Are evangelical churches today a legitimate place of worship, or a legal racket?

I used to attend this evangelical church where the minister was constantly obsessed with money. Not only would he include tithing in his sermons every single Sunday but he would also make collections for "African missions" "a fellow minister in the hospital" or any other excuse where money could be collected. Meanwhile, when I was unemployed they refused to help me with rent, utilities or food.

The minister and his wife wore designer clothes and lived in a lavish mansion. They would invite other evangelists such as Mike Murdoch and Jesse Duplantis to speak at their church. I doubt these gentlemen would do so for free.

And then the government adds insult to injury in granting these greedy bastards tax-free status.

So what do you think? Are you blind enough to think that this is a legitimate house of worship.... or are you intelligent enough to think that this is a legal racket?

This church is far from unique.

Update:

To Cutie Pie (#14): Calling it a "love offering" won't change the facts. Also, as far as "tithing" all of us do tithe whether we go to church or not, often triple-fold to quintuple-fold, but there is another name for it: TAXES.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    All of Christianity is essentially a criminal business enterprise... in fact, it is the world's longest running and most successful Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) scam. The product they are selling is 'salvation'... and the 'pay plan' doesn't kick in until after you're dead. What a racket! FORTUNATELY, it only works on those who are gullible enough, and sufficiently lacking in critical thinking skills, to fall for it. UNfortunately, THAT accounts for about 62% of the population of the USA. (There are a lot more people who DON'T know how to think properly than there are people who DO know how to think properly.) That is why there are a lot more religious people in the USA than there are 'Free-thinkers'... including Atheists. Also, Christians are generally too dense to realize that proselytizing (spreading the 'good news') is a key element of the Christian MLM MARKETING PLAN, which was instituted after Christianity lost the political power that had previously allowed them to simply torture and kill anybody who did not comply. Now, they attempt to just pester people to death, through persistent obliviousness and obnoxiousness. If you stop to think about it, you will realize that Christians are very much like the Borg, on Star Trek Next Generation: "You will be assimilated. Resistence is futile." I would not be surprised to learn the thoughts of Christianity provided the 'creative spark' for the Borg concept.

    Interestingly, statistics on supernatural beliefs count the USA on a par with backward, developing Third World nations, rather than among modern, advanced industrial powers.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm so glad you brought this up. I think a lot of people feel this way. The kind of church you went to is called "Word of Faith" This doctrine promotes what people call "prosperity" which says that God wants to make people rich and if you give more in the offering he will do that. A lot of the church has been influenced by this kind of thinking and I personally find it disgusting for just the reasons you list.

    Not all "evangelicals" are that way however, mostly just a certain branch of Charismatics known as the Word of Faith. Rick Warren, for example, is a famous evangelical who gives away all of the money from his enormous book sales. James Robison helps hungry people around the world, etc. The true spirit of evangelical Christianity is giving, and these guys have corrupted it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My opinion is that you should not judge all evangelical church by one church that sounds jacked up. I attend the same kind of church(evangelical). In our Pastor's teachings, we hear about these money incidences happening all the time but in our church we only take up one offering and that is on Sunday. Tithing is the way we pay for the expenses of running our church, such as gas and light bills, and the support of the outreach ministries. Our Pastor does not receive a salary. He gets love offerings. Love offerings are given freewill.

    Yes, the Bible tells us that the man of God should live well but not at the expense of the congregation. If he (Pastor) misuses funds, he will have answer to the man upstairs.

    I pray that you will have a better experience in the future. Please do not give up the faith!!

    Source(s): Current member of an evangelical church
  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with the guy above me that it sounds like you were in a "Word of Faith" church.

    The word "evangelical" is a broad term that refers to almost any type of Protestant church.

    Most established churches have a financial statement that is published every quarter (so you can see where the money goes) -- just drop by the church office.

    And most churches have congregational business meetings to discuss the budget, among other things -- only members can vote, but anyone can show up and listen. Most people do not go because they think that it is boring.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Revelation 2 & 3 contains 7 letters dictated by Jesus to seven churches. Many (including myself) accept that these letters outline the seven historical periods the church has experienced since Jesus time.

    If this is true, then today we are in the period characterized by the Laodicean church. Christ had this to say to the Laodicean church, which sounds alot like the church you described:

    "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:" Rev 3:17 KJV

    So, in answer to your question, the very fact that they have a 501(c)(3) tax exemption tells me they are not Christ's church, they are a federal State church and Caesar (the State) is their lord.

  • 1 decade ago

    Many Christian churches, including evangelical churches, are now in an attempt to make church fun and exciting, teaching people that religion is no longer about sacrifice and penance for sin, but about how wonderful you are as God's chosen people.

    They teach that as long as you go to church on Sunday every last one of you can go to heaven, and they make rock bands and musical productions with church money to show how being a Christian is "cool". All this has nothing to do with the original Christian teachings, and all these attempts are "fun" indoctrinations.

    The mega churches where I live are barely Christian anymore, and seem to be more about the glitter than they are about the original teachings of Christ.

    I am not Christian, so I am biased against them, but people must understand. I have nothing against most of Christ's teachings, just the way they are applied today makes no sense. People are no longer humble and willing servants for God, but instead self-centered bigots who hide behind random scriptures as protection for their homophobic and intolerant lives.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think that you generalize to much. I agree not all "evangelical" churches do the right thing. But let me tell you from experience, not all evangelical churches are like that. Mine for one helps those in need and has a pastor who tries his best to practice what he preaches. Give other churches a try before you give up on all of them.

  • 1 decade ago

    Racket. I'm an atheist and was thinking how easy it would be to make serious bank as a preacher. You only have to study 1 book, pick out a few passages, and pretend to be filled with the love of Jesus/God. Seeing the serious cash these organizations bring in, its obvious many are scams.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The evangelical church is THE worst organization every to have originated out of Christianity. They need to be stopped before their influence destroys traditional American values.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You are absolutely right!

    Yes! Most of these places, sad to say, are after one thing only- YOUR MONEY!!

    When you see an organization like this that's obsessed with money- it's time to get out and look for another home.

    Some years ago- Oral Roberts- pleaded with people about raising two million dollars! He said that God spoke with him and wanted him to raise two-million dollars, or else, He'd be coming to take him home!

    These so-called prophets or ministers, as others mentioned above, are after only their own well being! They could care less about your livelihood, much less of your eternal safety.

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