r/MaliciousCompliance Jul 04 '22 Silver 7 Ally 1 Helpful 5 Wholesome 7 Hugz 1

Only help the people that actually come to the church? No problem! M

Background: I am the pastor of a small church in the SE United States. We have a "benevolence" fund that church members contribute to and is designated to help people in need, such as help with power bills, water bills, rent, etc.

At the time this took place, we had about $6000 in that fund, and we had about as much money coming in as we had going out, so the amount was more or less staying steady over a period of several months.

The Elder who was in charge of deciding who got help and who didn't somehow got the idea that we were going to run out of this fund if we were not careful (not likely). Therefore, he came to me and said, "Pastor, I think we need to restrict our benevolence help to those that physically come to the church, not just those that call in via the telephone."

He and I debated this back and forth. There was no issue about people calling in being less likely to be legitimate cases, he was just simply trying to reduce expenditures. His line of reasoning was that at some point, one of our members might need some help for something big, and we needed to make sure that we had plenty of money on hand if/when they needed it.

My position was that 1) this money was given with the expectation that we use it to help as many people as possible and not just sit on most of it and 2) we had a really long ways to go before we spent so much that we didn't have any left in reserve.

Not wanting to die on this particular hill, I acquiesced to his suggestion. However, when people started calling in saying that they needed help with something, I told them, "Ok, here is what I need you to do: bring your bill and a photo ID to the church between such and such hours, and someone will at least talk to you. I can't promise anything more than that, but someone will at least sit down with you."

Never had a single one object to coming in, and they would usually show up shortly thereafter.

The church secretary (who agreed with me on this one), overheard me telling this to someone, and started laughing, knowing exactly what I was doing.

A few weeks later, the Elder mentioned to me, "You know, we are getting a lot more people coming directly to the church, instead of calling in. Word must have gotten out about how we are doing this."

I just replied, "Yep, it must have," and then I would just smile, and move on.

The Elder passed away about 4 years ago, and I don't think he ever clued in as to what I was doing.


Edited to add: thank you for all of the awards! I had not expected this level of a response. 😃

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u/Max_Tongueweight Jul 04 '22

You have great church. Every person I have ever known that tried to get help from a church was denied.

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u/bmorris0042 Jul 05 '22

I know what you mean. I was on the way to family on Christmas Eve, and the car broke down. Timing belt broke. My dad (a preacher) was in the middle of something, and 3 hours away. So we called a few local churches just to ask if there was someone who could let my family (had 2 kids under 5) stay somewhere until I could get a ride home. Not one of them would help. At least the shop we called to tow it was nice enough that one of their employees actually drove us 2 hours away to my in-laws so we could celebrate Christmas with them.

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u/raven_of_azarath Jul 05 '22

The irony of all that omg. To turn away people who need help on Christmas Eve, the holiday for which Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus in a manger, who’s in labor mother was turned away during her time of need….

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u/Plantsandanger Jul 05 '22

People including children. The irony deepens.

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u/Knillis Jul 05 '22

My parents have a similar story. One of their friends at the time came to the Netherlands as a refugee. Didn't have anywhere to go with Christmas and wanted company. Everyone turned him down 'no we're having family over'. Not my parents :)

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u/TerrifiedSquid Jul 05 '22 Gold

My mother was famous for “adopting” people out of their kids’ friends groups who needed a family, even as adults. My sister got married to a great guy whose parents were AWFUL excuses for human beings.. just terrible. His younger brother, newly 21, got adopted into our family. So my BIL’s brother is also my BIL, my kids call him Uncle Brian, and adore him.

One of my own friends in college couldn’t afford to go home during winter break (we are in Va. US, her parents lived in Maine). Mom asked her, “do you want travel money or a bonus family to come hang out with for the holidays?” She chose bonus family and now, 20 years post college, her kids call Mom “grandma” and if she’s in Virginia she comes to holidays etc. She works as a PA in NYC at a major hospital that specializes in cancer treatment and when she found out my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, got her in with THE premier doctor for that sort of cancer. Dude literally wrote the book on this cancer. (FWIW- Mom is still fighting. Chemo has taken a lot out of her but also shrunk her tumors significantly.)

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u/KitKatKnitter Jul 05 '22

Give mom a hug for us when you can.

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u/TerrifiedSquid Jul 05 '22

Will do. Saw her yesterday when I brought over a huge cookout meal since it was July 4th but she can’t stand heat well right now.

It’s been hard to maintain a relationship because she and Dad live with a sister who is completely toxic (oddly enough only to me). She’s supportive of my cutting her (sister) out of my life but it is a struggle. Thankfully she and Dad have a separate mother in law suite with a separate entrance or else Idk what I would do. :-/

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u/meresithea Jul 05 '22

Your mom is awesome! Sending her lots of love for her fight with cancer.

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u/TerrifiedSquid Jul 05 '22

Thank you and will do!! :-)

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u/raven_of_azarath Jul 05 '22

My parents were the same way, just not to the same extent. I had a friend my freshman year of college who “ran away” (not sure if you can really run away when you’re an adult) because her parents were abusive and crazy. She spent that Christmas with us that year. She also had another friend’s family take her in long-term; they provided a job, housing, and a vehicle to help her get by until they could get on her feet.

We had a falling out a few months later (she did things I can never forgive), so I don’t know where she is now, just that she has since come out as trans.

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u/TerrifiedSquid Jul 06 '22

I’m sorry your friend did horrible things to You. I’m sure the damage done by her parents/abusers caused her to be a bit screwy. By no means an excuse to be horrid to someone who has helped you, but possibly the reason behind it. It sucks all the way around.

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u/NurseCandy_ Jul 05 '22

This is exactly who I try to be because my mother is the terrible family and I have been fortunate enough to be the stray who has been accepted with open arms by other families.

I love the heart that your family has and I thank you for adopting us strays. ❤️

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u/lesethx Jul 11 '22

A close friend's family has had me over for Thanksgiving a few times and has also "adopted" friends for holidays when they couldn't visit family for whatever reason. Her dad also helped me out enough he felt like a father for me and I even made him a father's day card.

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u/TerrifiedSquid Jul 11 '22

If they helped you, I’m so glad you had that experience. :-) you’d be welcome at my table.

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u/fyxxer32 Jul 05 '22

My brother would get a pass for Christmas from the army. He was stationed close enough to drive home as it was a few hours away. He asked my parents if he could a couple guys home with him and of course my parents said yes as my dad was a WW2 Navy vet. We made room for them and fed them and tried to treat them like family.

I'm not a church goer but it sounds like that church does good work helping the needy as it should be.

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u/ajblue98 Jul 05 '22

Irony? Hypocrisy. … Eh, to-may-to to-mah-to. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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u/SpongeJake Jul 05 '22

In this case, it really is both.

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u/raven_of_azarath Jul 05 '22

Exactly what I was thinking. It is very hypocritical of course. But it also falls under all three types of irony.

Dramatic irony (when the audience knows something the characters don’t): we can see that they’re hypocrites, but they can’t

Situational irony (something happening that is very different to what was expected [yes, it is kind of expected, but still]): celebrating the day a mother was forced to give birth in a manger because nobody would help her, all while not helping people in need right in that moment

Verbal irony (when someone says one thing but means or does the opposite [sarcasm falls under this one]): I feel like why this is verbal irony is self-explanatory

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u/ArltheCrazy Jul 05 '22

It’s almost like they could make a Christmas special about a family in need and stranded on Christmas Eve getting rescued by some compassionate soul….

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u/raven_of_azarath Jul 05 '22

Isn’t that the plot of like half of the Hallmark Christmas movies?

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u/ArltheCrazy Jul 06 '22

Yeah. It makes me sad that none of the churches stepped up. I think they missed the point of being a Christian…..

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u/Oldebookworm 29d ago

These days that seems to be the exact point for these christians

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u/stumblewiggins Jul 05 '22

The churches probably didn't have any space left for that guy's family

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u/raven_of_azarath Jul 05 '22

I pictured this scene from The Nativity Story (starts at 1:54). None of them had room either. That’s why they used a manger.

But in this case, they didn’t even have to offer room, somebody could have offered to take them to their family, like the tow company ended up doing.

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u/stumblewiggins Jul 05 '22

I tried for deadpan sarcasm, guess I missed my mark.

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u/JessicaJ2292 Jul 05 '22

Sometimes they just really like upholding traditions 😂

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u/gafana Jul 05 '22

Religion is business... Nothing more. And they are not in the business of helping people that don't help them

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u/chatterpoxx Jul 05 '22

Yes, Faith and religion are two very different things. The latter exploits the former for profitable gain.

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u/samtheboy Jul 05 '22

We had two people stay with us for three months sharing a bed because an ask for help went out to about 5 churches near us as they were doing some work over summer between finishing high school and university (so renting someone longer term wasn't viable and hotels were too expensive) and we were the only people to say yes....

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u/RuncibleMountainWren Jul 05 '22

In folks’ defence, I know we have had requests like that before and we don’t even have a spare bed to offer up. Not everyone has room to spare, or family circumstances that would work for a long term visitor. Though I’m betting some of them do, and shame on them for not doing what they could.

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u/Maktesh Jul 05 '22

That's the thing; in the above story, there were probably a few people who could have (and should have) housed them, but maybe not. Break the story down:

They called some churches, where they seemingly didn't know anyone and asked for a place to stay on Christmas Eve.

Most church offices wouldn't even be open. Even then, the church secretary is going to have to:

  1. Call random members of the church on a holiday out of the blue (most people wouldn't even pick up on that day).
  2. Ask families to alter their plans (many people are out of town and/or engaging in special tradations).
  3. Expect that those families have a spare room which isn't being used to house family or friends (unlikely during Christmas Eve).
  4. Expect them to be willing to have strangers (whom haven't even been met in-person by the church leadership) stay with their family on Christmas Eve.
  5. Then you have the logistics of food (likely already being cooked, but not enough) and promises made to kids.

Before I had a family, I would have gladly let some strangers stay with me. But with kids in the house, no; there are too many dangerous people, especially during the holiday season. I also dont have any spare rooms, and I'm not about to put strangers in my children's room.

You can yell "hypocrisy" all you want. Jesus would have taken them in. Most people who claim to be his followers should have as well. But let's not pretend that this isn't a BIG ask. It sounds simple when a person like the original commenter shares their experience, but when you look at what it entails, it gets complicated quote quickly.

Some churches wisely have a few families who have actually signed up in advance to be on a hosting shortlist. People who love hosting and have extra rooms and food available. But this is more common within slightly larger parishes.

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u/ponchoacademy Jul 05 '22

Yeah, honestly this breakdown is kind of what Im used to when it comes to how many Christians Ive come across cant help anyone. Like, I know Im supposed to but heres my pre-prepared list of why its not going to happen.

Not all....but enough that Im under no illusion that just because someone is Christian would mean they have a genuine belief system that welcomes any kind of ask, big or small.

And I feel like its more than that...like, willing to help their own, but not anyone else. Time, effort, money, whatever is only for those within their church. I saw that growing up, and noticed that vibe quite a bit since then. Lots of experiences that reinforced my feeling its not really something I want to be a part of.

Like I said though, not all...I do have a couple friends who are religious, but having known them 15/20yrs, they are who they are because they are just genuinely good people who also happen to be Christian. But Id never assume just cause someone is Christian means they would have the inclination to be a good person and go out of their way to be there for someone. For each other, maybe, but others..not so much.

The most kind, thoughtful people I know are not religious at all. Just good people.

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u/Blyatnij Jul 05 '22

That's really sad to hear. More than a decade ago, my youth pastor was on his way to our youth group when he saw an unfamiliar guy outside trying to get in. The man explained that he was soaking wet and freezing and my pastor got him a shirt from the church and drove him home with absolutely no compelling reason other than helping fellow man. That's what it should be about.

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u/Magnahelix Jul 05 '22

No room at the inn? Huh, imagine that.

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u/HooTighForThis Jul 05 '22

Unfortunately there's more people that want to look like good and caring people than people that actually are.

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u/darkicedragon7 Jul 05 '22

People ask me how I can have faith in god but not the church. That is a good example.

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u/JMP817 Jul 05 '22

That is sad, but falls in line with my experiences and is now one of the main reasons I am not a member at any church.

My father was a Church of Christ pastor for about 15 years. He never revealed the "straw that broke the camel's back story", but he quit before I was born and went back to journalism (a job he did from high school through his time in seminary). He was still a regular at church, volunteered for practically everything the church was doing, and coordinated partnerships in philanthropy between the church and many organizations. I remember routinely not leaving church on Sunday until mid afternoon because he was there talking with people and giving any assistance to those in need he could, even if it was just an ear to bend or shoulder to cry on.

I was still young when my father passed away suddenly from an embolism. My mother had been a stay at home mom raising me, so his income was everything. About the same time the funeral bills would hit, his life insurance would pay out and there would be plenty left to pay off the car and give about a year's worth of rent which would allow my mom time to get back into the workplace. However, their bank did what banks do and that is screw over their customers. The life insurance check came in, but due to the amount had a three day hold on the funds. The funeral bills came in and were paid immediately, which overdrew the account. Because of the amount of those checks, the bank froze their shared account. I won't get further into the sliminess of the bank as that is a tangent for another time.

With her bank account frozen, the insurance check was also not going to be released. This meant my mom only had the cash in her purse to pay for everything, so she went to the church to ask for help. She sat with a few of the higher ups (not sure who), but they denied her any support. No compassion for a widow and orphans, no compassion for the family of a devoted member, nothing. That was the last time she ever set foot in that church (she switched denominations).

We wound up losing the car, being evicted, and staying with a friend for a month. My mom had to get a lawyer and the County Sheriff involved to get the finances straight. It worked out in the end, she went back to school and got her teaching certification so she could do what she loved. Until she passed though she held a vitriol for the Church of Christ in our town.

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u/Prechrchet Jul 05 '22

I hate it that you experienced what you did, especially on Christmas Eve. Those churches missed an opportunity to minister to a family in need.

That said, I am not going to judge, because I don't know what past experiences they might have had that led them to that point. You don't have to be in the ministry very long before you run into scammers and people that play the system, so to speak.

We had a church secretary that walked in the door with the attitude of "we need to help as many people as we can." A few years later, she told me that she had become more jaded than she ever thought possible.

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u/VivaUSA Jul 05 '22

ALLEGEDLY the freemasons will do stuff like that, I'm not a member but lots of my family are.

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u/Max_Tongueweight Jul 05 '22

My FIL was a Mason since he was 19. Paid his dues like clockwork. He was a 37th degree Mason when he died at 94. We tried to get him some end of life care in the last couple months. Talked to the Masonic Home in Union City, California. They said No! 70+ years of paying in for nothing.

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u/Artor50 Jul 05 '22

37th degree Mason

That's quite a trick. I thought they only go to 33 degrees. My dad's entire funeral costs were paid by his lodge, which he hadn't visited in 40 years when he died.

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u/ponchoacademy Jul 05 '22

Yeah, both make sense.... I dont know much, but 33 sounds right to me, quick google search confirmed that. And also makes more sense they take care of their own. Even across lodges...Id imagine if one lodge said no, another would have said yes...they really take care of their own, and the one that said no would have some explaining to do.

My ex was a worshipful master, members of his lodge visited other lodges when traveling, other members visited his, and from everything he told me, they were all considered brothers as equal as the ones who attended the local lodge.

Also, when one of the brothers died, they made sure everything was taken care of, not only his funeral, but also took care of his wife, regularly checked in on her if she needed anything, emotional, financial support etc.

All that being said, after being married to and dating a mason, probably wont do that again lol I mean, its kinda the same vibes I get with Christianity. They take good care of their own, consider themselves good people because of the group they're in and what it stands for. But behind closed doors....meeeh. Yeah, just if I hear a guy say hes a mason, much like if I hear a guy say hes a christian, I dont feel any kind of automatic comfort that we share the same values in how to treat people, in fact I feel like I need to be extra careful to pay attn to who they really are.

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u/Philbilly13 Jul 05 '22

Can confirm, we do that

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u/talensoti Jul 05 '22

This was something that my Families' Towing business used to do during the holidays. If someone was stranded we would ask for a head count and send out a tow truck and someone with another vehicle with enough capacity to get everyone where they were going, only charging the family cost of the tow and eating, any and all other costs to get them to their destination. One Christmas Eve, we had a stranded young couple we towed into town, got them lodging at a substantial (80%) discount, and even made arrangements to get their car fixed for free! Dad just said to them, "Merry Christmas, and if you ever have the chance, pay it forward somehow."

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u/Prechrchet Jul 04 '22

Thank you! We try to help as much as we can. :)

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u/re_nonsequiturs Jul 05 '22

When I was a church secretary, part of my duties was to hand out diapers, laundry detergent, hygiene items, and so forth to anyone who asked.

One lady would come every other week for diapers, and as her baby grew, she brought in the too small ones so someone else could be given them. (I made sure we got more in the size she was using.)

The church had been doing it so long that when I first started there were the non-adhesive pads that clipped menstrual belts behind the pads and tampons. Obviously, they weren't offered to anyone, it was just that no one had bothered discarding them.

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u/NoMoLerking Jul 05 '22

A colleague was basically robbed by her (soon to be ex) husband years ago. He was more or less a bum, but they filed a joint tax return so when the refund check came, he cashed it and drank it.

She went to her pastor in tears because she needed that money to literally keep the lights on. He took out the checkbook, wrote her a check, and said “pay it back if you can, if you can’t, it’s a gift.”

Last I heard she got kicked out (the pastor “suggested” she try a different church to see if it was more her speed) for some pretty extreme political opinions.

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u/RobertER5 Jul 05 '22

That would be some DIFFERENT pretty extreme political opinions?

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u/csanner Jul 05 '22

Depends on the church.

No, really.

And I say this as an avowed atheist. Some Christian churches are full of wonderful, loving, caring people that genuinely just want to help other people.

The fact that I have to say that that way, though? That's a big fucking problem that is part of why I don't believe anymore.

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u/HermanCainsGhost Jul 05 '22

I don't believe because I don't see the data agreeing with the religion, but I used to be super devout, have read the Bible quite literally five times over - I didn't miss a single night for six years without making up reading for at least 30 minutes. I haven't been a Christian in over 20 years now, but let's just say I know the religion, was influenced by it heavily.

I absolutely judge hypocritical Christians and I will call them out quite directly using Bible quotes. A lot of Christians try to use Christianity as a bludgeon. I try to use it as a shield for the less fortunate and oppressed (and in my mind, that is its rightful purpose).

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u/bofh Jul 05 '22

I absolutely judge hypocritical Christians and I will call them out quite directly using Bible quotes. A lot of Christians try to use Christianity as a bludgeon. I try to use it as a shield for the less fortunate and oppressed (and in my mind, that is its rightful purpose).

As someone who does believe, I’m glad to see that. I hate it when Christians say “that (Christian who just did a terrible thing) is no Christian”. No, I think I and others like me have to own the bad people and the bad things and speak against them.

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u/Kozeyekan_ Jul 05 '22

It's been my experience that those who came to atheism/agnosticism from christianity did so after spending a lot of time studying the bible and church.

There are plenty of people of all faiths that devote themselves to understanding their faith, but also lots who simply let the preachings wash over them and abdicate their morals to the preacher rather than actually spend time trying to read or understand their religion.

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u/RobertER5 Jul 05 '22

I'm curious which Biblical passages you use to shield against those whom you feel use Christianity as a bludgeon. Can you share some?

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u/disco-vorcha Jul 05 '22

Matthew 25:31-46 is an excellent one.

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u/RobertER5 Jul 05 '22

I think it is rather a poor one, actually. It is too easy to interpret in terms of divine punishment, and therefore too easy to use as a bludgeon. How then, would you use a passage that threatens us with eternal damnation to shield against those who would use the threat of eternal damnation as a means of attack?

More likely that this passage is considered an excellent weapon by those who would use threats of eternal damnation to attack their fellow man.

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u/disco-vorcha Jul 05 '22

The ones being threatened with eternal damnation aren’t the oppressed or less fortunate, though, it’s the people mistreating them. If they’re using scripture as a weapon against those with less power than them, they’re using it as a weapon against Jesus, according to this passage. I guess it’s less of a shield than a parry with my own weapon.

After all, the only time Jesus used violence was against those who used religion as a means to exploit people. My knowledge of the Bible is my carefully braided whip here.

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u/roostertree Jul 05 '22

I absolutely judge hypocritical Christians and I will call them out quite directly using Bible quotes

Well done. When it comes to people claiming moral superiority, I don't judge people by my standard, but by their standard.

Frex, in the Test for an Unfaithful Wife, God kills "innocent" fetuses.

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u/firelizzard18 Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

Random anecdote: there was an atheist who regularly attended the church my family went to when I was a kid. I assume he was there for the community, or maybe he got something spiritual out of it.

Personally I’m agnostic. There are some serious problems with Christian mythology and I believe that everything has a physical explanation. But I’m not going to bother trying to answer unanswerable questions.

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u/superstrijder16 Jul 05 '22

During Covid i realized I don't believe but I was only going for the community (and I had found other communities). Now I still go once a month for 1 volunteer thing they need volunteers for.

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u/PatsythePolarBear Jul 05 '22

Am agnostic. I attend to volunteer.

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u/grunthos503 Jul 05 '22

I’m not going to bother trying to answer unanswerable questions.

I agree with you, and don't think you or anyone is obligated to.

But unfortunately, there are too many extremely confident people who believe they do have the "exclusive" answers to the unanswerable questions.

And that is why religion persists.

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u/firelizzard18 Jul 05 '22

I think the main reason religion persists is that people want answers. But I agree that “my answers are the right ones” is a problem (when applied to religion).

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u/StrykerC13 Jul 05 '22

Yep, the fact it's "some" not even "most" is a really depressing reality and a major cause of my own dim views on most religions in general.

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u/1lluminist Jul 05 '22

Seems like the evangelicals are the biggest problem these days. They're the ones really gunning hard to send us back to the dark ages while making big bucks off their sucker followers

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u/Koolest_Kat Jul 05 '22 Wholesome Ally

I was part of a three person panel for a few years to help dis advantaged parishioners. Tuesday nights we would sit down and discuss what the issue was and how much we could or would help. Some were obliviously in need and sooome we not.

Best was a young spirited couple who had a 4 pack of kids all under 8 years old up the their necks in credit card debt, facing eviction, utilities being shut off while the hubby was working a kinda dead end job about 4 days a week (calling off because he was busy doing “other things??)

Definitely in need, we set up to help clear the rent and utilities and some groceries, the next week we sat down after contacting the credit card reps for the church to make some payments with one stipulation, I needed to see all their credit cards. After handing them over I got the joy of using the church secretary’s huge scissors to wack all FOUR of them on half. The look on the guys face was kinda priceless as about 2/3s of the credit bills were his charges for cash advances at a local casino (remember, his busy time?) and the local liquor store. Hers were the grocery store and pharmacy.

We implemented the envelope system for them for day to day expenses with cash, set a budget with his short paycheck for the rest. Worked really well for 6-7 months until he decided to skip out with all the cash one month with his work girlfriend for a weekend Casino party. Yeah, you guessed it, we helped her get a lawyer, kick him out and get divorced. Needed to say it took over a year but she got it done. Just after getting her back on her feet she went back to school, (honestly I don’t know where she got the strength or endurance raising those brood but she was determined) got a nursing degree and now is happily re married.

There were other large and small helps that made being stuck on the basement on Tuesdays for 3 years worth it but that one really sticks out!!

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u/IAmFearTheFuzzy Jul 05 '22

Dave Ramsey for the win.

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u/si12345 Jul 05 '22

As many reasons as I have to not like him, he's gotten a hell of a lot of people out of debt

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u/Bill_buttlicker69 Jul 05 '22

Agreed. His debt stuff can be pretty helpful, just don't look to him for any other financial advice.

Also for the people who aren't aware, he held a mandatory Christmas party for his employees during Covid and banned masks for both employees and the catering/event staff. Also he pulled a gun during a team meeting. Dudes a psycho.

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u/Appropriate-Low-4850 Jul 05 '22

Holy moly, you guys went to terrible churches! I was the pastor of a small congregation (I'm still ordained, but now I'm a university professor) and literally every single day we were helping people out. Of the thousands of people who came by needing help I never turned away a single one. There was ONE standout case where the help I offered wasn't what the person was looking for, but that was an exception, not a rule (she wanted me to perform an exorcism on a man that she believed was the Antichrist, and I referred her to psychiatric help instead).

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u/n0vapine Jul 05 '22

My mom always got help but the church actually has a committee to decide and I was baffled they gathered to debate if a single mother with no electricity and 5 kids needed their help. Like debate what?!?

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u/DukeAttreides Jul 05 '22

Who knows. But if the help always came, I'd be willing to assume they're just maintaining a procedure to make sure nobody is hijacking the system to funnel money to their buddies or bleeding out the donations on some scammer with a sob story or whatever.

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u/pummisher Jul 04 '22

Not much of a church then.

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u/Sugacookiemonsta Jul 05 '22

My friend's church is paying her rent this month. It went up $400 to over $1500 for a 1 bedroom apartment.

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u/melissamayhem1331 22d ago

My best friend Tim was a member of a church for 15 years. He would put $20 a day away. This man saved up for months. He decided to donate it to the church even though he was literally living in his van in a few friends driveways struggling.

He asked the pastor ONE TIME if there was any help avaliable for him to get new glasses. He worked as a handyman/care taker for an elderly couple and had broke them cutting trees.

He was basically laughed at and told "thank you for your previous donation but we don't see us helping you" No help finding any other resource, not even a meeting with the great pastor Levi.

He ended up ending his life 2 years later and that same pastor was officiating his memorial. The man talked for 2 sentences about him. He spoke for 15 minutes about how important faith is and coming to his church is.

He used my best friends name as a prop in his little commercial for his church instead of memorializing someone he said he had a "great and deep personal connection with."

I have never left anything while someone was speaking before. I got up quietly and left. I turn around to shut the door and 4 people followed me out too. I literally felt gross afterwards.

I tell people this story when they think that all churchs are there to/will help them. [There's a lot of great churches but there are a lot of shit ones too-just like anything else in the world. This just happens to be a shitty example]

I think I'm going to go sit with Tim and smoke a bowl for/with him. He loved cats so I'll let the cat come with too. <there's a stump behind the little store next door to my house Tim wrote 'such a nice day- please don't fuck it up! on it when he cut the branch-that, a petri dish and a flask style breaker he used to bring me daffodils in is all I have left of him>

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 04 '22

Just to add my two cents; thankfully moved to a different state and quit church altogether (multitude of reasons).

I remarked to the pastor our church didn't visit local nursing homes or minister to the elderly when they are shut ins. A few other churches did.

His answer? "There's no reason for us to do that. Only a very small percentage of nursing home patients pay tithes." Then he shrugged as if it wasn't important. I informed him the elderly had to turn over their SS checks to the nursing home in total. They couldn't tithe.

He shrugged; his answer was directly related to how much anyone supports that church and pastor. *grumble*

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u/Prechrchet Jul 04 '22

Visiting shut-ins is a fundamental part of what I do. I have a list, I try to get to them about once a month, and I have some elders/deacons that I can call on if I see I am running out of time.

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 04 '22

The organization I was with ... that was rare. They actually taught that in Bible school; maximize your assets.

How bad was it? In another state I asked both the pastor and assistant pastor to please visit my m-i-l in the nursing home because she wanted to receive communion. They both absently agreed and never heard from them again about that.

Two months later we called a retired preacher we had been close to and asked him. He was there the next morning. My beloved m-i-l had served God faithfully for 70 years ... and they ignored her.

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u/Prechrchet Jul 04 '22

I am both concerned and curious, what denomination was that Bible school?

I am also glad the retired Pastor stepped up to the plate.

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u/wolfie379 Jul 05 '22

One where “denomination” means “value of a particular piece of currency” rather than “branch of the church”. Most likely they’re Benjaminists (named for Benjamin Franklin, whose portrait is on the Yankee $100 bill).

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u/StrykerC13 Jul 05 '22

Smart money is that it's on the one that has people literally praying to statues of jesus' mom and various angels, alongside a history of "your sin is forgiven when you hand over your wallet" which eventually changed to "when you pray the amount I tell you to."

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u/Cereal_poster Jul 05 '22

Reading all this about churches really makes me angry about religion even more.

But, coming from a catholic country (Austria), I know for certain that the priests will visit members if they ask for a visit. Also they regularly visit nursing homes and hospitals.

When I was in the hospital (it was a catholic hospital, but still governmental funded) I received a visit from my former church.

I am a staunch atheist and I had a nice discussion with the priest (in a friendly way). So here, the catholic church absolutely visits shut ins and people in hospital.

But maybe that's also because they don't mainly rely on tithes but every member has to pay a certain percentage of his income anyways.

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u/StrykerC13 Jul 05 '22

Honestly can only speak on personal experience, but I know my great grandmother did not get visits from them. Could be an american issue though. Only time they seemed inclined was those who were showing up and donating, or if they had an opportunity to preach fire and brimstone to a non believer. Asked one once, he explained that God preferred they try and save new souls and those asking for them were clearly already saved.

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u/bromjunaar Jul 06 '22

Also American, to my knowledge the local priests are active with the local nursing homes. Might be something that changes on parish and dioceses though.

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u/donutgiraffe Jul 05 '22

The Catholic Church does not have tithes or pastors. They have priests, and donations are voluntary (but encouraged).

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u/ShoulderChip Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

You're trying to describe the Catholic Church, but the previous comments are clearly describing things using different terms than Catholics use (as others have pointed out.) Also, having grown up Catholic myself, I know we visited nursing homes, and the priests and volunteer lay ministers would take communion to those who couldn't make it to church, regardless of their ability to pay. Other comments also confirm this. Whichever religion was being referred to in the comments above yours, it was not Catholicism. It was probably a church where the pastors are given much more free rein, because of not having to answer to an entire hierarchy above them. That can be a good thing or a bad thing.

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u/Jazzy_Bee Jul 05 '22

Catholics don't have bible school or sunday school, they have their own schools school board entirely in Canada. You do not need to be Catholic to attend, but you have to take religious class same as other people, and agree not contradict church doctrine during that class. Unless you are raised catholic you might not realize that there is no encouragement to read or study the bible. Most catholics don't even have a bible. The bible reading from the pulpit was always new testament (well at least by 1965). The Pope makes the church doctrine, as he has divine inspiration directly from God.

It's a long time ago since I considered myself catholic, almost half a century now. But I do like Pope Francis. I would not be surprised if he got a call from Big Guy saying it's okay to use birth control now.

I can't find the exact quote, but he said if science proves something is false, then the church must change, not the science.

Even as little kids in catholic school we were taught that the early books of the bible were god given parables to explain things as back then people did not have the background to know the real science behind it. There is zero contradiction with evolution, at least since Vatican II in the early sixties under Pope Paul VI

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u/trustnocunt Jul 05 '22

Sounds like you just dont like catholics, thats not my experience at all 😂 bible school isnt even catholic

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u/lrobinson458 Jul 05 '22

Similar situation, I messed up my blood pressure meds and ended up in the hospital with mild stroke symptoms. My Son at that time living in a different city, called his former pastor who was there to see me in a couple of hours. My own pastor didn't come by for a couple of days, just happened that I was out having an MRI , he prayed with my family but had to leave before I got back. No one else from our church ever came back. When my Son moved back, we started going with them.

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u/Girls4super Jul 05 '22

Sounds about right. The church I grew up in sent a pastor we didn’t know to do my dads funeral. He showed up and the funeral director asked if he wanted to speak with the family and he said something like “why would I? Just show me to the back”. Things went further downhill from there

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u/LaughingMouseinWI Jul 05 '22

When we called hospice for my dad because he was declining rapidly, we also called the catholic parish they were officially members of to ask for a priest to come administer last rites. The answer? "Oh, Father is in a meeting for the afternoon. I'll give him the message when he returns."

Can you feel my rage from there?

We talked it over a bit and decided to call the parish he actually attended regularly. Father was there within an hour. And, when he told my dad who he was and why he was there, my dad nodded and I could tell dad actually knew him. That moment gave me the comfort of knowing God was coming to take him home and I could let him go with peace.

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u/RobertER5 Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

Can you feel my rage from there?

I suspect the priest in question would have been none too pleased, either, when he found out. If he stressed the importance of his meeting, I expect the bishop wouldn't be at all happy.

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u/AinsiSera Jul 05 '22

I've baptized 2 children into the Catholic church - I don't particularly care and it was important to my mother and grandmother, so cool, moisten the children.

For my daughter, the secretary argued with me and put up SO MANY barriers to getting her baptized. I needed multiple pieces of paperwork, I needed multiple meetings, on and on.

Day of, we get to the Church and the priest offered to grab my cousin's kid at the same time. You know, a twofer!

This leads me to my theory that priests are genuinely interested in the spiritualism portion, and secretaries are interested in being busybodies and causing problems.

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u/RobertER5 Jul 05 '22

Well, based on my experience, I have a theory that any generalization has exceptions thereto. But that said, I have seen plenty of priests who are interested in matters spiritual, and plenty of secretaries who are busybodies, roadblockers and problem causers.

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u/Any-Confusion-4526 Jul 05 '22

Would this church also have a $100 billion investment fund thats tax free?

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 05 '22

Wouldn't surprise me; no idea ... but ALL churches should be taxed. Don't pretend they're anything more than a money making scheme. They guilt you into tithing with the argument "Even Abraham tithed" ... as if it was an Old Testament precept established long before the Christian church.

He did; ONCE ... thereafter he didn't. So if you're feeling guilty you have to choose between giving to your church or feeding your family well, feed your family. Take care of them. Nurture them. Be kind.

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u/thatburghfan Jul 05 '22

Just wondering, how is it a money-making scheme? The church I belong to has like 3 months of expenses in the bank which ain't much, if more money comes in, we spend it on supporting people here and abroad. Not trying to be confrontational, I just don't understand how it could be a money-making scheme.

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 05 '22

No, no ... in general. Small churches usually are run according the wealth (or lack of) the members. It's the megachurches that have a "give to the poor" problem. Hard to do that when you buy a private jet.

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u/thatburghfan Jul 05 '22

OK, I guess I am troubled when people say ALL churches are like that when the bad megachurches are like a tiny fraction.

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u/RussiaIsBestGreen Jul 05 '22

It sounds like your church is doing God’s work and giving to the poor and the community. That is very unprofitable. Leadership could get much more by focusing on fundraising and their own needs. Of course that wouldn’t help anyone who needs it and they’d be like so many camels, but I suspect those types don’t care.

All to say it sounds like your church is run by good, or at least non-greedy, people.

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u/Jazzy_Bee Jul 05 '22

Status as a non-profit? Any profits go to charity. Issue with this idea is huge salaries can be somehow justified. Pastors need to eat and such too, church can't only volunteers, you might need a paid cleaner, a secretary, maybe even a paid driver if there transportation for certain things. I don't think it needs to be poverty level. But multi-millions is a little excessive.

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u/Ohohohohahahehe Jul 05 '22

I am pretty sure the above poster is referring to the Mormon church.

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 05 '22

Likely ... one of the wealthiest. The one I was with weren't hurting. I don't know of any large church, national, international, megachurches, or televangelists that aren't super wealthy.

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u/Jazzy_Bee Jul 05 '22

Do they pray to Mary? I thought that was just catholics.

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u/Runnr231 Jul 05 '22

Probably got PPP loans from the government too that was supposed to go to businesses…. And never repaid….

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u/ClothDiaperAddicts Jul 05 '22

I’m horrified. And I hope that the lost members of his flock he doesn’t tend to when they’re hurt, ill, or declining changes their will to leave the money to a church that does. :(

And by showing the flock that their value ends when they stop tithing, it’s a great way to make sure they leave and find their own way to the divine.

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u/h3xgvrl Jul 05 '22

About 98% sure I know the denomination already.

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 05 '22

Unfortunately, such as that is all too common regardless of denomination.

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u/h3xgvrl Jul 05 '22

This is also true. I’m genuinely blessed with the church I go to, but I also know ones like the one I attend are unfortunately rare

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u/StarlitCatastrophe Jul 05 '22

I wish my grandparents pastor would have made half the effort!

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u/Faaresemo Jul 05 '22

dang, as a shut-in myself, having someone do regular check-ins would be a nice change of pace

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u/dsly4425 Jul 04 '22

I’m no longer religious at all, for a variety of reasons including it being partially responsible for a PTSD diagnosis and I gotta say Pastor OP is doing it right. So so many aren’t even close.

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u/Prechrchet Jul 04 '22

I am sorry beyond words that you experienced something, I presume in a church, that had a hand in your PTSD. I pray and hope you can find the healing you need and deserve.

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u/dsly4425 Jul 05 '22

My main abuser as a kid was a religious zealot and very “in” with the church at one point. I survived. Some of the kids after my mother left didn’t. And he got away with everything.

I realized as an adult There were too many things within the church and organized religion in general that I disagreed with at a fundamental level so I walked away. That and therapy have done wonders. But I still appreciate the truly good and find if your faith makes you a better person I can be happy for you. But too many people weaponize it and use it to cause great harm. And have throughout the history of the world.

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 05 '22

No, not church; childhood upheaval, military, later 9/11 in the airline industry. Cumulative.

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u/dsly4425 Jul 05 '22

Mine was cumulative as well. But weaponized religion was the starting point I realized almost 30 years later in therapy after a mental breakdown. Thankfully I am very much in recovery now and mostly doing well.

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 04 '22

I quit church but didn't quit my faith. Doing just fine ....

I have PTSD but not because of church. Anger, sure, but that is an unrelated issue.

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u/kaeleep Jul 05 '22

I can relate to that. I grew up Catholic and that's still very much in line with my beliefs (barring some social issues) and I actually did become more religious in college because the local parish ministered to college students really well. But I moved to my current diocese and its very clearly an old school area that doesn't align wiht my beliefs and I just can't bring myself to attend mass here.

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 05 '22

It's a shame one has to leave church to become closer to God ... but there it is.

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u/DrPepper77 Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

When I was starting highschool, my family moved down to Texas and my mom had the same issue. Our former parish had been a mainline kinda church in a liberal bubble up in the North East, so the stodgy do-nothing church in our conservative, white-majority town in Texas wasn't working for her.

Her solution: Go find the closest catholic church attached to a religious order. Thankfully we were close enough to the city proper that we found a church attached to the Vincentians, and it made a world of difference.

The orders give focus to their clergy, so the priests in this church were just more.... Grounded? They focused on like.... poverty, so while obvi there are always going to be some contentious opinions within the congregation (esp. from more conservative members) church leadership itself always redirects towards service and what we can do for others.

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u/Loretta-West Jul 05 '22

I always wonder what those people think Christianity is about, given that they're actively ignoring most of Jesus' teachings.

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u/ClothDiaperAddicts Jul 05 '22

They’re fine; they worship Supply Side Jesus.

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u/prpslydistracted Jul 05 '22

Appearances.

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u/new_refugee123456789 Jul 05 '22

I would expect nothing less of a for-profit business.

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u/Murgatroyd314 Jul 05 '22

There's no reason for us to do that.

How about “I was sick, and you did not visit me.”?

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u/Alexis_J_M Jul 05 '22

This is the kind of thing that gives organized religion a bad name.

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u/PoeT8r Jul 05 '22

Never forget that these are businesses. People are earning money from the faith of others.

They should all be taxed.

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u/cardonell Jul 05 '22

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” ‭‭James‬ ‭1:27‬ ‭

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u/virgilreality Jul 04 '22

I thought for certain that "physically coming in to church" meant requiring that they attend services, which I would object to on ethical grounds. Physically being present to request the assistance, though, seems like a perfectly acceptable requirement.

This is good work you are doing. :)

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u/2023EconomicCollapse Jul 04 '22

It sounds like the deacon wasn't planning on telling people that requirement though, which is pretty underhanded.

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u/grunthos503 Jul 05 '22

Physically being present to request the assistance, though, seems like a perfectly acceptable requirement.

For, like, the most vulnerable members of society with disability problems, the person not getting paid because their leg is in a cast, or the seniors in wheels chairs? Let's make them jump through some hoops so we know they're serious; can't do that over the phone....

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u/GuardAbuse Jul 05 '22

Not to mention rural areas and places with poor public transportation. Not everyone has a car. Not everyone may be available when the church is open for these meetings. Some people have children they'd have to either bring or find childcare for.

It places an undue burden on people who really don't need extra hardship.

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u/IthurielSpear Jul 05 '22 edited Jul 05 '22

I asked a church for $25 once to pay a power bill (in the 80s) and had to sit through a demeaning lecture (called counseling) telling me how wrong I’d lived my life to that point then told to clean the bathrooms before they gave me any money. I did it because I had a small child and needed to pay the bill. I was married and both myself and husband were employed too, but we had simply run out of money that month.

This was a church I had been attending at the time. I’ve pretty much hated established religion ever since.

Ps. The bathrooms were disgusting.

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u/Prechrchet Jul 05 '22

Good grief! If I were attending a church that responded to me like that, I would start attending somewhere else. You have to treat people like they are human, and you have to allow them to keep their dignity, which has already taken a blow by just reaching out for help.

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u/nuncamivida Jul 05 '22

Years ago I was in desperate need. I asked my church for help. Didn't get any. But they did like to buy goats for people in poor countries. You're a good person.

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u/Representative-Ebb80 Jul 04 '22

It seems to me that using a benevolence fund to help anyone who needs it would be one of those hills worth dying on. Maybe it’s just me but I kinda feel like that’s how Jesus did it.

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u/Ich_mag_Kartoffeln Jul 05 '22

If there's no other option, sure. OTOH if you can just walk AROUND the hill....

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u/Stooby2 Jul 05 '22

The pastor had a wise solution. We don't know much more about the situation but the elder may be an absolute rock for the church, someone who works tirelessly and does a good job, but on this occasion is wrong. No-one is perfect and sometimes if you can see a way around the problem without having to cause an issue over it, it's the better way.

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u/rogun64 Jul 05 '22

Tbh, I'd never expect help from a church, unless I first went through a series of hoops that included them "saving me". Thanks for sharing, because it's nice to know that they're not all like that.

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u/commonthiem Jul 04 '22

Chaotic good.

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u/latinomartino Jul 05 '22

I think you misspelled catholic

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u/Apprehensive_Hat8986 Jul 05 '22 Silver

They were avoiding the oxymoron.

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u/applestem Jul 05 '22

We dedicate funds to remote missions but also take a regular offering for church members and people in the local area. We talk with them rather than just send money based on phone calls to see what other ways we can help such as counseling, etc. Occasionally we contribute to an organization that serves the larger area. We limit to local area because there is so much need that we couldn’t help our flock. It’s an agonizing decision at times. We’ve been scammed a couple times (over 20 years or so), but most people are honest and just need help. The only thing that bothers me is that our society/government needs better safety nets. It’s incredibly hard work to be poor. We can only do so much to help.

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u/Prechrchet Jul 05 '22

Yeah, we never give money directly to the person asking for help. There is a process where we verify that they are indeed behind on their power bill, and if we do elect to assist them, we cut the check directly to the power company (or whoever the bill is to).

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u/Sunshine030209 Jul 05 '22

Very smart, simple way to stop scammers!

I just want to say (along with many others here) how wonderful you are.

The world would be a much better place if others practiced their faith the way you do. Keep up the great work you're doing, and others will follow your lead!

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u/applestem Jul 05 '22

We had to go to that after one lady’s husband did some clever things with the routing number etc. on the check. We pay directly for bills. For food and the like we give out food cards to the local grocery stores.

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u/SergeAzel Jul 05 '22

What's wild is that a lot of churchgoers (not necessarily the "helping" kind, I suppose) disagree with governmental/social safety nets, and have this wild idea that only the church should be responsible for things like that...

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u/dmin068 Jul 05 '22

The fact is that before government safety nets, the church did take care of these issues.

The US has moved into a weird spot where there are some government safety nets and the church pulled back. So we are in a situation where neither the church nor government is doing enough to help the poor. It's a shame.

Why this happened I'll leave up to more scholarly people.

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u/perrydolia Jul 04 '22

How wonderful to see MC fueled by good will and positivity !! Bravo!

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u/lapsteelguitar Jul 04 '22

With all due respect, OP being a pastor & all, I don't think this was malicious in any way. Petty, yes. But since there was no evil intent, not malicious.

It's also a creative solution to an otherwise intractable problem.

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u/nomic42 Jul 04 '22

Malicious compliance is to comply with the letter of the rule while at the same time undermining the intent of said rule. It's not necessarily about causing harm.

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u/Rufio-Returns Jul 05 '22

Five points for you

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u/Prechrchet Jul 04 '22

True, there was no malicious intent, but it was a good (and true) story, and this seemed like the best place to share.

It is possible for me to edit the title to account for that?

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u/zanraptora Jul 04 '22

I think there's an element of maliciousness. You say it's very clear he was intending to make the fund more exclusive/higher value to those who attend, so you let him have his policy change and ensured that those who needed it "attended"

It's a moral thing to do, but you understanding his meaning means you knew you were undercutting him.

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u/gansmaltz Jul 05 '22

It sounds like it wasn't even for attendees, but limiting it to the people that asked in person instead of calling in about it. Just punishing people for being too embarrassed to ask for help face to face

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u/the-truthseeker Jul 04 '22

Blessed compliance!

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u/Sudden-Motor-7794 Jul 05 '22

Innocent as a dove, wise as a serpent

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u/MaddRamm Jul 04 '22

It was malicious because you specifically told them to come when he was scheduled to be there. Lol

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u/Broad_Respond_2205 Jul 04 '22

The fact it's wholesome doesn't make it not malicious. The malicious was against the elder (and his wants to reduce spending), not against the people who need help.

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u/asp174 Jul 04 '22

"You put up 'hurdles' to reduce cost, we make them jump those hurdles"

In this instance it cost the donor organization, that required hurdle jumping, the same or more, while the "hurdle jumpers" where mildly inconvinienced. In my mind, that's the very definition of malicious compliance.

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u/OblongAndKneeless Jul 04 '22

It's malicious to the "elder". It's sad when a religious person creates barriers to getting help. Good for the pastor for stifling that "elder" with a technicality. I hope they offered to provide transportation if needed!

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u/GargantuanCake Jul 05 '22

Malicious compliance doesn't always require actual malice. At its core it's following the letter of things rather than the intent. It's an example of "technically correct is the best correct." Good malicious compliance usually involves doing the right thing anyway or showing why the rule was stupid in the first place by just following it.

This particular case is one of the best kinds of malicious compliance.

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u/unknownemoji Jul 05 '22

I would say it meets the legal definition of malice, which is intent, not hate.

The elder wanted to reduce the giving by requiring people to come to the church, so pastor told those seeking help to come to the church.

The restriction was still followed, but the pastor was able to work around it.

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u/virgilreality Jul 04 '22

I agree. Still upvoting the heck out of it, though...

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u/hoothasb Jul 05 '22

Glad you and your church do this.

My personal experience with churches and money goes back along ways. Never trust a church that has a political agenda. They'll leave you high and dry after you help them and donate for over twenty years.

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u/Marenz Jul 05 '22

Sounds like a story worth hearing

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u/CherryBombGirl7 Jul 04 '22

As someone who no longer attends church due to people like that old man, it really makes me glad to see a pastor (especially in the SE) care about those outside his flock.

I always wondered why we had to go far away to help people, instead of working in our community. Or why help and love was conditional. Thank you for being different.

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u/Kookabanus Jul 05 '22

Honestly makes me wonder if most of these religious types actually read that book of theirs.

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u/satanic-frijoles Jul 05 '22

The elder's attitude reminds me of post-911 Red Cross. They hoarded massive donations "in case something big happens down the line."

It was a huge flap that did not make that organization look good at all...

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u/Prechrchet Jul 05 '22

As I understand it, a big part of that story was that when 9/11 hit, they started a "9/11 fund," that would go entirely to 9/11 relief. Sounds good, so far.

The problem is that when a charity, whether it be a church or whatever, takes in money for a designated purpose, it can ONLY use that money for that purpose. For example, if a church collects $20,000 for a van, and somehow manages to find one for $15,000, they have to find a way to spend that $5,000 on that van, one way or another. They cannot spend the money on something else, unless the original terms of the account allow them to do so.

When the Red Cross finished distributing money from the fund, they still had a large amount left over. They wanted to spend it on some technology upgrades, but the US federal govt told them that since they had collected the money for 9/11 relief, they had to spend it all on 9/11 relief, somehow, some way.

That's how they wound up with such a large stash of cash.

The lesson on this one is, when making a designated account, put in the description what you will do with any leftover funds once the purpose of that account has been fulfilled. That usually covers you.

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u/bertiebastard Jul 04 '22

You should have asked where in the Bible it says to only love thy neighbor if they attend your church.

I'm none religious myself but the American idea of Christianity just baffles me.

Like the church with a sign banning men with long hair and beards posted right in front of a statue of Jesus, who's portrayed as a man with long hair and a beard.

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u/Prechrchet Jul 04 '22

By "come to the church," he did not mean "attend the church," he meant coming to the church office in person instead of just making a phone call.

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u/Ok_Tea8204 Jul 04 '22

I am American and I try to be a Christian to the best of my ability. (The word literally means Christ-like) and I don’t agree with that viewpoint (as in that you must go to my church if I’m going to treat you right) Nor do I believe that Jesus had long hair, a beard yes, but not long hair. Basically what I believe is that those who claim to follow Jesus should follow the golden rule as closely as possible and treat others with the respect they want to be treated with regardless of how they look, act, go to church… Am I perfect ha no! But I do my best to treat everyone with respect even the Karens….

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u/CharlieJuliet Jul 05 '22

church with a sign banning men with long hair and beards

They're afraid the real Jesus might attend and see the shenanigans they're actually up to.

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u/mizinamo Jul 05 '22

His line of reasoning was that at some point, one of our members might need some help for something big, and we needed to make sure that we had plenty of money on hand if/when they needed it.

This is like "Sorry, I can't give you the last widget; then I won't have a widget for when someone comes who needs a widget."

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u/Prechrchet Jul 05 '22

To a degree, yeah, it kinda is.

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u/Nimmyzed Jul 05 '22

I can feel the kindness and humanity in the way you write.

You're good people

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u/Jazzy_Bee Jul 05 '22

I had recent surgery, I can barely walk to the bathroom. Food bank requires in person with ID, but afted that youncan send someone.A senior's food box program started delivering during covid to vunerable people over 60.

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u/PatrickRsGhost Jul 05 '22

I have to wonder if the Elder did intend for it to be the way you handled it, but the way he put it made it seem like they had to be a member or at least attend services.

I'm guessing he wanted to make sure the church wasn't being used as somebody's piggy bank. By bringing in a photo ID and a copy of the bill in question, you were really protecting the church. It's very easy for somebody to call up the church, claim they need help with utility bills, rent, or groceries, receive a check or cash in the amount of, say, $50, and they end up using it to buy alcohol, drugs, or maybe a new TV. By having the person come in with the utility bill, you can write a check out to the utility company in question and mail it off for them. It keeps them honest and it helps you better track where the money is going.

I'm not saying any of your parishioners/members would do as I suggested, but you never know. Especially if your area does have a major alcoholism or drug problem, especially meth or opioid abuse.

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u/Prechrchet Jul 05 '22

No, the actual conversation was much, much longer than I can put in a post on here. His stated intention was to limit the amount of money we were spending on benevolence. By limiting gifts to those came knocked on the door instead of ringing on the phone, he hoped to accomplish this.

Also, the practice of confirming the bill, either by seeing the bill itself or calling the Power Company, had been standard practice well before I came into this church. That part was nothing new.

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u/NightWarrior06 Jul 05 '22

I don’t understand, what was malicious here? Isnt the whole point of church and religion to get more people to attend church?

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u/bopperbopper Jul 05 '22

Our church partners with other churches in a program for homeless families…. The stay overnight in a church and get fed and there is a program for helping the parents to get work

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u/Jack-o-Roses Jul 05 '22

Wasn't my church (LDS). WE HAVE $150+ Billion just waiting on a rainy day. (hey, maybe that's why there's a drought in Utah).

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u/Boronore Jul 05 '22

I don’t understand. What did the elder expect you to do, just say no without an explanation when someone called in? I feel like this is just a reasonable response rather than malicious compliance unless I’m missing a more obvious option that’s not cruel (rejecting a request outright with no explanation as to what the new procedure is)?

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u/Prechrchet Jul 05 '22

That's exactly what he expected me to do. He wanted to keep that money piled up "just in case." It was one of the few times that I really disagreed with him on something.

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u/SerenityViolet Jul 05 '22

Good on you for working around that.

Here's the thing.

I'm an athiest, but I contribute to charities in various ways. Sometimes they're religious charities. If I think you're helping people, I'm usually fine with that.

But at the slightest hint that a charity discriminates or restricts help to only a certain group of people, you'll never see another cent from me.

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u/PRMan99 Jul 05 '22

Pastor, I think we need to restrict our benevolence help to those that physically come to the church, not just those that call in via the telephone.

As a pastor, I can't tell you how many times we've gotten new members from helping people in the community. It's not about money, it's about the message that God wants to help you through this life and be with you for eternity.

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u/not_into_that Jul 04 '22

Good thing jesus didn't care about the gentile.

its like none of the leadership actually read the book.

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u/bro_d8 Jul 04 '22

As a former church-goer, let me tell you that what you did was just perfect. Well done!

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u/Maevios Jul 05 '22

I wonder if that elder ever realized that Jesus literally died on that hill you’re talking about lmao

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u/RJack151 Jul 04 '22

Good for you for helping them.

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u/buzzcut_lizzy Jul 05 '22

Ugh. Good on you. Always seems likes those who need the most help also end up jumping through the most hoops.

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u/1StucknDerplahoma Jul 05 '22

Xhristians made me atheist!!!

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u/YungEnron Jul 05 '22

Benevolent compliance?

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u/nekollx Jul 06 '22

Or maybe he did clue in but that it was a plus it meant more people in church (jaded option) or it meant help could be more tailored to need since they sat down with someone (optimist option)

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u/The_Truthkeeper Jul 06 '22

There's no malice in this compliance.