Carl Trueman says that the Dinesh D’Souza matter highlights the unseemly largesse that is sometimes heaped upon evangelical superstars. While he is troubled by the dissolution of D’Souza’s marriage, he writes:
I confess that I find equally disturbing the idea that there are Christian groups out there willing to pay Christian leaders salaries of a $1,000,000 to head up Christian organisations and then fees of $10,000 and upwards for giving a single lecture… There is something terribly, horribly sleazy emerging in broadly reformed and evangelical quarters. As soon as your group, whether it be a conference or a coalition or college, starts to be influenced in its choice of ‘leader’ or keynote speaker by the chosen one’s ability to command serious media attention or simply fill that stadium, you have Corinthian Christianity and you are heading for disaster. When we are talking upper six and seven figure salaries for those involved in ostensibly Christian work, when figures like ten grand per lecture are bandied around and nobody seems to comment on it as something distasteful or downright inappropriate, we are heading into territory previously occupied by the televangelists and the prosperity hucksters. Given the fact that those with real influence seem adamant in their silence, their chummy farewells to each other and their forced public friendliness to all (except, natch, the occasional irrelevant whistleblower), I think we can expect that events of the last week – indeed, of the last year — are only the beginning of what is to come.
Take heed, brothers. Read the rest here.
Great quote from Trueman. He’s right.
Trueman says: “Christian groups out there willing to pay Christian leaders salaries of a $1,000,000 to head up Christian organisations and then fees of $10,000….When we are talking upper six and seven figure salaries for those involved”
Is he implying that, say, $150,000 salaries is ok?
Because to most working men much lower amounts than $1,000,000 seem wrong, even more so if money from poor tithe-payers is being taken.
What ever happen to Jesus’ words ‘freely you have received, freely give…’? Yes, it is not wrong to accept money to have your needs met, but $150,000 salaries ???
Carl, while you hold hands with The Gospel Coalition and the rising money machine of Al Mohler/CJ Mahaney and Christian book publishing, your moral high ground is lost.
Yes, he said:
“When we are talking upper six and seven figure salaries for those involved in ostensibly Christian work”
As if to say silently, “but the mid-six figures, you know, like $500,000.00 annually, well that is understandable. Corinthian Christianity anyone?
Alex, could you point out where Carl has “held hands” with TGC or other figures? I think he has spoken at some bigger conferences recently while also making his opinion of those conferences very clear, and I believe (my chronology may be off) he left his post as editor of Themelios when TGC took ownership of it.
Really ?! I thought you were talking about the “televangelists and the prosperity hucksters” to begin with.
You did the job for me. But I am going to judge Trueman with his own words. He said about his 17 year old:
“At seventeen, my son seems to grasp something that has apparently been missed by so many of the great and the good.”
I guess what we think the appropriate upper salary for a Christian leader is will always be a matter of dispute. From here (UK) it’s hard to see why a pastor or ministry leader shouldn’t be paid as well as a typical doctor, non-corporate lawyer, school head teacher, legislator or anyone else doing a public service, people related, leadership type role. Not sure what that would be stateside but here it would be equivalent to $80-130k.
But certainly it seems hard to justify the fact that some of these guys get paid more than the US President! In the UK you wouldn’t be allowed to be a charity at all if you paid those kind of sums.