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December 17th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

Church gives away cash in tough times

Editor's Note: CNN Business Correspondent Christine Romans is exploring how we balance faith and finances in a time when money is tight. Watch her special series, "In God We Trust," this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET – only on CNN.

Today our Christine Romans is taking us to a church where it pays to pray. Instead of giving to the poor, some parishioners are leaving with more cash in their pockets – an incentive to keep the faith in tough times.

Filed under: Business • Economy
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Tom

    A. Smith-
    Are you serious? You speak as though churches are just sitting on tons of money and don't do anything for anybody. Granted, they are tax-exempt, but they also do not receive any funding FROM the government, or any other organization, either. My church serves as a government food bank to distribute food to the poor and we have to BUY the food from the GOV! And you can't point to the denomination as our source of revenue, because the entire denomination relies on the generosity of its members as well, and believe me everyone has been affected by this recession-even churches. I'm so sick and tired of people sitting back and judging and criticizing the church and not doing anything to be part of the solution.
    The church has taken so much flack because of a few crooked TV preachers and now people are afraid to give and people condemn pastors as being money-hungry. Someone like this pastor tries to do something to help people and all you people can do is criticize and nit pick. Shame on you.

    December 21, 2009 at 3:59 am |
  2. david

    Jesus said "when you give do it in secret, dont let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. Dont trumpet your giving for everyone to see so they will praise you. This looks like they are doing this. Its sad that some churches are caving into secular ideals with hype and show business. the false teachers are all into that, lots of bling, lots of offerings, as they drive away in their mercedes benz.

    I dont agree with the statement about taxing the church for the church is a self runned institution that gives to the community around them without a big show. If a person is going through tough times the church is there for them and is willing to help along with other christian branches such as salvation army, world vision, etc.

    December 20, 2009 at 9:10 pm |

    People just don't know a good E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N-E-R when they see one...and now we have a video to see what one looks like...too bad there are so many!

    December 20, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    What are YOU doing to spread the gospel and tell people about Jesus Christ, Lord, Creator and Savior to those who believe His Word?

    Unless you've attended this church, you don't know what he's preaching about. This was a story about the church giving away money – money given by members of the church who gave generously. Why do people give to their church? To keep the building maintained, pay the staff so they can preach and help the poor... the poor in spirit and the financial poor. This church's methods aren't my choice for getting the Lord's word out there, but obviously it's working to some degree.

    How about if we pray that this pastor preaches God's TRUE Word effectively and powerfully while he's got a voice and that the money helps plant the seeds of the gospel in peoples hearts and transforms their lives by deepening their faith?

    Luke 9:49-50 "Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you"

    Matthew 12:22-37 A house divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.

    December 20, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  5. Anonymous

    This kind of action in a church is so dangerous and it is really alarming. This pastor is perpetuating the "Health and Wealth/Prosperity Gospel" which is not the Gospel message at all. So sad and such a misrepresentation of the beautiful and glorious Good News of Jesus Christ.

    God loves this pastor, so who am I to condemn him, but he certainly is NOT preaching the true Gospel, which is that through Jesus Christ we have all we have redemption and freedom from death and sin; that we can be content it ALL things (including financial hardship and suffering) because God's grace is enough and His power his made perfect in our WEAKNESS-so that HE gets all glory.

    This pastor really needs to go back to the Bible and review his theology. He has missed the point. Regardless, the Church is called to love him (while challenging him and keeping him accountable).

    1 Peter 4:13,

    December 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  6. A. Smith, Oregon

    Religious institutions own enormous amounts of real estate and pay no property, state nor federal taxes. They consequently are a drain on community resources and public schools that are badly in the need of revenues being paid into the system.

    The Federal Govt. should reverse its stance on No Taxes from Religious institutions and force them all to pay the same amount of taxes that all other institutions and land owners are forced to pay.

    December 17, 2009 at 12:31 pm |