FALSE GODS AND MONEY


IN THE BEGINNING  
Thats where God is explains the core elements of his plan to the Israelites.  According to scripture, God spoke to Moses and explained the basic ground rules in the Ten Commandments.  He said very simply:

•  I am the Lord your God
•  You shall have no other gods before me
•  You shall not make for yourself an idol
•  You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God

Somehow man did not get the point!  In essence, though this is very clear, somehow it always seems to get twisted a little. In an earlier part, I've talked about the Separation of the Church and State and my belief that they are two entities and when they collide, they create more problems than the good they serve.  

Abortion issues, faith based spending etc, education are personal and family, moral issues all best suited and fit under worship rules and not government rules. 

Because this combination brings out the worst in people and we call them “False Gods”  Lets look at the cornucopia of false Gods devised by and for the Romans who had not only the traditional stone, mud, brick and mortar Gods but also adorned walls with special cursing Gods. They also had a few “living type Gods”.  

CHARIOT-OLOGY
Few of their chariots had St. Michaels statues on them as he hadn’t been invented yet.  The hit song “Plastic Jesus On My Dash” was still a long way away since dashboards nor plastic was available.  Probably the most significant item tied to the chariot for protection was the head of one of your enemies on a spear.  

Now, “ That was the big mojo in those days".  Looking back at the Roman Empire, we almost see parallels that draw us little closer to the rise and fall of that empire because we forgot, confused, reorganized our moral priorities to suit us.  

The second chance Moses had after the "Great Golden Calf Scandal" proves at least in Biblical lore that God was very clear that he writes the law and folks are expected to obey it.  The first time.  Fairly unforgiving, he did give Moses a second shot at it, realizing he was a good employee and his heart was in the right place. His heart was where it belonged, in his chest. 

Even God had a few screw-ups like the Egyptians.  It is thought, Moses accidentally tripped, or was he tripped, dropping the third tablet cutting the Fifteen Commandments to Ten for brevity.  Cool, Moses broke the third tablet and man was off the hook for five.  Thats why he was so popular.   

The Lord settled for ten on two tablets according to the way Mel Brooks tells it but unfortunately “ They were the ones that concerned public servitude”.  That might explain the Washington politicians of today. So the Lord answered with five more but seem to be forgotten in DC.   (DC = Dedicated Crooks, non-electrical)

•  Number 11 “Thou shalt not get caught stealing from Public funds”
•  Number 12 “Thou shalt not falsely create thy own image”
•  Number 13 “Thou shalt not take bribes”
•  Number 14 “Thou shalt not keep Concubines, Male or Female for mortal pleasures”
•  Number 15 “Thou shalt obey the same laws thou rights for thyself for the plebeians”.

The Commandments as defined were not suggestions and the major, major one in my mind is expressed four times in Exodus so the numbskulls hopefully can get it right. You will find the explanations interesting reading. Somehow this does not always work and the deluge lately of false Gods is overwhelming by the underwhelming.  

If 11 through 15 were still active, Washington would be a large mass, like a volcano pit and even today some scholars believe that was volcano ash LOT saw, not a pillar of salt.  If it was salt, which was like money in those days, I’m sure he would of smashed her into pieces and sold her at the next campground.

Much has been written on this subject from a religious standpoint, after all that’s where it came from, but I will try to bring it down to earth.  Someone promising allegiance to one form of religion over another, with resulting gain or consequence is a False God themselves... read lines three and four about idols and self gain.  

What amazes me the most:  Is the written word of the commandment literally predicted all those things man would do if left to his own idolatry.


I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD
I am the Lord your God.   This is relatively simple; the Lord is the boss, the main Kahuna, the big guy, the one and only, incomparable and unique, singular and so forth, he signs the checks.  Anything that changes that scheme is a false God.


MAKE NO COPIES
You shall have no other gods before me.  This reinforces the first line, that carbon copies, similar products, plastic dashboard pieces, golden calves, discounted viewpoints, and products like Chinese made Jesus statues. 

What, Moses didn't qualify for a statue?  The guy drove the desert for forty years and no recognition.  This also includes prayer for snakes, monkey worshippers, rat worshippers, idols, brass, bronze, ceramic, and plastic statues, and multiple forms of Gods made from but not limited to clay, porcelain, wood or stone carvings, or stains, images that show up in bacon, the bark of trees, your egg in the morning, leaky paintings and window glass or anything else sold on eBay to folks with large bankbooks and short on brains.


NO CREATIONISM
You shall not make for yourself an idol.   No homemade stuff, no copying great works for yourself, I refer this specifically for those pretending to be the big guys right hand man on earth though they might deny, their "Golden Cadillac’s" are surely similar to the "Golden Chariot" he drives.  Add adornments with Golden TV settings, Gold Rolexes, Gold Pianos...more than just the "Streets of Gold".  In reality, most of it is cheap gold colored paint. Facial adornment and longer hair, fake suits made to look like cassocks and so forth.

One day at St. Pete-Clearwater airport when one of the TV Demi-Gods flew in and parked their G3 at the FBO.  I was honored, he was parked next to my white Piper160 Cherokee with the plain brown tweed interior.  I got a chance to see the inside of that aircraft borrowing one of the ramp kids T-shirts.  The Holy Pope din’t have a gig like this.  Ermine, white carpets, gold fixtures, and silverware, the finest things that your tithe money can buy. 


DON'T USE ME AS A REFERENCE
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God as the healer with various products and services “approved by the Lord”.  God has all the tools and doesn’t need any of these worldly trinkets. Especially those offered on TV and on the web.  Special oils, prayer cloths and other essentials.

Some of these things would make a witch doctor proud.  There should be a museum of these fake objects way too numerous to mention here and many are accompanied by threats to ones salvation if you don’t contribute. 

Plus if you are fooled into ordering something, you will wind up on a list that guarantees you will be hounded to death for money with literature emails and letters.  

This best one investigated on TV did serious harm to those using Godly endorsements for their prayer cloths and divine mini-bottles of “ Holy Water".  

The last jerk using the little vials of Holy water got caught by the Paparazzi filling the bottles from a tap behind his office and the dumpster was filled with letters and envelopes. What’s wrong with that?  

On TV last night Peter Popoff, master bullshitter and weird creep was still pushing miracle water, and his stooge had the mike on a lady who was being evicted, from her apartment, who splashed the water onto herself and the filthy carpet and the next day she got a check for 24,000 dollars in the mail.

Rex Hubbard, Peter Popoff still does and the late Oral Roberts used this bullshit money maker for great success.  Oral finally made it to heaven and is currently cleaning the commodes there with his little bottles of water.

The big guy needs to get better Code Enforcement help and a little muscle.  But these are only the religious false Gods, what about the people we put on pedestals and chase relentlessly in imitation of physical excellence. It’s called Sports.  


THOU SHALT NOT PLACE ME IN FANTASY SPORTS
What about those sports figures? We seem to  place them real high on the list.  We want to walk in their shoes and we do. They are called Reeboks and cost over 150 dollars plus. More with some custom models. All endorsed by guys who can throw a ball through a hoop with great accuracy. 

And the peer pressure is so great lids will harm other kids and steal their sneakers or worse, kill them. It has happened.  Innocent children murdered or beat up for a pair of shoes, Boggles the mind.  How does a culture support these things. It’s a million dollar industry and we all pay for it. Something is wrong and that something is False Gods.  We have seen with the use of drugs and enhancement agents, off the field shenanigans, off the field betting.

Lord, these are athletes, not Gods.  I'm glad to see Kobe and Tiger seemingly mended their ways and are returning to their personal professionalism.  But their actions are not Godly, there are cheats, liars and some pretty good illusionists in this game. They are not what they appear to be which leads us to our biggest category, the Politicians.

I predicted Tiger will get past his tribulations and be the best again, I believe in him, don’t know why just a sixth sense about people... and I can speak about Golf.  I live on a golf course, the mecca for cheating and I am a scratch golfer... I scratch my head after every shot not knowing where the ball went. When I drive they yet “four... to the tenth power”


FALSE GODS in HEALTH CARE
One of the best examples of greed and selfishness is exemplified by the Health care issue. The health care industry runs the country. It too, is corrupt beyond belief. The orbital cost of health care is based on a system of padding the bill, and beating the system.  We are becoming drug addicts.  

TV is the medium, if you didn’t have the disease, you’ll have it after the commercial.  Not to the drugs of leisure but the drugs produced by the myriad of pharmaceutical companies and quacks pretending to be doctors and phony infomercials.  

Not surprising is the list of things that can kill you in these drugs. It is longer than the list of the things that make you better.  Just watch TV at dinnertime. It's instant disease by the power of sub-luminal insertion.  Then watch the lawyers chasing the drugs for the harm they did. 

The commercials appear to be heavenly created. Flowing fields of flowers, beautiful scenics of mountain ranges, Gods opulence in a myriad of colors shades and hues.  And you visit the other God, your doctor and he tells you, “take two and call me later tomorrow”.  Your plumber had more warmth when he fixed the commode. 

Now we have the needed medical surgery and it is only exceeded by plastic surgery in the elective department. At the same time we spending the dollars to look pretty, we are getting older, getting fatter, peripheral artery disease, coronary artery disease, neopathy, skin disorders and diabetes and we worry about the lemmings.

The promise of greater health comes with the bottle…. Another false God.


POLITICAL TACTICS

You mean you hadn't noticed it. Unfortunately their devotion is not by action, or deed, for which they would be recognized as a good person,  but by their ongoing public statement,  “I am a person of faith".  

They want you to side with them simply because you are a good person, you should buy their goodness, and they don’t have to prove it.  So naturally, the faith issue popped up in politics as it denotes “good people” in a daily ongoing race through the city landfill of garbage and filth called ‘politics’.

The “person of faith” is the latest tool of those who can’t stand basically the shifts in politics in this country.  Their side did not win the last election and accept the changes that were voted in.  So the holy divinity is invoked and the curses and needles in the dolls begin.  

It doesn’t affect them, as they are a person of faith.   Many of our pre-election runoffs are in states where the Evangelical Right Wing, the foundation of the Republican party, a real screwball group of God-loving Christians seem to think this is the United States of Jesus. 


IT’S ALL ABOUT AND FOLLOW THE MONEY?

Americans gave more than $12.2 billion in 2016 to churches across our country. But how many of us truly know where that money goes? 

Or how much our church leaders are being paid?   In an effort to better inform local donors, Channel 9 asked 12 of Charlotte’s largest churches to voluntarily provide us with that financial information.

NOTE: I commend this news organization, its staff and writers, for taking a stand on this, a sensitive topic, no less.  

Investigative reporter Paul Boyd WSOCTV,personally wrote the lead pastor of the 12 churches in early October and mailed the surveys using certified mail. He asked them to provide basic information about church leadership and finances, including total revenue, total expenses and leadership compensation.

⛪️   By comparison, almost every other nonprofit charity operating in America is required to provide that information by submitting an IRS 990 form annually. The 990 disclosure tells donors exactly how a charity spends money, including how much its leaders are paid.

⛪️   Churches have long been exempt from disclosing financial information but the federal government has considered requiring 990s from churches at different times over the past 50 years when they suspect indiscretions.

⛪️   For example, pressure mounted on Congress after the PTL scandal in Charlotte that led to the conviction of pastor Jim Bakker but the law never changed.  In the years since, there continue to be headlines of fraud and embezzlement by church leaders across the country.  


THE REPORT

  • The investigation included multiple follow-up emails, phone calls and in-person visits to the churches approached to participate.  
  • In the end, only three churches provided audited financial statements: Elevation Church, Forest Hill Church and Transformation Church.
  • Two churches provided us with basic financial details, including their total revenue: St. Matthew Catholic Church and Freedom House.
  • Six churches declined to provide any financial information, saying it was available to members only:  The Park Church, Central Church of God, St. Paul Baptist Church, Calvary Church, Mecklenburg Community Church and Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.   
  • Hickory Grove Baptist Church was the only organization that completely refused to even speak with Channel 9 about our transparency survey. Hickory Grove leaders declined to return phone calls and emails from WSOC-TV over the span of two months. Investigative reporter Paul Boyd reached out to multiple staff members and also visited the church office to engage in a conversation one day but no one was available to talk.  Obviously hiding something...

THE HEADLINE DETAILS FROM THE SURVEY INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING

⛪️   An estimated 82,000 people attended these 12 churches on average every week and are likely donors., The five churches that disclosed their financial information generated a combined $88,018,092 in revenue last year.

⛪️   None of the churches would disclose the individual compensation of their leadership or senior pastor.

⛪️   The IRS has designated churches as “ not-for-profit" so they do not pay taxes. And current federal law says churches are not required to disclose their revenue or compensation of their leadership.

⛪️   Tim Burns, a certified public accountant who helps run a Matthews-based nonprofit called Ministry Watch, refutes the notion that a pastor’s salary is none of our business.  "I believe that donors have the ultimate responsibility of giving to a church that is financially transparent," Burns said. "They deserve to know how much their pastor makes. And if they’re not given this information in our mind that's a huge red flag."

⛪️   None of the churches' lead pastors were willing to discuss the issue on-camera with Channel 9. The CEOs of virtually any other nonprofit must disclose their compensation along with that of any employee earning more than $100,000 annually so why not church leaders?

⛪️   “They may be embarrassed by how much they make or they may even want to hide how much they make compared to the average salary of their congregation,” Burns said.  

⛪️   Ministry Watch works with churches across the country to promote better transparency and while they are not advocating for 990 disclosures, the watchdog group believes Charlotte is behind the curve.  "I think there's a great need for more transparency for churches in Charlotte. We can do better. We must do better,” Burns said, “We would love to see complete transparency for every church."

⛪️   The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance told Channel 9 there are currently no plans investigate this issue further.

⛪️   During past congressional hearings, church leaders have argued that requiring them to disclose their finances would violate the First Amendment’s “separation of church and state” clause.   Legal scholars are split on that argument and believe the US Supreme Court would ultimately decide the issue.

*10-2018 aljacobsladder.com 



*11-2018 aljacobsladder.com