(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.

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).