Benny Gets an A, Kenny Gets an F

By John Bloom | 07/07/2008


The big surprise from the Grassley Six progress report yesterday was that Benny Hinn–not known as the most transparent guy in the world--decided to step up and give the senator what he wanted.

Senator Chuck Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, released an extensive statement revealing, among other things, that he had never heard of the “prosperity gospel” until he started this oversight investigation last November (Chuck, you need to get out more), but he wanted it made clear that he doesn’t care what’s being preached, he is just basically opposed to taxpayer support being given to preachers who use charitable contributions to support champagne-and-private-jet lifestyles.

The full press release is available here, but meanwhile here are the grades after eight months of Grassley staff digging into the financial affairs of the six ministries:

Joyce Meyer Ministries: A+
Benny Hinn and World Healing Center Church: A
Randy and Paula White, Without Walls International Church: C
Eddie Long, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church: D-
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland: F
Creflo and Taffi Dollar, World Changers Church International: F-

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The last two on the list have more or less openly defied the committee and dared Grassley to issue subpoenas. Eddie Long sent a big pile of paper that wasn’t really responsive to the questions the committee asked. Randy and Paula White, whose church is in shambles along with their marriage, are probably just treading water, trying to figure out where the money went, not to mention where that lovin’ feelin’ went.

And Joyce Meyer, mercilessly lampooned after reports about her $23,000 marble-topped commode got out, should get a big kiss and a hug for coming completely clean from day one. Or Benny can just blow on her. Grassley was using words like “good faith” and “reform” to describe Benny’s ministries. Truly a sign of the apocalypse.


Comments(58)

Hayton Sayton | 02:21 am on 7/08/2008

When the Pulpit-Pimps ruin lives because of their greed?

THEY GET RIPPEDOFF !

Soon and very soon, they will be rewarded manifold,
according to their good works as Shepard,

I think I will pray?
They are rewarded? according to their WORKS !

PeteAtomic | 08:14 am on 7/08/2008

These organizations are nothing but businesses, and should be regulated and taxed appropriately.

puzzlr | 08:08 am on 7/10/2008

I agree. They are like Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, and so forth except they hide behind the cloak of being a church for the tax-exempt status. Snake oil salesmen...the whole lot of them.
What ever happened to the idea of giving to honor and obey with our giving?

SRebbe | 11:53 am on 7/08/2008

I just... I don't... it all frightens me... which one more though, Hinn or Grassley believing him?

Prophet Lopi | 01:11 pm on 7/08/2008

It appears that the:

"Releasing of a Triple Annointing of a Government Arrest"
will
"Speak Into Exsistence a Repentant Heart"

tc | 02:07 pm on 7/08/2008

What will be - will be.

- man I got to pee .. word.

that calvinist doug | 03:02 pm on 7/08/2008

I feel my wife, God love her, has been given a pardon from the governor. She loves Joyce Meyer...sigh.

Meanwhile, here's a radical idea; maybe Congress can get to work on ACTUAL ISSUES FACING THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE! Oh, I dunno, maybe stuff like $4+ gas, cutting my damn taxes, healthcare reform, Social Security reform, you know, needless, wacky stuff like that.

mountainguy | 09:05 pm on 7/08/2008

Does your wife love Joyce Meyer? Mi mom too. She watches her tv show every weekday (it is transmited in the latin TBN). I don't have anything against J. Meyer. In fact, the most of the few times I've watched her I have agreed with her (or at least I haven't disagreed).

that calvinist doug | 01:13 pm on 7/09/2008

Yes, she gets her cd's, watches her show, the whole nine yards. I can't stand listening to her lemon-juicer voice, but I agree with you, I haven't heard anyting terribly wacky come out of her mouth. I put her, perhaps surprisingly, in the same camp as Charles Stanley...a lot of self-improvement, pop-psychology stuff wrapped around the bible. Not that it is wrong necessarily, just not my cup of tea.

mordecai ham | 01:53 pm on 7/25/2008

She is in the same camp as Charles Stanley, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Elmer Gantry. The stentorian Dr. Stanley's toxic dose of insipid geriatric juice doubles as ecclesiastical prozac. How "In Touch" is a man who preaches Edna St. Vincent Millay while living Donald Trump? Bro. Stanley also engages in the manipulative Amway scam, especially odious since he has ministerial leverage over his doting saints, who he knows will suck down all the Kool Aid he will mix as long as he's holding his hoary Bible. Wonder if his wife has continued with divorce proceedings.

This bunch is "In Touch" all right; with your wallet.

Pastor D | 09:49 pm on 12/31/2009

I don't know you. You seem like a reasonable person. However, I think you haven't been on the "pastor" end of "ministerial leverage" (slightly biting lip). I'm sure First Baptist Church in Atlanta is not very different from any other church or organization where humans are relatively involved. There may be a small percentage that are "doting" participants, but most are still engaged in the world around them. Anyway, my point is that most humans that go to church are thinkers who still have their individual dispositions. Many have predispositions that cause them to have a formidable force for balance or imbalance, what ever the case may be.

ejc | 03:36 pm on 8/14/2008

I used to listen to and read a lot of Joyce Meyers teachings. At first, it felt convicting to be told things like, "If you're house is a mess, then you're a mess" and "You're letting the devil steal your joy". Truth is, there is nothing wrong with Joyce Meyer if you put her in the "Motivational Speaker" fish bowl- but anyone who takes her theology to heart is going to get sucked into the heresy that she clings to- it's very subtle, but she does teach the positive thinking and speaking junk, and she's very clear on her propserity beliefs. Next time your wife sits to watch her on TV, just very subtly start asking questions, or compare her thoughts to scripture to engage your wife in conversation- eventually both of you will realize the false teaching. God Bless.

Questioner | 08:33 pm on 7/08/2008

Now how about the untold amount of property the "mainline" churches own in many cities and states for which they get tax credit even though said properties are used by capitalist entities not spiritual? It always made my dad (a Methodist preacher and Army chaplain) wonder. And as a PK I wondered why the church was tax exempt but his salary was not.

Discerner 24/7 | 01:51 pm on 7/09/2008

Copeland is not cooperating with Grassley because he wants the IRS to do the audit. Why? IRS audits are confidential the Senate version isn't. In other words Kenny doesn't want us to see what he's been up to. calvinist doug, Joyce Meyer is a "WOF" heretic. While I may not agree with everything Charles Stanley teaches, to put him in the same camp as Meyer is the height of folly.

that calvinist doug | 02:13 pm on 7/09/2008

I'll let my wife know that she's going straight to hell. Thanks for the heads up.

Discerner 24/7 | 05:38 pm on 7/09/2008

Oh come on doug! I didn't say that! Although I would tell your wife to avoid this woman like the plague. Hey do some research on Joyce. You'll find she's no different from Copeland,Hagin,etc. She's much more like Marilyn Hickey (aka "the fairy godmother of the word of faith,") than Stanley. I wish I were kidding about this but I'm very serious. If you truly are a Calvinist you'll be shocked if you dig deeper into "WOF" doctrine.

that calvinist doug | 07:32 am on 7/10/2008

I know enough about name-it-and-claim-it, WOF, whatever you want to call it, to be saddened and sickened by it. However, I admittedly don't delve too deeply into researching it for much the same reason I don't read "true crime" stories...

However, I have actually watched her shows many times (because my wife was watching it) and, honestly, I haven't heard any statements come out of her mouth concerning the "you must be prosperous in all areas of your life or you are obviously in sin" teaching common to WOF. If you have proof, I'd love to see it and share it with my wife.

Discerner 24/7 | 10:26 am on 7/10/2008

Well Doug if you are interested go to www.letusreason.org click on the "popular teachers" on the left side of the page. You'll find Meyer's name listed. I think you'll find this worthwhile. Mike Oppenheimer runs a good apologetic site. However he is not the only one, Apologetics Index is another good one. Meyer may sound a little more "mainstream", believe me she is not.

that calvinist doug | 02:12 pm on 7/10/2008

Thanks for the link. I did check out the site (honestly, someone needs to help this guy design a professional website; the mish-mash of fonts and typesizes makes it almost impossible to read!). He did include some pretty incriminating quotes from her. I noticed most of them were from one of her very first books (Blood, Word, Power) published over a decade ago, and most of the quotes cited were from at least several years ago...which leads me to wonder, has she had a change of mind, or just decided it would be pragmatic to try and separate herself from the Copeland crowd?

At any rate, I don't disagree with you about her in general. Although most of what I do hear is innocuous enough and a lot of it is biblically valid (a point the site your referenced conceded as well), I often enough hear something that pricks my ears and causes me to tell my wife why what she just heard is wrong.

However, I can't really back off my assessment of Stanley. He may not have heresy in his quiver, but he sure has a lot of Dr. Phil. I guess he reminds me too much of the Southern Baptist preaching with which I grew up. If I'm listening/reading a "famous" current teacher, give me John Piper or RC Sproul (see, I'm not kidding, I really am a Calvinist!)

Discerner 24/7 | 04:02 pm on 7/10/2008

Hey doug, R.C. and Piper are o.k. with me. I must admit I haven't been a Calvinist very long. Southern Baptist huh? Check out Al Mohler and Mark Dever. Both are S.B. but are Reformed in doctrine. They do conferences with R.C. and Co. Yes Oppenheimer's site isn't too professional. Most of these guys work on a shoestring budget. They don't have the gazillions of dollars like the wof folks. Dr. Phil is another story. I don't much care for his views.

Vic | 02:34 pm on 8/25/2008

I read the bit on Joyce Meyer. I have to say that what this guy wrote regarding what she had said about being perfect through Christ. . . well, that's one of Ole's Bible Study messages on this site - isn't it?, he says the same thing, we are made perfect through Christ's sacrifice (not quoting here). This guy quoted how we are all sinners, so I think maybe what he was saying was actually wrong in this instance, not that we aren't all sinners, but he seemed not to realize that she was saying, quite rightly that we are all made perfect through Christ. (did I make sense just then?)
However, I am not a Joyce Meyer fan. I feel much negativity toward her actually. But in this case, I felt this guy jumped before completely understanding what he was hearing/reading.
I think Joyce would be fun to sit around a table and have a cup of coffee with and chat chat chat, gossip gossip gossip, bitch bitch bitch, laugh laugh laugh, like we girls often do with our buddies. BUT - that's a far cry from leading the masses of women through their spiritual life. I think that by mistake, many of us women tend to be nuerotic and quilt-ridden at the same time as feeling we have a right to what we are doing wrong. . . it takes a brave person to stand up to us and tell us we are wrong. Joyce doesn't tell us we're wrong, unless it's feeding our quilt, which we want to be punished for anyway... but the things we need to be told we are wrong about, well she doesn't say anything but her actions seem to tell us we're right about.
okay, I'm getting off track... sorry. I'm trying to say that i think Joyce Meyer is very wise and calculated and a tricky tricky speaker...

Anonymous | 02:10 pm on 12/07/2008

Then you don't know the Word, neither do you understand Work of Faith teachings.

Bobby Maupinn | 08:18 pm on 9/06/2010

Thank you!

Anonymous | 02:09 pm on 12/07/2008

This is a stupid assumption. Copeland does not want to publically give Grassley the names of Copeland's partners or the names of people who donate to his ministry. The IRS already has this information and is is kept confidential. The IRS has also given Copeland a clean bill of health. I don't want the ministers I give my money to made public because it is none of the publics business.

Anonymous | 07:59 pm on 9/05/2010

Grassley was on the Senate finance committee and that is all he should be concerned with especially since he claims to be a Christian. He set himself up as a judge and he is judged to have no authority to look into any ministries finance.

Robert Winkler Burke | 02:03 pm on 7/09/2008

Which will come first:

The Escape by Rapture of Rapture-Ready Kenny & Crowd....
or the Revalatory Light of Subpeanas to Kenny & Crowd?

Time to testify!

Anybody got a witness?

Come on, now!

Step forward!

That is, unless should Kenny & Crowd... tarry... (by every legal means possible.)

Whose God will manifest in whom at the hearings? Will we see Jesus shine through the faces of ministers who want their personal/ministry finances kept dark?

Or will we see Jesus shine through the faces of questioners who want to get to the truth of decades of allegations of ministrty financial shenanigans?

Or will there be no hearings? Or will the ministers be raptured?

Or in the end, will the ministers be able to sell more books to their faithful, this time about their experiences at the hand of the "nasty" government truth-finders? Suggested title: "How Dare They!"

Robert Winkler Burke | 07:47 pm on 7/12/2008

Sorry, I misspelled subpoena: A writ commanding a person designated in it to appear in court under penalty of a failure.

Perhaps Kenny & Crowd have a book in the making:

"They Wanted Truth...But We Held Them Off, Praise GAWD!"

... or at least some songs in the making:

"I fought the law and... why didn't God rapture me?"

"(Don't) let the Senate Special, shine the light on me!"

... and from enraged donors:

"Hang Down Your Head, Kenny & Company!"

Seriously, though, consider this from Don & Bonnie Franklin of Central Florida.

"Even those ministries that have disobeyed me and consumed upon their own lust, I am going to begin to pull it out of them. I'm going to begin to take their support away... I'm going to cut the legs out from some major ministries; you're going to watch them fall in the coming days. They're coming down, down, down."

http://www.propheticroundtable.org/Newsletter/Current_Issue.htm

Rippedoff | 02:13 pm on 7/09/2008

It is I the one they called "RIPPEDOFF"! Can you reedit the article and give the White's a D?

Hayton Sayton | 08:29 pm on 7/09/2008

Lets Review? Shall We ?

Question?
Did Paula and "Bishop" Randy comply?

Or?
Did Paula and Randy White "NOT" comply?

Answer?
If they were given a passing grade?
This would seem to reflect "comply"

Hayton note:
Perhaps The Door is not familar with
"Bishop" Randy, whose only formal education
certification is in " Air Conditioning" ?

Your friend: Hayton S8n

Rippedoff | 09:57 pm on 7/09/2008

Why H8n,

They are familiar with him. He sent the personal documents of his house. He partially complied.

Do not forget he fired up the printer and made himself Dr.

The airconditioning Masters degree college was never found.

The mail order school where he recieved a "C" was found.

The docs that even Lee College said he only attended briefly were given to NBC.

He is the chihuahua of the bunch. This hunting dog is on his trail.

Your friend,

Rippedoff

kjml | 12:13 am on 7/10/2008

Excuse my ignorance (or maybe I'm just too tired for puzzles) but what is the WOF doctrine? I don't listen to any of those people....Anyone who feels the need to plaster their mug all over the TV in order to "preach the gospel" is automatically suspect in my book. Besides, real church is churchy enough; TV church is way over the top.

Bobby B | 07:33 pm on 7/10/2008

WOF = Word of faith, name it claim it, health & wealth "theology". It is virtually unworkable anywhere but in the prosperous, gullible Western world.

Not Anonymous | 03:23 am on 7/10/2008

The only way this thing makes any sense is if somebody got paid off. Copeland and the rest only need to get some $$$ in the right (or left) hands and they too can be blessed with a good grade. Since they won't do so, it only proves they really are greedy pieces of s**t! Not a person on this list has any theological balls. The "prosperity gospel" that these...people...preach is crap (NO S**T!!!).
In any case, I agree with t.c.doug; our politicians have better things to do than chasing down Copeland & Company to get thier own greedy little hands greased. It is Christians, not politicians, that ought to be at the forefront of shutting these a-holes down.

Discerner 24/7 | 01:01 pm on 7/10/2008

Hey Not, I agree with you and t.c.doug. I really don't like the gov. getting involved either. Absolutely Christians ought to be in the forefront. Trouble is,we ain't! At least not enough to shut these clowns down. Too many undiscerning ones are the biggest givers. For the most part Copeland is not getting his money from unbelievers.

notmyopinion | 05:15 am on 9/02/2008

Why shouldn't the government get involved if these guys' fundraising is fraudulent?

It's almost like some people believe the only role of the Government is to allow people to make money (though maybe I'm not understanding this particularly US-based outlook completely). Isn't it the job of the state to bring fraudsters to book?

From Romans 13, about the ruler/state: "But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

Eyes Wide Open | 06:21 am on 12/27/2009

I agree with you whole heartedly that Christians should be in the lead in shutting them down. It needs to start with the LOCAL pastor standing up in front of his own flock and exposing the false doctrine being preached. Sadly though, much of what Copland and the like are teaching is also profitable to the local pastor at offering time. Most pastors mis-use/mis-quote scripture to get the flock to GIVE TO GET. What would your pastor say if you pointed out that tithing is not a new covenant law? That giving is as Paul stated for each to give according to HIS own heart?

However, illegal is illegal and the Christian community cannot convict anyone in a court of law. We do need the government for that reason.

Anonymous | 07:59 am on 7/10/2008

Speaking of "Bishop" Randy's background - someone should look into his past a little more considering the wife and kids he left behind in Frederick County Maryland - before he got hitched to Paula! Sad!

Rippedoff | 05:23 pm on 7/10/2008

It was sad that his ex wife had to chase him to Tampa to get child support. We have those documents. To bad he got a black eye from Paula's (THEN) husband when he got caught having and affair in the basement.

Are you from Maryland?

pigseye | 02:54 pm on 7/10/2008

Copeland doners are singing "I saw the Light, I saw the light, no more darkness, no more night " while wearing blinders. They all want so desperately for the prosperity gospel to be true. If you want some cool downloads for free go to my site when you are done here.
http://godrocketsquad.com/Download.html
Check out bad circus act
also bad dream, and shame all about the so called christian leaders on the scam.

Johnny Boy | 08:58 am on 7/11/2008

I don't agree with everything Joyce Meyer teaches,but I'll give her credit for one thing. She's the only word faith teacher I know of who talks about dying to self,& taking up the cross daily to follow Christ. Kenneth C. and Cashflow Dollar won't touch those subject with a ten foot pole!

Discerner 24/7 | 04:49 am on 7/13/2008

Well Johnny as I've said before Joyce can sound more "mainstream" than Kenny and Cashflow. However she still mixes in way too much error. She still teaches the "Jesus dying spiritually" heresy. Joyce still proclaims she is no longer a sinner. Luther said it best,Christians are both righteous (with Christ's righteousness) and sinner. She lives a lifestyle just as opulent as the other two heretics you mentioned.

budda | 12:16 pm on 7/13/2008

Well, Discerner, I'm not arguing with you, but a few million (maybe? a few hundred thousand?) christians of the Armenian persuasion would argue the "am I still a sinner, can a christian live without sin as God commands." Pentecostals for sure, some missions organizations, the Nazarenes still have Holiness doctrine in the Manuel but they don't preach it much anymore. It is still quite popular in some circles.

I agree with Luther on this one, but I still like the Armenian concept of free will as opposed to modern Calvinism.

All in all, I think more people are helped by Joyce than hurt. But then, I don't put that much weight on perfect theology. There isn't any such thing.

Discerner 24/7 | 07:35 pm on 7/13/2008

Well budda the vast majority in this country are Arminian. Truth be told Luther actually taught more on predestination and election than Calvin did. No one in this life is going to achieve sinless perfection. Ain't gonna happen! Yes we humans have free will but even it is limited. We are not autonomous as is God. If we had absolute free will we would be a law unto ourselves. It all depends on what you think about original sin. Is man basically good or bad?

Anonymous | 01:14 am on 7/17/2008

romans 2 14For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,

15in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

16on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Not trying to contradict or argue, but romans has been on my mind 'cause of the discussion elsewhere.

mordecai ham | 01:02 pm on 7/24/2008

If Bro. Meyers $23,000 marble commode doesn't ignite your Gift of Discernment, you've been spiritually lobotomized - not to mention the jets, expensive artwork, and numerous homes. Just Google the legal activities local governments around St. Louis have engaged in with this demagogic charlatan. She claims the complex of mansions her family lives in should not be taxed since they are part of her (wink-wink) non-profit ministry.

This former hairdresser is well aware of the truth to H.L. Mencken's observation: "One will never go broke underestimating the American public."

Discerner 24/7 | 07:48 am on 7/25/2008

Great comment Mordecai! Sadly discernment is all but gone in the American church. I'd also add if Todd Bentley isn't a gazillionaire now,give him a few more years he will be! As W.C. Fields observed,"There's a sucker born every minute!" Shame on all the suckers who give to these charlatans!

SRebbe | 01:54 pm on 7/29/2008

actually, it was David Hannum, PT Barnum's competitor.

Anonymous | 02:00 pm on 7/27/2008

The real question is? If the Romans were still in charge and they threw these clowns in with the lions, would peta protest?

Anonymous | 06:20 am on 7/30/2008

Hmmmmmm pity Gloria Copeland isnt a bit younger... shes not a bad looker for her age...by the time she gets out of the slammer she will be ready for the nursing home... shame.. what a waste of perfectly good botox :(

Siarlys Jenkins | 10:50 am on 8/05/2008

I have no use for any of these megamoney preachers, but after all, there are lots of nice folks who are devoted to them. That could be a fraud, but you can't tell the defrauded that. As to the correctness of their political line, oh, excuse me, their doctrine and faith, it is entirely possible to say perfectly acceptable things (believe in God, have faith, obey the Ten Commandments) and then collect a whole lot of money and run off to spend it on expensive marble toilets. Of course the ultimate question is the one my pastor asked "How come you being blessed by God begins with you blessing them with your money?"

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