Post # 1
I follow Sojourners, and I was shocked to read the following article: http://sojo.net/blogs/2013/07/05/and-you-wonder-why-people-arent-christians-transportation-edition
Here’s the church’s official letter (it’s linked in the article as well, but I figured I would post it here as well): http://www.newlight.org/eblasts/aviationltr.html
Basically, the church has several satellite locations and it is most convienient for the pastor to use a helicopter to go between those churches. He realized that the helicopter needed new blades, and called this an “urgent transportation need” within the church. I would call the meals-on-wheels van to deliver food to shut-ins and homebound members of the church an “urgent transportation need” — but a helicopter? Not so much.
I also had a lot of difficulty swallowing the “their obedience will release favor for their needs and desires” line.
I know of several people who have turned away from church entirely over disagreements of how to spend the money donated to the church by congregants. If this were my church, I would probably leave over being asked to “sow seeds of favor” to upgrade an aspect of the pastor’s helicopter.
So, Christians of the Hive, what’s your take on this?
Post # 3
I’m not a practicing Christian any more, but I think it’s ridiculous that the pastor basically wants to be treated like a celebrity and be flown around in a helicopter. There are a bunch of pastors these days just living high on the hog on other people’s money, claiming that it’s in the name of God. I think the money would be better used to help those in need.
Close to where I live, there’s a mansion that a pastor built for himself with the congregation’s money. It’s an abuse of power and disgusting.
Post # 4
No way ever should tithes and offerings go to the pastor’s private helicopter. I would leave a church over this. Of course I would also never go to a church where the pastor had a private helicopter. I don’t think pastors should have to be poor but this just bugs me.
I cannot stand prosperity gospel preachers. They may make people “happy” but there is no true joy and no biblical basis for it.
Post # 5
I wasn’t raised in a particular religion, but this is the type of reason why I can’t bring myself to join any… I just don’t know if I’m going to be able to agree 100% with any beliefs or decisions in the name of God
Post # 6
say what! now this is one greedy church sham on them. Now i can understand better why people are turned off to orginized religion and are so confused. I would tell all to run for your spiritual lives because i,m sure they are not getting anything spiritual, just give give give
Post # 7
The old school version of the Bishop’s Wide is awesome. A nice example of mismanagement of funds- and that was for a neadlessly ornate cathedral.
Helicoptor blades? Bitch you crazy. That crap should get you run out of town on a rail.
Yeah. Not too big on churches anymore, personally. And crap like this really is one of the top 3 reasons why…
Post # 8
What the fuuuu-
I would never fund my pastor for a private helicopter. That shit be cray.
Post # 9
@MrsEdamame: I was a very devout Catholic for most of my life. I grew up renting in a very wealthy town. My family came over from Costa Rica and has always worked for other families – my grandfather was a caretaker, my grandmother a house keeper, my mother a nanny – all for people in this town. I emphasize the wealth of the town, because I can’t imagine what I’m about to say being okay in other areas.
So our Church asks for 15-25% of peoples salaries. People are making MULTIMILLION dollars in this town. What they could possibly do with all of that money in this itty bitty church that hasn’t changed since I was a baby, I have no idea. I just looked at the annual report – the Church makes over 1.5 million in Sunday Collections. MOST of the community outreach/volunteer services we do are based off of donations and volunteers PAYING for their participation.
What I do know is that our priest is on vacation a total of 3-4 MONTHS out of the year. One of the trips he does is going golfing in Scotland with some of the wealthier men in town (we are in the US – they take a private plane). I won’t even get started on the fact that he openly knows that many of these men cheat on their wives, yet has no problem with them coming up to receive the eucharist. Anyway, now while he’s gone, they have to pay for another priest to come in. I’m all for vacation days – but 3-4 MONTHS?! REALLY?!
I went to this church from the time I was baptized until my early 20s. There were several reasons I left, but the $$ situation was one of them.
Post # 10
I grew up in Texas where the “stadium churches” are a dime a dozen and a lot of the churches have their own TV station. I find it sickening, personally. If I had a dollar for ever pastor I saw running away to Hawaii on church funds with their mistress…I could pay for those helicopter blades. I was recently in Kentucky for a wedding, and saw that Christians spent over $100 million of that horrible creationism museum there. How do you know a religion exists for the wrong reasons? When they are spending hundreds of millions on indoctrinating people instead of feeding or helping the poor. There are no words.
Post # 11
I think the church I grew up in is mismanaging donations. They are currently trying to raise money to expand the church when they currently don’t even have enough members to fill the church. They think a larger church will draw in people. I disagree. Other than that I believe they do a good job managing their money.
Post # 12
I’d love to see what this church does for M&S, or if they even have a M&S fund.
Post # 13
@MrsEdamame: My first thought, upon reading this post, is that the idea of using tithes to fund new blades on the pastor’s private helicopeter is ridiculous but then, I realized that that is why I do not, nor will I ever attend a church where regular use of a helicopter would become neccessary. So, these congregants probably have no issue with this because this is the type of ministry they have chosen to be a part of. They probably see it to be an important expense for their churches ministry.
Post # 14
I feel very lucky that my church has none of these problems. Our pastor makes a regular salary, the church raises money for its missions, and life goes on. I’m not from an area where there are a lot of mega churches though, so as a Christian I’ve never experienced anything like this.
Post # 15
@crayfish: + a million
I voted for your first response. I don’t attend church, but not because mismanagement of funds, simply because I don’t believe in God.
Post # 16
I kinda hope his helicopter crashes.