If the love of money is the root of all evil, why are churches so rich?

February 20, 2007 6:17am CST
Why do churches take money from its congregation and have so many riches, if money leads to evil? Surely the church should lead by example and be poor.
10 people like this
27 responses
@dubaimt (273)
• United Arab Emirates
20 Feb 07
even at the time of Jesus, giving to the church is a way of sharing whatever material wealth you have to the church who is responsible to giving it out to the less fortunate. let us not judge the church. what they ask is for the congregation to give freely what is from their heart (though others really specify how much they should give).
2 people like this
20 Feb 07
So how is filling the church with gold and crosses and other ornaments benefitting the poor. Or when they invest it in shares or other such things?
@AmbiePam (51627)
• United States
23 Feb 07
I have never seen a church with a gold cross. Man, where are these rich churches? Maybe I should go check them out! : )
@dbcraff (162)
• United States
24 Feb 07
I would really like to know what church are they talking about. I know my church deosn't have any artifacts or stock. I think you all need to be more specific and not generalize because you definitely aren't looking at the whole picture. Only the part you want to see.
• United States
20 Feb 07
I see your point, but the truth is, it does take money to run a church, and quite a lot of it. Yes, a lot of churchs make obscene amounts of money, but many do not. Our church has three paid employees; the minister, his secretary, and the director of children's programming. We also have electric bills, water bills, insurance, having the grass cut, buying materials for adult and children's programs, curriculum for sunday school, having the church newsletter printed, and a million other things. And we do make large donations to many charities and social justice organizations. I do believe that a church should not hoard what it has, but a poor church can't really serve its congregation or community as it should.
20 Feb 07
Perhaps if the building costs so much to run they could hold the services in different peoples houses or outdoors when the weather is god so they dono't need to run a building like the church. Then the money poeple donate can go to the poor.
@dbcraff (162)
• United States
24 Feb 07
I would love to see you fit a group of 30 people in one house????
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 07
Lol...that is a good point dbcraff. I don't believe that the church should lead the example by being poor. The Lord never called us to be poor. I believe he blesses the church for their hard work and faithfullness. There are alot of churches though who I believe that do focus on the money and that's all they do is preach about money. Those churches will be the poor ones in the end and left with absolutely nothing. There is a verse in Proverbs 11:28 that says, "He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf." God is not gonna let the ones out there who are doing his work and being faithful to him just be here in the world with nothing. Another verse in Hebrews 13:5 says, Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you, nor will I forsake you." I believe there are alot of churches from some I have been in, have started with absolutely nothing and now have nice churches because they used the money just for the church like cajundharma pointed out to run the church and trusted only on God and have been blessed greatly because of that.
@rosie_123 (6117)
20 Feb 07
That is a question that I have often asked myself too Michelle, and I truly do not know the reason. It is amazing that is some very poor countries (in South America for example), the Churches are dripping with gold, and beautiful artifacts, while some of the people are too poor even to feed their childrem properly, and yet still feel obligated to give money. I thinkit is pretty sad, and sick myself, that people feel forced to give money to some large organisation, when their first prioriety should be to look after their own families. I'm sure the answer is that the Churches need money to gicve "alms", and help the disadvantaged, but in some places half the parishoners are disadvantaged themselves.
20 Feb 07
I feel the same about the crown jewels. I think the royal family should sell some of them so that we can use the money to help the homeless people in this country.
2 people like this
• Canada
20 Feb 07
It is the LOVE of money that is evil. Not money itself. Money is not evil. It's needed to survive. I don't agree that churches are rich. Churches do a lot of good for it's people. And like someone else mentioned, it costs a lot of money to upkeep a big building, and pay wages to everyone involved.
2 people like this
@imadriscoll (2230)
• United States
20 Feb 07
The love of evil is the root of all evil ... meaning that if you desire to obtain wealth and use it to your own personal advantage, if you place money above all things, if you are greedy ... but you can have a lot of money without putting your trust and faith in the money. It's hard though. I believe that SOME churches are wealthy because God has blessed them because they are doing what He would have them to do. I believe that SOME churches, their leaders and their members are wealthy because that's what they put their highest priority on. I am a member of church that I would not consider wealthy, but we are definately blessed by God. We do help the poor and find that to be a priority. We don't spend money on artifacts or things of that nature, because we think that money can be better spent in other ways. But, I think that some churches that have been around a lot longer then my church have been given a lot of artifacts over the years. Try not to judge each church by the acts of a few churches.
@cdparazo (5768)
• Philippines
20 Feb 07
Church doesn't take money but they recieve money. When it's members give more and are generous then the church have more money to use to spread the word of God. Church or any religion won't survive without the 'donations' from it's members and whatever they receive is being used in sending missionaries to remote areas, building and maintaining churches. Priests or pastors(i think) doesnt recieve any salary but rely on the donations of it's flock.
@maribel1218 (3085)
• Philippines
20 Feb 07
church donation where it goes? - church donation
You rock! my friend this is very good discussion to be with and I think many can relate to this topic. In our country the CBCP that was one of the congregation of the priests here have huge stock in the stock market and it was indeed something to really talk about but some lips are sealed and they do not divulge this piece of information to everyone on how and where money goes. Our churches have some expenses but still there is still left for something that they should be put on some charitable institution to make the donation really works. There is a certain quote I remember that if you want to be rich quick create a religious sect for it is where the money comes easy.
1 person likes this
20 Feb 07
That quote is great. It is odd how people will give money to a church or religion but not to people who are really suffering. I just don't understand it at all.
@dubaimt (273)
• United Arab Emirates
20 Feb 07
when you give to your church, it should be wholeheartedly, because if done so, you will not be questioning as to where these will be taken. just by faith, you believe that whatever you give, it will be done to the greatest benefit of the many. so, if you are in doubt as to where your loose changes are going, please, dont give at all. there are still people who believe, and have faith, in the power of giving without asking.
20 Feb 07
surely it is better to give to charity than to your church. How about Christian Aid? They help lots of people in need but don't keep any of the money for themselves.
1 person likes this
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
20 Feb 07
I don't know if the church is rich... It was not in the old days... Perhaps rich in real estate... but not in money... Don't confuse the church with those charlatans on cable TV. If you know how much maintenance a house requires... Imagine how much maintenance a church requires. Add to that the weekly wages to clean the church, maintain the garden around the church, buying candles... and a few other things that I probably don't think about. All in all... if the church has to pay for all this from Sunday's donations... I would not call it "rich". Plus the priest or priests have to live as well. You cannot survive on the love of God alone. The question is... how much does a church makes on a good Sunday?
20 Feb 07
I'm certainly not confusing the church with those religious maniacs on TV (we don't have them in this country anyway). I'm thinking of all the money that the church has invested in projects that aren't even christian and the gold, and artifacts that the old churches have. Even a small modern church I know near me can afford £150 for an open day, so if it can spare that money, who knows how much it must have, and I wonder what they are doing with the money.
• Netherlands
20 Feb 07
I just want to add one thing. Just because you don't say religious maniacs on tv doesn't mean they are not around.
20 Feb 07
You have a very valid point here. With the divide between the rich and the poor ever widening, it seems to me that the displays of weath in certain churchs is a smack in the teeth to the poor, the needy and the underpriveleged. I am sure that there will be people on here who will respond with their own different points of view, but for me I wonder sometimes why it is that they don't do more to help their own people in time of need.
1 person likes this
20 Feb 07
I think you are right. I know someone who is a church goer who is in debt and the church has spare money, why not help?
• Austria
15 Mar 07
maybe the little churches don't have the money, but I believe the higher up you go the more money there is. All the way to the Vatican which looks like it's made of gold. Bishops, Cardinals the Pope they all have big fat rings needing to be kisses. Seems the only ones that don't have money in the church are the nuns.
@mobyfriend (1019)
• Netherlands
20 Feb 07
The real problem is not about the church being rich or not but if they give true and honest disclosure to their parochians about the amount of money coming in and on what it is spent. Most people give money from the heart and those are the feelings that are being played on. And I think that in most churches only the churchboard knows about the money. Churches shold be more democratic and give everyone a vote into how the money will be spent and thye should not look down on someone who refuses to give money.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (51627)
• United States
23 Feb 07
At my church we have a business meeting twice a year where all the spending is printed out for each member to see. If anyone has any objections over what is being spent, they vote and if it is voted to be changed, the money no longer goes to that particular item.
@nancyrowina (3850)
20 Feb 07
The church are supposed to help the poor with the money they have, but individual churches always seem to be poor having to appeal to mend their rooves etc. So the money isn't being given to them to share out or spend on repairs to their buildings. With the current situation in world poverty the church's of the world should really be seen to do more to help in my opinion. Instead of running charities they should spend more of their accumulated wealth too, as people are obviously starting to wonder what they are doing with all that money.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (51627)
• United States
23 Feb 07
I sometimes wonder why people want to tell churches how to spend their money, but when it comes to their own finances, they don't want to part with their own money. Charity starts at home, don't you think?
@manong05 (5029)
• Philippines
16 Mar 07
I would like to respond in a form of a story to bring out my point. One given Sunday, the church stewards after counting the offerings, said to the minister, Sir, with all of these fortunes, we can no longer say with the apostle Peter "Silver and gold, have I none", to which the minister replied "neither can we say rise up and walk". Some so called churches have gone a long way. The early ones lived a simple life, they collected offerings to help the poor and needy. As the church grew in numbers especially in the modern world, I'm sure they are needs to be met i.e. help provide for the needs of the ministers, electricity bills to be paid, buildings to be erected in new church localities and these are paid from the church collections. There are legitimate expenses. What worries me are some religions or cults using the church to amass wealth and some people are gullible enough to part with their hard earned money. With regards to the title of the posting, I beg to disagree that money is the root of all evil. Greed and love or rather lust for money is. In today's world, we need money in order to survive, nothing is free. Money is not everything but without money we are nothing, we can not even live without buying food to eat, let alone live decently.
• United States
20 Feb 07
I agree that some churches have become commercialized! Ridiculous I don't go to a church because of how nice it is, Or for the big screen televisions, and the Choir that has all new musical equipment, I go to praise God! and I don't need a multimillion dollar establishment to do so! In fact I think that many churches have lost sight of the Lords work and have begun pocketing much of their donations. I feel also feel like the ocal community gets less these days. I see transients that freeze while the church goes off on missionary trips to mexico, and guatimala, Why not help here first? Some churches still know the way but many have bben led astray
1 person likes this
@estherlou (5017)
• United States
20 Feb 07
Our church has a congregation of over 1400 families, and many of them are wealthy, though many, like me are not even close! LOL! The church itself is not wealthy. It uses the money to fund the sunday school classes and buy the books. It built on a new section so we could have more classrooms and a place for kids to have activities. We bought an organ to enhance our worship. Upkeep on the building, utilities, as with our homes...takes a lot. We have a lot of volunteers who do the teaching of the sunday schools, but some jobs are salaried. Our church tithes 10% of everything we collect and gives it to others. We help to support some smaller churches in our area. We give to local help centers. We probably give to more than I even know about as I am not on the finance committee or anything like that. A lot of the "rich" looking things in our church were donated. Some really fabulous chandaleers in our hall used for receptions etc, were donated. Some of the artwork and the statue of Jesus outside were all donated as gifts. Our priest pays for all of his own vestments he wears. Most churches are careful with their money, and realize they are stewards of it, and don't waste it. I am sure there are churches out there that look suspect, but you have to do a little research if you have doubts.
@yanjiaren (9050)
20 Feb 07
well the church is a very powerful organ everywhere..and however much they say that we live in secular societies..i bet the churches everywhere give whopping backhanders to the political candidates they want to back..they all have vested interests..and although i go to every church, temple, mosque..to pray if i happen to pass one..my church is my heart..and i won't feel guilty if i become rich lol..it's when the churches don't help the poor they become evil..if they collected the money to do good works with it then i don't think it is a bad idea for them to collect revenues..i do think it is a bad idea if they sepnd money on rubbish..
• Philippines
20 Feb 07
Sometimes, I think that too much devotion to religion could be misleading. Many people are so hooked up with going to the church and being active in religious activities, that they forget the true value of faith. You have a good question there and I don't really know why people have to invest on their religion. It should be the actions that people should be aware of, not the money that they invest in the church.
@beaniegdi (1966)
15 Mar 07
The saying is that 'the love of money is the root of all evil' not money in itself. However I do understand what you are saying, in England the queen is the head of the church and yet the christian teaching says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven. As a child when I found out the queen was head of the church I did wonder why she didn't give it all away, however I am older and know that life is not as simple as that and I also know from wht I have read from people close to her that the queen is very religious and prays every day.
• United States
5 Mar 07
Love of money - Image of two 100 dollar bills curled into a heart.
A couple of things before I get started on my actualy comments. First, my opinion is coming from a non-Christian who grew up in a Christian environment. Secondly, let's get the correct (and expanded) quote out here: 1 Timothy 6:9-10 NIV http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%206:9-10;&version=31; People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Now, looking at that, we'll see that that line is misquoted. It's not "Money is the root of all evil." It's not even "The love of money is the root of all evil," although that is closer to the truth. It is "For the love of money is A root of all KINDS of evil." Now, what that says to me, is greed is just one root of many kinds of evil. I will say that that was honestly a revelation for me, as I had always heard it as "the root of all evil." Part of the rest of 1 Timothy chapter 6 does seem to imply that we should be content with simply food and clothing. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20timothy%206&version=31 So, onto the subject of churches and finances. I'm sure that there are churches that fit every description that someone has given, from dirt poor to filthy rich. Categorizing them ALL one way or the other is inappropriate. While churches are non-profit organizations, they do require money to keep functioning. As people have said, their buildings are just like any other building and have maintenance costs and utilities (water, elctric, sewer) to pay. Also, they have a few persons who recieve payment for their work at the church. So, they have a minimum they have to bring in to stay functioning. To me, this is acceptable. They also require funds for their programs, teaching materials, and supplies. Beyond that, many of them do contribute excess to various charitable organizations, or use internally for their own charitable work. This is also acceptable in my eyes. Where my objection primarily comes in is in the facilities that they maintain and the accessories or artifacts that they use. I can appreciate wanting a facility that distinguishes itself as a church by its construction and architecture. I can appreciate wanting interior decor to facilitate an environment conducive to the ideals that they promote. I can appreciate wanting a nice, well-kept facility. What I can not appreciate is ostentatious ornementation. Does a church really need solid gold anything? Or four story glass walls? Or top of the line electronics? Material donations, as opposed to financial donations and offereings, fall into separate consideration, as that is up to the individual to donate materials rather than finances. In that case, the question becomes why didn't the individual who professes a belief in Christ and his teachings not make a more "appropriate" distribution of his or her funds in keeping with those teachings? In my opinion, a good church will let its congregation know where their financial offerings and donations are going. They will even go so far as to consult the congregation as to where their focus should be, as long as that focus keeps with Christ's teachings. My $0.02 at the moment.
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
5 Mar 07
I agree with you. Catholic church exterminated other christian groups like catars in the past...those only believed in one sacrament, consolamentum, and they refused to all material wealth....hence they were dangerous to the strong catholic hierarchy. It's the same old hipocrisy...do as i say, not as i do.
• Romania
5 Mar 07
because the priest are also humans :))