Thinking Out Loud

August 18, 2011

Important that the Graham Name not be Tarnished

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:49 am

Try as you might, you can’t say or do much to tarnish the reputation of Billy Graham.  He has lived by the highest ethical standards; his personal integrity is a model for other Christian leaders.  So we have to hope that the Graham The Next Generation doesn’t tarnish the Graham brand.  For that reason it was distressing to read this story at Bene Diction Blogs On yesterday:

It was revealed in 2009 that as CEO of Samaritans Purse and The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Franklin was the top NGO earner in the US in 2008. Not only that, he accepted a hefty increase from the BGEA not long after the organization laid off 10% of it’s employees. The Charlotte Observer:

As president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, he receives two full-time salaries and two retirement packages. Last year his total compensation from the two Christian ministries was $1.2million.

The size of Graham’s total 2008 compensation — $535,000 from Samaritan’s Purse and $669,000 from Charlotte-based BGEA — drew questions from nonprofit experts interviewed by The Charlotte Observer. They doubted that one person — even the energetic, globe-trotting Graham — can do two full-time jobs leading organizations that employ hundreds and spend hundreds of millions around the world.

After news of his personal finances went public, Graham agreed to temporarily forgo increases to his retirement packages.  No word on how long the temporary freeze on his retirement monies were for. If the newspaper had not brought this to the attention of the public, (whose donations keep him in business) would he and the BGEA board carried on with business as usual?

You can read the whole story in context here.  Without over-spiritualizing things, I think we have to remember that the higher the profile and the greater the power; the greater the temptations.  I found this little excerpt so disconcerting to read, and yet I was also reminded of the need to pray for the Graham ‘kids’:  Anne, Ruth, Gigi, Ned and Franklin; and also their children, many of whom are also in pastoral ministry. 

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February 7, 2009

The Robert Schuller Saga: Another Voice Speaks

crystal-cathedral-interior-2Christian News Wire is quoting a new source who claims that —

The primary rift between the father and the son in the Crystal Cathedral Garden Grove, CA, pulpit was about changes the son, Robert Anthony Schuller, wanted to make in terms of transparency and accountability, but were resisted by his father Robert H. Schuller, key board members and ministry heads of the church, says a source knowledgeable about the church’s inner circle.

According to this report, the younger R.S. met with nothing but resistance when trying to implement changes —

In this case the source claims that “Robert A.’s goals were very simple–install an impartial board not paid by proceeds from the ministry, rework the Hour of Power to attract a younger audience, try different methods of worship to develop a more meaningful spiritual encounter, and to have public financial transparency. This process would install a level of accountability. As of now the leadership is accountable to no one. The leadership behind the scenes limited Robert A’s goal advancement and ridiculed him for lack of leadership,” the source says.

The Cathedral is not, for example, a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a watchdog group giving transparency to faith-based ministries and organizations.

That last point was most interesting to this writer; one would have expected a ministry with its stature to be part of ECFA, but as investigations into some of the more charismatic televangelists by major U.S. network news departments have revealed, not all are.

It should also be noted that this is a ‘one-person’ news report, with material not subject to third-party verification; however its plausibility leads me to report it in this blog. You can read the entire article by linking here.

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Photo:  When my wife and I visited in 1989, all those empty seats were filled.  Check tomorrow’s TV broadcast, and despite the director’s best shot blocking, you’ll see clearly that this is not presently the case.

Related post in this blog -Crystal Cathedral Has Round of Layoffs  (Jan 24/09)

Related post in this blog – Crystal Cathedral Selling Office Building (Jan 5/09)

Related post in this blog – Robert A Schuller Resigns (Dec 17/08 )

Related post in this blog – Robert A Schuller Removed From Telecast (Oct 26/08 )

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