Malaysian Atheist

An avowed atheist living in Malaysia.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Rich Pastor, Poor Pastor?

I've heard of young pastor. I've heard of lady pastor. Heck, I've even heard of gay pastor. But rich pastor??? Now, that is something to think about.

Recently, in the US, a church bought its pastor a $3.6 million mansion. Of course, the mansion belongs to the church, not the pastor, but being pastor of a big church, like being CEO of a company, one is accorded many perks including an opulent house, fancy cars, an expense account. Strange isn't it? In the olden days, pastors and church-workers lead a simple lifestyle. The church provides them with food, accommodation, transport and a meager salary. They are content with their simple lives as they serve God to build treasures in heaven. That's why we have the idiom "poor as a church mouse" - because church mice are traditionally poor.

Nowadays, however, church mice are not poor anymore. As the church-going population grows, more and more people give a portion of their income as offering to the church. Seeing that they have a captive market, the church mice also learned to write 'church' books, record 'church' music, make 'church' TV programs. That would generate more money, attract more people to their church, and even more people will offer money to the church and so on. The rewards just keep compounding! These days, the church mice can afford the best cheese, the best cars and the biggest mansions. They say it is God's blessing, but really, it is just simple economics.

The question is, "Is there anything wrong with pastors being rich?" Since they say that they believe everything in the Bible, let's see what the Bible says. In Matthew chapter 19:
16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"

17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

18"Which ones?" the man inquired.

Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself."

20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"

21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

So that is what Jesus said. Jesus, mind you. The Son of God, not some lesser prophet from the Old Testament! The lumbering camel will have an easier time passing through the eye of a needle that the rich pastor entering Heaven.

Let's see what the church says. They say that God wants His followers to do well, be healthy and have rewards. So effectively they have abandoned Matthew Chapter 19 in favour of some other obscure verse. If you think about it, they're actually more interested in securing health and wealth in this present life than securing treasures in Heaven, aren't they?

Anyway, their wealth is their private property. It really isn't any of my business. In fact, I'd recommend that young people seeking a career path should seriously consider going into ministry. Remember, in church, you have a captive audience who'll buy anything you sell. And, they'll feel guilty if they didn't give you 10% of their income each month! Theoretically, it doesn't even matter whether you believe in Christ or not. You just have to say the right words, do the right actions, fake it long enough and not get caught. Then you can enjoy all the financial rewards from the church.

My point, though, is that Christians are guilty of picking and choosing which Bible verses to follow and which to ignore. Done this way, you can simply justify anything, including killing another human being. Your religion then becomes, not what God says, but what you say.

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At 1:56 PM, May 29, 2007, Blogger The Hedonese said...

Hey! That's a great post worthy of a Sunday sermon :)

Amen, brother... preach it! preach it! hahaha...

At 3:29 AM, May 30, 2007, Anonymous ruyom said...

Malays are lazy, narrow-minded, racist, in the real world. But they blame Chinese, Indians, white man, for many things. No wonder many person label malays as disgrace animals.

It is good for malays to go back to jungle of Africa, in order to avoid so many problems. Enough said.

Like what one said, your Umno malays label is to just rob the rights and benefits of the unassuming and poor malays, who think that you are fighting for their cause. Whom are you trying to bluff?

There is nothing to be proud of Ketuanan Melayu. If at all, it is only the personification of the ills facing the malays in general today.

Minus the nation building and economics, you Umno malays are left with only politics - right before and after independence. Creeps like you should find out and address this: talked and discussed corruption problem which does not seem to go away.

If even after almost 50 years, and after all the generous handouts, you are still a bitter man, lamenting at our Indians and Chinese successes, then go back and do a bit of homework to find out, why you need to work more and talk less.

Everyone knows that they worked and struggled to build a nation, I mean sweated it out. Lest you forget history, the Indians and Chinese came here to build a country which was largely neglected. Ask yourself why?

Their sweat and pains may have been forgotten by selfish creatures cloaking in disguise in the likes of you malay, but this Malaysia nation shares a rich history of the "other races" contributing to the nation building, which you cannot be proud of.

Well, there are always guys like me who have tried and have been continuously denied the opportunity to "serve" this country, basically with the race card thrown at me.

Look around yourself and tell me as honestly as you can - be whether under such circumstances, I would have reasons to love this country? Unless you have a different definition for that word "love"!

To further prolong the grips of the Umno malays over the greed others, especially the Chinese, is been made the scapegoat for all things.

A fear that had has no concrete socio-economical standings. It is more psychological. For that all the Malaysians are been pull and push into the self-dug hole of only Umno ketuanan matters most. All things are secondary.

He forgets that what he has been written is just like the saying: spitting skywards and get own face smeared.

Such a mind is wasted by simple form rather than the deep down substance, show this guy's mind is as twisted and empty.

The saddest part is that Umno fanatic can write better, indicating a higher level of "education" but more tunnel understanding of historical facts. His education is wasted, and another basket case of form over substance.

From what Umno malay fanatic has been written, it can be seen that these malays are still at the balls despite of the facts that, the globalization will eventually making their factitious claim obsolete.

Many would like to dispute and point to whatever reports that claimed glories for all the developments stated for Malaysia now. There is only one word for this spurious cry - form over substance. Please think deeper to reflect this.

Just think about how Philippines go down the drain under Marcos government. Sadder still, we are not catching up with the top.

Instead we keep comparing ourselves with the bottom and sliding down the rank as we "proudly" proclaimed these achievements. How pathetic can one be!

At 4:54 PM, July 09, 2007, Blogger Marty said...

Hi Meursault,

Not sure what most of the comments are about! I agree with your post, I recently posted an an article about religion's tax-free status on my blog . Keep up the good work!

At 11:46 AM, April 28, 2009, Anonymous Catherine Dagmar said...

wow...what is this all about???i thought this was for the "rich pastor, poor pastor" post..I really believe that the corruption in Churches cant be changed..especially in the USA..those evengelican tv personalities are making a business out of religion..and people are so blind that they still follow their sermons and donate money to them...

replying to all the racist comments here...seriously dudes, whats wrong with you guys??? you guys thinks it is cool to curse out other people races???

I love Malaysia, stayed there for 20 I'm in Zimbabwe following a missionary group called the "TRUE LiGHT"...

you other races should be grateful.when the Malays took back the land from the British and gave you guys a place to live..let you guys own property..let you guys become a citizen of the country..treated as equal in human rights and the law...

the malays can always wage war against you guys and they'd win because all the armed forces are theirs..but they wont...Why??? because most of them are willing to share their land with you...because when they picture a their heads are MALAY, CHINESE, AnD INDIANS...not just them but all of you guys...

I've been to China, most of the so called chinese never been to china before..I've been to Mumbai india.. i traveled almost 1/2 of the world and I know for a fact that Malays are one of the most hospitable races in the world.

I was mugged in PUDU RAYA in KL..there were not many people as it was 0230 in the morning..I was going to the toilet when 1 indonesian men stop me and tried to mug the scene there were two chinese cab driver and an old malay lady with her teenage son...all of them saw that the criminal was holding me as knifepoint...guess who intervene and save me.. the old malay lady and her son..the cab driver just watched..and then when the malay kid is beating up the criminal to a pulp they both came and joined up and act as if they we the heroes..

-I'm from Sweden and I love the Malays...If Asia doesnt want the Malays, we'll take em-

At 5:02 PM, June 10, 2009, Blogger Meursault said...

Yeah, some of these comments (on racism) are totally unrelated to this post. Dunno why people would post them here. Maybe people just need an avenue of expression.


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