John and Vicki Tubiolo wanted to know how their church spent money. But the church had other ideas. Rather than let the Tubiolo’s check the books, their church threw them out and now the matter is in court, reports The Herald Sun.

The Abundant Life Church of Hillsborough, North Carolina started as a bible study, but it ended up as an independent non-denominational church.

John Tubiolo had questions about church finances when a building project was proposed. He said, “What we wanted was a financial report with the beginning balance, the ending balance and what happened in between.”

He is now in court attempting to compel the church to show him that information.

However, the church says he has no right to see its books. And it looks like a judge will ultimately resolve the matter.

Do you know how the money is spent at your church, mosque, synagogue or religious organization?

The more accountability an organization has, the more likely things are all right.

That is, each layer of accountability typically insures those below are behaving properly. It’s not always good enough to rely on innate goodness; it is most often safer to have people watched through system of checks, balances and financial transparency.

Many religious organizations have elected boards, bylaws, auditing procedures and denominational accountability to insure that things are being handled appropriately.

Though all independent churches don’t represent a risk, obviously the more accountability the safer the situation is.

Who is your religious leader accountable to?

John Tubiolo wasn’t so sure. His attorney observed, “We’ve never received anything in minutes or bylaws.”

It’s probably not a good idea to wait until a situation arises to check about bylaws and accountability. Perhaps people who are shopping for a place to worship should check things like this out before becoming involved and contributing money.


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