Two Franks, No Waiting

kinnon —  October 14, 2009 — 7 Comments

Frank Shaeffer, the bête noire of the Evangelical Right, does a good interview with Becky Garrison. (I don't spend a lot of time at Sojourners, I confess, but Becky is always worth reading.) I tweeted an edited version of this quote earlier today,

Personality cults with no accountability and no tradition and no structure to fall back on when the “Dear Leader” dies, or is found to have “fallen” — whatever — are no better than the men and women they’re built on. The “something bigger” you thought you joined just turns out to just be some guy named Rick, or maybe Franklin Graham.

I doubt Frank was referring to this, as the news had yet to spread, but it is interesting that he makes the above statement when it has been revealed that Franklin Graham made over a million dollars in income last year. Accountability indeed.

Apparently as of late last Friday, Graham has told the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that "he wants to give up his pay as head of" the BGEA. He'll try to live on the $535,000 salary (as paid in 2008) from Samaritan's Purse. (There must be a lot of coins in that purse, eh.)


BTW – I'll probably be ordering Frank Shaeffer's new book, Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Lke Religion (or Atheism). It looks like both a good and important read.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

7 responses to Two Franks, No Waiting

  1. I take it Crossroads Christian Communications troubles haven’t been your cup of tea.
    Not your tribe, just a fading TV thing and money, a cross border alleged ponzi scheme, a lot of betrayed and harmed Canadians as well as organizational misteps in communication.

    I like Schaeffer, read Crazy for God, some of his columns and he was a breath of fresh air for Christianity on Rachel Maddow.

  2. Bene,
    I really haven’t been following them – though, oddly enough, the TV turned on to Global yesterday morning and there was the older brother and wife on with a Huntley host. I was surprised they were back. Then someone sent Imbi a link to a page filled with YouTube videos of them last night. It’s just weird and sad.

  3. This is fascinating because I had read that, at least in the beginning, Billy Graham had been extremely scrupulous in reporting all of his financial information everywhere he held a crusade. I’ve heard other stories where the scions of high-profile religious leaders tend to have a sense of entitlement to the money of their parent’s supporters. So I guess it’s not surprising that it’s the Mainse kids that are in trouble as well (ooh look how I tied it together). It’s very dangerous to treat any ministry as a family business.

  4. What’s funny is that I initially read that as “Manse kids” – PKs in general, as it were. You’re parenthetical statement made me go back – and then smile.

    Ministry as family business is an all too common problem. My fear is that it was ever such.

  5. Whoa, for a second there you made the celibate priesthood thing look like a really good idea. 😉

    I’m sure that someone will now denounce us both since, after all, Jesus’ brothers did it and therefore it’s totally biblical, like Perry Noble’s megachurch apologetic.

  6. Hi Bill,

    I am both intrigued, challenged and disturbed by much of what Frank Schaeffer is saying and writing these days. I found this piece by Os Guiness helpful:

    link to

    I have not read his most recent books, but have found his recent posts on his Huffington Post blog often quite virulent, sometimes justifyingly so. There is much to be upset about, as he appears to be, in evangelicaldom. But does he need to be so harsh?

    Love your blog, by the way.

    Michel in Gatineau, QC (yes, you have a following in La Belle Province! Now if only you could start a French blog! That would be superbe!)

  7. Michel,
    I’ll make a point of reading Os Guiness’ writing @ CT. Thanks for the link. And I don’t disagree that Frank can be too harsh – but I still think he needs to be read as you appear to, as well.

    I’m the son of a French-speaking Montrealer, lived in France for four years from the time I was 8 ’til I was 12, but unfortunately am unable to communicate effectively en français. Je suis désolé, mon ami. The result of schooling in Ontario from Grade 8 to Grade 13.


What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.