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African-American pastors 23 percent are most likely to want church members to avoid Halloween. White pastors 7 percent are least likely. Self-identified evangelicals are mostly likely to either skip Halloween 28 percent or skip its pagan elements 23 percent. Nones—those who claim no religious affiliation—are mostly likely to say Halloween is all in good fun 75 percent. Few Nones skip Halloween 11 percent. The more people go to church, the more skeptical they are of Halloween.

Less than half 44 percent of those who attend religious services at least once a week say Halloween is all in good fun. Most Americans who only go to church on religious holidays say Halloween is all in good fun 82 percent. Most Christians tend to embrace the fun side of Halloween—dressing up in costumes, handing out candy or carving pumpkins—while avoiding its darker elements. For more information on this research, visit LifeWayResearch. The phone survey of Protestant pastors was conducted Aug.

The calling list was a stratified random sample, drawn from a list of all Protestant churches. Quotas were used for church size. Each interview was conducted with the senior pastor, minister or priest of the church called. Responses were weighted by region to more accurately reflect the population.

The completed sample is 1, surveys. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed plus or minus 3. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups. Your email address will not be published. Money focused churches tend to be run on cultic patterns. The power of those in the inner-ring is determined by the amount of favor the pastor bestows upon them.

It works this way, the inner-ring will figure out what the pastor would like, say for his birthday. Then the inner-ringers will squeeze the outer-ringers for the money to buy this item. Are the pastors complicit in this game? Of course they are. These pastors exchange their favor, for cash from their congregation. Another way the pastor uses his inner-ring to extract cash, is via high pressure offering talks in the church services. At stake is their standing with the pastor and hence their standing in the church. If they rake in the cash then their position is secure, but if they score low then no matter what excuses they have they know the pastor will blame them.

In the extreme money focused churches it is made known who gave the most and who gave the least, and in these churches the giving will not be in secret but people will be expected to come up the front so that everyone can see how much they give. Or people will be watched to see if they put anything in the offering container as it is passed down the aisles.

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Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Like the cathedral building wars in the middle ages where cities and countries vied against each other to build the most impressive cathedral. The pastors of these money focused churches fight to own the most impressive church to top their rival pastors — their egos demand that they are the king of the heap.

The most impressive churches require the most magnificent buildings, the most professional entertainment in their services, the best church programs, and the best conferences, the best websites, the best radio and TV programs, and the most members. All this costs a lot of money. And just like in the days of old these self anointed church kings seek to tax their subjects to fund their private war.

This type of church culture breeds a harsh environment where people are discarded as soon as they are no longer useful.

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Realize that these churches are not focused on Jesus, but are centered around the narcissistic pastor and what he desires most. Surely we are accountable to God to how we spend our money. Surely then it is our duty as Christians to give that money to true Godly works that bear real fruit for the Kingdom. Is it ethical for the pastor or his company or trust to own property that the church is paying for? Of course not.

Some of these pastors are very clever in how they hide the money trail. But ultimately if church money is paying for an asset the pastor owns, except via his wages of course, then it is almost certainly wrong.

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Imagine the furor if a politician was caught siphoning off government money into property or assets owned by himself. If it is a trust or company then find out who owns and controls that entity. Then look at what your pastor owns directly or indirectly, and who is paying for those assets. Stop giving to that church until any unethical dealings like these are stopped and the money repaid. The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. I believe it is reasonable to assume that Paul the Apostle meant only fair wages, not excessive wages, and that Paul would have agreed with what Peter the Apostle wrote:.

The amount of which they will often decide themselves, or have conferred on them by their sycophants via the church board, or the church wages review committee, for example. This is normal. Only those pastors who have an excessive wage would be reluctant to let the amount become public knowledge. If your pastor refuses to be open about his wage then be very suspicious. It is likely he knows that the amount would be considered excessive. If it is excessive, then watch him dodge the issue like a sweaty politician.

A pastor is not a CEO no matter how big his church empire is; a CEO runs a for monetary-profit organization, a pastors serves the people of God — they are not the same thing. By the way, if the pastor claims to be a CEO, then you must be a shareholder. Your Counter Strategy: Find out how much your pastor is paid. If he will not reveal the information then stop giving to that church until it is revealed.

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Expensive leased cars, holidays, clothing allowances, spending money, restaurant meals, hotels, flights, and expense accounts, are some of the perks demanded by these luxury smitten pastors. But of course that is a deception. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.

What is worse, many of these churches make their members complicit in this deception. Members are instructed to wear expensive clothes and groom themselves in the manner expected of the rich. They are encouraged to buy or lease the most impressive car they can afford. Members are required to appear happy and successful. The excuse given is that the appearance of success breeds success, but this is nonsense, more likely it breeds significant debt. The real reason the leaders want their church members to appear successful is to trick others into thinking that the prosperity dream that they preach really works.

Your Counter Strategy: Stop giving money in protest, until the excessive perks are removed. Ignore any pressure to live beyond your means. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Are they the ones with the most powerful positions? Then that is nepotism. A good church will choose the very best people for the job, while a bad church will reward those closest to the pastor with the lucrative positions of power. This is the big daddy. This is their sacred cow.

This is the beating heart of their evil empire. The crown jewel. The Death Star. The one ring to bill them all. The pot of gold. Their matrix into which they want to plug you. Their Wizard of Oz. Their magic spell. Their special power.

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Their secret recipe with the eleven herbs and spices. Their Golden Goose. The very air upon which they breathe! Question this doctrine and watch these money hungry pastors bare their fangs. This is a teaching that they will bear no compromise on. Tithing, or at least their own version of tithing, is their one true love. It may come as a surprise to learn that their tithing doctrine is a combination of twisted scriptures and wishful thinking, as opposed to solid Biblical exegesis reflecting a central thrust of New Testament teaching.

Here is their tithing doctrine stated in a nutshell:. If they do, then God will bless them for any offerings they make to the church organization beyond this ten percent. But if they do not give ten percent gross, then they are stealing from God and God will curse them. It is vital to grasp that tithing is not for Christians. Tithing was part of the old law of Moses which was fulfilled completed by Jesus. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. New wine should not be put into old wine skins, nor should new unshrunk cloth be used to patch an old garment; if you think you need to obey the law of tithing then you need to obey the whole law or you will be cursed, Galatians Tithing in the old testament does not match what these pastors preach — this unique tithe teaching is of their own invention.

This is such an important subject that Cultwatch has a special website TithingDebate. There are free books to download and articles to read. New Testament Giving Supported! If you think tithing is for Christians today, then you need to read TithingDebate. Tip: If you are struggling to feed your family or buy them clothes, then understand that you do not need to give to the church. You can still do so if you choose, but you should not feel under compulsion since your family is more important. Also understand that if you are poor then that does not mean God is cursing you, or that you have done something wrong; this is an erroneous teaching these greedy men promote to guilt you into giving.

Remember, your duty is to your family first.

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If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Tip: Churches that push this erroneous tithing doctrine will often try to enforce tithing via written agreements called covenants , and also by monitoring what people give so they can compel them to give more if they are not meeting the ten percent target. God would not be party to a covenant that contains falsehoods, therefore God was not party to the covenant you were pressured to sign, therefore you are free from this burden.

It is as if you never signed it. Second, recording what you give and using that information to pressure you to give more is wrong, the Bible implies that our giving is best done in secret so that only we and God know what we gave. Done correctly, no one in the church will know what you gave. There is nothing wrong with this kind of recording. Your Counter Strategy: Stop giving to that church until they change their ways. But it is valid to protest false doctrine by refusing to fund the system that promotes that false doctrine.

These pastors are not only money hungry, but often power hungry too. They want to be both pastor and master. They commit the sin of the Pharisees and appoint themselves as middle men between God and you. They seek to replace the Holy Spirit in your life. Using the connection they claim to have with God they threaten you with the stick of spiritual curses if you disobey them, and dangle the carrot of spiritual blessings if you comply.

They seek to dominate your life; often implying that they have say in where you work, where you fellowship, who you marry, and of course, when, where, and how much you should give. This is a false spiritual authority not supported by Scripture. In fact I believe it to be quite devilish the desire to control and dominate others. If you sit back and think about it, you will quickly see what a con it is. These men want to be at the head of everything, they want to dominate you, they want to be seen as the big man, and some even secretly desire adoration almost worship.


This is the opposite of true Christian leadership:. Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.

For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return toCorinth.

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Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Threatening people with curses if they do not obey or donate is spiritual extortion. It is contrary to the nature of grace and the person of Jesus.

Ignore their bluster.