Crazy Money! – Fraudulent Pastor
It’s Crazy Money Day!
The Christian Post recently reported that a pastor in North Carolina pleaded guilty to tax and wire fraud. The man, who earned a $400,000 a year annual salary was accused of committing fraud for a $52,000 loan from the government’s COVID Paycheck Protection Program. He also failed to file timely income tax returns for numerous years and lied on at least one of them. In 2014, he claimed he earned only $66,000, but the IRS suggests that he had over $385,000 in earned income. He was released on bond and will be sentenced at a later date. The penalty for filing a false tax return alone carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Like the world, Christians can rationalize our indulgence. Our affluence distorts our priorities and we compromise truth in the deception of self-fulfillment. Paul told the Corinthians, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man. God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But, when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) The problem for many is that pride keeps them from seeing God’s way out. They do what’s right in their own eyes. Once a Christian becomes trapped by pride, he’s of no service to God. He too easily gives in to temptation to elevate himself. To avoid this, we must make ourselves accountable to others.
Now if you’re tempted to commit fraud because of your credit card debt, I recommend Christian Credit Counselors. They’ll create a debt management plan just for you. For more information call the Crown Helpline: 800-722-1976 or visit online at crown.org/ccc.