How Pastors Get Rich!

"These pastors are not only money hungry, but often power hungry too. They want to be both pastor and master. They commit the sin of the Pharisees and appoint themselves as middle men between God and you. They seek to replace the Holy Spirit in your life. They 'lord it over' their flocks."

How Pastors Get Rich (cultwatch.com)

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=32842&picture=-100$TACK$ of $100 Bills

Have you noticed?  Some pastors are literally MONEY MAGNETS.  Over the years, we have focused on a number of them.  The prosperity preachers certainly come to mind as do some Christian leaders who are more subtle in their marketing approach. 

Recently, we came across an insightful article entitled How Pastors Get Rich.  If you ever wondered about the tricks of the trade, you will find them over at cultwatch.com.  Thankfully, many Christian pastors are not mesmerized by the Almighty Dollar as the author of the article is quick to point out (see below).

Important Note: As you read please remember that very few pastors use the techniques you are about to discover. The great majority of Christian pastors do not earn much money even though they work hard at their jobs. Most Christian pastors would find these techniques repugnant. Please do not make the mistake of tarring the many good pastors with the brush reserved for the spiritually corrupt few.

As we launch into this discussion, I want to share a video I discovered several years ago when we devoted an entire month to critiquing the 'prosperity pimps'.  At the time, I had not heard of Brian Houston, pastor of Australia's Hillsong Church and author of You Need More Money: Discovering God's Amazing Financial Plan for Your Life

The words that got cut off at the end of the video are "As you become a money magnet…"  The video may be satire, but Houston's book and strategy are for real!

Most of you were not here when we launched into a tirade about the health and wealth / prosperity gospel, so here are a few of our favorite posts: 

Copeland's $20 Million Jet – God Ordained?

JoelSpeak – Part 1

JoelSpeak – Part 2

Transparency Regarding Joyce Meyer's "Commode" and Ministry

Bedlam in the Word of Faith Crowd

As we have seen with Steven Furtick, Ed Young Jr., James MacDonald, Mark Driscoll, and others, the prosperity gospel is creeping into other corners of Christendom.   We are grateful that some are speaking out about their concerns. 

A Christian broadcaster named Janet Mefferd interviewed the author of How Pastors Get Rich, and their discussion was extremely insightful!  It was about 30 minutes long and well worth your time!  Mark discussed the following topics with Janet, which are also included in his article. 

  • Multi-level marketing pattern
  • Books
  • DVDs
  • Hyped conferences
  • The Christian speaking circuit
  • Pastor owned businesses that feed off the flock
  • The honor the pastor scam
  • High pressure offerings
  • Cathedral building wars
  • Siphoning cash into real property
  • Excessive wages
  • Perks
  • Nepotism
  • Their fabricated tithing doctrine
  • The carrot and the stick

We am purposely making this post short because we believe it is important that you devote your time listening to the interview and reading the article.  Our prayer is that those who have been deceived by these modern day 'money changers' will be discerning about their spiritual leaders. 

We look forward to your commentary on this important matter.  

Lydia's Corner:  Job 1:1-3:26   1 Corinthians 14:1-17   Psalm 37:12-29   Proverbs 21:25-26

Comments

How Pastors Get Rich! — 97 Comments

  1. Did anyone ever do Commitment Sunday? At my old church they taught that because we were a “family” (this church was the most un-family like feeling place ever) and families need to budget their finances, they needed to know ahead of time exactly how much we would be giving throughout the year. Then later, as the church grew they I think they had some pushback about that. Then they released an announcement to us saying that now that the church was so large and we had a steady influx of offerings we no longer had to worry about having enough money for the essentials, but Commitment Sunday was “never about that anyway.” Apparently it was always about “encouraging faithfulness” in the congregation. *barf*

  2. I should add to the above by saying that my old church was the kind with an unacceptably high, 6 figure salary for the lead pastor. The average church member, I can assure you, made no where near the amount of the average pastor in that place. 🙁

  3. @ Moxie:
    My hometown church tried that once. My parents thought about filling out the card but I threw a fit. Even as a teenager, I could see the faulty logic behind it. The head of the deacons asked my mom why we left our card blank. After 30 minutes of me pointing out the many problems associated with the commitmemt cards, he withdrew the policy. We started hiving our money elsewhere after that debacle.

  4. Moxie wrote:

    Did anyone ever do Commitment Sunday?

    The first Southern Baptist church I was a member of did this. It was one of my least favorite Sundays in church because it felt like coercion.

  5. Mandy and Dee– ugh, it’s so blatantly wrong. I don’t know how churches that do this aren’t able to see that. In our church they put a box in the front of the room where people would go up during the offering and put their commitments in.

  6. Man, there is a LOT of people at that Act Like Men conference. every man paid 110 to get in and a big chunk are buying a book and/or a sweater/t shirt/hoodie that says act like men on it… they could give gene simmons lessons on ‘soaking your base.’

  7. Personally, I think it’s up to the people who remain to deal with your problem with the outsized salaries these outsized egos are receiving. That said, megas do impact me in one way: their properties end up off the tax rolls and their pastors get outsized compensation packages including, in some cases, having a ton of their salary slotted as “parsonage allowance.” As a taxpayer, this annoys the **************!!!! out of me.

    Googling “list of megachurches” brings up two links which I won’t post here but you can find pretty easily. One is to the list of megachurches kept by Hartford Seminary (apparently ~1300 churches) and the other is to Wikipedia’s list of American megachurches (several hundred). The difference can be told with just one state: Utah. The Hartford list has three megas in Utah (one in Draper, a far suburb of Salt Lake City, and the other two in Ogden, 40 miles north of Salt Lake City), while the Wikipedia list has zero.

    Here in Arizona, where I live, I just went through the list for my city and discovered that a mega listed on the Hartford list had gotten gobbled up by another mega based on the other side of Phoenix. So even megas get consolidated. Innnnteresting.

    I’d just say that looking at the ultra-cool, ultra-hip websites for these megas…yikes. And it’s not that I’m uncool, I read reddit for Pete’s sake! But when your campus abbreviations look like they were ripped off from “Breaking Bad” (using chemistry style labels, even) you got to wonder.

    It should be noted that the largest church in my city is one that hives off into congregations of ~250 to ~500, divided by location. (Yes, if you live on one side of the street you may go to one ward while if you live on another, you could go to another ward.) I think there are five Mormon church buildings closer than the closest mega to me, and that mega is just over one mile away. The other mega is two miles away and I believe there are another four in that next mile. Mormon church buildings are shared–there isn’t just one congregation meeting there. Usually there are two or three. Oh yeah, all that property is off the tax rolls, but since the bishops are volunteer, they’re not getting paid and they’re not taking a parsonage allowance.

  8. Jesus: “The gates of Hell shall not prevail…”

    huh?

    Jesus: “If I be lifted up, I shall draw all men to myself…”

    What?

    i.e. Jesus’ finished work is unstoppable. He will sow His seeds, He will raise His crop of wheat, He will harvest His wheat, and place it into His Father’s  barns.  

    …imagine that! 

    To them that believe in Jesus, God the Father had given the prerogative of becoming the sons of God, even to those who believe upon Jesus’ precious Name….they are granted entrance to become the children of the most high God.  

    (He will wipe their every tear.)

    WoW!

    “I came that they might have life!”
    ~Jesus

    Thank You, Jesus!

    Sopy

  9. Faith In The Extreme?

    hmmm…

    “In 1792, my brother (Charles) and I by reading the Bible saw inward and outward holiness therein; followed after it and incited others so to do…” ~John Wesley

    Those who do the Word of God, and teach it, are the greatest in the kingdom of God!

    Should we not strive more earnestly to enter in at the straight gate? Giving ourselves to the Lord 
    Jesus Christ, letting the world dim a bit, and be of a somewhat lesser account, so that we might win Christ: our hearts glowing with the very love of God?

    Kind Folk, Jesus raised up the dead; shall He not raise us up, as well?

    Sopy

  10. We NEVER hear a tithing sermon where I go. We don’t need them. We have a monthly business meeting for the entire church. We fine comb the budget and everyone knows what is needed, what goes out (including salaries) and everyone has input. The pastor does not even lead the meeting and is a participant only.

    When it is handled like this, everyone knows what is needed and how it is spent. They approach the entire thing like grown ups.

    In fact, the youth wanted to redo their “space” so we agreed as a congregation to provide the paint and other stuff and they did the work themselves with some adult supervision. Ha! And they will respect it more, too.

  11. Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    That said, megas do impact me in one way: their properties end up off the tax rolls and

    The property tax break is becoming a HUGE issue with megas who have lots of PRIME location land and large buildings. As more cities are becoming broke, I do wonder if this will ever get revisited.

  12. I once went to hear a guest speaker at a church. In the front of the church was pamphlets, hopefully not aimed at us visitors, but I took one out of curiosity.

    The outside page said: Help us kill the giant! The inside said their giant is debt, and that is why they could not give to missions. But if we (generic we) make a promise as to how much we will regularly give, even an amount we feel we cannot afford right now, God promise to bless us…

    To recap: The pew-sitter should promise money he doesn't have, to the congregation. But the church cannot promise money they do not have, to missions. I was more gullible then than now, but I immediately caught that.

  13. Before the days of online giving, I used to always give anonymously. Then I was encouraged to record my giving in order to get a tax credit, and although most of my anonymous giving was now being documented, it made some sense to get a tax credit. I’ve had a few problems with this process though.

    First of all, there are still many opportunities I’ve had to live generously with finances, and they don’t get documented.

    Second, church leadership has knowledge of how much I am giving. They also have knowledge of who is not giving, at least in a way that can be reported. There have been sermons where we were told how small a percentage of church attenders are giving.

    Third, connected to the first, is that I don’t know if tithing/offerings should always go directly to a church organization. I’ve heard of alternatives such as “Relational Tithe” that connect Christians around the globe to immediate needs.

    Generosity is a result of following Jesus, for sure. The systems that are used to facilitate this are made by humans, and as a result are prone to bias.

  14. must be nice. I pastor a church primarily of blue collar workers, retirees and farmers. I make just enough to put food on the table and gas in the mini van. Not complaining. Thankful to have it. wish these guys would just live simply and contently in their ministries.

  15. Why do you think they charge so much to give encouragement to Christian brothers? Why do you himk people feel the need to attend?

    @ will f:

  16. Anon 1 wrote:

    We NEVER hear a tithing sermon where I go. We don’t need them. We have a monthly business meeting for the entire church. We fine comb the budget and everyone knows what is needed, what goes out (including salaries) and everyone has input. The pastor does not even lead the meeting and is a participant only.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Your church operates pretty much as our former Church did. Everything out in the open. In edition, only the Church Treasurer, Financial officer and Missions treasurer had access and knowledge of specific, individual giving. The pastor(s)
    elders, deacons had no access to, or knowledge of, the individual congregates giving practices.These financial officers were elected by the congregation, every three years, with a solemn address to never discuss or share,(even with spouses), who had given what amount. Also, all our financial records were audited yearly by an outside accounting firm.
    It worked very well.
    When it is handled like this, everyone knows what is needed and how it is spent. They approach the entire thing like grown ups.

    In fact, the youth wanted to redo their “space” so we agreed as a congregation to provide the paint and other stuff and they did the work themselves with some adult supervision. Ha! And they will respect it more, too.

  17. @ PP: God bless you!

    I have no problem with pastors being compensated fairly. When they get greedy, it causes so much damage on so many different levels.

  18. There is so much graft, greed and corruption in the church that it’s hard to keep up with. Thanks Dee and Deb for all you do to expose the wolves. Thanks also to Janet Mefferd. She does great work too.

    “Your Counter Strategy: Don’t go to these conferences. Demand transparent accounting to the whole church of all costs of visiting speakers, and for that matter transparency about any income your pastor is earning while speaking at other churches and conferences. No pastor earning reasonable fees from away engagements would have a problem with this, assuming of course he is on leave when he speaks and not double dipping.”
    -Cultwatch, “How Pastors Get Rich”

    I raised this issue with several individuals at my former church. If we as a church hired a pastor for our church doesn’t that imply that he should be preaching the majority of the time at our church? Between guest appearances at other churches, conferences that he would speak at, conference speakers at our church and the assistant pastors preaching there were a lot of services where he wasn’t preaching. I have no problem with that if when we hired him his contract stated that we only expected him to preach “X’ number of times per year. But if we were going to have a pastor that was gaining popularity on the conference circuit perhaps we should have the right to reassess our hiring. Maybe we should name him the traveling preacher, cut his pay (because I imagine he was receiving money to speak elsewhere) and hire a new full-time senior pastor.

    Of course when I brought this up people looked at me like I was from another planet. The kinder comments were I seemed “uncharitable.”

    When I was a child the pastor preached twice on Sundays, and once on Wednesday. He had no assistants. Times have changed! And then there is this on Luther:

    “In the tempestuous days of the Reformation, the centerpiece of Luther’s ministry was his bold biblical preaching. Fred W. Meuser writes: “Martin Luther is famous as reformer, theologian, professor, translator, prodigious author, and polemicist. He is well known as hymn-writer, musician, friend of students, mentor of pastors, and pastor to countless clergy and laity. Yet he saw himself first of all as a preacher.” Luther gave himself tirelessly to this priority. E. Theodore Bachmann adds, “The church … is for Luther ‘not a pen-house, but a mouth-house,’ in which the living Word is proclaimed.” Indeed, Luther wrote voluminously, yet he never put his written works on the same level with his proclamation of God’s Word. He maintained, “Christ Himself wrote nothing, nor did He give command to write, but to preach orally.” By this stance, Luther strongly underscored the primacy of the pulpit.

    Luther’s commitment to the pulpit can be clearly seen in his preaching activities. On most Sundays, he preached two or three times, and, by his own admission, “Often I preached four sermons on one day.” In addition, he usually preached at least two to three times during the week, sometimes more. On religious holidays, he preached twice a day. His relentless drive in this work is seen in the staggering number of sermons he preached—seven thousand between 1510 and 1546. That is almost two hundred sermons per year, or four per week. Throughout his ministry, Luther preached, on average, one sermon every two days. Some twenty-three hundred of these biblical expositions survive in written form.”
    http://www.ligonier.org/blog/martin-luther-7000-sermons/

  19. Hi:
    Very rudely I’ve not read the post or the comments,
    On Oct 6, 1969, a bomb was exploded at Haymarket Square in Chicago.
    I know this. But if you Google this, you won’t find it. I wonder why. Dee knows who I am. She does not say I am creditable nor to I ask this of her. If the censorship covers one small bomb what else? HUG where were you during the days of rage?

  20. Being a pastor is one of the toughest jobs there is anywhere, and  today is the perfect opportunity to pray and encourage the church leaders in your life! 

        Take them out to lunch, send them a card, bake them some pastries, some cookies—whatever you do, just remember to tell your them how much you appreciate the hard work they are doing for you, your church, and the community at large that they serve, all in the name of Jesus Christ, to the glory of God!

  21. ‘Why do you think they charge so much to give encouragement to Christian brothers? Why do you think people feel the need to attend”

    Question one I don’t even like thinking about–who WOULDN’T love to encourage a Christian brother for free? those are the best moments in life, beyond any price tag…

    Question two It seems a lot of guys find the herd mentality comforting. They said they left feeling inspired to be better husband, father etc. and I’m like, you needed to pay someone to tell you that??

    I thought it’d be nice to have an Act like Jesus weekend, since in Christ there is now no men or woman, greek or jew etc anyhow… and since Jesus was fully man and a perfect man, the more christlike you become, the more human you become… but they didn’t get it. And I saw one woman, who looked like a techie/roadie, wearing an ACT LIKE MEN hoodie…she looked like the really meant it.

  22. kansaswheat wrote:

    Hi: Very rudely I’ve not read the post or the comments, On Oct 6, 1969, a bomb was exploded at Haymarket Square in Chicago. I know this. But if you Google this, you won’t find it.

    I'm perplexed… I just Googled this info and all kinds of links came up. Can you elaborate?

  23. @ will f:

    Thanks for the info! I love the Act Like Jesus conference idea. Does that mean women can attend since we are also made in the image of God?

  24. Completely off thread.
    Oct 6,!969, a bomb exploded in Haymarket Square in Chicago. I googled and got nothing.Why is something so small erased? And HUG where were you during the days of rage? I was the woman in moire driving a blue Mustang.

  25. Thanks Deb. Maybe I will learn to use a computer. If you get this way, there are ribs.Some say I pour a mean cup of tea. The bomb was a birthday present I hated. And I pray for the stupid boy who set it Every year I check.

  26. Deb – I may not be alone in suspecting that “Kansaswheat” is a piece of spamming software, not a human commenter.

    Anyway, back at the ranch, I have now both read the article and listened to the interview as urged, and they are very interesting. Whilst I would encourage my fellow-TWW-followers to at least read the article, if you haven’t time then the following sentence hits the nutshell on the head of the nail:

    These leaders did not become wealthy by following the dream, instead they became wealthy by building up a group of people who believe passionately in the dream, and then selling dream-promoting wares to this captive audience.

    Every successful motivational speaker who headlines a megachurch and boasts about “his” results *, on the conference circuit and elsewhere, is gifted first and foremost at focusing the labour of others and taking credit for the fruits thereof.

    * As distinct from, every pastor who serves in a large church – there are good ones, too.

  27. “Thanks for the info! I love the Act Like Jesus conference idea. Does that mean women can attend since we are also made in the image of God?”

    The simplest solution is usually the best solution. Be a better man? Jesus is the best man, not chuck Norris or what have, so just cut to the chase and Act like Jesus. ie risk everything for category-shattering self-sacrificial love. All those barriers he shattered with the woman at the well–a man actually acting as if a woman is endlessly valuable, just because a good God made her with great care, talk about singing your death warrant… Don’t have the details worked out , but I’m haunted by Colossians lately, so at the Act Like Jesus conference, I’m thinking we’d just read that bit where it says : Above all things (ALL meaning nothing can ever supercede this) clothe yourself in love, for this binds the world together in perfect harmony.’ then we’d go to a Chinese buffet and go home.

  28. Deb, Before I commented, I left My ss# on the phone line and offered to pay for the file from the fibbs I didn’t read the article on the days of rage. I was there.

  29. Earlier in the week, JMac had phoned in to a Christian radio station in Buffalo to promote the Hamilton event (Hamilton doesn’t have a Christian radio station.) He said he can’t wait to bring Act Like Men to Toronto Canada…which is two big Canadian pet peeves in one. We HATE it when American celebrities say, we just love rocking out it Toronto Canada! or, Saskatoon Canada! It’s Toronto Ontario, and Saskatoon Saskatchewan. If you mentally picture the reverse, it gets close to the time Spinal Tap played ‘Springfield USA’ on the Simpsons. Also, Hamilton is not Toronto. There’s thousands of miles of not-Toronto, but since that’s the only place people know, if a place is half a day from Toronto, they say, ‘an hour from Toronto,’ and a city an hour away from Toronto becomes ‘Toronto.’ Then JM said he is not personally financially benefiting at all from coming to Hamilton—he is just doing it because he is fired up about getting men fired up etc. Yes, I know. So I thought, does he mean that in the sense of, James Macdonald didn’t make that money, Walk in the Word did, wink wink. But I saw all these Act like Men trademark clothing items being sold—who’s holding that trademark? And, also, people were buying copies of his book…

    If you’d been there and driven north for 10 minutes, you’d hit Lake Ontario. If you’d been there and driven South for about an hour, you’d hit Lake Erie (western part of the Niagara Peninsula.)

    Going on at the same time, just on the other side of Jackson Square, the mall that Copps Coliseum is attached to, was a comic book convention called Hammercon, The Hammer being Hamilton’s nickname. So I had the novel experience of walking through the Jackson Square food court, bumping into a Stepford Husband with an Act like Men trademark T shirt, turning around and bumping into a Ferengi, or a Power Ranger. Both events drew big crowds, but Act like Men had a much larger one, even though their tickets were much more expensive.

    I couldn’t care less what any of the Act like men speakers had to say, but what I did find extremely revelatory was watching the crowd pour out of Copps for the lunch break…those long lines at the shwarma places and the a and w…. Can I say this clearly, here goes, I was intrigued by the similarities among the satisfied customers leaving Hammercon and those leaving ALM. Both groups got a boost from the confirmation bias that comes from being in a room full of thousands of people who think the same way you do. Both were a marketer’s dream: a self-selecting crowd of true believers who show up with the intention of spending some money. Both leave fired up trademark about that thing that happens to fire them up. Both leave with a souvenir, an action figure, a copy of Vertical Church… maybe because I don’t like crowds, I find their hypnotic power an interesting study…

    So JM said he was fired up about getting men fired up, and I heard a lot of attendees saying they left feeling fired up (echo?) so…mission accomplished. Fired up, they said, to go home and be better husbands, for example. And I’m like, dude, what are you waiting for? Skip the Act like Men show, take your wife to see Gravity, pronto!

    Seeing Act Like Men trademark clothing on a woman certainly gave the thing a whole other meaning, that was very interesting. An act like men trademark shirt on a guy works as an injoke to other guys about confirming their picture of manhood, and by extension womanhood, in I’d say harmful ways. Seeing it on a rather tough looking woman sent the message of, come on guys! You’re in your forties and you’re still obsessed with ‘cool’ and faux hawks etc? What a joke… I can feel her pain. You look at a picture of Robert Mitchum, or Sinantra, and whether he’s in his 30’s or his 80’s, it’s suit and tie and hat, smile and a joke. You’re an adult, you get on with it. Back in the day, a man who dressed up like a boy would be locked up as the village idiot. Millions of men who dedicate their time to repurchasing all their old toys that mom threw away, wondering about what it really means to be a man—grim business… don’t see what it has to do with the Christian story, it’s too bad they have to hitch their circus wagon to our Rescuer, who canceled all our debts by nailing them to a tree, turned our accuser and his minions into a public laughingstock, liberating us from ‘this present evil age’ so we can get past all this nonsense…Act Like Humans by acting like the Best Human our Rescuer.

  30. “I was intrigued by the similarities among the satisfied customers leaving Hammercon and those leaving ALM. Both groups got a boost from the confirmation bias that comes from being in a room full of thousands of people who think the same way you do.”

    Caleb, your entire comment was great. Thanks so much for your perspective and you hit the nail on the head about “fired up” bit where they leave all fired up with their souvenirs. This is short term euphoria that social scientists could write about for ages to come. I bet you could do brain wave studies on this stuff. Problem is, it does not last anyway.

    As to your comment above. The last SBC convention I went to I was amazed that I could pick out of the crowd of mostly young men the CJ followers, the Driscoll followers and so on. Russ Moore, wearing elevator shoes, traveled around with an entourage of young men all texting one another and jumping up and down laughing. (Now he is in Washington DC) They are so obvious. It really is cult of personality out there in Christendom.

  31. Anon 1 wrote:


    As to your comment above. The last SBC convention I went to I was amazed that I could pick out of the crowd of mostly young men the CJ followers, the Driscoll followers and so on. Russ Moore, wearing elevator shoes, traveled around with an entourage of young men all texting one another and jumping up and down laughing. (Now he is in Washington DC) They are so obvious. It really is cult of personality out there in Christendom.

    Could you expound on this comment?

  32. @ Joy Huff:

    I'll take a stab at it. I think Anon 1 means that the C.J. Mahaney followers had shaved heads to mimick their leader.

    The Driscolites probably had that weird spiked haircut like Mark Driscoll used to wear and they probably had on jeans and a tee shirt.

    Russell Moore, who was Al Mohler's right hand man until recently, is not that tall, so he likely 'elevates' himself through his shoe choices.

    Now I am discovering that there are Southern Baptist pastors affiliated with 9Marks that sound just like Mark Dever…

  33. Joy, Not sure how to expound beyond Mickey Mouse T-shirts with gelled pointed hair and shaved heads in polo shirts.

  34. @ kansaswheat: I have just returned from a road trip. i will try to return your calls sometime tomorrow. These things are so far in the past and it is difficult to wrap my head around what you are saying. We can talk.

  35. PP wrote:

    wish these guys would just live simply and contently in their ministries.

    6Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

  36. I have emotional scars from my time in CLC when they had the big push for the building funds. I gave with what I thought was faith at the time, but looking back, there was a lot of coercion. Fast forward to today. A few weeks ago, my pastor rolled out a campaign for the church that included a few things, starting with us developing more devoted and spirit-led lives, to increasing the space for children’s ministry. Well, the cause for more space for the kids is something that’s needed. However, I don’t have children, and I am not particularly interested in hearing a sermon about generosity (next week) and a church service in which everyone submits their pledges (the week after). That said, I do like my church and consistently benefit from the sermons and worship. I am not heavily involved because of my crazy schedule. However, I did enjoy a few activities and serving opportunities I participated in this past summer. I feel so torn and still somewhat spiritually broken from my experiences at CLC and other churches. Sometimes I don’t know what I believe or what to commit to. This goes deeper than money. My current church is helping heal me in some ways, so it is hard to have this come up. I am thinking of not attending the two meetings; however, I will miss the spiritual encouragement during those times and it really doesn’t solve the underlying problem. Anyone have similar struggles? Thoughts?

  37. P.S. I also have trouble trusting pastors, which may be a good thing. I try to check everything with my gut, and when I think of it, the Bible. I also have a lot of difficulty trusting other people and not feeling like I”m going to be swallowed up into an agenda. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a lot of time to socialize and figure out who is safe and who isn’t.

  38. @ Anon 1:

    makes me think of jr. high in 1980 — not girls, but boys. the big comb in your back pocket, and then at the dances angels flight pants, shiny shirts with big collars for the boys. anyone else remember these days?

    but not high school — teen agers were sensible, secure, and individualized enough not to adopt such copycat style. they of course did many other stupid things — but not this extreme identifying with one person and copycat style & behavior (such as with the Christian men described). it’s weird.

    such a ridiculous commentary on these Christian men. if they only knew.

    come to think of it, jr. high never even went this far.

  39. @ Former CLC’er:

    I understand. I did not go to any church for a few years. and I found that….. the sky didn’t fall.

    they told me it would, with grave (oh so grave) warnings. but it didn’t.

    I found a friend to pray with once a week. To my surprise and almost tearful amazement, I found I was more deeply spiritual and in tune with God than ever.

    Your church sounds good (as opposed to bad). But God is much, much bigger than this church (or any church). Skip the generosity sermon / the 2 meetings. Skip one Sunday a month. Go some place with natural beauty. Go camping. Make a campfire at night. Listen to the breeze, to a stream. Breath deep some cool, fresh air. Sip hot coffee in the cool morning. Hike. Read non-religious fiction (John Grisham books are always pleasant, engaging reads that go down easy without moral compromise). I’m sure numo has better book suggestions.

    Free yourself. God’s not going anywhere.

  40. @ Former CLC’er:

    “I also have a lot of difficulty trusting other people and not feeling like I”m going to be swallowed up into an agenda”
    ++++++++++++++

    nothing wrong with staying on the fringes. you can create your own opportunities (instead of the dreaded being agenda-ed). Make your own agenda instead. Find a few trusted friends and volunteer at a soup kitchen one evening. Collect some blankets, coats, socks and find some homeless people on a cold night.

    mere ideas…. I apologize if this is sounding preachy. I don’t mean it to. I just really see how being productive for God is simply not dependent on the institutional church machine. bypass being a cog in the church wheel. make our own decisions. our own plans. our own creativity. our own ingenuity.

  41. elastigirl – not preachy at all. Some of those things I’ve done before, and will probably do more. After growing up Catholic and then in CLC it can feel weird. But certainly I need more life in my soul.

  42. Incidentally, Proverbs 22 has this to say about the spiritual pyramid marketing schemes that are described in the post:

    One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich — both come to poverty.

    Pyramid churches tend to ignore the poor rather than oppress them outright. But Jesus taught a parable about rich men who ignore the poor at their gates.

  43. Former CLC’er wrote:

    But certainly I need more life in my soul.

    I remember that rotten state of being. Ach! It’s a normal indication that you are not yet healed. The lifelessness is numbness from a soul-wound. It’s also exhaustion from the depth of the wound. Healing takes as long as it takes and it won’t go faster by forcing it.

    I found it helpful to simply go sit by God on the bench in my mind. Lean against Him/Her, talk or be silent (either way). God is All-Love and that is what you need most of all, that balm, steadily applied.

    I can see how lonely it must be when one’s faith has been primarily expressed inside/through the institutional church. When you are healed, you will find yourself eager to fully belong somewhere again. Wait for it. Until then, be gentle towards yourself and remember that God is with you everywhere you are.

    My advice, unsolicited. I wish you well, Former CLC’er.

  44. elastigirl wrote:

    come to think of it, jr. high never even went this far.

    That is what scares me about it all. They are adults emulating their hero and call it following Christ. I cannot tell you how many young guys around here in ministry (20-30ish) emulate Piper in speaking style and wording. If you have heard enough Piper, you can pick it up quickly.

    So what happens when that dries up? Who are they? Except for the damage they are doing to so many people, we should pity them for the lack of individual identity. .

  45. elastigirl wrote:

    I apologize if this is sounding preachy. I don’t mean it to. I just really see how being productive for God is simply not dependent on the institutional church machine. bypass being a cog in the church wheel. make our own decisions. our own plans. our own creativity. our own ingenuity.

    Amen to that.

    As I look back at my life and get ready to wind it up, the thing that comforts me and comes to mind again and again is one year I spent as a public health nurse tromping around with my little blue uniform and black medical bag in a seriously difficult section of Louisville I think, even in retrospect, that Himself rode around in that car with me and walked through those alleys with me as We tried to track down mothers and babies who had disappeared from well baby clinic rolls. As I sit here and they irradiate the mess out of my post-up cancer site I think/feel/perceive at some primal level that He and I and those little babies are inextricably linked in something eternal and good.

    And that had nothing at all to do with churchianity. And I did do churchianity for a right long time; attended meetings, played my violin in tent revivals (no kidding), debated doctrine around the kitchen table after church–none of that comforts me or seems important at this point. There is just Himself and me and those poor little babies.

    Whoever you are listen to elastigirl and do not let the church so consume you that you miss this sort of opportunity.

  46. Nancy wrote:

    As I sit here and they irradiate the mess out of my post-up cancer site I think/feel/perceive at some primal level that He and I and those little babies are inextricably linked in something eternal and good.

    Nancy, thank you for sharing this. Your words alone inspire me, and I wish I could sit with you and listen to more of your stories.

  47. Anon 1 wrote:

    That is what scares me about it all. They are adults emulating their hero and call it following Christ. I cannot tell you how many young guys around here in ministry (20-30ish) emulate Piper in speaking style and wording.

    Or the Mahaney fanboys who shave their heads and chuckle Humbly.

    Or the one reported on this blog with the fedora and cigars, just like his Man-o-GAWD idol. (I don’t remember which one he was imitating — the guy with that Cult in Moscow, ID?)

    Or the Objectivists who took up smoking to be like Ayn Rand back in her heyday.

  48. will f wrote:

    So I had the novel experience of walking through the Jackson Square food court, bumping into a Stepford Husband with an Act like Men trademark T shirt, turning around and bumping into a Ferengi, or a Power Ranger. Both events drew big crowds, but Act like Men had a much larger one, even though their tickets were much more expensive.

    With the Act Like Men stepford husbands laughing down their noses at those Freaks from the Comic Con.

    And being an aficionado of various fan cons — SF lit, gaming, comic, furry, Brony — I can attest that getting “much more expensive” than a major con takes some effort. Does Act Like Men have a dealer’s room?

  49. kansaswheat wrote:

    Oct 6,!969, a bomb exploded in Haymarket Square in Chicago. I googled and got nothing.Why is something so small erased? And HUG where were you during the days of rage?

    I smell CONSPIRACY THEORY…

  50. @ Nancy:

    Nancy, thank you for sharing that with us. I am so glad you came to TWW.

    Oh my as I look back and see the real depth of life did not happen in most of the institutions. It took me a while to figure that out.

  51. @Nancy – what a beautiful way to look back at your life. I agree that we need to hear more.

    One thing that I cherish is the times I spend teaching the little toddlers in the underbelly of D.C. I do see God there at my work, as well as sometimes the most mundane experiences or interactions with those who are far from believers but are so genuine and true to themselves. I’d rather be with an honest person who’s cursing than a phoney Christian who is extremely judgemental any day.

  52. Former CLC’er wrote:

    Anyone have similar struggles? Thoughts?

    Exercise the G & G option – Go but don’t Give. Or the S & S option – Show up but don’t Subsidize. Or the A & A option – Attend but don’t Assist. You get the idea. These fund raising programs are designed to apply peer pressure on you and guilt you into giving. Kind of like sitting through a presentation for a time share. Just don’t allow yourself to be pressured into doing something you don’t wish to do. What you give is a personal matter between you and God. If the leaders are offended by your lack of buy-in to their program, or if they treat you differently you may want to find a different church.

  53. “With the Act Like Men stepford husbands laughing down their noses at those Freaks from the Comic Con.

    And being an aficionado of various fan cons — SF lit, gaming, comic, furry, Brony — I can attest that getting “much more expensive” than a major con takes some effort. Does Act Like Men have a dealer’s room?”

    Mr. Guy, what happened to comic book conventions? They used to be fun. They’d have them in high school gyms and if you were lucky you could have a really technical discussion about drawing with a major talent like, say, Walt Simonson…Now the actual comic books are hidden in the back like a dirty little secret and it’s all about expensive dolls and Hollywood tie in junk. I think Mcfarlane and Spawn #1 was a big turning point…

  54. This comment is a little off-topic but indirectly related….I am wondering why some churches use the “satellite” concept. We have a number in my area. I guess I just think that biblically a pastor should KNOW his congregation…that he should develop relationships with them. I think it is wierd that you just look at a screen with someone you do not know preaching. Is this just a money thing..cheaper way to have MORE people give money every week without paying a seperate pastor???? Is this a Mars Hill concept?????

  55. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Actually, on 10/6/1969, someone (probably) from the Weathermen set a bomb that blew up a monument to policemen from the Haymarket riots of May 4, 1886 in which a bomb was thrown at policemen who were there in force in anticipation that a peaceful labor demonstration would turn violent.

  56. justabeliever wrote:

    This comment is a little off-topic but indirectly related….I am wondering why some churches use the “satellite” concept. We have a number in my area. I guess I just think that biblically a pastor should KNOW his congregation…that he should develop relationships with them.

    Exactly. What these mega-churches offer is entertainment. If they look at the future, they will see that they will be replaced easily by television pastors.

  57. In fact (part 2 of my post at 4:05 pm), many pastors have already been replaced by TV and radio pastors.

    Just a quick non-scientific study:
    If you do a Google Trends search word analysis comparing the words Bible study, Sunday school, Christian TV and Christian radio, you’ll see that the first two have dropped off dramatically since 2005, but searches for the latter two continue steady.

  58. justabeliever wrote:

    We have a number in my area. I guess I just think that biblically a pastor should KNOW his congregation…

    The irony is that the congregation THINKS they know him well. Some have even met him and talked for a few minutes…once or twice. They will defend their guy on the screen/stage to the death and insist they know him well. They honestly believe the guy they see on stage/screen is exactly the same guy in real life. But in truth, they actually know more about the life of the Kardashians than they do their own mega church pastor.

    It still blows me away even after all these years.

  59. @TW – I almost emailed the pastor to tell him where I”m at, but I was afraid of his response. I think he would have the response I’d want, but I am not ready to attend church elsewhere, so I didn’t want to find out if he’d have a response I didn’t like. The only close interaction I’ve had with leaders has been with the worship pastor, and he has been very accepting and gracious. But one never knows.

  60. I figured you would get around to looking into the clergy housing allowance, our sacred tax break, one of these days. Highly paid clergy such an the ones you often feature here are able to remove hundreds of thousands from their taxable income through this. While ordinary folks get to itemize mortgage interest, clergy get to do this but also to exclude all expenses for housing, including utilities, furnishings etc.

    While this is very modest for the average clergy, maybe a tax savings of a couple of thousand per year, it can be quite lucrative for those who have the million dollar mansions. It is bad tax law at that level and should be capped.

  61. Oh, did I mention that clergy get to exclude mortgage interest from income (doesn’t even go into their W-2) but ALSO may itemize the amount. It’s a double tax deduction, you use the same expense twice to reduce taxes.

    Pretty neat, huh?

  62. William wrote:

    It is bad tax law at that level and should be capped.

    Actually, just about all of our tax laws are bad. I cannot really begrudge any pastor who takes advantage of the parsonage allowance. I wish we all could, after all, as Christians, aren’t we all part of the “priesthood of believers”? So shouldn’t we all get that break?

  63. @ William:
    Actually, it is illegal to deduct from income money that is not taxable under the code, that is, income not otherwise subject to tax. That is, btw, a criminal offense, because one has to do it intentionally, against specific contrary instructions for the relevant forms.

  64. Thanks so much for the link to Cultwatch. I also read their article, “Attack of the Super Apostles.” Absolutely describes my former cult to a tee.

    We were required to give a minimum of 10% to our “church.” It was considered a “point of fellowship.” If you didn’t give at least 10% you were placed “under discipline.” Guess that’s part of the reason the ministers are driving new cars every year and take vacations on church properties that the rest of the congregation are not privy to. I feel like such a fool. From now on my giving will go to a worthy charity. I realize that there are honest, caring ministers out there, but I’ve just been too burned.

  65. @an attorney

    My description using “double” was technically incorrect but clergy can take the HA and also deduct mortgage interest:

    Can ministers deduct mortgage interest on their homes if they have a housing allowance?
    Yes. Ministers who itemize deductions and have a housing allowance may deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes. Sometimes this is mistakenly called a “double deduction.” But a housing allowance is an exclusion from income, and mortgage interest is a deduction.

    The above from GuideStone.org

    And, there is a legal challenge to the HA currently.

  66. Nancy wrote:

    As I sit here and they irradiate the mess out of my post-up cancer site I think/feel/perceive at some primal level that He and I and those little babies are inextricably linked in something eternal and good.

    I am praying for you. I am sorry for this trial.

    I, too, was a public health nurse for awhile in the Boston area. I looked for babies as well.

  67. If some of these same groups put on an “Act Like A Woman” event, I wonder, what would it look like?

  68. will f wrote:

    it gets close to the time Spinal Tap played ‘Springfield USA’ on the Simpsons. Also, Hamilton is not Toronto. There’s thousands of miles of not-Toronto, but since that’s the only place people know, if a place is half a day from Toronto, they say, ‘an hour from Toronto,’ and a city an hour away from Toronto becomes ‘Toronto.’

    Well, I had the same experience growing up as a military brat.

    Every time we moved (we got transferred due to the military), the new folks in the new town would want to know where I just moved from.

    If I said, “We just moved from Manchester, Missouri,” nobody knew where that was. I would get blank looks.

    So I skipped the Manchester and went straight for “St. Louis, MO” -because St. Louis is very close by. Most Americans have heard of St. Louis and might even be able to visualize where it is on a map of the USA.

    Ditto with all the other cities I ever lived in growing up. Nobody ever knew the name of the city I lived in, so I’d have to specify the next biggest one right by.

    Americans don’t have a clue where most cities are, so you have to give them the big name, famous city that is within a 10 to 30 minute driving distance.

  69. @Caleb:

    I too get frustrated with Toronto Canada etc.

    Mark Driscoll was interviewed by the ‘guest’ co-host at 100 Huntley Street, and he couldn’t even get the name of the show correct. (Driscoll corrected his error later)
    The guest host was a Harvest Group pastor from Oakville. (For those that don’t know, Oakville is one of the richest communities in Canada)

    Like I mentioned below my post, would anyone be surprised if this pastor did a softball interview?

    So, Greg Laurie said they had 8 thousand in Hamilton. Here are the rental fees for Copps Colliseum:

    “A minimum of $12,000 or 15% of gross ticket revenue, less admission sales taxes.
    (whichever is greater)”

    The Hamilton Ontario attendees paid at the door, I don’t know if the spectators could do an early bird registration.
    8 thousand at $109.00 each, $69.00 group rate (5 guys or more), pastors free.

    The GTA/401 corridor is a gold mine for these conferences. They don’t hold these ‘conferences’ in Summerside PEI, or Brockville Ontario or Medicine Hat Alberta, eh?

    Still, given the # of Christians living from say, London to Pickering, 8 thousand is a fraction. It’s too bad the Driscoll type fan boys pay so much to the layers of ‘ministries’ the Calvinista celebrities present at these affairs to keep them coming back.

    Thanks for your account Caleb, it’s refreshing to have your eye witness report.

  70. Yeah, I wasn’t able to go. Thanks for filling us in will f. At least downtown Hamilton businesses benefitted.

    I wonder if they picked Hamilton because of the growth in Harvest branches in Ontario recently? There are a bunch. It seems that the people here are willing to sacrifice autonomy and integrity for the start up money. And then there are the fanboys, a lot of whom I think are from the suburban, exurban, and rural areas outside of Toronto, downtown Hamilton, etc.

  71. Again and again this former Southern Baptist urges members in SBC churches to read some Hershel Hobbs and especially some E. Y. Mullins.

    Realize what counts is your relationship with God. You do not have to be a church member. You are not under the authority of the clergy. Then find a church that honors the priesthood of the believer in a VOLUNTARY relationship for the purpose of the propagation of the gospel. (The real one, not the gospelly one.)

    Most of these silly marketing and pyramid ploys will be then defeated.

  72. @ Former CLC’er:

    Former CLC’er

    Sorry to hear about the abuse you’ve gone though…
    “I feel so torn and still somewhat spiritually broken from my experiences at CLC and other churches. Sometimes I don’t know what I believe or what to commit to.”

    “Anyone have similar struggles? Thoughts?”

    Yup – Been there – Wound up leaving “The Religious System” – after much Pain, Tears, and “Spiritual Abuse” – I had many doubts and fears – NO internet then. – NO friends who understood – Felt all alone…

    Tried finding another Place – another Group – But – Way too much anxiety, and feeling like a hypocrite – Trying to fit in – Trying to “Play the game” – You Know – Do NOT make waves – Do NOT ask hard questions – When you see something wrong just keep smiling and shut-up. – Or you get the “Left Foot of Fellowship.”

    I could NOT do the Sunday Mourning Ritual anymore…
    Knowing what goes on the rest of the week – Behind closed doors…
    Could NOT listen to another Sermon…

    It was really tough for the first few years – Today I’m thankful for being alone in the wilderness…
    You have NO place to go – but to Jesus – You get to know Jesus for yourself… 🙂

    And the Freedom in Christ is wonderful… 😉

    2 Cor 3:17
    Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

    Rom 8:14
    For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

  73. @ Former CLC’er:

    Former CLC’er

    Much agreement when you write – With great wisdom I might add…
    “P.S. I also have trouble trusting pastors, which may be a good thing.”

    Yes – I certainly understand – Seems most “Spiritual Abuse” is instigated by pastors.
    And the only folks Jesus gave a hard time to were “The Religious Leaders” of His day…
    Who placed heavy burdens on shoulders doing nothing to move it. Mat 23:4

    Today – I NO longer trust those who call themselves – pastor/leader/reverend – At ALL.
    And – Some of my best friends are pastors – and Exxx-pastors. 😉

    Today, from the Bible, and my experience…
    I see lots of reasons NOT to put your trust anyone who calls themself – pastor/leader/reverend.

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  74. @ elastigirl:

    I just loved your whole reply to – Former CLC’er:

    “God is much, much bigger than this church (or any church).”

    “Free yourself. God’s not going anywhere.”

  75. Victorious

    Seems “The Religious System” has convinced us sheeppies to stay in one place.
    And listen to the same paid professianal pastor preaching – Weak after Weak…
    It becomes a habit – An addiction – that is very hard to break from…

    And we wind up in bondage to The System and those telling us – We need to be in one place.

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    And we do NOT ask Jesus where He wants us today. Where His wind is blowing us… 😉

    John 3:7-8 NASB
    Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
    The *wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, (*Wind- Greek, Pneuma = Spirit)
    but do not know where it comes from and where it is going;
    so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Liberty… To Follow Jesus…

    John 10:27
    My Sheep – Hear MY Voice – and – I know them – and – They Follow Me.

    Gal 5:1
    Stand fast therefore in THE LIBERTY wherewith Christ hath made us FREE,
    and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

  76. Thanks to everyone for your encouragement. I am confident that I’m headed in the right direction and will find more intimacy with Jesus as well. And I’m willing to give it time, which is all I have.

    I was thinking of a pet peeve I have with a lot of Christians, though. Doesn’t it seem like people and churches have to do the same things. It bothers me most when I see churches structuring their services exactly the same, using the same (and to me empty) terminology, and being enthusiastic about the same new Christian fads. If I hear of another friend attending Kurt Cameron’s new movie, I’m going to scream.

  77. @ A. Amos Love:

    ‘tchaw…. as it taupe, black, big lights, big screen, big music, big sound, and coiffed (so as to look not-coiffed) men on a stage is a prerequisite for God.

  78. will f:

    Please accept my apology, it was rude to get your name wrong.

    I was reading Nathan Colquhoun, a blogging pastor from Sarnia and thinking about the Hamilton crowd:

    “Perhaps the evangelical church has fallen into this trap that attendance equals participation. Perhaps we as Christians have allowed showing up to observe someone on stage as an act of discipleship.”

  79. Speaking of greedy churches / preachers.

    These are recent blog headings from FBC Jax’s blog:

    Acts 29 Pastor Asks: “Have You Had a Spiritual Prostate Exam”? They’re Only $99 at the Acts 29 “Raleigh Boot Camp”

    Spiritual prostate exams?? 😯 ❓

    And:

    “Robert Morris [mega church preacher and frequent guest speaker at churches] Lays Down the Law: Non-Tithers are “Arrogant” and “Thieves” And Subject to Demon Possession”

    Demon possession for not tithing? As if his previous warnings that your spouse will dump you (if you have one) and you will go broke if you don’t tithe were not enough.

    God says in the New Testament he likes a cheerful giver. God indicates in the NT He does not want people guilted or scared into giving funds.

    These preacher guys will hit any low to wring money out of people.

  80. Daisy wrote:

    Spiritual prostate exams??

    Does he mean the “Dr Jellyfinger” DRE or the ultrasound dildo with the biopsy needles?

    Demon possession for not tithing? As if his previous warnings that your spouse will dump you (if you have one) and you will go broke if you don’t tithe were not enough.

    More like he’ll Hex you with Demons if you don’t fork over the $$$$$.

    Isn’t that called “Witchcraft”?

  81. Man, I know where ur coming from! After 25+ years in a charasmaniac church- where we were leaders, deacons, teachers- God virtually dragged us out! I believed the lies- you will be in trouble with God if u leave, there is no church like this one ANYWHERE, if you don’t tithe no rapture for you on and on and on. I remember at one point thinking that in heaven all the big anointed ones would be up front by Jesus and we would be way in the back jumping up and down to get little glimpses of the Lord. Thousands $$ in tithes, offerings, building funds etc etc. But there were masonic symbols on the walls that they got mad at me for mentioning. Finally free we moved 14 hours away to the bible belt. Started attending a kjv only Baptist church. A retired minister and his wife from the church offered bible studies in our home. We were so lonely and grateful till a few weeks in he lowered the boom. “Why aren’t u there (in church) everytime the doors open? ( Don’t forget my dh is almost totally disabled from 2 strokes/brain damage and needs constant care.) “Wheres those tithes”? “Why aren’t you working in the church”? “We’ll let you join but that ‘prayin in tongues’ has gotta go- its just a bunch of gibberish you know”- and MEAN about it! And we will’ never make it’ without a church. The church of God/ pentacostals seem to have nonstop choruses and so much nonsense- buzzwords. No I don’t want to ‘turn to my neighbor and say’ and I don’t have a clue what ‘another level’ is! This really cool thought occurred to me- that communist imprisoned pastors/ believers even after years in prison came out stronger and more in love with Christ! And they didn’t even have a bible! GOD CAN KEEP HIS ELECT! My ‘tithes’ now go to the widow believer for her car repairs, etc etc. TRULY Christ is able to keep that which His Father gave Him- that would be us! Yes, we watch sermons on internet sun am- but I am not grieved by attending a church that is actively participating in Halloween and grieving the Holy Spirit. You can keep ‘trunk or treat’- the remnant is leaving! Heard some interesting remarks that maybe the last church will be like the first- the book of Acts – where believers met house to house. Thanx for listenin

  82. daz wrote:

    My ‘tithes’ now go to the widow believer for her car repairs, etc etc.

    daz wrote:

    . We were so lonely and grateful till a few weeks in he lowered the boom. “Why aren’t u there (in church) everytime the doors open? ( Don’t forget my dh is almost totally disabled from 2 strokes/brain damage and needs constant care.) “Wheres those tithes”? “Why aren’t you working in the church”? “We’ll let you join but that ‘prayin in tongues’ has gotta go- its just a bunch of gibberish you know”- and MEAN about it!

    Good for you, daz. Give to the widow. Ignore the control freaks. May the Lord bless you on your journey. Bless you for caring for your dear husband. The Lord sees your sacrifice and will say “Well done, good and faithful servant.”