So much for striving to be above reproach.
Televangelist refuses to turn over more financial documents
Georgia televangelist Creflo Dollar is refusing to turn over any more financial documents to the Senate Finance Committee, even though they are overdue.
Five of the six ministries have either turned over documents or asked Grassley for more time, which the senator readily agreed to give them.
But Dollar and his World Changers Church have refused, and he's hired a lawyer. He said if Grassley wants more information he'll have to subpoena him to testify before the committee.
The Iowa senator is surprised by Dollar's ultimatum. "If he sticks to his guns," Grassley said, "this will be the first nonprofit that I know of that hasn't cooperated with us over the last five or six years."
Norman: Grassley runs into resistance from preachers
The deadline arrived on Thursday for six televangelists to respond to Sen. Charles Grassley's demand for detailed information about church money spent on Bentley cars, expensive furniture, travel, big houses and so on.
Not all complied, and complaints about Grassley's investigation came from at least two mega-ministries, both in Atlanta.
Grassley said that he hopes all will cooperate in the end. "It's a question of abiding by tax laws just like any tax-exempt group," he said. "I'm willing to give the ministries more time if that's needed, as long as they're cooperating and in contact with my office."
Whatever certain megachurch leaders are doing with the money they get from their followers they're not telling. I wonder if even the people in these churches know what their leaders are doing with their money. Do you know what the leaders of your church are doing with the money you give them?
Some seem to take issue with the fact that the probe into these churches' finances is coming from a government official. It is a shame indeed that it is a government official, rather than church members themselves, that is asking for transparency in church finances. Had Christians been a bit more careful with their money and held their leaders to higher standards than they have so far we wouldn't be in this situation. From a religious stand point church leaders and church members have failed in fulfilling their God given responsibilities. From a secular stand point the government has a responsibility to make sure that its citizens are not being swindled even if the swindler claims to be a religious entity.