Power and Money: The Reputation of the Black Church is On the Line

Excerpted from an article by Dana C. Jones

With some of the Democrat core ideologies being the antithesis of the Black church, you would think that the church would align with Republicans.

The reason it doesn’t is twofold: economics and representation.

Money holds a greater influence over how people identify because poor people cannot relate to rich people and vice versa; especially if that person was born into their respective circumstances. Therefore, a rich person — that may not have influence — cannot adequately advocate on behalf of the poor.

With the money poorer people do have, they are willing to invest it — however blindly — into an entity that has history of providing, race relatability and representation.

With the church being one of the only places Black people are widely in major positions of power, the congregation will invest in something that they can physically see themselves, will either get a return on the investment and make them feel good by helping something that is bigger than themselves.

No matter where that power comes from — even if it’s in a church — it can corrupt the person. Anti-corruption being a main point for Democrats, happens in the black church.

There are several instance of pastor stealing money from the church, even by way of the elderly congregation. This normally happens by using their spiritual prowess to their advantage. The elderly being more religious, are more willing to both give wholeheartedly to the church, which makes them easy targets to be swindled for their money.

Even if they give more money than they can afford on their own accord, the church allows it to happen.

People will spill some of their deepest issues and situations to the pastors and preachers in their church so they can find spiritual guidance. The church has several pastors with different specialties, one dealing in money.

Since the trust is already rooted, the church is aware of people’s financial situations both through tithing and members explicitly explaining their problems.

Tithes are a tax, 10 percent of your yearly income, that you pay to the church as a member.

Since they are aware of the income, morally, they should not let their members give more than they can in tithes and then pressure them to give more for offering. My friend’s grandmother had a similar situation where she gave so much to the church, despite her debts and pleas to stop from her family, because of her unwavering faith.

There are also instances where the pastor can steal money directly from the church’s funds instead of through one member.

A Fort Lauderdale, Florida, church’s chief financial officer — Robert Mosely — was accused of stealing more than $125,000 from the church. Of that, $27,000 was meant to fund a summer feeding program for needy children.

In Cleveland, a pastor was accused of stealing $150,000 from a disabled member of the congregation.

Even though those individuals were caught, it taints not only the reputation of that church but the faith and symbolic nature of the church as whole.

Some might wonder how thousands of dollars can go missing without anyone noticing.

Pastors and administrative members of the church — especially the Black church — have their blackness and spirituality on their side. Those are some of the strongest identifiers through which people can easily foster trust. And a Black church can house anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand people with the same identity.

This makes people overlook issues, shortcomings and plain flaws in a person. Also, who would suspect a seemingly God fearing person to deliberately prey on the weak and continuously break one of the commandments in the house of God?

These isolated incidents are a product of an individual and not the church as a whole. But, if the reputation of the Black church is going to stay strong as it has for this long, these growing trends must be acknowledged and stopped.

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SOURCE: The Daily Cougar

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