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Old 01-29-2012, 05:30 PM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 822

I grew up in a non-denominational church; my pastor was just a man like everyone else - a scientist who returned to the faith later in life; he taught us to question and think critically about our faith; if we chose to tithe to the church, we could decide whether we wanted out money to be a general tithe, go towards the building fund, or towards missions projects/ including missionaries we were supporting. It was never forced. There was no dress code, everyone was welcome, and it always felt like a safe and welcoming home to me. (Growing up in an abusive household, I spent 3 days a week at church because they were supportive, caring human beings who respected my choice not to report it) Where tithing was concerned, that 10% could be anything from money, to time, to finding a bus in the junk yard and brining it to the attention to some mechanics w/in the congregation who fixed it up.

Fast forward 3 years to when Runic Wolf and I moved back to our home town when he left the Army and whoa! Our beloved pastor had retired, the new guy who had taken over was of the mega church mindset, tithe was the focus of 3 months worth of sermons. Only officially recognized members could know where the money was being spent and Runic Wolf was not considered a member all of the sudden, so they wanted him to attend "membership classes". When I went to the membership meeting, there were all the people I grew up with and respected trying to defend our church to this guy who had brought in his experts and who said that we'd dropped the ball.... that it didn't matter how many people came to know Christ because of the way we used to do things, because they weren't recorded and now attending our church, we needed to do things his way. It was very disheartening and we stopped attending almost immediately. Our pastor returned for the 25th Anniversary of the church and we returned for that event, but that was it.
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