The meme to the right says "When someone tells me I have to 'tithe' directly to the pa$tor, and in cash."
Sadly, this teaching is prevalent enough in evangelical circles here in Brazil that people make memes about it.
Many people think of pastors the same way they think of politicians: as corrupt money-grubbers who are only in the game to fleece the sheep.
When I tell people I'm a missionary or a pastor, they often manifest a nervous distaste. It goes beyond what many Americans experience when they say they're Christians, that nervousness that the conversation might suddenly turn evangelistic, or that you might be some kind of nut who doesn't realize how "impolite" it is to talk about Jesus outside of church. Many people here think that all non-Roman Catholic churches are prosperity gospel clubs, promising success in exchange for money and loyalty. And they believe that because many, if not most, churches in Brazil do indeed teach some form of that.
The people of Christ in Brazil are despised for all the wrong things. We are despised for exploiting the poor. We have to mature to the point where we can be stricken, smitten, and afflicted for preaching a gospel of grace and the power of Christ to save the world.
Alas. Please pray for the church in Brazil. Christ is indeed mighty to save.
Gigantic. No, seriously. 6'9". It's all people can talk about when they meet me, so I just got it out of the way. By the grace of Jesus bringing this immense frame to bear on building his Kingdom. Reversing this much weight takes a long time.