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BucsGuru

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#15 : August 20, 2009, 09:37:57 PM

For you BBB...




JUST KIDDING

The White Tiger

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#16 : August 20, 2009, 09:57:36 PM

Um guru...any operation has a business side to it. Baptist churches are like the Churches of Christ, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc., A budget helps organize disperse funds to accomplish goals. Budgets help churches make decisions when making plans in order to get the maximum from limited resources. The goal is, local, regioinal, then worldwide, evangelism. This while meeting the needs of your congregation - both physical and spiritual.

Not knocking your business model, but it seems only limited by the members that give. In many of the leading denominations, you mentioned Baptists (SBC) - EVERY - financial and budgetary issue is brought before and then voted on by a quorum of the membership. A presbytery provides governance and oversight. Plans are made for goals with an understanding of budget constraints in mind. Plans are based on the great commission, and equipping the members to live, develop and handle Christs call.

Again - churches don't drain the public coffers, they aren't using their endowments to speculate in the stock market - I am not a member but this is good teaching - from the Royal Oak Church of Christ a brief letter entitled False Profits:

"...it also can have a foothold in the church.  Paul�s letters often warn the church of false teachers and divisive workers who infiltrate the body of Christ...".

So, to recap - Churches in America aren't taking public assistance, and they aren't speculating with their endowments.

Government and the leftists are hostile to Christian teachings - they ban speech in the public domain and criticize the belief system - if Government does this - then they should not then roll the churches for their finances. Besides they are paltry sums when you consider university endowments - which are in fact being used to speculate. Especially when you realize universities are refusing to use those endowments to sponsor citizens who can't afford an education!?

If universities don't commit funds properly - take public funding and increase the tuition fees in order to cover losses - then they need to have their endowments taxed like the corporations they are...

Nice dodge - but with $413 B-B-B-billion being flashed around Wall Street - those monies could be put to better use.

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BucsGuru

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#17 : August 20, 2009, 10:55:45 PM

Mathew 17
27"But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

EVEN Christ knew the importance of paying taxes!!  Tiger, if churches learned to be faithful and trusting in Christ, rather than trying to evangelize the evangelized, there would be no need for all those budgets.  Tell me what percent of church income goes to toward evangelism and what goes toward salaries, building funds, frivilous expenditures, etc? 

The White Tiger

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#18 : August 21, 2009, 05:23:43 AM

That refers to personal income tax - preachers pay that (if you don't, then you may need to reread that verse yourself). As for the major denominations finances; my church publishes those numbers every week in our bulletin. Every major expenditure, pay package, ministry decision is voted on by the membership and measured by "need" of ministries of priority and commitments to Christ.

If you don't want to be taken - don't give money to any organization that can't tell you what they've done, or plan to do with the money you give them - it's a paraphrased version of caveat emptor.

Otherwise; I believe Thomas Tusser has something to say about a fool and his money - personally, I wouldn't attend a fly by note church with 250 members or less. I've found that those are the places that have the most interesting interpretations of the Bible and the least accountability to God. But again, not knocking your business model.

You seem as if you've been duped into class envy - a wedge issue wielded by socialists.

We're talking about taxing endowments that are being used IMproperly by institutions that are given PUBLIC funding for numerous reasons. These institutions speculated with their tax free endowments and lost money. When faced with diminished scholarship money due to decreasing tax receipts in a bad economy - these educational institutions decided instead to raise tuition rates...

That practice is wrong and should be corrected - I can't understand why massive endowments ($413 BBBILLION) of major colleges are allowed to speculate for profiteering and should REMAIN remain tax-free? - Especially when universities are mixing government funding with private donations to bet the house on the rise of Home Depot stocks?

I also can't understand why anyone who refuses to accept the the traditional American religious beliefs, denies Christian influence on American history, and ridicules the members Christianity for their beliefs - would want access to Christian churches finances? This group is no blight on America, they are the first responders of ALL natural disasters in this country and around the world. They are actually benefiting the communities that they are embedded in, not competing with them for funding while speculating for profit.

Nope - you guys have not convinced me - universities should lose tax exemption. Actually, if their so full of humanistic altruism, I wonder why they aren't voluntarily yielding their non-profit status? I guess they like privitizing profits while nationalizing debt and loss...seems rive goche to be a GSE anymore?

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BucsGuru

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#19 : August 21, 2009, 07:44:47 AM

Tiger, so you believe the larger the church, the better it must be?!  If you are attempting to build a business model for a church, then I'll agree with your assumption.  Christ referred to you and I as the body, not a building with budgets and fancy fixtures.  Why is that so hard to understand?  How is it that after 2,000 years we have almost completely reverted back to the pharisee way of doing church, rather than the example Christ showed?  I know that's blunt, but for you to say a church of less than 250 isn't biblically sound is just plain ignorant.  So I'll assume that based upon that, only large churches have sound doctrine?  Who was it that Christ ministered to?  11 common men, without much education, right?!  So how has the standard changed?  What I've found to be true with large churches is that they allow people to gather without being personal and flaunt that which God has blessed them with.  Are there people in those churches who are purposed and serving God?  Absolutely, but the majority are there for the show.  You will never convince me that we need a million + dollar sanctuary while we preach about feeding and caring for the homeless!  That is just nuts!  Quit paying the preacher $100,000 a year with a housing alllowance and start feeding the homeless!  But of course he deserves it since he has a doctorate degree from seminary!  By the way, since we are going to tax universities, shouldn't we tax seminary schools as well?  After all, they are making a profit?  Don't believe me; take a trip to Lynchburg, Va and have a look at Liberty University.....

alldaway

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#20 : August 21, 2009, 08:20:00 AM

How about we tax churches

About time because if they did what they were supposed to do (take care of the needy) the idea that the government needs to assist people would greatly diminish.

The White Tiger

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#21 : August 21, 2009, 08:44:47 AM

Tax colleges that are willing to gamble with their endowments while they refuse to even support the same 5% minimum annual payments as private foundations.

The top 400 colleges dedicated a measly 4.6% of their endowments to the tuitions of the underprivileged, and many of the wealthiest have spent considerably less in recent years.

They aren't being good stewards with endowment money - while they continue to demand tax money for scholarships - when they have losses in the market and don't want to tap their endowment, they raise tuition rates.

That's a little thing I like to call - malfeasance and misappropriation.

Churches take ZERO public funding - while producing much good for the communities they're in.

No comparison - by far the largest pool of money that could be used to pay for the poor who can't afford to pay for their own healthcare, - is being generated by a group assisting in demanding for taxpayer dole.

I say make them all happy - colleges are flush enough that they can afford to speculate - what better investment ould they make than in the very people they refuse to admit?! AND with the funds they should be applying to tuition for the poor anyway....? I mean 95% of the endowment money is used for something other than what it was designed for - put it to good use!

Especially since it is these very institutions teaching young minds to be good social citizens - let the altruism be kindled!

and guru - if a school principle makes $100k why should a pastor with a congregation larger than the school with local, regional and global outreach ministries - which include feeding and clothing the poor, in this country and in others - make less?

I'm thinking if your church were to grow, you'd probably not turn down an increase in salary (if your board voted it to you)?

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BucsGuru

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#22 : August 21, 2009, 10:00:07 AM

Tiger, It's that last sentence wheren lies the problem. 

So as the pastor I think this: I see a boat and a new house I want.  My church is maintaining a healthy spiritual maturity while enjoying great fellowship.  However, I'm only making $25,000 a year.  SO, if I want the boat according to your last sentence, I need to work harder at "growing" my church so that I "please" the board, who will in return give me more "money" so that I can more afford the things I want?!  Sounds very familar to a business model to me, doesn't it?  Let's see, in order to grow my church I will need to work out more to stay in physical pleasing appearance, look and dress a certain way, preach positive and uplifting messages that will tickle the ears of my congregation, spend less time with my first ministry which is my family to look after the needs of the congregation, and create programs to make people happy within the congregation, provide state of the art sound equipment with the most talented musicians and singers we can afford, all so we can continue putting money in the bank to go towards our new 3,500 seat auditorium which will also function as a multi-purpose facility.  Tiger, now tell me, do you REALLY think this is what Christ would be doing if he were here?  I know, we send 10% to missions, and give cooperatively!!  God wants us to have nice things, and feel good! 
Before you answer, think very hard about your answer.  Last night I took a pay cut at my church since our tithes were down and so that others we pay to do certain things would not be affected.  I also pushed for us to give to two very needy people in our community who are struggling right now.  How many pastors out there today do you think are willing to do this?  Very few, because many of them don't have a job because for some reason it takes them all week long to "hear" from God for three sermons and make a few visits.  I do this and work a job, and drive a school bus!  The majority of pastors need to get off of their "holy" rumps and get out in the real world where ministry is! 

kevabuc

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#23 : August 21, 2009, 10:50:46 AM

I was under the belief that the principal portion of donations to college endowments were to be held in trust and inviolate, to be used as a means to generate income (interest) and that only the interest portion was to be used for scholarships and other college purposes. The old "living off the interest" routine. 

Endowments are to colleges what the "lockbox" was supposed to be for Social Security. WT, are you proposing we raid and drain these like Clinton did to "balance the budget"?

Besides, the taxes would just be pasted along to the consumer in the long run anyway.

\"The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.\" -Cicero. 106-43 B.C.

The White Tiger

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#24 : August 21, 2009, 12:13:50 PM

Actually keva - just using another absurdity to see who it snagged - not a single self-professing lefty sees the merit in taxing a secular university that are NOT using their endowments properly (!) - yet everyone of them wants to tax churches who neither ask, nor recieve, public funding....none of them are willing to allow churches equal access to young minds in the market place of ideas - yet they are perfectly willing to plunder the finances of the churches they hate...? Strange sentiments...

If you'll read the story above you'll see that these endowments are anything but 'inviolate' - they are being used to speculate (high class gambling). If a church were to do this and suffer these kinds of losses to churchmembers - they would be investigated by the SEC...matter of fact - as chumbag notes above in his link - there is a case in New York of an 'investment group' within a church there that is currently under investigation.

...yet, for some reason a Senator (Grassley) can't even gain traction against universities that abuse their endowments?

and one more point from the article - the top 4 "major" universities (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton) have nearly 25% of ALL endowments - yet they funnel LESS, on average, than the private foundations who contribute an average of 5% to tuitions for underprivileged students...

Always interesting to see how much wealth 'non-profit' universities stockpile - in order to survive "rainy days", but even when it's pouring - these guys come artound with their hands-out to the government, while sticking it to the consumer with tuition increases. This is a no-lose arrangement - no taxes, government subsidies, unlimited opportunity to increase private tuition rates -  while teaching our youth the tenets of socialism and secular humanism!

Where's their vaunted altruism? Why not pony up to cover the healthcare costs of the very ones they're exploiting.

Seems these guys at the universities are closet capitalists....

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BucsGuru

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#25 : August 21, 2009, 01:15:46 PM

That same Senator, Grassley, is also the person looking into fraudulent activities by many pastors and their churches...how ironic?

dbucfan

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#26 : August 21, 2009, 05:37:12 PM

Seems damned few members in Congress are interested in fraud - like none.

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant
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