Monday, November 24, 2014

Something You Will NEVER See A Church of God Doing....

A Chicago church recently sold some property and in a Christian gesture gave every member a check for $500.00 so that they could do good for someone else.  They actually put a tithe to good use unlike the Churches of God.

Can you ever imagine a Church of God doing something that is described in the story below? 

When the Worldwide Church of God sold the properties in Lake Tahoe, Vail, Pocono's, Dells, Ozarks, Big Sandy and Pasadena did they ever do something charitable like this?

Can you imagine Dave Pack or Gerald Flurry doing this? 

What about God's most perfect church UCG?  Would any of those men working for that bloated organization ever give back to the members that sacrificed for them?  Even Vic Kubik uses UCG members to fund his own "charitable" organization. 

Church members have always been ready cash machines but have gotten little in return for that investment.  All that most have received is constant church splits, money being manipulated from a former organization to another, over paid abusive ministers, and incessant demands for more money.

Church members each get $500 to do good for the world

Posted: Nov 23, 2014 10:38 AM PST
Laura Truax/LaSalle Street Church (Courtesy: ABC News)
Laura Truax/LaSalle Street Church (Courtesy: ABC News)
CHICAGO (AP) -- On a very memorable Sunday, Pastor Laura Truax surprised her congregation with a bold announcement: She was about to hand out money to everyone.

LaSalle Street Church had received a tidy $1.6 million from a real estate deal, the pastor said, and $160,000 - a typical 10 percent tithe - would be divided among some 320 regular attendees. Each would get a $500 check to do something positive.

LaSalle, a non-denominational church, has long been involved in social causes, from feeding homeless families to buying an ambulance for a medical clinic in Niger.

Not surprisingly, many donations will reach far-flung places, including a school in the Himalayas and an irrigation project in Tanzania. Closer to home, some checks are helping needy friends.

Church members, Truax says, are doing just what she'd envisioned when she distributed the checks in September.

"I hoped that they would recognize the power they had to bless others and change somebody's life," she says. "... And that has largely happened."

Read the rest of the article here.


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Well, if you really want to get “technical” about it, instead of naming the various ACOG splinters, this is what the multimillionaire little Joey Tkach should have done with the Church assets. If Tkach had had any integrity inside him when he changed the Church doctrines and heisted the Church and its assets, the liquidated assets should have been returned to the donors pro rata who supported the Work under Herbert W. Armstrong for them to use however they wanted.

Lake of Fire Church of God

DennisCDiehl said...

The Tkaches had no right to stay in WCG and fancy themselves as "leaders." If they had so much change in mind, and 100% of every "no we won't do that" I asked became a 100% yes, "oops, I guess we will," they should have left.

Why locals in Pasadena did not just go up to Joe's office and put him out on the street is beyond me.

When I asked Ron Kelly about retirement issues he said, "Jesus worked a miracle in the church and we don't have any money." I noted they just sold the entire campus and he said nothing. That Jesus of theirs was also quite a trickster it seems "leading" one way for awhile and then another. Religion is truly a farce and much ado about mythologies and made up , it seems, as they go.

Religion is not the same as a personal spirituality, but that's another topic and organizations can't handle independent spiritually minded thinkers. "We must all speak the same thing.." and all that...

Byker Bob said...

This LaSalle thing is quite a spiritually advanced form of personal evangelism. The concept is known as "paying it forward" in many circles, and it gives people an opportunity to see and appreciate the good that is done, the impact one person can have on another person's life.

Most of us in the WCG never knew what our tithes and offerings were actually spent on. True, in the early days, there was that quaint little whitewash known as the business report usually given orally at the Feast of Tabernacles, but because of the cold statistics and broad generalities, nobody ever knew whether their sincerely given tithes went for jet fuel, ministerial condoms, Dom Perignon, or to actually pay for air time on the Pirate radio stations. The umbrella phrase "doing God's work" was usually used to cover all of the expenditures, whether wise, or frivolous.

I really have no idea where all of the funds from dissolving the evil empire went. It might have been nice if all of us had received rebates, but I shudder to think of where most of that money might have ended up. The usual list of ministerial despots would probably have commanded that it be sent to them, the so-called successors of HWA. The last thing the world would need is a Gerald Flurry, or a David Pack with more financial resources and power!

All things considered, it was actually preferable for that money to have been squandered, as opposed to having it used to revive and preserve Armstrongism. Even having it be blown spending it to have Van Halen play Joe Jr.'s birthday party would be better than that!


Ed said...

The problem with any organized religion is that the survival of the organization is more important then the well being of the individual members.

If you have a strong belief in god or are a spiritual person you don't really have any need to belong to an organized religion.

A woman I work with asked me what religion I belong to. I responded I don't belong to any religion. She asked, "Why?". I said, "Exactly, Why?

Anonymous said...

"The Tkaches had no right to stay in WCG and fancy themselves as "leaders.""

Well, Herbie on his deathbed put them there...

"Why locals in Pasadena did not just go up to Joe's office and put him out on the street is beyond me."


"The teachings and directions of the living prophet take precedence over what former prophets have said." - Mormon, Inc.


Anonymous said...

I guess the LaSalle Street Church worships a more powerful god than Herbie's god. Their god can actually deliver some enlightenment, and to it's leaders, so it would appear, of all people. Leadership positions is where you'll always find the thoroughly un-enlightened in Armstrongism.

COg churches do NOT pay dividends. Not the non-financial kind, and most CERTAINLY, not the financial kind.

old EXPCG hag said...

Someone could have pitched in and fixed that kid's deformed face and therefore he probably wouldn't have tried to rape the girl and kill her mother...then went to prison. How's that for extreme bad endings as a result of not helping people. Only in the COg's!

Former Union NJ member said...

Herb didn't put them there.
He wrote a letter a year before saying the biblical way was for the council of elders to fast and pray and then choose.
I suspect there was a lot of odd interference in that situation while he was sick and out of things.

I must tell you that many times in the CoG I was given money by members and ministry on the side as I was very poor.
I once told you I received 3rd tithe during a very bad time. The church literally supported me completely for several years. They were not stingy. Ministers in the area helped me out from their own pockets. I never had to ask. At the feast, which I could ill afford all my and my children's meals were paid for and people would slip 100 bills in my hand with a handshake and not hear of my saying 'no'.
I have to speak out and say that the church was a true blessing when I was completely down and out and brethren were there for me. They had me babysit and paid me way beyond going rate. I could go on but, thats enough. All of it true and I would be remiss if I didn't stand up and say it.

Anonymous said...

The concept known as "paying it forward" dates back at a minimum to hundreds of years BC in ancient Greece.

If only more modern folks would take such a "backward" theme, to apply it today!

Unfortunately, Laura Truax is an extremely rare preacher in that respect these days. If only more preachers were so "backward"!

Most preachers use much of their preaching time soliciting money, whether overtly, or cleverly in a more obscure way.

I suppose God needs to ask, cajole, demand, demean, lie, threaten, deal, promise, pressure, guilt-trip, etc., to get money.
Funny, how God has to resort to such tactics!
Of course, it must be because His creation- Man- is so bad and needs such sleazy sales tactic proddings.
If only God was powerful enough to have a "work" where He didn't have to have his ministers be sleazeballs to make it roll.

And, along these lines, a few days ago I heard a Hank Williams Junior song, "American Dream"
Here are some of the lyrics-

Now there are some preachers on TV, with a suit and a tie and a vest,
They want you to send your money to the Lord but they give you their address.
'Cause all of your donations are completely tax free
God bless you all, but most of all, send your money!

Anonymous said...

Hello Former Union NJ member,

Yes, I knew of instances where 3rd tithe did go to helping those like you. (I'm also a former Union NJ member.)
I'm glad it did in your case, but please keep in mind that all too often it did not.
Perhaps such charity was often to some extent at the discretion of the local pastor.
Who was the pastor at the time you are referring to? Jim Swaggerty? Bob Spence?

I liked Jim Swaggerty, but not Bob Spence so much.


R.L. said...

Some UCG'ers apparently are getting a Thanksgiving "bonus" - if they're on the payroll. It's buried deep in the minutes:

Anonymous said...

But the 3rd tithe distribution problem is not to be found by anecdote, but by systematic overview.

I too know of ONE single case in which 3rd tithe did go to someone who very much needed it during the pre-implosion Tkach era. We'll call her "Claire" (not her real name). She was a teen runaway with one parent in the church, who had been living on the street, trading sex for security. One particular minister took her under his wing, so to speak, and the church paid her rent and for some job training over the course of several years. It's very easy, especially for a man, to have a soft spot in his heart for a "Claire."

3rd tithe was only available if a minister "took you under their wing" and went to bat for the release of funds. A member, especially one without social standing, could NEVER go to bat for him or herself. There was no "3rd Tithe Assistance Office" or any formal application process by which a member could request 3rd tithe assistance directly at the institutional level. Herbert Armstrong made sure all of this was done (or not done) informally, without any paperwork, oversight, or coordination. You had to go to a minister and ask for it, and hope the minister thought you were a "worthy cause." If he didn't personally have a soft spot in his heart for you, your "paperless application" was DOA. There was no review board to handle applications or render official approvals or denials for stated reasons. If the minister rejected you, there was no one to appeal to, short of moving to another city to ask a different minister. I knew another woman I'll call "Angela" (also not her real name), who after being rejected out-of-hand by her minister, thought to do this, but couldn't afford to move.

The simple fact that no formal process existed was, in fact, an official "anti-3rd-Tithe-distribution policy," to which exceptions would be made ONLY when it served the interest of the minister and the church. In the case of "Claire" it allowed the minister to feel like a "knight in shining armor" and it served the interest of the church because it allowed them to reel "Claire" back into the fold, where she remains a tithepayer to this day, revealing that this "3rd tithe payout" was actually an investment, one which has paid off. "Angela" wasn't a good investment, I guess.

The official "anti-3rd-Tithe-distribution policy" is the problem, and one generated by the institution's highest policy-maker, Herbert Armstrong. He needed a few payouts, just like the lottery needs a few payouts, in order to justify holding onto the other ~95% of 3rd tithe funds collected.

Since there was no formal process for a member to apply directly to the institution for 3rd Tithe assistance, those "lottery winners" were picked using extremely subjective criteria. For every "Claire" there were many more equally deserving "Angelas" who were rejected out-of-hand, or even disfellowshiped due to "their problems." If "Claire" had instead been "Robert," then I wouldn't even have ONE anecdote to relate to you. Pretty young women "need help," whereas otherwise handsome young men "have problems." All a "Robert" would have received for his request for assistance would have been a stern warning to get his act together, "or else," and a "go and be warmed and filled."

Former Union NJ member said...

@ Dale
Jim Jenkins and Greg Sargent.
Also received help from Don Lawson.
All three really went to bat for me.
I also do realize some did not get the help they needed.
I always have known my help came from God in all actuality.
My situation taught me a lot about charity and giving.
Experience is a hurtful but valuable teacher.

Becker said...

"Why locals in Pasadena did not just go up to Joe's office and put him out on the street is beyond me."

Absolutely and they should have been sued for the money they stole from the brethren who built that church.
Can't take a brother to court but a brother does not stab the entire congregation in the back like the Joe brigade did.