Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Church that I sometimes attend, Tithing, and "God's Will"

Since we moved here in June of 2005 we have been going to a certain church (name withheld so it doesn't get meta crawled on internet) This church is a typical contemporary church modeled after obese Pastor Rick Warren's phenomonally successful "Purpose Driven Church" in Lake Forest, CA. It has a nice outgoing pastor with a good looking wife and family. It is about 6 years old now and was started from scratch. Like many ambitious Pastors it is his "vision" and Gods of course, to build a brand new sprawling church on a 25 acre parcel of land . Apparently they got pre-qualified for the loan based on current church attendance and the amount of people who thought it was a good idea to give their money to fund such a thing. The church had many "one time gift" days where the pastor would stand up there hawking his ambition like a two-bit carnival barker. Once completed this church would compete with other such established "purpose driven" churches in our community of which there are many, with names like "Real life church" and other such nonsense.
Well things were rolling, times were good and every sunday we would hear about the phenomonal giving of our church members and how it is Gods will that this is happening. The blessings were abundant and this new church would be a foregone conclusion. Fast forward to the "service" this starts out with the pastor coming up on stage looking like he just woke up from a 48 hour bender, the stress and sadness were evident in his demeanor. He announced that the church is now in danger of folding completely and not making payroll! And they need 100 grand to keep this pipe dream of his alive. What colossal mismanagement! The only thing he could have done if he was being intellectually honest with himself is declare that "it is not Gods will to build this new church" and it is perhaps furthermore it is Gods will for him to recuse himself from the church altogether. How many people gave how many thousands to this ridiculousness, when they could have given the same amount to the Make a Wish Foundation. Well it's all gone now, unless this is all sham and he has planned to triumphantly announce that "God" has been faithful and everything is back on track next week.

We are supposed to give 10 percent of everything "to God" right? Well did you guys know that Jesus never said anything like that in the Bible, no such percentage is named in the New Testament, the 10 percent is named in the Old Testament along such archaic verses such as "Dont wear a shirt made out of two different fibers" Pastors today have no problem cherry picking this verse for emphasis while continuing to bilk old ladies out of their money so they can buy Mac Book Pro's, Video Cameras, Guitar Amps and obscene down payments on 25 acre parcels of land so that a pastors ego can be satisfied.

PS I know many of my readers routinely give their money to their church with the best of good intentions. I implore you to take a hard look at exactly where your money is going. In many churches the money goes to fund "growth bureaucracy" more land, more services, more computers, more secrataries, more associate pastors, more carnival picnics etc. And of course in the Roman Catholic church your money is most likely going towards a 600 million dollar settlement and to teach the next crop of aspiring annointed pederasts. If you really want to help your fellow man, please cut out the middle man and give directly to fund a childens hospital, or a burn unit, or the make a wish foundation, or cancer research. All of these and more are in this bloggers opinion a far better use of your resources than to what you think of as "giving to God"


Mike Jacobs said...

Garrett, these are incredibly entertaining and fun to read but why does it all bother you so much? Or are you not really bothered and just like to write about your observations?

Garrett said...

Thanks for reading mike! I write about this topic because i am fascinated by it. I try not to let it bother me too much though...have you joined the uc Colorado free thought club yet? :)

dole2obama said...

A couple of thoughts here:
1. Mike, great question!
2. Goot, it is great that you have the courage to write about your thoughts on the church/God because most people do not "want to rock the boat."
3. Please update us on the church making payroll or if it was just a cynical ploy to get more $$$. Where was this 25 acre site and how much was it?
4. Great post, good job on this one!

Pauly said...

A cult is a cult is a cult is a ....

They are fascinating, but there's nothing new to see here folks, please disperse.

Bible Thumpin' Mike in Utah said...

You nailed this one Garrett!

Jesus and the NT teaches giving as you have the ability. I have never ever taken up an offering in my time in the puplit. I have never made a plea for special projects in my life. The Lord is not concerned with buildings, bodies, and bucks.

Also in our churches, not a dime of church money is spent without it being brought before all of the members of the church and every member has a say and a vote.

Funny how I have never seen a church with a budget shortfall in my time so far.

Also the shirt and two material thing is an OT law given for spiritual application representing the world and spiritual things.