Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Russian Church vs American

I know that this post might be quite controversial, some of you will and some will not agree about it. But I decided to post it anyways. I found the original post on some Russian forum that I will not disclose. Sorry. It seemed like a pretty interesting opinion, so I decided to make a (non) certified Russian translation of that message and post it here. If you have something to express, please leave your opinion in my comments.


As soon as I saw American church and visited the service, I understood right from that moment that this is not my kind of church! In the beginning (I have to go to American church, because I want to please my husband), all people sing praises to God, I could not stand that and I smiled a lot. Of course, this happens to me sometimes, there is nothing I can do about it. Pastor that married us said that he works in a church bookshop without being paid. He was like: this is my work for God and it should be done for free! Well, ok, it's understandable and clear to me! Today, one of my coworkers who is veeery faithful (she goes to church 2 times a week, sometimes almost 3 times a week) said that church pays those pastors for their bills, loans for cars, houses, insurances, and they are getting a salary besides all that! Not too bad, haa??????????? Why government doesn't support churches? And why is it supported only by people? It seems that the Government is not interested in helping people. Why Russian government supports all churches? Here in the United States almost everyone wants to become a pastor, because it's an easy money. In fact everything church gives them (or maybe they just take it themselves!)- is money from people, I believe that all the churches here are commercial, it's like a business ... and some people are getting good money from this! Have you noticed that you can find a church on every corner of a street. Why can't they just build one big and good church? When we started to discuss this subject at work, I said that if I were rich, I would donate some of the money to Russian church, and not to the American church. And do you know why? - because everybody in American churches are just spoiled. Actually I have many thoughts on this ... I got all this not very clearly, but I think you understand what I mean!

Generally how do you feel about American churches?

I think that even if I find a Russian church here in the US, it will be of an American prototype!

And I still can not understand the fact that those pastors receive so many privileges? Why do they spread the word of God for money? They must do so for free! Everybody smelled easy cheese and built churches where needed and not needed ...

Oh, I forgot to add ... My pastor works for free in book shops, and his wife hires house wives. My coworker said that they serve the Lord, and now he gives them all. People are the ones who pay all the money for these pastors. When a pastor begins his speech that we must give God 10 percent of our salaries, and s/he at the same time makes a big pressure on those words making people believe in this and that your money will double. They don't do like this in Russia. People in Russia donate as much as they can afford! Why a pastor can't just mention a verse where it is said about the 10% in Bible? And these two guys in costumes and with plates for money are just making me mad... I asked the coworker why can't they just put some kind of a donation box in front of a church and people would put the amount of money they are really willing to give to a church? But no, they want make people uncomfortable and they remind people not to forget to give the money to the church? How can you refuse to do so in front of your neighbors, friends, and relatives? Of course, you will put the money on that plate!

Sometimes I think that a demon is inside me and I tell to myself - go and give the money to church ...

5 Comments:

Blogger abales said...

Unlike Europe & Russia - American churches never receive funds from the government. This would violate the US Constitution. Except for some radical fundamentalists that want the whole world under their religion, no one in the US wants government control or money in any church.

US Churches are also free to move about and collect members; and lose members & die off. They are competitive for members. This inspires them to change and adapt to their members spiritual and emotional needs far more than the Russian Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church does even here. Becuase of the competitiveness and nimbleness of the small churches, they are the dominate form of religion in the US.

Most of these pastors have other jobs. When I worked in the mailroom at the USDA gov agency for food crops we had alot of pastors working in that building.

What you have witnessed is the evolution of Christianity and the death of Russian/Greek Orthodox & Catholic/Protestant Euro Churches. If trends continue all of those old churches will exist only as muesums.

I am an aethist

8:04 AM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

Churches in America can be very competitive. I would not prefer a child of mine to attend a typical church in America because the doctrine allows no questioning. If you do question, the pastors are trained to find the answers in the Bible and guide you to your salvation. God is a personal matter form, and I don't want a church to be critical of every aspect of my life, let alone determine for me how I should be living. On a brighter note, there are a few beautiful places in every city, but the person must endeavor to find these places. You will know you are in the right place when people honor you as a human being and don't spend their time in judgement or criticism of your life. You will know these places by their work to bring a better quality of life to people in the world and in the community and that their work is not tied to any sort of mandatory affiliation.
Last, Let not the government have it's hand's in our churches and let the churches keep away from government. Spirituality has a place in every home, but not in government. Government should concentrate itself on the building of bridges and roads and on feeding the people, proper welfare functions. I understand that government must help to pay for the churches in Eastern countries, but this is so because the churches never had a way to pay themselves and were to be considered a right of the people. American system is vastly different and steeped in a different historical background. Many people use religion as a cover to show the world that they are good people. Good people don't need church to cover with, but many good people are active parts of churches that share their values. Values should not be dictated by churches or by governments but should originate in the minds of honorable women and men who care deeply about their futures, then the church and the government, rightfully so, may find ways to reflect these values. The Christian church in particular claims to have a value system, but it is filled with holes, thus holier than thou. Be careful. If you are a Christian, I only suggest that you reflect on the teachings of Christ and see to it that your church is not trying to control the government, nor that the government is trying to control your church. This is all related to the ideas of free religion, free speech, and free press. A free people must be exactly that, Free!

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