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German bishops get tough on Catholics who opt out of church tax
Reuters ^ | 9/21/2012 | Tom Heneghan

Posted on 09/24/2012 1:17:52 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne

PARIS (Reuters)- Germany's Roman Catholic bishops have decreed that people who opt out of a "church tax" should not be given sacraments and religious burials, getting tougher on worshippers who choose not to pay.

Alarmed by a wave of dissenting Catholics quitting the faith, the bishops issued a decree on Thursday declaring such defection "a serious lapse" and listed a wide range of church activities from which they must be excluded.

(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: adendadrivenfreeper; catholic; germany; repost; taxes
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1 posted on 09/24/2012 1:18:01 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne
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To: Dr. Thorne

Glad I won’t be wearing vestments or a Bishop’s hat on Judgement Day...


2 posted on 09/24/2012 1:25:41 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Dr. Thorne

If the priesthood had managed to keep homosexual predators out of the priesthood they would not be having this problem (as much).

The idea of letting the government collect church ‘donations’ is a bad one for many reasons.


3 posted on 09/24/2012 1:25:50 PM PDT by Triple (Socialism denies people the right to the fruits of their labor, and is as abhorrent as slavery)
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To: Dr. Thorne

So, does this mean that salvation is “for sale”? That the sacraments of our savior are available only to those who can pay for them?

It seems that money has perverted these folks.


4 posted on 09/24/2012 1:29:12 PM PDT by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: Dr. Thorne
Nice headline, sure to get the blood pumping.

A few relevant facts:

(1) In Germany, citizens have the option of either designating that 8% of their taxes go to a church, or of opting for that tax money to go directly to the state.

(2) German churches are allowed to forgo the tax and collect donations directly, but if they do, they have to turn over to the state all the tax information of their adherents.

(3) Nominal Catholics who do not support their Church still want to use churches for weddings, funerals, christenings and other functions - and expect that the choirs, organists, electricity, security and everything else should be paid for by the Catholics who actually designate the Church as their tax contribution.

So, what is being said here is simple: if you deliberately choose to fund the state instead of the Church, and yet expect the Church to spend scarce money and time that could be used for outreach and charity on your personal functions, then you should reexamine your assumptions.

5 posted on 09/24/2012 1:29:28 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Hodar
So, does this mean that salvation is “for sale”? That the sacraments of our savior are available only to those who can pay for them?

No, that would be your bizarre and deliberate misinterpretation of the actual facts.

6 posted on 09/24/2012 1:30:32 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Triple
The idea of letting the government collect church ‘donations’ is a bad one for many reasons.

Correct. It was an expedient adopted to avoid civil war. It is not a good idea on its own merits.

7 posted on 09/24/2012 1:31:51 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Glad I won’t be wearing vestments or a Bishop’s hat on Judgement Day...

Should bishops ignore the needs of faithful and deliberately reward the unfaithful? Is that their job?

8 posted on 09/24/2012 1:33:09 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

And how is any of that good?


9 posted on 09/24/2012 1:33:30 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai
And how is any of that good?

We're discussing the lesser of two evils.

The Church does not enjoy being beholden to the state.

10 posted on 09/24/2012 1:35:54 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Dr. Thorne

“We have ways of making you pray.....”

;^)


11 posted on 09/24/2012 1:38:58 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("Free speech is more important than Islam.")
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To: Dr. Thorne

I thought the selling of indulgences was done away with long ago...


12 posted on 09/24/2012 1:42:00 PM PDT by stormer
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To: Dr. Thorne

Last time I was in Deutschland ya, they talked about the Church tax and it’s huge. Not only that, people think they’re clever and try to opt out. Well, if you opt out, you can’t attend a Church, any functions, receive sacraments. You’re cut off.

Their Church’s were magnificent.


13 posted on 09/24/2012 1:46:33 PM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: wideawake

Priests refuse confession to them as well don’t they?


14 posted on 09/24/2012 1:46:58 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: Dr. Thorne

I do not support having government collect church taxes. Having said that, if that is the German system then I hope all German Catholics will find it in their hearts to pay the tax or at least pay a good contribution or tithe directly to their church (which is how I think it should be done). The traditional houses of faith (RCC, Lutheran, Calvinist, or the few Jews who remain alive there) ... seem to be just about the only segments of European society these days that can, sometimes anyway, be counted on to stand up for positive principles and values. Europe needs the church more now than at any time since at least the 1930’s....(and America is not currently available, given the Occupant of the WH, to help Europe if it falls any further into the abyss...)


15 posted on 09/24/2012 1:47:45 PM PDT by faithhopecharity
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To: Lx
Well, if you opt out, you can’t attend a Church, any functions, receive sacraments. You’re cut off.

That only applies to the churches that are Catholic, doesn't it? Won't Christian, non-Catholic churches still accept them?

16 posted on 09/24/2012 1:49:45 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: ansel12
Priests refuse confession to them as well don’t they?

Not to my knowledge.

17 posted on 09/24/2012 1:51:37 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: ansel12
That only applies to the churches that are Catholic, doesn't it? Won't Christian, non-Catholic churches still accept them?

The Evangelical churches actually receive a higher proportion of state taxes than the Catholic Church does.

They aren't excited with freeloaders either.

18 posted on 09/24/2012 1:52:51 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake
Germany's Roman Catholic bishops have decreed that people who opt out of a "church tax" should not be given sacraments and religious burials, getting tougher on worshippers who choose not to pay.

Pray tell, where am I misinterpretating the facts? It appears that if you don't pay up, you are denied sacraments. Thus, if it's about money - those sacraments must be "for sale". It's quite logical, and seems pretty evident that this is the case.

19 posted on 09/24/2012 1:56:46 PM PDT by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: wideawake

So it does only apply to Catholic churches then, the Christian, non-Catholic churches will still interact with non-payers of the tax.


20 posted on 09/24/2012 1:57:14 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: wideawake

Confession is refused according to the reporting that I have seen.

“Confession, the Eucharist, confirmation in the Church or anointing of the sick – unless the patient’s life is in danger – are now out of bounds”


21 posted on 09/24/2012 2:01:42 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: Hodar
It appears that if you don't pay up, you are denied sacraments. Thus, if it's about money - those sacraments must be "for sale".

Not really.

For a few people, the church tax is millions of euros. For many it is just a few euros or nothing at all (i.e. they did not make enough money to pay taxes, therefore they made no contribution).

If the bishops were saying that the Church required a minimum monetary contribution, I would say that you had a point.

But the bishops are more than willing to accommodate the faithful who have nothing to give. It is an issue of those deliberately refusing to support the Church as a matter of principle, as opposed to some kind of membership fee.

22 posted on 09/24/2012 2:04:35 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: ansel12
So it does only apply to Catholic churches then, the Christian, non-Catholic churches will still interact with non-payers of the tax.

Those churches are free to adopt their own policy, of course, but they also are dealing with the same issues.

23 posted on 09/24/2012 2:05:41 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Dr. Thorne

When the churches get into bed with the state they must be paid.


24 posted on 09/24/2012 2:06:39 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Lx

I wonder how the magnificence will compare to the magnificence of New York’s St. Patrick’s cathedral after they spend over a sixth of a BILLION dollars on renovations.


25 posted on 09/24/2012 2:08:09 PM PDT by Reynoldo
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To: wideawake

I can’t be sure, but I think that you are agreeing with my statement that “”So it does only apply to Catholic churches then, the Christian, non-Catholic churches will still interact with non-payers of the tax.””

They could legally do like the Catholic denomination is, but they don’t, they still interact with Christians who come to them.


26 posted on 09/24/2012 2:10:15 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: ansel12
unless the patient’s life is in danger

That would be the key phrase, wouldn't it? People in extremis would not be denied the sacraments - which would be contrary to canon law.

Also, since confession is anonymous, there is no legitimate way to verify.

And, in practical terms, it comes down to issues like marriages and funerals. Why should a couple who supports the Church be pushed aside in favor of a couple who just want to use it as a pretty backdrop?

Why should a scarce plot in a parish churchyard be given to someone who never bothered to support the Church, but a devout believer be crowded into a public cemetery?

27 posted on 09/24/2012 2:11:13 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: ansel12
They could legally do like the Catholic denomination is, but they don’t, they still interact with Christians who come to them.

Their policy, by the nature of their church polity, is set on a pastor by pastor basis.

One cannot point to a press release that enjoins every Evangelical congregation.

There are certain ones in Germany where membership is exclusive and almost hereditary, and others which are happy to have anyone - no matter how little commitment they have - show up for a wedding.

28 posted on 09/24/2012 2:14:12 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Buckeye McFrog

I’m thinking that these Bishops may be wrong, but I have no idea about the German system.

Sacraments need not be denied on account of money. Something is wrong with this picture in my mind.


29 posted on 09/24/2012 2:16:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: wideawake

The Lord hears the cry of the poor. Blessed be the Lord.


30 posted on 09/24/2012 2:17:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: wideawake

Since they are shrinking away, it seems unlikely that they are having to push people aside to squeeze in non-paying Catholics.

I don’t know how a Priest can determine with certainty whether a baptized Catholic is in danger of dying from illness, or whether he should even be trying to do so, over taxes.

Confession though, seems like a tough thing to withhold from a desperate Catholic.


31 posted on 09/24/2012 2:17:29 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: Salvation

See post 22.


32 posted on 09/24/2012 2:18:19 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Salvation
The Lord hears the cry of the poor. Blessed be the Lord.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the poor, who are the ones who are being defrauded by the freeloaders the bishops are targeting.

33 posted on 09/24/2012 2:20:10 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

It is very difficult to make out what the intended meaning of your posts are.

I think that you agree that only the Catholics are restricting non-payers, that the non -Catholic Christians, are not, as far as we know?


34 posted on 09/24/2012 2:23:10 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: ansel12
Since they are shrinking away, it seems unlikely that they are having to push people aside to squeeze in non-paying Catholics.

It is not a matter of physical space. It is a matter of limited resources.

I don’t know how a Priest can determine with certainty whether a baptized Catholic is in danger of dying from illness, or whether he should even be trying to do so, over taxes.

The common sense rule of thumb, perhaps? He is in the hospital/hospice and he is requesting the sacraments? As opposed to the guy who walks into the rectory asking to see if the Church can fit the wedding Mass into his caterer's schedule?

Confession though, seems like a tough thing to withhold from a desperate Catholic.

As I pointed out, it can't be withheld, because those confessing are entitled to anonymity.

35 posted on 09/24/2012 2:24:02 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: ansel12
I am saying that the Catholic Church is a unitary body that makes a uniform policy, so it is easy to know.

I am also saying that the Evangelical churches do not have nearly as unitary a structure, and also that I have not taken a survey of individual Evangelical congregations.

36 posted on 09/24/2012 2:26:25 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

We don’t know that they have limited resources, they probably are not having to withdraw these events from Catholics because they are too busy, especially when they tell us that it is about the payment of the tax.

I don’t know how a Priest can determine with certainty whether a baptized Catholic is in danger of dying from illness, or whether he should even be trying to do so, over taxes.

The Catholic church IS withholding confession according to the reports, it is their intent to withhold confession.


37 posted on 09/24/2012 2:30:22 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: wideawake

“The Church does not enjoy being beholden to the state.”

Then the Church should stop collecting their taxes. I wouldn’t contribute either if I knew that my tax dollars were going to fund abortion services in Germany.

“A termination on criminal or medical grounds is paid by health insurance (Krankenkasse) and the state (Bundesland).”

“Abortion may be carried out up until the 22nd week of pregnancy where the life of the pregnant woman is in danger, or her physical or mental health”

The bishop will have to answer to God for his righteous servants submission to Christ.


38 posted on 09/24/2012 2:33:38 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: wideawake

Why work so hard to not admit that the facts are about the Catholic church, and as far as we know, doesn’t apply to any other denomination?

It seems a strange tactic, where no tactic at all, belongs.


39 posted on 09/24/2012 2:35:46 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: Dr. Thorne

The state and the church are one.

Long Live the Holy Roman Empire.

Disgusting.


40 posted on 09/24/2012 2:38:14 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: ansel12
We don’t know that they have limited resources, they probably are not having to withdraw these events from Catholics because they are too busy, especially when they tell us that it is about the payment of the tax.

First of all, many parishes are plenty busy - especially in the South. A pastor has only so many hours in the day.

And again, when people want to use a church for a wedding or a funeral, it costs money. In the USA, people write a donation check to cover the costs - but many Germans feel entitled.

I don’t know how a Priest can determine with certainty whether a baptized Catholic is in danger of dying from illness, or whether he should even be trying to do so, over taxes.

I repeat: is he in a hospital? 99% of in extremis cases are lying in a hospital bed, the other 1% are bleeding out at accident scenes.

No one is pulling a card in those situations.

The Catholic church IS withholding confession according to the reports, it is their intent to withhold confession.

In the highly unlikely scenario that someone walks in and says: "Hey, Father. My name is Josef _______ and I have zero intention of supporting the Church in any way, but I'm kind of in the mood for confession" - this might occasion enforcement, but that scenario accounts for about 0.0% of confessions I've ever heard of.

41 posted on 09/24/2012 2:41:20 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: JCBreckenridge
Then the Church should stop collecting their taxes.

The Church does not collect taxes. The state does. The Church has the option of collecting taxes, but they decline.

I wouldn’t contribute either if I knew that my tax dollars were going to fund abortion services in Germany.

Every dollar of church tax collected is one dollar being diverted away from abortion and toward pro-life advocacy.

You have it exactly backward.

42 posted on 09/24/2012 2:43:42 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: ansel12
Why work so hard to not admit that the facts are about the Catholic church, and as far as we know, doesn’t apply to any other denomination?

You are asking me to prove a negative, in so many words. Sorry.

And, you know, there are plenty of subtle ways of turning non-payors aside.

Ways that would attract no negative publicity but have the same effect.

So there is no way of telling which church is doing what, absent a public policy statement.

43 posted on 09/24/2012 2:47:38 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

The Catholic church says it is about the tax, not that they are too busy to give communion, or hear confession.

I repeat, the Catholic church says that they are going to withhold “”anointing of the sick – unless the patient’s life is in danger””, I don’t know how a Priest can tell when someone might suddenly die from their illness, or why he would be trying to, just to deny it from non-paying Catholics.

Repeatedly denying the Catholic church’s officially announced policy, is not convincing, the defense that non of this is happening anyway, is to deny the church’s adopting of the policy, and their intent.

The Catholic church is doing what it can to deny confession to the non-tax payer Catholics, it is their policy, and their intent, they must have some method of enforcing this decision and newly adopted policy.


44 posted on 09/24/2012 2:56:45 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: wideawake

LOL, OK, this is religion and I can’t say what I really think of this exchange and the way it keeps weaving around.

I am amazed at times to learn that it isn’t just Mormons, that deal with truth like well trained Mormons though.


45 posted on 09/24/2012 3:01:59 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: ansel12
The Catholic church says it is about the tax, not that they are too busy to give communion, or hear confession.

Christians have a moral obligation to support their pastors (1 Cor 9:14, 1 Tim 5:17-18). Likewise, pastors have an especial responsibility to minister to those who are believers (Galatians 6:10).

Someone who will not even check off a box indicating that he supports the Church is telling his pastor something about which household he belongs to.

It is a given in Germany that the ratio of Catholics to clergy, and the demand on the clergy's time and budgets, is already a strain. It does not need to be spelled out in the policy.

I repeat, the Catholic church says that they are going to withhold “”anointing of the sick – unless the patient’s life is in danger””, I don’t know how a Priest can tell when someone might suddenly die from their illness, or why he would be trying to, just to deny it from non-paying Catholics.

Again, the exception is in extremis - which covers pretty much every single case of anointing of the sick I've ever heard of.

People do not get anointed when they have a cold.

Repeatedly denying the Catholic church’s officially announced policy, is not convincing, the defense that non of this is happening anyway, is to deny the church’s adopting of the policy, and their intent.

I am denying your mischaracterization. The policy is in place and it is a good policy. The policy you are decrying is a straw man.

The Catholic church is doing what it can to deny confession to the non-tax payer Catholics, it is their policy, and their intent, they must have some method of enforcing this decision and newly adopted policy.

Why "must" they have some method of enforcement? Does the Church have a method of enforcement against artificial birth control? Against pre-marital intercourse? The doctrine is against those things, the policy is against those things, but there is no practical method of enforcement other than the stirrings of conscience.

Which is exactly what this policy here is saying: if you want the Church to serve you and you are not willing to even do the bare minimum to contribute, it is time to examine your priorities.

46 posted on 09/24/2012 3:11:23 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: ansel12
LOL, OK, this is religion and I can’t say what I really think of this exchange and the way it keeps weaving around.

I see. From your perspective it's someone else who is doing the weaving.

I am amazed at times to learn that it isn’t just Mormons, that deal with truth like well trained Mormons though.

The truth exists in the real world, not in some fantasy realm where priests are apparently preparing to go to medical school in order to evaluate whether or not communicands are dying or no.

Common sense, as always, applies.

47 posted on 09/24/2012 3:16:19 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Yes.

This is true.—”So it does only apply to Catholic churches then, the Christian, non-Catholic churches will still interact with non-payers of the tax.”

And, it it true that the Catholic church is withholding confession from non-taxpayers.

There is no weaving from my end.


48 posted on 09/24/2012 3:22:49 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: wideawake

“Every dollar of church tax collected is one dollar being diverted away from abortion and toward pro-life advocacy.”

If that were so - the Church would not be acting as a tax collector for the state.


49 posted on 09/24/2012 3:39:35 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Texas, Texas, Whisky)
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To: Dr. Thorne
Lets look at whats going on when someone checks off that non-membership status and then goes to Church anyway.

1) They Lied on an official document.

2)They not only lied on an official document, they also lied about their status as Catholic Christians.

3)They not only lied about being Catholic, they lied about it in order escape support for their Church.

There's something wrong here.

Canon Law 222 §1. Christ's faithful have the obligation to provide for the needs of the Church, so that the Church has available to it those things which are necessary for divine worship, for apostolic and charitable work and for the worthy support of its ministers.

From Acts 5:1-5

But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. (Acts (RSV) 5)

50 posted on 09/24/2012 3:42:21 PM PDT by Bayard
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