Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Irony? Or message from God?

Yes, I'm a former English teacher, and I taught dramatic irony and situational irony, and all sorts of stuff like that. And "irony" is definitely an overused word.

And yes, I've read that Alanis Morrisett's song "Ironic" is a misuse of that word.

So I'm going to side with "message from God".

This article was in the paper today.
I won't even get into the issues regarding a paster owning a private jet.

Shall we discuss how the "Prosperity Gospel" is totally anti-Biblical? Not only is it not SUPPORTED Biblically, it's purt' near denounced. I'm fairly certain that Peter wasn't rolling in cash when he was travelling, which is why he stayed in believers' homes. And that whole "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also?" thing? That's in the Bible, right?

In fact, I would be more supportive of preaching that it's OKAY to be financially comfortable and be a believer of Christ. Because those two things are more incongruent when you examine scripture.

Actually, maybe it IS ironic. After all, you'd expect a church that preaches that success is a sign of God's love would be over-flowing with cash. Surprise!


Ruth said...

hmmm. as an arts administrator, we sometimes talk about how the churches seem to really have the idea of creating a community of their members, which is what the arts instutions STRIVE to do.

but i'm wondering why the congress needed to check on the spending of the pastors? this is confusing. just because churches are non-profit does not mean that their pastors should not be compensated well (excluding personal jets, come on) or that they shouldn't be part of the business economy.

let me know if you know more about this.

Lyz said...

I'm guessing it has something to do with their non-profit status. I'm also guessing that commenter Noel has a lot more knowledge on this topic!

Stacie Anderson said...

So this is pretty funny because I grew up attending Living Word. My parents are good friends with Mac Hammond. Go figure.

Noel said...

Churches and other non-profits operate under section 501(c)3 of the internal revenue code and don't pay taxes. If the organization seems to function more as a tax avoidance scheme than in the public interest, the organization will come under scrutiny. In the business sector, a company would typically need to have a several hundred million in revenue to justify a corporate jet (cost is about $25 million to purchase or $5000/hour to hire). I suspect most churches are well under that for annual offerings.

Based on one trip a number of years ago, flying on a corporate jet will spoil a person...no security lines, no leaving until you are ready, no layovers, lots of space, good food and drink.

Ruth said...

getting back to this nonprofit obsession of mine...

this is what i'm confused about. there are no stipulations about what a non-profit can spend their money on. in fact, that's why they need a board and cannot be lead by one person---the board is who monitors the spending, or else the grantors that give them money. it a church wanted to spend all of it's money on chocolate chip cupcakes, it would be completely legal.

the only thing they CAN'T spend money on are certain political endeavors. so unless that private jet was being used to campaign for elections, it really ISN'T the governments business.

this is just the republican/conservative/government out of my life side of my brain talking. I know! who'duv think it!

Ruth said...

thank you noah! i is seein what you is sayin---tax shield for private business, etc. my interest has certainly been peaked.

Noel said...

Flying on a personal jet vs commercial unless the organization had several hundred million in revenue or more is probably viewed as a perk and not a normal business expense. From IRS Publication 4221...

Private Benefit and Inurement

A public charity is prohibited from allowing more than an insubstantial accrual of private benefit to individuals or organizations. This restriction is to ensure that a tax-exempt organization serves a public interest, not a private one. If a private benefit
is more than incidental, it could jeopardize the organization’s tax-exempt status.
No part of an organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of a private shareholder or individual. This means that an organization is prohibited from allowing its income or assets to accrue to insiders. An example of prohibited inurement would include payment of unreasonable compensation to an insider. An insider is a person who has a personal or private interest in the activities of the organization such as an officer, director, or a key employee.

Aaron said...

Alanis Morrisette deserves more credit than she gets. What could be more ironic than naming a song "Ironic" that doesn't contain one example of irony?