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60 Responses

  1. Dan from georgia says:

    CJ Maheny…couldn’t read past the first paragraph. That male is a real work of self-importance.

  2. Pastor Al says:

    The payday lenders are under fire from the govt. and will probably go away soon. They are typically 2x’s more expensive than a pawn loan and they can get misdemeanor bad check charges against you and they can ruin credit, tack on tons of fees and get liens etc. I don’t like them, they are not only competitors, they are not good for society in general, but people have the right to be stupid and use their services.

    Here’s the deal with the idiot in the article who pawned his $8,000 tuba for $500: 1. He’s a dumbass. Shop around. Sell the freaking tuba for $4,000 and don’t take a loan out. Find a pawn shop that won’t require an $8000 item to collateralize a $500 loan, that’s just being stupid.

    Cash America is what it is, don’t be an idiot and then blame them b/c you’re stupid. That’s like blaming McDonalds for “predatory restauranting!”

    The real crooks are the churches. Studies show that only 3% ONLY THREE PERCENT of the money given “to Jesus!” actually goes to help any poor people in a tangible way, the rest is used up on salaries, buildings, overhead etc etc, but not the orphan and widow…so hearing the Greedy and Corrupt church wag their pious finger at another corrupt industry is like Hillary Clinton giving a lecture on Ethics.

    Pawn shops are necessary in this System. Folks need money quick. You won’t lend it to them b/c they are a bad credit risk. Their friends and family say “NOPE!” The church? Good luck getting money from the church…you’ll have to fight the pastor and his wife for those Jesus-dollars….

    Our typical loan is $100. We require $200 in collateral. It cost the person $20. I pay my employees $12 to $15 per hour, plus rent, plus insurance, utilities etc.

    It takes my employee a half hour from soup to nuts to process a pawn loan. After factoring in all the overhead, I made a whopping $5 on that loan in real profit. If the person doesn’t come back, I am stuck with a used item worth $200, that I paid $100 for….but now I have to floor it, market it and sell it. Oftentimes at a discount. So, I eventually sell the item for $150. Okay, I finally made $50, big f’ing deal, after overhead and marketing….I made a real profit of maybe $25 on that item.

    You can make a living in the small pawn biz, we are not getting rich, we are filling a much needed service (or the folks can steal from you if they get desperate, maybe you’d like that better)…and we’re not nearly as worshipped and powerful and money’d up as most of the preachers in our area.

  3. Pastor Al says:

    And, unlike the Churches and pastors/crooks….our industry has to pay taxes.

    Tax the churches. Most don’t help the poor unless it’s for a headline. 97% of the Jesus-money is spent on anything-but helping the poor.

    I don’t like the payday lenders, I don’t like Cash America, I hope they go under or get regulated out of business….more biz for me….and they add a lot more fees on folks and do credit reporting which I don’t like.

    The traditional small pawn biz: No credit reporting, no bank levies, no nothing. You pay the loan or you lose the used item you pledged. Don’t pledge an item you need. Pledge an item you can live without. You can live without your Xbox One or your 3rd shotgun or your 2nd TV or one of your gold necklaces. If you have an $8,000 Tuba that is special to you, DON’T PAWN IT you idiot…and then don’t cry about it when your dumb ass can’t pay the $500 loan.

    Moral of the story: Don’t be a dumb ass. That is something that cannot be regulated away, no matter how much you blame the payday lenders and Cash America.

    Having said that….I hope the church hypocrites/pharisees put those jerks out of biz. The enemy of my enemy is my friend LOL

  4. Pastor Al says:

    The most predatory lending of all is the 30 year Mortgage.

    A typical family takes out a $200,000 loan from a Big Govt.-Sponsored Bank for 30 years. You pay all sorts of fees on top of that.

    You pay your monthly loan payment or the Govt.-Sponsored Bank forecloses on you.

    You pay your payment faithfully and finally pay off the house.

    On a historically-low 5% rate, you pay $186,511.57 in interest on that $200,000 loan.

  5. Pastor Al says:

    Say you made all your payments to the Govt.-Sponsored Bank….except one last payment b/c you fell on hard times….you paid a whopping $185,000 in interest and nearly all the $200,000 in principle….they will still Foreclose your home and put you out on the street…and they’ll sell your home.

    That’s the way the world works folks. You can cry about it, it is what it is. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be a victim. There is no Santa Claus, there is no happy ending. Life is hard. Eat or be eaten. If you need some kleenex to wipe your tears, I won’t you send you any, but I will be happy to analyze your situation and tell you where you’re being stupid and how to overcome our stupidity and make better choices.

  6. Pastor Al says:

    principal above, I f that one up a lot LOL.

    The Principle of Principal….a lecture given by the Principal of the investment firm…who is a man of principle!

  7. Babylon's Dread says:

    Taxing the church will have all kinds of consequences.

    It will blur the church-state lines forever, it will highly politicize churches and mobilized them intentionally. It will cause political activism to rise to unforeseen levels.

    Bring the government beast on… our religious beast will grow fangs.

    However, your comments about churches and their work is always way off. You seem to always neglect that church members are tax-paying citizens who participate in the body politic already and thereby are functioning members of every action the government makes for citizens.

    That 3% figure means absolutely nothing. It is NOT absolutely NOT the primary responsibility of churches to manage that. We commission the state for such things by our taxes.

    Give the church the power of taxation and then you can talk to me about it….

    Oh and I will not engage more on the matter here.

  8. Babylon's Dread says:

    The attraction of Trump for church going republicans is two-fold

    Democrat and Republican parties have us on a clear and sure path of ongoing collapse

    Anything is a hopeful alternative

    One day a radical reformer will definitely win, probably not this time.

  9. Pastor Al says:

    Actually, I’ve made that point many times to Socialist friends….that Church-goers pay taxes which funds Govt. Social Programs….and that they also give to the poor privately via food banks, rescue missions etc.

    My beef is that the For-Profit Churches are essentially Businesses/Corporations, not charitable entities. The same can be said for Goodwill where the CEO makes $880,000 per year while paying disabled workers less than $5 per hour.

    There should be a litmus test for a Church or Non-Profit to be tax exempt. Some would pass, some wouldn’t.

    Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, TBN…shouldn’t pass. Maybe you should, I don’t know your financial dealings, but what I know of you I trust you are well within the lines and would likely pass. Goodwill would not pass. Wounded Warriors just made a major shake-up after folks began pulling donations b/c their C-level guys were getting rich off of the “charity” of others and big chunks of the money was NOT helping “wounded veterans”…it was lining their pockets.

  10. Em again says:

    so many of our financial procedures (there’s a better word, but my mind is going) are geared for a different world than the one we now live in… if you want to sell that house, you’ll probably put it “on the market” through a realtor – fine and good, they are useful people, but 6% (or more) off the top is another product of a corrupted mindset… long ago, houses weren’t often sold unless and until there was a death or a divorce and realtors, themselves were few in number – this is a marketing system in decay and it is probably good to see it go… way past time to include money management in high school curriculum
    i hate to say it, but tax exempting of all religious assets does need a revamp – IMHO – but better to leave it as is than face what BD points out, i guess “Bring the government beast on… our religious beast will grow fangs.” – that observation does ring true – although, their income from contributions should stay tax free as the taxes have already been paid by the one donating the monies
    agreeing with #8 … but what we’ll chose may then be much worse – dunno
    now i’ve got to go find my 1958 edition of Basic Christianity… see what Stott did wrong – not

  11. Babylon's Dread says:

    Hell discussions are always lively…

    The dead never join the fray…

  12. Babylon's Dread says:

    @9 That is a better critique … and merits discussion.

    Anything that passes me and fails others seems orthodox to me

  13. Pastor Al says:

    “Anything that passes me and fails others seems orthodox to me”

    I was careful to do that so as not to give you the wrong impression…I like you and always have…and probably always will. I don’t lump you into the ‘you’s” I use a lot LOL.

    I have no beef with most churches. I think most are decent folks sincerely doing what they think is a good thing. Most of the time it’s a net-good for our society.

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Alex – start a drive to amend the Constitution if you want churches to be taxed. The constitution currently says that you cannot tax churches, because it says you cannot pass laws for the churches and tax law is… well darn it, it’s a law.

    Anyway, it shouldn’t be had to get enough votes – in fact that would be a good referendum to see if you hold the majority view.

  15. Michael says:

    I have a simple solution.
    Require that any tax exempt entity that collects over a 100,000 in donations produce and publish a line item audit every year to keep the status.
    That would include separate line item audits for all the sub entities under the main umbrella.

    Publish it all.

    That would drain the swamp…

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I wouldn’t be against getting rid of tax write offs given to donors – in any venue.

    Why does someone get a write off at the public expense for donating a million bucks to an art museum? or giving old clothes to the Salvation Army?
    In churches, you would see who is really a Christian. The constitution is clear that you cannot tax churches, but I don’t know where the tax write offs came in for charitable giving.

  17. Pastor Al says:

    Good stuff Michael.

    Hmm. Interesting point MLD. That would change the dynamic.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But it would need to be for everyone – hospital donors etc

  19. Michael says:

    Good to see you, BrianD!

  20. Steve Wright says:

    Why does someone get a write off at the public expense for donating a million bucks to an art museum?
    Because a civilized nation encourages things besides the almighty dollar.

    If someone thinks that it is an EXPENSE to the public for not getting the taxes on that deduction to fund the next war or line the pockets of the next solar energy boondoggle (and charitable deductions are NOT unlimited when it comes to large numbers) then the next thing you will hear is how the government should use tax money of others to supports the arts for the good and benefit of society. How about letting people use their money for the good of society, freely giving to whom they want to encourage, reward them with a small tax deduction, and not take taxes by government force to be used for such things that certain politicians want built in their districts with their names on it.

    (And churches are their own entity in the IRS code, different from 501c3s – churches usually acquire a 501c3 because it makes life far easier when it comes to banking and asset issues concerning property and all those who think churches should stay out of politics ought to be thrilled they DO get 501c3s because that is the only reason legally they stay out (as Dread rightly pointed out). However, any church could (and would) ditch the 501c3 status in a heartbeat if the government made a stink)

    The idea that one is guilty (especially a church) until the government proves them innocence by some mandatory public audit process is the same mindset that thinks it best for the government to spy on all internet, phone communications….might catch a couple bad guys (or at least make it harder on them) – who gives a fig about the privacy of the millions of innocents. Who cares about freedom. (And who cares about that little thing known as “cost of compliance”)

  21. Steve Wright says:

    It should be noted that less than 40% of people deduct anything on their taxes (choosing the standard deduction instead) – and while I have been very vocal here about excessive pastoral compensation, any of these jokers who take huge salaries are paying more in their personal income taxes than the rate of the average tax deduction among the less than 40% that bother do itemize.

    Meaning if average Joe has a 25% top rate for that $1000 donation and that entire $1000 is added to Pastor Moneybags salary for the year who is paying 39.6% on his excessive salary, the government isn’t losing a thing.

  22. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “How about letting people use their money for the good of society, freely giving to whom they want to encourage, reward them with a small tax deduction,”

    First off it is not small for some people. It is your tax rate. So, if I give $10,000 and I am in the 35% tax bracket – I get back 35%. In other words, by my contribution, I obligated other tax payers to pick up that 35%.— and the government still funds the arts and whatever — which is not terribly bad on it’s own.

    So, and this is a general question – who here gives for the good of society because they get cash back?

  23. Michael says:

    “The idea that one is guilty (especially a church) until the government proves them innocence by some mandatory public audit process is the same mindset that thinks it best for the government to spy on all internet, phone communications….might catch a couple bad guys (or at least make it harder on them) – who gives a fig about the privacy of the millions of innocents. Who cares about freedom.”

    What a load…

    It’s actually the mindset of someone who has spent 15 years (and most of the last day and a half ) documenting and seeing how religious frauds are using the people of God like an ATM machine and I’m sick of it.

    The churches and denominations won’t police their own…so I’m all for having someone else do it.

    We wouldn’t catch a couple of bad guys…there’s so damn many bad guys in the “business” at this point that keeping up would be the problem.

    Because I believe the church should walk in honesty and transparency, I don’t care about freedom.

    That’s a really bad joke.

    Really bad.

    Your estimation of my position on internet and phone privacy is a lie as well.

    You’re free to disagree with a position…but don’t come on here and twist my views.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Pastor Moneybags salary for the year who is paying 39.6% on his excessive salary, the government isn’t losing a thing.”

    For anyone who knows about taxes – you pay the 39% AFTER you have taken all your write offs – it’s not like it is 39% off the top.

    Anyone can look at your own taxes – see what your tax bracket is and then look at what you effective ratewas —- usually half your bracket.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well, I am off to a church board meeting – I will be pitching a few ideas on how to turn the parishioners into ATM machines. 🙂

  26. Michael says:


    This nonsense about threatening the government with further splitting the house of God along political lines if they lose tax exempt status is an abomination.

    The church should be about the kingdom of God, not the kingdoms of irate politicos.

  27. Michael says:

    Blood pressure going up, I’m getting offline.

  28. Babylon's Dread says:

    I never heard of Darren Patrick sounds like a minimark.

  29. Babylon's Dread says:

    Oh and did Michael just promote government oversight of churches? How would that be managed and how much would that cost taxpayers.

  30. Xenia says:

    I just re-registered as a Repub, painful as it was, so I could vote for Kasich in the California primary. He’s the only candidate that sits well with my conscience.

  31. Michael says:


    Churches already file a 990.

    This would be managed the same way.

    Most churches already have a line item budget or something close to it.

    I’m just saying it should be published… do people have no right to know where their money is going?

  32. Michael says:

    I’ve advocated church oversight of the church for years…hasn’t produced much…

  33. Babylon's Dread says:

    @34 oversight yes … government regulated oversight … no thank you but … the kingdom cannot be destroyed so let’s go

  34. Michael says:

    Cracks me up.
    The same people who advocate that people on unemployment be subjected to mandatory drug tests don’t want anybody in their business…

  35. Pastor Al says:

    Well, I’m subject to ATF audit where they can walk in an shut me down and look under my skirt anytime.

    I think we need that for the churches! 😉

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Why advise for government intervention- are you all insane? Why not advise the people go to churches with open books and open meetings?

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am trying to guide our church through a $4 million building strategy. I can’t name the number of committee meetings we have had with great agreement and success. I have called congregation meetings the past 2 weeks and have been handed my ass by the congregation at each. We can’t spend a dime until I can get a unanimous vote.

    I don’t need the government to keep me on the straight and narrow.

  38. Pastor Al says:

    Ya, gotta agree, the Lutherans have good checks and balances and the pastor is not the focal point.

    Calvary Chapel pastors would absolutely die in that construct b/c it’s not all about them.

  39. Pastor Al says:

    Just make all the churches be Lutheran, but not the gay one. Problem solved! 🙂

  40. brian says:

    Very good list of links,Thanks for the effort. Have a nice evening.

  41. brian says:

    I think this is just beautiful, such grace.

  42. To be clear, our form of government is not ‘Lutheran’ – it is congregation led.
    The pastor is the leader what happens on the word / worship side and the congregation is in charge of what happens on the functional / practical side. Just as the Bible states.

    Now I have seen many so call congregational churches where in the end, the pastor has the last word. This was my experience in the SBC world. It wasn’t bad and with the right personalities can work well and similar to what we have – but the pastor has veto power.

  43. I should add, that if our pastor did object to something, we would give his view great consideration because he is our pastor and we love & respect him.

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m sure men with agendas can manipulate any system, but yes, most SBC’s (not all) are congregational. Come to my church on a particular Sunday night and you will see exactly what I make, what my pastor makes, every dime that I can spend on expenses, etc. If we want to do something financially nut it loses in the vote, we can’t do it. No veto, nothing. Now, if we feel strongly enough about it, we can repackage it, try to get people to understand the importance, and bring it to another vote in a month, but that hasn’t happened in the six years I’ve been here.

  45. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve said it before, and I think MLD agrees, but a lot of the things you guys hate would be solved by going to a congregational church.

    I know Dread detests congregational polity, and it certainly has it cons. But there is a trad off for any polity you choose. If you want to know where your money goes, see the financials, etc…that’s easy. Go congregational.

  46. Pastor Al says:

    I guess that’s what we have at Eagle Christian, though I haven’t attended in awhile due to my distaste for any “church” having been through the process of discovering how fake and business-like much of it is in some circles.

    Big danger/warning sign, red-flag if a church gives all the power to the Pastor, IMO. Power corrupts. It’s as true as gravity. In general, it’s a bad idea to be non-congregational IMO. Can some decent guys make it work and not be Moses Model dooshsicles? Ya, some can, but many cannot.

    Dreadly, why do you fear Congregational polity? Do you believe you are more special and more anointed and hear from God better and clearer than the rest of the “Christians” at your church?

    I’m beginning to think it really boils down to a view of the Hierarchy. The good pastors in a non-Congregational model really believe they are elevated above the rest of the Christians yet Jesus said, “Don’t not be called Teacher, you are all brothers, you are all equals, the greatest is to be the least, be servant of all, don’t do things in a hierarchical structure like the World does”

    The bad pastors love non-Congregational b/c they can do whatever they want….and boy do they.

  47. Pastor Al says:

    “Be servant of all!”–Jesus Christ (supposedly).

    Does this sound like a “servant”?

    1. Makes over $100,000 per year with great benefits, better benefits than 90% of the USA population, 99% of the World’s population).

    2. Glutton (most pastors I’ve seen who operate in the non-Congregational System are fat. Not too many fat “servants” I see in photos or illustrations from history.

    3. Has all the Power for decision-making, has Veto power, pretty much is the final say on all matters pertaining to that church.

    4. If you cross the “servant” meaning you disagree with them or offend them and don’t cow-tow and kiss the ring…you are fired or dismissed from your board position or kicked out and shunned from the church or family.

    ^^ That’s not a “servant” by any twisting of definitions of words. it’s something else. It is what Jesus warned against “DO NOT do power/authority like the World does….”

    ….yet so many Pastors and Church Constructs do….and they don’t care, they do it b/c they love the power and the control. Chuck Smith was brazenly proud of this and mocked God by boasting about how he made his own rules. Lung Cancer is no fun. What a gruesome death.

  48. Pastor Al says:

    I wonder how BG will die? Probably some gruesome cancer-ridden death or rot from the inside with diabetes or something, if God does him like he did Chuck.

  49. Pastor Al says:

    ^^ C’mon old school Calvary guys….that’s how you view “god” and those who cross you.

    God is like your personal Assassin. He’s there to take out your “enemies” etc and smith those who touch “god’s anointed”.

    I’ve been touching Chuck and you “anointed” fellas more than classroom of kids at a petting zoo, yet here I am.

    Yet, when it’s your Dear Leader…”well, that was just random coincidence, even though he croaked a year to the day after he called down a curse that the party said would backfire on him”

  50. dswoager says:

    Pastor Al, there are a lot of psychological gymnastics that go into those type of men qualifying themselves as servants. From what I’ve seen a good bit of it is rooted in a persecution complex. They justify to themselves their hierarchical rule over you, they are persecuted by any mere questioning of anything they do our say, so that they become “servants” just in the fact that they have to put up with you at all.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t think all pastor led churches are bad or that the pastors in those churches are greedy SOBs. However, I do think most ‘bad’ guys in the ministry gravitate in that direction.

    I will distance myself here from Alex’s comments above.

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    … and I will say that as I stand before my congregation, it is with all my will power and patience that I don’t say to them that they are a bunch of stupid poopy pants morons for not agreeing with my recommendations and presentation.

    It is hard to not be the final decision maker … which in my ‘regular’ life I usually am.

  53. Josh the Baptist says:

    I baptist churches we usually just go ahead with the “poopy pants, moron” comments. Doesn’t help anything, but we do it.

    Probably why Dread left congregationalism.

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, that is so funny. Last night at our board meeting as we were licking our wounds and trying to figure out how to re present our project, the pastor said he had heard from some who were offended by the tone of the meeting. I said I didn’t think it was so bad — and then I qualified it saying
    “but I spent 8 years as the board chairman of 2 SBC churches so I was used to much worse.” 🙂

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    HAHA 🙂

    Hey, what can I say.

  56. Em again says:

    it seems clear to me that there is such a thing as the business end of running a church assembly… what has gone south is that the business model models the corrupted world we live in… trust me there used to be ethics and respect for them in the business world… and laws

  57. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    ” trust me there used to be ethics and respect for them in the business world… and laws”

    When?? I am a bit of a history buff and I remember all kinds of crap going on in business – the oil baron, the monopolies, the artificial pricing of silver etc.

    The laws – they were created to head off the shenanigans of the past.

  58. Em again says:

    MLD – yes, but… 🙂 sure there have always been scoundrels who got away with murder

    i grew up in a family of folk who were in business in one way or another (my grandmother’s cousin’s heirs still own some impressive LA real estate) and i guarantee you that ethics were highly respected – one fella in our town who was a liar, cheater and stealer had a heart attack and died in his car in the parking lot behind his office – when the police found him that night, they didn’t touch him, but called his wife to come and get him … or so the story went …
    and then there were those who could do a business deal on a handshake, not because of their mafia connections, but because of their reputation … perhaps that still goes on – dunno – doesn’t seem like it

    i may have to change my gravatar – the Navy is using our river valley to practice terrain following low level flying – if you’re outside, you can wave to the pilot and when the after burners kick in on those jets… yikes

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