"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ronnie and Johnny: Doggone It, How Can We Spread the Gospel If the Sheep Don't Tithe?

As we continue looking at this doctrine of storehouse tithing, I thought I'd share with you a recent quote from Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Arkansas, and the chairman of the SBC Great Commission Resurrgence Task Force. [Click here to go to Ronnie's personal online store to purchase his books and tape series. Click here to go to his church's website].

As reported by the Baptist Press 11/18/09, according to Ronnie Floyd one of the underlying problems in the SBC is that people aren't tithing:

"God tells individuals to tithe and honor Him with the first tenth and with offerings, but studies show the average evangelical gives 2.4 percent to all charities. How are we going to change the world with the Gospel when 98 cents of every dollar given stays in the churches and 98 cents of every dollar earned stays in the pocket of the member?" - Ronnie Floyd, 11/18/09

Another pastor, a prominent one at that, a mega church pastor, multi-campus pastor, who believes that the problem is THE SHEEP....gosh darn it, how can you expect us to reach the lost when you stupid sheep are keeping 98% of your income!! And as the article points out, Floyd's church contributes about 2.2% of their budget to the CP, so not sure what his point is about money staying in the churches.

Fact is, what churches have ALWAYS gotten, on average, for decades, is between 2 and 3 percent from their church members. Maybe the problem is not the percentage, since that hasn't changed, but its what church leaders have been doing with the dollars given. Big buildings, church marketing consultants, NAMB president personal coaches, large mega church pastor salaries and bennies, jobs for wife and family members, airfare to their speaking gigs, and on and on. Maybe, just maybe, the problem isn't with the sheep who have been consistently giving 2-3% for a hundred years, but its with the convention leaders who are mostly mega church pastors or close friends with megas who are prioritizing the spending and have build the denominational structure that demands more and more money.

I just don't believe their logic that if they got more money they would do more ministry. Mac Brunson of FBC Jax used this same logic last year in his "giving units" sermon, that if his 5000 "giving units" who earn on average $50,000 annually would just obey God and tithe, they could get $25 million instead of having to get by on just $15 million. But what these guys don't realize is that church people are on to them. They are so sick and tired of hearing their pastors and staff members, especially in the mega churches, bellyache about money. Parishioners are sick of hearing just how great their church's ministry COULD be, if everyone would stop being so stingy. And at the same time they see their megachurch pastors like Mac Brunson put family on staff and advertise on their church's website to entice people to pay $5000 and higher to join them on a luxury riverboat to "Cruise Down the Danube".

What if we told guys like Ronnie Floyd: "Hey Ronnie, I would give more money to my church, but you don't understand. My boss is only giving me a fraction of what he should. Believe me, I could do MUCH MORE for the Lord in my church if I could only get more money, the right and fair amount, from my place of employment". Ronnie would tell us that we perhaps should spend less, and that the problem is not with the amount of the income, but that its more our spending priorities. Amen! So maybe they should listen to their own advice.

So we tell you, Ronnie and Johnnie and Mac: please, you are getting what you are getting, stop bellyaching about what you COULD do if you only had more money, stop using the tithe doctrine as a fund raising, marketing gimmick to raise revenue, and make due with what you are getting. Instead of trying to extract a higher percentage, concentrate more on preaching the gospel, getting people saved, less on your book deals and river cruises and seminars, and let the Lord lead your new converts to give their 2.4% or whatever they purpose in their heart to give.

And please, this Sunday, thank your church members for being so generous with their 2.4%.

29 comments:

Doug Pittman said...

I will repeat what I said on another blog...


The Bible says tithe to "the church". These are not the Church's GOD specified in the Bible. These are Corporations using GOD for personal agendas and wealth.

I refuse to give to these deceivers. You would do just as well to give it to the business of your choice...

I took my stand and said I refuse to help those within the Baptist Mafia achieve personal wealth.

I now give to organizations and charitable groups I know are responsible stewards and not wasteful.

When I see changes, I will change, but for now..NO way!!

What about you?

AND......

If casual Christian Ministers can lower the expectations on their leadership, they (the leadership and ministers) will be much more comfortable with their own sin.

With lower moral standards, the church leadership will become more tolerant of leaderships sin and less tolerant of holiness.

The "sinner-friendly" church is intolerable to God--that is a frightening condition.

Conservative Christians have for most of the previous century focused on the battle for doctrinal purity. And that is good.

But we are losing the battle for moral purity.

Some of the worst defeats have occurred among our more visible leaders. The church cannot lower the standard to accommodate them!

Again I say, The church cannot lower the standard to accommodate them!

We should hold it higher so we can regain purity. If we lose here, we have utterly failed, no matter how orthodox our confession of faith.

We can't win if we compromise the biblical standard of moral purity.

Do not judge, but do hold these men accountable.....I do.

Need I say more?

Following Christ, Not Man

Doug Pittman

Anonymous said...

What prachers should do is to teach tithing was required under the OT Law. We are not subject to the OT law anymore. We don't serve the Law, we are under grace. Of course Jesus fulfilled the OT Law, it was not done AWAY with until after his death and resurrection.

Just be honest and tell the members what they already know, not some OT law to push them toward tithing. You till not find the word tithe or tithing in the Pauline Epistles...yes cheerful giving but definetly not TITHING...end of story.

Anonymous said...

"What prachers should do is to teach tithing was required under the OT Law. We are not subject to the OT law anymore. We don't serve the Law, we are under grace. Of course Jesus fulfilled the OT Law, it was not done AWAY with until after his death and resurrection."

They cannot do that because you might give your 'offering' to another needy brother or sister in Christ instead of to the church budget which represents their income source.

So, they teach the Law because it benfits them. Just another mode of Pharisee.

The worst thing that can happen to them are spriritual Christians who actually know the Word.

Anonymous said...

The "church" has always meant the body of believers. We should be giving to the needs of the TRUE church... the single moms, the fathers out of work, the sick, the poor. Defining the church by a building and set group of leaders is not the way of Jesus. PEOPLE make up the church, so we should be giving to PEOPLE. If a group of leaders collects an offering and then prayerfully uses it to help its people, fine. But why do they keep it all and live in mansions? Do they really think that THEY are the church? The sheer arrogance is blatant and nauseating.

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug - please help me understand on what you are basing your statement "The Bible says tithe to "the church"."

I don't see that in my OT or NT. Thanks.

Curious George

Anonymous said...

If your pastor will lie to you about tithing, and twist scripture and take it out of context, and mix illustrations (tithing, first fruits, unblemished offerings, are all different concepts but you will hear them saying this about the tithe: give God the FIRST tenth, the BEST you have, and it must be SACRIFICIAL too.) then what else are they lying to you about, twisting to you, pulling out of context?

If you can't trust him to tell you the truth about tithing, you can't trust him!

Anonymous said...

Ronnie and Johnny need look no further than FBC Dallas and FBC Jax to see what might happen if churches had millions every month. The blind are not healed, the lame do not walk, the hungry are not fed, the naked are not clothed, the homeless are not sheltered, the widow and orphan are neglected, but staffs are increased, salaries are increased, buildings are built, cruises are promoted and taken, family are put on staff.

No, like the government, more money from our pockets is NOT the answer for our schools or families. But the leaders all think it is. Can you see how sad this is in the church and in our government. But of course, both will take from our families until we say enough is enough.

Enough is enough!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jon G - its a little silly to be asking people to stop hiding and give a name, when you've given a first name and initial. Give us your full name, and city and state, and then you can tell commentors here to stop hiding and be open like you are.

Jon G said...

Watch Dog,

I think you wrote your comment on the wrong page...but nonetheless, I think it would be so much easier (and perhaps psychologically civil) to ask people to give their first names. I wasn't asking for full discloser, just that it is easier to lie, spew and make up things behind "anonymous" and it makes the back and forth so much easier if you share your name.
Just a suggestion - but you're the administrator.

Jon

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry Jon G to have to mince words with you, but you said people should come out of hiding and give their names, like you did. You have not come out of hiding by giving your first name and initial. I don't care, but you are no different than a person posting as anonymous.

And you are held to no more accountability for your words than anonys. If you slander someone, or say somethign somoene doesn't like, they can find your name or an "Anonymous" poster the same way: subpoena to Google to get your IP address for the post, then another subpoena to your ISP. So unless you give us your name and your city so we know precisely who you are, you are "hiding" also.

So please, get off the anonymous high horse, please

Jon G said...

Wow WatchDog,

You are pretty intense man. It is so much easier to respond back and forth when there is a name attached.
Even if someone makes up a name - I guess that works. But it sure sounds dishonest.
My point is that people hide behind the word anonymous and almost in some kind of avatar, voyer-type of way feel like they can say whatever they want with no consequences - again, it is psychological.
People can tell what city I am from, they know my first name and last initial, they know I am an elder in a church - that's not exactly concealed.
And if anyone wants to take the time to petition google for my IP, then they really want to know.

Anonymous said...

" think you wrote your comment on the wrong page...but nonetheless, I think it would be so much easier (and perhaps psychologically civil) to ask people to give their first names. I wasn't asking for full discloser, just that it is easier to lie, spew and make up things behind "anonymous" and it makes the back and forth so much easier if you share your name.
Just a suggestion - but you're the administrator.

Jon

November 21, 2009 9:46 AM

Jon, on the previous thread, where did I lie or spew or make up things? We are having a doctrinal dispute. That is all. Who I am has no bearing on the subject. Just another depraved sinner saved by grace like you and Wayne Grudem.

That is one reason the authors of the Federalist Papers were anonymous. So ideas and facts could be presented sans personalities and killing the messenger.

In Christendom, we have the same problem. We want to align ourselves and say, I am of Grudem, I am of Piper, I am of Brunson. We tend to quote ST books instead of the Word. When the Word is quoted, it is usually out of context to fit a presupposition as we have seen on the last thread.

Publius

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Notice Jon uses the vitriol word. Yes, to discuss tithing and giving and declare the tithe not to be valid doctrine is considered vitriolic by church "elders". Its dangerous to discuss things like this that might hurt the church's income. I learned that last year big time.

Jon G said...

Watch Dog,

I didn't say you lied or made things up. I said that those who use the easy name "anonymous" tend to hide behind that and simply lie and spew their venom.
I actually respect the fact that you at least use a name, of course now we know who you are anyway.
I did not use the word vitriol to describe feelings on tithing, but to describe those who use name calling as their argument.

Jon

Anonymous said...

In watching the Senate forward this horrendous fiasco of a bill I sure hope these six figured media ministers can finally figure how they embolden liberal politics. The third tithe can indeed carry over in the new (Acts 2 - 5), the first two are dealing with the OT Temple. Lets start building up the Body of Christ!!

Dr. Fill said...

Jon G, I agree that at least a pseudonym of some sort would make following the conversations easier. I don't understand why you would begrudge a person the right to say whatever they want without fear of retaliation? We've seen retaliation in action for just asking questions. No telling what would happen to a person for speaking truths.

Anonymous said...

WD, One the last thread I admit I became vitriolic in my last few comments. My blood boils when I encounter works based false teaching. It is like spitting on our Lord and the Cross.

And our seminaries are full of it. Of course, this teaching benefits the future "pastors" and those who are elders because they love the position and influence it brings. But the ignorance of the Word is astounding!

They should all tatoo 'slave' or 'bondservent' on their foreheads to remember what we really are.

If we learn anything from this my friends, let us learn to study more. Pray more that the Holy Spirit will teach us. Stop listening to men. Stop following men.

And remember this:

8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matt 23

Remember WHO your Teacher is.

Publius

Anonymous said...

Just how much money does it take to talk to your neighbors?

I am a former Baptist preacher who sat under the teaching of Homer Jr. and Adrien Rogers (while a student at Mid America Baptist Theoligical Seminary).

I have not attended any church in over ten years.

I typically do yard work on Sunday. I watch as the vast majority of my neighbors gather their families into their cars and head out to church.

I watch as they return home a few hours later.

Over the past decade-plus, NOT ONE person has stopped to talk to me about their faith. Not one has asked me about mine. None of my neighbors... none of my former friends or fellow preachers... none of my co-workers since. Not one.

I often smile and wave to my neighbors as they make their way to and from church. Most do not wave back. Some do, but most pretend not to see me.

Okay... so those who knew me as a preacher are probably scared to talk to me. They know that I know the Bible far better than they do and probably think it would do not good. That is probably true.

For several years, I dropped my mother-in-law off at Mandarin Baptist Church and picked her up at the end of the services. Every Sunday morning for more than two years I sat outside waiting to pick her up and watched as dozens and dozens of men and women walk past my car going to and from Sunday School.

I was typically in my yard work clothing (tank top and shorts) and sat with my window open.

Guess what? NOT ONE person ever spoke to me. A few would reply when I greeted them with a smile and said "Good Morning" but not one ever stopped to chat.

What percentage of their income would have been required to speak to this man sitting in his Lexus along the curb next to the sidewalk in front of the Sunday School classes? How much time would it have taken?

I have no idea how many people give to that church. I know not what percentage of their income they gave.

Nor does it really matter to me and I dare say to the God they claim to worship when they had ample opportunity to speak to me without spending one dime.

I would be delighted to sit and talk to anyone about their faith and why I no longer believe. I have no axe to grind... no animosity whatsoever... no reason to avoid discussion. I simply no longer believe.........

and I suspect that the vast majority of the "faithful" do not really believe either. If they did, they would share their time and testimony before worrying about how much of their money they give to their "church" to fund their entertainment.

Anonymous said...

The tithe is in, however the stoning that was under the Mosaic Law is out. Suppose stoning was still required under the OT Law, how many would defend that practice. Money is always an excuse to believe whatever one wants to believe. Count your many blessings see what MAN hath done!!!

Anonymous said...

and I suspect that the vast majority of the "faithful" do not really believe either. If they did, they would share their time and testimony before worrying about how much of their money they give to their "church" to fund their entertainment.

November 22, 2009 9:10 AM

Friend, you nailed it. They did their duty. They showed, they taught or listened, they gave to their nice building they enjoy.

No messy Christianity for them. It is now churchianity. I'd rather be out in the parking lot talking to you. I could tell you how the Lord delivered me from churchianity and into messy humiliating Christianity. Because following Him is no easy broad road. I would admit to you right then and there I had been a fake. (But you would have known that)

Publius

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:10 am. Your story is so sad but very true. Today the so-called church is not into the Great Commission. They do not take the time to go and knock on doors...they claim no one is home. In this downturn of the economy and high gasoline prices that is just not true. I believe they have forgotten how to visit and witness especially the Large Churches. Oh some do go and spend time socializing but discussing spiritual things is not in the plan. They may make a mistake in their presentation or get off track with a Real Question posed to them regarding their faith and practice. Many don't know what they believe. There is no burning desire to tell someone about the Jesus that SAVES. God forgive us for disappointing Jesus, for our cold callousness, our unconcern for souls that are headed for hell because we failed to tell them about Jesus.

I can testify that I have had a similar experience. After spending decades in a Baptist church and most of it in service that no one comes to visit me either. They see no point in it as someone has already told them it would be a waste of their time and energy...which is a lie out of Hell, but thats their problem not mine. And I certainly would be sure to witness to them if they came. They don't want to talk to someone who has a grasp on what's wrong with churches. It proves my point that you were never visited after ten long years and you had your name on a church roll and was also a seminary graduate and pastor.

Welcome to the church of Laodicea!!! It will only get worse toward the end and you and I both know that there has to come a falling away first.

I would like to remind you of Dr Lindsay's sermon on three things that will always disappoint us. (1) PEOPLE...they are shallow and mean spirited especially when they know less than you or when they are jealous of you for whatever reason. Family members you don't get along with. Children you attempt to teach correctly that ignore you.

(2) CIRCUMSTANCE...sickness, death of a loved one, lack of employment, unkindness from the world itself.

3. THINGS...weather,cars that continue to break down, appliances that wear out too soon, house falling apart, etc, etc. I would plead with you not to abandon Jesus. It isn't His fault that people are not what they should be. He died for these same people that ignored you and me, just like He died to forgive my sins. The problem isn't in Jesus it's in us. My faith is in Him alone not in any one or any thing in this world. Please don't blame Jesus, the blame belongs on people!

But, Joy comes in the morning. Only Jesus Christ is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Only He will abide with you and me regardless of what people, circumstances, or things come our way. As Paul says, rejoice and again I say rejoice. I will make it a point to pray that God will be with you as He is with me.

Anonymous said...

I ran into a guy last week that I knew from my days in the mega world.

He told me he left the church and will never go back. There were many reasons that had been building for a while but the straw that broke the camel's back was this:

A dear friend of his died who had been faithful to that church for 20 years and very involved. They sent a staff minister to do the funeral who was fairly new and did not know her. The senior ministers knew her quite well but could not fit her in.

I did not have the heart to tell him the truth. And the truth is they don't do funerals anymore unless it is some sort of local celebrity or another celebrity minister. (Policeman killed in the line of duty because it is big press coverage, a local celebrity ball player who never attended the church, and so on)

They have paid staff to do the funerals of nobodies.

This dear brother said he felt like he had been punched in the gut


Matt

Anonymous said...

I have said churches/preachers, and all that goes with them, are basically OVER. We are in the church of Laodicea, in the last days before Jesus comes. In my opinion, having been in church for years and years, church is not what it once was, and never will be again. Most of the "real" preachers are already in Heaven. As a matter of fact a lot of "preachers" need to get SAVED! When I think of churches, useless, is a common description that comes to mind. The "Falling Away" HAS happened already. People must come to grips with this FACT! So many people are afraid to "face" the fact that we are in the last days of the church. They don't want to deal with what it means. I say if you arn't ready to meet Jesus face to face, then YOU ARN'T SAVED!!! We must all certainly have a personal relationship with the Savior. It's just one on one with Jesus now. I don't look to any organization to HELP me worship. It's just me Jesus, and His word, the Bible. I have limited fellowship with like minded believers, some, that are of my own opinion about useless celebrity preachers and useless social churches and the "front" they put up, to keep the "business" going. But my strength and belief is, as it always should be, on Jesus alone. I pray for His Coming and for the strengthening of "real" believers until then. Get on your knees, get in the word, and keep looking up. Your redemption draweth nigh.

Anonymous said...

Helped a woman at our church last week who claims to be a Christian but doesn't like/attend any church in her community, but not why--said the world is her church. I thought, "Until you need groceries; then, this church is your church." That's one view.

Megachurches like Ronnie's pass along about 1% - 2% of their undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. Sure, in many cases that amounts to over $100,000--but if it were the 8% - 10% that smaller congregations give, it'd total about $1 million annually. So, the smaller churches are carrying the SBC. That's another view, and its answers Ronnie's question.

Fastest way to get a senior pastor's attention: designate your giving as "to anything but the pastor's salary"--he'll get the message fast, and before he'll have to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

The thing is most churches probably do exactly what they want with YOUR money, designated or not. They think of it as God's money, therefore since they HAVE it in their hands they decide for God what to do with it. And of course that would include huge pastor, pastor family member, and staff, salaries. Don't forget the perks, and the trips etc. If you think it is designated by you, why don't you try asking "powers" and the preacher what his salary, famlies salary, plus perks are. GOOD LUCK.

Kenneth in Georgia said...

just a thought:

Tithing is in the OT...but it is BEFORE the Law was instituted. Read Genesis 14 for a little refresher. Abram gave a tithe to the priest. So isn't that BEFORE the Law?

Abram wasn't under the law either. The only people who get mad about tithing / giving sermons are usually people who don't give anything. You are right we live under grace and that gives us freedom to give more than 10%.

God loves a cheerful giver! That's scriptural. Wonder what He feels about people who are Christians who get on blogs and argue about what a preacher does or doesn't do?

I have a challege....how about you do two things before you right a post:
1. Go witness to someone

2. Pray and ask God if any of your posts glorify HIM? Don't type anything until HE answers.


I think if you do those two things then what Mac Brunson does or doesn't do would be of little importance to you anymore.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Kenneth - wrong, Abram was not a tither. But that is one of the lies told to people to get them to tithe. Abram never gave a tenth of his possessions, he never regularly gave 10% of his "income" or increase. He did give a tenth of his spoils, which at the most would point to someone giving 1/10 of a special, large income.

But let's assume Abram was a "tither", even though its not in scripture as you imply. Circumcision was a ritual instituted before the law, and then incorporated in OT law later, so should that be something we enforce on Christians today? I mean why just pick on tithing that Abraham supposedly did, and was then later put into OT law in a variety of forms, but leave circumcision out?

Why are no preachers saying "When you become a member of this church, you're expected to be circumcised. We teach that, because its in the Bible. Don't argue with me, brother, take it up with the book."

But you're mentioning of Abram's "tithe" before OT law is just one of so many, many misunderstandings people have about tithing, that have been taught for years and years in our SBC churches to compel people to give 10%. It guilts the poor into giving more than they should and allows the very rich to give unsacrificially a 10% contribution and believe themselves to be spiritually superior to the very poor person who gives 1% or nothing.

But we'll cover these issues here on this blog in the coming weeks.

Check back in, and you can make more of your arguments to support the false doctrine of storehouse tithing.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog: Good post on 10:14. What Kenneth failed to mention out of the scripture referenced was that the person Abram gave the spoils percentage to, was the King of Salem. I and many others have no idea who this King was, however, he was not a pastor of a local or BIG church. A big difference here when one considers the tribe of Levi was not born yet!!! They were the ones to receive the tithes in the future.

Kenneth in Georgia said...

maybe you didn't get my last post...read chapter 14 of Genesis, it refers to Abram making a "tithe" to Melchezidek..( who some people refer to as a pre-incarnate Christ)

Anonymous who posted after me...quoted the wrong passage.