Up for Debate: When a church is more than a church

Friday, March 29, 2013 at 2:09am

What do you think of the Court of Appeals ruling regarding Christ Church Pentecostal? At what point does a church's activities go beyond the norm?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

20 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 5:59

Good morning, Nashville.

Schlepped over from the main article:

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 6:57

A 3,000-member church is a mega-church and the pastors of these lucrative enterprises are businessmen working the frightened masses....the oldest profession is not prostitution, the oldest profession is the clerical profession.

The trouble with the idea of taxing churches, temples, mosques etc. is that, if they started to pay taxes, then they would become fully-entitled to representation in the political process. That would be disastrous to our secular democracy.

The tax-exempt status of houses of worship keeps the theocrats, religionists and faith-based fanatics out of government; at least that was the Founders' and Framers' master plan....it hasn't worked perfectly; but it's better than no firewall at all separating democracy from theocracy.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 7:07

If a church was only a building where a group went to listen to a preacher's sermon then go home, would it be a church?

I've always know of churches being active in many ways in many things other than just preaching. And I would argue they are involved in politics by the church members "getting together" on the subject of which politicians they like and agree with or oppose.

By: jbuschek on 3/29/13 at 7:45

Any "church" whose CEO (= pastor) wears a Rolex (or similar) should be treated as what it really is: a money-making scam feeding on the mostly elderly! If not jail, they should, at least, pay taxes!

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 7:52

JB...taxation means entitlement to representation...it's the American way....if we tax the houses of worship and they will justifiably demand a seat at the table in matters of state.

In my opinion, "No Taxation = No Representation", is what the Founders & Framers had in mind.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 8:09

I can see Christ with a Rolex and a gun.

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 8:13

Yeah, Jesus packed a sword and wore a top-name hourglass on his wrist...and they claim that he wore a thong....sandal....but scholars disagree on the thong thing.

By: govskeptic on 3/29/13 at 8:39

While Mike Birch's editorial today is of no surprise, I'm a bit surprised at a second
question such as the one above being the most important by TCP on "Good Friday".
And we worry about the Coptic Christians being killed and churches destroyed in Egypt?

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 8:45

Here is the image the right-wing fringe sees and project of Christ. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_z1Ui3ZY6Y0A/SwhErHZ27FI/AAAAAAAADHU/qkA9tXWPWtA/s1600/jesus-gun.jpg

By: dargent7 on 3/29/13 at 9:11

I believe the only huge, mega church to be honest is that with Joel Ornstein. He seems the most honest from the gaggle of other tele-evangelists and"pastors".
The ones' I grew up with; Swaggart, Roberts, Robertson, Bakker are theiving, corrupt snake oil salesmen.

By: Kelliente on 3/29/13 at 9:34

I think a church stops being a church at the point where it turns a profit and the majority of those proceeds go back into the church instead of towards charitable endeavors. I think Flake got it absolutely right: “Ultimately, it comes down to just because you’re religious, it doesn’t make everything you do religious,”

By: Loner on 3/29/13 at 9:54

Let the churches, temples, mosques, synagogues and whatever keep their tax-exempt status....this keeps them out of secular governance....according to the Founders and Framers.

The American Revolution was all about taxation without representation.....if you pay taxes, you are entitled to a seat at the table in the political banquet hall.

The Middle east provides several appalling examples of what happens when religion and government are fused together....Let's keep the theocrats out of the halls of governance here in the USA.

By: yogiman on 3/29/13 at 10:20

I think we have more to worry about in the USA than churches, Loner. Churches don't work to rule, they just have their doors open to anyone that want's to come in (theoretically).

Politics has become a locked door faith where [if you ain't one of us, you ain't nuthin and ain't entitled to nuthin]. Stay out'a my house.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/13 at 10:39

By: Kelliente on 3/29/13 at 10:34

“Ultimately, it comes down to just because you’re religious, it doesn’t make everything you do religious,”

True and not all Christian relidions are real.

By: pswindle on 3/29/13 at 11:06

A church is not a church when they cannot separate state and church.

By: Jughead on 3/29/13 at 11:49


By: budlight on 3/29/13 at 11:56

The government cannot form a church swindle. They cannot demand that we all be muslims, for instance, as they can in other countries.

The church is different for everyone. To some, it's a place of peace, solitude and worship. To others it's a place for recreation. This is Easter - no not the bunny and egg stuff. This is time to reflect on the cruel punishment Jesus endured to save us and heal us. By his stripes we were healed -- in many ways. Our country needs an awakening to God.

By: brrrrk on 3/29/13 at 12:14


By: budlight on 3/30/13 at 5:22

By the way, neither the church nor the state should have people standing in lines to be fed. They should be having them sitting in classrooms learning how to feed themselves and work. They should be working to keep cities clean and safe and be getting paid to do it (and possibly provided with military style sleeping and living quarters for a time until they can be self-sufficient). And no more free drugs for depression. Have them sit and watch funny movies and laugh away their depression. "I once complained that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet". Really, we need to get people motivated and working, even if it's small jobs to start with.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/31/13 at 1:33

Why yes that is what needs to be done, bud. Have hungry people seating in class to learn why they are hungry.

By: pepawjoe on 3/31/13 at 3:06

Being one from the Old School where God is Number ONE, I for one find it very offensive when those claiming to be a Religious Christian ONLY BELEIVE what they CHOSE TO BELEIVE!
God's Word is First and Foremost in a TRUE BELEIVER'S Life Span.
Things like, Sit Here, Park Here, Reserved Parking and Seating, ( when wealth and Ownership heads-up selections).
Churches that will TALK-DOWN other Denomations, and use "SECERT DECISIONS" for Gain are doomed. Mean While, OTHERS will just have to suffer.
Like today's Government's Policies and Practices, the Actual People are of Little to "NO" concern to the Church or Government Hierarchey.