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Scammers Taking Advantage of Others in Church

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Why in the world does the Lord let scammers stay in the church? Is it to teach the rest of us patience or test our reactions somehow?

There is this old couple (they're neighbors too) in our church whom we used to be friends with, but over the last 3 years, we've discovered that they're lying scammers. They tell everyone big sob stories about how poor they are and how sick/invalid, and we've caught them on numerous occasions in lies. The sob stories are to get help from people so they save their own money. We've helped them I don't know how many times....and then I notice that the wife spends hordes on massages, nails, hair and furniture. Then they tell everyone at church that theyre' in need of money!

They just got another older couple to deliver 4 cords of wood for nothing.... and they have more than enough money to pay for it. They get people to help them and then lie to their faces about their finances and health. We've caught them out and about working in the yard, out 4 wheeling and at restaurants when they're supposed to be home with the flu.
Back then, I didn't care. I figured, whatever. That's between you and God as long as you don't drag us down with you.

Well, now they're trying to drag us down because we stopped helping them. We got tired of them wanting our time and money when they have more than we do!! So, we distanced ourselves from them and now, we're hearing that WE are being unhelpful and rude. Now, frankly, I don't care what people think....they'll figure out the truth soon enough. But that they're taking advantage of others now....irks me. I don't want others to go through what we did with this couple. Now that they've used us, and soiled our reputation (since we figured them out) they're moving on to others. ...others who have less and are worse off! They don't care though. The wife would guilt trip a cancer patient on their deathbed into giving her money to keep from having to live within her means.

Thankfully, there is one other older couple and their kids who are onto them as well...and they totally understand what we're going through. They keep telling us to ignore them; that their deeds will be found out soon enough. It's so hard to do....watching scammers like them use other good people in the church. Is this a sickness of some sort? Is it materialism, or a sick need for attention?

Ugh....It is so hard to stay quiet, but I suppose that is my test...to let God handle it and stay out of it, right?
 

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Why in the world does the Lord let scammers stay in the church? Is it to teach the rest of us patience or test our reactions somehow?

There is this old couple (they're neighbors too) in our church whom we used to be friends with, but over the last 3 years, we've discovered that they're lying scammers. They tell everyone big sob stories about how poor they are and how sick/invalid, and we've caught them on numerous occasions in lies. The sob stories are to get help from people so they save their own money. We've helped them I don't know how many times....and then I notice that the wife spends hordes on massages, nails, hair and furniture. Then they tell everyone at church that theyre' in need of money!

They just got another older couple to deliver 4 cords of wood for nothing.... and they have more than enough money to pay for it. They get people to help them and then lie to their faces about their finances and health. We've caught them out and about working in the yard, out 4 wheeling and at restaurants when they're supposed to be home with the flu.
Back then, I didn't care. I figured, whatever. That's between you and God as long as you don't drag us down with you.

Well, now they're trying to drag us down because we stopped helping them. We got tired of them wanting our time and money when they have more than we do!! So, we distanced ourselves from them and now, we're hearing that WE are being unhelpful and rude. Now, frankly, I don't care what people think....they'll figure out the truth soon enough. But that they're taking advantage of others now....irks me. I don't want others to go through what we did with this couple. Now that they've used us, and soiled our reputation (since we figured them out) they're moving on to others. ...others who have less and are worse off! They don't care though. The wife would guilt trip a cancer patient on their deathbed into giving her money to keep from having to live within her means.

Thankfully, there is one other older couple and their kids who are onto them as well...and they totally understand what we're going through. They keep telling us to ignore them; that their deeds will be found out soon enough. It's so hard to do....watching scammers like them use other good people in the church. Is this a sickness of some sort? Is it materialism, or a sick need for attention?

Ugh....It is so hard to stay quiet, but I suppose that is my test...to let God handle it and stay out of it, right?
Take it before the Pastor / Deacons, then the congregation. Just be sure you have clear-cut evidence.
 
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Sounds terrible. Better let church leaders know so that they can warn other churchgoers too. Then take into consideration, whether you want the issue informed to the police. Maybe it were best to get all who've been scammed to participate if you do so so that all of their victims get back what's theirs.
 
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[for me anyway] Christ tells us these shall come by His parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-24) which He later explained in (Matthew 13:36-43).
The enemy came while men slept (while we were distracted, not paying attention) and planted weeds [the children of the wicked one] among the wheat [the children of the kingdom]: but the Lord concluded saying "Let both grow together until the harvest".
As for us we must be as the Holy Spirit of Truth speaking through Peter told us saying "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
 
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Why in the world does the Lord let scammers stay in the church? Is it to teach the rest of us patience or test our reactions somehow?

There is this old couple (they're neighbors too) in our church whom we used to be friends with, but over the last 3 years, we've discovered that they're lying scammers. They tell everyone big sob stories about how poor they are and how sick/invalid, and we've caught them on numerous occasions in lies. The sob stories are to get help from people so they save their own money. We've helped them I don't know how many times....and then I notice that the wife spends hordes on massages, nails, hair and furniture. Then they tell everyone at church that theyre' in need of money!

They just got another older couple to deliver 4 cords of wood for nothing.... and they have more than enough money to pay for it. They get people to help them and then lie to their faces about their finances and health. We've caught them out and about working in the yard, out 4 wheeling and at restaurants when they're supposed to be home with the flu.
Back then, I didn't care. I figured, whatever. That's between you and God as long as you don't drag us down with you.

Well, now they're trying to drag us down because we stopped helping them. We got tired of them wanting our time and money when they have more than we do!! So, we distanced ourselves from them and now, we're hearing that WE are being unhelpful and rude. Now, frankly, I don't care what people think....they'll figure out the truth soon enough. But that they're taking advantage of others now....irks me. I don't want others to go through what we did with this couple. Now that they've used us, and soiled our reputation (since we figured them out) they're moving on to others. ...others who have less and are worse off! They don't care though. The wife would guilt trip a cancer patient on their deathbed into giving her money to keep from having to live within her means.

Thankfully, there is one other older couple and their kids who are onto them as well...and they totally understand what we're going through. They keep telling us to ignore them; that their deeds will be found out soon enough. It's so hard to do....watching scammers like them use other good people in the church. Is this a sickness of some sort? Is it materialism, or a sick need for attention?

Ugh....It is so hard to stay quiet, but I suppose that is my test...to let God handle it and stay out of it, right?

The Bible instructs on what to do... Matthew 18:15-17
"If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately.
If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.
And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or
a tax collector."
 
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Hidden In Him

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The Bible instructs on what to do... Matthew 18:15-17
"If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately.
If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.
And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or
a tax collector."

I think @Kit Sigmon's response is the best here. Paul didn't tolerate this sort of thing in the least (1 Timothy 5:6-7, 1 Timothy 5:9-13), and such users were NOT to be supported by anyone in the church under any circumstances. Their souls were in danger of eternal torment, and this should be first and foremost on everyone's mind.

By following the pattern set forth in Matthew 18:15-17, they will in all likelihood reject both you and those you bring with you. But these are the necessary steps to get to step three. It will then need to be addressed by the entire church.

Take courage, and do not simply let someone else handle it or wait for God to. The Lord Himself is probably waiting for someone in your congregation to. It's a grave sin, and should not be allowed to continue.
 
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I'm at the "regarding them as a pagan" point, folks. I've already told the pastor about them (When they pulled us into the office to talk about why we're distancing ourselves from them) and his wife jumped all over me for being insensitive to their needs. She bought their sob story, hook line and sinker and tried to make me feel like a horrible person for not understanding why this older woman is a toxic, manipulative nut case. She proceeded to tell me "how we're supposed to help our elders and how much these two need our help...oh, even if they don't really need it. Just do it anyway." I just shook my head and said, no...I'm not going to do that and I don't have to if I think we're being wronged...even if I can't convince you, I'm not helping those people.

I guess I have always been self-sufficient and independent and expect other people to be as well. I was always taught to live within my means and if I can't pay for things I need...I cut back on my spending, sell some things I'm not using or really don't need and start stricter budgeting. I would never take advantage of someone else to maintain my lifestyle. That is just wrong on so many levels. I feel like i need to do a credit and reference check on anyone asking us for help anymore. that's sad, but that's what it's coming to.

On a positive note: we had lunch today with some good friends (who distanced themselves from the toxic couple too) and they were encouraging. They said there's another couple in the church who won't socialize with them either. So, at least there's a few people who know. The main thing she told me was to stick to my guns, keep putting my foot down and don't let people guilt trip us when we know we're right. They did it and are still there, so we can to. that was nice to hear!
 
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Hidden In Him

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I'm at the "regarding them as a pagan" point, folks. I've already told the pastor about them (When they pulled us into the office to talk about why we're distancing ourselves from them) and his wife jumped all over me for being insensitive to their needs. She bought their sob story, hook line and sinker and tried to make me feel like a horrible person for not understanding why this older woman is a toxic, manipulative nut case. She proceeded to tell me "how we're supposed to help our elders and how much these two need our help...oh, even if they don't really need it. Just do it anyway." I just shook my head and said, no...I'm not going to do that and I don't have to if I think we're being wronged...even if I can't convince you, I'm not helping those people.

I guess I have always been self-sufficient and independent and expect other people to be as well. I was always taught to live within my means and if I can't pay for things I need...I cut back on my spending, sell some things I'm not using or really don't need and start stricter budgeting. I would never take advantage of someone else to maintain my lifestyle. That is just wrong on so many levels. I feel like i need to do a credit and reference check on anyone asking us for help anymore. that's sad, but that's what it's coming to.

On a positive note: we had lunch today with some good friends (who distanced themselves from the toxic couple too) and they were encouraging. They said there's another couple in the church who won't socialize with them either. So, at least there's a few people who know. The main thing she told me was to stick to my guns, keep putting my foot down and don't let people guilt trip us when we know we're right. They did it and are still there, so we can to. that was nice to hear!

I noticed you haven't been on since Thursday, just thought I'd encourage you with the following: I am a Bible study writer, and I saw this as excellent material to use in a study I'm currently writing on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10 (similar principles apply). So thought I would encourage you that excerpts from your testimony may end up helping more people than just those who read it here. Certainly we are called to help those who are truly in need. But NOWHERE in the Biblical teaching did they condone believers being blindly used and taken advantage of.

God bless, and thanks again for sharing your testimony. :oldthumbsup:
 
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ChicanaRose

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The Bible instructs on what to do... Matthew 18:15-17
"If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately.
If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.
And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or
a tax collector."

I like this response the best. I am brand new on Christian forum and wasn't sure how to find threads on this topic that is more recent than this. Please bear with me in patience as I figure it out.

As far as why do God allow scammers to come into the church, I think it is because we live in a fallen world. We really can't prevent certain people from coming into the church, but we can manage the situation with them biblically, as Kit Sigmon has shown with the passage from the Gospel. God bless.
 
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Presbyterian Continuist

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Why in the world does the Lord let scammers stay in the church? Is it to teach the rest of us patience or test our reactions somehow?

There is this old couple (they're neighbors too) in our church whom we used to be friends with, but over the last 3 years, we've discovered that they're lying scammers. They tell everyone big sob stories about how poor they are and how sick/invalid, and we've caught them on numerous occasions in lies. The sob stories are to get help from people so they save their own money. We've helped them I don't know how many times....and then I notice that the wife spends hordes on massages, nails, hair and furniture. Then they tell everyone at church that theyre' in need of money!

They just got another older couple to deliver 4 cords of wood for nothing.... and they have more than enough money to pay for it. They get people to help them and then lie to their faces about their finances and health. We've caught them out and about working in the yard, out 4 wheeling and at restaurants when they're supposed to be home with the flu.
Back then, I didn't care. I figured, whatever. That's between you and God as long as you don't drag us down with you.

Well, now they're trying to drag us down because we stopped helping them. We got tired of them wanting our time and money when they have more than we do!! So, we distanced ourselves from them and now, we're hearing that WE are being unhelpful and rude. Now, frankly, I don't care what people think....they'll figure out the truth soon enough. But that they're taking advantage of others now....irks me. I don't want others to go through what we did with this couple. Now that they've used us, and soiled our reputation (since we figured them out) they're moving on to others. ...others who have less and are worse off! They don't care though. The wife would guilt trip a cancer patient on their deathbed into giving her money to keep from having to live within her means.

Thankfully, there is one other older couple and their kids who are onto them as well...and they totally understand what we're going through. They keep telling us to ignore them; that their deeds will be found out soon enough. It's so hard to do....watching scammers like them use other good people in the church. Is this a sickness of some sort? Is it materialism, or a sick need for attention?

Ugh....It is so hard to stay quiet, but I suppose that is my test...to let God handle it and stay out of it, right?
They need to have the account of Ananias and Sapphira placed before them and the consequences they faced when they lied to the Holy Spirit. They need to be told straight out that because of their lies, they have no part in the kingdom of God and they are in the grip of iniquity that will land them in hell if they don't repent. Because they are an old couple, it may not be long before the thin cord that is keeping them suspended over hell breaks and down they go sliding straight into hell - unless they repent, get right with God and make restitution to those they have scammed.
 
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Andrew77

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Why in the world does the Lord let scammers stay in the church? Is it to teach the rest of us patience or test our reactions somehow?

There is this old couple (they're neighbors too) in our church whom we used to be friends with, but over the last 3 years, we've discovered that they're lying scammers. They tell everyone big sob stories about how poor they are and how sick/invalid, and we've caught them on numerous occasions in lies. The sob stories are to get help from people so they save their own money. We've helped them I don't know how many times....and then I notice that the wife spends hordes on massages, nails, hair and furniture. Then they tell everyone at church that theyre' in need of money!

They just got another older couple to deliver 4 cords of wood for nothing.... and they have more than enough money to pay for it. They get people to help them and then lie to their faces about their finances and health. We've caught them out and about working in the yard, out 4 wheeling and at restaurants when they're supposed to be home with the flu.
Back then, I didn't care. I figured, whatever. That's between you and God as long as you don't drag us down with you.

Well, now they're trying to drag us down because we stopped helping them. We got tired of them wanting our time and money when they have more than we do!! So, we distanced ourselves from them and now, we're hearing that WE are being unhelpful and rude. Now, frankly, I don't care what people think....they'll figure out the truth soon enough. But that they're taking advantage of others now....irks me. I don't want others to go through what we did with this couple. Now that they've used us, and soiled our reputation (since we figured them out) they're moving on to others. ...others who have less and are worse off! They don't care though. The wife would guilt trip a cancer patient on their deathbed into giving her money to keep from having to live within her means.

Thankfully, there is one other older couple and their kids who are onto them as well...and they totally understand what we're going through. They keep telling us to ignore them; that their deeds will be found out soon enough. It's so hard to do....watching scammers like them use other good people in the church. Is this a sickness of some sort? Is it materialism, or a sick need for attention?

Ugh....It is so hard to stay quiet, but I suppose that is my test...to let God handle it and stay out of it, right?

First off, the only one that can really damage your reputation is you.

They can't damage your reputation. They can say a bunch of bad things, but people will sooner or later, see that you are who you are by how you act. So continue to do what you should, and live right, and eventually the truth will always come out.

As for the staying quiet, other than if you wish to talk to the pastor, that's fine. But otherwise, you should listen to the other couple. Just keep your mouth shut. Let these scamming people trip over themselves. Just let it happen.

We believe in a G-d of justice, do we not? No one in this world 'gets away with it'. My G-d does not allow people to get away with stuff. Now, or later, at some point, the hammer will fall, and the people will be gone.

Years and years ago, I heard a phrase that has stuck with me for decades now.

"Never get between G-d's hammer, and the nail". From a pastor ages ago. Meaning, that when G-d is getting ready to unleash his wrath on someone, stay out of the way.

The reason these scammers are in the church, is because G-d is giving them a chance to repent. He gave all of us a chance to repent, so he is also going to give them a chance. But when the hammer falls, don't be in the way.
 
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First off, the only one that can really damage your reputation is you.

They can't damage your reputation. They can say a bunch of bad things, but people will sooner or later, see that you are who you are by how you act. So continue to do what you should, and live right, and eventually the truth will always come out.

As for the staying quiet, other than if you wish to talk to the pastor, that's fine. But otherwise, you should listen to the other couple. Just keep your mouth shut. Let these scamming people trip over themselves. Just let it happen.

We believe in a G-d of justice, do we not? No one in this world 'gets away with it'. My G-d does not allow people to get away with stuff. Now, or later, at some point, the hammer will fall, and the people will be gone.

Years and years ago, I heard a phrase that has stuck with me for decades now.

"Never get between G-d's hammer, and the nail". From a pastor ages ago. Meaning, that when G-d is getting ready to unleash his wrath on someone, stay out of the way.

The reason these scammers are in the church, is because G-d is giving them a chance to repent. He gave all of us a chance to repent, so he is also going to give them a chance. But when the hammer falls, don't be in the way.


Lets be really clear here, the wages of sin is death, Jesus paid the wages. There are no wages left. Now for the other, there is earthly consequences for what they have done. There are 2 options you have here, take it to church eldership or to the police, whichever you feel most comfortable with.
 
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ChicanaRose

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"Never get between G-d's hammer, and the nail". From a pastor ages ago. Meaning, that when G-d is getting ready to unleash his wrath on someone, stay out of the way.

The reason these scammers are in the church, is because G-d is giving them a chance to repent. He gave all of us a chance to repent, so he is also going to give them a chance. But when the hammer falls, don't be in the way.

That's a great point. Thank you for sharing. I think the potential problem with scammers in the church is that they take away the help from people who really need it. If someone is a good actor/ actress and can display enough drama to get funds from the church, how much will be left when the person in real need comes around?
 
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The reason why scammers and hypocrites are so wide spread in our churches, and seem to get away with what they are doing, is the "easy believerism" and liberal attitudes that comes from the pulpits. Because much preaching and teaching lacks real conviction of sin and the insistence of complying with God's moral law for a continued walk with God, coupled with a reluctance to clearly teach that sinners and hypocrites will have the gates of heaven shut against them with an eternity in hell the only alternative, scammers and hypocrites are able to put on the "badge" of Christian profession and hoodwink good people.

Paul says that where the gift of prophecy is widespread in the church, the secrets of man's hearts will be revealed and they will fall down, repent and worship that God is really present with the believers in that church.

Problem is, that the type of genuine Holy Spirit prophecy is rare, and actually absent in the majority of churches, and so, scammers and hypocrites can freely enter and be part of those churches without their real hearts being exposed.
 
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thecolorsblend

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Why in the world does the Lord let scammers stay in the church? Is it to teach the rest of us patience or test our reactions somehow?

There is this old couple (they're neighbors too) in our church whom we used to be friends with, but over the last 3 years, we've discovered that they're lying scammers. They tell everyone big sob stories about how poor they are and how sick/invalid, and we've caught them on numerous occasions in lies. The sob stories are to get help from people so they save their own money. We've helped them I don't know how many times....and then I notice that the wife spends hordes on massages, nails, hair and furniture. Then they tell everyone at church that theyre' in need of money!

They just got another older couple to deliver 4 cords of wood for nothing.... and they have more than enough money to pay for it. They get people to help them and then lie to their faces about their finances and health. We've caught them out and about working in the yard, out 4 wheeling and at restaurants when they're supposed to be home with the flu.
Back then, I didn't care. I figured, whatever. That's between you and God as long as you don't drag us down with you.

Well, now they're trying to drag us down because we stopped helping them. We got tired of them wanting our time and money when they have more than we do!! So, we distanced ourselves from them and now, we're hearing that WE are being unhelpful and rude. Now, frankly, I don't care what people think....they'll figure out the truth soon enough. But that they're taking advantage of others now....irks me. I don't want others to go through what we did with this couple. Now that they've used us, and soiled our reputation (since we figured them out) they're moving on to others. ...others who have less and are worse off! They don't care though. The wife would guilt trip a cancer patient on their deathbed into giving her money to keep from having to live within her means.

Thankfully, there is one other older couple and their kids who are onto them as well...and they totally understand what we're going through. They keep telling us to ignore them; that their deeds will be found out soon enough. It's so hard to do....watching scammers like them use other good people in the church. Is this a sickness of some sort? Is it materialism, or a sick need for attention?

Ugh....It is so hard to stay quiet, but I suppose that is my test...to let God handle it and stay out of it, right?
Depending on the severity of the problem, a public warning might do a lot of good.

"Mr. and Mrs. Smith have made it known that they've fallen on hard times recently. Between Mrs. Smith's taste for expensive furniture and hair salons as well as Mr. Smith's penchant for massages, it would be fair to say that they've spent money irresponsibly.

"We believe that this is a time for Mr. and Mrs. Smith to learn frugality so we are asking all of you to immediately cease all financial (or other) assistance that Mr. and Mrs. Smith may ask for. As an act of love, allow them to live with the consequences of poor financial decisions. If they bother any of you, tell them your pastor has personally instructed each of you to withhold all support from them, no matter what their circumstances might be.

"We've also taken the liberty of advising other nearby ecclesial communities of Mr. and Mrs. Smith's challenges and those pastors have similarly agreed to withhold all financial support from them so that this lovely couple can learn the fullness of whatever God is trying to teach them. Let us pray."

Disclaimer- I can be a mean, sarcastic, bitter jerk sometimes so the above may not be to everybody's taste. But it would be effective. This I do affirm.
 
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