To the editor:
The other morning, I heard a story on KPR regarding Sen. Charles Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee conducting a review of the financial expenditures of several "mega-churches." Apparently, there is concern that the pastors/leadership of these churches might be abusing their tax-exempt status by using funds for personal use. Many of these individuals enjoy quite a lavish lifestyle, and most, if not all, of them claim it is to do "the Lord's work." One of them (which one is not clear) was reported to have purchased a $20,000 commode with a marble top.
I was so happy to hear that someone was finally holding such "ministries" accountable. Many church leaders are sadly quite shady in their dealings, using the Bible to justify their personal spending. Unfortunately it's not just mega-churches that are manipulative, but local churches as well.
I had an experience in a local church years ago where the pastor preached God would not bless those who did not give. We were instructed to tithe at least 10 percent of our gross income each month, regardless of how dire our finances. I was a single mother and college student working full time while the pastor and his wife were taking annual trips to places like Jamaica to "relax." Apparently getting rich is hard work.
Thank God this kind of abuse is coming to light.
God does not desire my money; he desires my heart.