There is a lot of talk about the ways in which the Government does Christians wrong. Taking prayer out of schools, legalizing abortion and physician-assisted suicide, supporting same-sex marriage, to name a few of the more contested issues.
How come nobody talks about the ways in which the Church does the Government wrong?
Ed Young Jr. is CEO of Fellowship Baptist Church of Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth. An estimated 24,000 people attend one of the five Fellowship Church locations each week. That 10,000 square-foot parsonage he lives in is no humble abode. It is valued at $1.5 million.
Ed’s father is CEO of Second Baptist of Houston, reportedly the second-largest church in the nation. (Joel Osteen’s church is first). As CEO, Ed Sr. overseas an annual budget of $53 million.
Last year Ed Junior went before Fellowship’s congregation and told them outright that they needed to have their tithes automatically withdrawn. Cards were handed out and people were told to provide the routing numbers for their bank accounts. The way to be a spiritual leader, Young yelled, is to “bring the tithe.”
Church in America has become big business. Billions of dollars worth of tax-free enterprise. The local church, big and small, is the lone place where fiscal accountability is totally self-governed. There is very little outside oversight. For far too many of these celebrity pastors, that’s like putting a kilo of cocaine in front of Charlie Sheen and telling him to behave himself.