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Letters to the Editor

Church finances

December 15, 2007

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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.

Erin Cottrell,

Lawrence

Comments

jonas 7 years ago

"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."

I, for one, am shocked by these findings.

Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Yes? Yes! Sen Grassley . Face it church is big business which probably should pay taxes.

Then we cut corporate welfare to the multi millon and multi billion dollar giants like Exxon-Mobil,BP-Texaco,healthcare industry giants,corporate farming giants,military industrial complex(50 cents of every tax dollar) etc etc.

Instead bring us National Health Insurance,alternative energy,Vo-Tech Schools and new jobs for Lawrence by way of the new booming green collar industry. Let's be productive with our tax dollars.

Ragingbear 7 years ago

Shocking I say. This must be some new concept too, as there is no evidence of this ever happening in history.

Joe Hyde 7 years ago

Televangelists could be God's way of showing us that P.T. Barnum was right.

blackwalnut 7 years ago

Especially the Mormon church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Saints is several times wealthier than the Catholic church despite the Catholics' 10x longer history and much larger membership. The reason is the Mormons absolutely demand tithing. I've had Mormon friends (another town) who had to produce their tax returns to their bishop every year to prove they gave enough to the church.

berthaerika 7 years ago

Concerning the instruction (really a demand) for a cash-tithe; I wish more Christians would make known this abuse.

The instruction to pay a cash-tithe to the church is a lie. It is not Biblical and has its root in the love of money.

Regards,

Rev. Amos Ortiz

p>www.tithedeception.blogspot.com www.diezmodecepcion.blogspot.com

gr 7 years ago

"to have purchased a $20,000 commode with a marble top." Wow! A church operating like the government. Should someone hold the government accountable, too?

"I was a single mother and..." What would the widow with the two mites say to you?

Speaking of... "The instruction to pay a cash-tithe to the church is a lie."

I believe the instruction is tenth of increase. Figure it out.

an_actual_mormon 7 years ago

Blackwalnut: First of all, the name of the church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day (not Ladder Day) Saints.

Second, while the church knows how much I give in tithes and offerings, they have no idea how much I make, nor do they ask. Near the end of each year Mormons meet with their bishop for a Tithing Settlement meeting. The bishop provides the church member with an itemized list of their donations for the year so the member can verify its accuracy. Then the bishop asks if that represents a full and honest tithe. No tax returns required, only an honest answer. I've had many bishops and many tithing settlements, and it has always gone this way.

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