For a short period in time, I attended church every Sunday. In the mornings, I would give 10 percent of whatever it is that I had made that week. Considering that I was fresh behind the wheel of a 1985 Dodge conversion van, it wasn’t much, but it was my contribution to whatever powers there may be above us. I did this, as I stated, for a small amount of time. Actually, right up until the day the pastor rolled up with a new Infiniti.
Such is the case in many institutionalized religions. Through moral code the 10 percent that goes into the offering plate was to be offered to a spiritual being. The money was to be spent in an effort to forward the ethics and morals of my particular religion to those that may not have one of their own. The money was to be spent to maintain the locale of our learning, and to do special things for the children or elderly in the congregation that may not be able to do things for themselves. To me, it’s more about charity, looking out for your fellow clergy member, making sure everything doesn’t fall apart if put into a financial bind. And then up rolled that Infiniti, and that changed everything.
Some sense of values have been compromised in institutionalized religions in order to showcase a more pristine view of any particular denomination. For instance, having a pastor that is put on a salary is beyond alien in my mind. If I can make it to church without the promise of any pay on a consistent basis, then I don’t see what the big inconvenience is for the man who has been “called” to inform others of his viewpoints. Also, it should be well within reach to maintain a decent job outside of the chapel, or at least make enough to survive on.
Another issue I have with the misappropriations of funds in religion is the actual establishments themselves. In Gainesville, GA, there is a particular church that had cost well over $3 million to construct. The location for the church is right across the highway from the…old location of the church. The old building is actually still standing, being that it was only a few years old. So, according to this logic, the church needed to be built larger, and it must include a…Starbucks? Pool tables? Game rooms?
The fact of the matter is this; it doesn’t matter how much money your congregation can bring in if it is being used for purposes other than the intents that is set up by the guidelines of your particular religion. If your building is humongous and your pastor is on television every other day, wonderful. If you have a Starbucks in your church so that this “place for worship” doesn’t seem so drab, great. However, the next time I want to actually spend my time worshipping whatever being it is that I choose to worship, I think I’ll opt to stay home. I don’t need an Infiniti or a game room to worship whole-heartedly.