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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This afternoon I was reading an article about an inquiry launched by Senator Charles Grassley (R. Iowa) into the finances of several churches whose pastors earn/spend millions on themselves.<br><br>
Some examples:<br>
- 1 million a year salaries<br>
- 10 million dollar houses<br>
- private jets<br><br>
This seems to me fundamentally at odds with the teachings of Jesus and the mission of the church. Could anyone shed some light on this for me?
 

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Wow. My husband is a pastor and we make... well, no where close to millions. I can't imagine the personal morality of someone who would accept such a huge salary.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mom de terre</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10264333"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This afternoon I was reading an article about an inquiry launched by Senator Charles Grassley (R. Iowa) into the finances of several churches whose pastors earn/spend millions on themselves.<br><br>
Some examples:<br>
- 1 million a year salaries<br>
- 10 million dollar houses<br>
- private jets<br><br>
This seems to me fundamentally at odds with the teachings of Jesus and the mission of the church. Could anyone shed some light on this for me?</div>
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I totally agree with you. There is something wrong with this picture. Those pastors who are mega rich, tend to be from the "prosperity movement" or "name and claim it" theology. They often preach that if you give to God via them you will be blessed with more $$ and financial blessing. So people send in big bucks, hoping to get in on God's blessings. It is not a biblical teaching and it is not what Jesus lived or taught.
 

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a great many Christians consider people who run these kinds of operations to be morally questionable at best. Many are a part of the "Word of Faith" movement, which is viewed skeptically by a number evangelical Christian churches and mainline denominations alike.<br><br>
Not all that claims to be holy is in fact holy. Jesus was not wealthy and he said it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. Depending on interpretation, that could mean it was challenging, or it could mean it was nearly impossible.
 

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keep in mind that all of the people investigated were TV personalities as well as preachers (I don't think I would consider any of them pastors as they weren't leading a congregation). I do not think they are wrong for making that much money as many popular speakers, teachers, writers and celebrities do. i do have an issue with them calling themselves a church and claiming tax exempt status.
 

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I remember flicking through channels a couple of years ago and encountered a Pastor giving a speech, I was so focused on the HUGE diamond ring on his finger I didn't hear a word he said <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
It's certainly questionable behaviour.<br><br><br>
Peace
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10269141"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">keep in mind that all of the people investigated were TV personalities as well as preachers (I don't think I would consider any of them pastors as they weren't leading a congregation).</div>
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This isn't entirely true. Some of the people investigated do directly lead congregations like Eddie Long, who made this charming defense: “I pastor a multimillion dollar congregation. You’ve got to put me on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that’s supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering.”<br><br><a href="http://www.au.org/site/News2?abbr=cs_&page=NewsArticle&id=9566" target="_blank">Here's</a> a link to the article for anyone who wants to read it.<br><br>
I would love to hear the thoughts os anyone who has a richly compensated pastor. Do you support the compensation? Why or why not?<br><br>
I don't know the salary of the minister at the uu congregation I attend, but I would guess it's in the 40 - 50,000 dollar range. She's not partnered, but I definitely think that any congregation should (if able) provide housing and a salary that will support a pastor and his/her family. I sort of think that the ministry is a bit of a family business. The pastor's partner really has to buy iinto the choice too, especially if relocating, etc., is involved, which makes it harder for him/her to pursue a separate career.<br><br>
What point am I making here? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Oh, I guess that I don't think, you know, that pastors should have to live in hovels subsisting on bread, water and the Holy Spirit, but this whole "prosperity gospel" thing freaks me the heck out! And I don't get why people of faith would follow it.
 

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I know there are all kinds of pastors and some are honest and humble, and some are not.<br><br>
I was born into a cult/church that was very fundamentalist in nature, but they turned to the church founder more than they did to the Bible. Anyway there were several churches all over the world and the pastor of our local church was such a hypocrite. He would ask the men to volunteer their time farming his fields and fixing up his rental properties. It was supposed to be an opportunity for them to serve God and the church. The thing is, most of the people in the church were low income and many needed to work second jobs to make ends meet (the women did not work). The pastor personaly owned the farms and properties, not the church. He drove a nice car, too.<br><br>
When I was in college I got two jobs at a local Baptist church. One was to work in the nursery on Sundays and one was to clean the santuary on Saturdays. I was paid minimum wage for the santuary job and less than minimum wage for the nursery job. I attended the church on Sundays and admired the pastor. Well one Saturday when I was new to the job I had just finished vacuuming the santuary and lining up the chairs. I put one donation envelope under each chair and a hymnal on the other side. The pastor came in and started yelling at the head custodian! He said, how are people supposed to donate money to the church if the envelopes were on the left instead of the right as they were supposed to be? He really laid into the man about how this rich people that came to the church expected things to be a certain way. This was the pastor who drove a BMW and owned a boat and sent his kids to private school.
 

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Wow! That's bizarre. I think Catholic priests make about 30K.<br><br>
I'm more offended by the way they seem to be spending it than the amount of money they have itself. Having a lot and living modestly and giving a lot is okay imo. But having a lot and blowing it on ridiculous things like mansions is not okay to me and I would never be a member of such a congregation.
 

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I don't know if this means I married the wrong kind of pastor or the right kind of pastor.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CherryBomb</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10270280"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Wow! That's bizarre. I think Catholic priests make about 30K.</div>
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Yes, Diocesan priests make very modest salaries (the amount would probably vary by location...where I live I think they make even less than 30K!)<br><br>
But I believe that most, if not all, priests from orders (Franciscans, Benedictines, etc.) make nothing at all. They take a vow of poverty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annettemarie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10271037"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't know if this means I married the wrong kind of pastor or the right kind of pastor.</div>
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Here's a test:<br><br>
How much mascara do you wear?<br><br>
A. Generally, none.<br><br>
B. 10 oz. Per eye.<br><br>
I'm sorry, if you answered B, you have made the wrong choice!
 

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couple of questions - what do you considerer a rich pastor? I mean obviously there is the filthy mega rich people who are just in a world all their own. but what about real pastors of real churches. how much is too much then? and I know location makes a big difference on if a big salary is big or not. Does church size make a difference? how about how much they work (my pastor works his butt off, 6 days a week from 6 AM to 6 PM some days, he is the only staff member and therefore does it all.) Here the pastor at a local baptist church is making $100K and is generally seen as immoral and obscene (as is his $500K home which is higher in value than about 95% of the homes in our city) except of course by the people setting his salary. however, In some places $100k would be comfortably middle class. This guy does almost nothing beside delegate and preach on the majority (but not all) sunday morning and does funerals and weddings for high profile people (not the average joe though, just those that will get him noticed by the important people). no visiting the sick and shut in, no other services, not Bible studies, no helping with the youth or children's ministries, and his wife of course doesn't have to do anything. she doesn't even attend the womens ministry stuff. its crazy, I can't imagine how he justifies a salary at all much less 100K (which is well above middle class here).<br><br>
should a pastors family size and therefore income needs be reflected in his salary?<br><br>
Priest making $30K - I don't exactly consider this a small sum. This usually includes free housing, perhaps utilities, health insurance and for one guy who shouldn't have any debt. my family of 5 lives off about that much, quite comfortably I might add. and we have a house, debt, and no insurance. if we didn't have all that we would be living well above average.
 

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The "cultural" standards (for lack of a better term) for paying pastors varies from denomination to denomination, too. I read an article recently about clergy housing, and the photos accompanying it were of a very, very nice house owned by an Episcopal priest and a very modest house owned by a Lutheran bishop. My dh (who is better attuned to this kind of thing than I am) pointed out that even if their incomes were similar, the Lutheran ethos on service and humility would make the Lutheran bishop disinclined to buy a bigger/nicer house even if she could afford it. IIRC the Episcopal priest's spouse had a high-profile job in a lucrative field... so that probably explains the difference, too.<br><br>
I do not know what my point is with that story. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But Lutheran pastors (and seminary professors, fwiw) don't tend to be paid lavishly.
 

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wow, the lutheran churches around here pay their pastors well above the median income. They also live upper middle class life styles. but this also reflects their congregations.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Penelope</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10274884"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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I do not know what my point is with that story. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But Lutheran pastors (and seminary professors, fwiw) don't tend to be paid lavishly.</div>
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Amen to that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10276068"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">wow, the lutheran churches around here pay their pastors well above the median income. They also live upper middle class life styles. but this also reflects their congregations.</div>
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I'm not being snarky, but can I ask how you know? It's bad enough that the congregation knows the ins and outs of how much DH is paid; I'd hate to think people outside the congregation were making it a topic of speculation as well.
 

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I cannot stand when my pator gets up and speaks about all his "blessings" Hwo he has put in a new pool, just bought a harley, owns three houses.....Excuse me, we are poor ans it kills us to even tithe and you are going to gush about your bounty? Yet there is no support for any of the church members should they fall on hard times. I have SERIOUS issues with it and now they are expending the church and wanting more money out of the ocngregation. To top it off, he hires he kid to sub pastor--who is a computer geek and has no training! Nepetism if you ask me. It is definitey a family business and the family is living large.
 
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