Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bjw

Critics Accusations Of Financial Improprieties

Recommended Posts

 They answer to the Lord, not to us, for their faithfulness in that regard.

 

As it should be.  This is his church, not ours.

Share this post


Link to post

Are you seriously asserting that the Church must account for use of its funds to people who do not donate and in fact take an adversarial stance toward the Church and its leaders and members.

 

This is absolutely ridiculous on its face.

 

Can't tell what's driving your thinking on this. Perhaps just one more example of the Entitlement Generation run amok.

 

Mainstream Christian churches do just that.  About 1,900 churches belong to the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability.  Members of that organization are required to provide detailed, audited financial statements to anyone who asks.

 

 

 

Financial disclosure is not only an accepted, expected, and required form of accountability in society at large, but it also represents the even higher standard of openness for Christ-centered organizations. It may be true that public disclosure of financial information is required, in part, to protect the donor public. While this is the reason most often given to justify governmental regulation, the reputation of Christ-centered ministries in general is at stake.

 

Public disclosure protects Christian ministry from the danger of claiming ownership of God’s gifts. It also protects us from the temptation to acquire assets as our lasting goal. Furthermore, the availability of financial statements promotes responsible Christian stewardship over assets as donors seek to make monetary investments in the work of the Kingdom.

 

 

http://www.ecfa.org/Content/Comment5

Edited by Analytics

Share this post


Link to post

Your statement is correct to a degree.  The IRS is the go-between for a non-member to be assured that monies are being spent in accordance to the laws pertaining to non-profit.  But, the church WILL NOT account for the use of its funds to even members who do not take an adversarial stance.

 

 

But then again.  The IRS......  Well there's an entity with standards and integrity,  or lack there of.

 

I see the accounting every time I walk into a Church building, The lights work; The HVAC works(Sometimes too well); The pews, classrooms, cultural center, walls, floors are clean and in good repair; The books, and other materials are plentiful and in good repair. I am no longer asked to support a Ward budget. The list of things goes on and on where I see the accounting to me as done.

Share this post


Link to post

Mainstream Christian churches do just that.  About 1,900 churches belong to the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability.  Members of that organization are required to provide detailed, audited financial statements to anyone who asks.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.ecfa.org/Content/Comment5

The Church of Jesus Christ, while professing to be Christian in the purest sense, that being it is the very Church Christ Himself founded, does not claim to be in the category that you call "mainstream Christian churches" nor does it aspire to be like them except in the sense of the 13th Article of Faith, which says we seek after whatever is virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy.

 

Richard Bushman once commented on what he called "the routinization of charisma" in Mormonism:

 

"How can we account for the success of this lay-led Church, which seems to run against all expectations?" Brother Bushman asked. He said that its genius can be largely explained in the fact that the expectation of divine revelation has been built into the very administrative structure and offices of the Church, an expectation attributable to the Prophet himself.

"Latter-day Saints know in their bones that only leadership based on righteousness and spirituality will work," Brother Bushman said, every new office holder knows it, and that, in itself, provides a check on the abuse of power within the Church.

 

And I would add that it is this quality that provides a check on the abuse of financial resources as well. It has worked pretty well throughout the Church's history.

 

We don't need to account to antagonists and critics.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

Share this post


Link to post

Mainstream Christian churches do just that.  About 1,900 churches belong to the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability.  Members of that organization are required to provide detailed, audited financial statements to anyone who asks.

 

http://www.ecfa.org/Content/Comment5

 

Ask me sometime about PTL's Jim and Tammy Baker.

Share this post


Link to post

I see the accounting every time I walk into a Church building, The lights work; The HVAC works(Sometimes too well); The pews, classrooms, cultural center, walls, floors are clean and in good repair; The books, and other materials are plentiful and in good repair. I am no longer asked to support a Ward budget. The list of things goes on and on where I see the accounting to me as done.

 

And if you are a Bishop or a clerk that twice yearly audit.

Share this post


Link to post

And if you are a Bishop or a clerk that twice yearly audit.

 

I've never been a Bishop. I don't want the job either. ;)

Share this post


Link to post

For much of Church leadership it is just a stipend. These are nearly always older gentlemen that are retired or very near retirement. They don't depend on stipend just to make ends meet. I don't believe the Lord expects us to be poor. Poverty is not a sin, but get rid of it as fast as you can.

 

We really are a lay ministry. No one gets paid for preaching the Restored Gospel. The GA's are "paid" for working for the Church in their non-preaching matters.

I think that is an assumption on your part unless you have references.  "They don't depend on stipend just to make ends meet."   If so, why then accept the stipen?    Semantics.  Doing the Lord's work - but only if I get paid.    

Share this post


Link to post

Your statement is correct to a degree.  The IRS is the go-between for a non-member to be assured that monies are being spent in accordance to the laws pertaining to non-profit.  But, the church WILL NOT account for the use of its funds to even members who do not take an adversarial stance.

 

 

But then again.  The IRS......  Well there's an entity with standards and integrity,  or lack there of.

Gervin's assertion was not referring to the Church being accountable to members alone but to everyone including, presumably, the most vicious anti-Mormon.

 

I say again, it's ridiculous on its face.

Share this post


Link to post

The Church of Jesus Christ, while professing to be Christian in the purest sense, that being it is the very Church Christ Himself founded, does not claim to be in the category that you call "mainstream Christian churches" nor does it aspire to be like them except in the sense of the 13th Article of Faith, which says we seek after whatever is virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy.

 

That's my point.  According to mainstream ethics, it is virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy for organizations that seek charitable donations to practice financial transparency.

Share this post


Link to post

That's my point.  According to mainstream ethics, it is virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy for organizations that seek charitable donations to practice financial transparency.

They're welcome to run their own shops as they see fit, but neither they nor you get to decide for us what constitutes being praiseworthy as applied to our unique circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post

Accountability, by its act, includes anyone who wants to know how tithes and donations are spent.

Really?

So those who have no business knowing are entitled to know?

Ok, then, you are accountable, post all of your financial information. Don't tell me it is private and that I have no business asking for it. I want to know.

Share this post


Link to post

For any who might be interested, Daniel Peterson has this blog post on the subject of critics' tiresome and self-righteous indignation over the City Creek shopping center. It seems to pertain in a general way to this thread topic, so I'm posting the link here.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

Share this post


Link to post

Really?

So those who have no business knowing are entitled to know?

Ok, then, you are accountable, post all of your financial information. Don't tell me it is private and that I have no business asking for it. I want to know.

I agree.  Gervin needs to show his/her financials.  Wait!  Is Gervin asking to be tax exempt and not pay his fair share of support for running the country like everyone else?  Oh, Gervin doesn't get special financial exempt privileges  from the Gov't. ?  

Right now, the law doesn't mandate that Exempt organizations open their books.  I would like to see that happen across the board at some point though.  

Share this post


Link to post

A related question:  Do those in the church that receive a stipend have to pay taxes on the stipend they receive or is that tax exempt as well?

Share this post


Link to post

This no doubt varies from country to country.  And it probably varies depending on whether it is amount the person receives or gets to spend.     

Share this post


Link to post

That's my point.  According to mainstream ethics, it is virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy for organizations that seek charitable donations to practice financial transparency.

 

Why. It has been my experience that the vast majority of those who donate have trust and faith that the GA's will handle those sacred funds wisely and honestly.  It seems that those crying for disclosure are trying to find something to criticize. 

Share this post


Link to post

A related question:  Do those in the church that receive a stipend have to pay taxes on the stipend they receive or is that tax exempt as well?

I don't know for sure.

BUT!!

I suspect that to the IRS "stipend" = "income".

Share this post


Link to post

These are generally older gentlemen, and with all the kind thoughts I have for them. I don't want them out driving themselves on the roads. :unsure:

Very sweet thought. Thank you for caring. I offer free rides to anyone I know who I think is too old to drive too.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree.  Gervin needs to show his/her financials.  Wait!  Is Gervin asking to be tax exempt and not pay his fair share of support for running the country like everyone else?  Oh, Gervin doesn't get special financial exempt privileges  from the Gov't. ?  

Right now, the law doesn't mandate that Exempt organizations open their books.  I would like to see that happen across the board at some point though.  

 

Want to bet?  I am confident that were I able to look over his/her tax return I would be able to find a special tax exemption or two.

Share this post


Link to post

A related question:  Do those in the church that receive a stipend have to pay taxes on the stipend they receive or is that tax exempt as well?

 

They have to file a tax return and pay taxes.

Share this post


Link to post

Didn't Elder Perry say in a recent GC address that he and his family live in a condo somewhere? I definately think someone should call Robin Leach, the host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, over that one!

Share this post


Link to post

Why. It has been my experience that the vast majority of those who donate have trust and faith that the GA's will handle those sacred funds wisely and honestly.  It seems that those crying for disclosure are trying to find something to criticize. 

 

I'm simply stating the facts about mainstream ethics in our society.

 

If you'd like to know "why", the following link will get you going in the right direction:

 

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=financial+transparency+in+churches

 

Another good link is here:

 

http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/resources/resources-topic/ethics-accountability/cultivating-culture-accountability-and-transparency

 

Among CPA-types, this is not contraversial.

 

Of course the legal standards in America regarding the transparency of non-profits are below these higher ethical standards, and it should go without saying that the church is within its legal rights to go with the lower legal standard.  Furthermore, anybody is free to chose to donate or not to donate as they see fit.

Edited by Analytics

Share this post


Link to post

I'm simply stating the facts about mainstream ethics in our society.

 

If you'd like to know "why", the following link will get you going in the right direction:

 

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=financial+transparency+in+churches

 

Another good link is here:

 

http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/resources/resources-topic/ethics-accountability/cultivating-culture-accountability-and-transparency

 

Among CPA-types, this is not contraversial.

 

Of course the legal standards in America regarding the transparency of non-profits are below these higher ethical standards, and it should go without saying that the church is within its legal rights to go with the lower legal standard.  Furthermore, anybody is free to chose to donate or not to donate as they see fit.

 

I posted the Google link above before reading any of the hits.  I had confidence that the links would support my position because again, it isn't a contraversial position.

 

The third page of the hits had a blog written by a tithing-paying Mormon about his thoughts on transparency.  For your consideration:

 

http://www.modernmormonmen.com/2012/03/financial-transparency-lds-church.html

Share this post


Link to post

I remember in one of the umpteen threads criticizing the Church's finanacial  policies, and the payment general authorities receive, that someone brought up Pres Hinckley's residence as being a modest home in a modest neighborhoood, well kept and attractive, but certainly not what one would consider elaborate... and that he had lived in it for  years.

But I hear nary a word about the TV evangelists that have private jets, and acres of land surrounding their large estate-style homes... it doesn't matter, but I weary of the double standard...

 

GG

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Five Solas
      On another thread an LDS poster alleged critics of the LDS Church endlessly repeat “same old claims” and disregard evidence.  He cited Jeremy Runnells as an example to demonstrate critics lack originality and any thoughtfulness.  He went on to liken critics of the LDS Church to “zombies.”
      In the face of my challenge, he enjoyed significant support from fellow LDS and many likes/rep points were given.  So I thought it would be worth a poll to the broader audience here.  How do you feel about critics?  Are they like zombies and the only surefire way to neutralize them by complete physical destruction of their brains?  Or might they serve an occasional useful purpose (besides kindling)?  Have a go & don’t hold back.  We critics know how some of you feel already.
      ;0)
      --Erik
      ______________________________________________
      She appears composed, so she is, I suppose
      Who can really tell?
      She shows no emotion at all
      Stares into space like a dead china doll
      --Elliott Smith, "Waltz #2"
    • By JAHS
      Pretty good article on how to handle critics and protesters: 
        "The Internet is an easy target for pajama-clad critics trolling the sour waters of discontent to hook the curious.   While faithful members of the LDS Church sometimes feel like punching bags, punching back only leads to black eyes. What we need is not more doctrinal ammunition in the war of words, but more kindness from the wellspring of wisdom.   When sharing our beliefs, civility should not depend on winning or losing an argument. We ensure civility when our character is one of a “meek and lowly...heart” (Doctrine and Covenants 32:1). We should share our beliefs in faith with respect for opposing viewpoints, including the faith to keep silent when emotion says otherwise.   Honest discussion over differences in faith can be healthy, but when civility bleeds away, raised voices are an anemic substitute for substance. Engaging in angry debate over matters of faith often leaves the combatants spiritually bruised and more deeply entrenched in the rightness of their cause."   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865638627/Friday-Minute-What-to-do-when-critics-howl-around-general-conference.html    
    • By KevinG
      I found a comic I was looking for earlier today when someone was using the old line "I was only being honest" to justify some pointed comments. That line, when used to justify a lack of civility has always bothered me. I'm not feigning innocence. Goodness knows I've shared my quota of snarkyness...
      I share it here without further comment.
      http://geekxgirls.com/article.php?ID=3161
    • By BCSpace
      http://www.mormonchallenges.org
      Thought some of you would be interested in this site. It has been claimed to be run by Dennis Packard, professor of Philosophy at BYU. Watched one video and it all seems to be geared towards helping LDS deal will difficult questions. Several vids on the BoA issue which I have not watched yet.
      It is starting to cause a stir on the usual antiMormon sites. Note that it does not have the usual disclaimer about not being an affiliated with the Church etc. nor does it have the official stamp of the Church. There seems to have been a lot of work put into making the videos; the narratives, etc.
      It's actually perhaps not so new as the copyright date is 2010.
    • By alexlds
      Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. The battle for hearts and minds on the subject of the restored gospel is being stoked up by the Romney thing - and I believe that it is being increasingly played out in the comments sections of articles posted in online media.
      I was horrified when I read the comments section on a recent CNN article about the new Temple In Kansas. The article itself was positive and quite fair. However I had never before seen anything quite like the comments section. There were over 3000 comments (50 pages), and these consisted almost entirely of an unmitigated flood and tirade of pure abuse and hatred against the church and the teachings of the restored gospel.
      At least with Romney based articles, fair minded readers can be persuaded that bashing candidates for not being “true” Christians is unacceptable and rather bigoted. (Goodness knows what will happen if we ever get a muslim presidential candidate – but thats not the point Im making here). But because the subject CNN article was about Temples (and thus church doctrine), CNN had no option but to publish the comments . . on the basis that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
      The Mormon Voices site invites members to help defend the church online in public forums by contributing to the comments sections. But it is SO SO important to do it in the correct, controlled, and effective way – which I would suggest is best done as follows
      I believe that the very best method is to completely avoid all the esoteric, cerebral and even doctrinal stuff (very interesting though it may be) . . and just say something very simple, very short, completely factual and very personal. When I do that, I find our “enemies” are entirely unable to dispute or argue with what I have said.
      On the subject of “enemies” - “We encourage all our members to resolutely refuse to become anti-anti-Mormon,” Marvin J Ashton (Ensign, Nov. 1992, p. 63). We need to speak the truth in love, and not fall into the trap of participating in contention or feeling that we need to respond to every challenge.
      For example - here is a general purpose "template" response that I often use - of course edited and adapted as necessary . . .
      "I have been a member of the "Mormon" church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in the UK for about 40years now. I honestly don't know of any other church that encourages and promotes among its members such a serious and detailed study of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ FROM THE BIBLE. Or of any other church that so strongly emphasizes His divinity. The vast majority of Mormons simply would not be able to recognize themselves at all in some of the previous comments that have been made. The real fact is that at the core of Mormonism is a rather plain, low church Christianity, with decaffeinated adherents who go about their lives paying their taxes, loving their families, serving in their communities, helping the poor, and making mistakes along the way."
      (That last sentence BTW has been "borrowed" from a response to an unfavourable TV program by Mike Otterson in the public affairs dept.)
      My point is that a response of this type disarms them leaves them absolutely no wriggle room to challenge or dispute anything that you have said. They simply cant argue with what you have experienced personally. (And Im not talking here about our formal testimonies) It also closes the door on the spirit of contention, which they thrive on. Sadly some will then just revert to name calling - but any reasonable person then reading a such a comments section will then easily see them for what they are.
      As another example, you might post something like “I have been an actively involved member of the LDS church for x years. In all of that time I have never seen any black or gay visitor or member (and yes we do have them) treated or even talked about with anything less than full respect and consideration”
      Some excellent guidelines and helps on responding in an effective way can be found at the Mormon Voices site. I believe that dignified, respectful, factual, personal, short and simple (for simple people to understand) is definitely the best way to go. Like the old sales guideline K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) And it goes without saying that name calling has to be a no-no
      In fact – I now rather cringe when I see members engaging in debate about church doctrines and practices in comments sections. There is surely a more excellent way.
×