"...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

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Florida Baptist Convention President Cross Endorses Young's Use of Jet

Dr. John Cross, Pastor of the South Biscayne Church in North Port, Florida, is currently serving as the President of the Florida Baptist Convention. He presided over the 2009 annual meeting in Pensacola last November, where the motto was:

"Imagine If..."

Well, us Florida baptists never imagined that our president would be flying to Dallas to actually stand in a church and defend the use of church funds to lease a luxury, French-made jet for a Southern Baptist pastor. Who would have thought it? We are certainly breaking new ground in the SBC and in the Florida Baptist Convention, that we are seeing the first SBC pastor use a leased jet. But us Florida baptists don't have the luxury of just ignoring the Young jet matter, and writing Young off as some oddity...no, our Florida Baptist president ENDORSES this, and in a very big way.

Not only did Cross, who is a SWBTS alum, defend the use of a leased jet for pastor Ed Young, but he in very clear terms stated that in all of his executive leadership experience, Ed Young's ministry is THE MOST ACCOUNTABLE AND AUTHENTIC MINISTRY he has ever served with:

"I've been honored to serve on denominational committees nationally in the Southern Baptist Convention, a number of boards in our own Florida Baptist Convention, a college board, as he [Young] mentioned I'm currently serving as president of our state convention which has over 2900 churches so I've been behind the scenes in a number of situations and ministries, I've served on the boards of several very large churches, and I just want you as a church family to know, that I have never, EVER, had the honor of being part of a ministry with such integrity, such authenticity, vulnerability, and accountability. That's the facts....I want you to know that all the i's are dotted, all the t's are crossed. Talk about accountability? Well, I can't think of any greater accountability than to know as pastor of a church...that one day I will stand before God....to give an account as how I served as pastor of that church, just like Pastor Ed will one day for Fellowship Church."

Indeed. Standing before God to give an account of spending money on a leased plane. This makes me angry. I feel as though Dr. John Cross is over there using his platform as president of our state convention - which he and Young both mentioned - and that he in a way represents all of us and is endorsing this huge waste of money.

About the plane, Cross makes no apologies:

"He's already mentioned the plane, but I just want to address that issue again. We, we, uh, we make use of a leased plane, absolutely. As opportunities began to open to pastor Ed Young to go and pastor other pastors and the ministry of Fellowship Church began to have the opporutnity to multiply herself all over this country and all over the world, we as a board felt like after consulting a number of different wise counselors and seeking the consultation of a number of other Christian leaders who access and who use private travel, private air travel, that that was a wise decision because we believe that we need to take care of him, we need to take care of his marriage, and his family, and we want him to be here and to be at his very best on the weekends and that's why we want to take care of him. So, that's, that's, we're thankful for that."

Yes, Dr. Cross and the other board members believe that Ed needed to be "taken care of" and a plane was absolutely necessary. I wonder who the "other Christian leaders" are that they consulted that make use of "private air travel". I mean who in Christianity is flying around on luxury jets besides Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, and Kenneth Copeland? Too bad Cross and the FC board didn't consult some of the smaller church pastors who are barely getting by...or too bad they didn't consult with Jerry Rankin at the IMB who knows how much money they need to keep their missionaries on the field. Or gee, consult with the SBC missionaries themselves who are having to give up air conditioners and clothes washers. They might have given the Fellowship Church much wiser counsel on how to spend their money than their "wise accountants and lawyers and consultants"

Below are pictures of the same model jet, inside and out. This kind of travel is reserved mostly for rock stars and the heads of billion-dollar corporations.

And now Southern Baptist mega church pastors.

Congrats, SBC. We are in the BIG TIME now! Take a look SWBTS students...make it big and you TOO can be a rock star mega church pastor and get use of "private air travel" - which means you can take your travel to a "ho...nutha...level" - to a level of about 35,000 feet on your bodacious, audacious triple-engined jet aircraft. Yeee Haw!!!

Imagine If....you could be a mega church pastor, and have your board of directors decide to "take care of you"....who will be the NEXT Southern Baptist mega church pastor to have his marriage saved by having a jet so he can be the best he can be when he preaches on Sunday?






74 comments:

Anonymous said...

The greedy pastors are convinced they are doing nothing wrong. They will go before God with a clear conscience. However, that does not make it right. It is up to the sheep to set the pastor straight. Leave the flock, stop giving to these self proclaimed churches. They are not churches!

Anonymous said...

Jerry Vines when reporting the count of FBCJ membership liked to comment that even the FBI couldn't find some of the members if they tried...here's a good reason why members in the fellowship are vanishing from the Country Club mega churches.

The once good name of the SBC is seeing their supporters loose respect for them as well per example of the Cross endorsement.

Everyone should be outraged at the misuse of monies to support these rock star preachers.

My tithing envelope from FBCJ came yesterday and I immediately trashed it - my monies henceforth will go directly to the small church where I was saved at.

Anonymous said...

This is what made so many folks angry with JD Greear after the last SBC in Louisville. He got on a private jet of a fat cat donor after it was over.

I don't think he was expecting the criticism. But don't preach some sermon about humility and fly off in a private jet. It was as if he was pretending to be something he wasn't.

Would he ride home in a rusted out car with a poor sheep?

I think these folks are too isolated to get it. They do not live in the real world.

Anonymous said...

Cross going there to defend Young was a very stupid PR move considering his position. Perhaps he rides on the jet all the time and it would be embarssing if that came out so he defended him?

Anonymous said...

Read his bio on his church website:

http://www.southbiscayne.com/about_john.php

These guys are something else. He talks about the growth of the church since HE WAS THERE and he got his doctorate while being the pastor there from SWBTS. Then talks about speaking at many other places.


Seriously, they all promote themselves like they are motivational speakers. Would someone please tell me how these guys represent anything that is modeled in the NT?

His church is the typical topical focus of entertainment. A sermon series on Israel, Islam and Terrorism? What? He is a geo poltical expert now? And of course, there are the obligatory childrens entertainment stuff. Gotta entertain folks and of course children will not want to go to church unless it is fun. Actually most adults are like that, too.

These men cannot preach the Gospel because they do not know it.

Anonymous said...

News reports like this is exactly why Cities now are taking a good look at why churches should no longer be given a tax exempt exception.

What the secular world see is if members can afford to support this kind of lifestyle for their CEO's then they most certainly have the monies to pay their fair share in property taxes.

Thy Peace said...

I feel Fbc Jax shorted Mac Brunson. Maybe, just maybe Fbc Jax should have provided Mac Brunson with a private jet, several villas around america and europe for their rest and revitalization.

Oh yes. Provide 100 maids and servants for each villa. Servants can come from the church, so they offer their free time, and the church does not have to pay for their service. After all they are talking care of a man of God. They already have private bodyguards.

So maybe this should be the template for most of mega church pastors.

Yes, provide private jets, lots of villas dotting around the globe. Also provide millions for compensation.

We are missing private masseurs too. All for the glory of God. So the man of God can be fresh to deliver their sermons on Sunday mornings.

Is not God good? He provides for the humble and mighty pastors, so that their feet do not have to touch the ground.

On second thoughts, maybe they should start leasing QE2 or other cruise ships too. The churches will save lot of money this way. And at the same time take care of their over worked and under paid mega church pastors and their friends.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what is more embarrassing – the extravagant waste (while SBC missionaries are told that they will have to do without air conditioning) or the attempt to justify it.

Baptists are on the wrong track.

Anonymous said...

"What the secular world see is if members can afford to support this kind of lifestyle for their CEO's then they most certainly have the monies to pay their fair share in property taxes."



I agree with this assessment. One of things I hear all the time from the local mega is that they want to be "good neighbors".

Considering the amount of property... they own 200 acres of prime real estate with total of 5 huge buildings on the site. The worship center alone is over 200,000 sq ft.

The offering they take in is about 500,000 per week from just the service.

With all these riches in your face why not pay their fair share of taxes? Isn't that what a good neighbor does? Pay their way?

I commend Ed Young for pointing out so clearly why the tax status for churches and ministers is obsolete.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Reverend Cross. First, assuming you quoted him accurately, I do not believe that he is well spoken. Lots of grammatical errors.

Second, I think that we need to be careful about demonizing a particular means of transportation. I know that's not your point, but we all need to remember that. A private jet may make sense in some cases. The facts would bear that out, or the facts would show it to be an extravagance.

Third, the issues here involve openness and good financial practices.

That's why Rev. Cross's words are not enlightening. All Cross did was vouch for Young. I am glad that Cross feels as he does. I would not want it any other way.

But simply making pronouncements is not an answer.

The church and Young don't owe me an answer. I don't give them a dime. But they do owe the congregation and all donors the right to see where every penny goes. I would like to see a case made against that, if Cross or Young don't believe that. I would like to know why they don't.

And Cross's statements really bring up questions about the other Boards and Committees on which he has served.

I will take him at his word that Young's church is the MOST open of all the groups he has served with.

The I would like to here Cross explain what sort of information was kept secret on these other boards and why. I would also like to know if that's how he feels those boards should operate since, to my knowledge, he has never come out and made statements about the need of these boards to be open about their finances. If he did and I missed it, then I'll take the last part back.

Finally, this has little bearing on the SBC, as churches in the SBC are autonomous. But it is sad to see an SBC church have these kind of practices.

Louis

Anonymous said...

While Vines may be correct, many members could not be found by the FBI, FBCJ can certainly find them. A member can stop attending and, subsequently, move across the US with the military and they still receive their tithing envelope and letters asking them to pay for kids to go to camp. Those members NEVER receive a letter asking if they are doing okay or to see if they have somehow been hurt by the church - but you can bet they are asked for money.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Grace and Truth to You [Wade Burleson] > Christian Liberal Ideology and Christian Fundamentalist Ideology Are Brothers from the Same Mother.

An Attempt to Remove Professors Who Do Not Teach Storehouse Tithing

An excellent biblical presentation on the Old Covenant practice of "storehouse tithign" is found in an article entitled “Will a Man Rob God?” This study on tithing in the Old and New Testaments by Andreas J. Kostenberger AND David A. Croteau, who at the time the article was published were professors at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, is an excellent arugment for New Covenant pastors and preachers ceasing their emphasis on "the tithe" and encouraging their members to give "cheerfully, generously, and regularly" as led by the Holy Spirit. Dr. David A. Croteau is now a professor in the religion department at Liberty University. Dr. Kostenberger remains at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I received information that Southern Baptist pastor Les Puryear, a small church pastor who ran for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2008, contacted the supervisors of these men at the seminaries where they are employed. I was told Les was seeking their termination for teaching something that was contrary to "storehouse tithing" and the practice of the Jews in the Old Covenant
.

Anonymous said...

"My tithing envelope from FBCJ came yesterday and I immediately trashed it - my monies henceforth will go directly to the small church where I was saved at."

I've been trashing those envelopes for several years, and our money has been going to the same place as yours! (Different church, I'm sure, but same idea.) Of course this is not the reason we give to them, but every time we send them a check we get a handwritten thank you card or letter from the pastor or his secretary. They are genuinely grateful.

Anonymous said...

"The church and Young don't owe me an answer. I don't give them a dime. But they do owe the congregation and all donors the right to see where every penny goes."

Very pragmatic. What about the truth of the Word? What about the passages that warn of the love of money and a rich man entering the kingdom. What about the fact these men claim to represent Jesus Christ and what He teaches in the Word?

We must tell the world that these men do not represent Jesus Christ or the Word in deed. But, the world already thinks Christianity is a joke because of guys like this. Only the sheeple worship them instead of Christ or they would not exist in our churches.

How is Marilio? I am sure he is just as 'pragmatic' when it comes to these issues.

Anonymous said...

"I will take him at his word that Young's church is the MOST open of all the groups he has served with."

Why? The information we have now says otherwise. The congregation did not even know about the plane they were paying for.

Anonymous said...

The mega church is only a handful compare to the other churches out there. Taking tax exempt status away would only hurt smaller churches. We need reformer mentalities not one of reaction.
Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

In the last picture of the interior of the plane, are the flower arrangments bolted down? Will someone ask ED for me. I am worried he might get hit in the head upon takeoff.

Anonymous said...

I can remember when ALL Baptists criticized the life-style of the prosperity preachers. We can't do it now without looking hypocritical.

If everything is all good and above board, then why try to hide the jet? Why did the news media have to go undercover to find it?

Perhaps the staff at the Country Club knew it wouldn't look good to be jet-setting around during a global recession.

Anonymous said...

Anon:

FYI - it's a debate technique. Let's just stipulate that what Cross says is true...

Then, you prove your point.

Doing that is not really an agreement that what he says is true. It just means to keep the discussion going, you stipulate to what he has said.

Of course, I would have no way of knowing which groups are more open etc.

Hope that helps.

Louis

New BBC Open Forum said...

"First, assuming you quoted him accurately, I do not believe that he is well spoken. Lots of grammatical errors."

Louis,

Did you watch the video? You may FF to 10:05 and follow this transcript of EY's introduction and John Cross's words in their entirety:

EY: "So let me see... plane, uhhh... that... what else is there? House... uhhh... uh I didn't... and again I didn't watch it..... Oh, salary! Yeah, salary... ya know... I've never made a million dollars... my salary's never been a million dollars here. I mean... I mean it's not near that. Ummm... you know I am paid well. We have... ummm... you know salary survey... and... and I believe I'm well under... what... you know... others... make. I mean... I mean I'm not against someone making a million dollars a year. That's great. I know... I have friends... who do. I do! And... if that happens one day... you know... great. Hopefully it can... you know... give more and more money. But that's... that was... in... totally inaccurate.... Sounds great... uhhh.... {pauses for laughter}

"And... and really... that's uhhh... that, that, that's it... I think that ummm... you know... I... I, I'm, I'm, I'm not the... the one that's like to belabor things like this. I wanna tell you... you know... what the... what the real thing is and... and I want to pray for all the people no matter what they say... good, bad, or ugly... about me or Fellowship Church, but... it's simply tipping us off, I'm telling you guys, to what God is gonna do... {wild applause} over this next year... because I... I truly believe... that... the best is yet to be for Fellowship Church.

"Anyway, before I begin to teach tonight... uhhh... uh uh... two of our board members... ummm... called me when they heard about this, and they said, 'Ed, can we address the church briefly?' So... uh... I would... I wanna give them over... uh... uh uh... to you guys and let them talk. The first is... uh... uh... Dr. John Cross. Dr. Cross is pastor of South Biscayne Church. He's also president... of the... Florida... Baptist... Convention. And... and John wants to speak a little bit 'cause he... ummm... golly... has known me and knows everything our church does, knows about me personally and privately, and then... we also have another one of our board members here... who pastors a church in Austin, the great Lake Hills Church... Mac Richard. So...."

{continued in next comment}

New BBC Open Forum said...

{continued}

JC: "You know... it is such an honor to be here tonight, and I count it a huge privilege to serve... uh... the Fellowship family and pastor Ed Young on the board of trustees here at... uh... Fellowship Church... the board of directors. You know, the Bible says, 'Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the discornful [sic] but his delight is in the law of the Lord. In His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree... planted by the rivers of waters. His fruit shall um not... or his fruit shall bring... or he shall bring forth fruit in due season. Whatever he does... prospers.' When I think about Psalm 1, verses 1 to 3, I think about pastor Ed Young. That's who comes to my mind. {applause}

"And... I just want to echo... what he has said. I've been honored to serve on denominational committees nationally in the Southern Baptist Convention, uh... a number of boards in our own Florida Baptist Convention, and a college board, as he [Young] mentioned I'm currently serving as president of our state convention which has over 2900 churches, so... I've been behind the scenes... uh... in a number of situations, a number of ministries, served on the boards of several very large churches, and... I just want you as a church family to know, that I have never, EVER, had the honor of being part of a ministry with such integrity... such authenticity... vulnerability... and accountability. That's the facts. Uh uh... we, as a board, take our responsibility very seriously. The Bible says in Proverbs, 'He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.' And so, as a board, we've always sought wise counsel in every decision that we've made. We have wonderful... uh... attorneys and wonderful... accountants who assist us in those decisions. Ed doesn't make a decision without seeking out that wise... counsel. If you know pastor Ed Young, you know that he is a very transparent person. He's also a very inquisitive person because the first time I met him I couldn't even catch my breath... because he kept asking me so many questions... and I wanted to ask him questions because this is a man who is always trying to learn so that he can be the best leader possible for Fellowship Church. So I want you to know that all the i's are dotted, all the t's are crossed. Talk about accountability? Well... I can't think of any... greater accountability than to know as pastor of this church... uh... just like I serve as pastor... of South Biscayne Church... in North Port, Florida, that one day I will stand before God... Mac's my friend, Ed's my friend... have a lot of other pastor friends... my wife... none of them will be there with me. I alone will stand before God to give an account for how I served as pastor of that church... just like pastor Ed Young will one day for Fellowship Church. There's no greater accountability, and I don't know any pastor who takes that more seriously. He's accountable to his wife. {pauses for laughter which is slow to come} A-MEN! He's accountable to... four... of the most amazing children on the planets [sic]. And, he's accountable to us as a board. He's accountable to us as a church family. It's all there, church."

New BBC Open Forum said...

{conclusion}

JC: "You've... he... he's already mentioned... the plane, but I just wanna address that issue again. We... we... we uhhh... make use of a leased plane, absolutely. As opportunities began to... to... to open... to pastor... Ed Young to go and pastor other pastors and... the ministry of Fellowship Church began to have the opporutnity to multiply herself all over this country and all over the world, we as a board felt like after consulting a number of different wise counselors and seeking the consultation of a number of other Christian leaders who access and who use private travel... private air travel... that that was a wise decision because we believe that... we need to take care of him, we need to take care of his marriage, and his family, and we want him to be here and to be at his very best on the weekends and that's why we want to take care of him. So... that's, that's, we're thankful for that.

"And then... lastly... again, I know this man. I've been blessed to travel all over the country and spend a ton of time in their home. I don't have a better friend in the world than pastor Ed Young. And I am convinced... that the last twenty years... unbelievable. But I'm also convinced... that we ain't seen nothin' yet. Not good grammar, but that's how it is." {applause}

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Cross going there to defend Young was a very stupid PR move considering his position. Perhaps he rides on the jet all the time and it would be embarssing if that came out so he defended him?"

He hinted at it when he said of EY, "I know this man. I've been blessed to travel all over the country and spend a ton of time in their home."

Anonymous said...

Wow. these guys really puff themselves up, don't they.

Ed followers: keep giving him more money. He deserves a million a year for his acting.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"On second thoughts, maybe they should start leasing QE2 or other cruise ships too. The churches will save lot of money this way. And at the same time take care of their over worked and under paid mega church pastors and their friends."

Well... it's not a church, exactly...

Sailabration Bible Cruise 2010

Danube River Cruise

The January Cruise to Mexico (zoom in)

Church or "ministry" groups (Charles Stanley's InTouch does this at least twice a year) reserve whole ships for Caribbean or Alaskan cruises. The ships' bars are closed, and with the increase in fares the cruise line charges because of that plus the rake-offs the hosts get, the ordinary people who go on these cruises (who aren't good enough friends of the hosts to get free passage) are paying through the nose. I hope they're aware of this.

Anonymous said...

Here is a thought for you: We see how much money the mega boys are getting, indeed, demanding, in some cases. Many even THINK they are WORTH it. Whatever it takes to "take care of" the preacher and the preachers lifestyle. Nothing is to good for "the boys".

WHAT if.....the Sunday School TEACHERS that bring Bible lessons each week to members of the same church that the mega boys preach in, should demand large sums of money, perks, benefits, etc.? What if the Staff that works for much less than the preachers, demand large sums to do all of the duties that the preacher doesn't "stoop" or can't be bothered to do. What if Staff and SS teachers stopped doing all of this stuff that makes the preacher "look good". And makes it possible for the preachers to "strut" around with a "How Great I am Complex". SS. teachers study just as hard to bring a lesson from Gods word to their class members. Plus during the week they actually talk to their class member. They minister to members when they are ill. A SS teacher usually has an outside job or outside responsibilities, family or some such. But the church would NOT be as successful without them. They are the "heatbeat" in the body of members. Do you see the difference in SERVING the Lord. And in occupying a position for personal gain. The volunteers in church do just that ...volunteer. Maybe they have motives maybe not. But it is for sure they don't get the same ATTENTION or the money that these so called "Gods Men" get. Just for the record...it is my opinion, after being in church and around SS teachers for years, most SS teachers would be insulted if someone tried to "pay" them for anything. Most are very giving and Godly. But, just look at the difference in the two arenas. Think about it!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

NASS - well, our first SBC pastor has a private luxury jet...a coastal SBC pastor with a yacht can't be to far away! Oh, how Jesus could use someone with an 8 million dollar yacht to sail up and down the east coast, visiting and "pastoring pastors".

Who will it be?

New BBC Open Forum said...

Oh, and Louis, I wasn't disagreeing with anything you said. I just wanted you to see that Tom did indeed quote John Cross accurately (less a few of the uh's and ummm's which I think are telling). You raise some good questions.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"I will take him at his word that Young's church is the MOST open of all the groups he has served with."

Then that's some mighty sad commentary about the other groups he's served with!

Anonymous said...

After watching the video again I was struck by what a total "man crush" that Mac dude seems to have on John Cross and Ed Young. That was creepy.

New BBC Open Forum said...

...a coastal SBC pastor with a yacht can't be to far away! Oh, how Jesus could use someone with an 8 million dollar yacht to sail up and down the east coast, visiting and "pastoring pastors".

Who will it be?


Isn't Jacksonville "coastal"? Hmmm... just thinkin'.

Anonymous said...

I know from experience that many Sunday School teachers, are more spiritual and know the Bible much better than many preachers. As a matter of fact I think it is posssible that maybe a preacher in the past has "gotten rid of" a teacher because said teacher knew the Bible much better than the preacher. Can't have a teacher showing up one of the "anointed". I have actually heard people say they would rather hear the teacher teach than to hear the preacher preach. Could be bad for the teacher. AND WAS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that all the usual suspects are SWBTS grads? Could it be that we, as a convention, are now reaping what Paige Patterson, Paul Pressler, Adrian Rogers, Jerry Vines and others sowed in their takeover of the convention 30 years ago? The end justified the means they probably reasoned. But look what it has ultimately reaped. The fleecing of southern baptists at the expense of the few wealthty pastors with the resources to exploit the flock. Authoritarian, celebrity, rock-star pastors who are now "kings", financed with "God's money." Sickening!

Anonymous said...

I think these folks are too isolated to get it. They do not live in the real world.

February 10, 2010 8:07 AM
___________________________________

Amen! The ONLY thing they will get is if the gullible sheep only give them a $6 million dollar budget instead of a $12 million dollar one. OR a $1 million dollar budget instead of $1.5 million dollar one. Then, they will have to either beat up the sheep so bad they lose even more money...or hopefully, they will be more thankful for what funds they do have and they will go about ministering the best they can with that. But then how can they build that new building? Or lease that jet? Maybe they can get "called" to FBC Dallas or to FBC Jax. I mean one guy was so brazen to actually be "called" to both of those big budget churches within a few years apart. Pathetic. Not them, but US. WE pay for it all.

Anonymous said...

"Then talks about speaking at many other places. Seriously, they all promote themselves like they are motivational speakers."
__________________________________

That self promotion really jumped out at me too. These guys must promote themselves and each other since they are about to feed you a line of bull and they need you to be impressed with their credentials. Jesus went out of his way not to "testify of himself" or it would be invalid.

These guys are arrogant and their words are backed up by their own self serving celebrity and works, NOT by the Word of God.

Anonymous said...

And people come on here and say this blog is turning people away from Christ. No, it is the celebrity pastor and the wealth loving church and its donors that are turning people away. If they love to worship celebrity (and we do love our movie stars and England loves their royalty) then the church and budget will grow. But ultimately, like what happened in Europe, we will be left with huge empty cathedrals. They are just not worth maintaining by the upcoming generations.

Anonymous said...

Second, I think that we need to be careful about demonizing a particular means of transportation. I know that's not your point, but we all need to remember that. A private jet may make sense in some cases. The facts would bear that out, or the facts would show it to be an extravagance.
___________________________________

NO. NO. NO. A private jet will NEVER make sense as long as I am being asked to sacrifice my own family's needs and asked not to give to Haiti or orphans or widows unless I am giving my money FIRST to the church. If Ed needs a plane, let him go get one. Do NOT ask the sheep to sacrifice and pay for it. We could ALL rationalize why we need a better car than the one we have, or a better home than the one we have. (Give me a much larger home in a gated community and I could really reach more people by having them in my home. Someone needs to reach those wealthy residents too.)

That is sick, sick, thinking that reminds me of Washington, D.C. Rationalizing something as long as the taxpayer pays for it by sacrificing. NO. NO. No. Period!

Anonymous said...

Finally, this has little bearing on the SBC, as churches in the SBC are autonomous.
___________________________________

They are legally and technically autonomous. But the reason Ed needs the jet is to fly around and spread his influence to other preachers. We have pastor's conferences where pastors sit and listen and watch Mac Brunson types. And you have SWBTS spreading its nonsense to future generations of preachers. And Mac's book is required reading in seminaries. And these guys promote each other, like Cross coming in and Johnny Hunt speaking to mac's deacons. So this has huge bearings on the SBC. The churches look to these leaders for leadership. They even call them "heroes" and ask for their autographs. This stuff will get worse, not better, despite "autonomous" churches.

Anonymous said...

The mega church is only a handful compare to the other churches out there. Taking tax exempt status away would only hurt smaller churches. We need reformer mentalities not one of reaction.
Pastor Chris

February 10, 2010 11:53 AM
__________________________________
Pastor Chris - how about exempting all churches with gross revenue under $500,000 for example. Or all churches, no matter the revenue, where the salaries and bennys of the staff is no more than $500,000. Wouldn't that work? All the rest are subject to scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

"NO. NO. NO. A private jet will NEVER make sense as long as I am being asked to sacrifice my own family's needs and asked not to give to Haiti or orphans or widows unless I am giving my money FIRST to the church. "

How DARE you expect these great men of God to fly commercial with the masses. They are important and have important places to go and cannot be inconvenienced like the rest of us peons.

If you do not give for this luxury for this great man of God then you are simply jealous and in sin. You are probably one of those miserable small minded Christians who believes we should help the poor among us. How ridiculous when you can help Ed be famous and greater!

Anonymous said...

Won't Jesus be upset when he finds out that some of the most generous, God honoring, committed followers of His were deceived into giving their money to support these multi-million dollar budgets while the poor, orphan and widow go neglected? Will He be upset by this injustice? Will it bother Him that these men raised the money in His name. That this money came from tithes and offerings of people who sacrificed out of a love for Jesus, hoping to minister to the needs of others, and yet a huge percentage of it was siphoned off by money loving wolves in sheep clothings. And what about those on staff that enable this due to their own lack of faith for fear of their being fired and unable to find other income? And those of us who continue to give to these "churches?"

And how many lost folks stay lost because they see the blatant love of money, greed, and lack of "Jesus" in so called Christians. These churches offer nothing to the lost person. But they are enticing to so called Christians. Sheep stealing is what this is all about. Wal-mart did it to local businesses. Megas are doing it to real churches.

And the kool aid drinkers give money and worse, standing ovations.

Anonymous said...

The under 500,000 soounds good but it is not the answer. They would make most of the staff contract workers. It has to be on the other end when the ministers incomes is taxed. They should be a base amount that is not taxible or over a certain amount it gets tax the full amount no matter what right offs except for the ones that everyone gets to. That is my thoughts but is it the mind of Christ? Part of me says let them do what they want to do within law and let God sort the goats from the sheep. Also all institions that are tax free and have a membership which makes up that organzation should by law be required to give full disclosure on all moneys that have been spent.(Itemized ) And if someone makes you sign something saying you give up that right then it should not be binding.
Pastor Chris

Tikatu said...

How DARE you expect these great men of God to fly commercial with the masses. They are important and have important places to go and cannot be inconvenienced like the rest of us peons.

How many opportunties to witness to some unsaved soul have they missed because they are flying in a private jet... and not sitting next to someone who may not know the Lord?

I guess they're leaving it all to some poorer pastor (or, perhaps some layman) who can't afford to fly anything but coach.

Anonymous said...

Question #3 What was the church of Ephesus commended in? Doctrine...Now what were they rebuked about? What were the deeds they were told to do? It was not to buy a Roman chariot was it? It is time to wake up....

Anonymous said...

Jesus did not even own a home, a horse, a donkey, and in particular have a purse!!! Unitl these preachers of whatever learn to get humble and begin living like the rest of us they should just stay home. In this way at least they won't mislead anyone.

Anonymous said...

Some of these guys will fly 2000 or more miles to "back" one of their own, however, they won't walk across the street to locate a lost sheep or visit a hospital and have prayer for one of their members. And they call themselves "called by God"!!!

Anonymous said...

LifeWay Compensation Study, 2008 (12,000+ respondents to survey---3600+ of them senior pastors): average total annual pay package (salary/benefits) is $66,484. Check it out: http://compstudy.lifeway.com/compstudy/summaryreport.do


Number of megachurches in the U.S., all denominations: 1300

Number of churches in SBC: 45,000

Number of SBC senior pastors being given salaries greater than $100,000 annually: not many

John MacArthur, 25 years ago on his radio program: said he was given a nice salary when he was called to the church he still serves; when he asked why, he was told, "To see what you'd do with it."

If my senior pastor is worth $100,000 per year, than my minister of education is worth $200,000 annually--he knows more about ministry, preaches better, cares more, and works harder!

Anonymous said...

Judge judge judge judge judge.. blah blah blah

Seriously? I've been to a few SBC related sites tonight and all I see is everyone pointing fingers at each other. Someone show me ONE SBC site that talks about what you all are doing to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Really would love to see it. I see you all talking about how you think others should be doing it, but show me one please.

In regards to this topic,
Does Ed Young need a plane? Who knows but he and his staff and his board and God and his congregation.

I know a ministry that has schools all over the world. They own a plane. Is that wrong? It would take them 2 weeks to do some of the traveling they can do in 3 days, so now they can expand the amount of work they can do in the same amount of time.

Maybe you all should sell your cars, some of you probably drive some nice ones too... Should we demonize that next?

Mark

Anonymous said...

Mark:

You make a good point. As I said:

1. Don't demonize a means of transportation. It's neutral. Rather, look at the numbers and see if it makes sense.

2. The issue here is whether information is being provided to the congregation. Any ministry that operates using other people's money has a moral obligation to use it wisely and to show the donors where the money is spent.

3. There are lots of good SBC blogs. Just look around. 9 Marks doesn't get into any controversial stuff. I am sure that there are many more.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Mark, to answer your question on just what some of us do.

We are the people who share the gospel and plant the seeds -we are the ones who bring in the man/woman/child who sit in the pews and hear the gospel.

The audience in the pews are not because of the man on the pulpit but because of the seeds people like us have planted.

That's just a small part on what we do and what you nor I can see on whose doing what.

Anonymous said...

Wake up people of the SBC and realize that these pastors are living a life you will never taste while traveling all over the world telling people about a man who didn't even own a house!!! Seriously - and we all sit straight faced and silent while every Sunday we are shouted too about how sacrificial our lives should be. It reaches all the way to the top - you can visit Janet Hunt's blog page to see how Johnny Hunt uses the private jet supplied to him via the SBC:

http://janetandjohnnysjivespot.blogspot.com/

My favorite is the nice picture of his grandchildren hanging out of the door as they are getting aboard for their ride back to Atlanta from the beach! Nice!

Or all those picture of Egypt since the IMB needed an on-location video promo...how wasteful!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Demonize a means of transportation" ???

If you dissect this issue into pieces that can be discussed and digested, you are just rationalizing each small piece and ignoring the real issue.

These people are preying upon our desire to please God. They are extorting money from us and becoming filthy filthy rich. So, go ahead and discuss the merits of the means of transportation, and continue comparing salaries. These issues do not change the BIG FAT FACT THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE EXTORTIONISTS!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you all should sell your cars, some of you probably drive some nice ones too... Should we demonize that next?

Mark
___________________________________

Am I missing something? Is this topic about lay people who rob God by driving too nice of cars? Sorry Mark, Steve Gaines already beat you to this point. He offers no transparency about how Bellevue spends tens of millions per year, but he does accuse the sheep of driving "stolen cars." You may be right. Some of us may need to sell that car, buy a lesser one, and give that to the poor. But that is not the topic here. And until we see our church leadership, the so called "men of God" do something similar, why would we do it? So they can have even more money in their coffers.

No, I think the bigger problems are the insatiable budgets and fleecing of the sheep by the pastors for their own extravagant lifestyles.

Anonymous said...

"Judge judge judge judge judge.. blah blah blah"

Signed,

"Mark"
Darryl Gilyard
Bob Gray
Tom Messer
Bob Reccord
Steve Gaines
Mac Brunson
Ed Young, Jr.
Jim Bakker
Jimmy Swaggart
Creflo Dollar
Benny Hinn
Joel Osteen
Pastor "wanna be"

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Mark, to quote John McEnroe, "You cannot be serious."

There are thousands of sites out there that share the gospel. Churches, non-profits, pastors...thousands of them.

In case you haven't noticed. This site does not claim to exist to share Christ with the lost. No one here takes any of the tithes and offerings of other sheep, no one here calls themselves "God's man" or claims to be speaking for God. No one here is beating up others to give more money to them so they can get bonuses and drive new cars. And even if they were, would you come on here questioning them while never questioning your own actions or that of your church leadership?

Might you be on a payroll somewhere Mark? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

"Judge judge judge judge judge.. blah blah blah

Seriously? I've been to a few SBC related sites tonight and all I see is everyone pointing fingers at each other."

Wow - that sounds kind of judgmental to me, Mark. Perhaps you should take your own advice and not point the finger at us.

"Someone show me ONE SBC site that talks about what you all are doing to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

This is not an SBC site, Mark. This is a blog written by a person who was kicked out of his church (and then served trasspass papers) for daring to question the pastor.

"Does Ed Young need a plane? Who knows but he and his staff and his board and God and his congregation."

So it would be impossible for any other person to come to a reasonable conclusion? That seems unlikely, Mark. But here's a clue - he tried to hide it from his congregation and the media. What do you suppose would be the motivation for that action?

"I know a ministry that has schools all over the world. They own a plane. Is that wrong?"

That's kind of an apples to oranges comparison isn't it Mark? Since this church doesn't have schools all over the world and the first two trips were to luxury vacation destinations.

"Maybe you all should sell your cars, some of you probably drive some nice ones too... Should we demonize that next?"

Again apples to oranges. Compare how many people reading this blog own a car in contrast to those who lease a private jet.

Mark, it's people like you that allow this sinful extravagance to continue. This is what is turning the world off to the Gospel.

Anonymous said...

Mark, you are right in one thing...things are getting bad and will continue to be that way until Jesus returns. Most people getting saved today occur in one on one experiences rather than in a church setting. Also, have you noticed that there are very few evangelists particularly holding tent meetings as in years gone by? The church age is Laodicean and it is pitiful. Self centered rather than God centered.

We are in a recession Mark, most people are driving older cars. And no they should not sell them for some preacher to make some "profit" from. If they can afford it then they can buy a poor relation a used car or a buggy full of groceries. That should be encouraged.

Anonymous said...

Mark, the Bible commands us to be judges...we will tell by the fruits that they bear. Some of their fruit stinks to high heaven. Better to be judged here and repent than to stand before almighty God and be ashamed where it will be too late to do anything about.

Anonymous said...

The Lifeway compensation study is very misleading. Housing allowance, car allowance, speaking fees, traveling with spouse and family benefits, insurance benefits, debt forgiveness ....the list goes on. Most ministers sound like spoiled teenagers when asked about their pay. Someone always has more, makes more or is given more. They need to actually speak and get to know the real sheep and realize what a great deal they have for the work they do.

Anonymous said...

Mark, I believe you need to read more Bible and less fiction!!!

Anonymous said...

Mark, I hate to have to point out the obvious to you but...you are "judging" the folks here. That is the thing about the tricky judging passages, they have to be understood in context before they are thrown around. There are two places, off the top of my head, in the Word that point out that 'judging' begins in the Body of Christ. Yes, we are to judge one another. Sounds harsh but if we are truly saved, it is a good thing. It is how we keep the Body pure. And, as you can see, what describes itself as the Body these days, usually isn't. It is a business enterprise.

Louis, You wrote:

2. The issue here is whether information is being provided to the congregation. Any ministry that operates using other people's money has a moral obligation to use it wisely and to show the donors where the money is spent.

This is the part that confuses me. I admit I did not watch the videos but reading about this I can only surmise that Young had a "board" for his parachurch organizations. Obviously, he made the appointments so has lots of cover. There does not seem to be any oversight by church at all.

Then we get into which entity owns what (or leases). And where money flows in and out, etc.

Were these guys he brought in on his parachurch board? And why would his pew sitters be satisfied with that? Are they aware there does not seem to be any oversight at all in the church for this man?

Does anyone know if Ed has made any preparations for his succession?

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Sheep stealing is what this is all about. Wal-mart did it to local businesses. Megas are doing it to real churches."

And EY, Jr. doesn't like it when he perceives someone is doing it to him!

Anonymous said...

Wow!

The fuel, personnel and cost of storing that beauty has to be something else. To think the FBC president made a special trip to endorse the use of his jet blows me away. Unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

Louis, thanks.. appreciate the response.

I would respond to some, but to keep referencing anonymous gets confusing.. names are good! I promise mine is real too.

As for the original purpose of this blog, I am aware of it. This isn't an official SBC site, but pretty sure most of you consider yourselves to be that. I was referencing the SBC blogs as a whole that I have visited.. Some I read regularly because I find the posts interesting and not all are SBC related.

I do understand there is need to judge a man's fruits and there are times to bring correction and restoration. If you feel someone is doing wrongly, then bring it up. I'm ok with that.

Re: FBC yep, I'm on a payroll somewhere just the same as you, lest you be unemployed. That somewhere is nowhere mentioned anywhere on your blog, I can assure you that. I have no relation to none of the aforementioned organizations either.

Guess my initial reaction is the most of what I saw from the comments on many sites with SBC related content is a lot of bickering and arguing and Paige Patterson this and someone vs someone else that and can you believe that about so and so? Just hoped for something much better out of the SBC content. You all have a lot of history and heritage, and it seems right now is an error of squabbling internally.

Just made me frustrated and saddened by it.

May the Lord be with you

Mark

Anonymous said...

"Sheep stealing is what this is all about. Wal-mart did it to local businesses. Megas are doing it to real churches."

I think this is absolutely correct, but Walmart offers something the common man needs - inexpensive goods
Mega churches offer nothing I want or need. Go to a small church and you will get the Word without the fleecing spin and you will find true Christians. This should be what you go to Church for. Mega "churches" only offer illusion/deception/extortion. So...... True Christians can beat this!

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Joining God in His Work [Les Puryear] > A Statement on My Email to SEBTS and Liberty University.

Anonymous said...

"I would respond to some, but to keep referencing anonymous gets confusing.. names are good! I promise mine is real too."

So, what is the difference in anonymous and a first name used by millions of people?

"As for the original purpose of this blog, I am aware of it. This isn't an official SBC site, but pretty sure most of you consider yourselves to be that. I was referencing the SBC blogs as a whole that I have visited."

"Someone show me ONE SBC site that talks about what you all are doing to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

How could you possibly know that? And the 2nd statement shows that you haven't looked at many of them.

"I do understand there is need to judge a man's fruits and there are times to bring correction and restoration. If you feel someone is doing wrongly, then bring it up. I'm ok with that."

"Judge judge judge judge judge.. blah blah blah"

OK, because the 2nd statement gives the impression that you don't understand that.

"Guess my initial reaction is the most of what I saw from the comments on many sites with SBC related content is a lot of bickering and arguing"

I just read through all of the comments on this thread Mark and the only one I could find that didn't agree that Ed Young Jr. was wrong is you. So really, you are the only one arguing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Doesn't the Bible tell us to contend ernestly for the faith?

"Just hoped for something much better out of the SBC content"

I still don't think you understand the difference in a blog and an official web site. A blog is people's opinions and discussion not necessarily ministry outreach.

So, here's what I get from your post Mark. You don't have a problem with a mega church pastor living an extravagant lifestyle, using the police to out his critics, and then serve him with tresspass papers. You don't have a problem with another mega teaching unbiblical doctrine that feeds directly into his huge salary and perks. You don't have a problem with a another mega pastor jet-setting around the world while his congreation shrinks. But you do have a problem with people talking about it in a blog (after the discussion was silenced in the church). Is that your position?

Seriously?

Anonymous said...

SO WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

These so called leaders have fallen into the ecumenical pit. These big time pastors look around and see the LAVISH LIFESTYLES of other BIG TIME PASTORS AND THE POPE and convince their churches and institutions that this is NORMAL. This is ecumenism on our home front.

Hey, even the Roman Catholics are using a new bible based on the Westcott and Hort new Greek Translation. More and more pastors are moving away from SEPARATION and towards holding hands with the POPE. If it is OK for the Pope to live in luxury it is OK for our church pastors. Isn't it?

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Grace and Truth to You [Wade Burleson] > Mission Accomplished.

Anonymous said...

"Just made me frustrated and saddened by it."

You should not be frustrated or sad. It is a glorious thing when the Lord purifies His church. I am using the word "church" to denote any Body of Believers. Not a building or enterprise made by men.

The process does not look pretty, though. Carnal man will do everything he can, including twist the Word, to keep his position, cover over his greed and need for power.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Feb.12..1:02::: "Even the Catholics are using a new bible, based on the Westcott and Hort Greek Translation".


Now there is a real problem!!! Westcott and Hort!! Do a study on those two!! See where YOUR bible comes from. And people wonder why they have such "misguided" preachers coming out of seminaries. See how Westcott and Hort affected the NASV and the NIV and most all of the others called "holy" today. Then maybe you will get a clue as to what is wrong with today's preachers. See how W/H are facilitating the slide into New Age doctrines. Be honest with yourself and ask the Lord to show it to you. Believe me he doesn't bless these translations or those who preach from them. My opinion! Now because a preacher is rich has a "big church" and lives a lavish lifestyle, that doesn't translate into being blessed of God. Remember the "Rich Young Ruler" in the Bible.

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!

The Average Jay said...

We gave up going to FC years ago after we saw Ed becoming bigger then the word. I use to give my time in the coffee shop and soon figured out that the light was on ED more then the word. I learned much about the word during my time at Fc and for that I am thankful. Take a look at the book store. You would think your in the church of Ed and Lisa. Glad we figured them out years ago and left before we gave any more money. I asked years ago at the front desk for a report to see where all the money went and they laughed at me. I guess they wanted to cover up the jet too.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I am a former member of the church where Pastor John Cross now preaches. Pastor John led me to the Lord, and for that, I am eternally grateful. However, you note that I am a FORMER member. I believe John Cross's heart is in the right place, but it appears his mind has been clouded by Ed Young and others like him in his circle of friends. Pastor John Cross and Ed Young need our prayers - - but even more so, their congregations need our prayers. Please do NOT judge them. Pray for them and love them. AMEN!!