Saturday night at Fellowship Church, Ed Young gave some answers to the investigative piece last week. After Ed spoke for about 10 minutes, he called up two of his board members: John Cross - pastor of S. Biscayne Church and president of the Florida Baptist Convention and Austin Pastor Mac Richard (prounounced "Ri-SHARD") - they each spoke about 10 minutes.
I do commend Young for addressing his congregation. His answers were mostly vague non-answers - but he gave more than enough to satisfy his faithful followers, but not nearly enough to silence his critics in my estimation.
Cross and Richard gave no concrete answers either, except to say what great a guy Young is, and how accountable to God they are and Ed Young is, and how much integrity all of them have. They told the church that they can be trusted to watch out for the best interests of the church.
But still, no firm answers to the most pressing questions.
The questions still remain:
- what is Ed Young's total compensation? Ed said to his congregation that his "salary" from the church is not a million dollars. He even pulled a Mac Brunson and said "I believe I'm well under what others make". Too bad he can't just say what his total compensation is, and refute the TV report that his total compensation is in excess of a million bucks. Remember: his salary might be below a million - but salary means zippo in pastor-land- its total compensation that matters.
- what is Ed's housing allowance? Ed did not address the report which said it was a "parsonage allowance" of $225,000.
- what is Fellowship Church paying for use of the private plane, and why is it absolutely necessary? Young and Cross sort of addressed the plane issue by saying "Fellowship Church does not own an airplane". But the N188FJ Falcon 50 private jet has been leased by Medill Co in Connecticut - and Ed's name, and "Fellowship Church" and "Fellowship Connection" appear on the lease documents. Why is a private jet necessary for Young to accomplish God's will? According to Cross, the plane is helping to take care of Ed, his marriage, and his family. Great, but why is a plane necessary? Many men log hundreds of thousands of miles of air travel a year, but they make due without a private leased jet. Is this a wise use of Kindgdom money?
This is probably the end of the story. Ed had a packed house Saturday night, got a rousing standing ovation with hoots and hollers and whistles...and he and two of his buddies addressed the news report in thier own way. They declared the news report as not only a personal attack on "Ed and Lisa", but an attack on the board and the entire church - all of which is a sure sign, they say, that God is about to do something wonderful at Fellowship Church.
I pray for the day when the IRS requires full financial disclosure of the pastor and family compensation, perks, gifts, and travel expenses, as a condition for continued tax-exempt status for these mega ministries. Until that day, Kingdom money will continue to be wasted while the gullible sheep fork their money over to support their rock-star pastor.
And Southern Baptist Convention - wake up - because the mega wasters are no longer just the Benny Hinns and Creflo Dollars and the Kenneth Copelands - they have crept into our own ranks.