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Thread: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

  1. #1
    1still_waters
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    Default Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Mega-church pastor Steven Furtick is building a house worth $1.7 million.
    Link-->Pastor responds to critics of his $1.7M home | WCNC.com Charlotte

    People are critical because it's a Christian, a pastor, and well it seems excessive.

    But I got to thinking about excess.
    Is excess relative?
    We all have necessities and non-necessities in our life.
    What decides how many non-necessities you can have?

    This pastor seems wrong to many because most people don't have the money to build a $1.7 million house.

    But what if this is all about perspective?

    Many of us have more than one tv, more than one pair of shoes, maybe more than one of many things we don't need.
    But none of that seems out of place, or seems like excess, or seems like too much non-necessity stuff, to most people.

    Yet to someone living in a second world country, they may look at our multiple TVs, multiple shoes, multiple fill in the blank, with the same perspective as many do of the $1.7 million dollar pastor.

    I don't know if this topic can be remedied with a simple..Thou shall not judge blanket statement. That seems like the easy way out of discussing this topic.

    So how do we define excess?
    Is there such a thing as excess?

    Can pastors have $1.7 houses?
    Can Christians have $1.7 houses?

    If pastors or Christians can't have mega houses, and mega stuff, then why can Christians have multiple TVs/shoes/computers/ etc?
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    Senior Member ChosenbyHim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Quote Originally Posted by 1still_waters View Post
    Mega-church pastor Steven Furtick is building a house worth $1.7 million.
    Link-->Pastor responds to critics of his $1.7M home | WCNC.com Charlotte

    People are critical because it's a Christian, a pastor, and well it seems excessive.

    But I got to thinking about excess.
    Is excess relative?
    We all have necessities and non-necessities in our life.
    What decides how many non-necessities you can have?

    This pastor seems wrong to many because most people don't have the money to build a $1.7 million house.

    But what if this is all about perspective?

    Many of us have more than one tv, more than one pair of shoes, maybe more than one of many things we don't need.
    But none of that seems out of place, or seems like excess, or seems like too much non-necessity stuff, to most people.

    Yet to someone living in a second world country, they may look at our multiple TVs, multiple shoes, multiple fill in the blank, with the same perspective as many do of the $1.7 million dollar pastor.

    I don't know if this topic can be remedied with a simple..Thou shall not judge blanket statement. That seems like the easy way out of discussing this topic.

    So how do we define excess?
    Is there such a thing as excess?

    Can pastors have $1.7 houses?
    Can Christians have $1.7 houses?

    If pastors or Christians can't have mega houses, and mega stuff, then why can Christians have multiple TVs/shoes/computers/ etc?

    Interesting post.

    To definte excess, we should first go to the word of God. The word "excess" appears four times in the Holy Bible. And here are the three Scriptures in which the word appears:



    25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. - Matthew 23:25 (KJV)



    18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; - Ephesians 5:18 (KJV)



    3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
    4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:- 1 Peter 4:3-4 (KJV)



    Each time the word excess is used in the Scriptures, it is always negative. And from the context of each Scripture that this word (excess) occurs in, it can be seen that it means anything that exceeds the necessary limit or boundary.



    I also looked this word up in the Websters 1828 online Dictionary and here are the definitions I found:


    EXCESS', noun [Latin excessus, from excedo. See Exceed.]
    1. Literally, that which exceeds any measure or limit, or which exceeds something else, or a going beyond a just line or point. Hence, superfluity; that which is beyond necessity or wants; as an excess of provisions; excess of light.
    2. That which is beyond the common measure, proportion, or due quantity; as the excess of a limb; the excess of bile in the system.
    3. Super abundance of any thing.
    4. Any transgression of due limits.
    5. In morals, any indulgence of appetite, passion or exertion, beyond the rules of God's word, or beyond any rule of propriety; intemperance in gratifications; as excess in eating or drinking; excess of joy; excess of grief;excess of love, or of anger; excess of labor.
    6. In arithmetic and geometry, the difference between any two unequal numbers or quantities; that which remains when the lesser number or quantity is taken from the greater.


    So therefore; it should be obvious that excess is anything that is surpasses the limit and boundary which the word of God has set.


    Example: Eating too much, too much idle time, too much entertainment, too much of banqueting, etc.


    I don't think that it is necessarily wrong to be wealthy, as long as you earned it by hard work and honest labour. Also, since after all it is not money that is the root of all evil, but it is the love of money that is the root of all evil.


    If money motivates a pastor and that pastor begins to become greedy and starts to love money then what will happen is he will begin to be partial in his judgment. For exapmle, if there are some realy wealthy people who attend his church, he won't preach on or against their sins. Why? Because he does not want to offend them but knows that they could hugely benefit his ministry in tithes and offerings. Therefore he ends up preaching on certain things but he will not preach agaisnt those sins which those wealthy people are involved in.


    I have experienced and witnessed this first hand. I attended a charismatic friendly church for ten years when I was deceived and lost, and I saw how the pastor would never preach against sin. But all he ever preached on was tithes and offerings, the laws of sucess, sowing and reaping, and so forth. And of course there were some rather wealthy people who attended his church. So he definitely did not want to shake the boast (so to speak) and offend his biggest tithers and givers. Because he was afraid that it would hurt his income.


    Now is there a time and a place to preach on the laws of success? Sure. Absolutely. But there needs to be balance.


    This topic and thread also beings to mind the dangerous prosperity gospel where preachers are telling their congregants that God wants them to be happy, wealthy and in good health, and in good financial standing. Now I do believe that God does want His children to be happy and joyful, but we can't forget that there will be times in our lives where God will allow us to go through some hard times and suffering. And the fact that the prosperity gospel omits the reality of the suffering that will take place in the life of a true born again believer, is what makes the prosperity gospel so dangerous.


    It is kind of like the shallow and humanistic preaching you see with Joel Osteen, who NEVER preachers against sin, never preaches on Judgment to come, never warns the lost that they are headed for a burning Lake of Fire with brimstone, and you Never hear him talk or preach on anything Negative. Sure does make one wonder.


    I also think the reason why pastors who live in million dollar homes and drive nice, fancy, and luxurious cars get so much crticisim, is simply because the rich and fancy lifestyle these mega pastors live is so foriegn to the lifestyles of the Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles in the New Testament as well as Paul and the other born again Christians all trhoughout the New Testament. Not one time can we find an example of any of the apostles being rich and wealthy. Paul said the following about being content and concerning those who desire to be rich:


    6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

    7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
    8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
    9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
    10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. - 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (KJV)


    Paul also said this regarding his physical state and livelyhood:



    10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
    11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
    12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
    13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. - Philippians 4:10-13 (KJV)



    4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
    5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. - Philippians 4:4-5 (KJV)

    Home Improvement begins with a King James Bible.

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    Senior Member GreenNnice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Yes, if he uses it for the glory of God.

    Ways to use:

    1. Youth pastor can use it for teen Christmas party, or, surprise party, even.
    2. Pastor invites entire congregation to his house for a party footed by him, NOT church funds.
    3. The pastors underlying intentions in buying the house are that he sees a vision that he can later sell the house for DOUBLE what he paid for it and will use that money as he's ALREADY promised the Lord, for building a Christian school on the mega-church campus.

    Whatever you do, do it all (give it all) for the glory of God, so says Scripture, not me.

    NONE of what we have monetarily is REALLY ours so YOUR mindset better be that way with the WEALTH God's provided you.
    Just go with Him.


    .... Hmm, don't know how many think about THIS, but, IF God is telling you to BUY a $1.7 million house so that YOU can do the things of said above, YOU BETTER BEST DO IT ! The Lord leads "...you follow Me." John 21:22

    Good question, stilledwaters
    Without God, we have nothing. With Him, we have everything we ever need, and, more.

    Is compassion compassion at all if it's not based on the Truth ?

    The Holy Spirit leads ALL believers lives, wants to. Are you letting Him lead yours ?

    God bless your days !

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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    For me it comes down to how he is using what God has blessed him with and whether folks in the congregation are going without necessities in order to support his lifestyle. I know pastors who have other jobs/other sources of income and are able to obtain such things without the support of the congregation, and some who have placed burdens upon their congregations to support a certain lifestyle expectation.

    We may buy a lot of clothes, shoes, etc. due to having to dress a certain way for work, but if we share those things at some point with those in need, is it wrong?

    In light of this passage, we who are able to read these posts are all probably living in excess. If we have a roof over our heads, electricity, running water, cars and Internet service, we are wealthier than about 95% of the world's current population, so it's relative:

    Luke 9:
    57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
    58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
    59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
    Last edited by Jullianna; October 27th, 2013 at 06:16 PM.

  5. #5
    kenthomas27
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Quote Originally Posted by Jullianna View Post
    For me it comes down to how he is using what God has blessed him with and whether folks in the congregation are going without necessities in order to support his lifestyle. I know pastors who have other jobs/other sources of income and are able to obtain such things without the support of the congregation, and some who have placed burdens upon their congregations to support a certain lifestyle expectation.

    We may buy a lot of clothes, shoes, etc. due to having to dress a certain way for work, but if we share those things at some point with those in need, is it wrong?

    In light of this passage, we who are able to read these posts are all probably living in excess. If we have a roof over our heads, electricity, running water, cars and Internet service, we are wealthier than about 95% of the world's current population, so it's relative:

    Luke 9:
    57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
    58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
    59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
    Excess seems to grow in direct relation to covetness.


    (I added the above post because it begs to be read twice)

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    Senior Member GreenNnice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    kentom, what are you saying, bro
    Without God, we have nothing. With Him, we have everything we ever need, and, more.

    Is compassion compassion at all if it's not based on the Truth ?

    The Holy Spirit leads ALL believers lives, wants to. Are you letting Him lead yours ?

    God bless your days !

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    Senior Member rachelsedge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Quote Originally Posted by kenthomas27 View Post
    Excess seems to grow in direct relation to covetness.
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenNnice View Post
    kentom, what are you saying, bro
    I think he's saying that when we see other people's things and possessions, it makes US want those things, but not necessarily for the right reasons. For example, having nice clothes isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but if you buy those clothes to validate yourself or to fit in with other people because you want the lifestyle they have, then it's a bit excessive.

    Unless that's totally not what you meant, kenthomas, in which case...please do explain. :P
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    Senior Member JimJimmers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    I could see building a house worth that much for the glory of God. Someone may build a huge house and fill it with orphans, for example. However, I really would like to know his salary. A lot of people are giving to that church, and I think they deserve to know also.
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    Senior Member GreenNnice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    That's great, rachedge, thanks for the explano, that makes sense for 'the world'....

    But, kentom, for a Christian, 'excess' does NOT lead to coveting more money for own gain , it leads to coveting Him more, gaining Him more, praying more for others, for the church, praying harder, asking God how He wants that person to use their talents more.

    You know the saying, 'To whom much is given, much is asked for.' Again, if you are being given a lot by God, and, you consider it 'excess,' and, don't do things with that wealth, which is NOT excess in His eyes, then, we are going to be like the master who gives that one man the reality of hell for not having faith to use the one talent God gave him, even worse, that man buried his talent in the ground

    For the world, excess leads to coveting, this is different from the Christian who will see their 9 million given as a way to serve God more, NOT go and buy a H2 Hummer and a big house and 3D entertainment video/sound system and party like it's 1999 and other stuff.


    There IS a difference. I hope and pray, if I was ever given a big amount of money from God I would do what He wanted, that I would hear Him, for to go the 'Jonah' route and run and hide with my money in wordly wealth would NOT be a good idea
    Last edited by GreenNnice; October 27th, 2013 at 07:11 PM.
    Without God, we have nothing. With Him, we have everything we ever need, and, more.

    Is compassion compassion at all if it's not based on the Truth ?

    The Holy Spirit leads ALL believers lives, wants to. Are you letting Him lead yours ?

    God bless your days !

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    Senior Member Misty77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    I had to go to a Christian TV studio not too long ago, and I thought I was going to vomit gold leaf. As fake as it looks on TV, it is worse in person. I could only think of Ray Stevens' song "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex on his Television Show?" If a Christian is wealthy because of ethical business practices or book deals, I don't see a problem as long as they are generous and live below their means. But not when your money is earned by cronyism or swindling seniors' pension checks with the promise of a person in a wig saying a prayer for them.

    Would Jesus Wear a Rolex? - YouTube
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    Tintin: "Jesus said Christians will be hated because they are his followers, not because they don't use their brains."

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    Senior Member GreenNnice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    To JJJimmers !

    True, it can't be ill-gotten gain.
    Would be like julieannie says, from an outside job/investment turning well ,or, IF this pastor is pastor of a megachurch and the board has voted that is how much salary he can have then so be it IF that pastor has a 10,000 congregation on Sundays for two services and has BUILT that mega-church from the ground up, or, just is the reason that God's made apparent focal to that church's success .
    Without God, we have nothing. With Him, we have everything we ever need, and, more.

    Is compassion compassion at all if it's not based on the Truth ?

    The Holy Spirit leads ALL believers lives, wants to. Are you letting Him lead yours ?

    God bless your days !

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    Senior Member JimJimmers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    I'd also like to add, more to Stilly's second point:

    I think all Christians should pray before making any major purchases. Especially something frivolous such as a sports car. And I hope no one takes this as me saying that sports cars/sports car owners are bad. I just think we should be bondservants to God. If all your money is The Lord's, you will never be rich no matter how much money is in your account.
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  13. #13
    kenthomas27
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenNnice View Post
    kentom, what are you saying, bro
    I think Rachelsedge said it well. I'm just saying that what one may see as a 'need' or even as an earned luxury others may see as excess. And the reason they would recognize those things as excess is out of a covetness born of jealously. I might consider jay leno's car collection as an excess. Who would possibly need that many cars? Shouldn't he give the cars to all of us who need the transportation? Don't those questions smack of covetness? Instead, I might rejoice in his hard work and wealth and enjoy seeing all his wonderful cars. Then I wouldn't recognize his collection as excess at all. (I'm trying to type this from my phone so coveting a keyboard just now and may not explain this well).
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    jb
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Quote Originally Posted by 1still_waters View Post
    So how do we define excess?
    Tell me sir, do YOU think that a Pastor in any western country should live in a $1.7 house?

    I think that he is simply a money grabbing selfish sod and this kind of vast excess makes me want to vomit!

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    Senior Member zeroturbulence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Maybe God told him to build a $1.7 million dollar house.
    My dad was the greatest dad I could have ever asked for. Thank you, Dad..

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    Senior Member rachelsedge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    I would tend to side with how Jullianna and Misty77 put it: It depends on how you got it and what you use it for. There is a wealthy businessman in my town who is a Christian, and he just bought a second house. However, he is renovating that house and will be letting missionaries live in it, rent free. So, he may have "excess money", enough to buy a second house he doesn't need, but he's using it for other people's benefit.

    If you're comparing what you have with the lowest rung of the ladder, you will ALWAYS be in excess (unless you're the lowest rung, of course), no matter what other rung of the ladder you are on, even if it's only one step up. Having one TV is excessive compared to those who have none at all, or no form of media outlet whatsoever. Having 6 TVs seems excessive to someone who only has 2. Having a microwave and drinkable tap water is excessive to those who have to use a fire to heat their food up and have to boil their water for it to be safe to drink.

    I think it's also how you feel about your possessions. We become very attached to them. There's a song with a line of "If you are not very careful, your possessions will possess you." I think that is very true. For example, there's nothing inherently wrong with gaming consoles, and playing those and even enjoying them. But when they consume your life or they badly influence you, that's excessive.
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    Idiot in Chief Oncefallen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    My thoughts here are simply where is a pastor getting enough money to pay for a 1.7 million dollar house? If he was somehow wealthy independent of the ministry then I don't take issue. However if he has gotten his wealth solely from his salary then I take issue with whatever governing board that gave him such a large salary. It makes me sick when I see "shepherds of the Lord's flock" living a life of luxury while people in their church are struggling to keep food on the table and a roof over their head.

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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Rich pastors? It must be an American thing. In Australia pastors are lucky to earn lower-middleclass wages.

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    Senior Member Misty77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Quote Originally Posted by Tintin View Post
    Rich pastors? It must be an American thing. In Australia pastors are lucky to earn lower-middleclass wages.
    Most of ours are like that, too. We just have an epidemic of megachurches and prosperity gospel preachers. That's how they justify the money. "God gave it to us!" not "We swindled poor old ladies out of it!"
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    Tintin: "Jesus said Christians will be hated because they are his followers, not because they don't use their brains."

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    Default Re: Excess: Pastor's $ 1.7 million house, and the extra tv and shoes in your house

    Hmmm I've seen Steven preach many times and he is good at what he does. His church is the largest in the entire of state of NC. You also have to factor in he does write books, have a housing allowance, and does appearances.

    In 2008, Furtick made headlines when his church gave $40,000 to members in envelopes with $5, $20, even $1,000, and told them to spend it kindly on others.[3]
    Under Furtick's leadership, Elevation Church has given more than $3.4 million to local and global outreach partners since 2006. In 2011, a partnership with Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was established to give 100,000 hours and $750,000 to serve Charlotte people in "The Orange Initiative." [13]
    Since 2010, Furtick has hosted a week long outreach in February at Elevation Church called "Love Week."[14] During the church's 2010 "Love Week," thousands of Elevation members packed more than 10,000 sandwiches for the homeless, helped single mothers get their cars serviced, donated blood, cleaned up parks and streets, built a soccer field for local ministries and renovated buildings.[15] In 2011, Furtick led Elevation and over 25 other local churches to serve more than 34,000 hours in a single week.[14] In 2012, Elevation partnered with 31 local churches to serve 62 outreach organizations for a total of 50,340 hours around the city of Charlotte, N.C.. More than 4,800 volunteers from Furtick's church and other local churches served at more than 400 events, building houses, stocking food pantries, feeding the hungry and homeless, and holding a senior prom for elderly nursing home residents. Furtick and Elevation Church also partnered withPresbyterian Hospital-Matthews to pledge $80,000 to help fund enhancements and expansion at a local free clinic.[16]
    In honor of the release of his new book, Greater, Furtick gave away more than 2,200 book bags filled with school supplies, one bag for every book sold. The book bags were distributed throughout the U.S. and in the U.K. Hundreds more were sent to the gulf region in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.[6]
    In 2012, in response to a need of 1,000 mentors for students in Charlotte-area schools, Furtick launched an outreach program at Elevation Church called the M1 Initiative. Furtick, seeking to fill the gap of 1,000 needed mentors solely with Elevation members, said, "We have always said we want to be a blessing to our city and support our leaders with a volunteer force they can count on." More than 1,600 members responded and committed to mentoring a child for the 2012-2013 school year.

    He also is not lacking in supporting the communtiy either.

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