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Old 10-23-2013, 03:08 PM
 
2,603 posts, read 4,268,604 times
Reputation: 1954

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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Dang. I am getting beaten up b/c I think that any given church should follow IRS regs; that their members should decide about staff salary; and that we shouldn't judge others when we don't have all the facts.

Cult are bad. Agree. But if this church professes Jesus as their Lord and Savior, then they are Christian. Slandering folks is bad, too.

What the heck does meth have to do with Elevation church? If their members are not satisfied with how their money is being spent, they are the ones to question it, NOT THE REST OF US. If the leaders are doing something illegal, they IRS will prosecute them.

Why are you turning what I said around to make me the bad guy?

No wonder this country is so divided. Christians against Christians. If there is something inherently EVIL going on in Elevation church, then shout it from the rooftops! On paper, they look legit and they certainly have given to the community.

I don't think it is right to prosecute people and assassinate their character when I don't have all the facts.

If you think people are being exploited, then go to the DA.

Honestly, I am feeling like I am witnessing the Inquisition and a bunch of Christians have decided that a minister and his followers are not falling in step with The Church so . . . let's send 'em to the rack.

People are attending that church b/c they are finding something they need in it.

Other denominations are losing membership. I think instead of tearing down Elevation, maybe we all need to be looking at what we need to do in our denominations to either make our churches more relevant or change our teaching style - something.
I'm not beating you up. And I'm not a Christian. But shady dealings at a non-profit or charity is everybody's business. And people shouldn't feel obligated to turn the other way just because they're not members of that church.

 
Old 10-23-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 66,993,147 times
Reputation: 22369
Quote:
Originally Posted by coped View Post
I'm not beating you up. And I'm not a Christian. But shady dealings at a non-profit or charity is everybody's business. And people shouldn't feel obligated to turn the other way just because they're not members of that church.
THank you for clarifying that, coped. Honestly, I was starting to feel like the earth had turned on its axis, b/c it has been my experience after posting with you over the years that you are the first to make sure people's right are being defended.

To me, the constitution guarantees everyone's right to worship as they please. And churches properly chartered are tax exempt. If there is something shady going on, the IRS will prosecute them, as they should -- and I would have thought you would have stood solidly beside me on that not tried to make it look like I was trying to give someone a pass just b/c they are a church. Fraud is fraud is fraud and tax evasion is fraud.

I do not think it is right to prosecute folks in the public arena when no wrongdoing has been uncovered. I also don't think it is right to tear down someone's ministry just b/c I disagree with what they profess. It wouldn't matter if the organization we are discussing is Wiccan . . . I would be defending their members' rights to pay their leader whatever they wanted and to worship how they wanted and to believe whatever they profess to believe.

And I disagree with you . . . if public officials want to do an investigation into Elevation church b/c they suspect tax evasion, then that is certainly their right. But as for the rest of us, it is not our business what they pay their minister and what kind of house he lives in -- unless we work for the IRS.
 
Old 10-23-2013, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Noth Caccalacca
5,553 posts, read 6,664,165 times
Reputation: 4836
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Poor people in general are more spiritual?

I can tell you this: my minister father made so little money for most of his career that we could have applied for food stamps, and looking back, I wish he had.

There is nothing noble about being poor; nothing spiritual about not having warm clothing; and it doesn't make you more in touch with God to do without heat and air conditioning.

Living in faith does not have suffering as a prerequisite, nor does living in poverty make you somehow more in tune with the nature of God.

And salvation is a gift. You cannot buy it. That is what the scripture is referring to when it talks about rich folks having trouble getting into heaven . . . that is what they meant. Not that money is EVIL or that poverty is GODLY.
ani - I think your good father was more interested in saving souls than collecting "Benjamins". After I read the story in the Observer about the Elevation pastor and then heard on NPR about some Bishop or Cardinal spending $40,000,000 of the Catholic Church's money on lavish living, I'm leaning on the old, somewhat misquoted adage that "charity begins at home". This sheep ain't getting shorn anytime soon!

Last edited by TheEmissary; 10-23-2013 at 04:03 PM..
 
Old 10-23-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Charlotte NC
11,715 posts, read 9,338,106 times
Reputation: 5228
Quote:
Originally Posted by tread102 View Post
Oh one other thing. Take the new pope for example. He is still living in communal housing. He has shunned the Luxury Papal Apartment. I don't agree with everything that the pope has said(i have issues with Catholicism in general) but its hard to argue with that.
BBC News - Vatican suspends 'bishop of bling' Tebartz-van Elst

Vatican suspends bishop of bling.
 
Old 10-23-2013, 04:00 PM
 
2,603 posts, read 4,268,604 times
Reputation: 1954
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
THank you for clarifying that, coped. Honestly, I was starting to feel like the earth had turned on its axis, b/c it has been my experience after posting with you over the years that you are the first to make sure people's right are being defended.

To me, the constitution guarantees everyone's right to worship as they please. And churches properly chartered are tax exempt. If there is something shady going on, the IRS will prosecute them, as they should -- and I would have thought you would have stood solidly beside me on that not tried to make it look like I was trying to give someone a pass just b/c they are a church. Fraud is fraud is fraud and tax evasion is fraud.

I do not think it is right to prosecute folks in the public arena when no wrongdoing has been uncovered. I also don't think it is right to tear down someone's ministry just b/c I disagree with what they profess. It wouldn't matter if the organization we are discussing is Wiccan . . . I would be defending their members' rights to pay their leader whatever they wanted and to worship how they wanted and to believe whatever they profess to believe.

And I disagree with you . . . if public officials want to do an investigation into Elevation church b/c they suspect tax evasion, then that is certainly their right. But as for the rest of us, it is not our business what they pay their minister and what kind of house he lives in -- unless we work for the IRS.
Disagreement and questioning does not equal "tearing down." It just seems you have an awful lot of faith in the IRS in this circumstance, which doesn't really square with your other feelings on government incompetence.

It's also the media's right - their job, really - to publicize using public records and other sources when a public figure such as Furtick appears to be enriching himself through his tax-exempt "nonprofit" church. Remember it took the media to really expose PTL for what it was. The church is a non-profit receiving tax breaks for all sorts of things. There is nothing wrong with presenting the facts about their leaders' extravagance.
 
Old 10-23-2013, 04:11 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 66,993,147 times
Reputation: 22369
Quote:
Originally Posted by coped View Post
Disagreement and questioning does not equal "tearing down." It just seems you have an awful lot of faith in the IRS in this circumstance, which doesn't really square with your other feelings on government incompetence.

It's also the media's right - their job, really - to publicize using public records and other sources when a public figure such as Furtick appears to be enriching himself through his tax-exempt "nonprofit" church. Remember it took the media to really expose PTL for what it was. The church is a non-profit receiving tax breaks for all sorts of things. There is nothing wrong with presenting the facts about their leaders' extravagance.
Good points.

BTW - I don't have faith in the IRS at all. I am scared of them, lol. I err on the side of paying them too much rather than risk having an audit and be in trouble. I have seen folks brought down by the IRS when no other federal agency could make an indictment stick.

I agree that the media has the right to question the appearance of malfeasance, but investing $325,000 doesn't seem extravagant to me. I don't know how much the house is going to be worth, but $1 million houses are not that rare here in Charlotte. At least, at the time they were built and worth $1 million, they weren't rare (pre-2008).

I would not have built a big ass house if I were Furtick, b/c I know how things can be misconstrued when a person is in the ministry. I know one minister whose family is very wealthy and he drove a Porsche, lived in a mansion . . . and it was a constant source of discussion, even though everyone knew that his parents are mega wealthy and that's where the goods came from. It just seems to really bother folks when ministers live in a better home than they do.

Conversely, it doesn't seem to bother them if the parsonage sucks. lololol
 
Old 10-23-2013, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Noth Caccalacca
5,553 posts, read 6,664,165 times
Reputation: 4836
Quote:
Originally Posted by coped View Post
Disagreement and questioning does not equal "tearing down." It just seems you have an awful lot of faith in the IRS in this circumstance, which doesn't really square with your other feelings on government incompetence.

It's also the media's right - their job, really - to publicize using public records and other sources when a public figure such as Furtick appears to be enriching himself through his tax-exempt "nonprofit" church. Remember it took the media to really expose PTL for what it was. The church is a non-profit receiving tax breaks for all sorts of things. There is nothing wrong with presenting the facts about their leaders' extravagance.
Remember what the initials PTL jokingly stood for? Pass the Loot!

I think Tammy Faye Bakker's makeup budget back in the day, was probably equal to the GDP of Poland!
 
Old 10-23-2013, 04:22 PM
 
1,922 posts, read 2,617,078 times
Reputation: 1870
Faith that the irs will always "get" their
man and faith that churches or cults will be exposed from the inside and
outsiders not having any responsibility to question is kind of nave .


Scientology comes to mind as a "church" that could use a closer
look from all of us, how about the cult that moved their
followers to South America and convinced them to drink tainted cool aid?
 
Old 10-23-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 66,993,147 times
Reputation: 22369
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEmissary View Post
ani - I think your good father was more interested in saving souls than collecting "Benjamins". After I read the story in the Observer about the Elevation pastor and then heard on NPR about some Bishop or Cardinal spending $40,000,000 of the Catholic Church's money on lavish living, I'm leaning on the old, somewhat misquoted adage that "charity begins at home". This sheep ain't getting shorn anytime soon!
He was, you are right. He still is. However, churches should make sure their ministers and their families do not have to suffer b/c of their service to the church and community. That ain't right, either. Things have changed . . . when I was a child, ministers (in my denomination) never owned homes -- they simply got a reduced salary b/c they were living "rent free" in parsonages. This made it impossible for ministers to ever own their own home where they could live in retirement.
 
Old 10-23-2013, 04:36 PM
 
2,603 posts, read 4,268,604 times
Reputation: 1954
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Good points.

BTW - I don't have faith in the IRS at all. I am scared of them, lol. I err on the side of paying them too much rather than risk having an audit and be in trouble. I have seen folks brought down by the IRS when no other federal agency could make an indictment stick.

I agree that the media has the right to question the appearance of malfeasance, but investing $325,000 doesn't seem extravagant to me. I don't know how much the house is going to be worth, but $1 million houses are not that rare here in Charlotte. At least, at the time they were built and worth $1 million, they weren't rare (pre-2008).

I would not have built a big ass house if I were Furtick, b/c I know how things can be misconstrued when a person is in the ministry. I know one minister whose family is very wealthy and he drove a Porsche, lived in a mansion . . . and it was a constant source of discussion, even though everyone knew that his parents are mega wealthy and that's where the goods came from. It just seems to really bother folks when ministers live in a better home than they do.

Conversely, it doesn't seem to bother them if the parsonage sucks. lololol
The $325,000 was for the land. The construction is about $1.4 million.

$1 million homes are certainly "rare." Only a very select portion of the populace can afford such a home. Maybe 2%, tops. People question purchases like that because extravagance is not a Christian virtue. Characterizing it as jealousy seems like nothing but a distraction.
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