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RELIGION, CURRENT EVENTS, TECHNOLOGY Subscribe to the breaking newsWhat is RSS?
FRONT PAGE  |  11/27/2014
MONDAY, NOV 18, 2013  |  15 comments
Churches: The New Risky Bet

Less than 30 minutes from Disney World, Celebration of Praise Church of God has 1,200 members and a 47-acre campus. The Clermont, Florida, church boasts an Olympic-size swimming pool, a spa, a gym, and the county's largest auditorium. It also has a $7 million "balloon" payment due on its mortgage. All the church lacks is the funds to pay it.

It looks like Celebration's story will have a happy ending of sorts—it's currently selling its property to the city for $6.3 million, and will be able to rent the property for Sunday and Wednesday meetings.

But things haven't been so good for nearby Lakeland's Without Walls International, once the fastest-growing church (and among the 10 largest churches) in the country. The Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) foreclosed on the church in 2008 over a $13.9 million loan default. That case has been in the courts ever since, with claims, counterclaims, and ...


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· Page 1 ·  Found: 15 user comment(s)
News Item11/20/13 12:16 AM
Dolores L | Texas  Find all comments by Dolores L
You are right, we are on the same page kinda. Actually I was speaking of other posts on other threads. It bothers me to see elderly people giving to certain tv evangelists who in turn, build big homes, drive expensive cars and own jets with the money they are given.But it's their choice to give where ever they want. You are right maybe it was different then and things have changed with Christians duties today compared to back then. Give to the poor and they turn around and give to the rich preachers. Not all do this but some.
15

News Item11/19/13 12:14 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Dolores L wrote:
Neil, do you actually read these posts, I can't count the times that we have gotten on rabbit trails totally off the thread.
"We?" This is your first post here! Anyway, your remarks seem of the same relevance as mine. I'm not sure Our Lord's earthly ministry is always normative for how the Church is to be run, for there are major differences. Otherwise we are not far apart.
14

News Item11/19/13 11:53 AM
Dolores L | Texas  Find all comments by Dolores L
Neil, do you actually read these posts, I can't count the times that we have gotten on rabbit trails totally off the thread. I agree with Ken and the Biblical view is that Jesus and his disciples carried a money bag, for whom? The poor, and who was in charge of that money bag? Judas and why did he carry the money bag? To dip into it of course. Remember the woman who took an alabaster of expensive oil and poured it on Jesus's head,who complained? Judas, who held the money bag,said it could have been sold and put in their bag for the poor. Jesus said,"Leave her alone, she has anointed me for my, burial ,she has done a good thing. You will not have me here with you always but the poor you wii" Sounds like He wants His Church to remember the poor always. Can't do that if money is poured into other less important things.I am talking about the real poor, not the lazy, don't want to work poor. Paul had something to say about that also, if you don't work, you don't eat.
13

News Item11/18/13 11:10 PM
shane | socal  Find all comments by shane
The question begs to be asked... With this type of material behavior... Were these ever real churches to begin with? Can you imagine Christ and the apostles doing these things? Didn't he tell us to not love the world? Those who desire to be rich pierce themselves with many pangs. The true church is never to be in debt. Owe nobody anything except to love them. Remember the church in colosse met in Philemons house.
12

News Item11/18/13 10:37 PM
Thomas the Doubter | Ohio  Find all comments by Thomas the Doubter
Paula White? No one should be surprised at anything that fraud is associated with should result in her fleeing to the next unsuspecting sheep for slaughter. A Church should NEVER borrow money!
11

News Item11/18/13 7:58 PM
GsTexas | Texas  Find all comments by GsTexas
Thanks Neil, I see what your saying.
10

News Item11/18/13 3:12 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Ken wrote:
I'm not trying to state my comment from a biblical stand point, it's common sense.
You're on a Christian website yet don't want to deal with a Biblical standpoint. Strange.

Anyway, what is Common Sense? What most people think most of the time? If so, then how does one escape the Bandwagon Fallacy? Or is it something else? Please elaborate; you've entered deep philosophical waters here. What is sensible to you is not necessarily sensible to anyone else.

9

News Item11/18/13 2:52 PM
Ken  Find all comments by Ken
Neil when did I say that I feel as though it's a most that the church should feed the starving families? I'm not trying to state my comment from a biblical stand point, it's common sense. Either waste millions and millions or just spend what we need and do something descent with the rest of the money.
8

News Item11/18/13 2:35 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
GsTexas wrote:
I agree with Neil, churches simply don't need that much money... I can't think of any verses that command this now that you bring it up. Ill have to study this matter.
There are plenty of verses about feeding the hungry, but I think those are directed at believers individually, not corporately, with the exceptions Paul mentions, including famine relief of other Christians. If you know someone in genuine need (of housing or food), then by all means, use your judgment in helping them out. Funny, illegal aliens seem to have little trouble finding jobs, though maybe more so than before.

Example: My maternal grandparents gave odd jobs to folks looking for work during the Depression; unlike today, most were too ashamed to take handouts.

7

News Item11/18/13 2:31 PM
GsTexas | Texas  Find all comments by GsTexas
I agree with Neil, churches simply don't need that much money. There is no need for pools, huge gyms, book stores, coffee shops, and all the other entertainment driven money pits they waste money on. They waste money on these things to fill pews, not to teach sound Biblical doctrine or make disciples of men like they ought. All the money they wasted could have went to missions, and spreading the Gospel. They seemed to have forgotten the great commission. I've always taken it for granted that the church is supposed to help the hungry, but I can't think of any verses that command this now that you bring it up. Ill have to study this matter.
6

News Item11/18/13 2:13 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Ken wrote:
I agree Neil, but that's not the point about wether or not it's the churches responsibility or not. The point is a church wasting million and millions of dollars on a building and we have families nearby starving and without shelter. Something's wrong with that picture.
It is quite relevant. You complain about wasting money, yet give no Biblical reasoning for why that's a problem; I tried to. And you make an assertion that churches must feed starving families, which has at least two unstated & dubious premises: First, I'm not sure there are that many starving people here; Western countries throw out tons of uneaten food every day. Look at E. Africa or Bangladesh if you want to see *real* starvation. Our First Lady must think overeating is more of a problem than hunger, or else she'd publicize that instead, & she is probably right. So whence this evidence about starving families? And I don't mean self-serving PR from NGOs & gov't agencies who stand to benefit from such claims (increased donations or funding, respectively).

And 2nd, as I tried to show below, the church is not duty-bound to feed everybody, whether it can afford to or not.

5

News Item11/18/13 2:06 PM
Ken  Find all comments by Ken
I agree Neil, but that's not the point about wether or not it's the churches responsibility or not. The point is a church wasting million and millions of dollars on a building and we have families nearby starving and without shelter. Something's wrong with that picture.
4

News Item11/18/13 1:32 PM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Ken wrote:
I'm sorry brothers and sisters but I've gotta say it! ... Why in the world are these churches spending millions and millions of dollars on a building for fellow believers can gather for worship?
My answer: Churches have too much money. Naturally, pastors won't say this because they have a Conflict of Interest, for the same reason they *never* teach how to discipline erring leaders or choose new ones. And sorry, there is no Biblical requirement for the church to feed all & sundry. It is revealing that not even every widow deserves a pension; see 1 Tim. 5:9-11. Neither does every deadbeat who comes knocking at the door (see preceding verses). Or was Paul a heartless skinflint?

And here's a secondary issue: With all that real estate, who has title to it? Legal complications follow from all the possibilities. Yet I can find no evidence the Apostolic church owned any.

3

News Item11/18/13 1:02 PM
Ken  Find all comments by Ken
I'm sorry brothers and sisters but I've gotta say it! Why? Why? Why in the world are these churches spending millions and millions of dollars on a building for fellow believers can gather for worship!? Why can't we just spend what we need to accommodate for space required? Were spending millions upon millions are there are families struggling to keep a roof over there heads and feed there children, if there not already sleeping in tents. But I mean really!? An Olympic pool,a spa, a gym? There's nothing wrong with having a nice building to have worship, but this is rediculous!
2

News Item11/18/13 9:42 AM
Bro. James | Texas  Find all comments by Bro. James
As Christ followers our debts should be paid first. As in we should not be late and be the ideal lendee. Being an example for the watching world. It is sad that the world sees two supposed Christian organizations fighting in the secular court system. Very sad!
1
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