Posts Tagged “deficit”

The purpose-driven beggar’s begging (about which I blogged a few days ago) has, apparently, worked spectacularly. KCAL-TV in Los Angeles reports Rick Warren’s good news and good fortune:

Evangelical pastor Rick Warren says his call for donations to fill a $900,000 deficit at his Southern California megachurch has brought in $2.4 million.

Warren announced the sum to cheers at a Saturday service, and said the total includes only money brought in person to Saddleback Church by New Year’s Eve.

I admit Warren sure has chutzpah. It takes real guts for a multi-millionaire (which Warren is, due to his “purpose-driven” publishing empire) to actually go begging for money as he did. But he did it, and his sheep congregants rewarded him handsomely for it.

I’m not sure exactly where Jesus’ own injunctions against amassing wealth* fits into all of this, but I’m sure Warren can twist scripture sufficiently to wring some sort of rationale out of them.

* For Mr Warren and others not already aware of these passages, a few of them are: Mt 6:19-20, Mk 10:23, Lk 12:15 & 12:33.

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When you operate one of the largest churches in the country, the problems you face tend to be proportionally large. That’s the case for Rick Warren, who runs the Saddleback Church in southern California and is in charge of the “purpose-driven” publishing empire (as reported by the AP via Yahoo News):

OC megachurch pastor asks for urgent donations

Evangelical pastor Rick Warren appealed to parishioners at his Orange County megachurch Wednesday to help fill a $900,000 deficit by the first of the year.

Warren made the appeal in a letter posted on the Saddleback Church Web site. It begins “Dear Saddleback Family, THIS IS AN URGENT LETTER.”

“With 10 percent of our church family out of work due to the recession, our expenses in caring for our community in 2009 rose dramatically while our income stagnated,” the letter reads.

Still, Warren said the church managed to stay within its budget, but “the bottom dropped out” when Christmas donations dropped. “On the last weekend of 2009, our total offerings were less than half of what we normally receive — leaving us $900,000 in the red for the year,” the letter reads.

Since Warren is, himself, a millionaire author, he should be able to make up the $900,000 shortfall with just a check out of his own personal treasury, without breaking a sweat. One wonders, then, why he won’t do — himself — what he’s asking his own congregants to do.

Oh well, hypocrisy is nothing new with Warren.

I have no doubt, of course, that Warren’s sheep congregants will come through and bail him and his church out of this financial distress, at least this time, and perhaps a couple more times too, if it comes to that. But if Saddleback Church’s deficits are running this large, I have to wonder how long this can go on.

Hat tip: iReligion forum at Delphi Forums.

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