Great way to make a living

February 8th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

City Impact Church founders Peter and Bev Mortlock are selling their Whangaparaoa mansion – and its pricetag has surprised one church member, who says some in the congregation are struggling to pay their bills after giving so much to the church.

The couple are selling their luxury mansion in Gulf Harbour, north of Auckland, for $1.88 million.

Best known for fronting a weekly church-funded TV programme, the Mortlocks have put their 548sq m private home on the market.

A person who has been attending City Impact’s two Auckland branches in Mt Wellington and Albany for the past three years knew of a church member who was struggling to pay his bills after giving so much to the church.

I reckon setting up a church or must be one of the easier ways to make money.

The churchgoer said representatives made a big push during each service about the importance of giving to the church before baskets were passed around for the weekly offerings, given on top of tithings of 10 per cent of people’s salary.

What other business has a variable price based on income, rather than a fixed price as most goods and services have? It’s a good business model, so long as you can convince people the price means they get salvation.

Payments could be made by credit card, Eftpos, cash, internet banking or a new mobile app.

Smart. Good to see the business up with the technology.

Mr Mortlock, a former salesman and real estate agent, and his wife front the religious show.

Not so much a career change, as a change of product that he sells.

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115 Responses to “Great way to make a living”

  1. peterwn (3,215 comments) says:

    The main prerequisite is the gift of the gab – it pays to visit Ireland and kiss the Blarney stone.The other prerequisite is boundless gall.

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  2. lolitasbrother (588 comments) says:

    God is a loss, Jesus too

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  3. lazza (370 comments) says:

    This is not being made up and it is all very creepy/formulaic.

    The mansion, the sad sack bozos who “buy it all” (the Salvation bit … Geez) … the cheesy grin, the smiling billboards, the self satisfied patronising with loyal wifey on the arm, the faux American sounding Kiwi accented vowels … sound?/look familiar?.

    Now what was the name of that Yank? (and blond trophy wife) who ended up in a Southern Peniteniary?

    Bishop Tamaki, Subritsky and now this charade. Auckland is sure overshopped with religious nutter/charlatans.

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  4. tas (596 comments) says:

    New parents will be expected to forward an extra $60 per week to the church if Labour is elected.

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  5. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Take a look at PI churches on a Sunday . . . and they need us to feed their breeding habits!

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  6. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Insignificant amateurs compared to the Catholic Church of course.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 13 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Colville (2,190 comments) says:

    ahhhh… there is a sucker “saved” every minute.

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  8. Michael (899 comments) says:

    Jesus wanted commerce and church to be kept separate…

    “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” (Matthew 21:12-13)

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  9. adze (2,005 comments) says:

    What other business has a variable price based on income, rather than a fixed price as most goods and services have?

    Tax? :)

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  10. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Matthew 19:23-24
    New International Version (NIV)
    23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

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  11. ChardonnayGuy (1,187 comments) says:

    Not necessarily. Read:

    Kate Bowler: Blessed: A History of the Prosperity Gospel: New York: Oxford University Press: 2013.

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  12. Fletch (6,150 comments) says:

    Insignificant amateurs compared to the Catholic Church of course. – wat dabney

    http://nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz/2008/03/is-catholic-church.html

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  13. iMP (2,345 comments) says:

    This has as much to do with Auckland as it does Christianity. We just don’t do this in the South island. Most Christians I know hate this geed and largesse; egocentric platform peacocks insisting on high salaries consistent with their elevated senses of self. Ugh. It has nothing to do with Jesus.

    Mind you, what did we pay Sonny Bill Williams? Let’s bag the All Blacks too.

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  14. dog_eat_dog (761 comments) says:

    As far as I’m aware, SBW exists. We don’t pay someone to play make-believe – he’s tangible, even if his contribution to the national team is less so :P

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  15. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Matthew 6:5-6: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men….when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret….”

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  16. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    Does anyone know how many suckers this pair get along to their “church” regularly? And although their “market” is a different segment of the population, I wonder if they meet with Bishop Brian to discuss marketing strategies?

    but, as a couple of commenters have said, rank amateurs compared with the church of Rome…

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  17. Fletch (6,150 comments) says:

    In the Catholic Church, the collection basically goes to the upkeep of the church etc. The priests certainly don’t get rich from it; they themselves get paid a stipend from the Church.
    I don’t know what independent protestant churches do with their money. Maybe it does go to the founders, like in this post.
    I don’t think anybody should be getting rich off of it.

    Traditionally, the amount tithed to the church was 10%, but this is based on the Old Testament. According to what I just read on Catholic.com, the amount given (which is in support of the church) should be whatever one can afford.

    Although the Church teaches that offering some form of material support to the Church is obligatory for all Catholic adults who are able to do so, it doesn’t specify what percent of one’s income should be given. Remember, tithing was an Old Testament obligation that was incumbent on the Jews under the Law of Moses. Christians are dispensed from the obligation of tithing ten percent of their incomes, but not from the obligation to help the Church.

    The key to understanding how God wants us to give to the Church is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “On the first day of the week [Sunday] each of you should set aside whatever he can afford,” and in 2 Corinthians 9:5-8,

    So I thought it necessary to encourage the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for your promised gift [donation], so that in this way it might be ready as a bountiful gift and not as an exaction. Consider this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.

    To paraphrase: God doesn’t demand a fixed amount of money from us; he wants us to give from the heart. If people are forced by their church to give a certain percent of their income, that’s extortion. If they give freely and cheerfully the amount they are able, that’s a gift.

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  18. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Mr Mortlock, a former salesman and real estate agent,

    Yea, there’s no possible way that this guy could have bought an expensive house outside of donations from poor people /sarc

    That said, I have seen enough to suggest that this guy’s obsession with church donations is almost as unhealthy as Destiny’s.

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  19. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    In the Catholic Church, the collection basically goes to the upkeep of the church etc. The priests certainly don’t get rich from it; they themselves get paid a stipend from the Church.

    I recall the joke about the guy who left to join the ministry.

    His boss went to the CEO. “Our best man is leaving”. Ceo replies, “Well, find out what they’re offering and double it”.

    “He’s taking a 4 5ths cut in salary, can you double that?”

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  20. BeaB (2,083 comments) says:

    Remember people vote for Labour and Greens.
    No end to the human comedy.

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  21. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    Fletch: You dont really believe what you have said, surely? Have you ever been to the Vatican?

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  22. Michael (899 comments) says:

    The riches in the Vatican are not from todays churchgoers but are kept up by the tourist visitors – you remember how much you paid to get into the Vatican Museum?

    Besides, have you seen the ‘Temples’ erected in the US by the Baptist, Protestant and Pentecostal movements? Even the Mega Churches have extravagant fit outs despite trying to be plain.

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  23. Aredhel777 (282 comments) says:

    I would be interested to know whether the founders of that church made their millions before becoming Christian ministers before jumping to conclusions. Assuming that they did make their fortune by ripping off poor people who attended their church, of course, this is appalling and shameful.

    Prosperity gospel (the idea that God blesses your finances and health and worldly success for giving to the church) is disgusting and non-Biblical.

    “Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
    21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
    Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
    22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
    when they exclude you and insult you
    and reject your name as evil,
    because of the Son of Man.
    23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

    24 “But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have already received your comfort.
    25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
    for you will go hungry.
    Woe to you who laugh now,
    for you will mourn and weep.
    26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
    for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

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  24. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Religion has always attracted both charlatans and satanists. Normally the charlatans are easier to spot than the satanists, since the latter are normally extremely subtle in their misdirection whereas the former are normally much less so which is not surprising of course since the former have only themselves to rely on whereas the latter have the spiritual powers of darkness at their behest.

    But just because this is a fact of religious life doesn’t mean that all religious leaders occupy either or both of those two camps, although ignorant people sometimes make the mistake of thinking that. But fact is religion is a subtle discipline, with layers within layers of meaning and accurate discernment sometimes escapes even righteous believers and almost always escapes non-believers.

    For example, Kea’s quotation of the camel passage doesn’t mean that rich people cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, it simply means you can’t buy your way into it. Jesus had many wealthy followers and many major OT figures were also very wealthy. As those examples show, God has nothing against wealth – Proverbs for example has many passages referring to techniques that aid its accumulation. But He is against placing any value in it and accumulating it via avaristic methods.

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  25. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Ted Haggard, in the US, was a leader of a massive mega church. He was a spiritual adviser to George Bush and had weekly conversations with him offering christian guidance. He was very wealthy preaching about god and hating gays.

    Turns out all that time he was hiring rent-boys for gay sex romps wacked of his scull on methamphetamine.

    The sort of guy the religious types on here admire deeply.

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  26. edhunter (521 comments) says:

    What price do you put on salvation? Surely a little financial pain now is worth an eternity basking in the light of the lords love?
    There’s a reason churches use the Shepard & his flock analogy it’s because the followers really are sheep who enjoy being fleeced on a regular basis.

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  27. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    DPF said “I reckon setting up a church or religion must be one of the easier ways to make money.”

    Maybe. I’ll ask Al Gore, next time I see him.

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  28. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    ZenTiger , yes and let us not forget all the “New Age” rip offs.

    All around my town there are public notice boards promoting new-age nonsense. They will make you feel better for a price. The nonsense they talk makes mainstream religion look very sane and mild.

    It is unfortunate none of them venture onto KB to express their views. :)

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  29. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    Kea: I seem to remember the Rev. Jim Bakker – and the Mrs, Tammi Faye – having a secret lifestyle a fair bit different to what they espoused in sunday rants…I dont think Bakker was the one who shagged whores at “rent by the hour” motels though….can’t remember that guy’s name..

    Whale of course has busted Bishop Brian gambling on high stakes tables in Vegas….no doubt more to come from the Bishop in due course….the world has got too small to hide in…

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  30. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    David Garrett – careful mate. I understand you’ve got an axe to grind against the Catholic Church. But you’ve proven before that your capacity for opinions on the subject outstrips your actual knowledge of the same. And you’re wrong against the supposed ‘wealth’ of the institution.

    Just watch that your prejudice against Catholics doesn’t lead you into bloviation on something you want it to be true, but which is not based on fact. The propensity of some of our resident anti-theists to do this is an ironic hypocrisy.

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  31. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    David Garrett, yes it is rife. But the fact is they are given that money and can do what they like with it. The congregation can decide for themselves what to think. You can imagine what my personal view is, but I do actually believe in religious freedom, so my view is not relevant.

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  32. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    Fletch: You dont really believe what you have said, surely? Have you ever been to the Vatican?

    In large part, the money grasping that built the present-day vatican was what lead Martin Luther to condemn the church’s corruption and start the protestant reformation.

    Likewise, today’s prosperity gospel preachers are widely condemned within the church.

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  33. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Lazza -

    “Auckland is sure overshopped with religious nutter/charlatans.”

    Yep, and NZ as a whole is chock full of gullible non thinking fools. Look at Labour / Greens poll results – when we already have a socialist government, and things are going pretty good

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  34. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    A few comments here suggest that people think donating to a church or religious organization is a lost cause. Whilst I do not disagree that there are some charlatans and scammers out there, I think people need to visit some of the charitable organisations that rely on church funds to exist, and see the good work they do. Perhaps charity can begin with an open mind.

    @Kea: People look for help and comfort everywhere. I guess they can decide if they receive value out of it. Sad though when such people are deliberately exploited. Ideas like “pay 20% of your income to the Carbon Gods (via the ETS) and your kids wont boil to death or drown under rising sea levels” seems to be a popular one. Of course, paying 20% of your income will only enable the Priests of the Environment to fly to more conferences to discuss new ways of seeking voluntary donations (as mandated by your elected government).

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  35. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    @scrubone – I’m not sure that’s really right. Martin Luther’s dissent really related to the granting of indulgences (being a remission of purgation) for contributions to repair work on St Peter’s Basilica. That practice was unethical but if he was only denouncing the ethics of the particular situation there would have been no need for him to found his own Church. Instead, the existence of indulgences brought up the theological question of whether grace could only be found through faith or whether it could also be ‘merited’ through good works,

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  36. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    ZenTiger , yes I agree entirely. As an atheist I don’t like any of it. But there are heaps of things I spend my money on that others may not like too. Let the free market decide.

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  37. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    @ZenTiger – indeed. The Catholic Church provides something like a quarter of the world’s healthcare facilities. What would happen to them if the Church were deprived of all donations? I suppose they could close down and the welfare state could pick them up. What a triumph for small government that would be!

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  38. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Cato, private institutions can and do provide healthcare. That is like saying if we banned clergy their would be no kiddy fiddlers.

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  39. lilman (931 comments) says:

    My god I nearly lost my lunch.

    Pete Garrett inferring the catholic church are dishonest and capable of amateur behavior.
    Guess they can’t all be as honest as you Pete.
    After all you can,they claim ,get into Heaven for free,you don’t need a visa or passport or anything.

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  40. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I mean, the facts aren’t hard to find in the age of Google. If you wanna go by facts instead of the great lessons you learned from the Da Vinci Code, you’ll find that the Vatican’s operating budget is about 20% of Harvard University’s – which also has a surplus that is more than twice as big as the Vatican’s. Woah – and Harvard’s Provost gets paid almost a mill a year.

    Ergo, I reckon setting up a University is a great way to make money.

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  41. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Kea – great. That’s exactly my point. The Catholic Church is one private organisation among many that can run hospitals, schools, orphanages and the like. But can you please point out to me any secular or humanistic charities and organisations that provide anywhere near that scale of good works? Which ones are ready and waiting in the wings to take over the huge and costly administration of third world hospitals?

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  42. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    Cato: OK, I’ll bite…what “healthcare facilities” do the Catholic Church provide free in this country? Or are they all in third world countries that a re hard to check on?

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  43. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Cato, their is no -single- organisation I know of. However, that was not my claim. Lots of smaller organisations do good work too.

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  44. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    You are correct in this country we don’t have much of a tradition of it because Catholicism has always been a poor minority. But I wouldn’t call the United States a third world country by any stretch of the imagination. There are more than 630 hospitals there which account for some 15% of all hospital beds. A third of them serve poorer, rural areas.

    There are heaps of easily found statistics like this. You just have to be bothered to find them instead of just fixing your opinions in accordance with Tom Hanks movies.

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  45. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Cato, yeah but those hospitals are not charities running only on church money surely ?

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  46. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Got a link Kea? He who alleges must prove and we can talk about it then. And don’t call me Shirley.

    You could look to Australia, where 10% of healthcare is provided (on a not for profit basis) is provided by Catholic Health Australia.

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  47. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Cato, read it again. It was a question [?] not a statement ;)

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  48. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I’d just be genuinely interested in learning what proportion of our anti-Catholics regularly spend a significant amount of either their time or money, on a systematic or ongoing basis, to good causes intended to help their fellow man.

    I assume David Garrett does because, as a lawyer, he belongs to one of those all too rare professions that actually undertakes significant pro bono work. But what about the others?

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  49. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Surely you’re not wrong about everything, Kea?

    ;) just a question.

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  50. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Cato, probably the same number as the number of catholics who do. The difference is they do not need the threat of eternal torture in hell to do it.

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  51. Zebulon (78 comments) says:

    Ahh, Saint Mortlock…following in the footsteps of Jesus…but there’s one thing I’m puzzled about… I’ve been looking for the bit in the Bible where it says that Jesus lived a luxury lifestyle funded by enormous donations coerced from his followers. But I just can’t seem to find that passage. Can anyone help me?

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  52. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    The difference is they do not need the threat of eternal torture in hell to do it.

    Neither do religious people, Kea. All of those I know do it simply because it’s the right thing to do, not because they’re scared of hell.

    You really don’t understand the slightest little thing about religion or religious people, do you. You clearly have a lot of hallucinations about it however, maybe you should get those seen to.

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  53. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Reid, thanks for confirming they do it for the same reasons as atheists. (They are not god fearing)

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  54. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Again you demonstrate profound ignorance Kea. If a religious person believes it’s “the right thing to do” it almost invariably means they’ve derived that understanding from their religious knowledge. Sometimes “the right thing to do” for a religious person coincides with what the world also thinks is the right thing, and sometimes it doesn’t. But they don’t do it because of what the world thinks, that’s a waste of time, since humans are fallible, as anyone can see merely from looking at the state of the world.

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  55. kowtow (7,951 comments) says:

    Media beat up.

    If some guy is struggling to pay bills then he’s a dumb fuck to give money to anyone.

    The media are using his stupidity to attack the Mortlocks.

    As such it’s a beat up and non story.

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  56. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    Kowtow: So you think the Mortlocks really have the spirit in them, and just want to spread the word?

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  57. kowtow (7,951 comments) says:

    I’m making no judgement on the Morts (good or bad) ,I’m passing comment on the media ,the beat up and to be quite frank an idiot who couldn’t afford to give away his money.

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  58. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    So you think the Mortlocks really have the spirit in them, and just want to spread the word?

    Maybe they do and maybe they don’t David but no-one except them and God really know for sure. Just like Tamaki, their “enthusiastic” solicitation of donations perhaps justifies a raised eyebrow from we humans but it doesn’t justify a hard and fast conclusion. The media’s propensity to use the word “mansion” to describe any old Auckland house occupied by someone they’re writing a critical article about is amusing, but I would have thought a $1.4m value for a Whangaparaoa house would be around the average for that part of the Hibiscus Coast so nothing unusual for me there, personally.

    But of course we often see what we’re expecting to see don’t we and since some of us have been primed by a well-known ongoing example of much greater largesse from a minister, why this is less a leap to that conclusion than a mere step, which perhaps is precisely why they chose to publicise it rather than say, a story on charitable works, which isn’t “newsworthy.”

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  59. corrigenda (142 comments) says:

    My income could do with a boost, how does one go about starting up a church?????

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  60. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    …how does one go about starting up a church?

    Talk to God and wait till He says yes.

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  61. ChardonnayGuy (1,187 comments) says:

    For more detail about the Pentecostal ‘prosperity gospel’ which drives the Mortlocks and others… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosperity_gospel

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  62. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    corrigenda: I am not sure how you would start…some sociology grad has probably done a thesis on this very subject….Certainly be interesting how the Bishop managed it…

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  63. Scott (1,736 comments) says:

    Agree with kowtow, just another media beat up. The Mortlocks are great pastors and have done more for the people they serve, of which there are thousands, than all of you critics put together. They sold a $1.8m house. So what? You don’t know if they earned their money from their real estate career before becoming pastors? Remember this is an expensive area where $700k buys you a standard home.
    Sorry, but you have only one fact, the price of the home they sold. The rest is merely speculation.

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  64. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    When are we going to hear about the money that goes into Pacific Islands’ churches? This would far outstrip Tamaki, Catholic, Methodist or any other denomination. At least the aforementioned don’t have their hands out for State houses, feed for their kids, and every other vote buying gifts the left provide them to breed.

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  65. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    ….”how does one go about starting up a church?”….

    Take a few hundred gullible fools then force feed them with a load of drivel about eternal life. For this you will need to invent a God….the one common element in any religion is some version of a higher power. It’s not you. If it is you, that’s not religion, that’s psychosis & anyway you’ll be left with no one to pass the buck to when things go tits up.

    Next create or affirm your own rituals. A set of sacred rituals is the structure of religion. Prayer, hymns, animal sacrifice will do for starters & if you’re modelling on the Catholic example then for God’s sake get a decent dressmaker.

    Then do some basic research on who you’re targeting: e.g., lost but loyal do-gooders, middle-aged questioners, or handsome blonde pre-teen boys.

    Check on Trade Me for large ornate buckets to collect the money & open a bank account.

    There’s a bit more to it but that will get you started. :)

    For further tips…..Ref: http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/HowTo:Start_a_Religion

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  66. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    Nasska: but how do they get the “few hundred gullible fools” in the first place?? That’s what’s always intrigued me…

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  67. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    David Garrett , the theists tell us that there is a “god shaped hole” in us.

    They seem to be right. Though I suggest the hole is created by our awareness of our own mortality and the very real human need to have explanations, purpose and a bigger cause to live for.

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  68. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    Good question DG…..like all good conmen they will recognise their marks easily but getting the first fifty turkeys together would be hard graft. After critical mass has been reached the punters would do their own recruiting. In this day & age good internet skills would be helpful.

    I note that one of the more successful local evangelical Christian sects started out through an after school youth club & dragged the parents into the web.

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  69. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    …how do they get the “few hundred gullible fools” in the first place?? That’s what’s always intrigued me…

    What intrigues me is how many people these days so easily write off the millions of man-years and billions of minds that have applied themselves to the religious question over the centuries. I mean even if you’re an amoeba with only three brain cells, surely its obvious that that activity therefore merits some serious enquiry and not just a lightweight dismissal as if you, and you alone, know better than do all of those minds spending all of that time on it.

    This doesn’t mean you have to be religious, it means, unless you’re a fool, given the subject matter you’re dealing with, that you’ll have some seriously cogent arguments as to why you’re not. But hardly anyone has such an argument. All the atheists/agnostics in reference to their decision normally ever talk about is human behaviour from people who purport to be religious but clearly aren’t, or alternatively they talk about how they or someone they know or someone they know of has had evil befall them which apparently, in their tiny mind, means God cannot exist. As if either of those things either hasn’t been addressed or alternatively, has anything whatsoever to do with the serious questions that said minds have wrestled with over said centuries.

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  70. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Reid, I can’t speak for others, but that is not how I think.

    I also note that the choices are not atheism or your particular god.

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  71. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    Reid

    Kea wasn’t far off the mark when he referred to a “god shaped hole in us”. As humans we are poorly equipped to get our heads around the concepts of infinity & eternity & some are drawn to religion which tells us that the answers are found in “God”.

    Personally I can accept that along with the inability to fly & my regretted lack of Superman powers I’m simply not able to understand…..I put it to one side & get on with enjoying & using the life I have.

    The fact that I rark up the Godnutters on these forums is not an indication of hate….rather it’s a reaction to moralistic knowalls who want to dictate the running of my life & the lives of my family & friends.

    Plus, you lot stir up so easily that you make irresistible targets. :)

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  72. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    nasska, if one of these religious kea haters met me in real life they would never guess it. I bet we would get on well. Some might even know me :)

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  73. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    Kea

    Amen brother. :)

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  74. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    nasska, and I am strongly against the rise of Islam in Europe. When I first joined KB I was going to push that. But the incredible bullshit and double standards displayed by a competing cult became my focus. We invade and kill Muslims in Muslim countries, but sell out our own culture back home! Madness.

    No war. Mind our own business.

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  75. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    nasska coming to God isn’t an intellectual decision, it’s a spiritual one. When you give all to Christ, the vanity and games of life are over. You become friends of the One Who created us to live with Him forever, which is the whole reason we came into the world.

    My comment was really referring to the default position the western world has recently adopted over religion, which is that God cannot exist, which is a result of the materialistic view that has shaped our thinking over the last century or so. One example of the materialistic view is the perspective of many today that the only possible valid way to real truth is via the scientific method. Of course science has a purpose and the scientific method is a valid way of determining how things work in the world, but the public knowledge of science is that it doesn’t address spiritual questions, and therefore many have concluded those spiritual questions have no place in our materialistic world. (As a matter of fact science has addressed spiritual questions but the answers are never published. One organisation that does this is the Stanford Research Institute – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooSRh7V68uk)

    But the point is that we are living in an age that has been specifically designed to deter and distract our innate spiritual nature and understanding in favour of materialistic values and it’s only by resisting that that one will come to the truth. As Jesus is recorded to have said in John 8:31-2: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    In a few centuries when we have all turned to dust, people will be looking back at this age of materialism and recording it in history in exactly the same way that other great turning points in civilisation have been recorded, like the renaissance. The only difference is, that this age will not be recorded in a positive light, but in the negative, like the dark ages.

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  76. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    If you are struggling to pay your bills it is because you

    maybe
    can’t budget – eat too much
    don’t work hard enough
    don’t pray enough or

    realise one religion controls the banking system

    [DPF: Antisemitism is not cool. Stop it]

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  77. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    “How do you start a religion”

    “I guess you find 100 gullible fools”

    “Why?”

    “I got tickets to a Richard Dawkins talk. He’s going to talk about it”

    “Oh, I’ll take two”

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  78. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    Reid

    “coming to God” may not be intellectual as opposed to spiritual but it is also personal. That is, in each case at some point of time, something has gone ‘bing’ instead of ‘bong’ in the head of the now enlightened religious practitioner. For some it happens early in life but I discount this as a revelation being rather in favour of the theory of indoctrination or brainwashing. For some it happens later, for a few more on their deathbeds but currently for the majority it doesn’t happen at all.

    Why are some more susceptible to drinking the koolaid than others?

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  79. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    That is, in each case at some point of time, something has gone ‘bing’ instead of ‘bong’ in the head of the now enlightened religious practitioner.

    nasska some Christians I have known have had a ‘road to Damascus’ moment.

    Others have adopted a state of mind or more accurately, a state of being, that remains both intellectually and emotionally open to the possibility and their conviction has grown over time.

    Recognising divine intervention is a bit like when you buy a new car and suddenly become aware of all the similar cars on the road. They were of course there all the time, but you only recognised them once you got one of your own.

    Atheists and agnostics may complain that such episodes are mere invention on our part because we’re “looking for them.” But how do they know that we haven’t merely opened our eyes and we’re simply now seeing what was already there all the time, anyway?

    The key is opening both your heart and mind to the possibility, keeping both of those things open, and inviting God in, remembering that God owes you nothing, rather, you owe God. (That last part is critical.) And God will take care of the rest, if you’re truly sincere and persistent.

    And given what I said above about the importance of the subject matter we’re dealing with, I’d have thought one would have to be quite the fool if one never gives that a real, genuine, dedicated try at least once in one’s life and when I say genuine, I mean it. God will not be mocked and He knows every thought you’ve ever had and ever will have. So if you do it at all, you need to avoid attempting it with anything less than your absolute full, honest, deep and genuine capacity, otherwise don’t bother.

    Deathbeds BTW are rather like crossing the motorway in rush hour and hoping for the best. Possibly it impresses the family gathered at the bedside, but they didn’t design you, so when you’re going to meet the One who did, the family really doesn’t matter much anymore, do they.

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  80. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    Reid

    So you’re saying that in some cases religion sneaks up on you & before you know it you’re trapped. Thanks for the ‘heads up’….I’ll install shoulder mirrors tomorrow!

    ….”So if you do it at all, you need to avoid attempting it with anything less than your absolute full, honest, deep and genuine capacity, otherwise don’t bother”…..

    Good thinking 99….I’ll scratch it off my bucket list. :)

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  81. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    So you’re saying that in some cases religion sneaks up on you & before you know it you’re trapped.

    It sets you free nasska. Of the Christians you know, how many of them are unhappy? Sure, like all of you, we have problems. How do Christians negotiate those problems is the question.

    If anyone is trapped, it’s people who point their priceless hearts and minds solely toward a world that teaches happiness is derived only from soulless bits of paper that are obtained only by slaving away on a hamster wheel for forty to fifty years then once your best years are gone, having a few short years to contemplate the meaninglessness of it all, then dying, usually painfully. Having achieved what, precisely?

    Accumulated more paper than your contemporaries? Bully for you. What else is there for those without a higher purpose? Nothing, that’s what.

    Materialism is a vacuous fallacy that requires ever more of the same drug to get the same effect. This is why more and more we see people working longer and longer hours to turn the hamster wheel harder and harder because they’re told that makes them “successful.” It doesn’t. Because we’re spiritual beings. But they believe it because that’s what the world says and the world must be right because that’s the only voice they have to listen to.

    That’s what makes us different nasska. We also listen to the world. But unlike atheists and agnostics, the world isn’t the only thing we listen to.

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  82. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    The problem is, of course, that the gods tend to be mischievous at best.

    Zeus, for example, transformed into a swan and raped Leda.

    And don’t get me started on Loki.

    To say that we “owe” the gods something is therefore quite bizarre.

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  83. Left Right and Centre (2,883 comments) says:

    This is why more and more we see people working longer and longer hours to turn the hamster wheel harder and harder because they’re told that makes them “successful.”

    Or maybe it’s because a large class of people are paid fuck all you dick, and they want to do the best that they can for their families. Like housing, feeding, clothing, entertaining and educating them. We’re not all entertained simply by spouting off nonsense shit on KB all day followed by ‘bible brush-up by fucking candlelight evenings’.

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  84. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    Kea at 5:38pm: “When I first joined KB”

    Oh sh*t. I knew this was a cult site.
    Explains so much.
    Pass me the orange juice.
    I’m outta here.

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  85. Left Right and Centre (2,883 comments) says:

    New parents will be expected to forward an extra $60 per week to the church if Labour is elected.

    This comment should’ve gone yellow. It kills two birds with one stone and it’s just fucking brilliant – what a hoot. :)

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  86. RichardX (326 comments) says:

    Reid (14,800 comments) says:
    February 8th, 2014 at 7:31 pm
    If anyone is trapped, it’s people who point their priceless hearts and minds solely toward a world that teaches happiness is derived only from soulless bits of paper that are obtained only by slaving away on a hamster wheel for forty to fifty years then once your best years are gone, having a few short years to contemplate the meaninglessness of it all, then dying, usually painfully. Having achieved what, precisely?
    Accumulated more paper than your contemporaries? Bully for you. What else is there for those without a higher purpose? Nothing, that’s what. Materialism is a vacuous fallacy that requires ever more of the same drug to get the same effect. This is why more and more we see people working longer and longer hours to turn the hamster wheel harder and harder because they’re told that makes them “successful.” It doesn’t. Because we’re spiritual beings. But they believe it because that’s what the world says and the world must be right because that’s the only voice they have to listen to.
    That’s what makes us different nasska. We also listen to the world. But unlike atheists and agnostics, the world isn’t the only thing we listen to.

    What a pitiful existence you must live if believe religion is necessary to enjoy the love of your family, the beauty of nature or the remarkable achievements of man
    Religion or materialism are not the only 2 choices when it comes to living your life

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  87. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    What a pitiful existence you must live if believe religion is necessary to enjoy the love of your family, the beauty of nature or the remarkable achievements of man

    Richard, you must have not read the second sentence in the last para of your quote of my post. Or the third.

    Religion or materialism are not the only 2 choices when it comes to living your life

    Elucidate the others for me.

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  88. Left Right and Centre (2,883 comments) says:

    One fine day I’m going to have to make a pilgrimage to my personal mecca, Eketahuna – to worship my deity, the great, wise and merciful SuperGod, all-knowing and powerful, The Great Nasska, I will kiss His feet. I will beg Him to save my soul, for enlightenment, to hear The Divine One preach from His pulpit – devour every gem of His profound teachings. All praise to his Holiness Nasska

    I draw the line at giving the bugger any cash – a dozen is my final offer :)

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  89. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    Reid

    ….” Of the Christians you know, how many of them are unhappy?”….

    Admittedly not many but it’s fair to say that I don’t really mix in religious circles. Going back to my childhood I remember them as a miserable, unhappy pack of buggers but I suspect that their religion was more cultural than spiritual. IOW they identified & acted as Christians for social conformity rather than belief.

    I guess it created internal dissonance to have to act in a way that was at odds with their natures.

    ….”Accumulated more paper than your contemporaries?”….

    It’s the Capitalist way of life Reid & although it isn’t perfect, as you know, it beats the alternative. In any case there’s no shortage of Godbotherers who have accumulated their fair share of shekels….some are not all that fussy about how they do it either.

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  90. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    ….”I draw the line at giving the bugger any cash”…..

    I’d only waste it on drugs & slow women anyway LR&C. :)

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  91. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Reid,

    It is entirely possible, and indeed entirely normal, to experience compassion, wonder, joy, love and empathy without needing to invoke magic pixies (and especially without needing to invoke vile, despicable evil magic pixies, such as Yahweh.)

    When you refer to rationalism as mere materialism you are deliberately misrepresenting it. You are pathetically lying to yourself.

    You come across as a very sad and desperate individual who has a deep need to believe he is loved and approved of by some magical space daddy. Your conspiracy theories are another facet of your poor self-image and feelings of worthlessness. So by all means believe whatever you need to believe to get you through the day, but understand that dressing up your needs as some sort of revelation simply won’t wash with anyone willing to bring the merest scrap of reason to the debate.

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  92. Sponge (153 comments) says:

    “Of the Christians you know, how many of them are unhappy?”

    I vividly recall how unhappy and insecure almost every catholic girl I knew at school was. They were fraught with guilt and shame and this was constantly cultivated by their schools. Some of these girls were wonderful caring people and had no reason to be made to feel the way they did.

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  93. Reid (16,111 comments) says:

    It’s the Capitalist way of life Reid & although it isn’t perfect, as you know, it beats the alternative.

    You mean it beats this vs. this?

    Really?

    Luckily God’s way is perfect nasska. You need to follow the formula I gave above using persistence above all before that understanding dawns in you, but if you do, it will.

    In any case there’s no shortage of Godbotherers who have accumulated their fair share of shekels….some are not all that fussy about how they do it either.

    Yes. I covered that in my 12:55 mate.

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  94. Johnboy (15,586 comments) says:

    Is Peter related to the late Hedley Mortlock?

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  95. Johnboy (15,586 comments) says:

    If he is he may be the truth and the way of course! :)

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  96. Johnboy (15,586 comments) says:

    Never having been feeble minded myself I must admit how humorous I find it that it seems to be the intellectually challenged, who despite being among the lowest earners, flock to these charlatan church owners so they can pass on at least 10% of their hard earned cash instead of spending it to the betterment of their numerous children.

    Fuckwits are as fuckwits do I guess! :)

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  97. Johnboy (15,586 comments) says:

    Evening again minus 1 and minus2 ! :)

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  98. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Luckily God’s way is perfect

    By “god” Reid means Yahweh, as opposed to any of the myriad other gods.

    And you can examine Yahweh’s “perfection” for yourself:

    Injustice in the Bible
    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/inj/long.html

    Cruelty and Violence in the Bible
    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html

    Intolerance in the Bible
    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/int/long.html

    Biblical “Family Values”
    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/fv/long.html

    Biblical Misogyny
    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/women/long.html

    The rapist Zeus, in comparison, is a model of virtue.

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  99. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    “Puritanism – the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy” – H.L. Mencken.

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  100. Duncan Brown (16 comments) says:

    So many opinions on so little information. It’s too bad the Mortlocks wouldn’t comment, we’re left with a one-sided story:
    – Did they own the house before they were pastors?
    – Why are they selling?
    – How much of their own property/unpaid time did they use to launch the church?
    – Are they even paid by the church?

    Re the Herald’s efforts:
    – Why wouldn’t the ‘church member’ identify themselves?
    – Could they only find one complainer. How many happy parishioners did they find, and not quote?

    The Herald quotes a “person” who knew of a “church-member” who was struggling, having given “so much”, yet “people were told not to put in more than they could afford.” Trying to see the relevance here re personal responsibility.

    Re David Farrar’s question, “What other business has a variable price based on income,” the obvious answer is the Government. The difference is that theirs is a tax, while the church’s is a voluntary donation.

    David also uses slippery terminology to describe the situation. A church is not a business, though it needs to be run in a business-like fashion. A tithe or donation is not a price for salvation, and in all the churches I’ve attended, has never been presented as such.

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  101. timmydevo (46 comments) says:

    I just spent 20 minutes reading this and am no closer to figuring out if God is real or not.

    Yawn..

    Better go to bed. Got church in the morning.

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  102. rangitoto (221 comments) says:

    It’s interesting it appears the early Christians were expected to hand over everything they owned to the church. I recall a story recounted in Acts of the Apostles, where a couple are killed because they held some cash back from the sale of a property.

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  103. landoftime (35 comments) says:

    The church’s model is outdated. They have two options. They can adopt a business model and start selling their services – so, for example, charge a fee for attending a church service. Or do what a club does – work out how much money they need each year (including covering salaries) and charge its members a yearly subscription. If some members have trouble paying the subscription, they could then help those people individually. Sometimes 15-20 minutes is spent imploring people to give money. Having a sub would cut out out all that carry on and we could just get on with the service. It would be transparent and all this publicity would be dead in the water. To me, the church simply must move in this direction. The way things are run at the moment is simply not transparent. They need to be upfront about the costs and how much they need members to give.

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  104. MH (690 comments) says:

    the devil’s in the detail,the Church must run at a loss to warrant GST evasion. By seeking out sinners it can be assured that the bottom line is always reached,if not exceeded. The Polynesian christian movement excels in this business model,

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  105. ChardonnayGuy (1,187 comments) says:

    With the odd exception, I don’t really think that NZ conservative Christians are terribly good at strategic management. Family First used to be surrounded by a shoal of fundamentalist small businesses that funded its operations through donors. Evidently, they’ve either had to retrench their advertising spend during the recession, gone out of business, or decided that Family First’s brand of aggressive Christian Right politics isn’t something that they want to be associated with after all. As for FF itself, it seems to be :) aimlessly “bobbing” :) about at the moment.

    Colin Craig seems to be an exception insofar as his corporate real estate persona is concerned, but are those business skills necessary replicable within the ambit of marketing his Conservative Party? Not from what I’ve seen. Added to which, the entrepreneurial Tamakis and Mortlocks bailed very quickly from their own predecessor fundamentalist parties, Destiny New Zealand and the Family Party, when it became clear that they weren’t viable. Not a good investment, ‘twould seem, from their pro$perity go$pel per$pective. Unfortunately, in certain sections of Pentecostalism, there’s a ‘chase-the-celebrity-preacher’ competitive market, so congregations tend to ebb and flow with whoever’s in “favour” within the Pentecostal market at present. It might also explain why they’ve become so apolitical and personalised here lately- people don’t want religious social conservative hardsell, they want counselling and psychotherapy from their chosen churches.

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  106. MH (690 comments) says:

    Faith hope and Charity and the greatest of these should properly be left to Sir St john(pronounced sin-gin) campbell with a very good nite to you, all.

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  107. deadrightkev (341 comments) says:

    What other business lets its staff work on a 90% commission?

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  108. David Garrett (6,774 comments) says:

    Chardonnay: You Really think Family First advances “agressive Christian Right politics?” Evidently you haven’t come across many people in your life who are aggressive…

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  109. Shunda barunda (2,970 comments) says:

    The prosperity form of Christianity is especially destructive in my opinion, it has taken me 10 years to patch up the crap that that did to my family and I and I deeply resent it.

    That said, if people want to put money into a church that is there own damned business, I find the moral outrage expressed here bizarre quite frankly.
    It seems very socialist to try and regulate how citizens spend (waste?) their own money.

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  110. Shunda barunda (2,970 comments) says:

    Hell, the prosperity doctrine is basically a form of pure hyper capitalism anyway, get mad at this and you really need to get mad at a whole lot of other shit too.

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  111. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    There you go bringing capitalism into it again.

    I thought we were an autonomous collective.

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  112. mavxp (494 comments) says:

    Leading by example, I expect these people have read the passage where Jesus said to the rich man, “sell all you have and give to the poor, take up your cross and follow me”, and being good Christians (i.e. followers of Christ and his teaching), they will soon be donating the $1.8 Mill+ to feed and clothe the poor of Auckland. I expect the rest of their flock will also do likewise and sell all they have and give to the poor. They are encouraged by Jesus to “leave no thought for the morrow” as their heavenly father will look after their daily needs henceforth. If they do not then surely they do not believe in God and his divine son?

    You see if people who claimed to be followers of Christ, actually did follow Christ’s teaching, they would be poor and dependant upon one another: Socialism in action. Alas, they instead pick and choose what they wish to believe and follow, to take the nice bits (the promise of heaven, being told God loves them and has a special plan for their lives, that sense of self-righteousness that comes from thinking you are on the “right” side of everything), but leave out the actual teachings of Jesus that are just too uncomfortable to follow through on. Such is the nature of the religious – hypocrites all.

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  113. ciaron (1,389 comments) says:

    mavxp, I think you need to study a bit more, your understanding of what the Bible teaches is extremely shallow.

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  114. mavxp (494 comments) says:

    ciaron,

    Just keep telling yourself you have it right, and everyone else has it wrong. All you have to do is “interpret” it how you want to, and embrace your particular cognitive bias. Cherry picking religion is what every society has done, every sect at every time, and will continue to do so. It’s why it keeps evolving despite the lack of evidence, and better explanations for our existence in the universe provided by science.

    Oh, the universe wasn’t created 6,000 years ago, and we weren’t created out of dust or Adams rib? I guess God was being figurative and poetic there. Gods ordering Israel to commit genocide and the taking of concubines (female sex slaves) from the Amalekites, I guess that was morally OK within context of Bronze Age Canaan, after all he is God and can make up morals on the spot, and change them over time – so now we can eat shellfish and ham without sinning, but slavery and raping foreign women is no longer OK. Oh and finally Jesus wasn’t referring to “me” when he told his disciples to give up their worldly possessions and give it all to the poor and follow him.

    How terribly convenient for you.

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  115. ciaron (1,389 comments) says:

    Fail, try these:
    http://www.amazon.com/Dig-Deeper-Unearth-Bibles-Treasure/dp/1844741036

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Bible-All-Worth/dp/0310246040/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392013665&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=how+to+rad+the+bible+for+all+its+worth

    Educate yourself – don’t limit yourself to the baseless, twisted talking points you have spewed here.

    oh, and you can have a look here for a better explanation of DCE.

    http://www.rightreason.org/2014/divine-commands-double-standards-and-the-objection-from-abhorrent-commands/

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