Here is a little story for all you for this weekend...
So...I overdrafted one of my bank accounts. Now - it's not my main bank account - it was a separate bank account used only to collect a direct deposit from a part time job once a month. The bank account had a little less than $5,000 in it at any given time - again it only collected a direct deposit once a month...
Here's the story -
When I was an active member at the WMSCOG I "received the blessing" to assist in opening and runing a house church. At the time I viewed it as such a blessing! I would certainly have lots to learn and it would surely increase my faith. Boy - I had NO IDEA what I was getting into! Part of being a "team" is working as a team. The church leader I was working with was nothing more than a deceptive, lazy, jerk that took advantage of my kindness. Well anyways - the rented property (since it was a house church) needed a lot of renovations and appliances (the land lord left NO appliances!). No assistance ever came from the main Church everything had to be offered up independently. I was coerced into opening up an account at a Home Improvement store to buy construction materials and appliances like a frige, stove, washer, dryer, etc...the total bill came to around $4,500. Not only was I responsible for making payments to this - but the leader also expected me to assist with paying the rent and also utilities. At the time I had no problems with it - as I viewed it as a sacrifice for the greater good - being able to keep a Zion running in the area.
(NO ONE, not even the Church leader, other member, or main Zion ever assisted me in paying off this debt! I had to pay it all off on my own before the big interest rates hit)
It turns out this Church leader never really held down a stable job for at least a year. They had few jobs (only sales) but they really weren't doing well at selling anything. They went months on end without making even a single sale. I had no idea why they persisted on looking and maintaining a job that is commissioned based rather than a steady paycheck...Anyways a few months after establishing the house Church the wife's leader approached me and asked if I'd be willing to pay more for the rent because her husband was having difficulty finding a job (hard to really believe; I dont care if he had to work at a McDonalds or work an overnight shift at a WalMart! A Job is a Job! Beggers can't be choosers! Why could he never get a steady job?) So I aggreed to offer up a little more - since it was "my blessing". So for about an entire year it was like this - the main Church Leader never really had a stable job. The Church leader never stepped up and said to me that he could assist in paying the rent or utilities.
What was most interesting is that he would always deliver services and say things like how important it was to have a job to support the gospel; or how important it was to learn God's sacrifice. He would also mention things like; we shouldn't spend so much time on the internet watching YouTube (and then he'd laugh about it - "Brothers and Sisters, that's something I need to work on!"). While i was working on a project for Zion I was allowed to use the Zion computer I noticed that in the internet history it contained hours upon hours of silly pointless videos watched on YouTube. He was the only one at home during those times - basically he just watched hours on hours of YouTube while i slaved away at work only to have almost my entire check consumed by this church. I also found one YouTube video of a hispanic woman doing a booty shake. Wow - that doesn't seem so Child of God - especially from a Church leader telling people that they need to support the Gospel.
To put it in perspective this is about how much I would spend ONLY on this church; this does not include any personal food or even gas I would use to fill up my car (even though it should since I had to use my car 99% of the time for preaching and other missions). I would spend a whopping $1,800 a month on this Church. That included rent, utilities, paying off the debt from the Home Improvement store, tithes and offerings, food for Zion.
Keep in mind this total does not include personal expenses such as: Car insurance, Car payment, Gas for my car (even though Zion used my car a lot!), personal food, health insurance, personal items...dry cleaners. Keep in mind the above is merely an estimate - that does not include money I'd have to offer for the trips if we'd go to the main Zion for an education. Very easily we can see that I would be spending over $2300 a month and a large part of it was due to the Church
I remember I could only allot $20 for new shoes for the Passover. They were cheap, and the soles came off a few months later and I had to reglue them on. Well I continued to have to reglue them every few months until I got so sick of it and having to give almost all my money to this Church I decided to splurge! It really wasn't splurging since I really needed more professional looking shoes - I worked in an office environment! Imagine walking around in a professional setting with dirty shoes that are coming apart! When I bought the shoes I got a really good deal if I purchased two pairs of shoes - the total amount came out to about $200. I remember a brother said to me "Wow! I can't believe you could just spend that much just like that! I wish I was you! Surely Mother has blessed you!"....Oh boy - In this Church people will say things like that if you try to upgrade yourself for the professional environment. I could only afford to wear one suit - I grew out of my other suits and it angered me that I couldnt even upgrade myself while the leader just watched YouTube videos all day not evening trying to help with the rent or even that $4500 bill from the home improvement store.
Also there was one brother who could only afford to buy is food from the dollar store. I remember members laughing at him for buying meat in a can. I honestly cringed at the thought of having to buy cheap meat in a can - I for one would not buy cheap meat; but really it was all he could afford. He would also walk around preaching with dirty shoes with holes in them and clothing too big for him since all he could afford was to buy them at the thrift store. He eventually was told not to come to Zion unless he fixed himself by getting himself a stable job "You must take care of your personal life before coming to serve God! How can you focus on God if your physical life is difficult!" - These were the rebukes he would receive from the leader. I felt that the leaders pushed him out of Zion because he stopped tithing AND offering, and he also ate the food without even contributing. But the same could be said about the leader - he hardly ever helped pay the bills and I felt he never even made a good enough effort to get a job.
And that my friends...is why I left this Church! I am so glad i left because I can actually upgrade myself and not be forced to buy cheap food at the dollar store or wear cheap shoes. God is great - don't fall victim to this Church! They will use deceptive measures to try and recruit you so you can get in an arranged marriage and open up house churches for them!