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Profound witness

Charity | Giving money in tough times says much about Christian security
by Rusty Leonard & Warren Cole Smith
Posted 1/31/09, 12:00 am

William Lobdell's recent book Losing My Religion chronicles his conversion to Christianity-and his subsequent rejection of Christianity after a decade of covering religion for the Los Angeles Times. Many of those stories had to do with Christians and the way they handled money.

"Evangelicals don't give anywhere near 10 percent of their income to charity," Lobdell said. "Only a very few, often on the fringes of mainstream or evangelical Christianity, behave with their money as if they believe the Gospel is actually true."

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Mad about Madoff

Charity | Bernard Madoff scandal shuts down charities
by Warren Cole Smith & Rusty Leonard
Posted 1/17/09, 12:00 am

The news that former Nasdaq chairman Bernard Madoff may have defrauded investors of as much as $50 billion sent yet more waves through the jittery financial markets. Those waves ended up being tsunamis for some charities, at least three of which will close their doors entirely as a direct result.

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Crazy returns

Charity | Alleged fraud brings down one church and may spread to others
by Warren Cole Smith & Rusty Leonard
Posted 12/13/08, 12:00 am

David Talbot seemed like a trustworthy Christian businessman to the members of New Horizon Fellowship, a new church starting up in Wyckoff, N.J. He "talked the talk" of an evangelical Christian, according to Bill Werner, one of the elders at New Horizon.

But according to Werner, and now according to the attorney general of the state of New Jersey, he didn't "walk the walk." That is, if you don't count a "perp walk": New Jersey has sued Talbot because he "operated a fraud" by selling over $500,000 in unregistered securities "which promised high yield returns."

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