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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

U. S. Senate to investigate televangelists

A. W. Tozer said we needed a "baptism of clear seeing." Many will see this as persecution; many others will see it as God having to judge his house because his own people would not.

CBS News has learned Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct.

Letters were sent Monday to the ministries demanding that financial statements and records be turned over to the committee by December 6th.

According to Grassley's office, the Iowa Republican is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles.

The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six - Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University.

The implications are disturbing, both in terms of what we have already heard about lavish lifestyles, and in terms of increasing government supervision of churches as a result. If things go on as they are, I fully expect churches to lose the tax-exempt status they have enjoyed in the U.S.

Read the full story here at CBS News.

Follow-up story here, and video here.

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