A representative for Joyce Meyer Ministries insists that the non-profit organization has long valued transparency and financial accountability and was not, in fact, moved to make significant changes to its financial operations due to being targeted by a Senate investigation or scrutiny from investigative reports.
Meyer is a popular Bible teacher and bestselling author who is president of her namesake nonprofit and also co-founder, along with her husband, of the ministry's St. Louis Dream Center, where Meyer occasionally preaches. The Fenton, Missouri-based Christian ministry, which enjoys the "regular support" of 405,414 donors, recently released its latest annual financial report detailing its assets, expenditures, and the results of its charitable and evangelistic endeavors. Data not included in the report, however, are the salaries paid to members of Joyce Meyer Ministries' board of directors, specifically, to her husband and two sons. At one time, members of the Meyer family (including daughters Laura Holtzmann and Sandra McCollom) accounted for 50 percent of JMM's board members.
The ministry, founded in 1985 as Life in The Word, expanded its board from eight to 12 members when it joined the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) in 2009, about two years after the Senate probe was launched. Scrutiny by the St. Louis-Post Dispatch allegedly also prompted the JMM board to reduce its CEO's salary and change how Meyer financially benefits from her lucrative book sales. Proceeds from Meyer's books, along with honorariums from her private speaking engagements, are given to the ministry and not to Meyer herself, according to an attestation letter in JMM's annual report. more >>
Megachurch pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes has said his new TV show, which debuts on Monday, is not specifically faith-based, but will instead be open to people whatever their belief system or background.
"It is not a faith-based show," Jakes told 11Alive. "I have a vehicle through which I can express that. But I cannot deny that when I sit down at the table, all of my faith sits down with me. All of my fatherhood sits down with me. All of my ethnicity sits down with me. I can only give what I am."
The Potter's House church pastor added: "What I want the 'T.D. Jakes Show' to be is that, wherever you are, whatever your belief systems, whatever your background is, there's a place for you." more >>
Bishop T.D. Jakes has clarified that his method of ministering to gay people who choose to attend The Potter's House church was "evolving" and said he does not endorse same-sex marriage, after a recent HuffPost Live interview led some viewers to believe he had "shifted" in his biblical convictions regarding human sexuality and marriage.
Christians and Americans in general remain divided in their opinions on the morality of homosexuality and the legality of same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court's ruling in June effectively affirming same-sex marriage as a constintutional right has not bridged the divide.
"Currently, 54 percent of Americans say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, with 39 percent opposed. In May, 57 percent favored legalizing same-sex marriage, while 39 percent opposed," the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank, reported on July 29. more >>
First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, a 2,600-member Pennsylvania congregation, may depart from Presbyterian Church (USA) over the denomination's increasing acceptance of homosexuality.
In June, First Presbyterian's leadership decided to begin the process of discernment to possibly seek dismissal from PC(USA).
In a letter sent out to members on June 16, the Session for First Presbyterian explained the decision to begin the discernment process, with leadership supporting dismissal from the Mainline denomination in a vote of 19-1. more >>
The two gay men at the center of a controversy regarding their involvement with popular and influential Hillsong Church insist they have been open about their relationship from the very beginning, and "have been in conversation with Hillsong NYC's lead pastors regarding the church's non-LGBT affirming stance."
"The drama that is unfolding at the moment all revolves around the fact that we have been heavily involved in our church, Hillsong NYC," reads a public statement written by Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, the gay couple highlighted in a viral blog post critical of their involvement with the megachurch.
"Josh has been with Hillsong for eight years in a variety of ways: choir director, vocal director, and worship team. I've been there since the beginning of our relationship, over three years ago, and eventually began singing in the choir and opening my apartment as the gathering place for a connect group for Hillsong members in the Broadway and theatrical communities," the statement continues. more >>
I love and care about people — from all walks of life; people with various beliefs, ethics, perspectives and lifestyles. I care that humanity and some within the Christian church can be so quick to alienate and ostracize others who are different than them; those who live differently, think differently, speak differently.
I also live by my own convictions, and hold to traditional Christian thought on gay lifestyles and gay marriage. I do believe God's word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear, as I have mentioned in previous public statements.
Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid. I recognize this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world. more >>