The last thing we want for FCHJ.com is to get myred in the kinds of corruption
and deceit prevalent in many of Christianity's denominations. Hucksters
and scoundrels abound in the ranks of the religious, especially in religious
leaders. (Think Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker and Benny Hinn.)
To this end, the FCHJ.com will practice complete disclosure in regards
to its leadership, finances and use of personal information.
Are We a Church?
To be sure, FCHJ used to stand for the First Church of Historical Jesus.
It no longer does, and, frankly, the organization never was even close
to being a church, online or otherwise. I (Rev. Chuck) never collected
a cent in offerings. No donations were made. Some people evidently bought
books from our Reading List link (as evidenced by my Amazon.com associates
account reporting) but, believe me, not many. Anything I earned from this
site (not more than fifty bucks over five years) went right back into
buying stuff from Amazon.com. So, no, we're not a church.
To be brief, there is no leadership to this site. The only person we
have with any kind of managerial responsibilities at all is Reverend Chuck
(me), who came up with the idea for the church, created the website, and
established the partnerships with Amazon.com, CafePress, and Yahoo Groups.
While taking care of the infrastructure, Reverend Chuck is not some kind
of spiritual or holy leader. He doesn't have any better knowledge of Jesus,
God or philosophy than you or anyone else does. He certainly is not charismatic.
While you might take his advice on which book or T-shirt to buy, you shouldn't
take his advice on spiritual matters like who to marry or what to teach
your kids. That's up to you and your God (or whatever you take as your
source of truth in the world).
There is one way right now in which money goes out of this organization:
Reverend Chuck pays to keep this website up out of his own pocket. There
are two ways in which money can come into this organization: If you buy
something from Amazon.com via one of the FCHJ links, Reverend Chuck is
paid a commission on the sale of between 5 and 15 percent of the purchase
price. The second way money comes in is if you buy some of the FCHJ merchandise
from our CafePress online store. In that case, Reverend Chuck makes a
flat fee of about $3.00 per item sold. All this money goes directly into
Reverend Chuck's pocket. It does not go into a special FCHJ fund or account.
Having said that, as of the date of the last update to this page (January
12, 2007) one person has actually bought something from the FCHJ CafePress
store. Reverend Chuck earned a cool $3.00 (USD). Since the website has
been up for nearly five years, Reverend Chuck has sunk about $500.00 (USD)
into site hosting fees and $100.00 (USD) for the fchj.com domain.
Because all moneys going in and out flow through Reverend Chuck, this
site is not tax exempt, nor will it ever be. It is also not incorporated
or organized under any sort of business license or church license or whatever.
Financially speaking, this church and Reverend Chuck are one and the same
thing. If any profits are made, they will be reported as additional income
on Reverend Chuck's income tax return.
In the unlikely event that this web site becomes popular (and in 5 years,
it hasn't), there is a chance that enough people will purchase books and
other merchandise through the site's links to Amazon.com and CafePress
(and other sites if Reverend Chuck makes any other partnerships) to make
Reverend Chuck a rich man. If that happens, well, Reverend Chuck would
just like to say thanks in advance.
Other Historical Jesus People
There are a number of scholars out there doing the really hard work of
finding out who the Historical Jesus was and what he said and did. You
can find many of them working with the Jesus Seminar, which is part of
the Westar Institute. FCHJ.com and Reverend Chuck are not affiliated with
the Jesus Seminar (or with any other Historical Jesus scholars) and those
organizations and people do not support or endorse the FCHJ in any way.
It is more likely they have never even heard of the FCHJ.
Who Is Reverend Chuck?
Reverend Chuck is actually Chuck Evans, a marketing analyst by day and
a sometime painter and musician by night, who lives in Washington State.
He is an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, but just did
it so he could really call himself a reverend. He does not preach, perform
marriages, or do any of the other things reverends do. Anyone can get
ordained by the ULC by going to their website and registering. If you
want to check out another site by Reverend Chuck, you can visit www.chucke.com.
This website collects no personal information whatsoever from its visitors.
We don't maintain membership lists and don't offer ways to send information.
We don't want your information. If you happen to email Reverend Chuck
and put personal information into your email, then it may be stored in
Reverend Chuck's email folder. Or, he might just delete it. But in either
case, you've been warned.
However, if you buy something from Amazon.com or CafePress, you'll have
to give them a credit card number and other personal information. That's
between you and them. If you're not comfortable with those sites' privacy
policies, or don't like using a credit card online, then don't buy anything
from them. If you sign up for the FCHJ mailing list with Yahoo Groups,
you'll likewise be sharing personal information with Yahoo Groups. FCHJ.com
and Reverend Chuck shall not be liable for damages in the event of misuse
of your personal information by any of these companies. You are advised
to read the privacy policies of each of those separate websites and only
register with them if you feel comfortable doing so.