There would be a lot less false teaching today if there were no money to be made out of it (Dr. Dave Reid).  Take money and profit out of the equation and see what’s left.  Eliminate tax credits, recognition, name plaques, reserved parking spaces, and other rewards and see how much “ministry” occurs.  Religion has become big business.  Church leaders (especially the pastor) benefit greatly from their role and position in the church.  Not only are the pastors paid a salary, they are also provided living expenses, and an endless supply of free labor, food, and gifts from their church members as well as the community.  Any mentioned want, desire, or need is taken care of as soon as the church can meet and “vote” on it.  Pastor wants a new truck?  All he has to do is say it and within weeks it’s there.  Pastor wants a keyboard, RV, new house, or a watch?  All he has to do is mention it to one or two key church members who will waste no time calling for a quick vote to buy it.  There are discounts, free parking, tax deductions, and glory upon glory upon glory.  The waves of people part to allow the pastor to go first at every event and every occasion.  Pastor is the most important person in the church–the world.  If the pastor wants you at church then you better be at church or shame, shame, shame on you.  Pastor wants to cancel church for the super bowl or some other occasion he’d rather go to?  No problem–everyone is now free to stay home guilt free.  You dare go to something else on Sunday if the preacher has to go to church?  You will be the subject of the next sermon for sure.  I am convinced that 98% of so-called churches are deliberate fronts and tax shelters created solely for the personal financial gain of the pastor.  The sad part is the members are trusting and sincere in their faith who are being manipulated and exploited.  Shame on those who do this to people who are humbly and ignorantly exercising what they believe to be their God ordained duty.  I would vote to completely eliminate charitable deductions and all forms of tax credits to religious organizations that do not meet some standard other than just simply declaring a religious status.  Charitable deductions really need to be limited to CHARITIES.  Who benefits from a church?  The pastor and his or her family.  Very few accomplish anything of value within the community in which they live.  The very structure and organization of churches are centered around material gain and assets.  If charitable deductions were limited to charities with proven standards of actual benefit to the community, many people would donate their tithes (ten percent of gross earnings) to organizations that actually helped the community.  We would see significant impact on our communities.  If pastors were treated no differently than any other paid profession (including paying their fair share of taxes and not having the option of laundering their income through their church for maximum tax benefits) there would be a lot less of them.  Pastors, in my experience, are the most greedy, deceptive, and manipulative people I have ever had the bad fortune of being exposed to.  I do recognize there are a few (a very few) who are committed to God and ministry but really I have only met one like this–and I keep a close eye on that one!

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