My pastor has gotten in front the congregation multiple times within the past year instructing us that tithing to the parish is necessary. He (indirectly) classifies those that don’t donate 10% as angry and not trusting in God.
However, so much of what I see the church spend money on seems unnecessary. The church has a very elaborate sound system, multiple projectors and screens, as well as a number of video feeds that capture different angles of the church. (I really don’t know why we need video feeds.) The church also has a full restaurant attached which is, as far as I know, only open on Sunday and only serves parishioners, (not being open to the general public). There are other things I can talk about, but you get the point. I’m sure some of you have seen similar situations.
Yet, my pastor has still tells us we should make financial sacrifices for the parish, such as forgoing a long planned vacation and giving the money to the parish.
I understand that it is important to financially support one’s parish, but where do we draw the line? Why is it expected of parishioners to give so much of their money for junk that they don’t want or need? My guess is if you interviewed everybody one-on-one, almost everybody would say that they would prefer a simple a church, simple sound system, simple gathering area, etc, to millions of dollars going into things that aren’t necessary.
Mos charities have to work hard to show that donated money is going to the needed cause and that only a minimal amount is spent on administrative/fund raising. But once we talk about parishes, there seems to be no need to be accountable for where the money is actually going to. Moreover, it is expected that everybody will donate a large portion of their personal income.