Church giving won’t rise unless pastors embrace Jesus’ teachings on poor, report says

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A statue of Jesus holding the message, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.

Photo courtesy of BleColRob

A statue of Jesus holding the message, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.

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(RNS) A new report says American Christians would do more to help the poor if their pastors were less timid about asking them to open their wallets.

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  • philip

    I cannot speak for all Faiths but, when one asks should seminarians be taught to be more accountants and marketing experts than Pastors whose purpose is the overall spiritual health of their congregation, the following are two stories that have hurt the church.
    Our Pastor, every year, puts up a big thermometer (6 feet tall), for over a thousand people to gaze at. He starts his sermon with these words,” As a seminarian, I was taught to be a priest who would console people and help them save their souls; that is NOT the case today.” The priest went on to say, “Look at that thermometer. All the red is at the bottom. We need you to give to meet our goal of over $130,000, of which maybe 10% will benefit our parish and its people.” A footnote: that includes the poor and all those who are in need of assistance. The priest adds to his sermon on raising money, “That none of the money raised will go to the litigation of pedophile priest settlements”, which today totals over 100 million dollars!
    5 to 10 years ago in Oakland, CA, the church built a cathedral with our money. The amount $ 100 million. Jesus knew that money begets corruption. Money does not save souls. If it did, Jesus would have opened up free hospitals, free soup kitchens, free daycare, and free food and medical care. He quoted, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” I, personally, believe in giving and I do but, when a priest or religious person asks me for money, I have my doubts. When I’ve gone to church, I’ve actually had a priest use this quote,” The proportion of money you give to the Church, will dictate God’s love for you.” I guess that should be the sermon that all seminarians should learn so when they become priests, they can use it every Sunday! I think they used that logic in the Dark Ages, just before the Reformation. Heaven had a price tag.

  • rob

    Luther once said the last thing to be converted to Christianity is a persons
    wallet.. another pastor once said how funny that a ten dollar bill looks so big when you take it to church but so small when you take it shopping ..

  • Rob

    another reason Giving has become less and less .. the government takes more and more taxes,, people think their money is used by the government to support the poor more than enough .. They Think they are giving plenty to the poor they assume much of there taxes as used for that .. isn’t that what big government is for they think..

  • People still give with charitable hearts. They just tend to give to organizations that demonstrate their stewardship. The Church is failing to do that, in a sense taking support for granted.

    The view from the pew is increasingly that the Church tends first to its own survival—their structures, their problems, their salaries and benefits—often providing a security to professional church leaders that the people in the pew don’t have.

    Does anyone really believe promises that our support will not go to the denomination’s legal bills? Or will a percentage of giving be laundered through some sort of unlabeled and less monitored discretionary fund that will then go to the legal problems? Someone is paying for litigation!

    Charity may be an important part of offerings but if it is, we aren’t communicating that as well as the hundreds of non-religious do-gooders who also knock on our doors.

    And today, it isn’t only the congregation knocking on our doors—it is our regional body, our seminaries, our service agencies, our camps, etc. They all have independent development offices seeking donations directly to them, bypassing the congregational offering plate. Do the statistics on church giving take this giving into account?

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