International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Destiny Church’

The union says it, Idiot believes it, that settles it

Idiot really hates the idea of charter schools.

Destiny Church. They’ve announced plans to move their existing private school to South Auckland and re-establish it as a charter school in order to receive public funding.

LOL.

No, they have not. What Idiot’s own source says:

Destiny Church could receive money from the public purse if it establishes a charter school as part of a proposed new complex in South Auckland, an education union says.

Destiny’s school will move sites. That’s a physicial move, and going to happen.

If it becomes a charter school, that’s an institutional change and is merely speculated by the teacher’s union. There’s not a single quote in the story from the church itself. It doesn’t even look like they bothered to ask for one.

In other words, pure scaremongering. I suspect that Brian Tamaki may consider the charter option, but he knows as well as anyone that such a move may result in future policy changes wiping out the entire point of his school.

This is what charter schools mean: giving taxpayer’s money to cults to peddle their wackiness, without being subject to the normal curriculum or normal educational standards.

Idiot of course assumes that the normal curriculum isn’t wackiness. I’m not entirely convinced of that myself.

Its about paying for indoctrination, rather than education. But that is no business of the education system, and not something that government money should be spent on.

Idiot better be careful, he’s committing left-wing heresy here. Using the school system for indoctrination and social engineering is a pretty solid plank of any left wing movement. I’ve heard educators on National Radio proclaiming that they consider the job of the system exactly that, and they made it explicitly clear that they did not think that was a bad thing in the slightest.

I for one sincerely hope that Idiot continues such calls!

Update: Well, I stand corrected – to some degree. Brian is making it clear that he wants government funding for many parts of the project, on the basis that his church keeps people out of jail.

He’s actually right there. One thing that Destiny has done that is good is taking a bunch of young people and gave them discipline, turning around their lives. I noted a while back that NZ First put out a press release congratulating them for that, and today the Maori Party is doing the same. But I’m getting off topic.

Thing is, Brian is about money. (Well, he’s about Brian first but money is a close second.) So he’s clearly decided in this instance that he’s more than happy to risk the beurcracy’s backlash and play the game for what he can get out. When I wrote the above, I was thinking in terms of the Christian Schools I’ve known. Seems I would do well to remember that Brian continues down the road towards founding a mind control cult, with himself in the driver’s seat.

But one thing that did not feature in the TV One story: there was no claim that they were re-founding their school as a charter school. So (to the best of my knowledge) Idiot’s claim remains completely false.

What Brian Tamaki Should Do

What really irks me about the whole Destiny thing is that Brian should know exactly what his problems are. It’s well documented what behaviors are indicative of a cult, and there’s no shortage of people pointing out where Destiny is venturing near to those behaviors.

But he continues down that road anyway.

So  I thought I’d make a list of  how to sort out Destiny, just in case it wasn’t clear enough before. Because I’m just helpful like that :)

1. Stop glorifying Brian Tamaki

Cult leaders quite commonly claim to be the second coming of Christ.

Brian Tamaki is not a prophet, he is not a fantastic theology scholar, and he is not a manifestation of God. He is an ordinary, fallible human being.

That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be at the head of a church if people want him there, but he should be presented as a motivator and/or a leader of a network of churches rather than the latest incarnation of Christ who has the absolute right to dictate. I’m not that fussed on him being given the title “Bishop” myself, but to the general public it reinforces the image that it’s “all about Brian”.

I’ve heard that there are a lot of large photos of Brian around the church, and the Tamaki’s have veto rights over local churches written into their trust deeds. Get rid of both. Keep one small photo of Brian in the church office if you must – that would be sufficient and appropriate to honour the church’s founder.

Send a public message: Brian should make a public appearance repenting of his false prophecy, pledging not to prophecy ever again.

2. Stop focusing on Money

Cult leaders take from members to fund a lavish lifestyle, while leaving the members in poverty

Start helping the poor in the congregation – stop trying to force them to give. It must be clear from the top that any pressure on individuals to give “x” amount is completely unacceptable, and that any accusations of church leadership demanding more money will be dealt with as a serious discipline matter.

But it goes further than that – stop obsessing, preaching, displaying wealth. It’s extremely distracting from what Destiny is supposed to be about – serving God. Most people look at Brian’s lifestyle and simply see another person using his position to line his own pockets.

Does the church even realise the damage this does to Brian’s testimony? Do they realise that it strongly suggests that Brian doesn’t even believe in the afterlife? Think about it: who spends their time preaching of paradise, telling of the perfect world we will inherit after death, about how our position in that would will be judged by our conduct in this, while storing up so much wealth in the present?

Christ kicked out the money changers – the public perception is that Destiny leadership are the money changers.

Send a public message: Sell Brian’s expensive boat that he recently upgraded and use the money to do a visible charity work – preferably one approved by John Campbell.

3. Get Rid of the Covenant

Cult leaders develop a group of lieutenants to do the dirty work, who follow the leader without question and enforce his will.

See also (1)

Churches have pastors, elders and deacons. That is, a primary preacher, spiritual leaders and workers to meet the temporal needs within the congregation. There is no place in scripture where people pledge to human church leaders – in fact, quite the opposite.

Send a public message: Melt down those rings on live TV, and present the Salvation Army with the results. Help out in a soup kitchen while you’re at it.

If Brian Tamaki and the Destiny Church were to do these three things, any suggestion they were a cult would dry up overnight – and they know it.

That’s not to say that critics won’t disappear. The church takes many stances that are supported by the Bible, but not considered politically correct. But the current path seems to use any and all criticism to create an “us vs. them” conflict, which then ends up creating more power and wealth for Brian.

Destiny

There’s a lot of hoo-har about Destiny’s affairs at the moment, but I haven’t had time to put together a full post. So here’s a few thoughts from a former church treasurer.

It’s good to see a pastor (and congregation) willing to stand up to Brian. It’s one thing for the media to pile onto a church, but when someone on the inside says “enough!”, members of other churches should stand up and take notice.

(Before I go further, I find it absolutely extraordinary that that pastor is already replaced. It appears that the new man was imposed from “on high” – it seems highly unlikely that a proper process has been followed for congregational ratification of any replacement. In my experience, such things can take months or even years.)

There is ample evidence that Brian is creaming it several way from his church, while living the high life. Now, if he is a good pastor, he should be held in high esteem by his congregation. But what is happening is that he is in receipt of a large salary and receipts of business profits from church-related enterprises and donations to those businesses! Whoever heard of a church donating to a business? according to Campbell Live, that was one of one two donations the church made in the last year.

Worse, the church members are being asked to make hard sacrifices to bring in this money. Again, there is ample evidence that members are pressured to give 10%+ of their income to the church, with campaigns on top of that to expand the church. Now, you’d think a pastor who happened to have a lot of money would be putting that money back into his ministry, but rather than advancing the kingdom, Brian seems more keen on advancing Brian.

This morning we have the revelation that EFTPOS and Automatic Payments are being used.

Now, AP’s are actually becoming quite common in some churches. In my last church, most church income came from members setting up automatic payments. Many people do give set amounts, and an automatic payment means that no money can be pilfered at any stage – it shows up on the bank statement directly. It saves people writing cheques or the risk of withdrawing cash. It also helps the church’s financial stability to a certain extent, as such donations can be counted on to a greater extent as people won’t forget.

But EFTPOS is quite another issue. EFTPOS machines cost money – thousands each I believe – which is a cost which most churches would simply find completely unacceptable and unjustifiable. Assuming the machines “pay” for themselves, you’ve still got a lot of money going in costs between the congregation and the church, and the perception that the organisation is too focused on money.

Another issue is the publicity of who gives what. Bear in mind that records are kept in every church of who gives what so that tax receipts can be issued, but this is usually through a number system where only the treasurer knows which number relates to which member.

But in Destiny, cash donations are frequently waved in the air. Ostensibly, this is to “bless” them, but that’s (excuse the language, but I can’t water this down) pure, unrefined bullshit. Churches always pray over money – but after it’s gone into the plate, which is taken to the front. Waving something in the air just means that everyone can see what’s being given.

During my tenure, I several times had to present a bad financial report. The option was always to cut back on expenses (which we did, including cutting the pastor’s salary – he volunteered) or for the congregation to commit to giving more. Every time a need for more money was presented, it was always accompanied by a statement making clear that in no way was any member being pressured or coerced into giving more. In fact, I once discreetly approached someone who I thought may have been giving more than their income to query whether they could afford the expense.

In most churches, Deacons (discreatly) approach people thought to be in financial need with offers of assistance. That’s what that office is for.

It seems that Destinly takes the opposite approach to all this, and rather than the pastor sacrificing for the ministry and the poor being helped, it’s the church creating the poor for the sake of the pastor’s wealth.

Life of Brian – Money

Just watching “Life of Brian”. He’s very open, joking a lot about things that most people would be hiding.

The attitude to money however, is appaling.

He can spend all he likes of his salarly on clothes and shoes, houses and parties, but the church should agree on what to pay him. But he controls the church.

Plus, he personally gets the “first fruits”. Disgusting.

They also had a clip of them talking about the offering, about what sort of money they want, about how this is their favourite part of the service. I bet.

Few people know that Tamaki is wealthy outside of his church activities due to his tourism interests, (and I doubt that’s going to be mentioned) but that is absolutely no excuse to take money and put it directly into ones own pocket. They tried to claim poverty by saying that they have a large mortgage. Sorry, buy a smaller house – what they have is a mansion.

I see he has 3 motorbikes in his garage. It’s great that he breaks the stereotypes, but 3 bikes?!?

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