Okay, I’ve had it. Someone posted this meme of Lakewood Church (Joel Olsteen) and the house that he lives in, which is admittedly HUGE, then they show two poor children and say that if pastors live like that, the church should be taxed. I can’t stand it anymore. First of all, you can’t have it both ways. You want to scream separation of church and state, then you turn around and demand the church to give money to the state.
Secondly. I’m not a huge Joel Olsteen fan, but I’d be willing to bet that Lakewood gives substantial amounts of money to charity and by the way I’m also sure that they do much better than the 29 cents on a dollar that the government manages to do with the money they take from us. That’s right, for every tax dollar 29 cents (or less) goes to actually helping people the other 71 percent is eaten up in administrative costs. In other words what you give to the government (by force) does nothing but supports the bureaucracy. That’s the first thing. We, the church, did charity first and we do it better.
Secondly, and this is important, I have yet to get my mansion. I must be standing in the wrong line. Seriously, I serve a church with about 50-60 of the most generous people you will ever meet in your life. None of them are wealthy, yet they turn out in force to give and to help. We meet in a humble building that’s been in our community for 150 years. I receive a humble, but generous salary given the size of the church. My wife and I both work and it takes two incomes for us to be able to live a humble but very nice life. We live within our means and God and our church provides. Nobody’s getting rich at my church and the vast majority of the churches are like us, not Lakewood. We’re people who work together and as our world’s problems get increasingly large, we could really use help. So here’s an idea, instead of griping about the mega church, join a small one and help it do more of what it does best.
You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem and if you’re maligning the church, you are part of the problem. Talking about something is not the same as doing something. Anyone can post a meme, but to roll your sleeves up and do something, that actually makes a difference.