That must be nice. "Hey, we need more dough. Would you please give us more?"
Here in Jacksonville, we're told by our Republican mayor that they must raise our taxes; they can't cut enough from the bloated city budget during these down economic times, so the answer is in our wallets. The sheriff can't keep the city safe, the city government can't provide needed services unless YOU give more money.
So fork it over. The City of Jacksonville needs more of your money.
General Motors - they were selling American cars at a premium price, earning billions in revenue, but they couldn't stay in business...unless YOU, the American people, give them money via the federal government. Those of you who opted not to buy GM as you have in years past because of their inflated prices and declining quality - the joke is on you, as you ended up giving them about as much money as you would have if you had bought one of their over-priced vehicles.
So fork it over. GM needs your money to stay in business so our economy doesn't collapse.
Now, mega churches like FBC Jacksonville, need more money. Mac Brunson says the church is "5% behind budget", and guess what the solution is: YOU NEED TO GIVE MORE! Yep, need to collect the classic "special love offering" on August 23rd to close the gap. Funny how the answer is NOT let's cut the salaries of the six-figure staff members. Its not cutting the advertising budget and communications and business budgets to close the gap. No cutting of the A-Group's budget or pay cut for Maurilio. Not encouraging the people who have signed up for the "Danube River Cruise with Mac and Debbie Brunson" to cancel their trip and give some of that money to the church.
Nope, the solution to the budget shortfall is found in the wallets of you FBC Jax sand-baggers - you've been holding back. According to Mac, most of you "giving units" aren't tithing, which according to him means you're all stealing from God anyways - so Mac and the leaders have a right to the money that you're holding back from God. Hopefully Mac's prayer was answered that you didn't get a raise, else you would have even less money to give.
So fork it over. God and FBC Jax need your money.
Mac needed "a million dollars in two weeks" last year when you WERE on budget....and now this year he needs almost that much from you during these difficult economic times. Money was found every week to pay inflated salaries, and to pay for TV commercials and media production and camera crews traveling to the Holy Land, and Mac and Deb traveling to Germany and for church marketing services. Gee, its hard to believe they're short on cash now.
Can't they just trust God to provide, and what they get is what God wanted them to get? Does God want them to get by with less? Could it be that God wants a 40% cut in salary for the men on staff earning six-figure salaries? Maybe God is saying "Enough of the TV commercials - my plan for evangelism is not using tithes to pay for producing TV commercials."
To make matters worse, to collect the money, and to entice you to give, they use a marketing gimmick.
They send a letter signed by Mac, the one making an enormous salary and benefit package from the offerings, asking for money along with a special love-offering envelope. They can't just announce: "Hey, we're a bit short, if you have some extra cash that you can stick in your offering, it would be great to make it up this next Sunday." Not good enough. Gotta use the special envelope sent to the 5000 "giving units" of the church. Next year maybe they can include a vial of annointing oil, or the 2-inch square prayer cloth. Its interesting to note the letter doesn't specify any specific actions taken to CUT the budget - like trimming salaries or reducing TV commercials or cutting staff members.
So this Sunday, please write two checks: one for your tithe, and if you would please, write a 2nd check, to put in the SPECIAL envelope we mailed you. One, larger check, isn't good enough. Need two checks. Which replica shall we drop our special offering in - the "chest", or in the "manger?
Special note to the wealthier members: if the Lord has put it on your heart to go minister in the name of Jesus while crusing in luxury sailing on the Danube with Mac and Debbie Brunson next spring, please set aside THAT money and don't give THAT to the church. That's an even "specialer" offering unto the Lord. There's another envelope for that offering, and that envelope and offering will go to Mac's travel agent in Dallas. Mmmm, ain't God good. That offering is due January 9, 2010, paid in full. Don't forget!
The plebe will give it. They always have. They always will...until they wise up. And maybe they will someday.
But in the mean time:
Fork it over.
"Fork ye over all the tithes into the storehouse, so that there may be meat (preferably prime rib) in mine house..."