As was explained earlier, church finances have earned quite a bad reputation. Back in the day, there was no collecting large amount of money or influential people paying up heaps and heaps of money.
There was just a little collected for the upkeep and the pastors would do almost all the work and there would be no need to have a staff. However, the trend started to slowly change and churches started getting bigger. They began to ask people for contributions to help expand the church and make it better. With time, people started to change the way they contributed money towards the church and felt a sort of pressure or obligation to do it.
They started to believe that they would not be welcome at the church or belong there, if they did not make a substantial contribution. The clergymen also came under a lot of fire for favoring those who displayed partiality and only favored those who made the biggest contributions. These contributions kept getting bigger in size and regardless of the denomination; all churches began to grow in size and stature.
Several stories of money being laundered came to the fore and there were several people who were arrested for the same. It was found that the pastors used the money beyond the church and used it all up to serve their personal benefits. They also squandered most of the money and ended up becoming richer themselves and left the church neglected.
The people who were promised the money received not a single penny and all of it contributed towards the churches being closed down. You can read more about it here.
It started to become apparent that despite all the awareness and actions being taken, the people who contributed the big amounts did not stop. They started to make use of it as a means to save on the tax that they had to pay and the churches started to get sucked into a vicious circle.
Even today, there are lots of churches that do less in terms of providing a place for people to pray and more of a show off of the wealth that they have and how the money simply keeps coming in.
Even if they were to refuse the money, it would find its way into the church accounts by one way or the other. Right from celebrities to big honchos, everybody makes use of the church as a way to avail tax benefits.