5 March 2007

This is the stuff that make me mad

There is a story in the Toronto Star about a church called the Prayer Palace. To people in my family we will know this name because my uncle (and the company I work for) has a long history with the pastor and his dirty business dealings. Paul Melnichuk is the so called pastor in this sell proclaimed church. This "church" collects money in the name of God and seemingly does little to nothing for the communities that are around it. The article goes on to document the ways that Melnichuk and his sons are seeming ripping off a primarily low income congregation:

[Hyacinthe Houghron] scrapes together $600 of her own money each month to keep up the program because the Prayer Palace – one of Canada's largest evangelical churches – stopped running it five years ago. Other charitable works, like a promised orphanage in Brazil, either dried up or never materialized.

Meanwhile, the three white pastors – Paul Melnichuk and his 40-year-old twin sons, Tim and Tom – lead lavish lives in contrast to the mainly working-class black families that make up the bulk of the church.

Between them, the pastors have amassed a real estate fortune worth about $12 million. Each owns a multi-million-dollar country estate north of Toronto (Tim's is worth as much as $5.5 million), they share a Florida vacation villa, and the pastors and their wives drive luxurious cars – among them a Porsche Cayenne SUV, a Lexus RX 330 SUV and a Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 convertible.

This guy and his family are everything that I don't want to be associated with, yet they march around calling themselves Christians. Someone in the article is quoted as saying God will judge if they are truly doing something wrong. I do believer that is true, but there is a part of me that wishes that guys like this would come face to face with Jesus in real time... much like the money changers in the temple courts.

It is things like this that turn people off of God. But I think God hates this abuse of leadership more that we can imagine, and I will take some peace in knowing that someday these men will get what is coming to them.

It also makes me mad that these things get the press and the churches and organizations that are working hard to feed and shelter the poor will could be painted with the same brush. Grrr.


Mike J. said...

Amen, brother Tim! I agree 100%. It'd be very interesting to see Jesus' reaction if he showed up some Sunday morning at the "average" north American church service. Unfortunately, I don't think it would be very pretty.

em j. said...

Mike told me this would get my blood boiling....as it did at the word "palace". I agree with everything you said, it only takes a few people parading around falsely in the name of God to smear God's name, Christianity, & us as the church body. Just be thankful you didn't experience the bible-belt...you woulda gone mental w/frustration!

Anonymous said...

It is a moral disgrace.
The church is a big plantation. It has always reminded me of the Jim Jones Cult. The Melnichuk family ripped my family to shreds, robbed us of thousands and treated me so horribly. In front of my fathers’ coffin Tim and Tom interrogated me because I got away. Tom humiliated me in the funeral home and made a huge scene of grilling me for what seemed like eternity in front of everyone to make me an example. All this right in front of my fathers’ coffin.
They treat their congregation like slaves. A white family on the stage and a congregation of working poor blacks and South Asians. Many of them are widows and single mothers. The IRS and Revenue Cda should investigate their underhanded dealings. This clandestine acitvity should be illegal. They are fake and worse, snobs. There is a place in hell for people that lie, cheat, steal and belittle the poor in the name of Christ. They are so cocky about it too. Tom should have laid the church budget out or at least addressed the article instead, he turned the service into a prosperity seminar and bragged about being called Donald Trump. They know they will get away with it so they feel no form of accountability to their congregation. What is worse, their poor parishoners feel they deserve the wealth and defend them. I wish their eyes would open to the truth. But nothing will happen now that their lawyers and cronies have threatened the Toronto Star with everything under the sun. Perhaps all the death threats from their blind flock was enough to scare the Toronto Star into silence.

‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’

-Rev Martin Luther King Jr