Tuesday, April 7, 2015

4.7.15 Bee-otch of the Day: Resurrection Life Church

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.



Name: Resurrection Life Church
Age: 48
Occupation: megachurch
Last Seen: Grandville, MI
Bee-otched For: stealing from the poor
Somewhere, God is shaking his head, again and again.

A popular church in the Grand Rapids area is under fire after it received $300,000 in stolen money and now, it won't give the money back. Resurrection Life Church in Grandville got the money from David Wilson McQueen, who is now serving 30 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme where he extorted $46 million from some 800 investors. Several years after McQueen's sentencing, the US Attorney's Office is trying to reimburse his victims, and has asked ResLife to give back the 300K it got from him.

Their response? "We have prayerfully considered your request that the Church return all or part of this donor’s gifts and tithe monies, and must respectfully decline to do so," Rev. Bernard Blauwkamp wrote in a letter obtained by WOOD-TV 8 here in Grand Rapids. "The funds were received over a period of time spanning multiple years, and no single donation was extraordinary in size. Our Church is blessed to have a large membership, many of whom who God has blessed with material abundance. Our leadership makes it a point to not focus on the identity of its donors; such knowledge could cause favoritism and affect interpersonal relationships within the Church."

One of the victims told WOOD-TV as part of their Target 8 investigation that the letter Rev. Blauwkamp wrote was insulting. It reminded her of a little kid crying "finders keepers!" who won't give anything back. She feels that the church has a moral obligation to give the money back. She lost six figures in the scheme and feels sickened that they found some of her money, but the people - a church in this case - won't give back the money. However, Blauwkamp told WOOD-TV that he feels that the church is being singled out and didn't know where the money was truly coming from over the years.

Since the story aired on WOOD-TV, people have been posting to their Facebook page with a lot of vitriol. "Very disappointed in Res Life. As someone who use to attend Res Grandville to keep any money from someone who you knowingly obtained said money from cheating people isn't what I would consider Christian," Wendy Ann Carroll-Botts said. "Give the stolen money back. "Come to our uncaring church and feel the comfort of the new pews purchased with stolen money." We believe in Robin Hood, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and stealing - free parking," said Jess Askin.  

I think it's sick that one of the biggest churches in Grand Rapids is simply thumbing its nose at innocent people who have made a simple mistake. I'm glad the government is on their side, but to have a wealthy megachurch to tell them to fuck off is simply their way of saying that they believe in the Bible with the exception of that verse where Jesus tells the rich young man that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to Heaven. Sorry, but I'd rather donate to a young, hot stripper opening her legs in front of me versus a fucked-up church that is worth millions but doesn't feel obligated to give back to these victims.

Obviously, the words "Thou Shalt Not Steal" don't mean shit to them.


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