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    01 Apr '13 22:092 edits
    It is my view that all Christan organised corporate denominations are nowadays constructed around the need to expand and to make money.

    There are a lot of well meaning Christians in these organisations who are genuine people just seeking God, however the organisations are now structured (at least to some extent) around the objective to drive up membership numbers and income from tithing/giving. At the top of these mini-corporations sit a leadership or (as in the case of the Jehovah's Witness cult*) a 'Governing Body' which sets the corporation's strategy for expansion and fund raising. The TV evangelists are not denominations, but they are the fully developed revolting face of this manifestation of greed and mind control.

    I find the situation depressing and revolting in equal measure. Is there any Christians here who attend a church which does not "pass round the collection plate" (albeit a old fashioned metaphor for leaching of the laity)? I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.

    *example only, could also include Mormons (LDS), Christadelphians etc
  2. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    01 Apr '13 23:13
    Originally posted by divegeester
    It is my view that all Christan organised corporate denominations are nowadays constructed around the need to expand and to make money.

    There are a lot of well meaning Christians in these organisations who are genuine people just seeking God, however the organisations are now structured (at least to some extent) around the objective to drive up membersh ...[text shortened]... ut your experiences.

    *example only, could also include Mormons (LDS), Christadelphians etc
    "R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is a grace ministry and operates entirely on voluntary contributions. There is no price list for any of our material. No money is requested. When gratitude for the Word of God motivates a believer to give, he has the privilege of contributing to the dissemination of Bible doctrine." [www.rbthieme.org]
  3. Standard memberRemoved
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    01 Apr '13 23:42
    Originally posted by divegeester
    It is my view that all Christan organised corporate denominations are nowadays constructed around the need to expand and to make money.

    There are a lot of well meaning Christians in these organisations who are genuine people just seeking God, however the organisations are now structured (at least to some extent) around the objective to drive up membe ...[text shortened]... our experiences.

    *example only, could also include Mormons (LDS), Christadelphians etc
    My church passes around a collection plate, but this not viewed as wrong.
    1 Cor 9:13-14
    Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
    NIV

    1 Tim 5:17-18

    17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."
    NIV
    The Apostle Paul did not receive offerings, but that was a preference of his. My full time Pastor lives off the offerings, and has a very modest lifestyle. Are you saying Preachers should not have collections?
  4. Joined
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    02 Apr '13 00:14
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is a grace ministry and operates entirely on voluntary contributions. There is no price list for any of our material. No money is requested. When gratitude for the Word of God motivates a believer to give, he has the privilege of contributing to the dissemination of Bible doctrine." [www.rbthieme.org]
    Yes, thank you for the reminder. Is this online or do the members gather together also?
  5. Joined
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    02 Apr '13 00:202 edits
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Are you saying Preachers should not have collections?
    I'm saying no one in leadership in the church (the body) should have their hand out to the laity. If a person has a ministry then God will provide through prompting gifts from his faithful servants. I'm not a proponent of "full-time" pastors/ministers generally speaking there is no need for that level of burden on the church.

    Edit: the funds in the church are there to support the needy not provide minsters with a salary.
  6. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    02 Apr '13 01:053 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester

    Yes, thank you for the reminder. Is this online or do the members gather together also?
    Local Houston Church Services Sundays and Two Weekday Evenings at Berachah Church:

    Present Pastor-Teacher Robert Thieme III (Son of RBT Jr., Who Began the Ministry)

    http://berachah.org/pastorrbtiii.html

    .......................................................................

    RBT Jr., Fifty Years of MP3CD Lessons and Publications Taught from the Original Hebrew,
    Aramaic and Koine Greek Mailed Around the World Free of Charge or Obligation:

    http://berachah.org/index.html
    .
  7. Cape Town
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    02 Apr '13 09:55
    Originally posted by divegeester
    It is my view that all Christan organised corporate denominations are nowadays constructed around the need to expand and to make money.
    Do you every try to spread 'the good news' or do you keep it to yourself? If the former, how do you distinguish between this and 'the need to expand'?

    My own experience is with the Anglican Church in Livingstone. They do use a collection plate, and do encourage tithing. However, somebody has to pay for the parish priest and the upkeep of the Church buildings. When I was young, there was a full time parish priest, and a voluntary priest. The full time parish priest was paid less than a typical job of the same difficulty. (less than a teacher I believe, but I could be wrong). The priest would have got paid more had he chosen to take up a different job.
    The finances of the local Parish were decided by representatives of the congregation with no personal financial interests whatsoever.
    There was certainly no sense of it being a money making enterprise. If anything, they were constantly short of money for projects such as building a new Church in one of the neighbourhoods so that they would no longer have to use school classrooms.

    My other experience is with Catholics in Livingstone. I know very little about how much money they collect, but I do know that a large amount gets spent on charity (they are the largest charitable organization in Zambia) and there are a lot of Catholics who dedicate their lives to charity work (I went to a Catholic school).

    I also know about a "Church of Christ" Bible school in Livingstone, it is run by a man who owns a farm (bought with his own money) who uses the proceeds of the farm to run the school. He may receive some funding from US congregations, but I am fairly sure that overall, he is putting money in, not taking it out.
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    02 Apr '13 09:57
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Edit: the funds in the church are there to support the needy not provide minsters with a salary.
    Isn't that up to the congregation to decide? Do you have church buildings? How are they built/maintained?
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    02 Apr '13 10:06
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Do you every try to spread 'the good news' or do you keep it to yourself? If the former, how do you distinguish between this and 'the need to expand'?

    My own experience is with the Anglican Church in Livingstone. They do use a collection plate, and do encourage tithing. However, somebody has to pay for the parish priest and the upkeep of the Church bui ...[text shortened]... ngregations, but I am fairly sure that overall, he is putting money in, not taking it out.
    As usual your n=1 logic seems to determine your view of Christianity; hateful when it suits...benevolent when it suits.
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    02 Apr '13 10:09
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Isn't that up to the congregation to decide? Do you have church buildings? How are they built/maintained?
    No it is up to the individual and their obedience to God to decide.

    You may be missing my wider point that "church buildings" and all the other denominational paraphernalia of corporate religion is unnecessary and eventually leads to (in it's final metamorphosis) to what we see in TV evangelism.
  11. Cape Town
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    02 Apr '13 10:29
    Originally posted by divegeester
    As usual your n=1 logic seems to determine your view of Christianity; hateful when it suits...benevolent when it suits.
    No, my views are based on reality as I see it. I do not adjust my views based on whether something fits my religious beliefs.
    Your claim that all organised religion is selfish money grabbing profiteering is false and we both know it.
    I do not believe religion on the whole is a good thing, but that does not mean I will disparage everything about it.
    I have told you my personal experience, and it seems that because it doesn't fit your preconceived view, you wish to dismiss it out of hand and blame it all on my logic. Why even bother starting this thread? To bolster your ego with any positive responses? If you won't even accept argument from an atheist, you sure wont accept anything from a member of organized religion.
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    02 Apr '13 10:31
    Originally posted by divegeester
    No it is up to the individual and their obedience to God to decide.
    And individuals are members of a congregation. Yet you seem to be claiming that your view overrides that of all other individuals.

    You may be missing my wider point that "church buildings" and all the other denominational paraphernalia of corporate religion is unnecessary and eventually leads to (in it's final metamorphosis) to what we see in TV evangelism.
    Slippery slope argument.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope
  13. Joined
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    02 Apr '13 11:00
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And individuals are members of a congregation. Yet you seem to be claiming that your view overrides that of all other individuals.

    [b]You may be missing my wider point that "church buildings" and all the other denominational paraphernalia of corporate religion is unnecessary and eventually leads to (in it's final metamorphosis) to what we see in TV evangelism.

    Slippery slope argument.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope[/b]
    Oh dear it's obviously bollocks "because wiki says so" 🙄
  14. Joined
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    02 Apr '13 11:04
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, my views are based on reality as I see it. I do not adjust my views based on whether something fits my religious beliefs.
    Your claim that all organised religion is selfish money grabbing profiteering is false and we both know it.
    I do not believe religion on the whole is a good thing, but that does not mean I will disparage everything about it.
    I h ...[text shortened]... t argument from an atheist, you sure wont accept anything from a member of organized religion.
    Your claim that all organised religion is selfish money grabbing profiteering is false and we both know it.

    At the risk of being as pedantic as you are at times, I said "corporate" religion. Nevertheless I take your point and accept that your experience was a good one and valid for you, but I do not agree with passing round the plate, or any other form of tapping up the congregation for money irrespective of the motive.
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    02 Apr '13 11:12
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Oh dear it's obviously bollocks "because wiki says so" 🙄
    No, its obviously a slippery slope argument, and I gave you the Wiki to help you educate yourself so I wouldn't have to explain what a slippery slope argument was. If you think slippery slope arguments are valid logic, please start a thread on the topic and prepare to be embarrassed.
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