I don't enjoy seeing shame come upon Christians or prominent leaders who "represent" Christ. Every so often, they will do something stupid and get their due reward here on earth. The obvious examples are Robert Tilton, Jim Bakker, and Jimmy Swagart. More recently, it was Ted Haggard. There has been a resurgence of Bakker, Swaggart, and Tilton, but none to their former glory.
What impresses me about Billy Graham is that he has been in ministry for all this time and has never had a scandal. He does what he feels called to do and nothing more. I believe that he does not fit the Biblical example of an evangelist, but he does preach the Gospel.
I want to believe the best in all preachers. I want all "televangelists" to be reputable and truthful. Unfortunately, many are "money changers" and preach the abominable "health and wealth gospel". Sorry, but been there, done that. I know what they teach. I have been a part of their congregations, done their radio ministry, and even preached their pablum myself. Thankfully, I have been delivered from that mess.
It seems common lately for big name ministries to believe that they are beyond reproach financially. Even if that means in terms of taxation. Kent Hovind is going to prision for tax evasion. Now, Morris Cerullo is in trouble for the same thing.
Cerullo, like most televangelists, started out clean. Rod Parsley was clean at one time. Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis started out with a clean ministry at one time. Some have varying degrees of leaven and are more tolerable than others. Cerullo had great intentions and tried hard to do what he believed was his God given call. He picked up some of the pieces of the Bakker's fallen TV network. Unfortunately, he has been corrupted by the love of money.
Several years ago, I was invited to go with a friend to a Morris Cerullo meeting in Raleigh. The meeting was only by invitation, and was held at the Meymandi Concert Hall. The only ones invited were those on his ministry/financial supporters list.
We had the obligatory pep rally "praise and worship" music. It was announced that Morris Cerullo had a special "word from the Lord" that he wanted to give just for those in the Raleigh area. Cerullo finally took the podium and talked in his slowwww, drawn out way. He proceeded to tell everyone that he had a word from the Lord, started quoting scriptures about obeying the prophet's word, and finally got to his message.
His entire so called prophecy was that God said that all of his financial supporters need to give more money to his ministry. Period. That was the bottom line. He took many more words to say it, but that was it. I was so pissed, I couldn't stand it and had to leave. While people were rejoicing, giving "amen" after "amen", and dancing in the aisles over a false prophecy, I was steaming mad at the insult given in the name of my God.
I am very careful about where I give money in regards to ministry. Sometimes I give, other times I refuse. This was one occasion where I refused. I had a bad witness about that whole event the entire time I was there. I knew the deception and discerned that something was wrong, even before Cerullo spoke. While others celebrated, I wanted to weep. I wanted to do as "Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest" did and run a javelin through him. Phinehas dealt with corruption and whoring in the congregation. Cerullo was whoring for money.
The indictment was in 2005 and the trial is about to begin, it seem. Look at the bottom of the page on that link for the indictment part of the story.
Take heed where you put your faith, and IN WHOM you put it. Be careful where you sow your seed. It may not be as fertile a soil as you think. If you enable the corruption, you may reap it.