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What do Pentecostals think of the "Tithe" issue?

Discussion in 'Pentecostal/Assemblies of God' started by BubblesRelena, Dec 18, 2004.

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  1. BubblesRelena

    BubblesRelena Manager of Apostolic Love

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    Okay, I used to go to a UPCI church (and i was told that most churches do this) that where all of the tithe money went to the pastor. This pastor never works, he never has. He owns a home (around here homes cost about $200,000) and two new vehicles (they always own new cars), he's always wearing new suits and his wife's always wearing brand new expensive clothing. The church itself is extremely poor and can bairly stand on it's own two legs. The state (I live in California) sees churches as clubs (this is all legal stuff here) and so they see tithe as membership payment (some clubs have it to where you pay monthly membership, tithe is the same way). At this church you can't become a member (vote on church issues and stuff) unless you pay tithe (and it can't be in food or anything else, it HAS to be money). So because the state sees the church as a club, the pastor has every LEGAL right to take the tithe money (ten percent of it's member's income) as their own cash. This has been an issue for me since I found out that the pastor (I call it stealing) takes the tithe money from the church. Most churches that I have run into have the same thing going on. Some of them are really poor, and some of them aren't. What's everyone else's take on this? Do you think it's okay for the pastor and his wife to take the money, or do you think that the bible ment something when it says that the tithe money is for the church (ironically that's something this very pastor preached on before)? Any thoughts, imput? Or am I the only one disturbed by this?

    ~BubblesRelena
     
  2. lismore

    lismore Legend

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    Hi bubbles

    I had the same feelings as you at my last church.

    I think the Bibles position is 1) Give to the needy 2) Give to the Lord's work as the spirit leads, this cuts over denominational boundaries and other silly man made things.

    Giving legalistically 10, 20 30% of your income is just silly. Especially as you dont know where its going.

    The Spiritual Kingdom of God is not the same as a man made institution. Giving to extend God's Kingdom is not always the same as giving to extend a denomination.

    Remember the apostle Paul worked as a tent maker so he would not be a burden to anyone? I think this is something the modern type pastor could learn from. If there were more workers in the church it would decrease the busybody streak. Pastoral wealth versus member poverty has been something I often have experienced in AOG churches. The building also becomes more important than the poor souls who use the 'widows might' to keep the whole thing going. I have seen people being squeezed to give their last penny by sermons from the pulpit and pressure from the leadership and then they have nothing to live on. When the Pastor then whizzes by in a £50,000 car and you pay a poor old man his bus fare home because he has given his last penny to this scallywag pastor its where I call the line. The church money is meant to help poor believers not support these weasels at our throats. Instead the poor believers are made poorer and the old boy pastor network becomes richer and richer.

    Can anyone tell me where this pastor scheme comes from?

    In the bible I have found so far:

    Diakones: servant, from where we get deacon

    epi skopeos: guard (watch over), from where we get episcopal

    leitourgeous: fills public office at own expense like Pericles.


    Please dont misundertsand me Im not getting at Pastors in general just the specific ones i have met and seen at work. Im sure there must be a good few out there somewhere! :blush:
     
  3. whoopiepie

    whoopiepie New Member

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    I attend UPCI church and the tithes do not go directly to the pastor. Matter of fact we have a business meeting every year to assess where the money is going. The pastor gets a whopping $23,000. as a yearly salary and is without health insurance.
    I have no idea where you went to church but that is NOT the case with ALL UPCI's. Praise God!

    ;)
     
  4. kspchemist

    kspchemist Bible Thumper

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    Most Pentecostal churches tend to pay the pastor a salary. What the pastor does with that salary, is up to him, but usually a church will have a treasurer that does all the churches finances, without the involvement of the pastor.
     
  5. BubblesRelena

    BubblesRelena Manager of Apostolic Love

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    Heh, my church that I was talking about has a treasurer too...the pastor's wife.

    ~BubblesRelena
     
  6. totally impartial then:D
     
  7. I think the post author was talking about all the hidden little perks thats make the pastor seem to be 500x more rich than us plebs:D
     
  8. BubblesRelena

    BubblesRelena Manager of Apostolic Love

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    Yes, It does seem unfair when the pastor and his wife doesn't work, they have a very poor almost bankrupt church, the people are very poor, but yet him and his wife every two years get new Mercadies (sp).

    ~BubblesRelena
     
  9. whoopiepie

    whoopiepie New Member

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    Bubbles you may want to report them to the big wigs.... that's not right.
    Pastor here and his wife drive 89 vehicles. Sounds like something is going on there that the district should be aware of.
     
  10. BubblesRelena

    BubblesRelena Manager of Apostolic Love

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    Oh, what they're doing is legal (them and our "sister church" in Eureka who just happens to be the pastor's wife's parents). They can legally do it because the government sees churches as clubs. And the tithe from the church members is seen as membership fees. So, since the pastor is the "president" of the club, he gets to tell the treasuer (sp), his wife in this case, what to do with the tithe money.

    Now, everything else donated to the church, like the money that specifically is for a piano, or sunday school supplies, legally, they can't touch it unless they use it for those things. When I was a sunday school teacher there, my class and the other class (the one my mother taught) raised about $150.00, so at the end of the school year we could have a party and invite other little kids that didn't go to church (we did that one year and that brought new kids, which brought their parents, which almost doubled membership. All because of the kids!) But the pastor taught a bible studdy for college students at his home, and used all of the money to pay for some teaching books on it and for making copies at the copy machine. He legally wrote it off as "Adult Sunday School.", and got my mother very upset. It's not that he stole from us, but we had to go and tell all those 5 to 11 year olds that they can't have a party that they had saved a whole year up for, because the pastor used the money. Those kids were heartbroken.

    What I'm saying is legally there's ways for pastors to get around most things, expecially when their church is full of "yes-men". People who say yes to whatever the pastor does or says. The pastors that are UPC around here all use the verse "Touch not the God's annointed." And they drill that in everyone's head. You hear it all the time. But what other people forget is all of use are God's annointed, nost JUST the pastors! Unfortunitly my old church is full of yes-men who don't want to say anything bad about the pastor or go againts his wishes. It's disgusting how at times they seem to treat him and his wife like gods.

    There's no point in reporting him anymore though. God finally got ahold of him. After I walked out of the church (on mothers day too, my mom walked out with me right before service started) God had opened my eyes about a lot of things. And then I noticed that I needed to share what God had spoken to me with everyone back at the church, so my mom and I went back on the first sunday of September. Boy, was that interesting. The pastor asked us to stay and talk with him after service. And we did, and him and his wife wigged out. It was horrable. I knew instantly God had left the church, expecially when He started lieing through his teeth, about things we could prove to him that he was lieing about. And he KNEW he was lieing and doing it openly! It was a very messy situation.

    I kept trying to go back for about three weeks, but the pastor would keep telling me to leave, and I finally gave up because God had left the church, it was dry and dead. Well, I found out that the second week of November he stood in front of the congragation (which had less people in it than there was before we left) and announced that he is quitting. He didn't say why, he didn't say where he was going. He actually said he doesn't know what he's going to do. He got the board of members (about ten people, and there's 40 people go to the church) and talked them into "merging" with the Eureka church (his In-laws). Since they're a group of "yes men" they voted yes. They didn't think about the fact that no one else will go to that church because of it's nasty reputation of being snobbish and mean, and not only that but for some people it's a 2 hour drive there! Gas isn't cheap, this last summer gas was 2.50!

    Nobody thought of what financial gain the Eureka church will make from owning the Arcata church (merging means they will own it). It's one of the first things that poped into my head. Last year the pastor had the church's building and property estimated for price. It's a few achers of PRIME land smack dab in the middle of a residential zone in a place were property value is going up, Up, UP! If the Eureka church keeps the property for about three years and doesn't do anything, and then sells it, not only can they make it a tax write-off, but when they do sell it the pastor and his wife (my old pastor's in-laws) will get 10% (they show that as "tithe" since it's income) and that's roughly around $150,000. Now, those figures are close to the truth, right now the property is worth a Million, it's valued to go up high in the next three years, so I might even be saying it's a little less now than it will be.

    But what I'm trying to say is that he's leaving the sceene. No one can say that he's taking the money from the church now, because he's not. Instead he talked 10 very stupid "yes-men" people into giving it to his in-laws. I don't think after his in-laws cash a check for over a million dollars that they wont give any to their favorite son-in-law. Yeah right. Unfortunitly this is all legal, and I've visited other UPC churches in Oregon and other places, and his happens there too. The pastor lives above the church. No pastor should ever live above the church (not the people, but the church itself!!!). No pastor or his wife should put themselves on a petistole (sp) and not lift a finger for the church except for being it's pastor.

    When I was 15 I was playing the drums for the church because their drummer backslid..I actually taught myself JUST for the church. I also started doing sunday school teaching...and I don't like kids. But I did it because there was a job to be done and no one else would do it. I did back-up singing, I pulled the music before services, my mother and I cleaned the church, I helped with the christmas play every year, I lived at that church six days a week (litterlity too. I stopped going to high school and did homeschooling, which gave me more time to devote to the church and God.) The only thing I didn't do was lead the children's choir. I flat out refused to do that because I was over worked as it was...still had a job, and then my senior year in high school I was also going to public school again, and going to a bible studdy every thursday, eating up my time! The pastor's wife said that it's not her place to do any jobs, but to just pray. And the pastor only wanted to do preaching. He'd get on other people's case for not doing things, that weren't even their job!

    This type of thing happens all the time, and it's really sad. I was talking to my grandmother yesterday and she was telling me about my aunt Sherri's preacher in Oregon, and how when he left he made the new pastor and the church people BUY the church from him! He made bank on selling a church, and unfortunitly with the way things are...totally legal (except for in the eyes of God!). This is one of my pet peeves, going to a church where they give the money to the pastor. It's horrable and shouldn't be done because too many times churches and the people in them get screwed. This church building that I'm talking about has a very long reputation with pastors who've screwed it over. There's a very large, very NICE house next to the church property (the church property has a private enterance and this house does too because it was built on the church's land). The house was built by the church for any pastor who preaches there to live. But the current pastor at the time talked the members (yes-men) to give him the deed. They were stupid and gave it to him. After everything was legally cleared with the house, that man sold it, made a lot of money, and skipped town with his family. Leaving a shocked church with no money, no pastor, and crushed hopes.

    I'm just tired of hearing, and seeing this happen. It sure makes me warey of joining another church.

    ~BubblesRelena
     
  11. goy

    goy ani notzri

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    I can assure you that the state of California does not see churches as clubs. I happen to be the financial administrator of an Assemblies of God congregation here and to my [limited] knowledge, a church here MUST be incorporated as non-profit religious organization with the State and accepted as such by the IRS before they can function as a church.

    Might it be that that church you attended was not a "Church" as legally defined?
     
  12. whoopiepie

    whoopiepie New Member

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    Bubbles, that is criminal! You need to report these people to the big wigs in Missouri.
     
  13. BubblesRelena

    BubblesRelena Manager of Apostolic Love

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    I should. I just need to find someone around here who can legally advise me on what to do (without charging me an arm and a leg), and get something done before these people can skip town. Idk, today was supposed to be their last service before they stopped preaching. I don't know, I'll have to pray about it. I'll ask God what's best, He may want to deal with them in His own way...which might be worse than what any law can do. I mean, think about it, a preacher doing that...he'll have to answer to God about all of it. I think at that point he'll be sweating bullits.

    ~BubblesRelena
     
  14. Gumdrop71

    Gumdrop71 New Member

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    I mean, think about it, a preacher doing that...he'll have to answer to God about all of it. I think at that point he'll be sweating bullits.
    =========
    He should, stealing from God is plain wrong.
     
  15. Anthony_85

    Anthony_85 New Member

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    If all the money from the offering is going directly to the pastor and his wife, who don't lift a finger it is not a church, it is a cult simple as that.
     
  16. It's very simple, really:

    The first 10% of your income goes to your church. Simple. The money is used to pay the pastor, feed his family, pay the church's water and electric bills, pay for items used in the church, like Bibles, computers and equipment, instruments, church activities, cleaning supplies, items for the book store, etc., and support building funds or missions (depending on how your church's board decides). A church that allows all of its tithes to go to just one person (the pastor) is risking the temptation of excess. That church should vote on a board of members, including a non-partial accountant.

    I'm concerned that some here are saying that the tithe amount is discretionary. It's not. The word tithe literally means "a 10th part". If you're not giving the Lord the first 10% of your fruits you may need to pray about it... :prayer:
     
  17. BubblesRelena

    BubblesRelena Manager of Apostolic Love

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    It's not the offering, it's the tithe. But yeah...I know what you're saying.
     
  18. BubblesRelena

    BubblesRelena Manager of Apostolic Love

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    UPCI churches (at least all of the ones that I've visited and studdied (yes, I've studdied churches) don't have board members. They have "members", but not Board members (there's a slight difference). And tithe doesn't go to anything BUT the preacher. The preacher takes the tithe, and the money for the church..bills, cleaning supplies, etc..., is what comes out of offering and donations. A church can't survive on just tithe alone, because it doesn't go to the church (unless the preacher is actually letting it...which is rare.). A church survives on offering and donations and fundraisers.
     
  19. goy

    goy ani notzri

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    Well, there's your root of all your problems right there.
     
    BubblesRelena likes this.
  20. dllewis1958

    dllewis1958 New Member

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    Tithing..well I can tell you this..when I don't tithe I get in trouble financially..when I started tithing 10% faithfully god has blessed and blessed and blessed..Now as far as what the Church does with the money..this was always an issue that I had..I feel that money brought into the church should go to help the needy and feed the hungry. Of course the Church bills also have to be paid...I belong to a very small Pentecostal Church and I know for a fact where the money goes because we (my husband and I) were the treasurers for years. The pastor got a whole $100.00 per month salary..whenever there was a need the church met the needs such as buying groceries for people, helping financially any way we could...the rest of the money went to paying the utilities such as electric, gas, water...the church itself has been paid off for many years..it has been past down from pastor to pastor never to be sold...I am very happy with this little church because they are truely caring loving people. My pastor is a woman (I know many people do not believe in women pastors but she is very annointed) her and her husband both work supervising a flea market..they are older people and that is their only income. And they pay their 10% tithes on what they make at the flea market and she pays 10% on her $100.00 per month.

    I belonged to another church years ago and there was a family that was in desperate need of food. I went to that pastor and she told me to go to their house and check out their cabinets and then she'd think about buying groceries..I went to visit these people has 3 small children their cabinets were bare..my pastor at that time would not help this family so my family began helping this family (that is where my tithes went weekly until this family was back on their feet again) This church had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank..it's sad when a church is not doing what they are told to do in the bible..but I just had to put this out of my mind and know that I was doing what God wanted me to do..I'm sorry for babbling on and on but this use to be a real sore spot for me..I've since prayed that god would put blinders on my eyes and direct me to a church that he wanted me to be at..and that's where I am now...
     
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