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Churches = Big Business?

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posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 07:23 PM
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I was reading another thread that mentioned that we talk about the same old things, here in the "Conspiracies in Religions" forum. So here's a topic that I think fits into this catagory.

I live in the DC/MD/VA area. As a comic said - I can't think of who: There's a liquor store on each corner and a church right across the street.

In a way, this is true. I'll just talk about the Church part though and save the liquor store part for the "Rants!" section of the forum. Now, in my area, it really seems that churches are popping up everywhere and becoming more like a business - tax-exempt buinesses at that. (The tax-exempt stuff is only being brought up just incase someone has more knowledge of it than I. I'll only touch on the fact that PG County has loss thousands - maybe hundreds of thousands of tax monies, because the land the churches own are non-profit. If I can dig up a link to the Washington Post article, I'll post soon). If a K-mart, supermarket or other large store/building goes out of business, it seems like the next day a sign stating that "Soandso's church is coming soon!" is posted up. Churches now are buying larger and larger plots from strip malls to actual large malls to campuses (A co-worker's church recently bought out a large mall in maryland which held at least 50 stores. The Sears that is still open and running is now paying them rent).

Before I start to digress and start ranting, I'll ask my question: Do you think churches are turning in to large business? Sometimes I say they are. I visited Faith Plaza (a Strip Mall Church) a while back and on the way in instead being greeted with a programme or similar, I was greeted with a donation slip. I've seen elderly women give their last dollar and one church can even set up a direct deposit from your bank account. I remember back in the day, people used to wonder if the Paster pocketed the money from the "New Roof Fund" to fund for that shiney new card that was parked outside. Sometimes I think he did. But the people who run the church should get paid! I agree, but....I don't know.

Anyone care to discuss? Are churches turning in the businesses? Are they hiding behind that "tithe 10%" rule of thumb? (Which actualy I believe it means 10% of yourself with community service, etc. Money is also accepted if you can afford it.)




posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 07:36 PM
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Here is my take on it. Just hang with me a moment and you'll see what i'm getting at.

What is the first and foremost purpose of a newspaper?

You will get differant answers with just about anyone you ask. Some will say its to provide a balanced view of the news. Others will say its to entertain and distract. Others will call it the heartbeat of the community that tells us where we stand. Still others call it an educational tool. ALL of them are wrong.

The first and foremost purpose of a newspaper is to make a profit. If it does not make a profit it will go out of business.

The same principle applies to any church you may attend.

Wupy



posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 08:06 PM
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Well so far the Catholic land holdings in the US ar the biggest second are the evangelist.

If you look around and see that it takes money to build and run churches and the latest multimillion dollar "Mega churches" you most imaging that the money has to be in the billions just to support them.

That is ok when the money is from the people that attend the churches and are supporters.

But monies are also used no only to support social programs and communities but also they find the way to political parties and candidates.

I will said if religion wasn't a good business just like another member said before me they will not be in business.

Nobody goes into something for nothing.



posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 08:06 PM
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yep.

what was that thing that that Jesus guy was talking about? I can't remember but it had something to do with poor people. feeding them, helping them get well, something like that...

I don't know all the numbers from all the denominations and such but, the Vatican and the Mormons have more net wealth than the gross domestic product of about 1/3 of all the countries in Africa. That's that continent with the giraffes and elephants and all the starving children - you know, it was on TV the other night. We didn't watch all of it - we switched to re-runs of Jepordy.




posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 10:43 PM
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The latest in religious philosophy is the "Prosperity Gospel" is it not?You know,where God loves you so much he wants you to be blessed in this life as well as the next,so turns a blind eye to tax minimisation and dodgy schemes it seems.

There is no power without money to back it up,the smaller denominations are finally catching up to the big boys in this regard.I would expect to see church attendance replaced with weekly subscriptions as the manner of connecting with your deity of preference in the near future.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 02:41 PM
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Churches = Big Business?


Yep. Don't believe me? Ask how much it would cost to hold a wedding there...



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 02:59 PM
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Yes, Big Business! And i have seen the same thing.....so many NEW churches popping up almost overnight it is unreal.

No offense but when i see things like the Cowboy church of the Galilean Prairie....I wonder????



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:09 PM
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My opinion is that YES, organized Religion/Churches = Big Business.

They start by selling out nice, candy coated lies about Salvation and cuh so they can more easily and faster fill their pockets.

Lets face it ...Do the Vatican priest and Cardinals really need vests enbroaded with gold ? Do the wall of EVERY Catholic Chruch really need to covered with Godl Leaf paper ???

Do the Protestan pastors, Reverends ect, really need Rolex Watches, Million Dollara Churches, Million Dollar Mansions...

True not very Pastor and Priest has those "accessories", yet they are allowed and seen as needed??

With all the concerts there are to STOP the starvation etc, etc... if the Church/Organized Religion joined in and gave at least HALF of what they have, starvation COULD be stopped.

By the POrganized Religion Leaders are out for themsekves noone else...

YES ITS BIG BUSINESS



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:13 PM
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A resounding YES.

Look at the televangelists, do those rat bastards really need big mansions and leer jets? I can't beleive people actually give money to them. The money isn't helping the poor and needy. It's making the ones at the top filthy rich. Disgusting.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:17 PM
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They aren't exactly Big Business...If so where is the Mercedes Benzs the priest drives or why didn't Xzibit come in and Pimp my Alter. I am sure they do not invest in the Stock Market. If so then I am pissed..where is my return profit on my investment donation I made at collection. A church is going to have a lot of costs to keep it running.
Examples, Property Taxes I don't care what city it is no breaks on the tax to God. When Gods house is there it seems to increase the property value.
I know at my Church they also have a catholic school. They have to pay for the teachers somehow. And I Know for a fact that catholic grade schools do not charge enough to keep it self sufficient.
Electric Bill. Seems to me everytime I drive past the church they have some sort of light on. Whatever happened to candles? They may save a buck or two.
The dumbest one at my church...Rental fee to the city. My parish owns part of the property but not all of it.
Priests. These guys aren't free. They need money for their lives away from the church. (Don't even go where I know some of you are thinking with this one).
Renovations. This might be the biggest Bill. It seems like most churchs were here before man (atleast seem that old) It is a pretty penny to keep them standing.

Add that all together (This is just an estimate...I really don't know for sure) You could be looking at 2 million a year.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:31 PM
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It is easy to look on the outside and see the stained glass windows, and plush upholstery in the reception area. as well as the Ushers passing arond the collection plates that get filled up and say that it is a great money maker.

But you need to know why people are giving thier money away, and what that money is being spent on. For those that thing Church is a big business never bother to answer those questions or ask those people, they just make an assumption that fits to thier reality.

I work closely with my Church council and for the last 3 years we have come to withen .05% of our budget. At the end of those years we look at the budget and we cannot see any frivolous expenses at all. Heck, our Pastor has not eveb gotten a raise for 2 years because the synod lost some major philothrophic doners

now SOME churches do just use it as a way to make money and build beutiful churchs. I dont know of many RCC or Mormans that have mission churches anymore that meet in school gymnasiums or meeting rooms. Because thier denomination can plop down the hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy land and build a new church, and float the churches budget for several years.

I remember when my church was so small we held service in a person's garage.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:38 PM
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Yes!

The 10% interest rate is proof enough...where ''in the name of God'' excuse is used to convince people to conform to it without question.

God dont need any goods/services from anyone...



[edit on 17-8-2005 by mwen]

[edit on 17-8-2005 by mwen]



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:40 PM
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I do remember when back home been predominant Catholic with their historical churches only in the center of the town of plaza.

Then the evangelist came and other denominations they went from tent preaching to garage and now my mother said that they are buying and building everywhere.

My father a very hard seventh day adventist build the church himself for his people.

It was a gift to them and occurs the lord.

Now the church has grown so big that they can afford to lend money (with interest) to members in need.

They also purchase an old school ground that used to be a middle school when I was a teen and now they have their own adventist private school, this means more revenue for the church.

My mother said that the adventist holdings are big.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by Timcouchfanclub
They aren't exactly Big Business...If so where is the Mercedes Benzs the priest drives or why didn't Xzibit come in and Pimp my Alter.


hhmmm... thats becausee they have private jets and Church Limos... and they dont pimp X-Zibit... its more like alter boys.

[edit on 17-8-2005 by BaastetNoir]



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:52 PM
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hhmmm... thats becausee they have private jets and Church Limos... and they dont pimp X-Zibit... its more like alter boys.



OHHH man I left that one wide open. Is everyone satisfied with the Alter Boy joke. Lets get back to the money. Everytime some one metions Alter Boy in this thread God will kill a kitten.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Timcouchfanclub

OHHH man I left that one wide open. Is everyone satisfied with the Alter Boy joke. Lets get back to the money. Everytime some one metions Alter Boy in this thread God will kill a kitten.


the Goddess Baastet is protector of kitties and man is she mad about that statement!!!!



And going back to money...it is what it is .....Churches have and spend way to much money in frivolous things... such has CHRUCH LIMMOS... CHURCH BALL ROOMS..etc., etc., etc., and very few times does moeny really go to help those in need...

Lets face it... with all the money Pat Roberstson has raised for is fake Presidential Race, couldnt he have fead all the miserable people in the Appalatian Mountains???

*sorry for spelling*



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 04:02 PM
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Some people, like my wife, believe that you need to give your God, or (church), 10% of your yearly income.. and she does.. it's really quite sad.. especially considering sometimes we goes days without eating..

She believes that when you give 10%, that God will reward you with better things in life.. I argued with her about this, claiming that "better things in life" come with hard work, education, and discipline.. yet, she still continues to give 10%

I just lost my job, where's my reward for forking over 10% of my life's work to a church? Where's the big fat paycheck? Oh, thats right, there is none. Ironic. She told her pastor I lost my job when he asked for his $200 weekly paycheck, and his reward was "we'll pray for him".. yeah, thanks chump.

The solution is easy, don't pay.. you're not forced to pay a dime to churches, and if for some off-the-wall reason they do force you, find a new church..

That is, if you even go to churches.. I stopped going when I was 16.. I visited my pastor at his house, saw his shiney cars, big house, and realized that church is a sham and it's only purpose is to preach what's written in the bible (which I can do at home) and take your monies. The funny part, was when I asked him how he could afford all this stuff, he stumbled on his words and said he made "wise investments"... yeah, you opened a church knucklehead!

The House of God is inside your soul..



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by QuietSoul

I just lost my job, where's my reward for forking over 10% of my life's work to a church? Where's the big fat paycheck? Oh, thats right, there is none. Ironic. She told her pastor I lost my job when he asked for his $200 weekly paycheck, and his reward was "we'll pray for him".. yeah, thanks chump.


Welcome to the sad world of Organized Religion disgusied as Christianity, like Jesus Christ ever walked the Earth in Golden Robes...*pfff*



The House of God is inside your soul..



Amen to that ! And I'm very sorry about your situation, Wish I could get you a job or send you some money.

The nerv in that Pstor to ASK for the money ??? its suppose to be GIVEN not ASKED FOR! .. makes me wanna man-slapp him...


I remember once when Benny Hinn was asked, why do own a leer ject and he answered " The Lord does not like me to be late "... the nerve on that face !

[edit on 17-8-2005 by BaastetNoir]



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 04:20 PM
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Oh, and here's some facts instead of me just ranting:



Vatican rakes in $8 Billion dollars in 2000

Being a consolidated financial statement, this represents the sum of all the expenses and the income of the diverse Vatican administrations which enter into the consolidation: the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) which is the largest; the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; the Apostolic Camera; Vatican Radio; Osservatore Romano -- Vatican Press (incorporated into one with regard to administration); the Vatican Television Center; and the Vatican Publishing House.

For the eighth consecutive year, the operating statement for fiscal year 2000 for the Holy See closes with a net gain of 17.720 billion, equal to $8,516,000 US at the exchange rate at the end of the year of 2,080.89 lire per dollar. The total expenses were 404.378 billion and the total income was 422.098 billion. Compared with the previous fiscal year, the income was more substantial, having increased by 64 billion. As is easily imaginable, the increase in expenses is strictly related to the celebration of the Jubilee Year, which brought with it greater activity, and therefore a greater need for personnel, within the various offices of the Roman Curia and also of the media organs connected with the Holy See. In fact, in 2000 the number of our employees was approximately 2,700, with an increase of roughly 70 persons. The increase in income came particularly from a favourable monetary situation. With these introductory remarks, I turn now to an analysis of the principal entries of the operating statement, which as usual are expressed categorically in the following four sectors.

source




For one thing, there is a startling lack of financial controls and oversight--an omission that experts say has allowed bishops from California to Philadelphia to misuse Church funds. What's astounding to some is that even though billions of dollars are at stake, bishops have almost free rein over funds and virtually no supervision.

source




in the middle of the trial, when he happened to rephrase a question posed to the diocese comptroller — that the diocese operated the separate Roman Catholic Welfare Corp., worth an estimated $400 million. But it was too late to add another defendant to the suit and too expensive to start a new trial. A jury awarded $29 million to Anderson's clients, but the diocese, pleading poverty, managed to have the judgment reduced to $7.6 million. Anderson says the award would have been much higher if the jury had known about the additional assets. The problem, Anderson says, is that "the Catholic Church doesn't have to do any accounting to anybody."


As a result, lawyers and plaintiffs must act as forensic investigators, digging through real estate title-transfer records and questioning local officials about church management of various charitable entities. They are finding, for instance, that church authorities regularly keep only records of the book value — rather than the current market value — of certain properties. The Stockton diocese, for example, in 1998 valued its multimillion-dollar cathedral at $28,000, the cost to build it in 1942.


In Providence and Boston, plaintiffs' research has yielded some detail on the scope of church enterprises. But no matter how opulent their headquarters or how many seaside retreats their subsidiaries operate, the archdioceses and dioceses generally plead poverty — and tend to get away with it.

source

More sources:

source
source



[edit on 8/17/2005 by QuietSoul]



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 04:23 PM
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Some people, like my wife, believe that you need to give your God, or (church), 10% of your yearly income.. and she does.. it's really quite sad.. especially considering sometimes we goes days without eating..


Thats not right. I really do not think God would like to see one of his children going without food. I see it as a give what you can situation not what you feel you have to. The man upstairs does not need money to do his job. The church asks for money to ensure that it will continue and be around for a long time.

Who needs a church to talk to God anyways. I have always believed that God is everywhere. And you don't need a Church to talk to him. Just a quiet place will do fine. I guess that is why I am called a Holly and a Lilly. I only go in Christmas and Easter.

If we really have to give 10% of our income to the church so that God will give us a better after life, then I am going to be pissed that Heaven is all about the money.




Kittens Dead 2



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