Mac starts off Sunday morning announcing that the church is $100,000 behind budget.
And Mac says the Lord has spoken to him that he and Deb can give more to the church.
So he tells us that he is going to "give a tithe of his tithe", in addition to his tithe.
Now I've heard of people in ministerial leadership positions increasing their giving, or in difficult times decreasing their incomes. For instance, Johnny Hunt last week said that he and his wife DOUBLED the amount they give to the church in these difficult times. The president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary gave himself a 10% pay cut recently while times are tight. I've heard of Rick Warren and his "reverse tithe", where he KEEPS 10% and gives 90% to the Lord's work. But I ain't heard of a "tithe on a tithe".
Just to clarify, that is one tenth of one tenth, which is 1%. So Mac is increasing his giving 1%. OK, hard to criticize a guy who says he is going to give more, but 1% increase from a guy making as much as Mac and Deb do is hardly something to brag about. Not much leadership shown there by a guy with a very stable job and revenue stream and huge income as compared to the average church member. His 1% increase really falls flat later in his sermon when he refers to his wife's shopping habits as "Congress' greatest weapon" against the recession.
But then Mac goes further, and groups his congregation into three groups: those who are obedient and giving more like him, those who don't know how to trust God with their finances, and those who "argue about tithing". And Mac then does one of his famous screams to intimidate people who argue about tithing:
"...take it [the issue of tithing] up with Jesus. That's what you do. Don't take it up with me. GO TO DA BOOK. GO ARGUE WITH DA BOOK BRUTHER. Don't argue with da preacher."
Then he says..."you shook up enough? Good!" This guy is a bully, plain and simple. His emotion has replaced the Holy Spirit at our church. As though his job is to bother us, or "shake us up". And he's happy about it.
And by the way, Mac has never given a clear explanation of what the Old Testament tithe is and how it fits in with the New Testament principles of giving out of love. Its all out of duty in Mac's eyes, and he is more than happy to ram his legalism down your recalcitrant throat. What about new Christians that don't understand tithing? What about Christians that don't agree that tithing is scriptural, can't he make a sound defense to lovingly convince them and teach them? What about visitors who hear him angrily scream this at his congregation? If I were a visitor and heard the preacher say this to his people, I would be heading for the exits. Spiritual abuse.
What's funny about this is Mac's marketing consultant, Maurilio Amorim, just yesterday posted an article on his blog about "legacy churches"...and how they have not modernized their methods and contexualized their messages to the culture...and how these legacy churches are doomed for failure and will lose the next generation. News flash to Mac: there is absolutely nothing more offensive to people we are trying to reach with the gospel than a fat, balding, wealthy, mega church preacher angrily screaming at people to give 10% of their income out of legalism and an Old Testament scripture and to teach it by screaming "look it up in da book!". That goes over like a lead zeppelin, Mac. What might work is a person who calmly explains and/or teaches the concept, uses scripture to make his point, and acts like a normal person who respects his audience. People can't stand angry arrogance, especially from a wealthy mega church pastor screaming at people to let loose of their money. That advice was free, Mac, and I didn't charge you a $100 an hour church marketing consultant's fee.
But if the trend of being behind budget continues (many churches these days are), get ready for more bullying from Mac. And by the way: if he tithes on the tithe of the tithe, that would be an increase from 11% to 11.1%. And if I calculate correctly, a tithe on the tithe of the tithe of the tithe would be 11.11%.
For other tidbits from Mac's sermon that demonstrate his "jerkness", listen below. You will find it enlightening, and even mildly amusing....and you might even chuckle.
Go get 'em Mac.