How Moses Made His Bones

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387 Responses

  1. Rick says:


  2. Paige says:

    Well said. I’m sure it’s the tip of the figurative ice berg……. God sees.

    By contrast, I am quite sure in guessing, that there are many many many very small, unknown churches with pastors who live by supporting themselves (such as yourself) and barely getting by. God sees.

    While there are numerous bad ‘apples’ in the barrel; the ones we hear about, there are unknown, small church, ‘good apples’ laboring in the Kingdom. I have to think about them, praying for them. I just no longer have the energy to spend thinking about wicked hirelings.
    God sees.

  3. Paige
    the problem is that the ‘bad apples’ are doing it according to pattern, not against it. and of course the ‘good’ apples out there watch, learn, and reset their patterns accordingly… all with supposed ‘biblical mandate’.

    we all need to ditch the machines and stop making excuses for them by claiming they only represent a small portion. (that tack hasn’t worked in responding to radical Islam and it won’t when responding to western Christianity)

    Disembark the sinking ship and Walk on the Waves with Jesus.

  4. Michael says:


    There are more “good apples” in my experience.
    The objective here is to get the “sheep” involved in their local body enough to know the difference.

  5. covered says:

    I wonder if it’s too late to get my Assistant to Moses status back?

  6. Michael says:


    The assistants make peanuts…

  7. covered says:

    I remember…

  8. dswoager says:

    Do people not work hard to earn their money, that they seem to not care how it gets spent?

    Was reading another article today, that to the cynical eye might have been about how to extract as much money as possible out of the sheep, but then I read something like this and it seems like they are more than willing to just throw it away.

  9. EricL says:

    Life is good when you are the king. Pick your sin and overindulge in it, be it wine, women, or wealth. When you aren’t accountable to the people, then you can live it up.

    Thankfully, many of the pastors who visit (and comment) here, seem to understand the temptation and take steps to avoid this.

    So what are the viable alternatives to the unaccountable mega-church, superstar-pastor model? Limit the size to keep the sins smaller? Take away the power via congregational rule? Force a sharing of the pulpit among a group of elders? What has been proven to work?

  10. Paige says:

    Exactly, Disembark. Ask questions and, if necessary, LEAVE churches with this sort of model going on. Any church office should have a ‘pie chart’ of finances available any time for congregants.

    Anyone willing to just plain LOOK with opened eyes, instead of starry ones, at how a pastor lives, and what the church facility owns, can most likely see (if willing to) things are disorderly.

    Church goers are consumers. As with any other ‘product’, we “vote” with our spending dollars…. and our feet. Consumers/congregants are the ones who allow this b.s. to continue.

  11. Bob says:

    While many “traditional” denominations may not have the income this one does many others have enjoyed the life at the top. It is easy to consider the RCC for one and many other individual Southern Baptists as another.

    Money and church have never been mutually exclusive. Even in Jesus day the Priests who were the head of the Temple, while not technically violating Torah, were some of the most well off families in Jerusalem and Jericho. Even Barnabas (a Levite) owned property in violation of the conscience of Torah. Which he sold BTW when he got the message of the Gospel.

    What saddens me more than anything is these big box churches are such huge devourers of people’s money they leave no room (funds) for the work of God to the community. Although this church would say their radio work is a work to the community.

    What I really hate to hear is “I served the church…” Why not say I served Jesus per His words? “As much as you have done to the least…”

    Thanks Michael good reveal.

  12. If this church is like Mars Hill and the average contribution is $53 per month – I think the figure was $12.31 per week per adult attender – (less that a cell phone payment) – I don’t think anyone at the church will care. 52 weeks of great entertainment and babysitting for the kids – less than a movie ticket … why would those attendee care where the money goes?

    And again, this is the nature and makeup of the average Joe /Joyce who attends CC… a great deal at twice the price. 🙂

  13. Michael, you did not post the top line figures. What is the income line – contributions etc?

  14. dswoager says:

    MLD, that’s a good reframing of the question. I would assume that thos numbers are very much an average. I’d be interested to see what an average amount would be for those that “regularly” give, so that those who don’t contribute at all, or just toss in a buck or spare change don’t drag down the average quite so much. Point taken though.

  15. Perhaps the ones who don’t contribute or are tossing in a buck or spare change have figured it out and pay for what it’s all really worth. 😉

  16. what’s the name of the church?
    who is the pastor?
    what is the name of the radio program?
    what is the website of the church?

  17. covered says:

    dswoager & MLD, it has been my experience that in many cases, there are at least one or two big donors who give faithfully. I attended a church in OC where one man asked the pastor to provide for him the overhead figures to include all building expenses, all salaries and all other regular overhead and this man paid these expenses for years! Unfortunately, it has also been my experience that there are strings attached to these types of donors.

  18. Muff Potter says:

    Excellent post Michael, and it does beg the question: How much of what’s in The Good Book can be reasonably extrapolated out of the way back then and made to apply in the here and now?

  19. DavidM says:

    A vacation allowance?? Good grief! My wife and I have, for the past 30+ years, paid for our OWN vacations from the salary we have received, which does NOT include a car allowance, family members on payroll, car maintenance, etc. I wonder if any of this man’s congregants have a job that pays for vacations? I mean, many of us in the CC group have suspected such practices for many years, but to see it in black and white is disturbing.

    Michael, I am not going to make a big deal about this, but I think to reveal all this without saying who this is or even hinting at it makes it an incomplete story. You have seldom refused to name names, so why now? My two cents (or, in this pastor’s income level, my $1,000.00)

  20. Michael says:


    It brings in about 5,000,000.
    Expenses about 4,700,000.

  21. Michael says:


    I need to protect sources and myself.

    The point here isn’t to expose one man, but to have people decide to take responsibility for knowing what is going on in their local churches.

  22. DHouse says:

    This hurts my heart.

  23. Philly Fan says:

    Michael — Tell me it is not Joe Focht – please!!!!!!!!!

  24. papiaslogia says:

    I would be interested in how much money comes in, and compare it to how much goes out. If those numbers are available.

    Thanks for the reminder Michael.

    This brought back memories of talking to the pastor of the last CC we attended and his “board meetings”. Which he joked that they would have them while catching waves during his frequent visits to CA.

    And CC people. If you doubt this post, go ahead and ask your CC pastor about how the church spends its finances. You will be out of your ministry position faster than you can imagine.

  25. papiaslogia says:

    Brings in @ 5M. Spends about 4.7M

    I’m not that good with math, but there’s 300K floating around somewhere…

  26. Michael says:

    I’n not going to say who this is or isn’t.
    As I said, this isn’t a question for me to answer, but your pastor.
    Ask him.

  27. papiaslogia says:

    I’m amazed that you came by this information at all.

    Now the pastor has a “leak in his pipes” that I’m sure he will seek to find and close off.

    $5M / 3000 = $1666 per year per person.

    $1666 / 52 = $32 per week per person.

    That’s better giving than MH!

  28. Richard says:

    “supreme leader”

    Seth Rogan, line 1.

  29. DavidM says:

    #21 Fair enough.

  30. Bob Sweat says:

    The people who allow this are as much at fault as the pastor who receives this type of compensation package. If you don’t know how the money in the church is spent, go somewhere where you can know! This type of abuse, and that’s what it is, makes me sick!

    During my time in ministry, the financials were posted monthly. There were no secrets.

  31. Babylon's Dread says:

    So this is the legacy of Papa Chuck Smith? This is called the “routinization of charisma.” It is where the charisms of a leader are harnessed to provide income for others. So in this case the charisms that founded Calvary Chapel are no longer operative in the power of the Holy Spirit but they are vitally operative in process of institutionalization that has created income streams for the ‘family.’

    Chuck Fromm wrote about this in his doctoral thesis and applauds it as a process that is beneficial and necessary. Essentially it means that followers of charismatic leaders employ the forms that once carried the Spirit’s charisms but now serve to make the “blessing” of the anointed founder available to generations.

    They live more in the memory of the power of God than in the experience of it.

  32. london says:

    Surely there’s a housing allowance in there somewhere too.

    My little group of all volunteer, no bodies puts more than $6,000 back into the community we live in, surely that’s a typo.

  33. papiaslogia says:

    I wonder if his “vacation allowance” pays for:

    Trips to Israel that he “leads”
    Pastor conferences that he speaks at?
    Family members accompanying him?

    Or are these paid for by leading trips or speaking at conferences?

    I would assume that these would be considered ministry and not part of the ‘vacation allowance”.

    And doing the quick math, this fella is taking in almost 500k a year.

  34. Lydia says:

    So how does this pastor know what it is like to live in the real world as a believer? What on earth would he be able to teach or model that for the pew sitters?

  35. Bob Sweat,
    “If you don’t know how the money in the church is spent, go somewhere where you can know! ”

    They don’t want to know and I doubt very few would care if this were actually emailed to them.

    The questions I tried to get at the other day were just about this – is there a growing ground swell of dissatisfaction from the general church population so this leaked out or is this just the workings of a dissatisfied assistant pastor who didn’t get his way?

  36. papiaslogia says:


    More likely its the church secretary who’s working part time while trying to make ends meet helping to support her family off the meager table rations while seeing the “man of god” rake it all in.

    Always be nice to the secretary! 🙂

  37. Michael says:

    It’s hard to have a groundswell where no one knows there’s a problem.
    People may not care…and that is a problem.

  38. Linda Pappas says:

    “The church is a community and thus should care for it’s members in need.

    Therefore, a budget of $ 6000 per year is allotted for them.

    Which means for the sheep, this averages out to be $2.00 per sheep for this part of the body’s (non-member/non-family/non inner circle) needs to be met.

    Not even enough to buy a gallon of milk, gas, or a loaf of bread.

    This budget obviously does not take into consideration the countless hours and out of pocket costs assumed by those who do voluntary chores, mission work, and contributes time, money, and materials to build, to refurbish, or to replace that which is own by the Moses Pastor.

  39. Bob Sweat says:


    Although the majority of the people might not care, I believe that the majority of those who give would care. I’m not talking about the ones who drop a couple of bucks in the plate.

    This is based on my 50 years of experience in the church. I used that 50 years because I want to remind MLD that I’m older. 😉

  40. Michael says:

    It wouldn’t do a disgruntled staff member any good…no one got called out.

  41. Bob S – i always respect my elders 😉

  42. Kevin H says:

    Philly Fan,

    I would think this is not Joe Focht. The attendance numbers and narrative do not match up. Plus from what I know of Joe and the way he presents himself, it does not seem that he lives much of a lavish lifestyle at all. But, of course, I’ve never seen any numbers so I can’t say anything for certain.

  43. Bob S – you being my elder only means you have been on Medicare longer than me.

  44. covered says:

    MLD, some of us who came from this tribe were taught that asking about finances means that we aren’t trusting God. I know that the CC you attended before you went to the other side didn’t share the finances in the way that your current church does.

  45. His Kid says:

    And all the while, the orphan fights for his life on the street, and the widow goes hungry…

  46. london says:

    nobodies not no bodies

  47. covered – you are correct, I was at 3 CC and it never even dawned on me to ask about the finances. Now intermittently between the 3 CCs I served on boards of SBC churches and spent 5 years as the chairman of the largest SBC in the Inland Empire (3,000 – 4,000 members … not just attendees) – and was rigorously involved in the finances.

    I have said this before, each of my returns to a CC was to hide and cool my jets … I didn’t want to be involved in anything – and i think this is the mindset of most there.

    Hey, tell a CC person that to be an attendee in good standing ( I have no idea what that would be) that they have to come to monthly or quarterly meeting to discuss the finances. LOL

  48. W.S. says:

    Last time I served under such a model of leadership, one of the pastors favorite lines when he did not want to be questioned was “the Lord told me”.
    Who can argue with the Lord?
    Could their be a correlation between this style of ministry and so many abuses that take place under such models?
    In the fear of the Lord and for accountability wouldn’t a elder led model be more biblical and wiser?

  49. covered, actually the church I did attend before going over to the dark side did share finances … until it was bought out by CC 😉

  50. Michael says:


    It’s not a typo.

  51. EricL says:

    Thanks for the article, Michael. And thanks for keeping it semi-anonymous. If you “name names” then people just avoid that person, but instead you are lifting the curtain away to expose the practices of many little Wizards of Oz in this land.

    Keep at it, and hopefully more of the laity will start asking the tough questions. I hope this will cause a groundswell of folks migrating to healthier churches over the next few years.

  52. Jeff Joones says:

    I thought last night’s Seahawks play made my stomach turn, then you post this the next day…

  53. Jeff Jones says:

    My keyboard has Dr. Pepper in the “O” button, It’s “Jones.”

  54. Linda Pappas says:

    Sometime in the past 2 years, it was noted that on the budget, contributions were termed as “Giving Units, not Members. I think it would have been more honest to list them as “Giving Eunuchs.” Good enough to serve–not even recognized as members who have a voice, a vote, or the right to question it leadership.

    Cut off from the rest of the Body (a non-member).

    Biblically speaking, “In Matthew 19:12, Jesus mentions eunuchs in the context of whether it is good to marry. He says, “There are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Jesus identifies three types of “eunuchs” here: natural eunuchs (“born that way”), forced eunuchs (“made eunuchs by others”), and voluntary eunuchs (“those who choose”).”

    Read more:

  55. Michael says:


    Thank you for getting the purpose here.


    My stomach has been a mess anticipating the backlash to this…the Vikings weren’t involved so the Super Bowl was a piece of cake for me…

  56. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl except Katy Perry at halftime … at my granddaughter request and the last 2 min of the game … but I walked into the office this morning with a crisp $100 bill taped to my office door for winning the 1st quarter pool. 🙂

  57. Bob Sweat says:

    How are you Joones?

  58. Bob Sweat says:


    $100!!!!!! As your elder, I suggest that you take your pastor to lunch

  59. Bob Sweat says:


    You need to 1099 that $100.

  60. I hope at least a 10 spot makes it into the collection plate.

  61. Linda Pappas says:

    I watched the last half hour of the Super Bowl. Looks like it was the best of part of the entire game—-my question for the football fans here: Will the Seahawk who threw that punch suffer any penalty beyond the team being pushed back during the game.

  62. Most likely will be fined by the league.

  63. Linda Pappas says:

    Also, the IRS gets theirs as well—now that this has been made public.

  64. Linda Pappas says:

    Does anyone think that if they had not been pushed back, it could have changed the outcome?

  65. london says:

    Maybe where they have their church, there are no poor folk 😉

  66. Linda Pappas says:


    Great way of handling this by the way. Puts the responsibility back into the lap of those who attend. I would imagine or rather hope, that it also sends these pastors scrambling to figure out that the sheep are that dumb after all and that their day of reckoning is upon them. But then again, know they have their retirement package all sewed up, the next generation——-that’s their problem. That’s business.

  67. Linda Pappas says:

    are not that dumb

  68. Michael says:


    Thank you.
    I think much greater good comes from raising awareness than from simply ripping somebody.

  69. Michael says:


    This is the favorite quote of this kind of person…
    “For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”
    (Matthew 26:11 ESV)

  70. Andy says:

    Not to pee pee on the parade here, but….. there are congregants that know about these kinds of things, and don’t mind it at all.

    If a person is truly being blessed by what they are being fed spiritually, and if they believe that their life is being enhanced by the word coming through that person/family, they might want to bless them back. So none of this bothers me at all, even Bibilcally.

    Abraham was a rich man by the standards of his day. David, Solomon, many others.

  71. “The church loses $165,000 dollars, but the Gospel must go out…amen?”

    I do take issue here – even though I may think that evangelical radio broadcasts are crap. Is there a price / cost you put on sharing the gospel? Is it to be a net neutral budget line? or is there a cost involved?

    My church’s original budget this year was set with a $100,000 deficit because we felt that was what was required to fulfill OUR mission.

  72. Babylon's Dread says:

    Is this a deviation from the

    TH I TH post?

    Is this the one to come or should we expect another?

  73. If we don’t get a Things I think, I’m writing a blog exposing the Phoenix Preacher!!!

  74. London says:

    “If a person is truly being blessed by what they are being fed spiritually, and if they believe that their life is being enhanced by the word coming through that person/family, they might want to bless them back. So none of this bothers me at all, even Bibilcally.”

    It doesn’t bother you that one family is getting the benefits of roughly 1/2 a million dollars a year, and the “community” (that’s them and their neighbors) are budgeted only $6,000?

  75. Andy says:

    No, London, that doesn’t bother me at all. It isn’t that man’s or church’s responsibility to give money to the “community”.

    Anybody, ANYBODY that wants to be blessed by God, can be, and will find all their needs met by Christ Jesus. Don’t you believe that?

  76. Linda Pappas says:


    I agree in part about the “ripping,” of a specific person and their gang. That is, when it has to do with the topic at hand. However, when it comes to other type of abuses, then for the sake of the abused, names are essential.

    I worked for a ministry up in Washington back in the 80’s. Before doing so, I had two (a couple) come to me who gave me a warning that was so innocuous, I didn’t get it Had I inquire further, it would have saved my children and I from having to sell every item we owned in order to get back to California to be homeless instead. Other families were also left in the lurch, but were able to fall back on family. Everything appeared to be in place, that is until I went to the bank to cash the relocation check. “No funds available.” Then 2 months later for 4 weeks, no paycheck because they decided to go to Utah to buy land. Destroyed the faith of my children and tested mine as well. Particularly when coming back and not one “Christian” or CC Pastor (there were many) whom we knew quite intimately would help us. Nope, had my children stay with “friends.” Years later, learned that my son was molested by the secretary of well known scholar and apologist. Years later, meaning 20 years, after the fact. Trust within the church can be a nefarious thing.

    At the time, I chalked it up as being an incident that was just peculiar to the ministry and that secretary. Eyes wide opened now. Haven’t lost my faith—just trust in those who run the church and those who attend such churches and ministries that are governed by a Moses like model.

  77. I guess we need clarification – is the $6,000 the total in their budget that would be considered missions / benevolence / support of any homes – group or otherwisw?

    Is this the only line item that would fall into a “giving” category?

  78. Michael says:


    The stress associated with writing, then publishing articles like this sends my blood pressure through the roof and other nasty things.

    There will be regular programming, but it has to wait for a while.

    I’m getting old…

  79. London says:

    I don’t believe that wanting tone blessed (in a monetary way) makes it so. I think if you seriously believe it does, then you would logically think that anyone not “blessed” in that way just doesn’t want it badly enough, then you really have some messed up understanding of reality.
    If you are just being sarcastic, then, that at least givese some hope you’re not completely off your rocker.

  80. Michael says:

    Missions looks to be about 40,000 a year.
    Not very well defined for some reason.

  81. Linda Pappas says:


    About the poor—-that verse was brought immediately to remembrance at the same time that you posted it.

  82. London says:

    Im with MLD.
    This can not be the entirety of their budget.

  83. Michael says:


    I believe there are far more cost effective and productive ways to “get out the Gospel” than radio.

    That’s another topic for another time.

  84. Andy says:


    I believe that a person that doesn’t want Jesus Christ as God and Savior, is going to have a hard time of things in life. The Bible says that can happen. If they refuse Jesus Christ as God and Savior, then I don’t have to give them anything.

    John chapter 6 is Jesus giving them free food, and then they came for more, but didn’t want Jesus, so He didn’t give them anything. I will follow Jesus and not man.

  85. Michael says:

    I’m looking at the budget.
    There is a line item for “benevolence”.
    It is $6000.00

    This is not unusual in my experience.

  86. Francisco Nunez says:

    The Lord certainly gives the local fellowships the freedom to decide church government type, whether elder or pastor led. However it is always best when church board members/elders are also men who are part of the local fellowship so they can be first hand witnesses of church life and ministry of the lead pastor. One of the drawbacks of having out town board members is that they are not firsthand witnesses of local church life, nor the life of the lead shepherd. At best out of town board members can be quite disconnected as they only hear of what happens from what the local lead shepherd shares with them. This itself is not a bad thing but it can be when the lead shepherd goes awry.

    Even if church members don’t ask questions about finances its always good biblical stewardship to have things in financial order and not fear transparency. As a general rule, if we so freely can take home a confidential compensation package before a Holy God but at the same time we’re afraid of the members finding out what that is, as shepherds we should then ask ourselves “ whom are we fearing?”

    As usual Michael, your articles always gently challenge me in a good way and I thank God for that.
    In Him,

  87. ? says:

    Why will CC churches not disclose this to the congregation?
    Isn’t that a guilty conscience?
    My old CC was run about the same way.
    Since a mega CC’s Pastor’s recent fall, the congregation is being told by the leadership “this happened (the Pastor’s fall) because” God wanted people to look to him, not a Pastor.”
    So I asked the person, “So they are blaming the mans sin on God now?

  88. Is the $6,000 what they budgeted or what they paid out.

    Are you just looking at a budget or the actual financials?

  89. Michael says:

    Thank you, Francisco… 🙂

  90. Michael says:



    There is no way to make this look better than it is.

  91. ?
    “Why will CC churches not disclose this to the congregation?”

    I was trying to “share ” (isn’t that a great christian word?) this the other day. If you speak in terms of transparency or disclosure it is usually an adversarial relationship. “OK, I must be transparent” – “OK, I must disclose”

    At my church, and I am sure others, we consider our budget / financials to be our mission statement put into numbers – it’s not disclosure – it’s not transparency – it’s mission.

  92. Linda Pappas says:

    “Anybody, ANYBODY that wants to be blessed by God, can be, and will find all their needs met by Christ Jesus. Don’t you believe that?”

    God meets our needs through His people—silly.

    The people of the faith is the Church. God uses the Church to bless others within the church community to share with one another, while seeing to the basic needs of Pastor and the staff.

    What I see is a twisting of scripture. That is, all that the body of Christ has to give in time, resources, and money is essentially put into the storehouse for the benefit of the owners. If the person can afford to help someone in the community in or out of the church community, after this, can and “should” do so.

  93. filbertz says:

    Michael, did you google the average income statistics for the community/area in which said “pastor” holds court? How do those numbers compare to his ‘package?’ Did it identify the salary of his wife?

  94. Andy says:

    “God meets our needs through His people—silly.”

    God will do what He wants without any of us. He wants to use us, but His work will get done regardless. God’s power is not silly. As for the “community”, again as I stated above, the person that refuses Jesus Christ as God and Savior, has nothing to stand on.

  95. Michael says:


    The numbers for family salaries were not specific.
    The median income for the area is about $70,000 with over 10% of the population under the poverty line.

  96. London says:

    Andy, go back and read the book again. You are as wrong as throwing a pass from the one yard line.

  97. Andy says:

    London, it’s easy to just say, “you’re wrong”, without quoting any Scripture from John chapter 6 yourself. They came for food, Jesus gave it. They came again, Jesus didn’t give them food. Jesus said, okay, you need ME.

    They all left.

    Those in the “community” that don’t believe in Jesus as God and Savior, can’t count on anything in this life, and certainly not in the life to come.

  98. ? says:


    Good point.
    I’m guessing if I got it right- you are saying that the word disclosure implies having to “come clean” or come out of hiding some “secret” rather than being part of who you are or upfront in the first place??
    If that’s what you meant–yes, there’s a hiding of the facts that should have been made known from the start.
    We never knew our Pastor’s salary.
    To even think about it was taboo and suspicious and no one let on they even cared.
    Until his fall and some found out just how “blessed” he was.

  99. Linda Pappas says:

    Who does the “budget” and “financial statement” belong to, if not to the entire body of Christ who give and receives?

    Reminds me of that Ananias and his wife.

  100. ? says:


    The whole structure of the church was about the people in need, not about greedy Pastors.

  101. I don’t guess I understand the issue here. Every time I’ve seen one of these high salaries “exposed” the congregation just shrugged. And those were all way higher than this.

    The real discussion would be, how much is too much? My bet is some of the salaries of pastors who read here would make us blush, and that all of our salaries would make the early church fathers blush.

    Is $300 grand too much for me? Yep, but I don’t go to that church.

  102. london says:

    Andy, you’re just wrong in general.

    I’m in the middle of something else, well actually procrastinating doing something else, but it is clear we have fundamentally different ideas about what makes a “community”, and what a christian’s/church’s responsibilities are to other people.

    You, apparently, believe that only those who are christians “deserve” any help…I think that those who are christians should be giving help regardless of whether someone “deserves” it or not.

    I don’t have the time, or the inclination to spew scriptures out of the one chapter in the whole book you’ve decided I should be looking at.

  103. Linda Pappas says:


    “God will do what He wants without any of us. He wants to use us, but His work will get done regardless. God’s power is not silly. As for the “community”, again as I stated above, the person that refuses Jesus Christ as God and Savior, has nothing to stand on.”

    I did not say God was silly. I said you were being silly. Yes, He will use non-Christians as well as, Christians to accomplish His work. Shame on you, for refusing to help another, simply because that person might not be ready to receive the gospel at the time you may want to shove it down their throat instead of first seeing to their need. Jesus, himself did much in the way of meeting the need of a person first before that person came to realize who or what had touched them at the depth of their heart.

    You come across as being quite callous in your thinking towards your responsibility in reaching out beyond the gospel to see to the needs of those in the church, much more to those who could see Him more clearly through acts of kindness instead.

  104. Michael says:


    I think most here would agree that a reasonable salary is somewhere around the median income of those you pastor.
    I know most of the guys that post here…and none of them could or would compensate themselves this way out of conscience.

  105. Andy says:

    London, yes, we are obviously in disagreement, and I will never go to your “side”.

    Linda, relax. If you are an expert at bringing the world to Jesus through good deeds, then do so.

    I am going to preach with words (Romans chapter 10, verse 17). I have found it to work perfectly, as did those in the Book of Acts.

  106. Linda Pappas says:

    ? @ 102


    Jesus was all about those in need. Body, Mind, Spirit, and Soul.

    If one has two cloaks, then give it to the one who has none.

  107. ?
    “We never knew our Pastor’s salary.”

    You know, we have open finances, but I don’t know that we break out everyone’s salaries as an individual line item. That gets into some dicey issues among employees / staff etc.

    You post a pastor’s salary and you know that half the people are going to think the poor guy is underpaid and the other half will think he is ripping off the church – “after all, he only works one day a week!”

    There are certain things that stay in confidence.

  108. Michael says:


    I think your #109 is wisdom…just for the record.

  109. Linda Pappas says:


    So what is yours is yours and what is theirs is yours.

    “I am going to preach with words (Romans chapter 10, verse 17). I have found it to work perfectly, as did those in the Book of Acts.”

    Not so with the New Testament church, beginning in Acts.

  110. Andy says:

    Linda, so in one church in one place, they sold lands and gave it to the apostles. That same church (Jerusalem) later needed other churches to save them financially. It didn’t work.

    Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (the Gospel). Not by free food. John chapter 6 proves that.

  111. The median income of those you pastor? That has always struck me as ridiculous. Looks like all the good pastors will be leaving the south because they can ethically get paid more in Silicon Valley!

    Ehh, I don’t like this kind of stuff. It’s always seemed cowardly that people send you information and then use you like a human shield. Plus, this doesn’t even qualify as news. “Pastor of big church makes a bunch of money!” Ummm, yeah. That happens. The IRS went after a bunch of them just a year or two ago. Not much came of it.

    Bottom line – If your pastor lives in a mansion, drives a BMW, own a yacht…you are paying for it. If you are cool with that, great! If not, you’ll need to stop giving.

  112. Linda Pappas says:


    Scripture having to do with helping those in needs:

    I would encourage you to read the whole counsel of God rather than to find one that you think justify your current position.

  113. Michael says:


    You are conflating the means of salvation with how we treat those who are afflicted.
    I strongly suggest a reading of Matt. 25.

    “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
    (Galatians 6:10 ESV)

    “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
    (Romans 12:9–13 ESV)

    “and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?”
    (James 2:16 ESV)

  114. Michael says:


    Most pastors I know that are truly invested in the kingdom aren’t in it for the bucks.

    A lot of people don’t like these articles, but I think they are important.
    So I write them.

  115. Very few are in it for the bucks. But we keep shouting from the mountaintops about nameless guys who make $300k, and their own congregation doesn’t make a peep.

  116. Josh makes a good point. When Skip came to Ocean Hills and bought a house for $1.5 million right away, drove the big Range Rover and the Harley, and wore great clothes with shoes that cost as much as my car payment – you didn’t need to look at the budget – it was right there for you to see.

  117. Exactly MLD. Furtick built a 3 Million dollar house. That’s about as transparent as you get.

  118. Andy says:

    Linda, once again, you are tying it into preaching the Gospel, and I don’t believe that, and I never will. Helping those in need is one thing, and I never spoke against it. Go read what I wrote. What I am speaking against, is assuming that giving to the poor is a means of preaching the Gospel. It is not.

    And Michael missed that point entirely.

  119. Michael says:


    I’m not responsible for what people do with this information…my responsibility is to try to inform.

  120. fyi says:

    Michael @116; I am listening to the radio commentary with you and Phil and your tone, frankly, surprises me. It sure doesn’t reflect what you wrote about most pastors. I know you disagree with me on this issue but I agree with Josh. If someone gave me information they received or passed on dishonestly, it is wrong to publish it no matter how important you think it is. Maybe this is OK for a journalist but you/we are Christians first. But a bigger problem for me is that your tone is so judgmental that it is condemning–not just of this one church but all who are governed from the top-down and the people who go to our churches. You make them sound as though they are spiritual idiots. This is just not so. To be clear, I write this comment as one who is disgusted that a fellow CC pastor would abuse funds in this manner.

  121. Michael says:


    Giving to the poor is a means of living the Gospel…a point you miss entirely.

  122. I remember 25 years ago Chuck Swindoll built a multi million dollar home – and i mean a BIG home – and his comment was, my ministry requires it as we do a lot of entertaining and we have people from all over the world coming in to visit.

    Now, this may be true – and there may be a cost benefit to this kind of dwelling – that is up to better people than me.

    Did Swindoll, swindle folks? 🙂

  123. Andy says:

    One other important point…. how does anyone here know what said pastor in the original post, does with his “millions”? What if he does help the poor? What if that is a big priority for him? How can you possibly know.

    The judgmental and self-righteous can’t be satisfied no matter what you say or do.

  124. Linda Pappas says:


    “Linda, so in one church in one place, they sold lands and gave it to the apostles. That same church (Jerusalem) later needed other churches to save them financially. It didn’t work. ”

    No, they did not give it to the apostles to keep for themselves. They gave it to share among all those who were in need among the body of believers. Other congregation gave Paul money to bring back to the church in Jerusalem due to the persecution being experienced there and having an impact on their ability to support themselves. Not because they were sharing their resources with one another.

    Are you a Pastor or an Asst Pastor or a wannabee?

  125. Andy says:

    Michael, your 123 is counted as “social gospel” heresy by me, but you are fixed on your position, and I on mine, and so be it.

  126. Wow. Quoting Jesus is now heresy.

  127. Andy says:


    They didn’t have money in the congregation. Collecting from one another and “redistribution” didn’t work, and doesn’t work. Freewill offering, does work.

    They weren’t the only ones being persecuted. Other places were too. They didn’t all ask for collections. And I never claimed to be a pastor or a wannabe. Are you a pastor?

  128. Michael says:


    I am a journalist of a sort and I’m a Christian as well.

    I note your disagreement, but will continue to follow what I believe is right.

  129. Andy – so you are just for preaching the word and not helping others as that would be “social gospel”?

    I think that is the excuse that cheap misers use.

  130. Michael says:

    Jesus was a heretic?

    Now, that’s a scoop…

  131. Andy says:

    MLD, you have no idea what I do with my money. Nor is it your business.

    But the “social gospel” crowd only cares about money. Ironically. That’s all they focus on. They would have stripped Abraham naked and berated him for his lack of compassion.

  132. Andy says:

    Jesus should have fed the people in John chapter 6, regardless of whether they wanted Him or not. How “unloving” of Jesus.

  133. Michael says:


    It’s funny…you guys have made me the issue for a dozen years now…but the issues I seek to address don’t faze you.

    I’d forgotten how much you guys will circle the wagons and make me the bad guy…

  134. Linda Pappas says:



    “Linda, once again, you are tying it into preaching the Gospel, and I don’t believe that, and I never will”

    And that is you excuse for not opening your ears up to see and your heart up to hear the truth? You don’t have to believe me—read the scriptures.

    I think you are in a deep field of trouble and in so tight that like that lost person you refuse to help, you cannot because you simply won’t grab ahold of that which would set you free to truly minister to others as Jesus has told us to do.

  135. Andy says:

    Linda, I’m not worried about any “deep field of trouble”. I don’t adhere to your religion.

  136. Andy – OK, now you are just spewing ignorance. Jesus did feed at least 5,000 people in John 6.

  137. Andy says:

    MLD, yes, he fed them. But then, they came back for more.

    And Jesus didn’t give it. But preached instead. And they all left.

    Did you read more than one verse?

  138. fyi says:

    I give up, Michael. I haven’t EVER tried to make you the issue and you continue lumping us all together. Am I not entitled to believe that honesty/transparency should work from your end as well? As the blog host, you can respond flippantly as you have done and no one will call you on it. You know how much I have valued what you do here. Perhaps you expected to get ripped so you are defensive as a result. I will bow out on this one.

  139. Michael says:


    You are entitled to your opinion and you’ve given it.
    You have personally “called me on it” as have others.
    I wrote the article, I made the podcast, and my name is on all of it for others to critique or examine as they choose.
    I actually severely edited what I would like to say, so I guess we can be glad of that.

  140. Andy, Actually he offered himself up to them as food. They refused – Jesus didn’t refuse them.

  141. Linda Pappas says:


    26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. Romans, Chapter 15

  142. Andy says:

    MLD, Jesus refused to put out the smorgasbord as the time before. He put relationship with Him as pre-eminent.

    And that is what they didn’t want. And so Jesus didn’t chase them down, “Wait! Okay let Me still give you the free meal!”

  143. Andy says:

    Linda, so what? They helped Jerusalem, which was broke. They were broke because redistribution doesn’t work. But you’re welcome to disagree if you like.

  144. Michael says:


    Linda is a Christian, are you not a Christian?
    If not, then why would this conversation interest you?

  145. Andy says:

    Michael, I am a saved believer in Jesus Christ (that is how I define Christian, and I’m not saying Linda is not that). I am not an adherent of the social gospel, which I consider an add-on false religion, and it smells like that.

  146. Andy said ” I am a saved believer in Jesus Christ”

    Is there such a thing as an unsaved believer in Jesus Christ?

  147. Michael says:


    It sounds to me like your religion is radical free enterprise, thus you’ve conflated a modern political system with ancient biblical truth.
    That’s idolatry, a false religion, and it smells like it.

  148. ? says:


    Many well known Pastors such as Swindoll, Charles Stanley, etc., are millionaires several times over due to the books they sell.

    Should they then still take money from their congregants?

  149. Andy says:

    MLD, yes, there is the person that says, “I believe in Jesus Christ, but I will get to heaven by good works”. That person isn’t saved. Just an example.

  150. Andy says:

    Michael, I reject corporatism as a tool of the devil, which will be used by the devil to build the coming world government.

    I accept the Biblical precept to own what God has blessed me, and to, by my free will, do with it what I will. And what I do, I keep between me and God. If I seek your applause for it, then that’s all the reward I get (and it’s not worth it, no offense).

  151. ?
    “Should they then still take money from their congregants?”

    Interesting wording. Are they “taking” from the congregation or is the congregation “giving”?

    But I have stated my case before – if their books are just republication of their sermons – then the intellectual properties belong to the church.

  152. Linda Pappas says:


    I don’t think you are a bad guy.

    Just misinformed—particularly seeing that you are a Journalist, I would think that your level of comprehension would be greater.

    Your argument is not with us, it is with Scripture.

  153. Andy says:


    I’m not a journalist. I believe you have my posts crossed in your mind with someone else’s.

    And I am perfectly in line with Scripture. I am not perfectly in line with your interpretation of Scripture. Note the difference.

  154. Andy, but that person does not believe by his own words. But I asked you if there is such a thing as a person who believes in Jesus who is not saved?

    Are you one of those who believes there are 3 types of Christians? Why didn’t you just call yourself a Christian?

  155. Andy says:

    MLD, there are plenty of people that will say, “I believe in Jesus”, but what that means to them is, “I am trying to be the best I can so that somehow, I will make it to heaven, because Jesus is giving me that chance to make it”. That is what they believe Jesus is offering.

    Many will say, Lord, Lord……

  156. Steve Wright says:

    I will always be grateful the Lord chose to save me through reading his word, by His Spirit, with no pastor or church involved. I will always be grateful that, upon being born again, He led me to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa as my first church. Where I would worship, serve, be equipped, and ordained.

    That was 22 years ago. For 20 of those 22 years I have served in some formal ministry capacity, teaching the word to others, pastoring two churches and serving in two others.

    If I read this back then, I would have run for the hills. Not from Christ Who saved me, but from Calvary Chapel to some other church. That’s what happens when you actually believe what the Bible says, and think it should instruct YOU, and not just “the flock”

    22 years ago, in 1993, there weren’t too many CC pastors besides Chuck who had much more than 20+ years of formal ministry service. Lots of guys of course had about 20 years, and us newcomers to Christ were encouraged to listen to such men, because, after all, they have TWENTY years of walking with and serving the Lord. These were the leaders of large churches we were told to listen to at conferences or on the radio. Maybe this guy in the article was one of them.

    Well, now I’ve got my 20 years of Calvary ministry experience. And rest assured, just because some of those older guys now have 40 years, doesn’t mean a thing when the fruit is adultery (in some cases) and/or financial abominations like this article. And I’ve looked “Moses Model” right in the eyes on more than one occasion myself.

    I believe in the independence of the local church. And this guy will have to answer to the Lord, not me. However, as the so-called Board process was described above, (a couple outside pastors and longtime friends rubberstamping this sort of financial package), I could not help but think of Jesus condemning the Pharisees for their technically accurate and “legal” behavior that was still an abomination in God’s sight.

    Needless to say, this does not satisfy the spirit of the requirement of having a Board of Directors. even if it may the letter.

    Frankly, I don’t know whether I feel like throwing up or punching something. But as a CC pastor, I know that I am not going anywhere because of examples like this, and rather it encourages me all the more to use whatever influence I may have in the lives of others pursuing ministry, to model a better example that is worthy of the Savior we serve, Who is the Lord God Almighty we must answer to one day.

    Steve Wright
    Calvary Chapel of Lake Elsinore
    pastorsteve (at) calvaryle (dot) org

  157. london says:

    So Andy, if all of a sudden everything you’ve been “blessed with” is gone, are you no longer a Christian?

  158. Michael says:


    That was very well said and well done.
    Thank you.

  159. “I believe in Jesus”, but what that means to them is,

    But that is the way you described yourself. I don’t trust people who need to use discriptors in defining their Christian faith.

    Why not just I am a Christian?
    Evangelicals use Born again Christian – which is stupid because you cannot be a Christian if you are not born again.

    Some are described as “carnal” Christians – aren’t we all “carnal” at times?

    But where is the Christian?

  160. Andy says:

    London, where did you get 159 from? Where was that ever inferred?

    I’m going to heaven, because I believe in Jesus, that Jesus died for my sins and rose again. Nothing more, nothing added.

    Jesus will never take my salvation away. I’m going to heaven even if my life is spent in a homeless shelter. If He chooses to take away everything else, blessed be His Name. But He won’t do that. He promised to take care of all my needs.

  161. Andy says:

    MLD, I need not tell you that every sect out there defines words like “born again”, “grace”, “salvation”, in their own twist.

    I know what my understanding of Scripture says about those words. That’s all I care about.

    Catholicism redefines all those terms in ways that I will never accept, which is why I can’t call it Christian.

  162. Francisco Nunez says:

    To fyi

    We all don’t have to agree with Michael’s article but we cant deny that the information presented here is certainly eye opening. As shepherds if it bothers us…..then maybe it needs to and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

    The Truth is often hard to take but at the end of the day if it challenges us to examine ourselves to be better stewards of His flock, then that is a good thing.

  163. Andy,
    You are the Fred Astaire of blogging – you can dance all over the place.

    I asked YOU why YOU don’t just call YOURSELF a Christian? Not how others abuse terms.

  164. london says:

    I’m just trying to figure out what the heck your talking about…and trying to figure out how in the world you can justify saying that only people who believe in Jesus deserve to eat.

  165. Andy says:

    MLD, because the word “Christian” has been so compromised and ill-defined by the world, I prefer to elaborate. That’s my right, unless you’d like to take that right away too. 🙂

    London, any unbeliever can eat all they want. But I don’t have to feed them, if I don’t want to. Again, this is the craziness of the social gospel. I can’t even own anything that God gave me, without justifying it with a bunch of strangers.

  166. london says:

    “Giving to the poor is a means of living the Gospel…a point you miss entirely.”


    it’s that old quote of St. Francis really

    “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

    I do have to say though that, to me at least, “the poor” are not always the ones that need to be preached to. Sometimes they are FAR better preachers than those who are in the pulpit making the kind of money this knucklehead the thread is about does.
    Wealth is NOT an indicator of spiritual health.

    This much I know

  167. Andy says:

    I disagree with “saint” Francis. Because the Bible says to use words. And the Bible says that without words, it is not the Gospel at all. They have to hear the message.

    So Francis is wrong. The Bible is right. 🙂

  168. Linda Pappas says:


    My apologies, I did have you confused with someone else making this statement. At the same time, you are right–you are not a journalist.

  169. Andy says:

    Thank you, Linda. I don’t trust any journalist anyway. They are just guys and gals with an opinion, nothing more. 🙂

  170. filbertz says:

    journalism isn’t ‘just’ opinion–it is research, sources, interviews, data, and evidence. Opinion requires not of that.

  171. Andy, I don’t want to take anything away – if you want to live in a world of “saved” Christians and “unsaved” Christians, that’s fine – but it make me wonder now who is changing definitions.

    I will need to ponder “unsaved: believers.

  172. filbertz says:

    “none” not “not.”

  173. Andy says:

    filbertz, it is naive to think that the claim of “research, sources, interviews, data, and evidence” will automatically always keep the person’s opinion/skew at bay.

    MLD, ponder away.

  174. Linda Pappas says:

    “MLD, there are plenty of people that will say, “I believe in Jesus”, but what that means to them is, “I am trying to be the best I can so that somehow, I will make it to heaven, because Jesus is giving me that chance to make it”. That is what they believe Jesus is offering.”

    I think Michael is correct in saying to Andy, that he is conflating salvation with doing good works and thus has taken this thread off track in saying to us that anyone that does help the needy is preaching a false gospel as being that of a “social” gospel instead.

    I think he may be using Matthew Chapter 6 in proving his position by saying that the people were not interested in hearing Jesus share the analogy of bread to that of Manna from heaven. Therefore, it is not important to see to the needs of others.

  175. Francisco Nunez says:

    #158 Good word Steve

  176. Ixtlan says:


    Actually, it is very doubtful that Francis said that. Here is just one quick reference that covers this mistaken notion.

  177. Andy says:

    Linda, show me the exact statement where I said to never help anybody. I am saying that I don’t believe it works in bringing a person to Jesus. It does work in bringing a person to free food, however.

    But back to the original post that Michael wrote, the issue with it, is that it is totally ignorant of what the pastor does personally with his “millions”, and it discounts the possibility that the pastor actually uses it to help many. It is judgmental, self-righteous, and basically sounds like sour grapes.

  178. London says:

    The point remains true regardless of who said it.

  179. Steve Wright says:

    it is totally ignorant of what the pastor does personally with his “millions”, and it discounts the possibility that the pastor actually uses it to help many.
    I’m not about to get involved in this side discussion beyond a simple point that if the church feels it is good stewardship to pay directly for things like cell phones and car allowances in order to avoid paying income taxes, then it strains all credulity to imagine that tens of thousands of dollars are paid out in income taxes on salary in order for the pastor to have plenty of money to then give to the poor and needy, when certainly the church could give to them directly and eliminate the tax burden legally and wisely as stewards of God’s money.

    And most of our church’s benevolence monies go to those who are part of the CCLE family and worship the Lord with us each week. Why assume the point of benevolence to be connected to evangelism. I’m sure a church of 3000+ has a few “widows” in its midst (in the spirit of 1 Timothy)

  180. Linda Pappas says:

    If He chooses to take away everything else, blessed be His Name. But He won’t do that. He promised to take care of all my needs.

    I honestly hope He does not decide to send you out into the street, under the terrorism, or even at the hand of the executioner to find out how very wrong you have been in your position towards the entire Church, individually and as a congregation to look after the needs of one another and as an ambassador of Christ in word and in deed.

    Just because one is doing this does not mean they are doing works in the flesh. In fact, those who are Christians by virtue of being filled with the Holy Spirit, they will manifested such work that does exemplify Christ and the Love that He has towards us and bestowed upon us and in us through the Holy Spirit.

    Try being homeless and still being able to share a crumb to eat while also praising the Lord. In Christ, it becomes just part and parcel of who you are in Him. Not as a means to earn one’s salvation.

  181. Andy says:

    Linda: “your position towards the entire Church”

    So you are speaking for the entire Church? Okay……… No. Just, no.

  182. Andy says:

    Steve, wow. All of that elaborate description of how to maneuver through tax burdens and this and that….. What if the pastor just wants to do what he wants to, privately between him and the Lord, apart from church involvement. God doesn’t have to agree with every point of your tax burden advice, does He?

  183. We give our pastor a car and cell phone. He is out and about on church business just like an outside sales guy doing church business.

    But I’m thinking about making him rent the pulpit from the church if he wants to preach from it. 😉

  184. Eileen says:

    Great post, Michael! Hopefully it will light a fire under some of the CC pastors who read this blog!

    Fernando said, “However it is always best when church board members/elders are also men who are part of the local fellowship so they can be first hand witnesses of church life and ministry of the lead pastor. One of the drawbacks of having out town board members is that they are not firsthand witnesses of local church life, nor the life of the lead shepherd. At best out of town board members can be quite disconnected as they only hear of what happens from what the local lead shepherd shares with them. This itself is not a bad thing but it can be when the lead shepherd goes awry.” AMEN AND AMEN!!!

    There happens to be a CC Pastor who has commented on this blog … when asked about his elders and who holds him accountable in general, told me his elders consisted of other CC pastors in the area. When asked who holds him accountable in his actual church, he told me an usher and his accountant, and then reiterated that the same area Pastors do, because they meet for coffee regularly. How does that even make sense? Other pastors are wrapped up in their own congregations, mostly not paying attention to those other pastors in their area except perhaps to be friends. They can’t possibly be involved in what goes on inside another church. If anything starts going awry, the area pastors would only know by hearing it from someone inside the errant pastor’s church, not from actually seeing it played out. And…an usher and an accountant? What?

    Now that I go to a church that uses a “plurality of elders” concept, of which the pastor in the pulpit is just one of the elders, the whole CC/Moses model disgusts me as do mega churches, in general. Our church has the potential to become a mega church, since we are pretty new and are growing really fast, and I have voiced my concerns to the elders and the pastor. Luckily, our pastor has told me many times that his door is open should I see something happening that puts blips my radar. Keeping my eyes wide open, while being majorly blessed at the same time. Praying it all remains as it should.

    I wish I lived closer to your neck of the woods, Michael! Would love to be a part of your fellowship. 🙂

  185. Eileen says:

    Sorry – it was Francisco’s quote – don’t know where I got “Fernando”! Sucks getting old…

  186. Neo says:

    Whether a full time pastor or clergy member agrees with the posting of this information or not, one thing for certain: Everyone ought to consider themselves. And you know what? They are.

  187. Linda Pappas says:


    Your statement;

    “London, any unbeliever can eat all they want. But I don’t have to feed them, if I don’t want to. Again, this is the craziness of the social gospel. I can’t even own anything that God gave me, without justifying it with a bunch of strangers.”

    is extreme. To say that you can’t own anything that God gave to you, without justifying it with a bunch of strangers and that you don’t have to feed unbelievers if you don’t want is without merit, although you are speaking the truth in part.

    1) You don’t have to feed anyone that you don’t want feed.
    2) You do have a free will.
    3) Whatever is rightfully yours is yours to do with what you decide to do with it.


    1) As Christian we are to be accountable one to another
    2) If you have received from the tithes and offerings others, even more so.
    3) You haven’t submitted a budget here, so why even make a statement about having to justifying what you owned to those who have commented here.
    4) Everything that we have received has been given to us via God through one means or another.
    5) We are to be good stewards of all that we have and how we use it.
    6) See the above link on helping others in need.

    Now choose who you will serve—-your will or His.

  188. Andy says:

    Linda, you are too presumptuous. You think you speak for the Church, and now you think you speak for God’s holy and perfect Will.

    I’m not going to submit to you. Sorry. 🙂

  189. London says:

    “What if the pastor just wants to do what he wants to, privately between him and the Lord, apart from church involvement”

    Then he should get a job that doesn’t require “church involvement” to pay his way in life.

    In your scenario, the church should only be involved in providing him with money, not in having a say in where it goes.

    Which, I suppose is fair enough as long as they are aware how much is going into his and his family’s pockets vs how much is getting spent elsewhere.

    Otherwise, if they think its going to feed the poor, and it’s going for his salary, that’s an issue.

  190. Andy says:

    Not submitting to London, either, since she also is apparently wannabe church leadership. 😉

  191. Michael says:


    I don’t recall your participating here before today.
    What prompted your appearance?

  192. Andy says:

    God told me to come 😉

  193. Linda Pappas says:


    Ahhh, now I get it–where you are coming from.

    “But back to the original post that Michael wrote, the issue with it, is that it is totally ignorant of what the pastor does personally with his “millions”, and it discounts the possibility that the pastor actually uses it to help many. It is judgmental, self-righteous, and basically sounds like sour grapes.”

    He’s putting up the walls of defenses again. guarding the ranks, if you will. In spite of the evidence that within the budget, only $6000 is earmarked for benevolence among the 3000 who attends that particular congregation.

  194. Steve Wright says:

    London, I know you know this, but what Andy is missing is that the trivial amount given in benevolence by this multi-million dollar church is 100% due to the pastor’s decisions and his priorities. If this church was giving a lot away AND the pastor was also making a big salary, then maybe Andy’s speculations would merit at least a moment of consideration.

    This is little different than the pastor who repeatedly meets with young women in private at their homes and when spotlighted some “Andy” comes along and says “How do you know he is not counseling them”

  195. Andy says:

    Linda, “benevolence” is just one thing. The teaching of the Word of God, is the MAIN thing. That is the focus of their fellowship, I would guesstimate.

    I know that isn’t going to go over well with the social gospel crowd, but nevertheless…..

  196. Linda Pappas says:


    Anyone can teach the Word of God, but to do it in deed——and by the Holy Spirit. Is evident in the fruit one bears among those who are in need, be it by the Word and or in deed.

    Follow the money to see where one’s heart truly is and look into the eyes of their spouse and children.

  197. Linda Pappas says:

    Oh by the way, Andy—if God can speak through an Ass, He can also speak the truth by using women, children others who may not possess the same plumbing as yourself.

    He has risen—-why do you not believe me.

  198. Andy says:

    Linda, not anyone can teach the Word of God. The Bible says that teaching is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

    What you are saying sounds oh so humble, but it just isn’t Biblical. Let the man handle his financial affairs between him and the Lord.

    And I say this as one that is not wealthy by any (American) standard. I’m not bothered by him being blessed with it.

  199. Linda Pappas says:

    Steve Wright

    The comments you have posted I must say have raised my level of hope towards those who would do what is right and honoring to the Lord, be it the congregation, but even more so for those who represent the church as a whole.

  200. London says:

    I am beginning to think Andy HAS to be a character Michael made up to use as a way to vocalize all the ridiculous statements he’s gotten in emails through the years. :mrgreen:

  201. I think the biggest thing in the conversation is not what the pastor makes or where else the funds are spent / used, but is the congregation a partner in the making and carrying out of the financials.

    The sad part is that in almost all of these churches the pewsters are totally non active – as in having been shut out by the leadership because they do not get to work with the budgeted plan.

  202. Linda Pappas says:

    So you are saying that a pastor ought not be held accountable towards how they decide the tithes and offerings are used. And that the budget is no one’s decision except him and the rubber stamping crew. And once it is in his name, it’s no one business what he then does with it. So, the exercise of getting it into the pastors checking account without alarming anyone to then be use at “his discretion,” becomes moot.

    One may be gifted in teaching the Word, but that does not exclude them from doing the word. By the way, all who have the Holy Spirit are admonished to test all things, men, women, Greek, or Jew, free or slave. We all have gifts, and we all have the Holy Spirit to enable us to read the Word and to understand Him and who He is. If this was not so, then we would not also be warned to test all things.

    27But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    Andy, not all who are gifted to teach are Pastors. Male and Female

  203. Andy says:

    Linda, obviously I was referring to the teaching pastor. That is a calling and a gift upon few. But as for the money, I’m still not sure why this guy would bother anyone. The pope has a much higher stranglehold on what is virtually billions in money and people. This guy is just an upper-class suburban Starbucks-slurper by comparison. Why not concentrate on the big dogs? The pope is okay, in your estimation?

  204. Linda Pappas says:

    ” I’m not bothered by him being blessed with it.”

    That is the question, isn’t it. Has he been blessed by God or has he taken it upon his own to bless himself then used God to mock His Word and robbed the sheeves?

    The budget belongs to the entire body of Christ. It is their business to know and to decide how what is brought into the storehouse will be used. It’s main objective being equipping the Saints and tending/protecting to those in need. Period.

  205. Andy says:

    Linda, answer my pope question. Is the pope out of line with his extreme opulence?

  206. I keep reading the names Andy and Michael, and makes me think of The Office. Where’s Dwight?

    Michael. Good job on the posting. It’s not about naming names, it’s about giving people the opportunity to think. You nailed it like a Malcolm Butler interception at the goal line.

  207. Curious Anne says:

    Andy, are you or recently have been in Australia? Your style writing here, reminds me of an Andy I once knew.

  208. Alex says:

    Well, $320,000 plus benefits is still lower than Bob Coy’s comp. package was (is?) and less than Mark Driscoll, Greg Laurie, James MacDonald and other “Ministers” make from “serving Jesus” and reportedly much less.

    It’s really rather disgusting when you think about it. These guys solicit money from old ladies and hard working middle class folks who barely get by (in many cases)…and they say “Jesus needs your money for this! or that!” etc…and in reality the bulk of the monies collected go to fund the Pastor, his family, his building, his trips, his lifestyle.

    Bob Grenier was the same, just smaller. Like I noted many years ago now…Calvary Chapel Visalia was/is a Microcosm of what goes on in many Moses Model Calvary Chapel franchises…the bulk of the monies go to the franchisee/pastor and his benefit while the assistants are paid squat and volunteers pick up the slack and very very little monies actually go to helping anyone in any need.

  209. Andy says:

    Ann, I wish. But no.

  210. Linda Pappas says:

    ” This guy is just an upper-class suburban Starbucks-slurper by comparison. Why not concentrate on the big dogs? The pope is okay, in your estimation?”

    Oh, so we are going to distract from this by now drawing comparison to the RCC or some other church. If the topic had to do with the RCC, then I would say the same thing about not distracting by speaking of the CC Moses Model and its lack of accountability and its lack in enabling the attendees to fully participate in its financial affairs.

    The bottom line, we are focusing in upon this line item budget that Michael has introduced and since many of us are or were non members or among the leadership at one time, it concerns us even more so. You know this, so why even throw this bit about the pope into the mx. Then use it to minimize the issues thus presented as a result of the information that Michael shared?

  211. Andy says:

    Linda, I brought up the pope to see if there would be any consistency in indignation, or if the result would be hypocrisy. I got my answer.

  212. Alex says:

    Being transparent with the finances for “non-profits” who collect money under the guise of “for Jesus!” or other non-profits “it’s for the Childrens!” etc is a must.

    We won’t give money or stuff to non-profits that spend the money too heavily on the top with very little helping those who they say they are helping. Same goes with a church.

    If you’re going to get rich from “ministry”…then at least be honest about it and tell the folks giving the money where that money is going…that way the next time you beg them for their hard earned money for this or that…they can make an informed decision as to whether they should give for that new sound system or tell you to pay for it out of your big salary.

  213. Linda Pappas says:


    What I hear you attempt to do is to derail this thread and to try to make it about something else other than what it is.

    Perhaps you need to read again what Michael wrote. Beyond that, the Pope is not the issue here, at this time, therefore, I will not feed into the bait by answering the question you posed regarding him. Silly, Silly, Silly.

  214. Alex says:

    Andy, I like that this Pope has cleaned house (or is cleaning house) with regards to the Child Abusers in his church organization…however your point about the vast wealth of the Roman Catholic Church vs. their rhetoric is one big disconnect on their part…this Pope preaches a brand of European Socialism…yet the RCC dodges paying taxes to support the poor and needy and the Roman Catholic Church is a very wealth organization. They should practice what they preach and give away that vast wealth and help some folks, since this Pope says the rest of us should do the same.

  215. Linda Pappas says:


    “Linda, I brought up the pope to see if there would be any consistency in indignation, or if the result would be hypocrisy. I got my answer.”

    Either way, you were not being honest. Therefore, you assumption or conclusion is false.

  216. filbertz says:

    andy, @ 175,

    your opinion is 100% unworthy of consideration based on your own standards.

  217. Andy says:

    Linda, nice attempt to evade. All you’d have to do to be consistent and non-hypocritical is one sentence, like, the pope is wrong. That easy, to show that you believe the principle, and not just act on personal bitterness.

  218. Alex says:

    I’d hazard a guess at who the Calvary Chapel franchisee Pastor is that is featured in this article…but there are too many candidates. It could be any number of guys that have those same/similar things.

    Many Calvary Chapel pastors have their entire families or big chunks of their family on the payroll. Many have huge pay/comp. packages, big vacation perks, big retirement accounts etc.

    Some have churches that large.

    It’s probably a Commiefornia CC with those numbers.

  219. Alex, but what do you think of the 1,000s of people who have gone to CCs for 20 , 30, 40 years and have never asked or never cared? Most if you asked them don’t mind as they love having the celebrity pastor and they are willing to pay for it and to keep it – it feeds their own sad lives to have these guys.

    Believe me, in these situations, no one is hurt – this is total no harm no foul. Those who were disturbed left long ago. This is a mutual enabling society.

  220. Alex says:

    MLD asked, “Alex, but what do you think of the 1,000s of people who have gone to CCs for 20 , 30, 40 years and have never asked or never cared?”

    I think that by informing them, they will start to care.

  221. Alex – not a chance. If you have spent the past 20 yrs sucking at this guys teat, you will never believe it.

  222. Linda Pappas says:


    Do you think it is due to them not caring or is it that they do not care due to the brain washing that goes on concerning not questioning the leadership that is “anointed.”

    I know those that I speak to are either shocked, or in disbelief, or at a lost to know what to do next, now with this type of information being made available to them. More often, I refer them to either Alex or Michael’s blog and challenge them to find out for themselves by asking the questions and not accepting the same old responses that served to intimidate and to control them. The newbies are more difficult to convince, but the older ones—not so much.

  223. Alex says:

    MLD, I know that when I made it public info that Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia was making a household salary/comp package in excess of $150,000 per year with all sorts of benefits like gym membership, car washes, cell phone, retirement contributions, vacations, and much much more…people in Visalia were ticked. Many had no idea he was taking that much money from his CC franchise and many were really upset and said they wouldn’t have given to his “ministry” if they knew he was taking that much.

    I asked what you asked, many said they assumed the Elders/Board would be responsible and make godly decisions etc.

    People trust too much. That’s why blogs and whistleblowing is important work.

  224. Michael says:

    Let’s refrain from guesses or I’ll have to spend all day tomorrow answering emails from offended parties.
    Let’s also keep the language semi-clean.
    I’m giving myself some leeway there… 😉

  225. Linda Pappas says:


    “Linda, nice attempt to evade. All you’d have to do to be consistent and non-hypocritical is one sentence, like, the pope is wrong. That easy, to show that you believe the principle, and not just act on personal bitterness.’

    I’m not evading anything–you are off track, therefore I won’t engage by responding to any question that serve to distract and to minimize. Sorry, you just have to accept the fact, that although might try to lead, I may just not follow you. That, my friend is a choice made of my own free will and discernment.

  226. Alex says:

    MLD, many believe it…especially since my sources were named and very trusted by many in that community.

    Fortunately, some of the sources stepped up big time and put their names on the testimony for the lower court case.

    It’s all there in their testimonies…and some folks from CC Visalia got the info and were shocked. Some former CCV’ers were shocked as well.

    Some still support him and give anyway but at least they know what they are really giving to and for…others still have no clue…you can’t reach everyone.

  227. Alex says:

    Sorry Michael, I’ll be good 🙂

  228. Alex says:

    Michael, great job on publishing this. I believe like you do that getting the info out there is important work and it is not “snitching” or “criminal” or “voyeuristic” or whatever else. That is not correct at all.

    It is good and right and righteous and people have the right to know.

    These are NON-PROFITS that get huge tax-free perks that you and I have to subsidize and pay for through our taxes etc…and to make matters worse, these jerks collect every dime they make from other people’s hard earned money under the guise of “give your money TO JESUS!”

    It is good for the public to know how some of these jerks spend on themselves and their families. I’m sure the average person in their church does not live like that and has a very difficult time making ends meet in many cases.

  229. Andy says:

    Linda, so don’t “engage it”. It just means that it’s personal, not principle. I get it.

  230. Linda Pappas says:

    Here, Here, Alex and Michael.

  231. Linda – I don’t think it is brain washing – I think it is pastor worshiping.

    If these guys had to use the historic liturgy it would take them out of the focus – no more time for the funny stories, no more jokes, no more personal tales of greatness and overcoming.

    They would just be the guy up from leading the liturgy of word and sacrament – not Jimmy Fallon.

  232. Alex says:

    MLD said, “They would just be the guy up from leading the liturgy of word and sacrament – not Jimmy Fallon.”


    Very good point, one good thing the Lutherans do IMO, though I am guilty of liking a little schtick to go with my McSermon.

  233. Linda Pappas says:


    Now you are being a bully. Make it what you would like it to be.

    I’ve stated my position.

    Now, can we get back to what Michael posted.

    Why do you think that the congregation should not take on a more active role in being good stewards of where their hard earned money is be allotted?

  234. Alex says:

    MLD, church is boring.

    I guess I’m OK with a little Jimmy Fallon, as long as the dude isn’t Jimmy Felon behind the scenes.

    Fine, tell the jokes, be the center of attention, just protect kids, be responsible with the Jesus money and don’t be a (rhymes with swoosh).

  235. Andy says:

    Linda, I already commented on what Michael posted. It’s sour grapes on small-time guys.

  236. covered says:

    Was it Bob Sweat that said that his elders would pray like thus, “God you keep him humble and we will keep him poor” whoever it was, my church lives by the same standard 🙂

  237. EricL says:

    Andy has worked hard trying to derail this thread. Don’t let him. This topic is too important and not just for CCers. Too many churches have poor oversight of their lead pastor. It begs for abuse, no matter how sincere the original intent, and it is time for congregants to start asking the tough questions. But before the can ask such questions, they need to know the need for it. As someone said above, people can be too trusting at times.

  238. brian says:

    Good article Michael

    Good opening and laying the groundwork. Now to the truly sacred “a compensation package in excess of $300,000 for the pastor” Good for him, rake it in that is really good.
    “First, you establish yourself as the supreme leader beyond a doubt.”
    Yes this is critical
    Legally, you need a board.

    Yes but you can skirt this and basically lie about it, which is what you should do because you make more money and have more power, that too is very good.
    “You keep all the numbers in house and if anyone asks about them you know they are agents of Satan sent to trouble the sheep.
    They are disposed of quickly, in Jesus name, amen.”
    Exactly and it should be done with extreme prejudice and one should be extremely vicious to both the troublemaker and the family. Very vicious.
    “Thus the church spends almost $175,000 on radio time, even though donations from the broadcasts only bring in about $9000.”
    Now this is extremely troubling and needs to be dealt with right away, unless by being on the radio the Pastor can sell more books and literature and thus generates more revenue for the pastor then its ok, but if it is losing money denying the pastor an even bigger raise it should be dealt with. That is not tolerable and is deeply sinful.

    Of course I dont believe any of this but some sure seem to.

  239. Linda Pappas says:


    I think it for many, the bottom line is holding up the Pastor above the word and Name of the Lord. But why—–what is being taught oftentimes is pretty good teaching, yet it contradicts what they do in practice. Therefore, what is driving this belief that the Pastor should be blindly followed while their families are ignored and their marriages are ruined? Could it be any one or a combination of the following:

    1) No accountability for them therefore no accountability towards the leadership.
    2) Pure lack of information
    3) Fear of conflict, confrontation, and loss of a social circle.
    4) Peer pressure
    5) A belief that authority cannot be questioned—only obeyed and followed.
    6) Or the belief that, “we’re all broken so why try to fix it,” mentality.
    7) Don’t judge, lest ye be judge—–

    These are all evidence of one being brain washed.

  240. brian says:

    Linda wrote”This budget obviously does not take into consideration the countless hours and out of pocket costs assumed by those who do voluntary chores, mission work, and contributes time, money, and materials to build, to refurbish, or to replace that which is own by the Moses Pastor.”

    Hey I will be honest I put in my 30+ years into ministry and I have been active all that time though most of it was outside the normal pathway so basically its not real ministry. I have always self funded my ministry to the tune of, well, quite a bit. Much less now do to the fact I have lost 30% of my salary even though my hours and responsibilities increased. But our program is still running. But when I look at this pastor’s income and retirement etc. I am jealous and extremely ticked off at myself almost to the point to being disgusted with myself. If I made that kind of money I could have taken care of my family better. Of course I was there and was with them during their last days and all that other irrelevant twaddle. But if I had money their time here would have been easier. It is a sin I will never forgive myself for and I actually dont even want God to forgive me for. I should have made more money like this guy. Part of me knows he is right and Im an idiot.

  241. Linda, I don’t think you realize how big the backdoor is at CC – People are always coming in the front door and a similar number go out the back. The core that stays would jump on a grenade for the pastor no questions asked.

    Others like myself saw through it all on a social or teaching level and left,CC is great for new believers – an entry level church. After a few years you have heard it all and the re runs begin as a new class has arrived. Perhaps it is the repetition vs growth that buys the blinded loyalty.

    I should be fair – it’s not a CC thing, it’s an Ameican Evangelical independent church thing.

  242. jlo says:

    In my early days of CC it would never have crossed my mind to question the pastors salary. I mean really, he was/is a man of God, so he would never take compensation beyond the norm.

    Shame on me for assuming. You know what they say when you ass-u-me.

  243. Joe says:

    Papa Chuck Moses was giving back around 90% of his salary back to the cccm. The audited church accounting docs, i wouldnt show how much he is giving back. What if he is giving back 65%, is he still a heretic. It seems in my life, often people who covet thy neighbors salary, are most often struggling financially.

  244. Linnea says:

    Forgive me for not reading the entire thread…but here’s my thought. I work in a government entity that is rife with corruption. Here a church entity is exposed for similar corruption. Now, picture coming before the Lord and explaining why the church wasn’t a refuge from world. Jesus weeps and these church leaders think they’ve gotten away with something. They are held to a higher standard. They fall very short of that standard. Guess what? Our creator understands all things. We have to keep the end game in sight.

  245. Scott says:

    Did the person who forwarded that budget to you receive permission to do so?

    In what capacity is he/she involved in that church which would allow him/her to release proprietary information?

    Seems shady to me. How would that be any different than a person who discloses information (without permission) they have access to at a bank, trucking company or doctor’s office?

    As far as the excesses of salary and benefits, as has been already stated here, I believe the people who give there could probably care less.

  246. Alex says:

    Scott said, “In what capacity is he/she involved in that church which would allow him/her to release proprietary information?”

    There is nothing “proprietary” about financials. You are thinking of something like a secret formula for the secret sauce or some trade secret or some patent etc.

    Scott said, “Seems shady to me. How would that be any different than a person who discloses information (without permission) they have access to at a bank, trucking company or doctor’s office?”

    The church is a Non-Profit Organization that receives special tax-free status from the public as does the Pastor. There is also the fact that the Pastor/church solicits money from the public under the guise of “give your money to Jesus!”

  247. Alex says:

    Many sources do say the same thing about Chuck Smith…he was not in it for the money, it appears.

    Chuck Smith did make a comfortable middle class living, but he was not a rich man. The wealth of Calvary Chapel is in the assets that are owned and controlled by whoever controls CC Costa Mesa and the Radio Stations and the Intellectual Property of Chuck…which the Smith family is now battling over in court.

  248. brian says:

    “these church leaders think they’ve gotten away with something.” I understand your point but in any practical measurable observable view they did, have, and will continue to get away with it. Again I do understand your point and I am not saying this against your statement which I found very correct. It just seems that way to me, but I am a bit skewed which is quite evident in these areas.

  249. Alex says:

    Is what the CEO’s on Wall Street do “legal”? Only b/c of loopholes.

    Is it “criminal” from a moral perspective? Yes, many times.

    Same applies here.

  250. Alex.
    “The church is a Non-Profit Organization that receives special tax-free status from the public as does the Pastor…”
    where do get your information – off the back of a cereal box?

    Churches are untaxed because of the 1st amendment. A church that does not file 503c is still tax exempt because the 1st amendment says you cannot make laws against churches … that includes tax laws.

  251. london says:

    Are we sure that the people of the church in question don’t know the details of these financials and just don’t care?
    How would we know that for sure?

  252. Scott says:

    Alex, you’re saying that anyone can request full disclosure, including K-1’s from a non-profit and they are required by law to give it?

  253. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, churches are taxed in a variety of ways. The extent they are not taxed is due to the tax laws of the land (as enforced by the IRS), which could be changed by Congress and the President at any time.

    Of course, just as was the case with the first individual income tax laws, any new church tax laws could be challenged on a Constitutional basis, and (like the indiv laws) the Supreme Court could allow them to stand.

    This is true of literal churches (like the first church I pastored which we started) and true of 501c-3 churches which most of us are these days for a few reasons other than taxes.

  254. Just saying says:

    Michael’s description sounds a lot like Applegate. But I’m sure they have more than 3000 attending and take in a whole lot more. So it couldn’t be them. Could it?

  255. Alex says:

    MLD, you are incorrect, you view through a Lutheran lens and have made a mistake as it relates to “independent” church corps.

  256. Babylon's Dread says:

    I do not have a 501c3 precisely because the law does not require it and you cannot be limited by the lack of it. Sometimes large donors ask for it but if you provide them with the text of the tax law they usually are assuaged by that

    501c3 is a backdoor control mechanism that I encourage churches to resist. If you are part of an organization they often carry one that covers you.

  257. Alex says:

    MLD, your local Lutheran church is under the umbrella of Big Lutheran and their 501c3.

    You’ve gots to have the 501c3 status if you collect more than $50,000 per year (I think that’s the threshold).

    It is classified under “Non-Profit” and tax exempt status but there are rules, you can’t just open up a church and not pay taxes…as you seemed to state.

  258. Alex says:

    Tax-Exempt Status
    Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, such an organization must meet the following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout this publication):
    n the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific, or other charitable purposes,
    n net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder,
    n no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation,
    n the organization may not intervene win political campaigns, and
    n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.
    Recognition of Tax-Exempt Status
    Automatic Exemption for Churches
    Churches that meet the requirements of IRC section 501(c)(3) are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS.
    Although there is no requirement to do so, many churches seek recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS because such recognition assures church leaders, members, and contributors that the church is recognized as exempt and qualifies for related tax benefits. For example, contributors to a church that has been recognized as tax exempt would know that their contributions generally are tax-deductible.

  259. Michael says:

    Again, stop trying to guess…I’m not divulging who this is.
    If you ask your pastor, he should be happy to tell you where he stands.

    That’s the point of this exercise.

    No, the people in this church do not know.
    No, I didn’t get permission to view them.

    No, I will not tell anyone where I got them.

    End of that discussion.

  260. Alex says:

    Well, kookie there, I guess you can simply hang your shingle, call yourself a church and not pay taxes.


  261. Alex says:

    …what a great racket. Seriously.

  262. Linda Pappas says:

    Thinking MLD means a 501 C Non-Profit under church organization.

    The way I understand this that although they do not need to do this under the first amendment, they do so to protect the assets in the event of liability. In trade they must have a board to provide a check and balance to make sure such things as:

    “The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.”

    does not take place. In other words, they must prove that all donations are being used for the mission set forth in their bylaws and not being used primarily for the purpose bringing a profit to those in charge or have their name on the assets which this event, if it was taking place would be considered to be “inurement.”.

    This is why people who donate their time, resources, and funds to anything need to know how much of such is being used or going directly to the cause which one is giving and how much of it being funneled into the pockets of those who are running the show.

  263. Steve Wright says:

    Dread I think there are tremendous challenges to not having one…there were when I started a church without the 501c-3. And we just rented and had a small checking account. I’m not sure how you do it but the only negative is you can’t actively politically campaign (which as we all know does not mean you can’t make political statements, endorsements and criticize the government). I see no disadvantage today in a 501c-3

  264. Linda Pappas says:

    Alex, I like your list better than mine 🙂

  265. Joe says:


    If you disclose the church not the person who gave them to you because we want them protected. Ill pay your rent or mortgage for 3 months, provided its not over 2k a month.

  266. Alex says:

    Well to be truthful…many CC’s and other evangelical churches are lying and full of b.s. when it comes to being tax exempt.

    The key beneficiary of each Franchise is the Senior Pastor and that pastor’s family…they make big chunks of money off the “Non-Proift” organization and it is essentially a family business that has made many men and their families very well off.

    I can name a hundred such Franchises just in Calvary Chapel.

  267. Michael says:


    My word has never been for sale.
    May your money rot in your hand.

  268. Alex says:

    I think the IRS needs to crack down on churches much more. The taxes they don’t pay have to be picked up by other small, medium and large businesses and you can’t tell me a Pastor making $100,000 to $1,000,000 plus per year with salary and benefits is a “Non-Profit”

  269. As Babs said the 501C3 is not what grants a church tax exempt status. However, if you look closely at some of the 501C3 paperwork, churches have compromised themselves as a corporation are now in a quasi partnership with the government.

  270. Linda Pappas says:

    Yes, I believe there is a rule that if you have contributed to a non-profit then you have a right to have a financial statement.

  271. Joe says:

    Scripture does call it filthy lucre. But if you gave your word, i would have done the same.


  272. Alex,
    “you can’t tell me a Pastor making $100,000 to $1,000,000 plus per year with salary and benefits is a “Non-Profit””

    Sure I can – look many non profits pay a million dollars for the CEO – like the Red Cross and other non profits. There are hospitals that pay those salaries that are non profits

  273. Alex says:

    MLD said, “Sure I can – look many non profits pay a million dollars for the CEO – like the Red Cross and other non profits. There are hospitals that pay those salaries that are non profits”

    Yes, which is why whistleblowers have drawn attention to those high salaries and there are blogs and other social media that exercise their First Amendment rights and speak against Non-Profits that abuse the process.

  274. Alex says:

    “An American multi-national corporation, which accepts millions of dollars in government funds, pays its top executives more than half a million dollars per year in total compensation, while simultaneously paying some of its employees less than the federal minimum wage.

    Some employees earn just 22 cents per hour.

    And the entire racket is perfectly legal thanks to a Depression-era loophole in federal labor law. Is now a good time to mention that this corporation also doesn’t pay any taxes?

    “Goodwill Industries is one of the most well-known charitable organizations in the United States, but most members of the general public are unaware that Goodwill exploits people with disabilities,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, which has organized a nationwide protest of offending Goodwill organizations. “We are conducting informational protests to make the public aware of this practice that, although sadly still legal, is unfair, discriminatory, and immoral.””–Huffington Post.

    MLD, is HuffPo and their sources “Criminal!” “Snitches!” “Voyeurs!” “Conspirators!” or whatever other vile names you used to call Michael?

  275. Alex, taxing the churches sounds like a pretty popular theme. Why don’t you get your favorite Idaho congressman to run his campaign on that theme and let’s get some action going in Washington DC.

    I actually think church tax exemptions are over rated. Pay you taxes and tell the government to go to hell. Tell your contributors to give to God without government aid.

    I once recommended to an SBC church that I chaired that we give up our tax exemptions and that we run our people openly for all local offices and campaign heartily for our national politicians who think like we do. But the rest of the church were a bunch of weenies and chickend out.

  276. Linda – why do you think these churches have no membership… to save on membership cards? It is by design so they (1) don’t have to open the books and (2) so they don’t have any “stock holders”.

  277. Alex says:

    MLD, you know as well as I do that the chances of Churches and Pastors letting that happen is about as good as the chances of Wall Street and the Banksters letting their Power and loopholes get undone.

    Zero chance.

    It is still right and righteous to call out the excesses and bad examples and I am still amazed that you and Xenia’s Consciences would be so skewed as to call Michael and his source “Snitches!” “Criminal!” “Voyeurs!” “Conspirators!” etc.

    Very concerning actually. When folks call right “wrong” and wrong “right” it is telling of a bad Conscience or very big lack of discernment.

  278. Alex says:

    MLD said, “I once recommended to an SBC church that I chaired that we give up our tax exemptions and that we run our people openly for all local offices and campaign heartily for our national politicians who think like we do. But the rest of the church were a bunch of weenies and chickend out.”

    LOL, it would be more honest as most churches do support candidates at the local and state and national level anyway. I witnessed that in spades growing up. My step-dad openly endorsed candidates for local elections all the time. Part of how he built his political connections locally. Very savvy at that.

  279. Linda Pappas says:

    Keep in mind there is difference between implied “members,” as all being members of the body of Christ and the bylaws set up to keep the giving units from holding anyone to an account or to at minimum exercise control over monies contributed.

    See: [PDF]The Law and Financial Transparency in Churches

  280. Alex,
    “MLD, is HuffPo and their sources “Criminal!” “Snitches!” “Voyeurs!” “Conspirators!” or whatever other vile names you used to call Michael?”

    I didn’t call Michael a single name – I said you supported crimminal actions – I called the people who gave out the financials snitches, I called those who were salivating to read the results Voyeurs and i don’t think I called anyone a conspirator, but I do get forgetful.

    I have learned not to address Michael with direct on shots as he has the moderators button 🙂

  281. Alex says:

    “Martin Luther’s Disciple says:
    January 31, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Alex – well by your own standards every church would need to account for any monies not spent on Jesus.
    This is where you have a vindictive soul. So, a thief steals the financials, you receive stolen property and then somehow you have convinced yourself that you are taking the high ground?
    I will say it – your actions are criminal. Xenia says it best – you are conspirators with snitches and cannot see who is the good guy and who is the bad.”

    That was all in the context of Michael receiving the financial info from his source. You did call Michael, essentially, all those things.

    I’m surprised he didn’t moderate you.

  282. How many here would give less to your church if the tax exemptions were gone? The only area I see being affected would be in estate planning.

    By far the majority of churches end up with close to zero on the before taxes line. I don’t see the big deal.

  283. Alex says:

    MLD, as usual my memory is correct and yours is wrong.

  284. Not so my friend -I addressed it to you.Notice how many times i used the word “you” – not he or him. But you can be offended. 😉

  285. london says:

    MLD – 288

    LOADS of people would give less if there was no tax benefit.

  286. Captain Xthian says:

    It was 1973.

    I had worked on CCCM project for three years at $3.00 an hour serving as a construction worker.

    I went from a shovel digging ditches to nailing on the roofing and painting the place.

    All of us men who worked there did the best that we could do because we were working as unto the Lord, and we were building a church for our Christian community to reside in.

    One day the head pastor called all of us to a meeting on the construction site.

    He proceeded to throw us under the bus, telling us that he was disappointed and that we were not giving it our all etc etc…

    I was totally blown away!

    This guy talking us down was a whole other man then the one I had always seen in the pulpit.

    He was very angry and disappointed that the project was not moving at a much faster pace, his pace.

    (I guess he was tired of the circus tent ministry in the parking lot and wanted that solid roof over his head).

    Here we were working for peanuts.

    The secular equivalent (at the time), to us was making around $8.00 an hour for doing the same jobs we were doing back then for $3.00 an hour.

    Quite a savings right there on payroll.

    We worked hard all week and on Saturdays as well.

    It really stumbled a lot of the guys when we saw how materialistic the pastor was being, telling us how much we were costing and how we were not as productive as we needed to be.

    It was quite obvious that he was acting not from the Spirit but from his flesh man.

    You can image how we all felt when years later it gets revealed that on the very day the head pastor stepped in to his pulpit in 1973 to perform his first marriage ceremony, all land and all the buildings had been fully paid for by the sale of a small corner to Shell Oil for a gas station!

    Jim Deimer, the head contractor, told us that we were doing nothing that called for that meeting. We were assured by him that the project was exactly on schedule and was taking no more time than a project that size would take to build.

    The interesting thing is the pastors two sons, to the best of my knowledge, only showed up a few times to do some framing, but were mostly absent for the duration of the project.

    I wonder if he said anything to them?

    Now here we are years later and the underbelly of these empires are starting to surface.

    The nepotism and the good ole boy network is unraveling.

    Judgment begins at the house of the Lord!

    God has His journalist…and O how they can write!

    You did as you were expected to do Michael.

    Peace on you.

  287. Alex says:

    MLD, if you think the “good guy” is the Pastor soliciting money from people “for Jesus!” while getting Tax Exempt status unlike the rest of us schmucks…while taking $320,000 per year of that money and much more with benefits etc…and that Michael’s source is the “bad guy” for sending him the financial info…then you are the one who cannot see the good guy from the bad.

    Here is another quote from your keyboard:

    MLD said to Michael, “What does that mean? What is it you want to do that you first must check the legality?
    As Christians, just because something can be done legally does not make it OK to do.”

    Just b/c the Pastors loophole the thing…doesn’t mean it’s OK to do. It’s immoral. It’s wrong.

  288. london says:

    Alex, please just give it a rest.

    If Michael wanted to call out MLD or Xenia for anything either of them said, he would have done it HOURS ago. No need to come in and try to start something up by saying things MLD and Xenia didn’t say.

  289. London,
    “LOADS of people would give less if there was no tax benefit.”

    Well we don’t know that do we. But I asked the question “who here…?” Would you give less?

    LOL – people who drop there $10 in don’t care about write offs

  290. Alex says:

    Good stuff Captain. You saw the real man under the facade. That’s how all of these guys are when push comes to shove. They aren’t special, they aren’t anointed. They are men.

  291. Alex, I said several times It’s not if I care or not because it is the business of others – I take care of my church, literally as the president of the congregation. But I did say that i have no idea what the Baptist church next door does with their finances and it is not my business.

    In other words, I am not going to go knock on their door and demand an accounting.

  292. london says:

    I never said people who drop off $10 would care. I said LOADS of people.
    There’s lots of people who donate to non-profits, and churches in order to get a tax write-off.

    I’m single, with a pretty decent income when I’m on a project. I would give less to any place that wasn’t able to provide a tax write off. I need to deductions.

    Also, I run a tiny little non-profit. I can promise you some people give us $ just so they can get a write off.

  293. Captain Xthian says:

    Ya Alex, I think that was a tough revelation to become aware of back then.

    To see the projected image in the pulpit as opposed to the reality of that moment.

    But God uses ordinary men to do His work.

    Inspite of us He manages to accomplish what He needs to through all of us.

    What will stand in the end is who actually did the will of the Lord.

    Yes we are just men, but men determined to do the will of the Lord inspite of ourselves.

    Integrity. It means a lot to the Lord.

  294. Alex says:

    london, I won’t address you after this, b/c you seem to have a many-years-long grudge for some reason, but they both did say those things, the record shows it factually and concretely.

  295. Linda Pappas says:


    @ 282 Exactly—it’s all in the Bylaws which can be changed at any given moment. One day you are a member, the next day you are not. Same goes with Board members.

  296. Alex,
    I think this is an hilarious conversation. I would not set foot in a CCfor many of the reason’s you address and would not contribute a dime.

    You on the other hand are a kool aide drinking attendee and contributor to you local franchise. As Linda spoke earlier today about brainwashing in those churches, many would say you were brainwashed into defending you local CC crook / thief /abuser or whatever else you call those who hold to the brand.

    Oh the irony.

  297. london says:

    I don’t have a grudge, I just don’t want to have to spend time scroll through a ton of comments where you and MLD play “yes, you did….” ” no I didn’t”… for hours.

  298. London – you give to church for the write off??

    I don’t write off my church contributions because what i do at church is no business of the IRS.

  299. london says:

    You’re putting words in my mouth. You asked who would give less. I gave you an example of why a person might give less by using myself as an example.

    And you’re in a different financial situation than I am, so good for you if you don’t claim it. There’s no shame in claiming it.

  300. Captain Xthian,
    So who are you really mad at -Chuck and the church or yourself for being a sucker working for 3 bucks?

    When do we admit that when we get let down by people it is because we counted on them and not ourselves?

  301. London, I didn’t ask why other people would give less – I asked specifically about the people here – as in “would you give less?”

  302. If the tax write offs were removed, would you give less to your church is my specific question

  303. Alex says:

    MLD, the Boise franchise does things the right way. It’s one of the good examples. My support of Bob Caldwell demonstrates that I am not anti-CC, I am anti-bad-practices in CC.

    There are many good Calvary Chapels and many good Calvary Chapel pastors, that is a fact.

    It is also a fact that many get away with a lot of garbage and get quite wealthy off of Jesus.

    Salaries/comp. packages over $300,000 per year are at or near the Top 1% in the US. In most states, near the Top 1% in all States in the Top 2%.

  304. Linda Pappas says:

    Captain Xtian

    I, for one am really grateful to for showing the flip side this head pastor. Yours is not the only witness to this man holding such a heart towards others. So, your experience is not that one being in a bad mood, but rather that which goes on behind the pulpit.

    The real head Pastor, not the smiling–Jesus loves you and may God countenance shine upon you phrase—-nope, instead, “I want what I want when I want it and if I can’t have it, I will pick up my ball and go start my own church where people will do what I say and love me in the doing of it, or wished that they had.

    Anything beyond this is not my affair.

  305. Linda Pappas says:

    grateful towards you for showing the flip side

  306. Alex,
    I am sure the Jim Jones supporters sounded the same as you – our guy isn’t like the other guys.

    You were out, you were free from CC. You bragged about your pastor, the open finances, the membership, the plurality of elders and the non doctarian teaching.

    But the cultic draw was too much for you too resist. You had to be with the cool kids, back under the CC trance.

    It’s OK, as you say “It’s Merica!”

  307. Linda Pappas says:

    @ 295

    I never gave because of a tax write-off. So that would be the basis of my giving. The basis of my giving is how much of what I contribute is going directly to those in need.

  308. Linda Pappas says:

    So that would NOT be the basis

  309. Alex says:

    MLD, we are still members at the other church as well.

    Both churches do things about as well as they can be done in our opinion. Both are good examples of the good in “church” in general.

    Support the good, call out the bad.

  310. Alex says:

    Some of the CC franchises and other Evangelical franchises are cults of personality and bad churches. Many churches are not that way and are good churches.

    I don’t understand why you have a problem with a position that seeks to affirm he good examples and call out the bad examples.

  311. Linda Pappas says:

    Perhaps, part of the reason, Alex return to a CC which he felt was on the up and up was to enable him to work within a CC to bring about changes by working with a Pastor who is also on the regional board with the Association.

    I don’t think I ever heard or read that He hated CC, rather that he was going hang in their to provoke a change to get rid of corruption and abusive behavior by those particularly in or behind or alongside of the pulpit.

  312. Alex-your affirmation of your churches is no different that the affirmation of the attendees of the churches you describe as problematic. They too think their pastor walka on water and can do no wrong… just like you. 😉 .

  313. Linda Pappas says:

    apologize for the misspelling and omissions.

  314. Linda, I guess what you describe for Alex is no different than the guys who go on TBN. Yes perhaps they will change TBN into a sound teaching factory. LOL

  315. Alex says:

    MLD, not at all. I expect my Pastors to be men capable of wrong which is why I require Transparent Finances, Child Protections etc for us to attend.

  316. Alex says:

    Hey, I get why many folks like to attend a Calvary Chapel or other Evangelical church…if you’ve ever been to a Lutheran church…it’s BOOORRRINNNGGGG LOL. A bunch of old people and a guy in a funny robe.

    Just have Open and Transparent finances, protect the kids, don’t preach abuse and don’t be a jerk…then Evangelical churches and even CC’s are fine.

  317. Linda Pappas says:


    I think the first go around relating to MLD playing a provocateur settled things down. MLD was able to put that role off and thus more willing and I must saying in a large part have contributed quite nicely in adding food for thought without being I think someone mentioned, a type of a troll–which is never helpful to anyone.


  318. Boring is the Bible example for a church service – Acts 20:9

    “Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.”

    I have said it many times, after Jesus, Paul was an original Lutheran.

  319. Linda Pappas says:

    MLD — sorry to hear you see it this way.

    I happen to view what Michael, Alex, and others who blog about this and live it out in their lives to bring about change as being effective—although change is slow, change is evident in some corners of those who have drunk or served the Kool-Aid.

    It’s now getting where instead of me bringing up these topics that I am hearing more in the byways about them and sites like Alex’s and Michael are being used to as references to gain more insight into these type of issues within church organizations.

    Some of us just need to wash our hands while encouraging those who are fighting the good fight, as we move on to healthier environments.

  320. Alex says:

    Well, you can cross Raul Ries off the list…I have his 990 and he makes at least over $450,000 per year from his CC franchise.

  321. Linda Pappas says:


    “Just have Open and Transparent finances, protect the kids, don’t preach abuse and don’t be a jerk…then Evangelical churches and even CC’s are fine.”

    Not quite, you can preach all you want on doing right and treating other well—so what? Are people being enabled to abuse others directly or indirectly. Not just kids, Alex.

  322. Alex says:

    I am totally in the wrong gig.

  323. Linda, no where have I defended bad behavior of pastors, hiding finances or large salries. Look all around and you will not find it.

    I am one who works in churches, getting my hands dirty (this is my 3rd church being board president) making sure my churches literally run “by the book”. I don’t put up with crap at church – I even told the tale of how we suspended our pastor at one time for 7 months.

    So I don’t want to hear abut it, in my churches. Let others handle theirs without making it a big public display… as in the oft asked question … of the 3,000 attendees, how many have registered dissatisfaction or complained about not having access to the finances?

  324. Linda Pappas says:

    Thanks for letting us know about RR.

  325. Linda Pappas says:


    It’s good that your church denomination are better about these things. They have along history behind them that have now enable you and the congregation to enjoy such reassurance in knowing how their contributions are spent.

    However, CC overall are not where your church denomination is. It did not start off as a Moses Model, thus CC’s congregation is seeing things from that which most likely don’t have a clue that they have every right to know these things. Being so, there are others who know different and have chosen to wake them up out of their sleep due to the corruption and abuses which have taken place within many of them. That is right and good to do. As a former CC attendee, your contribution can be that which you so gracefully, I might add shared about regarding how you came to understood that it was time for you to move on, rather than to stay to change anything, but to take a more active role in a new church that practiced a healthier form of accountability. Although I do worry about your role as one that might crack heads, if anyone gets out of line 🙂

  326. Alex says:

    Add Sharon and Raul together and their take is over $500,000 per year. Nice work!

    Gosh Jesus is awesome!!!

  327. Linda, I can’t believe you are now making excuses as to why CC does wrong … they don’t know better.

    This is ridiculous. Chuck Smith camw from a denomination that had open finances and accountability -he rejcted that and grew a system that would also deliberately not be open. He attracted followers who wanted the same – both leaders and follower.

    Do you not realize that in these churches the people do not want to know how the sausage is made … they just want the finished product each Sunday morning and now you want to force them to watch sausage being made.

  328. Linda Pappas says:

    That would be above the medium income of the communities which his church gathers together, as wells as, the typical person that attends.

  329. Linda Pappas says:

    C’mon MLD—certainly you know better than to believe I am excusing them.

    There is no excuse for those who know the truth but enables corruption and abuse.

    However, it is not all that uncommon that those being fleeced in one way or another don’t have a clue until they themselves has suffered something up close and directly. The system is such that does not permit these things to be aired or questioned or investigated with particality and being a respector of person, so to speak.

    CC (leadership) does what do because they can. Who is going to stop them. And this is why CS set the system up the way that he did and modeled to the boys how to and when to do the same.

    Yes, I absolutely agree with you, CS didn’t just pick anyone to ride alongside of him. Nor did he foster an environment that supported accountability unless it personally threaten the assets. But the attendees didn’t see this, nor were they made privy to the fact that they really were not consider the church, or members. they were conditioned to be the dumbest of sheep and to follow blindly a man who turn the entire congregation into serving him instead, using the Lord’s name in the doing of such.

    CS and CC’s primary targeting is not among the mature and older adults, but among the youth and those who have been caught up in a lifestyle of addictions or broken homes or being bored and beaten down by denominational churches. Perfect population to say, hey it’s all good, Jesus loves you just as you are—now don’t rock the boat, serve Jesus, and give what you have. Just don’t ask us for help—God will provide for your needs–just trust in Him.

    At the same time, I agree with you—more and more people are not interested in knowing simply because they do not want to grow up and do the hard work of being responsible and holding one another to an account. They could care less if the pastor, or anyone is cheating on their taxes, committing adultery, viewing porno, or even smoking a little weed. I think, because they are doing these things themselves.

    So sin is minimized and who are they then to call out the leadership. Here’s the clincher, MLD—it is sin that blinds the eyes of those who commit and those who enable corruption and abuse. They are without excuse, for sure. Yet at the same time, are we not to have compassion upon them and to encourage those who are attempting to bring truth into the light so that this church who may be practicing such things can repent and move towards being a healthier church like yours is in the way it is governed and sees after its members, instead of their own interest instead.

    It’s so much easier becoming part of a group think mentality than to face reality and say—-wait a minute, this is not right and as for me and my house, I will serve the Lord and not man.

  330. Linda Pappas says:

    Laughing at myself:

    ” The system is such that does not permit these things to be aired or questioned or investigated with particality and being a respector of person, so to speak.”

    (It’s late) Meant to type:

    The system is such that does not permit these things (issues) to be aired or questioned or investigated without impartiality or being a respecter of person, so to speak.

    Being so, the group becomes paralyzed without even knowing it and in this they take on the same mantra as those who are brain washing them. He who control the information and communication is he who rules over those who have been made to think to do otherwise is being disobedient, rebellious, divisive, bitter, or one who has a bee in their bonnet, without cause.

    Very effective method used by those who like the attention, demands loyalty, while manipulating everyone into believing they are what they are not. That is, a true shepherd or leader or member of the body of Christ.

  331. Nonnie says:

    Look at all the people who came on here wanting Bob Coy back, as soon as he left. Remember all the “Judge not, lest you be judged…..” that we heard?

    If people don’t care about their pastor being an adulterer, and still on the church payroll, receiving half a million from the church, then I’m guessing there are people that don’t care that their pastor is making $300,000 + off their contributions.

    I thought for sure that Bob Coy’s church would start bleeding finances once it came out about his half million severance package, but it seems people just don’t care where the money goes. They love their church and are happy to give.

    To each his own.

  332. Andy says:

    “They love their church and are happy to give.”

    And why not? What all the complainers here don’t realize is, that people aren’t going to change just because you all don’t approve. The bottom line is that if a person is being fed and spiritually lifted up, they will support it. As for the size of the salary, I’m sure they didn’t start there from day one of the church’s existence. They were possibly meeting in a home or tiny rented space, working a side job. That kind of thing possibly went on for years. And then God blessed. If you don’t want God’s blessing, that’s your problem.

  333. Mrs. TDoS says:

    I am late to this conversation, but I wanted to mention the situation at the church we left in CA. The pastor had all family members on staff, included the one strung out on drugs. I believe this guy now leads the children’s ministry. The pastor drove a Lexus, took all family and their spouses, kids to every Israel trip, missions trip. I don’t know the financial details, but I know he did not want to give to the community when a staffer would bring needs to his attention, lots of time was spent at the beach or eating sushi. He sent his wife and her friend on 6 week stay at a retreat, so she could try and get over a sickness. His son in law,,who did the church’s books bought a large house and had a swimming pool put in, in a time when the economy had plummeted and us regular folk where just trying to stay afloat. I guess I am just disgusted with the disconnect. HOW does a pastor, who really does love Jesus become like this? On another note, heard a great interview with a guy who investigated the Vatican bank. Now there is some criminal activity! But the Vatican is a sovereign state, so they go freely, awash in immorality. Jesus come quickly.

  334. Mrs. TDoS – good to see you, it’s been awhile.

    So, is this the reason you left the church?

  335. Andrew says:

    My ex CC pastor says he and his congregants are not Christians but rather fully devoted followers of Christ. I’m not sure what that means but I’m glad there are those here that can just call themselves Christians. There is nothing better than that title.

  336. The solution to all of this is congregational polity. Some here have called it evil, and the business meetings are certainly boring, but I know exactly what my pastor makes and have input into what that figure will be.

  337. Captain Xthian says:

    “Captain Xthian,
    So who are you really mad at -Chuck and the church or yourself for being a sucker working for 3 bucks?

    When do we admit that when we get let down by people it is because we counted on them and not ourselves?”

    It was not that I was mad at all.

    All of us worked as unto the Lord joyfully and not for financial gain. We actually thought we were helping the church by taking a hit on our pay checks “for the Lord.”

    And it wasn’t that we counted on ourselves or the pastor.

    It was honestly the disheartening realization that the man was not at all like the image he was projecting from the pulpit.

    During the hippy days it was termed “plastic,” meaning that he was just a poser and not at all the loving man like he was wanting people to think he was.

    Over the years more and more incidents revealed the flip side of his character to others.

    He was not alone in his duplicity of character there at CC.

    There were others just like him.

    One fella even bragged about the harm he had done to some of the brothers with the power of his position.

    There was most definitely a good ole boy behind the scenes camaraderie of the staff. They would joke about some of the other ministers behind their backs.

    If you were not part of that inner-behind-the-scene crowd you were marginalized and expendable.

    The underbelly of that church organization stunk to high heaven.

    It is only a matter of time before everything is exposed and revealed to the light of day.

    “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all” Luke 8:17.

    Today we are seeing this take place more and more as the light shines on these unspiritual men who have taken advantage of the ability to prosper from the people of our churches.

    Hard working people are collectively providing a wonderful life for these men and their families.

    I don’t think that God had intended that what has been given freely to all of us, His Word, should be utilized to make some men and their families wealthy at the expense of others.

    Ask the early Maranatha musicians, who basically provided for themselves while in their music ministries, about the abuse they received and the theft of what should have been the fruits of their music ministry for themselves at the hands of these corrupt leaders in the church.

    MLD, I am sure that you are greatly respected and held in high regard for your position in your church community because of your honesty and transparency in your dealings, and rightfully so.

    I could only wish that the men who ran the CC system of things were men such as yourself.

    Men of integrity and who have no hidden side or agendas, men who call an ace an ace and a spade a spade.

    I honor you and bless the Lord for you!

  338. Captain X,
    “It was not that I was mad at all.” You sounded mad as you looked back on it today.

  339. Josh has it right – there is a business side to church .. and God rules there also.

    People who want to deny this are living in a spiritual LA LA land.

  340. Mrs. TDoS says:

    MLD, thank you, good to see you too! We did leave that church for these and so many other reasons. Asked people why they chose to stay and the consensus seemed to be because of those that they served- the children or young people for whom they ministered to. We moved to the east coast and ended up at another Calvary. That was 8 years ago, but I am beginning to question this one too! Yikes.

  341. Captain Xthian says:


    i guess I am irritated by insincere men in ministry and it comes across as mad.

  342. Andrew says:

    Thanks so much for this eye opening article. This sounds eerily similar to my old CC who would frequently mention the poor in his social justice campaigns yet have his entire family on the payroll. Pretty good gig for his family and now the next step for his vision is multi-site campuses. Knowing from experience I know if this kind of criticism would come his way, he would immediately turn the conversation around and say that some think we are the bank of CC but welfare is administered by the state and not the bank of CC. Also you will hear quite frequently that you get what you pay for. If you pay the pastor little you will get what you pay for. If you pay the pastor a monkey’s salary than you will get a monkeys worth of ministry. However, the reverse was also stated that if you pay your pastor very well, you will also get what you pay for.

  343. church roadkill says:

    Mrs TDos – I know the church you’re speaking of and that’s only the tip of the iceberg! I have first hand knowledge of funds being used to buy things for the family and then being counted in the budget report as benevolence. Qualified, godly staff members being summarily dismissed for no good reason and then replaced with family members or other trusted friends. The friends of those who were let go who were still attending were many times “bought off” with things like car payments so they would either not leave or think badly of the pastor. I could go on and on…

  344. Michael says:


    You’re welcome.
    It’s been quite an unpleasent couple of days, but if it helps, it’s worth it.
    I think…

  345. Alex says:

    Michael, I have Raul Ries’s 990’s for 2011, 2012, 2013…do you want them?

  346. Jim says:


    In the real world, are you an obnoxious boor who bullies women, or do you save that for the internet?

  347. Michael says:


    After yesterday, I want you to publish them. 🙂

  348. Alex says:

    Raul Ries, Greg Laurie, Bob Coy…many others…making a lot of money as “servants” of the Lord under the auspices of “give your money TO JESUS!”

    Is it legal? In most cases, technically, as long as they don’t misuse the petty cash or not report income etc…but is it MORAL, is it right?

    I think it’s criminal, I think it is stealing from Jesus from a Moral Perspective.

  349. Alex says:

    I’ll publish them, but I need you to fix my site 🙂 It’s fubar.

  350. Michael says:


    Let me get some stuff cleaned up and I’ll take a look.

  351. Alex says:

    Thanks Michael and I appreciate you and your work and I’m happy we’re on a good track and I’ll keep it that way on my end.

  352. Jim says:


    Pay the man 🙂

    We need to stand together as Michael reluctantly embraces entrepreneurship.

  353. Alex says:

    Jim, agreed…and I am signing up for his new venture once it’s ready…it’s a great deal for a small biz as long as it works.

  354. Alex says:

    I’m rooting for Michael’s success and I will be one of his biggest evangelists if the service works well. It’s a solid need in the small biz community as well as the gun community. I’ll let him tell you about it when he’s ready but everyone can use it if you ship anything.

  355. Michael says:

    I hope to make my big announcement on Friday…thanks for the support my friends.

  356. Jim says:


    It’s a no brainer for small biz. I don’t know things work for FFLs, but I’ll be asking for your input so I can get my LGS’ on board. I would think that distributors like AIM and PSA would benefit as well.

  357. a small town pastor says:

    Sometimes it just has to be said.

    No one is getting rich in my church. We operate on shoestring budget, and are very careful how we spend money. We try to help the poor, responding to needs as they come up, sometimes even giving away half of our operating expenses for the month.

    My son works at the church 15-20 hours a week. He gets less each month than some of you do in a day. He was not only the most qualified among us to do what he does, he was also the only one willing to do the work.

    Giving is down, several have left town. We had a good prudent reserve, and that is what is currently keeping us a float. I felt it that establishing a reserve was the right thing to do in times of plenty, although I took some harsh criticism because a few thought we weren’t giving enough to other christian agencies. Yes, the books are available for those who would like to inspect. So much for transparency, but how can you get so angry about a church trying to save money….particular when our annual budget is under 60k a year?

    Do to low giving, I cut my salary in half… a unilateral decision, even though the elders were committed to maintaining it. Call me Moses if you want. I decided to stop paying my salary all together when we don’t have the giving to support it.

    I do have an additional income, my salary from the church was less than what some of you make in a week. I pay all my own expenses, our insurance (thanks to Obamacare, we could finally get insured), my cell, auto expenses, you name it.

    I am appalled that one of my peers would think that he is so entitled to such wealth and compensation for doing the work of the ministry. This is just another story that makes me ashamed to be a Calvary Chapel pastor. I can’t quantify for you, but I suspect many of these men have lost their way, and they are no longer qualified to speak into my life, and particularly not the ministry and church that God has called me to serve in.

    I don’t want your sympathy, nor am I looking for any pat on the back. I simply want to make all of you aware that there are still some of us out there who are doing the work of the ministry in difficult places where we are attempting to be faithful to what God has called us to do, and to the precious people he has called us to minister to.

    And to the Calvary Chapel Movement, there are several of us who do not buy into your show of opulence, nor acknowledge what you consider to be successful. We (the movement) project more of an Laodicean image than we do a church of brotherly love. We have sold our souls for a taste of the celebrity mentality and we have forgotten the blessing to personally give a cup of cold water to “the least of these”. This budget is but one example of the bad fruit that we have mutually sown together, and now the fruit of injustice is being reaped.

  358. Michael says:


    That was the comment of the week…excellent word.
    Thank you.

  359. Alex says:

    A Small Town Pastor, well done…I can hear Jesus say “well done good and faithful servant”

    The reason to call out the Big Guys who abuse the Jesus Money is so that those who are fooled can make a better decision to support smaller more accountable more responsible non-cult-of-personality churches like yours.

    The Mega-church needs to be pruned.

  360. Steve Wright says:

    Well done ‘a small town pastor’

    I hope you can email me sometime (see post 158) and I also hope you become comfortable enough here to post under your name someday.

  361. Wall on the Fly says:

    Finally, a cc voice of reason amongst all the hypocritical madness!

    Sadly, astp, you are just a nameless lower-tiered pion in the cc world…

    Now just move along everyone to the next post because it’s business as usual at
    cc disneyland…

  362. Nonnie says:

    Small Town Pastor and Steve Wright….Thank you both for your input on this thread. We need you here to speak for the churches and ministries trying to do it right.

  363. Rob says:

    If I was selecting members for my board…

    I would find guys with the highest possible salaries who were willing to serve. And, if by chance, the organization prospered, I would continue to solicit guys with even higher salaries to replace the earlier board members. I would make sure that the “independent board” that established my salary, was always composed of high-salary members eager to establish my well-deserved salary. (Of course, the influence would be reciprocated.)

  364. Mrs. TDoS says:

    Church roadkill , no! But really yes. I absolutely believe it. Wonder if we know each other. I went with the mass exodus in 2004 or so, when our beloved children’s ministry leaders “moved on”. We were counciled by many who left just before we did and the stories we could tell……shame upon shame. The man has none.

  365. Sinner and Saint says:

    Apparently not much has changed…

    “By the end of the fourth century the Church had virtually captured society. In worldly
    terms of status and social influence, the episcopate of even moderately important
    cities had become an established career to which a man might aspire for reasons not
    exclusively religious. Many local churches had become substantial landowners,
    supporting numerous poor folk. A bishop was expected by his people to be the
    advocate of their secular interests as well as their spiritual pastor. In ancient society
    success depended much on possessing a patron whose word to the right official could
    obtain for one a well paid post, or secure one’s liberty when there was trouble with
    the police or the tax authorities, or even influence the courts if one was a litigant. The
    development, from the third century onwards, of the veneration of the saints as
    ‘patrons’ whose ‘suffrage’ would be influential in heaven, was a natural transfer to
    the celestial sphere of the social situation on earth.” ~ Henry Chadwick (The Early Church)

  366. Surfer51 says:

    Captain Xthian,

    I think you were shocked when you came to realize that Pastor Chuck was human and not the elevated saint you may have made him out to be in your own mind.

    He did a lot of good the best of his humanity.

  367. church roadkill says:

    Mrs TDoS – it’s very possible. We were there at the beginning and “left” end of 1999. We were one of the first people the family ministry leaders talked to after they were dismissed and were able to assure them that everything would get better. We are still in contact with them and they are still serving God, leading little ones to Jesus.

  368. Mrs. TDoS says:

    Church roadkill, Ah I know you then. I know you know my husband, he shot that John 3:16 video with you I think. We are also close to the W family! Hope you are both doing well. It is so sad, the legacy of this church. For many years, I did grow, but I was ignorant of behind the scenes…..

  369. charles says:

    It was when I was working my second job at Rancho Cielo in Coto deCaza that my eyes were opened to giving to these mega church creeps.

    We were barely getting by raising three children both of us exhausted trying g to keep it together.

    We went to church ,tithed faithfully, served etc when I noticed the extravagant lifestyle a certain “you matter to God” and his family lived. This was before the book and the fame and fortune that came with it. Jeez they lived overly well. Snotty to the help too, especially the wife and kids. Downright cold.
    After that I titled my giving benevolence and reduced my giving to large churches, not only that but we were stupidly convinced our children needed to go to cccm elementary.

    At 875 a month for a good “Christian” education we sent them only one week we had a check bounce by accident , they proceeded to pull out kids out of class that instant and embarrassingly sat them in the office and called me to come get them and not come back until the bill was paid. wow how living those Calvary chapel people are and still are , shameful how they treat those on the outside , like we a re gutter trash.

    “Vengence is mine saith the Lord”

  370. Alex says:

    IRS docs show Raul Ries’s household takes home over $500,000 per year of the Jesus Money, while technically “legal” in most cases, is it Moral?

  371. Surfer51 says:
  372. Surfer51 says:

    That last video was so good I am sharing this one also…

  373. Francisco Nunez says:

    It seems that this post is mainly about excessive compensation. While excessive compensation and false profits in the church can certainly happen, the majority of shepherds I know are men who are true servants just like our brother ASTP shared. Thank you for sharing your heart ASTP.

    I’d also like to share there are also quite a few shepherds who don’t receive any compensation at all and who continue to serve the flock Christ has given them faithfully. These men don’t have to serve but rather get to serve the Church. These very men have shared at a recent conference that the Church today has too folks who are in ministry for the money and the Church doesn’t’ need more of them. As much as this statement may be difficult to swallow for some folks, I must say that I agree with them. One thing His Church does NOT need is more hirelings, celebrities, or quasi monarchs behind her pulpits, as we already have too many of them. On the contrary, the Church today is in desperate need……… of men who have a heart and burden for His people. One of these guys recently asked the question at a Mexico conference “If your church salary were halted for six months would you quit or would you continue to serve and trust Christ regardless?” I realize Christ gives us two possible scenarios in how we may respond when the time of testing comes. Which of these will it be ? John 10:11 or John 10:12. If we are truly Christ’s under shepherds we don’t have the freedom the respond by choosing John 10:12 when it comes to compensation.

    Folks often forget that in the US the backbone of the Church is comprised of fellowships with < 100 people who are led by tent making shepherds who love His flock and who are not in it for the money. These small churches are the backbone of His Church. Often times there shepherds don’t know how they are going to pay for next month’s rent but they lead Christ centered and loving communities. I’d just like to say that if your local fellowship fits this profile then then consider yourself blessed to be serving. May we not overlook this amazing blessing that we get to serve His bride whether with much or with little. May we continue to do it gladly.

  374. Pastor Darryl says:

    I used to be a CC assistant pastor for 12 years. I can tell you the Moses Model was in effect.
    I think the assistant pastors of cc churches and up getting the brunt of the deal. I work 60 hours sometimes 70 hours a week making the ministry my God instead of Jesus. Forget about family or family ties the ministry is your god.

    And don’t disagree with the pastor about theological ideas. Otherwise you’ll be on your way out. I learned to avoid talking about anything that was contrary to what CC believed. When the pastor told me that was not necessary for us to abide in Jesus Christ because that is it works salvation mentality I said that was enough and I went and started my own church.
    The cc denomination is getting too unbiblical for me.

  375. Babylon's Dread says:

    How’d that work out Darryl?

  376. Pastor Darry says:

    Awesome. Now live in small town. Everyone know everyone. Get to minister to a lot of people. Work a lot less hours. Enjoying God’s creation. Give out truth instead of denominational lies.
    Tired of churchianity.

  377. Babylon's Dread says:

    Very nice

  378. Alex says:

    Assistants and staff in CC’s…in general…get the way short end of the stick.

    The Senior Pastor and the pastor’s family make the big bucks…the assistant pastors and non-family staff, in most cases, get paid jack squat.

    It’s really a bad model and I’m not sure why people put up with it at the CC franchisees that practice it. Maybe they simply don’t know how much the pastor takes, but the bookkeepers know…and you’d think they’d have a problem with it and would talk (well in some cases they do).

  379. Bob says:


    Why do people put up with it?

    I assume that’s a rhetorical question, because I believe you know the answer to that question.

    I know a man who went from being an active participant in his SBC to an attender at a fairly large CC. I ask why?

    His answer, “It’s kind of nice not having to argue over what color to paint the walls. The pastor decides it all.”

    We get what we pay for.

  380. Brendt Wayne Waters says:

    A few thoughts:

    1. I could’ve sworn that the point of the OP was expressed in the conclusion: that church members should hold their churches financially accountable. Am I wrong? If I’m right, isn’t the “denomination” of the church staggeringly irrelevant? Or are we to believe that only CCs have financial transparency problems?

    2. One commenter wrote: “Why will CC churches not disclose this to the congregation?” I’ve been in CCs under 3 pastors over 14 years — all operated with the “Moses model”. We have an annual “family meeting” (usually held immediately after Sunday service to encourage as many attendees as possible) which includes a full disclosure of the church’s finances. Granted, salaries are not individually cited, but considering the fact that the non-pastor folks aren’t living in vans down by the river, it is pretty obvious that the pastor’s salary is not out of line at all. So please stop it with the inane “CC churches” over-generalization.

    3. Another commenter wrote: “And CC people. If you doubt this post, go ahead and ask your CC pastor about how the church spends its finances. You will be out of your ministry position faster than you can imagine.” In light of #2, I have a one-word response. Out of deference to Michael, I won’t write it here. But it has to do with the excremental output of male bovines.

    4. MLD, please feel free to tell me I’m full of said excremental output.

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