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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Giving Lies (or Lies about Giving)

Things may change but the nature of people doesn't. This is especially true when it comes to a monetary gain.
There are so many stories that I can tell you of people who have lied about their giving or cheated in their giving that you would be amazed.

There was the man who wrote a check to the church every Wednesday night for all the cash that was taken in during the Wednesday Night Fellowship meals. Most people pay cash for their meals on Wednesday night at the church. He said he could use the cash in his business. The church didn't mind because he was giving them a check for the cash. However, he was telling the IRS that these checks were contributions to the church. Of course, he got caught. I am not sure if he understood why this was wrong.

There was a man who had a piece of property appraised. He gave a portion of it to the church. He cut out the part that would give the piece of land public access. The IRS allows him to take a deduction for a portion of the gift for five years. He could deduct it based on the per acre appraisal even though the piece he has given is practically worthless since it no longer has public access. At the end of five years, he buys the property back from the church at considerably less than the appraisal value. He waits a couple of years for it all to clear the records and gives the land back to the church. He saves himself thousands and thousands of dollars in taxes.

There was the man who did work at the church and asked for a contribution of his time rather than being paid. The church didn't know any better and gave it to him. He deducted this amount from his taxes even though he had never gotten paid. That is quite illegal but he will never get caught as long as the church isn't audited.

There have been many people who have stood in church business meetings and proclaimed the virtues of tithing who didn't give one red cent to the Lord. No one calls their hand because we keep that information confidential. They are counting on this.

Do they think the Lord doesn't know?

One thing I sure of: The Lord will deal with them.

Joshua 7:1 (NIV)
1 But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD's anger burned against Israel.

Acts 5:3-5 (NIV)
3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." 5  When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened.

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