Now I Understand How Churches Operate… October 3, 2009

Now I Understand How Churches Operate…

Just once, It would be incredible to hear a pastor or televangelist say, “You know, we’re ok for now. No need to give to us today. Give it to a good charity instead!”

(via David Hayward)

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  • gski

    This brings to mind the time I was leaving church and saw a priest come out of the rectory and get into his Mercedes. My parents owned a Chevy at the time.

  • Erp

    Well back when I was a college student, I went to the midnight Easter mass with a friend though I wasn’t Catholic. Exiting was the collection basket and I put in $5 (this was back in 1980 so worth a bit more than nowadays); the basket holder told me I should give more.

  • Kate

    Actually it happens frequently – many churches give up one offering per week to an external charity, sometimes more often. Or that well-publicized church that gave each member an envelope with money in it and asked them to go out and use it charitably. So it’s common.

  • cyn

    My mother and grandmother tithe out of their fixed income…before food or bills.

  • gski

    Each year the church tried to shame people into giving by issuing a list of how much each member gave. Of course this did not include what was dropped into the collection basket.

  • In most churches’ defense, they have to do “stewardship campaigns” in order to pay their bills and their employees. The only way they get money coming in at all is through money given to them, since they are nonprofit. I get paid because of other peoples’ generosity (I get paid badly, but that’s another story).

    In addition, I know that in the church where I work, when you pass the plate around, the money goes to external charities, not internal affairs.

  • Erp

    Personally I would hope a church publishes yearly financial reports detailing income and expenditures (and have someone auditing to make sure the report is accurate). Some churches do this, some don’t.

  • muggle

    All churches and not-for-profits should have to make yearly financial reports detailing everything.

    As for churches that do give to charity, good for them but I’ve got to thik it’s rather like renters being accused of not paying property taxes though we do through our rent.

    Just like our landlords, the churches aren’t operating at a loss. At best, they’re operating break-even (those who are I can’t criticize except that I think they should have to file a tax return). Otherwise, they’d soon be bankrupt.

    Mind you, not all have the intent of making a profit as all landlords do but still they are giving away the excess while mostly demanding 10% of their parishioners — whether they can afford it or not.

  • Erp, I wonder what she would’ve done if you’d said “Not only will I not add any more money, but I’m taking my five bucks back!”

    And the last congregation I tried attending (about four years ago), the leader drove a BMW.

  • CaptainBeefheart

    Well, missions to Africa aren’t paying for themselves, right?

  • Buddykins2001

    I was personally shocked to hear that the seinor pastor at my wife’s chrch was pulling down a six figure salary. And I have this on good authority. Totally discusting.

  • Lilith

    A friend’s mother became too ill to attend church for several months and the pastor dropped in, not to see how she was, but to try to collect the tithes she hadn’t made while she was ill.

    My friend threw him out of the house and her mother stopped attending church completely after she recovered.

  • Siamang

    From the Palacial Megachurch Saddleback, in affluent Lake Forest California.

    Most Christians have an upside-down view of money. They feel that the money they have is theirs and that God’s money is the portion that they give to the church. But God has a different view. As Lord, God, and King, He owns everything—including the money that we claim as our own

    Ah! It’s GOD’S MONEY! I’m just keeping it warm!

    As Christians, God expects that all possessions be transferred to Him. But since we can’t literally place everything into His hands, this transfer becomes an act of faith. In essence, it means accepting the fact that God owns it all. Transferring ownership to God means that God owns all that we consider ours: clothes, car, home, family, income, debts, present, and future.

    Ah yes. God already owns all my stuff. But of course, His Holy Majesty, Ruler of All the Universe accepts only checks made payable to “Saddleback Church Worldwide Incorporated.”

    . A tithe is the portion of our income that we give to God and to God’s work. It should be the first part. “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce” (Proverbs 3:9). Tithe means “tenth.” This is the amount most Christians use as a guide for tithing. It’s through sharing that God’s power in finances is brought into focus. “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

    Ah yes, got to Give to GET!

    How the FUCK is this not a bald-faced scam?

    Famous story:

    There’s a big cocktail party at Martha’s Vineyard. Some one comes up to this writer Joseph Heller (he wrote Catch 22) and says, ” Joe, see that guy over there? He’s a hedge fund manager and he made more money yesterday than you made on all the books you have ever published”. Joe Heller pauses, then says ‘Yeah, but ya know, I have something he’ll never have… enough.”

    What does the creator of the universe need with money? And when, oh when, will He finally have enough?

    I’m reminded of what Ingersol said when asked to contribute to the rebuilding of a church that blew down in a storm:

    “My position is this, if the ‘Lord God of Israel’ wants a Baptist church in DeLeon, let him change the wind and blow the old one back.”

  • nice cartoon!

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