit much, but I trust that the reporter verified the source's veracity before sticking his neck out.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6XJkNlAk9c&feature=related It's Paul Washer, who I've never heard of until a few minutes ago (I'm not American), and I think it makes an interesting contrast to what we've been reading about lately

Anonymous said...

Every thing Ed Young, Jr. learned, he learned from his dad....the apple falls not far from the tree..too bad his faithful just don't get it....

dfwgirl said...

I hear you. Its more of a moral issue. As a member who is out of a job for over a year and living unemployment check to unemployment check doesn't sent to good. I volunteer and to see outreach projects get canceled or on hold for lack of funds. And others loosing their house but encouraged to give and do without. Not good.
I have no problem selling resources to help fund the church needs. At first they sold under the church now on his personal site. Those other companies were created under the church with the church. Now HE has sole ownership.
I worked on one of the project and know of other who were asked for the expertise to work on projects for God's glory (aka for free). He uses his staff to help him on his sermons from ideas to research,filming to packaging on site. Separate teams for promoting the church with conferences and resources.I say give percentage, credit, or some compensation to the church,staff,outside help just like the media world. Just saying these ideas are not all his original. Example,sex sermons is his father's from 5 yrs ago. Conferences from other well know pastors. He just know how to repackage and promote them. Just don't be greedy. Give credit where credit is due.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see his house, go to youtube and type in ed youngs house. Quite a humble abode

Lydia said...

"Again, I'll ask (more clearly for those who might not understand), if the church approves such and it is not illegal, immoral or unethical, what business is it of non-church members?"

1. It seems as if they did not know. However, I doubt if that would matter much. These are people who took him seriously as a pastor before this.

2. I find it interesting you use words such as immoral and unethical. Surely you are speaking from worldly definitions?

I am trying to picture Paul in the equivelent of a golden chariot with side trips to the coast to sun (inbetween persecution). Paul also selling his sermons and writing books to amasse a fortune so he can build an airy villa.

Anonymous said...

Look back over the many other posts Tom has provided and you will find a similar line of speculation.

February 6, 2010 4:36 PM

All Legit. After all, Ed lives for the publicity. Are you suggesting we ignore Ed?

I know you live in isolation as a pastor but some folks go to work with heathens who throw the Ed Youngs in our face as representing Chrisitianty when this stuff comes out. Do you seriously expect me to defend Ed Young?

I tell them tht Ed is a motivational speaker who merchanidises the Gospel for his own profit. And that ignorant people actually pay him to do this. Then I tell them that Christianity is not pastor-centric. And to beware. A real Christian will not think there is a caste system in Christianity.

And they might be meek and lowly but they speak out boldly when they see wolves operating.

Perhaps you cannot see it, Jon, because you aspire to be one?

Duke

Anonymous said...

"And of course, you only want to be held accountable by those you think are your peers who are just like you."

What do you know about me concerning who I am accountable to? Just like me? Please tell us about me? Don't make anything up or speculate be as assured in your assessment as you think you are in your accusation.

February 6, 2010 4:38 PM

Are you sugggesting your comments here do not represent your thinking on this topic? Now, that is confusing.

Duke

Lydia said...

"But it would need a name.

Any ideas?"

Making tents so as not to be a burden

Anonymous said...

"2. The story is a hit piece. At the end, the reporter even says that it all may be legal. Makes me wonder why this story? There's no illegality. We have no idea who the staff member is. Why in the world would a story like this be put on TV if there is no legal issue at stake at this point? Seems weird.
"

Which Kingdom are you are referring to in this comment? The prince of the world's or God's kingdom.

The secular world recognizes that many of us are not what we claim to be. Strange that many of us who claim Christ think like the secular world when it comes to defending such tacky all around
behavior. (I am including his sermons in that comment)

Just a question, Louis. How could it be a hit piece if there is nothing to 'hit on'? Who gets to define that? By your worldly standards, Ken Copeland should not have been hit on by the media, either.

Matt

Anonymous said...

I just came across this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6XJkNlAk9c&feature=related It's Paul Washer, who I've never heard of until a few minutes ago (I'm not American), and I think it makes an interesting contrast to what we've been reading about lately

February 7, 2010 2:37 AM

Paul Washer attended seminary with Young. And if I did not know better, he alludes to Young in a sermon or two as the guy who made sure he was always around the movers and shakers and who is now a big mega church pastor on TV.

Young's daddy was president of the SBC at one time.

Young is the guy who put a bed on stage that he and his wife sat on while he preached about having lots of sex. Is that really the most important issue in a Christians life? Do people really need to be encouraged to have more sex? Are they that ignorant?

Perhaps that is the case at Young's church. At least, it fills up the pews.

In any case, Washer said he learned NOTHING spiritual in seminary. He had to go away on his own and study for that.

Jon L. Estes said...

Duke,

What have I stated that infers, in the least bit, that I don't believe in a pastor being accountable?

Who are those peers, just like me?

I believe in the tithe, in taking your problems to the person you have a problem with, I believe in accountability and transparency... so what is it about me and what I have said that says otherwise?

Jon L. Estes said...

"Do you seriously expect me to defend Ed Young?"

No, but as a Christian I don't expect you to trash him. Pray for him, but don't ridicule him, or support those who do.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Perhaps you cannot see it, Jon, because you aspire to be one?

Duke"

Another speculation of ignorance. Talk about who can't see.

Lydia said...

Jon, your last three comments show you have not changed a bit. You still argue like Eddy Haskell. I suppose we need decoder rings for your comments because they don't mean what you intend them to mean?

Hey, today is your big day on stage. And here you are arguing with the sheeple you cannot control. :o)

Anonymous said...

No, but as a Christian I don't expect you to trash him. Pray for him, but don't ridicule him, or support those who do.

February 7, 2010 7:59 AM

Sorry Jon. He makes a mockery of my Lord and we must tell folks he does not represent what is taught in the Word. He markets Jesus for a profit.

What you call 'trashing', I call telling the truth not only about his lifestyle, his quest for fame and wealth but also about his shallow sermons.

But then, I expect you to see it that way because you are a pastor and want to be protected, too.

One wonders why Paul rebuked Peter in front of everyone ON PURPOSE. According to you, Paul was in sin.

Duke

Lydia said...

Duke, Nevermind about Jon. This is the same guy who told BBC bloggers they should 'touch not thine anointed' when it came to Gaines. (You know, the guy who protected a pedophile minister)

Evidently, to speak even negative truths about a pastor is a sin of Old Testament porportions and that God has special class of Christians even today...called pastors who are sort of 'kings' of Christianity. Sort of like thousands of little popes.

Nevermind about the priesthood. They would prefer we not think about that too much. Otherwise we might not see the need for them.

dfwgirl said...

The you tube video of Ed Young's house called Cribs is not his current house. That was at least 6 years. That was in Colleyville,Tx effluent neighborhood. He is apparently in Grapevine,Tx in his $1.8 mil house receiving $240,000 allowance . Those are suburbs north of DFW airport NW of Dallas. Hmmm.

Jon L. Estes said...

"One wonders why Paul rebuked Peter in front of everyone ON PURPOSE. According to you, Paul was in sin.

Duke"

Peter was not only present he was personally being addressed when Paul was rebuking, or does that part of the equation matter none?

Anonymous said...

Peter was not only present he was personally being addressed when Paul was rebuking, or does that part of the equation matter none?

February 7, 2010 2:05 PM

Peter is not here now and I am reading it now 2000 years later in a letter that Paul wrote to a church.

Or does that part of the equation not matter?

Paul was gossiping, right?

Duke

Anonymous said...

New BBC:

You are right. I am not saying it's o.k. just because it's not legal.

Matt:

You are right, too.

But what I am interested in is why this church, why now, what's the significance?

The DFW area is huge and has lots of huge churches with lots of pastors making lots of money. My guess is that the local news could find 52 of them, and do a story each week on 1 of them.

I could not find anything in the story that made if different from a bunch of other churches out there, AND I couldn't find any event that was referenced that would explain the timing. Did something happen at the church? Has there been a split? Something that would make it newsworthy.

When you boil it down, all the report said was that this really big church pays its pastor a lot of money, the church or the pastor has a plane, and that there are a lot of ancillary businesses that have been set up by the church or Young's lawyer.

And, the story says at the end, that there's nothing shown to be illegal so far in all of this.

They have an unidentified and disguised ex-staff member (supposedly) who basically says nothing but that there is a plane and that there are inconsistent statements about that.

New BBC, I appreciate the recognition that using the staff person like that is strange.

First, we can't just how legit it is. Was this guy fired? Did he have a axe to grind?

Second, disguising the staff member like that, with that hood and voice, projects a sinister image to viewers whether or not anything is wrong.

Please review my point #1 above before thinking I am for this behavior. This would NOT happen at my church, as I am an elder there. We have open finances to all members, and we do not have extravagances like this and we never will.

But, I would expect a TV station, in my opinion, ought to have a real story before running this. Perhaps one will emerge. But right now it looks like a hit piece.

But as Matt said, correctly, they had something to hit on.

But, again, aren't there a bunch of churches in Texas and the DFW of all stripes about which this could be said.

Btw, isn't Ed Young, Jr. one of those guys who left the SBC with one of these new churches, for reasons that included all the power that's wrapped up in denominations and such?

The SBC guys look like pikers compared to Ed Young, Jr. Dr. Brunson is being robbed. He's only getting $300,000 or so. A far cry from 1.24 million.

Nondenonminationalism can apparently be quite profitable.

Of course, if I'm wrong and Ed Young, Jr. is in the SBC - ignore my last point. I just thought he had left. Kind of like Andy Stanley.

Louis

Jon L. Estes said...

"One wonders why Paul rebuked Peter in front of everyone ON PURPOSE. According to you, Paul was in sin.

Duke"

Duke,

I don't even think you would put the words on this blog which speak out against others as equal with and inspired as scripture. Maybe you would. I don't want to infer something about you just by a few words you choose to use.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Louis - those are all valid questions.

Let me explain my interest in this story, and why it is a relevant story to me and not a "hit piece".

Young is just a symptom of the larger problem among SBC mega churches and non-SBC mega, emerging churches: the rock star, millionaire preacher. Its not just Young, its many, many others. He might be the more brazen of them, that remains to be seen. Sometimes it takes exposing the WORST (which he might or might not be), to expose the broader underlying problem.

But the story is that these men who are posing as "pastors" that are "called by God", are bent on building a brand name for themselves, to be able to sell books and get on TV and to grow a church to glorify themselves, and to create a secure financial future for their families off the backs of gullible Christians. They will hire their family members on staff, will take large salaries for themselves and will even accept huge gifts from members of their church based on their rock star status.

Like Young, they will sell their sermons. They will write books that are manuscripts from the sermons that they were paid hundreds of thousands per year to study for to feed the flock. They will use church resources for their personal interests.

They will use the church to market themselves and their interests - they will use their brand name to attract rich people to travel with them to the Holy Land or on cruises.

Then, if that's not bad enough, many of them will misuse the bible and tell their followers that God Almighty, Jesus Christ Himself, the creator of the universe, wants their followers to divide their salaries by 10 and give that entire check to the mega church. No other options - it all must come to their church, otherwise they will not receive blessings of God.

These men will use this money given to them by their church members to hire marketing consultants to help them create witty sermon series that will attract more people to their church.

These men often have control of the church finances as the bylaws allow them to hand pick their trustees - giving the appearance of accountability, but really the men chosen are yes men mostly will do what "God's man" wants to do.

So Ed Young is just a symptom of the larger problem.

As you know, Louis, sometimes it takes a major blow up for a problem to get enough attention for something to be done to fix it.

Let's hope that we will wise up and change our tax laws that will require these religious 501(c)3 organizations to be totally transparent with their donors as a condition of their tax exempt status, so donors know how money is spent, total compensation of the leaders and their immediate family members, disclosure of all gifts and other outside compensation.

If we can ever get to THAT point...then something good can come out of a story like this.

Definitely not a "hit piece", even though it was run on sweeps week.

Anonymous said...

Fellowship Church is still listed on the SBC web site as a Southern Baptist church.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Ed Young's Fellowship Church is Southern Baptist.

Andy Stanley's North Point Community Church is non-denominational.

Anonymous said...

Louis, I am afraid I do not use the pragmatic approach to such issues anymore.

I can only give insights based on past experience with such pragmatism when dealing in that arena.

And quite frankly, I was a bit surprised to see a hit piece from the local media. I wish there was more investigative journalism into mega churches. But reporters are lazy. And many times the local media is careful because some of their best advertisers attend these mega's.

My guess is that this report was handed to them on a silver platter. The anonymous source does not bother me, that happens all the time. Sort of like senior White House advisor says...

A mega church can ruin a person's life forever as they have long tentacles into just about every aspect of the city. We actively ruined anyone who dared publicly critsize us. And we did it deceptively with a phone call here and there. I wish I could find all the staffers we threw under the bus in those days.

And, you know, folks are much more apt to believe they are just disgruntled...as you mentioned yourself. I hope they ARE disgruntled after being around Young. They should be.

About two years ago, an old friend contacted me concerning a reporter contacting him for a story on a seminary. The reporter had heard things about the seminary and was trying to find out if they were true. My friend gave the reporter quite a bit of information but nothing came of it.

Why? Two reasons. 1) The reporter wanted the story handed to him and 2) the seminary president has many well heeled friends in that town the paper did not want to offend.

In another instance, that happened about 10 years ago, a mega church in a fairly large city had a wonderful relationship with the local daily. Many big advertisers went to the mega. But there was one reporter, who was also an opinion writer, who could not stand the mega. He wrote a scathing opinion piece about something really stupid that a junior staffer did. He got by with this because it was opinion and he had been at the paper 25 years. (Longer than the current owners)

He called the church for a response before he went to press and was connected to the church attorney who only made it worse by her inane response. It went to press and the result was the paper lost several really big advertisers.

Needless to say, there has been nothing negative written about the mega since. And plenty negative has happened there to report.

Nevermind the local news anchors who attend mega's.

My experience is that rarely does the local media go after the mega. Even Prestonwood got a break with the media about their sexual pervert on staff who stalked a young girl on the internet.

They did no serious investigation on how/why the guy was hired, his behavior while there (was he using the church computer?) but gave the pastor lots of air time for his apologies.

Personally, I think the church needs to be cleaned out. Purified. The world knows we are like the them.

I welcome scathing reports. But I would hope they are scathing because we are preaching the offensive Cross. And not because we peddle the Gospel for personal gain, live in mansions and have jets while preaching on how we should have more sex.

Matt

Anonymous said...

I don't even think you would put the words on this blog which speak out against others as equal with and inspired as scripture. Maybe you would. I don't want to infer something about you just by a few words you choose to use.

February 7, 2010 3:11 PM

Jon, You forgot (uh hum) to quote my last reponse. Nice try, though. Here it is:

"Peter is not here now and I am reading it now 2000 years later in a letter that Paul wrote to a church.

Or does that part of the equation not matter?

Paul was gossiping, right?"

Wonder what Paul would make of Young?

We can only 'infer' things by words and deeds. I am only going by your words here. Evidently, you want us to think you do not mean them or they mean something else. Must be confusing for your sheep.

Duke

Anonymous said...

By the way, Louis, I have had some interaction with Young in the past. He was known in the mega trade for his seminars for mega churches in the areas of communications, marketing, etc. (These sorts of things are income streams for many mega's)

We came away jokingly calling the place, the Ed Young show. It was all Ed,all the time. And it seemed the entire operation was about producing the Ed Show. He even had someone who did his hair before the "show".

Matt

dfwgirl said...

Amen brother,Amen. I couldn't have said it better.

Joe Blackmon said...

People who have nothing to hide don't mind transparancy. They will show you the books, so to speak, in as much detail as you want.

The only, and I mean only, reason someone doesn't want to disclose financial details in a church is if there is something they don't want you to see.

Johnny D. said...

I watched the story. I'm actually at a loss for words (almost).

Unbelievable.

I honestly do not get it. Why would any Christian pastor need a mansion like that? A private jet?

Truly mind-boggling that people would defend this guy. He may be the greatest preacher since Peter stood up in Jerusalem and hammered the crowds with words that cut them to the heart. He may be something really special like that. In comparing the two, I imagine that after Peter and the other beievers there that day finished preaching and baptizing and adding thousands to their numbers, they returned to their mansions on their private planes. Oh...wait...wrong story.

Jon L. Estes said...

After a sweet time with the Lord these past few days, He has spoken to me about my involvement here. I simply say, good bye. Psalm 101:1-4

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

" Jon L. Estes said...
After a sweet time with the Lord these past few days, He has spoken to me about my involvement here. I simply say, good bye. Psalm 101:1-4"

February 8, 2010 10:22 AM

Thanks for openning our eyes Jon as too why we must remain ever vigilant for the wolves(pastors)who have commandeered the pulpits of America!!!

Dr.Dog that was one arrongant guy!!!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, if you are without sin, go ahead and casts stones. And anyone who wants to be a "secret informant" for some TV station but won't reveal themselves, sounds like more like a disgruntled person who is so sad in their own life that they want to try to take down everyone they can. Sad the devil has a firm foothold on THEIR lives and explains why they are not with the church anymore. There are many other churchs who can be "victims" of their venom.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

"Seriously, if you are without sin, go ahead and casts stones. And anyone who wants to be a "secret informant" for some TV station but won't reveal themselves, sounds like more like a disgruntled person who is so sad in their own life that they want to try to take down everyone they can. Sad the devil has a firm foothold on THEIR lives and explains why they are not with the church anymore. There are many other churchs who can be "victims" of their venom."

February 8, 2010 2:05 PM


The above Anon statment would be funny,if weren't so tragic!!!


(1)It reveals defective theology!!!

There is a serious lack of a full understanding of the totality of Scripture!

(2)It reveals defective thinking!!!

The deficent thinking process is evidenced by the statment given by this Anon!

(3)It reveals defective action!!!

See #1 above.
The Defective theology being taught by these wolve pastors(especially Ed Young),leads to the defective thinking,that leads to the display of defective acts,whether visual,verbal or written!!!

There's no way to avoid that triple formula.

You "CAN'T" rise above what you believe in your mind to be true!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Jon L. Estes said...

After a sweet time with the Lord these past few days, He has spoken to me about my involvement here. I simply say, good bye. Psalm 101:1-4

Wow. Anyone know what Psalm 101:1-4 says?

v. 2

"I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way."

Check out the NLT version.

v. 4

"I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them."

Jon is speaking about "us," folks. He is saying he behaves "wisely" and "perfectly" and that he hates us because, of course, we "deal crookedly." Thank you, indeed, for opening our eyes, Jon! Keep sweet!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Check out these options for giving to Ed Young's church:

Online Giving

This safe and flexible option is the easiest ways to give at Fellowship Church! This method allows you to schedule a recurring or one-time gift charged to either your debit or credit card. Here you can easily manage your giving amount and specify where the funds should be applied.

Bank or Credit Card Draft

You can set up a recurring draft that will withdraw your contribution from your checking account or charge to your credit card automatically. Here you can specify the dollar amount and time period you desire. Simply download the giving form, fill out the necessary information, and return it to Fellowship Church.

Weekend Service

For your convenience, offering envelopes are available for tithing. Simply place cash or checks (payable to Fellowship Church) in one of these envelopes and put it in the offering bag during any weekend service, or mail it to Fellowship Church, and we will apply your gift.

Creative Giving Ideas

If a cash gift is not an option for you, consider some of these creative giving ideas:

Stocks
Bonds
Gold/Silver
Land
Homes
Cars
Jewelry
Coin collections

Steve Gaines had a novel idea for giving to Bellevue. During his "Prove the Tithe" sermon yesterday (during which he stated that anything below 10% is robbing God, and "I'm not going to let you rob God") he instructed people they not only need to tithe now, they need to "tithe on the way out." He said you need to leave your money to BBC in your will. He said, "Your kids don't need all your money."

So now we have the "death tithe."

Lydia said...

After a sweet time with the Lord these past few days, He has spoken to me about my involvement here. I simply say, good bye. Psalm 101:1-4

February 8, 2010 10:22 AM

Jon, You are a Pharisee. Did FBCJax ever call you about that Headmaster job you said you wanted?

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I felt like God was telling me to leave this blog for good also. I'm just an anonymous. Whether it was God or not I can't tell you. Something about the motives of this blog being impure. Sorry. Thats how I saw it. So bye.
Not saying everything these people do is right, just saying maybe the motive of this blog is wrong, also.

Anonymous said...

Matt:

Thanks for the info. I did not know that Young's chruch was SBC. That's good info to have.

Thanks, also, for the personal anecdote.

Very sad.

I am serious about pursuing openeness in finances in the SBC.

I am thinking about writing a resolution to present at the SBC.

This is a huge achilles heal in many churches today of all stripes and sizes. I would love to see the annual meeting express an opinion regarding it.

Louis

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

"Jon is speaking about "us," folks. He is saying he behaves "wisely" and "perfectly" and that he hates us because, of course, we "deal crookedly." Thank you, indeed, for opening our eyes, Jon! Keep sweet!"


Yes I read the that Psalm BBCOF,and that's what came to mind and why I said that guy is arrogant!!!

We are the lowly Tax Collectors,while good oh Jon stands in the Temple and tells God how much he(Jon)has done for Him(God),and that he(Jon)is not like us wrecthed sinning Tax Collectors!!!

If Jon isn't a pompous Pharisee;Then the Pharisees never existed !!!

BTW::I LOVE ALL YOU SINNERS::
Dr.Dog,Lydia,Matt,BBCOF,Junkster,and all the Anon's.
And oh yes,you to Jon!!!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I felt like God was telling me to leave this blog for good also. I'm just an anonymous. Whether it was God or not I can't tell you. Something about the motives of this blog being impure. Sorry. Thats how I saw it. So bye.
Not saying everything these people do is right, just saying maybe the motive of this blog is wrong, also.

February 8, 2010 4:18 PM


Anytime wolves and charlatans are called out some folks think it is from impure motives. That is normal and you have been taught well by the wolf to think that way.

If you think long and hard about this you will know there is nothing but grief to gain from calling out celebrity wolves. The watchers put everything at risk. Their jobs, their normal family life, their reputation, etc. The world and even most Christians, because they are more like the world than they want to admit, almost always defend the charlatan. This comes from pride and ignorance. Who wants to admit they have supported a wolf? Who wants to admit they have only been used to further a career or two?

Others will bring in pragmatic arguments because they have been taught (actually this came into the church over 100 years ago) to view Christendom and it's operations through a pragmatic lens. Some through a political lens. Sometimes the pragmatic and political are the same lens.

But, if you are really sold out to the REAL Jesus Christ...not the one sold to you...you cannot stand the thought of so many being led astray in what is falsly called the church.

If I could, and I have tried...to find all the people we ruined or threw under the bus for pragmatic reasons. Or maybe they asked the wrong questions and were not 'team players' in our quest to have a huge ministry. I was a wolf builder and supporter.

I wish someone had confronted me a long time ago. I wish our evil deeds and arrogance had been made public long ago.

Most professing Christians think like you and that is why the wolves operate freely and profitably.

Matt

Anonymous said...

"This is a huge achilles heal in many churches today of all stripes and sizes. I would love to see the annual meeting express an opinion regarding it."


But what would your friend, Marilio say to this? Take you off facebook? Such a motion, if passed, would RUIN his business.

Lydia said...

Jon, YOu say such things all the time then come back.

BTW: If the Lord really pressed that on your heart, you would not have had the need to say it here. You are mis-using His Word to insult others but edify yourself.

You could have just gone away. But you didn't, did you.

Larry said...

Over the years, when we visited our son and family near Grapevine, we attended Fellowship. I have to admit, I got a tremendous amount from the services, but over the years, in discussions with my son about money issues at Fellowship, that lack of transparency became the 500lb gorilla in the room. When my son drove me by the location where Ed Young and family live, the gorilla began to fill the room even more.

I have no problem about Ed's God given talents and gifts, but Fellowship, and many other Baptist churches, have a real problem with transparency when it comes to salaries, etc, and almost always when there's no transparency in any institution (church, government, business) it's because the leadership know that there are things which members will not understand or condone. Otherwise, why not let members know exactly who makes what?

I am tremendously sad about what's happening, but until our Christian leaders refuse to "hide" things, they do great harm to the body of Christ. I vaguely remember a verse which goes something like this, "We should do nothing which can be perceived as sin". That perception can't be explained away by saying that his members don't have the right to know.

psalm:118:8 said...

I dont go to FC, but I still will support FC. Why? Because, It dont matter where the $ goes. God knows where is going too. God dont like ugly. So, I will difinitly give an offering tonight. I feel in my heart that they doing a good thing for the haitti. I pray that all goes well. GOD is in control.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Louis - good luck with that. :)

The uppity ups in the SBC support Young.

John Cross, the president of the Florida Baptist Convention flew out to Young's church Saturday night to throw his full support behind Young.

I wonder how much of a supporter Young's church is to the Cooperative Program. Anybody know?

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to know how much Fellowship Church contributes to the cooperative program since none of the budget amounts are shared with the congregation or anyone else.

However prior to the bylaws changes 6 or 7 years ago when the congregation was given some general numbers, it was about 3%. Of course this could have changed substantially.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

" psalm:118:8 said...
I dont go to FC, but I still will support FC. Why? Because, It dont matter where the $ goes. God knows where is going too. God dont like ugly. So, I will difinitly give an offering tonight. I feel in my heart that they doing a good thing for the haitti. I pray that all goes well. GOD is in control."

February 8, 2010 5:01 PM


Let me get this right!!!

So by your logic you would have no problem spending and sending your love ones to a quack doctor who loses most of his patients.
Or maybe a lawyer who loses most of his cases.Or maybe a pilot who fails every flight exam and can't seem to understand the principles of flight,etc.etc,etc.

Ahhhhhh but when it comes to Pastors or preachers who are teaching untenable doctrines,or living a lavish lifestyle on the offering of many people,who are either on fix or low incomes,or maybe even destitute!!!
Oh that's fine,I don't see anything wrong with that,God is blessing him;
Ohhhhhhhhhh heeeee's the maaaaan of God,and he deserves to spend the money anyway he pleases?

I'll type it again:::

"ANYTIME YOU SEE A SO-CALLED MAN OF GOD LIVING A LAVISH LIFESTYLE OFF OF THE OFFERING GIVEN TO GOD FOR ALL THE PEOPLE,YOU ARE DEALING WITH A FRAUD AND A CHARLATAN NOT 99999999999999% OF THE TIME BUT 100% OF THE TIME;;;NO EXCEPTION, PERIOD!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

I shouldn't have said the "death tithe" was a novel idea. It isn't. The Bellevue Foundation has existed for a number of years.

Charles Stanley's InTouch Ministries has an annuity program whereby you give them your money, they pay you an annuity from your money, and when you die, they keep the principal.

Second Baptist, Houston, Ed Young's father's church, has several pages on their website devoted to ways to give. On their Planned Giving page there are suggestions for what to give and ways to give. On their general giving page there are such useful tools as budget worksheets, an online pledge form, and a tithe chart with versions for adults, students, and children.

Just out of curiosity, I looked for information about giving on Joel Osteen's church's site. There is one page devoted to giving with a link to donate. There is no message about how you must give "10% of your income in an undesignated fashion" to Lakewood Church. There is one page where you can give online and designate how much you want to give to various funds. Again, no beating of the sheep. Just a message to "pray, seek God and ask Him how you can help meet our remaining goal of $3 million." {cough}

Rick Warren's Saddleback takes the tithe + offering approach and encourages people to give their car, boat, truck, plane, RV, personal property, or real estate, and of course we already know about the $2.4-million offering at the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

The resolution would not name any church or size of church in particular.

It would simply speak of openeness - every member of the congregation knowing where every penny is spent AND it would encourage ministers not to get caught up in pursuing wealth or compensation packages that are beyond reason (I know this needs some work).

Louis

Lydia said...

"It would simply speak of openeness - every member of the congregation knowing where every penny is spent AND it would encourage ministers not to get caught up in pursuing wealth or compensation packages that are beyond reason (I know this needs some work)."


That is the catch, isn't it? "Beyond reason". And who/what will be the model for 'reasonable"?

Actually, you can leave out the reason clause and just leave transparancy and publishing a line item budget each year. Add to that total transparancy for all income from para church organization, speaking gigs, books, etc.

With all that in there, I think more would be reasonable. As a matter of fact, my guess is that a ministry career would not be so attractive to so many anymore.

How about another motion that ALL SBC employees of entities cannot make personal income off books, materials, speaking gigs, etc while an employee of the SBC?

All books, materials, etc written on company time are the property of the seminary or the SBC. All royalties and advances go to the entity.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I applaud your idea, Louis. Good luck.

"I know this needs some work."

It would need a miracle of God to even make it to the floor, much less to be passed!

Anonymous said...

Louis - come to Orlando and present your motion. I will be there to second it. :)

Also, no need to worry about what is "reasonable" when it comes to expenditures. If the budget is detailed and open, the congregation will see to it that the expenditures are reasonable. Let's trust the folks who give to decide what is reasonable. Pastors need not fear. The folks likely will approve huge salaries and bennys. However, they might not approve of nepotism and Maurilio or leasing airplanes.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I greatly overstated the amount Fellowship Church gave to the cooperative program. The figure for all missions including local area missions was as follows:

1999-2000,
missions $75,000
budget $9,840,350.
0.76%


2000-2001
missions $108,000
budget of $13,955,625.
0.77%

This is less than 1% for all mission programs. I have no reason to believe there's been much change in the last 9 years.

The bylaws were changed on March 7, 2001. After that date, the church no longer voted on the budget or the board of directors and no budgets have since been disseminated to the body.

Lydia said...

The bylaws were changed on March 7, 2001. After that date, the church no longer voted on the budget or the board of directors and no budgets have since been disseminated to the body.

February 8, 2010 8:25 PM

This is happening all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I am a member of FC, was somewhat concerned about the news report, and was hoping for some answers this weekend. I was not disappointed. Ed Young openly and honestly addressed every accusation. If you care to hear his sermon, its available on the church website each week for free.

In addition, two members of the board, both pastors, also spoke to defend his character and the inaccuracy of the reports. They were convincing, heartfelt messages in his defense.

I've served for years in smaller congregations, spending countless hours debating pastor's salaries, budgets, long range plans, etc. I find it refreshing to belong to a church that has a clear global vision and takes care of the details in implementing that vision. I honestly don't want to spend time in endless congregational meetings debating the size of parking lot improvements, pastor's compensation packages, and the organists salary.

In the end, I feel the proof lies in what I see. As long as the Word of God is spoken in truth, with a heart for those who need it most, and I can see my dollars at work in creative, meaningful ministries that makes a difference for not only the membership, but those outside of the church circle, I'm satisfied.

Jesus said, "You will know the truth." After hearing Ed this past Sunday, I feel that I know the truth...and it has set me free from any doubts cast by some disgruntled ex employee shrouded in secrecy during sweeps week.

Seek the truth...it will set you free, too.

Anonymous said...

10:06 PM******

That's some pretty strong "kool-aide. And that's the "truth". Have some more.

Anonymous said...

"I am a member of FC, was somewhat concerned about the news report, and was hoping for some answers this weekend. I was not disappointed. Ed Young openly and honestly addressed every accusation. If you care to hear his sermon, its available on the church website each week for free."


Funny how it took a news report for you to know the truth about what is going on in YOUR Body of Christ. I doubt that you were disappointed. Keep the money flowing to Ed and you should be ok.. Ed will find no shortage of pastors who will defend him. They love ignorant sheep who want some human to lead them and tell them to have lots of sex. (That is the Gospel?)

I suppose 'global vision' is the term they use to justify the plane.

Anonymous said...

"In the end, I feel the proof lies in what I see."

That makes sense for a mega church follower. They are counting on that. The show must go on.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how some people can easily accept the reliablity of the media, yet wonder about the decision making capabilities of church members who believe and trust their own pastor.

Do you honestly believe that the media has a higher stake in portraying the truth when it comes to information regarding church business? How about a disgruntled employee covered in a cloak during sweeps week?

Who's really drinking the Kool Aid here?

Anonymous said...

"Do you honestly believe that the media has a higher stake in portraying the truth when it comes to information regarding church business? How about a disgruntled employee covered in a cloak during sweeps week? "


I mentioned this before but will mention it again. The best defense these mega church pastors have is the horrible media. Since most Christians have become political animals this defense works. It is simple as you see this strategy all the time in politics: Attack the person/institution that brought out the negative truths.

The strategy is to make the left wing media the enemy and get the pew sitters focused on that to deflect attention away from the nasty facts that are right before their eyes. It works.

As to the disgruntled employee, I can assure you he is not safe, even with his face covered. If he is smart, he will move away and change his name.

The worldly love the Ed's out there. And excuse me for being very straight on this: they will follow him right into hell.

Follow Christ. Not man. Time is short. Come out of these temples of entertainment and selling the Gospel for profit.

Matt

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

" Anonymous said...
I don't understand how some people can easily accept the reliablity of the media, yet wonder about the decision making capabilities of church members who believe and trust their own pastor.

Do you honestly believe that the media has a higher stake in portraying the truth when it comes to information regarding church business? How about a disgruntled employee covered in a cloak during sweeps week?

Who's really drinking the Kool Aid here?"

February 9, 2010 12:25 PM


Hey Anon got a question for you!

Please tell me how much you know about the Bible's warning concerning false christ,false prophets and false teachers?

Tell me do they exist?

Do they pose any danger to the body of Christ?

What does the Bible state about them,and how much does the Bible state about them?

I'll give you several of the countless passages that testify of their comings and charateristics.

Matt.7;Matt 24;Acts 20:27-30;2Cor.11;2;2Pet.2;Jude;Rev.13-11-18.

And I "KNOW FOR A FACT" your celebrity pastor has never dealt with any of these passages in depth,and the countless others that or all over the Bible!!!

Anonymous said...

I know its hard to separate truth from lies in anything...the media, the church, at work, in my neighborhood, even at home.

The best we can do is to listen to both sides and try to figure out what makes sense.

I think anyone can agree that both the media and large mega churches don't have great track records on reporting the truth. I, personally, don't want to have anything to do with a church or pastor that isn't committed 100% to following Christ over self. However, the reason we joined Fellowship was that we found it to be extremely focused on serving God and carrying out his mission in a way that reaches the most people...and it has a great track record of doing so.

Sometimes success makes you a target for those less successful, which is what I suspect is going on with this whole story. Honestly, I don't see a lot of substance in it...travel arrangements, housing, salaries, etc. No one is accusing our church of illegal or even immoral activities. If they are, let them spell it out clearly and accurately, with verifable information. The jet isn't even owned by Fellowship or Ed Young. It was leased for a few trips.

The bottom line is I don't follow Ed Young, I follow Christ. I trust that He will separate the truth from the lies in the end. In the meantime, I have heard nothing to this point that makes me want to seek out another church body for worship and service. No church is perfect, but Fellowship is doing an amazing job of reaching those who are lost and bringing them into a relationship with Christ.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - you say the plane "was leased for a few trips"

I don't believe that. I believe the plane is leased for Ed Young. I've seen the lease contract, and it has his name, and Fellowship Church and Fellowship Connection's name in the document.

The contract says that the lessee will be in default if Young leaves the employ of Fell. Church or Fell Connection.

So the plane obviously is connected straight to the church, and to Ed Young.

It is estimated that the monthly lease is in the TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS...not including the maintenance and operational expenses involved.

And Anon, no one is suggesting you find a new church home. If you believe in the ministry of the church, then stay, and ask questions. Why not ask for Ed Young to reveal the details. Would it bother you to know that the church is paying tens of thousands of dollars per month to lease and operate the plane? Why not want to find out the truth?

Anonymous said...

If Ed Young was traveling for church business, which he said he was, then I would expect that the church is held accountable for payment and should be on the lease. He is an amazing speaker and openly travels all over the world, mostly to large pastoral conventions and leadership groups. He also travels to several mission sites in Brazil and other places, as well as our campus in Florida. His speaking schedule is usually posted on his website.

I have no idea what that might cost, or even should cost, and I don't care. Not because I don't care about how our finances are spent, but because I don't care what it costs for him to impact as many people as he can for Christ. If we can do it, and he's willing, we should.

In God's economy, the amount doesn' matter. What matters is what's in the heart. Since only God knows what's in a person's heart, we are left to judge based on the results we can see. What I've seen is hundreds of pastors testifying to the impact Ed's speaking engagements have had on their minitries, mostly as I interact with them at our C3 conference. If that costs 10's of thousands of dollars, and we have it, I'm OK with it being spent.

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes success makes you a target for those less successful, which is what I suspect is going on with this whole story."

I am ashamed to say I have used this one myself to excuse lots of sin, ignore the Word and insult those who question.

It is the old "you are just jealous so you are the real sinner". God is blessing me more so you are just jealous.

I think we are all going to be shocked at what is important in God's economy on that big day that is coming. Soon, I hope.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Ed has his damage control crew out making the rounds on blogs. The talking points are very similar as to what we are reading here:

1. Who can trust the media?
2. There are two sides to every story
3. All the lost people Ed has led to Christ
4. You have your facts wrong (it is not a 10,000 sq ft home but a 7000 sq ft home)
5. He is a target because he is so successful.

Word on the street is that Ed was already suffering from declining "tithes" and is afraid. He is calling in favors from other "respected leaders" that he has put on stage or knows.

Gee, maybe TD Jakes will put in a good word for him while he denies the Trinity.

gregg said...

Ed Young gives the same BS crap as all the rest of them do. I would respect him a lot more if he would just be honest and say "hey people. I'm here to screw you and take your money". But if those followers of his are stupid enough to fall for it then I don't feel sorrow for their losses. Look at Jim Jones. Oh well, maybe I should go on tv and give little speaches that give people that warm fuzzy feeling and maybe I can fly around in muy own jet some day

gregg said...

Ed Young is no different than any other tv preacher who is out to rob the pockets of people who will listen to him. I would have more respect if he were honest and tell people."hey I'm Ed Young and I'm here to screw you and take your money". Of course if people are dumb enough to give it to him then I can't feel too much sympathy for them. People have been referred to as sheep in the Bible and sheep are about the dumbest animals on earth. They will follow you anywhere. Look at Jim Jones. So maybe I'll go on tv, give speaches that give people warm fuzzy feelings and maybe one day I'll be flying around in my private jet

Anonymous said...

ED YOUNG AND HIS HALF TRUTH:

That aircraft is owned by Medill Corporation. It traces back to Ed Young as the principal through several other entities. The church is making the lease purchase payment on the aircraft. He only uses the lease word on stage and not purchase(evasive and deceitful). Ed paid $11.4 Million via a lease with a $1.00 Residual Buy Out for the aircraft at the end of the lease. He then wrapped the transaction in a “shell game” lease company that he owns set up as a Delaware Trust based in Texas. At the end of the lease, the congregation just bought Ed a jet. The only problem is N188FJ is a 1988 Model Falcon 50 that is now worth no more than 4.5 Million(Not the $8.4 Million the news reported. The news reported it as a 2002 Model and that is incorrect. Medill Corporation makes the payment to GE Capital each month. Is this the best use of the Lord’s money? The pilots that work for Brad Harris at Dallas Jet International(The management company for the jet based at Alliance Airport) that crew the aircraft have always known the aircraft is a secret. Alliance is highly secure and private compared to the other airports in this part of North Texas. Just call Brad Harris to confirm. He will give you the same half truth as Ed did on stage on who owns the aircraft. It is no secret that it is a secret and always has been. Here is the registration straight from the FAA Records:

Record 1 of 1 found

AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION / STATUS

Make: FALCON Year of Delivery: 1989 Airport: AFW – KAFW – Ft. Worth Alliance Airport
Ft. Worth – TX – United States
Model: 50 Year of Manufacture: 1988 Serial Number: 50-188 Alt Ser#:
Registration Number: N188FJ Prev Reg#: XA-ALA Status: Not for Sale Purchase Date: 4/4/2001
Life Cycle: In Operation Previously Owned: Yes Ownership Type: Wholly Owned
Currently On Lease Last Change: 2/3/2009

COMPANY/CONTACT
Company Contact
Owner/Lessor – General Electric Capital Corporation
DBA GE Corporate Aircraft Finance
10 Riverview Drive
Danbury, CT 06810 United States
http://www.gecorporateaircraft.com
Office: 203-749-6000
Mr. Scott F. Forsberg
Manager, Aircraft Remarketing
scott.forsberg@ge.com
Office: 203-749-6640

Lessee – Medill Company/ Ed Young
TX United States
Ms. Ann R. Duckart
Vice President Tracy M Lamb Vice President

Aircraft Management Company – Dallas Jet International, LP
5605 N. MacArthur Blvd. Suite 640
Irving, TX 75038 United States
info@dallasjet.com
http://www.dallasjet.com
Office: 972-812-7525
Fax: 972-812-7527
Mr. Brad Harris
President & CEO
bharris@dallasjet.com
Office: 972-812-7525
Fax: 817-853-5188

Registered as Owner – CEF 2002 Aircraft, LLC
United States
Hutson T. W
President
Hangar: 503-329-5901

This aircraft will be owned by ED YOUNG’S “SHELL” company, Medill for $1.00 at the end of the lease. ALL COMPLIMENTS OF THE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH. The aircraft costs the church over $1,000,000.00 per year currently with insurance, pilots, hangar, and repairs. Hmmm, now that’s not exactly as Ed put it on stage. There is no transparency at Fellowship because Ed owns the church and he won’t allow it. That is specifically against the way the New Testament insists that a church should be structured. It should not be owned by the Pastor. A church is owned by the membership but NOT AT ED YOUNG’S CHURCH. IT IS ALL SETUP WRONG AND IT IS FOR PROFIT BUSINESS THAT HE HAS CONVINCED HIMSELF IS SET UP CORRECTLY. LET ME KNOW HOW THAT IS WORKING FOR FELLOWSHIP CHURCH. WHAT A TURN OFF FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO FIND CHRIST. ALL OVER A STUPID AIRPLANE AND A BIG HOUSE. ED YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!

Anonymous said...

Former Church Attender-

Lavish, Luxury more than you know- it is a pathetic
he answers to no-one-
most all staff members have been let go-
it is known he personal looks at who tithes what & how much-
No elders that is a huge reason for his soon to be fall-

Honestly
Humility
Intergrity

would mean he would come forward and lay it out-I will bet he will not-

PRIDE & EGO will take him down-

Anonymous said...

Ed fired dedicated and hardworking staffers once they expressed any concerns or disagreement with Ed's opinions and they were never heard from or discussed ever again.
That's the TRUTH!

Robert said...

Yawning Over Potemkin Zombieland
By Robert Winkler Burke
Of inthatdayteachings.com
Copyright 2/16/10


Well then, it’s agreed:
There are just no prophets today,
Warning us about,
Potemkin Zombieland. Hurray!

Hurray! We’re okay,
With hamster pipe walk-left-walk-right preachers!
They don’t mesmerize us,
Not according to our liberal school teachers!

No, the wing tanks are full,
On the jets of our preacher and politico class!
We need discern nothing,
Enlightened thought is just a worrisome morass!

Even if one of us in thinking,
Were to succeed,
Not one, but all need enlightening,
To work. Agreed?

So we’re ever so happy,
With Potemkin Zombieland!
Leaders: rich, plebes: broke,
Enslaved America is so grand!

That’s what some preachers and politicians,
Do, if not say, by their action!
Never mind their blinding us to all that,
Our one job: Their satisfaction!

Never mind Western Enlightenments’ tragic view,
Check and verify against each man’s sin,
We embrace mystic, therapeutic tyranny,
Our lives: dust, that masters live: golden!

It’s the new all-for-one,
And the new one-for-all,
Feudal lords over us,
Come now, lords of cabal!

Actually, we need to be,
More primitive, more easy-to-herd,
More easy-to-direct gerbils!
More nadir! Our zenith leaders’ word!

We need faux James Bond leaders and preachers,
Jetting to elite vacation spots!
With fake licenses to steal our monies and lives,
No consequences, no harms, no blots!

Anonymous said...

We have been members at FC Grapevine for over 5 years. When this news story came out we were not at all suprised. When I first saw the story on WFAA I wanted to give Ed the benefit of the doubt and not really come to conclusions without hearing him out. Once I heard him speak to the congregation at FC my "Shitometer" skyrocketed. I can't believe some of these people who actually believe that he was open and honest during that speech. He used every PR tactic in the book (much like a politician) to down play the entire situation and come across as some poor victim to the media. WHAT A JOKE!!! I don't buy your rolling of the eyes, your tears, and your lame jokes (ie: my house isn't 10,000 sq. feet, well if you count our barn then maybe it's close --- HAHAHA). I thought if anything his message to the church to put out this enormous fire made him look even more pathetic and money hungry than before. We no longer consider ourselves members at FC and will never return. I want my church and my money to be focused on God and doing God's work, not on Ed Young and making him more successful and rich in this life.

Anonymous said...

The owner of aircraft N188FJ that is pictured in this blog is:
CEF 2002 Aircraft LLC
10 River View Dr.
Danbury, Conn

New BBC Open Forum said...

According to the FAA's website, the jet shown in the report (tail number N188FJ) is registered to “Fellowship Connection.” (Line 7338 as of today.)

Here is the lease agreement. Ed Young is referred to as “Mr. Edward Young, Jr. of Fellowship Church or Fellowship Connection” in section 12, page 6. (His name is Edwin, not Edward, and he's not really a "Jr.")

From the WFAA article:

“With Brewer’s help and a complex series of business creations and transactions, Young is now jetting around the country in a French-made Falcon 50 private jet; estimated value, $8.4 million.”

“The Medill Company” (shown to be the lessee) is a Delaware statutory trust formed March 1, 2007. (You can look that up here.) This is likely one of those “complex series of business creations and transactions” referenced in the report.

Re the “2002″ reference, the jet is indeed owned by CEF 2002 Aircraft LLC, so that’s probably where Shipp got that. It was built in 1988.

Robert Winkler Burke said...

You think Ed Young will take a rebuke? Or jet on and on?

Ridin’ from Rebuke
By Robert Winkler Burke
Of inthatdayteachings.com
Copyright 2/4/09
Isaiah 28: 1-3; Rev. 3:19

Ridin’ from rebuke,
Ah’m so free!
Gallopin’ from rebuke,
Ah’m on TV!

Ah’m a televangelist,
Boy howdy,
A hat’n saddle cowboy,
Not dowdy!

For ten, no twenty,
Maybe fifty years,
Me and mah compadres,
Been swilling beers.

The beers of intoxicating self-glory,
The wine of ME and MINE!
Broadcastin’ strong drink delusions,
Drunkards we all, divine!

Mah duster is religiosity,
Pard, buy me a drink,
Hand over your money, son,
Don’t you dare think.

Think what a bank heist,
Mah game actually is,
Renegade outlaws runnin’,
God’s broadcastin’ biz.

Ah have this here strong faith-hunch,
Y’all’s seed cash pronto-quick becomes mine,
Believe mah faith mantras, NOW, son,
God, not me and mine, will times it back fine!


Ah LOVE this outlaw math,
With every dollar mah faith is reborn,
Y’all’s coin increases belief,
Of me and mine, that is, not your’n!

AH AM the believer’s leader!
Ah ain’t never wrong,
Runnin’ from rebuke,
God’s posse ‘tain’t strong.

Support mah babble-on, anti-chastisement,
Non-rebuke charade,
YOU, Ah don’t know son, but me and mine,
Shor’ ‘nuff, got it made!

And love, Lordy Lordy, heaven above,
Jes’ why kin we never repent?
God ain’t rebukin’ whom He don’t love,
So’s we ride on, God absent!

Ask me now, friend, why should God love us,
We rebels of His way?
We take from His spiritual orphans and widows,
Who give us their pay.

So’s we ride hard,
From God’s missing rebuke,
Happy we be,
With all we took!

Anonymous said...

I have been at this church for 15 years. I have been an active participant and full tithe member.
I have prayed and pondered over this since this news surfaced. During last week's service, I was hoping to hear 'I am sorry. I messed up. Forgive me. I am human.' Those words did not come. I realized then I have no church home. I left the building and was truly sad.
Sad for all.

Anonymous said...

To the truly sad anonymous commenter above mine:

"Let not your heart be troubled."

Rejoice that God has led you from iniquity. Put a smile upon your face, bow and pray, and smile. Give thanks, give thanks, give thanks. God, the Father, is worthy of all praise.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of a church, other than Fellowship, that charges you to become a member. Plus all Ed Young does during his so called sermons is ask for money. Greedy.

Brad said...

Dear Watchdog,

I'm a pastor of a church in Minnesota and have followed some of Ed's teaching on leadership for several years, and up to this moment, have truly enjoyed them. Sometime ago, Ed spoke on the importance of transparency with your flock. He spoke richly on credibility and how leaders must pave the way in the area of transparency if true life change is going to happen among those you lead. So, yes... I'm truly baffled by Ed's response, or lack thereof, to these important questions. As pastors, our ultimate purpose is not to conceal, but to reveal. Hence, when Ed is asked a simple question about the Jet, vacation home, etc., he should be honest and transparent. When a pastor suggests that "he or she doesn't have to give an answer to a question regarding ministry," this truly alarms me - and produces some huge red flags on credibility. You can't have it both ways. You can't tell people that transparency is extremely important as a leader, and yet fail to answer important financial questions. For me, the issues isn't so much about the amount of money Ed makes (his salary), but more so "why" Ed had chosen to keep so many things secret.

I will be praying for my friend, Ed.

PennyH said...

Bottom Line- Without Ed Young- Fellowship Church does not exist. It is he who made it-it is he who people come to hear each week preach the word of God- because of his gift of communication. You know what- I don't care if he owns an entire airline company and has a 20 million dollar mansion. I am completely satisfied that my tithe is going to help missions, and deliver Gods word. Period. He deserves everything he has worked hard to achieve. Why is it that everyone else can earn triple digit incomes and it is perfectly fine- but the wolves come out when a Man of God is successful enough to earn a nice salary and enjoy the finer things in life. To the Watchdog: Get a Life! Find a bigger story that someone cares about!

dfwgirl said...

I am a member of FC and i believe Fc can exist with out Ed Young. But then we would just be another forward moving church. I don't like what Pastor Young is doing with the money and members can not get pass his directors. Don't get me wrong the preaching is good but the atmosphere the community is the best. And that is why others stay in spite of our wayward pastor. Can the money go somewhere else?YES. While he and selected few go cross country other departments barely scrape by in material and supplies.

Mike said...

Keep in mind that there is no biblical prohibition against being wealthy. It only becomes a problem when it becomes a driving force in ones life. "the LOVE OF money is the root of all evil". Money itself is neutral, a tool to be used for good or evil.

There is no reason to think that Ed Young or any other pastor should be destitute or take a vow of poverty.
Nor should they have to reveal every part of their life; they have a right to privacy same as the rest of us.

That said, churchgoers are the ones that pay for a church to exist and as such can reasonably expect an accounting of where there money goes.

People who tithe expect this money to be used for good, not paying for a private jet and million dollar salaries. While not 'wrong' technically, it certainly doesnt look good for a pastor to rake in millions and be wealthier than 99% of his congregation.

If I invent something on company time, the company owns it because they are PAYING ME to do a piece of work. The idea that Ed takes a church salary and still retains the Intellectual Property rights on his sermons is ridiculous to me. He is hired by a church to lead a congregation, not to 'own' the church and milk it for all it's worth.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this interesting? From my Sunday School days, this style of living is more in line with Satanism than true Christianity. Wonder if this guy's followers will ever awaken from their hypnotic trance? Just look at his photo....good or evil?

Anonymous said...

I just read Ed's No Secrets blog and he will not give credence to the reports in which he spends the entire blog giving credence to. He says he live his life in an aquarium. That is why his home is in the name of Palometa Revocable Trust" I wonder who can revoke the trust? Apparently not anyone that is giving him money because they would kill the fame of the game in his/their name!

Art By Andie said...

The Bible teaches us to pray for one another and that we are not to judge anyone..Instead of allowing the enemy to create doubt about what is going on financially why do we not focus on all the great things Ed and his family are doing to further ministry in the lives of others..for example the A21 Campaign that is supported by the Fellowship Church to reach young girls who have been sold into the sex slave industry..or the Haiti ophanage..that was dedicated after the earthquake destroyed so much of the area..
I attend Fellowship and will continue to. The world has always and will always be in opposition to the church. The fact that the man who is claiming to have all the insight/truth; is completely hiding his identity disguising every aspect of himself! shouldn't this beg the question: why are we listening to and believing his perspective..this whole interview includes phrases of honesty and truth but his identity is completely concealed..paradox..hmmm..what I want to ask is if this interview was declined by Ed..maybe there are reasons for it..maybe because no matter what Ed would respond with would be edited to please the writers of this story..open your eyes and see that we live in a world where everyone even this news crew accepts and agrees with God's standard..maybe that is the real message here..that God's word is the Truth and should be followed. no where during this whole interview did they question the standard of truth..no! they confirmed it!! So if anyone wants a reason to believe God's word..its here! in this video..your focus is in the wrong place..Christ is our Judge. Let God deal with our hearts and Ed's heart..stop complaining and be the change you want to see in the world..if all we do is gossip about one another how are we being an example to those who do not know the truth Galatians 5:13-15 (the Message version) 13-15It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows. For everything we know about God's Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That's an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

Pray for one another even your leaders, your pastors, and the people God called to positions of authority.

Grace and Peace be with all of us in Christ,

Andie Collard

Art By Andie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red said...

I didn't have time to go thru all of the posts here, but I'll throw in my 2 cents anyway. I haven't been going to the Grapevine church very long, but I've been following Young on tv, in the news, etc. Being a very skeptical church goer, I've gone to many churches and never returned because the pastor put me off. Pastor Young is undeniably different, in my humble opinion. He teaches in a way that really sticks with you. Compare him to Benny Hinn? Seriously? A charlatan through and through, and while some say they can't believe we listen to Ed Young, I can't believe how many listened to Benny Hinn, or the Bakers, or Jerry whats-his-name with the hooker/bookkeeper, whatever. Some of them ARE transparent. All these people turned me OFF of 'mega churches' and TBN. And notice, most of them are preaching a 'once saved always saved' dogma that also, btw, conveniently clears their own arses in heaven. You know, they're saved! Even if they fleece the flock! Pastor Young points out repeatedly, that teachers are held in higher accountability b/c of their responsibility to the church. If he's preaching it but not living it, then he already knows he has alot to answer for. All we can do as Believers is ask God's direction. If we tithe, we should be tithing from the heart - if we tithe to a mega church and it's wrong but our hearts are in the right place, then why would God hold it against us? We can't know all or see all. The church is growing, the programs and outreach are awesome, and yes, ALOT of money goes through that church - but notice, ALOT of money goes INTO the church and INTO the multitude of programs offered. If God wants it to grow, it will grow. Joel Osteen is another 'mega church' pastor I listen to and like. Maybe, just maybe, the churches are so blessed because they're doing the right thing. Like I said, TBN, the Bakers and Jerry-whatshisface turns me off of big churches and 'religious tv.' If I see or hear something at Fc that strikes an off-note with me, I'll be the first to dig deeper and see what's up. But for now, I LOVE going to church, I love learning more than I ever have, and my hard-to-handle son is thriving in the children's ministry. So what else can I say? So far, so very, very good.

AND....ex employees are the grumblers? While they may have valid reason to grumble, perhaps you need to ask, WHY are they ex employees? There's two sides to every story, and the ppl claiming they were 'close' to Young, yet refuse to divulge their names, are being just as sinister and secretive as the accused in their story. If they want Young to be transparent, they need to be as well. It's hard to face an accuser when they're hiding behind a cloud, like Elizabeth Taylor in her old White Diamonds commercials....LOL