FreeGoodNews.com (Series: "Christian Greed")

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Bernie Dehler is the Executive Director of FreeGoodNews.com. To learn more about Bernie and the FreeGoodNews.com 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 guidestar.org 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.


11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Dehler, I comment on this entry and on the fact that you commented on the blog of my former senior pastor, Bruce Johnson. You hit the nail on the head about greed in churches and their leaders. It is among the current reasons why people are leaving Mr. Johnson's church like rats on a sinking ship. Being 'the boss' or thinking you are, displaces the real Boss in any church...God. As these leaders get too big for their britches and lose sight of their calling, the church suffers. Eventually, the Lord will even all things out but in the meantime, bosses with OCD compulsions, visions of grandeur and the refusal to let others have an original idea, ruin good employees and congregants.

6:00 PM  
Blogger FreeGoodNews.com said...

Dear Anonymous-

Sounds like you were burned. I hope you are able to forgive him and move on. Jesus forgave us, so use that to forgive others. It's a shame when we get burned by others in leadership, but nobody's perfect...

...Bernie

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Dehler-

I noticed you sent the previous anonymous note to Bruce Johnson asking him to make ammends with this previous employee (although I don't see where it said specifically that it was a former employee rather it said their former senior pastor). Regardless he might have a hard time figuring out who it is, considering he's fired five employees (including several who've served multi-years) since December and had two pastors resign (one rather quickly)...

I wanted to thank you for saying things that need to be said. Things that his staff and the congregation won't say because everyone knows how skilled he is with words and the ability to turn things around to make anyone look wrong but him - a remarkably refined skill he has demonstrated many times over the yers.

He made a comment that nobody blogging knows him so they were just assuming, but I'd like to say I DO know him very well and it is scary to see how so many readers who do not know him are able to read through his words and see what took me years to see. I'm glad I finally did see and was able to jump off his sinking ship.

I appreciate your comment on forgiving and nobody being perfect. But some people are better suited to be CEO of a large company then to call themselves a pastor or shepherd. Pastor Bruce has said in the past that one way to gauge if you are serving in the right area or what your gifts are is to listen to what others say. Well I hope he's listening...

3:21 PM  
Blogger FreeGoodNews.com said...

Hi Anonymous,

Nobody's perfect. Those that are good will be rewarded with good ministries, and the bad will have bad ministries. The sorry part is, the bad ministries will leave lots of hurting people in their wake, such as yourself.

I just want to encourage you to seek God and don't be too impressed with any man. We need to be God-pleasers, not man-pleasers. As long as you work for God, no man can hurt you...

Make sure you forgive him, otherwise you will just be damaging yourself. It's easy to forgive when you realize what Christ has forgiven about us.

Treat this as a learning experience-- you'll know better what to look for in a leader/Pastor next time...

...Bernie

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie, I am yet another "anonymous" poster who needs to post this way to prevent repercussions. I, too, had to leave the "sinking ship" once I was clearly able to see the serious problems that are making themselves manifest in Pastor Bruce's personal life and, of course, seriously impacting the ministry of his church.

Thankfully, we have been forgiven of our sins first so that has made it much, much easier to forgive others; especially Pastor Johnson.

His church is experiencing a lot of internal strife right now and it has become quite obvious to many folks who have decided that enough was enough and they, in turn, have left the church. The vast majority of that strife is a direct result of unanswered personal issues that many of us are praying will finally be dealt with. If the Lord's house is not clean, He will not bless it.

11:08 AM  
Blogger FreeGoodNews.com said...

Dear Anonymous(s),

I plan to call Pastor Bruce sometime in the next few weeks about these issues. I'd like to hear his side, if he has one. (For now, I have classes to finish work on... finals week...)

...Bernie

7:52 PM  
Blogger Beloved said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:13 PM  
Blogger FreeGoodNews.com said...

"Beloved"-

Thanks so much for your comment. It's great to see the Spirit moving in people's lives. As for the "rich young man," please read my article posted here:

http://freegoodnews.blogspot.com/2005/01/greed-deception-2-its-ok-to-have.html

...Bernie

10:16 PM  
Blogger Beloved said...

Hi Bernie. There's one Scripture that has been left off on this subject - quite a significant Scripture because, from what I can tell, it speaks to all of us, not just a rich young ruler, and not just pastors or leaders in the church.

Luke 12:32-34 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell 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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

This Scripture was part of my inspiration for selling my things. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." That's something to think about for all of us.

Sure, put me on the list to receive the newsletter.

Beloved
http://belovedenterhere.blogspot.com/

3:16 PM  
Blogger Beloved said...

Oops. Yes, you did indeed mention that Luke passage in your previous article!

Beloved

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: Henri Warren (w/ permission)

Bernie,

You've been working pretty hard on this. How has all the effort helped you spiritually? Is it working?

It's easy to get our undies in a bunch over the excessive compensation of guys obviously in the theological weeds.

I'm not sure it makes much difference. The sad thing is these guys are given this money by well meaning Christians. These minsters entered the field to do good and have done very well. If you don't like what they are paid don't contribute and don't listen.

And for the record, I think Hagee is a rightwing nut case. I see him from time to time when channel surfing and the political garbage he throws out, and the rapt attention of his listeners saddens me deeply. Where's the "liberal" media when you need them?

I offer a modest caution about developing a critical spirit. I've been there (and may still be there is some ways) and it was not helpful to me. The internet is loaded with dirt about every public Christian minister. Look up the ones you admire, someone has probably done a hachet job on him. As you rightly note, most Christian workers earn very
little. Support them.

The problem as I see it is our dependence on authority figures. Lots of Christians tune in to Hank H because he gives them the answers. Very few want to gird up the loins of their minds and do some heavy lifting. Encourage
people to think for themselves!

A related problem is the desire for all the right answers. We get brainwashed into this mindset by our preachers and
teachers. They get up in front of the congregation and deliver a nice tight 3 point collection of right answers (and usually
right questions; can't go off asking the wrong questions!) in 30 or 45 minutes. Life is lumpy and few answers worth having are worked out in 10 to 20 hours of study in one week. But preachers deliver what their flock demands; 30 minutes of dynamite answers to rightly crafted questions.

Too much already. And I've let too much of my critical spirit out of the bag for one day.

10:30 AM  

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