Church describes cash as a 'sweet-smelling fragrance'
IT looked as if it was raining money at New Zealand's Destiny Church in Auckland on Sunday.
Photos tweeted by church leader Bishop Brian Tamaki showed many high-denomination bills on the floor.
The photos, one which Bishop Tamaki captioned: "A Sweet-Smelling Fragrance that is Acceptable to God (Phil 4:15-19). My God shall Supply all your need," drew widespread criticism on social media.
Another photo was accompanied by the text: "The main stage at Destiny Church Auckland ... this morning ... littered with 10,000s of $100 & $50 bills ... 'Attitude'."
The church, which is led by Mr Tamaki and his pastor wife Hannah, has hit headlines in the past for financial expectations placed on its members.
The main stage at Destiny Church Auckland..this morning..littered wth 10,000s of $100 & $50 bills..."Attitude" pic.twitter.com/T01HAqR5zM— Bishop Brian Tamaki (@BishopTamaki) November 30, 2014
According to ex-congregation members, families were pressured to give "love offerings" and other cash donations above the expected tithe.
However, the church has denied this and said none of its members were forced to tithe.
Mr and Mrs Tamaki have also defended their reputations in the past, following publicity around their lifestyle.
Last year, Mrs Tamaki - who owned several homes, drove a black Audi station wagon and had a $90,000 diamond ring, rejected claims she led an extravagant lifestyle.
"What is wealth? I don't have a lot of money in the bank but to me success is inspiring other people," she said.
Last month, it also emerged the church's tax-exempt status was under the microscope after it was issued with overdue notices for the late filing of annual returns for 14 Destiny-affiliated charities.
A Sweet-Smelling Fragrance that is Acceptable to God (Phil 4:15-19).."My God shall Supply all your need...." pic.twitter.com/m4PyEYDGGB— Bishop Brian Tamaki (@BishopTamaki) November 30, 2014
Six of these charities, which received a combined $5.5 million in donations in the most recent returns, are more than a year overdue in filing statements with the public charities register.
When contacted by the Herald about the photos Mr Tamaki tweeted, a spokeswoman for the church said the organisation had "no comment".