Churh financials
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09-05-2013, 07:16 PM
RE: Churh financials
(03-05-2013 01:50 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(02-05-2013 08:27 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  WRONG! Paul was talking about the here and now, which is now nearly 2000 years ago.

Paul taught that Christ was going to come back to earth soon:
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4; 16–18, KJV). A few years later, in about 53 CE, Christ still hadn’t come, but Paul kept his congregations primed:
"Brothers this is what I mean: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away" (1 Cor. 7:29–31, NJB). Ten years later Paul was still preaching that the end of the world was approaching, and then he passed on.

Paul was the ringleader of a doomsday cult (http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/2006/1...w-nt-26/). His communities lived in daily expectation of the return of Christ and the end of their earthly existence.

Two thousand years later, the earth is still circling around the sun and Christ hasn’t reappeared, so Paul’s predictions have been proven untrue.

I don’t think he really believed the world was about to end. I suspect it was an idea he promoted to give his messages more impact.

In modern times cult leaders like Paul have forecast that fabulous or cataclysmic events are about to happen, such as the destruction of the earth, or the reappearance of Jesus. Their agenda has been to create anticipation and be the center of attention, or to make money. None of their forecasts have ever come to fruition.

Paul was not heading a doomsday group. The letters of 1 & 2 Thessalonians was written to refute those who looked for an imminent eschaton:

2 Thess 2: "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness."

And both Paul and Peter proclaimed their own martydoms and said the eschaton would not be yet...

2 Thassalonians wasn't written by Paul...look it up if you don't believe me. Someone was trying to cover up the fact Paul's bullshit hadn't happened.
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10-05-2013, 05:22 AM
RE: Church financials
PJ,

There are a number of issues to be concerned about here:
1. The issue of informed consent to the tithing process. Many people tithe faithfully are unaware their religion is false, and that therefore the bulk of their tithing is going towards ends that are of less benefit to society than if the giver had held on to the money or given directly to a more worthy cause. Imagine if a big multinational fundraising intended to end poverty simply resulted in a few people having very fat purses while the rest was spent down at the casino. Those who gave would want an explanation. Imagine giving to Benny Hinn's ministry only to find that he spent your money on a learjet. Your contributions to your own church are often put to no more productive a use than contribution's to Benny's lifestyle.
2. Tithing invests believers in a false religious system, making it harder to break away from it. Like the cultural practices of meeting within a religious context, the giving of large sums of money seems designed to target specific psychological vulnerabilities in those targeted. Take my parents who have given at least hundreds of thousands of dollars if not a million or more to the church over their lifetime. Now they're worrying about whether they'll have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. How hard do you think it would be for them now to say to themselves "All that money I gave away went to no purpose". I think giving large sums like this promotes the logically false notion that "If I admitted my religion was false, I would have to admit to myself I had been a chump and wasted all that money... so letting go it just that little bit harder".
3. The money given to churches could be doing more practical work such as funding actual cures for cancer rather than fake healings, feeding the poor instead of the wealthy, or flying our species to Mars.
4. The tax-exempt status of churches means that everyone is is effectively subsidising all donations made to the church.
5. Often those targeted are the least able to afford it. Mega church pastors get fat and wealthy on the contributions of the poorest and most vulnerable of their flock.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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