Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Date: July 30, 2011 08:23PM
Godisjudge - I realize that some are able to look at things through different eyes, and I am happy for you that you are one of them. I would assume you probably never lived somewhere like the "discipleship ranch". The good experiences (or bad) you can have at the ROC are very relative to where you end up having to live and that's the truth. Second of all, from an accountability standpoint, paying people under the table is ILLEGAL. PERIOD. Additionally, paying someone just enough to "get by" is unacceptable as well, especially given how hard the servants and disciples work at that place versus the leadership (mirco-managing people isn't hard work, most of us have done it in some capacity) - look at the lives and things that most of them enjoy. And I'm not saying you should be material about your existence (because we know that isn't what life is about) but I find it absurd that MANY people who would meet with G would get the, "well you know I'd love to be able to pay you what you're worth, but we just don't have it." while, again, the lifestyle of the leadership is on view. They get you wrapped up in following them and being just like them, (again another issue - we need to be like Jesus I think) and then call you materialistic if you try to get close to having what they have. You said yourself you know how G spends money on whatever, I'd encourage you to grab an old copy of your "official" financials the ROC hands out at staff meetings and compare that with the likes of something like Guidestar.org. That should give you an idea of why people are paid under the table - taxation is different. For example. the ROC's IRS 990's from 2009 detail that they spent a total of $560,332 to "Provide & serve hot meals to homeless & indigents, (2000+ meals/month) also packaged food & canned goods." So I want you to think back and try to remember how much of the food you ate from the ROC WAS NOT from the food pantry - most of which is donated by area Food Lions as well as the Central VA Food Bank. On to what he does with getting advice for how the money should be spent - the church in terms of funding is typically supported and secured by those who attend. So, one would think that there would be some sort of review with the congregation or meeting in terms of financial planning for the future, etc. No. We don't have enough money to pay you, but we can spend thousands on things like cable tv a year, or over $10,000 on a SOFA! That direction needs to come democratically from the church because a church is people, not the Pastor. Do people come there and believe? Sure. Have I seen more hurt than helped in the long run? Yep. And when you consider the false witness that they have in the man that they are following more often than Christ a lot of times, it's no wonder why people leave that newly found faith as quickly as they found it. I know we aren't perfect, but you need to read Titus. It talks about the qualifications for bishops and elders. Husband of one wife? Blew that one. Next. Not greedy or given to filthy lucre? Guilty. Above reproach? Umm, no. These are things that a Pastor is SUPPOSED to be. I realize perfection this side of heaven is unobtainable, but my God, open your eyes! God uses people many times to get his work done. Everyone that sits around praying for something to happen to bring accountability - HERE IT IS! THERE IS 51 PAGES! God might just want to USE YOU to help.
Can the ROC survive without G? I'd like to say yes, but I doubt it. People there are taught to find no fault in their Pastor (which is ridiculous because then accountability is never possible, of course they know this and if you say anything you're a gossiper and backbiter) and to defend him as the man of God. What about God? What about his honor? More important than G's I'd gather. Bring honor to God and stop parading this man around as a hero. He has no personal authority in his life, so how do you expect him to truly deal with positional authority?
Also - people always throw around the word gossip. Usually the people who use that word the most do so because they know they have something to hide. Gossip, however, is not what people think it is. An example is snitching. Snitching, for most people, is telling on someone who did something wrong. That would be true if the person doing the snitching was involved wrong. Otherwise, it is called TELLING THE TRUTH. Gossip is talking about what you don't know. Is there gossip here. Of course. Quite a bit actually; but when something is TRUE and someone HAS done something, it isn't gossip, it is called telling the truth.