Thursday, October 08, 2009

Righteousness Has Gotten More Expensive

[Franklin] Graham acknowledged last week that his compensation total "looks terrible" and that "people won't understand it."
Charlotte Observer, 8 Oct. 2009

The Charlotte Observer has found that Franklin Graham is getting two CEO salaries, as head of both Samaritan's Purse, headquartered in Boone, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, headquartered in Charlotte. Together, that compensation amounted to $1.2 million last year, which makes Graham the highest paid leader of a US-based international relief agency.

Jesus made such a point about the corruption of riches that his parable of a camel getting through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man getting into heaven made it into three of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). Only the Gospel of John goes easy on rich men (and even throws in that off-hand little hint, "The poor always ye have with you," which has sanctioned a good deal of Christian complacency over the years).

Mr. Graham's reaction (quoted above) to this news coming out in the Charlotte Observer speaks to the political context of today's public Christians. It's all about appearances. The underlying substance does not change, and we wouldn't look for the good reverend to be donning sackcloth any time soon.

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