We all consider churches as some institution that gives us a spiritual guide through our life, something that help us form a system or moral standards, teaches us to love each other and share. And we do share. We not only give our lives and love to Jesus, but we also share something that is much less spiritual –our money.
While we think Church has the best attributes of religion, as being something pure and innocent, in fact this is a big business machine that loves your money not less than every damn business corporation. This behemoth sells you its products and services in the religious wrap. And when it comes to this God and Jesus are very good commodity.
But unlike traditional business Church pretends to be a non-profit organization. But one way or another church exchanges their services to people’s money. At some point you are forced to make donations, this seems to be rudimentary but nevertheless working great nowadays system of tithes. Because if you don’t do this – you don’t love Jesus. This is what church hints at in their preaching, and this is so deep in parishioner’s mind that you will find only reproach and inapprehension if you don’t do it.
In addition to donations church produce also quite material goods as crosses, crucifixes, books, candles – they all cost you money. Of course to make our prayers more efficient we need to support them with lighting a candle, and to make a 24/7 connection with God in our own homes we organize our own corner of worship with icons and anything else that is needed to make it a real deference. And it all cost money. Somehow a ‘non-profit’ church doesn’t help us with this. And when it comes to big events in our life Church also has its piece of pie – whether it is baptism, wedding or funerals, you must pay. Yes, the wedding in church will surely make your marriage last forever and exposition the body of your grandpa in church at funeral is definitely what he wanted. And in any way, if you realllly want Jesus to help you with it, you must pay for it.
Of course you will say that churches need money to operate and function and you will be right because heat, water and electricity are not given us from above and servicing such a structure needs many hands – from janitors to bookkeepers and lawyers. But here we have one more interesting aspect – church wants us to donate our labor, to give our time and efforts for free. So it turns out that we give our ‘services’ for free and church doesn’t pay us back with the same. On the contrary it is only we who pay in any way.
And this model worked for centuries. And it works in our time too, as we know if you find the right approach you can sell anything. And church still searches for new forms to squeeze money out of its parishioners. In their chase for more dollars we can see that the classical church-business model overgrows with infrastructure. It is not causing surprise anymore that church has healthcare centers, restaurants, hotels, movie production companies – anything that can create some extra profit.
And what does church do this income? Sure covers some expenses, pays salaries to church workers, spend money on charity. But such a huge and massive structure accumulates much more money than they spend, and what do they do with profit? You are right, they keep it for themselves. When I see a padre with the latest iPhone it is probably for the better connection with God, and clarity in executive cars must teach us to be modest, right? Paying taxes?? Well there must be some exception for Jesus because the house of God doesn’t pay taxes. A state has a zero to the budget from churches which is even more puzzling considering that every politician (that sort of embodies a state) search some support in church during the election, ostentatiously making donations to this structure, kind of advertising the church. And a church gives nothing in return to the state, no money, though they could and probably should as any other business is obligated to pay taxes.
This article is not calling to refuse from spiritual side of your lives. But we gave you some food for thought whether or not we should mix up this spiritual aspect with old good money.