(Series: "Christian Greed")

HOT TOPICS for (TV shows, Internet shows, etc.). These topics are the passion of Bernie Dehler. Please comment and let us know your opinion on these short articles.

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Bernie Dehler is the Executive Director of To learn more about Bernie and the ministry, click here.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Please see the new blog:

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pastor Hagee's scandal and petition

Pastor John & Diane Hagee
Pastor John Hagee

James 3:1
Not many of you should presume to be
teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Update: The Open Letter was sent to Pastor Hagee, with over 100 signatures, in Sept. 2005. I expect him to ignore this, so I will continue to collect more signatures to let him know that more and more will know of this scandal, until he repents. I've also sent out hundreds of postcards to other ministers, esp. those in San Antonio near his base church (Cornerstone Church), to let them know of this scandal in their neighborhood.)

Hi All-

I reworked and revised the petition, due to many discussions and prayer. The big change: rather than go to the IRS, the goal is to perfectly align with our Lord Jesus' advice in Matthew 18. This is implemented by:

1. Explaining the problem.

2. Writing an open letter to Pastor Hagee, asking him to repent and make amends for this serious lifestyle of sin/greed in his life and mishandling donor money.

3. Asking for witnesses (you) to sign the letter (petition) and stand-up to Pastor Hagee as a fellow believer. If he refuses to repent, we are not to treat him as a fellow believer in fellowship, but regard him as an unbeliever, according to our Lord Jesus.

Please go to the petition, read it, and see if you can sign it, if you haven't yet. Here's the petition:

It's very difficult to stand-up to a fellow believer that is sinning. It wasn't easy for Jesus to stand-up to the religious leaders of His day and clear the temple (Matt. 21:12-13), . It wasn't easy for the prophet Nathan to confront King David in his sin (2 Samuel 12:7). The choice: do you want to do what's easy, or do you want to obey God? It's bad enough that Pastor Hagee is a very visible minister, bringing shame upon the whole church (the body of Christ) by his greed. But he adds to that by condoning the sin by what is called "the prosperity gospel." Jesus said we can't serve two masters (God and money). Hagee says we can (as long as you give a minimum 10% to the church). What does God tell us? That we are to use ALL of our time, treasure, and talent as good stewards of God. We need to submit everything to God, not just 10% of our increase.

If you'd like to see a TV show I did on this topic, you can download it now to your computer and watch it, just click here. I have over 20 points regarding why Pastor Hagee should be exposed
and disciplined. Click here to see the MS PowerPoint slides.

To sign the petition, click here. The number of worldwide signers, I'm surprised, is VERY few.. Pastor Hagee must be laughing, saying "see, who cares?" However, much good is being brought by this, in that the news is going out. I firmly believe that it's impossible for this high-level sin to continue, and I think the crash will be mighty and loud when it happens... a mini-judgment day for him. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it ends up with some jail time for him. Speaking of jails and ministers, here's an article about the investigations with Benny Hinn (article) and Morris Cerrulo (article).

Some pastors have signed this, mostly friends of mine. Why won't more sign? Two reasons I've seen. One, they don't want to raise the issue, so people won't ask them how much THEY make... let's not go there... Two, some want to be positive-only. I consider this a compromise... I would call them "ear-ticklers" (see 2 Tim. 2:3, click here). They don't want to upset supporters or donors. Apparently, they fear man (or loss of income) more than God. Some fundraising experts say it costs about $20 to acquire a good email address, so they do what they can to protect these investments in donor acquisition!

Webcast Description:

Greedy Pastors
Sunday, August 7, 2005

Some prominent Christian pastors have serious greed problems, and they are not being confronted by fellow Christians, by and large. Bernie lays out the case why, as Christians, we need to take a stand against
this cancer in the Church. Bernie answers over 20 of the most common objections against standing-up to this immorality of stealing from God's people. These preachers are experts on Malachi Ch. 3, but act
as if they've never read Malachi Ch. 2! This kind of action by ministers really incenses our Lord to anger, as evidenced by when He turned over the tables in the Temple area.
Matthew 21:12-13 & Malachi 2:1-2

Malachi 2:1-2
"And now this admonition is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name," says the LORD Almighty, "I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.

By the way, I found out that his church compensation, as Senior Pastor, is also disclosed on the G.E.T. tax form. From both ministries combined, he is taking well over $1 million of donor's money, yearly... money that was intended to build the kingdom of God. What will his donors think when they learn of this? We'll soon see...

Please continue to send me feedback on the shows, webcasts, articles, etc. to: .


PS: Free Offers (click here):
1. Free book download about what tithing is, and why it isn't appropriate to
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PPS: Here's an interesting version of Matt. 18:

Mattew 18:15-17 (The Message)
15"If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him--work it out between the two of you. If he listens,
you've made a friend. 16If he won't listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. 17If he still won't listen, tell the church. If he won't listen to the church, you'll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God's forgiving love.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


(Click here to read/sign the petition on this money scandal)
(Your info will not go on any junk mail list;
totally confidential!)
(Goal: 1,000 worldwide signatures in 1 month, due by 9-1-05.)
(Please, tell your friends.)

NEW: Click here to see/download the TV program where Bernie makes the case for action against Pastor Hagee (To download to your computer, click on the link with your right mouse button and select "save target as")

Pastor John & Diane Hagee Pastor John Hagee

Luke 16 (Jesus Christ speaking):
13"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." 14The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."

This petition is published by Bernie Dehler on 7-26-05, and will end on 9-1-05. You can reach Bernie be sending an email to or by calling him at 503-317-0746 (please call him, Pastor Hagee). This petition is a volunteer operation by volunteers; no money is requested or needed to finance it.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Benny Hinn, your sins will catch-up to you!

Benny Hinn
wolf in sheep's clothing


It looks like justice may finally be coming to Benny Hinn. Finally, the IRS is looking into his scandalous operation, where he is reported to be taking around $1 million in compensation, per year, from the faitfhul donors to his ministry. See the article here.

Quote from the article:

Paul Nelson, head of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, said the Hinn ministry seems to have invited IRS scrutiny. "If I was their counsel, I would say that," he said. "I don't think anybody envisioned a $10 million parsonage. "That's absolutely grotesque."

I did a salary review of the most prominent media ministers with 501c3 (tax exempt) organizations. The analysis is here, and the actual data is here (MS Excel spreadsheet). As you can see, $150,000 or under is a good salary range for the top exec's. The scandalous people, like Benny Hinn, are making many multiples of this, which reveals their greed. By the way, Hinn doesn't release his salary and other info, hiding behind "church exempt rules." We all know his ministry is not a church, but a parachurch organization.

We all need to rise-up and be good stewards. We need to shun the greedy"ministers" like Benny Hinn, and reward those that are doing a great job, such as Focus on the Family and Coral Ridge Ministries. I urge you to contact the IRS and let them know that you are pleased that they are cleaning-up these abuses from the system.

...Bernie (

Friday, June 10, 2005

Greed: deception #4: Spirit vs. the Flesh (Money War)


Cognitive dissonance (click here for the dictionary definition)
Definition: Spirit vs. the flesh

There are people who don't know God. In this state, there is no problem between their actions and attitudes. When a person finds God, his mind is renewed(1), and he's open to godly things. However, a new battle emerges, called "The Spirit vs. the Flesh." Who will win? Usually, the flesh, because the spirit is weak(2). Is there victory? Yes(3), but it is by a secret.

The human tendency is to give in to one side, because the body can't take this tension for long. Either you need to sear your conscience to ignore it(4), or you need to have victory over the flesh. Psychologists call this warring condition "cognitive dissonance" (and this keeps them in business!).

The secret is to overcome the flesh by the Spirit, of God. If you fight the flesh, by the flesh, you will lose. The solution is to move from being self-centered to God-centered. This process takes our whole life, and it will never be accomplished while we are in the flesh, but we can get more mature and Christ-like with each passing day. The (secret) applicable verse is Galatians 2:20 (5).

Regarding money: yes, the flesh loves it, and wants all it can get. What does our flesh want to do with our money? Spend it on pleasure and comfort. What does God want us to do? He wants us to minister to others, even save them from basic problems, such as starvation. As James says(6), how can we say we love our brother if we'd rather have a dream house, dream car, dream vacation, dream "etc.," while our brothers/sisters in Christ starve to death? If you aren't aware of our brothers/sisters starving to death, please visit .

This is why it is so evil for religious leaders to be preaching "give-to-get" and the "health and wealth" gospel, as Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and other prosperity teachers do. The first step to fixing any problem is to first see the problem, so please search yourself and see if the love of money outstrips your love for God and man. If so, pray about how to overcome. I've heard that one of the best suggestions for fighting greediness is to be generous; it's an anti-dote to greediness.

Ask God to direct your giving, as you may not get the same answer if you ask your Pastor. (Unfortunately, many Pastors are quick to preach giving to their own church, but Jesus spoke more often of giving to the poor(7).) As you are led by God, you will feel the joy of giving.

Applied Scriptures:

(1) Romans 12:
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

(2) Romans 7
21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am!

(3) Romans 7
24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

(4) 1 Timothy 4
2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

(5) Galatians 2
20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

(6) James 2
15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

(7) Luke 12
33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Greed: Dr. Hagee, Christianity's Baddest Boy

Pastor John Hagee

Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

Note: To verify info on Dr. Hagee, click here to see his organization's tax return for 2002 (the latest on as of the Jan. 2005 analysis).

After conducting the survey of executive pay for the top 27 media ministries, I was shocked to see how far out-of-line Dr. Hagee (Global Evangelism Television) is. According to the study (click
here for the study, or here to download the spreadsheet), the average executive pay for this group of 27 ministries is $143,000 (which is reasonable). Here are the distressing facts about Dr. Hagee (a terrible show of lack of stewardship):

1. Dr. Hagee's compensation was over 6x the average (that's 600%)! That's $900,000 for 2002, working an average work week of 16 hrs ($1,081 per hour). This is an obvious IRS violation for excessive compensation, based on the average pay of his peers.

2. Diane Hagee, Dr. John Hagee's wife, is on the Board of Directors and makes $100,000 for 20 hrs of work per week ($96 per hour).

3. Matthew Hagee (John and Diane's son) made $14,650 for 5 hrs. per week ($56 per hour).

4. The Board of Directors consist of these three, plus one other person who was paid $0 for an average of 1 hr. per week. Obviously, this Board is controlled by Dr. Hagee and his family, an IRS violation. (Nonprofits are forbidden to operate for the personal gain of an individual or family; they are to operate for the public good. The IRS is well aware of scammers setting up operations for personal gain... it has been tried many times. Click here for the dictionary definition of
nepotism, of which this is a classic shameful case.)

5. Dr. Hagee is also Pastor of Cornerstone Church (click
here for details). He also receives an unknown salary from this Church. He may also get an unknown amount of money from royalties of publications. These are unknown, because he is not required to report it.

How much should he make? The average for his peers was about $140,000 per year. This would be quite generous for Dr. Hagee, because the revenue of his organization is substantially less than the average of his peers (generally a larger revenue commands more compensation).

It's my opinion that the IRS won't do anything unless there is a public outcry. They are very hesitant to get into relgious organizations, because of the ideals of the wall of seperation of state and religion in the USA. It's up to you to be a good steward. Dr. Hagee needs to publically repent (including making retribution for these outragous salaries), at best. At worst, he needs to be shut down.

You can help by exposing him. Send the link of this page to your Christian friends. Our Lord Jesus cleared the temple once (
Matt. 21:12-13), that should be enough to teach us to clean our own house. We need to demand stewardship from our leaders... they should be role-models of good stewardship! (Thank God we have great role-models with organizations such as "Focus on the Family" & "Coral Ridge Ministries.")

Update 3/31/05: The organization's 2003 tax return (filed Aug. 2004) is now available on line. Click here to review it. Dr. Hagee's compensation grew... it is now $949,000! However, his wife and son have had major salary reductions. The family still has 3 of the 4 Board Member positions, an obvious IRS violation.

Update 4/18/05: It turns out Mr. Hagee's doctorate degree isn't earned; it's an honory degree from Oral Roberts University. In additional, it is also evident that Hagee is one of the promoters of the evil "prosperity" gospel. Click here for more info.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Greed: deception #3: Having great theology means you are OK

by Bernie Dehler

(Note: this article mentions some prominent ministers with financial"issues." While I list a few of the problems, there are also some positive role-models, such as Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family. Click here to see how today's prominent ministers are being compensated. This is public information; 501(c)(3) para-church ministries are required to submit it by law. We, as donors, need to be good stewards and reward those ministries that demonstrate self-control.)

Which one looks more pleasing to God? Click here to find out.

When I say that certain ministers, who are well received in the Evangelical community, make too much money, there's a natural defense for them. Sure, the "Prosperity Gospel" preachers are messed-up theologically, so go after them. But how can Dr. John Hagee ($900,000), Billy Graham ($400,000), or Hank Hanegraaff ($400,000 together with his wife) have money issues or worldiness issues since they have correct theology?

Look in the Bible to see who else had correct theology: The rich young ruler. He claimed to obey all the commandments (Luke 18:19-21). I believe him; the Apostle Paul claimed the same thing about himself (Philippians 3:4-6), before he came to know Christ.

The experts in religion in that day were the Pharisees. But they also loved money (Luke 16:14-15). How could the religious experts be guilty? It's mind-boggling and ironic: the very people who speak for God and represent God... are lovers of money.

The simple answer is that it's not theology or knowledge that guides and saves us. Even the devil believes in Jesus... and shudders (James 2:19).

We must apply our beliefs to our lives. Without the fruit, people are just hypocrites (saying one thing but doing another). Ministers, above all others, are held to a higher standard (James 3:1). Be on guard for those who present a face of "false humility." We need to "clean the temple" (Matthew 21:12), so the Lord doesn't have to do it, or worse yet, non-believers (by pointing out hypocrisy in the Church).