Thursday, March 15, 2007

Changing Narratives

It seems as though the Prayer Palace is bringing in a forensic accountant to fix the slight image problem that the Star gave its millionaire pastoring team. I imagine that the church can probably spin the audits whatever way it wants - and I suspect unless someone is blatantly caught with their hand in the till, that the leadership will declare the problem solved.

Why? Well, it appears from the above articles that the Melnichuks have the congregation believing that a pastor is sort of like a CEO - complete with the compensation package. So an audit will turn up that the Melnichuks are getting paid an outrageous sum - with the full knowledge of the overseers of the church's financial affairs - and the congregation will accept it.

What needs to be challenged in this situation is the underlying notion that church leaders are entitled to ridiculously wealthy lifestyles on the backs of a poor congregation. Meanwhile the church cannot meet even a minimum of charitable obligations. This may not be illegal or even in breach of GAAP and so an audit may well be a clever way to hit back for the church. They are attempting to change the question from one of morality to one of legality.

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