Destiny Church asks member spay tithes by direct debit

New revelations have emerged of the inner workings of Destiny Church, including claims of eftpos terminals being used to take collections, men-only church meetings and numerous tithing nightmares.

Former churchgoers spoke out after revelations dozens walked out of the Brisbane branch of the church on Sunday, in support of pastor Andrew Stock, who resigned from the church over a recently introduced covenant that clashed with his beliefs.

One man said the church was a "cash cult" and he was "not happy with the fact they had eftpos machines in the middle of the church".

Another described the church as "Destiny Bank".

One man was at the church's Hamilton branch and was about to sign up to Destiny when he received a surprise.

"I was promptly asked to sign a tithing/AP [direct debit] form agreeing to give 10% of my income to the church from then on."

The Destiny covenant also requires the purchase of a church signet ring, at a cost of $300.

But church founder Bishop Brian Tamaki last night struck back, in a fiery sermon at his Mt Wellington church.

He dismissed reports of a split within his church as "grossly exaggerated" and accused the media of being "funny and weird".

Followers were told to ignore people who told them they were too poor to give money to the church.

"They'll tell you and try to get you to believe you are too poor and that you have nothing to give.

"What they're trying to get you to do, do the opposite and you'll always be on the right side [with God]."

Media were banned from last night's service, and earlier attempts to speak with Mr Tamaki were unsuccessful.

The service was streamed live on the internet.

Former members of the Brisbane Destiny Church yesterday said they supported Mr Stock.

Frank Coleman (58), a Brisbane bus driver, said numbers at the church began declining shortly after Mr Tamaki held a covenant day-camp with the church's male members in Brisbane last year.

Another member, who asked not to be named, said there were about 265 Destiny Church members at the Brisbane branch before the covenant was announced.

"People then started asking: `Is this right?' and they started walking out.

"As a Christian, you worship God, but under the covenant you had to worship Brian Tamaki and it wasn't right."

 

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