There is little on the planet more disgusting and infuriating than the in your face prosperity of Televangelists, Christian College Executives, Healing Hedonists and Mega-Church Ministers. I see it locally here when a pastor type comes into visit the sick with a gold ring on each finger, gold watch, gold necklace and dressed to kill. Of course, they always carry a dog eared Bible to send the correct message when the lay it up on the counter for all to see.
Recently the self appointed Apostle of the Restored Church of God in Wadsworth, Ohio has given his clarion call sermon for the faithful to cash in what they can, including equity in homes, retirement funds and property resources and "send it here!" Time is short you know, and the minister has a great work to do on behalf of the people. He just needs the bucks. Of course, this formula is a disaster waiting to happen, so we'll see. He's not asking for a mere 1, 2 or 3 thousand either. How about 10, 20, 50 or 100 thousand is more what the Pastor has in mind. It's actually quite sickening. But self appointed Gurus, Pastors, Apostles and Watchmen get to do such things without much oversight. They seem to know the members won't question it, and if they do, there are plenty of scriptures to make them feel faithless for doing so.
And now we have another declaring...
"Jesus Died So We Could Be Rich! Declares Biblical Expert and Best Selling Author Dr. Norman Robertson Believes U.S. Investigation on Mega-Church Pastors is Unjust Because God Wants Us to Be Rich
So there you have it. Jesus died so you could be rich. God runs a huge pyramid scheme so you can be rich evidently. Evidently God's plan falls a bit short of reality for the vast majority on the planet, but it's good to know he has this plan for us all. Perhaps the "We" for Dr. Norman Robertson are just pastors who pull this stunt on the faithful.
Of course, no Jesus died so you could be physically rich. If that is so, then he should have save his breath as the plan failed miserable anyway. However, the Jesus of these types of Pastors may well have died so they could prosper, which they have very well.
Let's be reminded of what the average member of a congregation, where a pastor is asking or even demanding their money needs to remember.
1. Never loan money to someone who announces to you that they are "a good Christian." You'll probably never see it again.
2. Never allow a good Christian to give you something and "we can work it out later." You might find you have lost your home and three of your children.
3. Never give a church or minister what you have not got! No use of credit cards to help the church and no taking out of personal loans for the group or local minister, no matter how much you are told "the church" will pay your right back. They won't and make you feel badly for ever asking to be paid back.
4. Never will your property and resources to your church, unless you have absolutely no one else on the planet to share it with. It is not worth it and it is impossible to undue. Many Churches want members to include the church and make some promise to share with surviving children etc. Don't do it! People change churches, circumstances and affiliations change over a lifetime and you will have hell to pay in trying to straighten it all out and your survivors never will. Churches I know have left the children of members swinging in the wind with no seeming conscience about the the whole thing.
5. Never give what you have not got. One more time. Never give what you have not got.
6. Never offer to pay for things for the minister, his home or his family that you cannot afford. A man that would allow you to do such a thing should be avoided as a pastor anyway. If the church can't pay him an adequate salary, don't offer to make up the differences. It never ends and encourages the minister to not do his part when he could.
7. Be sure that any offer to give freely or at a discount to the church or pastor is YOUR idea first and you have not been goaded, guilted or suggested into it. "Yes I can help," or "No, I can't afford it," go a long way in keeping you out of these weeds.
There are also reasons NOT to give to a Church.
1. Don't give when the motivation is "time is short" so you may as well help the church