Where does church money go?
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07-06-2012, 11:58 AM
RE: Where does church money go?
I have a bit of experience with this as well, and the statement made about how all churches function differently is true.
I've been a member of every single church in my town. There are a lot of churches in my town.
Each one functions differently, which always made me laugh considering how they are supposed to be working towards the same things.
They don't though.

As far as I know they all handle payroll differently too, Erx would be the best guy to ask about that. I know that three of the churches in my town provide nice homes for their preachers, and cover their cost of living as well as a genuinely decent salary and a vehicle, but that wasn't true for all the churches.
They do own a lot of property in town, and I'm sure some of their proceeds go to maintenance of those buildings, though how much I can't say, especially being that the majority of owned buildings are commercial.

Also each church has a slightly different social scene. For the most part the ones I went to were pretty hardcore and the members would almost all give up the requested percentage of their income. Which is quite a bit of money. And the church my father in law attends (I've also been to) doesn't do anything structural unless they can get it done free, which they can. A lot of the members are in the kind of jobs that would be handy to be in. My father in law for example works for a commercial electrical company, and his boss sends him to the church every week to do pro bono work.

It can be nice, or in certain instances not so much. I remember recently they brought home a letter that all the members from the church got. It read like a ransom note. It was very heavy on the guilt and responsibility to pay money now. See the church has no roofers. The roof is against code and the inspector came by. They need money now.

Anyways, the system is corrupt just like any other. The difference here I think is that they claim to be doing so much good for the world, and that they are the higher moral authority because of it.

This is not true. I think the highest pay out for a charity was the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

I got up four times while writing this to do other things. I'm not sure if it makes any sense and I don't proof read. good luck.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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07-06-2012, 01:02 PM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2012 01:05 PM by Superluminal.)
RE: Where does church money go?
Well you are correct I was probably too broad handed. However I have been privy to church budgets in the past, and I also currently am. There certainly is some giving that goes on. However, churches don't really even try to hide from their congregation where the money is going. Walking in the door you can often see their fundraising goals listed very clearly by category for the year.

For the church in question this year:

Stewardship(internal programs): $250,000
Personnel: Roughly $300,000
Building Expenditures: Roughly $350,000
Giving: $120,000 - of this only about $40,000 is local.
Project: $7,000,000.000
Property Debt Retirement Fund: As much as they can get every year.
Total Intake(publicly known): $8,020,000.00
% of intake toward giving: 1.5%

And yes, setting up an outside project fund aside from the regular budget doesn't really excuse anything in my opinion. It is still money that a church is using their financial base to draw in and spend on their own facilities instead of giving it to people. 1.5% of your total intake isn't nothing but it almost is. However because the big project is considered outside the budget, the church can boastfully claim that almost 12% of their total budget went to giving, which is actually higher than the national average(according to them).
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07-06-2012, 02:15 PM
RE: Where does church money go?
Hey, Super.

Yeah, but what happens if they don't fix the church, the tower collapses and the city condemns the building? Then 0% goes to giving because there will be no church.

My old CEGEP (college) needed to build a new theatre on campus because the off-campus one was 100 years old and dilapidated. The new theatre cost millions, millions that could have gone to new computers in the science wing, or free lunches for poor students, or a million other things. But at the end of the day, they simply needed a new building. Shit happens. They found the money and did it.

A small church near me, like 30 parishioners, needed a new furnace in the dead of winter. Are they supposed to not have heat, or are they supposed to buy a new furnace?

It also seems that their annual budget is not always 8 million dollars but closer to 1.

If you told me that every year the church spends 87.5% of their budget on frivolities (this year we want 7 million in space toilets and next year it's 7 million for new Cadillacs), sure, you'd have a pretty stunning case. But from where I sit, this just looks like a really expensive incidental cost.

Hey, King.

The optimist in me likes to think that by and large, the vast majority of organisations are clean except for a few bad apples. But the realist in me says the system is simply designed in such a way that it invites, facilitates and even incentivises corruption.

We can assume that our team is the one team that is somehow exempt from the effect of systemic corruption, but we'd be fooling ourselves.

Hey, Erxomai.

The organisation itself is not corrupt because despite the sheer fucking insanity of the delusion that organisations exist and that they can even be persons, it isn't a person and it doesn't exist. Only the people within it can be corrupt. It just so happens that the manner in which these people organise their activities makes it easy, and more important, attractive to be corrupt. That's why it's endemic to every hierarchical organisation on the planet. To varying degrees to be sure, but one thing we can be certain of is that we don't know how deep it goes because most corruption is never even identified and even less of its perpetrators are punished.





Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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07-06-2012, 03:08 PM
RE: Where does church money go?
(07-06-2012 11:46 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(07-06-2012 10:38 AM)Thinkerbelle Wrote:  And the proceeds from the sale of my Snake Oil goes to payroll, maintenance, advertising, signs for the shop, promotions, and more promotions.

I must not be a corruption machine, either.

You're using semantics to favor your answer as well as creating a false dilemma. What you're saying isn't the question at hand.
The very basis on which the church is founded is grounds for the label of "corruption" IMO.


The church offers the false hope of a halo, a pair of wings, and a fluffy cloud.
The snake oil offers the false hope of curing what ails you.

Even the promotions (ministries, outreach) are geared toward their own enrichment/survival.
The church offers you a bowl of soup in return for listening to a sermon. They hope you like what you see/hear and come back for more. Eventually you may give them some money, which in turn they will use to snare the next victim person.
The snake oil offers a free bottle. They also hope to get you addicted hooked so you will come back and buy more bottles.
Both benefit the parent entity. The parent is the sole recipient of the profits.

The corruption lies in the selling of something that isn't as advertised.

So where does the church money go? Nowhere. It stays within the umbrella of the church.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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07-06-2012, 03:29 PM
RE: Where does church money go?
(07-06-2012 11:36 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  The word corruption probably needs to be defined by those making the accusations. I've been around a lot of churches, and they are not corrupt by my way of thinking. Corruption to me would assume the pastor or church officers are lining their pockets with money. I suppose because there are a few corrupt churches that make the news critics assume all churches are this way, but it's a pretty asinine assumption. I'll go out on a limb and speculate that 99% of Christian churches are not corrupt if you mean they are out to steal money. They do ask for money, however, to support the programs of the church. Just like the United Way asks for money to support their programs.
I was wondering when you would chime in.

The lavish lifestyles of some of the televangelists would qualify as corruption, no?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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07-06-2012, 05:38 PM
RE: Where does church money go?
A pastor who makes significantly more than the average parishioner is probably corrupt. Once you get to the point where they are making multiples of the average parishioner the whole church is probably corrupt. Exceptions can probably be made in a few cases where the pastor is a missionary whose home is elsewhere and is who is receiving funding from back home.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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07-06-2012, 05:56 PM
RE: Where does church money go?
(07-06-2012 10:03 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  What Ghost said.

Also, most churches (mine included), show a weekly budget in the Sunday bulletin the describe where each cent goes. On major purchases or spendings, there is a church wide vote.

It's disingenuous to label churches as corruption machines because I would say the majority of them operate under honest standards.

Our church's money goes to payroll, maintenance, missions, literature for the church, ministries, and outreach.

If, as Calvinism teaches, we are all essentially god's manufactured play things, fully accountable to his bizarre whims. there is little point in learning what is already a fait accompli....................................................is there?
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07-06-2012, 07:10 PM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2012 07:15 PM by Erxomai.)
RE: Where does church money go?
(07-06-2012 02:15 PM)Ghost Wrote:  That's why it's endemic to every hierarchical organisation on the
planet. To varying degrees to be sure, but one thing we can be certain
of is that we don't know how deep it goes because most corruption is
never even identified and even less of its perpetrators are punished.
Uh...come on, Ghost. Are you really willing to stand behind this statement? I doubt very highly that it's endemic to EVERY hierarchical organiZation and your last sentence only makes you look like you're saying because we can't prove that corruption ever took place, let's just assume churches are guilty anyway because I don't like what they stand for.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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07-06-2012, 07:15 PM
RE: Where does church money go?
(07-06-2012 03:29 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(07-06-2012 11:36 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  The word corruption probably needs to be defined by those making the accusations. I've been around a lot of churches, and they are not corrupt by my way of thinking. Corruption to me would assume the pastor or church officers are lining their pockets with money. I suppose because there are a few corrupt churches that make the news critics assume all churches are this way, but it's a pretty asinine assumption. I'll go out on a limb and speculate that 99% of Christian churches are not corrupt if you mean they are out to steal money. They do ask for money, however, to support the programs of the church. Just like the United Way asks for money to support their programs.
I was wondering when you would chime in.

The lavish lifestyles of some of the televangelists would qualify as corruption, no?
The lavish lifestyles of MOST of the televangelists could qualify as corruption. My point is, televangelists probably make up 1/2 a percent of the amount of clergy and their churches. To say this small sample set is corrupt is probably a plausible speculation. To say that all churches are corrupt is not.

Fuck, if I had been a corrupt pastor, I'd still be pastoring. I guarantee the majority of pastors are not paid well.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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07-06-2012, 07:42 PM
RE: Where does church money go?
(07-06-2012 07:15 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(07-06-2012 03:29 PM)Chas Wrote:  I was wondering when you would chime in.

The lavish lifestyles of some of the televangelists would qualify as corruption, no?
The lavish lifestyles of MOST of the televangelists could qualify as corruption. My point is, televangelists probably make up 1/2 a percent of the amount of clergy and their churches. To say this small sample set is corrupt is probably a plausible speculation. To say that all churches are corrupt is not.

Fuck, if I had been a corrupt pastor, I'd still be pastoring. I guarantee the majority of pastors are not paid well.

AS an honest pastor, battling corruption, let us all rejoice in the saving power of atheism that made you whole. Thumbsup
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