"...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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Returning to the Topic of Storehouse Tithing

I hope Watchdog readers had a great Christimas and holiday season with their families. I wish all of you a very happy, prosperous 2010.

I return this week to the topic of "storehouse tithing". I will not cover this topic exclusively in the coming weeks, but have much more to say on this over the next month or so. I will address more of McArthur's views, have a little Steve Gaines' clip to share (he was in rare form just last week dishing out more of his brand of storehouse nonsense), and we'll look at Kostenberger and Croteau's writings on the matter.

Why continue to harp on this doctrine, you ask? Well, this is one of the doctrines that mega church preachers use to build their empires, and its a sacred cow of sorts. Many of these preachers KNOW its not in the bible, this magical "10%" threshold between obedience and disobedience. Their boldness and arrogance in continuing to hang this doctrine on the necks of trusting Christians is deserving of clear rebuttals, and examination and exposure of their techniques. And I'm more than happy to use this blog as a vehicle to give plenty of exposure to these men.

Many people that have grown up in church, and have been loyal "churchmen" in conservative envangelical circles, have trusted our preachers when they told us the Bible says that we MUST give 10% of our income to be an obedient Christian. The problem is, that it just ain't so. The bible absolutely does not teach that the line between obedience and disobedience in stewardship is 10%. Maybe it would be easier if it were so, but its not.

I remind you that I am focusing on the preachers who are "hard core" storehouse tithers - that is they teach that 9% giving of a low-income Christian is disobedience, while 10% of an ultra-rich Christian is obedience. They misuse Malachi 3 to accuse Christians who give less than 10% of "robbing God", while they themselves may very well be the robbers. They wrongly equate their church with the OT "storehouse", and some equate their position of "pastor" with that of Levitical priest. These preachers do this to guilt the poorer folk to give more, to pat the rich on the back for their generosity, and to lay a false claim on the FIRST 10% of everyone's paycheck. These men teach their disciples that absolutely NO giving outside of their church can occur until they first reach the 10% threshold to the church (which must be undesignated according to Gaines!). Convenient for them - but its not in the bible, not by a long shot.

So I will use this blog to help open the eyes of Christians - not by my own arguments, but that of scripture and what men like McArthur and others who are much more reliable voices on tithing than money-hungry pastors who seeks to raise revenue for their empires.

So stay tuned as we address this topic more in depth, and offer your views.

And we'll keep an eye on the hard-core storehouse tithing mega church pastors as they squirm and screech.

---------------

Previous Watchdog posts on Storehouse Tithing:




33 comments:

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Someone a while back was inquiring about where Matt Chandler's sermon preached at the 2009 FBCJ Pastor's Conference is located...its at the Village Church website audio archives in Feb 2009, or you can use this link:

Matt Chandler FBCJ 2009 PC Sermon

Anonymous said...

WD Said:

"And we'll keep an eye on the hard-core storehouse tithing mega church pastors as they squirm and screech."

Interesting to read in todays internet news that pleas for help have started now with headlines telling us that the Megachurch Pastor (Rick Warren)is publically appealing to his parishioners to help fill a $900,000 deficit. Saying this presents an opportunity for those who haven't been hit by the rcession to step up and help.

I'm glad to be returning to the discussion of Storehouse Tithing.

WD is right, the fat cats of Mega Churches and the lifestyle they have flaunted and become adjusted to living are now making them squirm as they are not making budget - and its not all because of the recession or economy!

The small congregations know how to live on a shoestring budget and know how to survive having to do more with less - they are the ones I personally plan want to step up and help.

Thanks Watchdog for your blog as it's been a helpful tool for discussion to vent our feelings.

Anonymous said...

During hard times the fat cats will keep their lifestyle. They will allow the paint to go, the carpets to go, and the staff to be cut. But, we know the mega pastor and family have to maintain their rich endowments and cannot in any way be inconveienced. While many are just trying to keep food on the table and necessary medical care the lifestyle of the rich and famous continue on. And when they run out of funds, and they always run out, the 10% "rules" will be applied liberally.

Anonymous said...

The Mega Churches are robbing the members, not the other way around. Not tithing to a corporation that presents itself to be a church is not robbing God. It is using your God given discernment. Slave owners used to tell slaves to work hard and "God will Bless you." Now mega "churches" say give us your money and "God will Bless you." As with slavery, the responsibility is on God, not the slave owner, or the so called church. I submit that mega churches and mega church pastors are no better than slave owners! We, of course, are the slaves.

Anonymous said...

Spare me if I never hear another sermon from a mega preacher who believes he knows more than God and what should or should not be in the Bible. I have many examples, but they will go unnamed,....this time. This is so typical of someone who detracts from scripture when it is so plain, however they emphasize things that are not in scriptures? I prefer " a little child shall lead them" myself. These so called intellectuals often get it backwards. Please allow me the use of a popular song's lyrics from the past. Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don't mess around with Mr. In-betwen. In other words preachers....PREACH the WORD. Don't try to re-write what God has already given us. Just Preach the WORD, or get out of the pulpit. You will find out one day from the AUTHOR of the Bible HIMSELF,you arn't as smart as you think you are. Many KNOW what is not in the Bible, but they preach what they want, because of their own agendas. But there will be a reckoning one day, it's called the Judgement Seat of Christ for the saved, and the Great White Throne Judgement for the lost.

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone notes there is little mention of budget cutting. Saddleback could come up with 900,000 easily if they were willing to cut back significantly especially with many senior
staff positions that are simply not needed. They don't know how. And they fear a PR disaster if they lay off anyone in upper management. Their whole growth strategy is based on success. Success sells. Layoffs and cutbacks don't sell well in mega circles. After all, when you preach that God is blessing us and your evidence is all the growth, programs, employees, etc. What does it say when you have to cut back? God is punishing us?

(Belt tightening in mega lingo means no more charging lunch on the church credit card for staffers)

I personally believe this is just the beginning. We will see folks step up to the plate with the urgent calls but, in the long run, I think mega's are in real trouble. How many times can you cry urgent when there are no corresponding efficiencies?

The problems here are not just in the system of megas but are also inherent in their preaching of the doctrine of success. It is really health and wealth lite preaching. Their identity is based on growth as in programs, buildings, events, numbers, etc. It is all they know.


The sheep beatings on tithing will continue until morale improves.

Matt

Anonymous said...

These mega pastors (and their spoiled families) and their staff run through money like dope fiends on a binge. They're no different and cetainly no better!

Hey sheep, how do you like being the money train underwriting these lifestyles that YOU don't live?

Anonymous said...

If what Matt explains is true, and many believe it is...Why even bother with church at all? It has become another failed institution. Depending, of course, WHY you attend church in the first place.

Anonymous said...

If what Matt explains is true, and many believe it is...Why even bother with church at all? It has become another failed institution. Depending, of course, WHY you attend church in the first place.

January 1, 2010 6:50 PM

This is the big question. So, what is 'church'? It is certainly never described as a building in the NT. It is described as a "Body" of believers. The building where God dwells is now within us if we are truly saved. We are the temple.

Yes, the institutions are failing spiritually. But they are not physically dead yet because folks still like the institution. It substitutes as worship with the Body and most everything is done FOR you. So, you do not have to seek and develop spiritual gifts that edify the whole body. But most of our churches are dead in the spiritual sense. They are business organizations that run on a business system. The Holy Spirit only gets in the way of the pragmatism because the Holy Spirit operates outside of worldly thinking.

If you are a true believer you will seek out other true believers to assemble with to share the Word, sing, worship, pray, etc. There are no designated pastors in the NT church that reign in the Body. It is a spiritual gift. It is nothing like we see with this man made tradition.

Some are so desperate for true spiriutal fellowship centered on Christ they are doing this via the internet.

The Body can assemble in your home with 5 people or even in a church building. You might go through many before you find the real ones or even one where you can be salt and light and free to develop and exercise your spiritual gifts. Most likely that would be a small church. And it is more likely it would not be considered a real church as in cool and relative to the culture by most modern day professing Christians. But the saints there will be precious to you. Real brothers and sisters. Imagine that.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Bellevue Baptist Leadership having Deacons video their personal praises of Store House Tithing..

Deacon Chairman and his wife


Biblical Mandate Deacon


The Blessed Deacon


The Out of Work Deacon


More to come.....

.

Anonymous said...

Right now, I'm having a hard time affording a pair of shoes and a haircut, and I just wonder how some people can live such a lavish lifestyle and hope when I go to church tomorrow I won't have to hear about some European jaunt or the like cause it will probably make me want to barf or something. Sorry, had to vent cause I couldn't afford a 10.00 dollar pair of sneakers this morning, cause my check isn't here yet due to the holidays. Sorry to be so "selfish".

Jon G said...

Anonymous 8:23

You are wrong on a couple of points.
1) The bible does mention "church" as a gathering place, a building. I Cor 11 references coming "in the church" (vs 18, KJV and NAS). And as I have referenced earlier, the Christians met in synagogues abandoned by Jews after the Diaspora I in 70AD+. Although, I think I certainly understand the point that the Church, with a capital C, is made up of Christ's people, His bride - and in that sense is not a building...but please don't negate the fact that people gathered in buildings in the New Testament as we do today.

2) There are NT pastors mentioned in the scriptures as an office of the church. The Greek term is "poimen" and it is different than an elder or overseer. The pastor title means a protecting shepherd. It is written in Acts and I Peter. What the modern church has done is simply added evangelist/preacher to that role, which makes sense. You want your shepherd to also preach...financially and logistically having two separate people in that role has not been practiced.

Just some thoughts.
Jon

Anonymous said...

"1) The bible does mention "church" as a gathering place, a building. I Cor 11 references coming "in the church" (vs 18, KJV and NAS). And as I have referenced earlier, the Christians met in synagogues abandoned by Jews after the Diaspora I in 70AD+."

Jon, I would be most interested in a referenced source for that. there might have been some scattered instances of such a thing but it was by no means ubiquitous. The Christians were also persecuted during this time and were more likely not meeting in public.
1 Corin 11 references: check out the interlinear for a better understanding. Someone has steered you wrong, my friend.

Pastor is not an office. It is a spiritual gifting. It does not stand above teacher or evangelist or even apostle. Small a.

If it is an office, it is conferred by men. Eph 4:11 says that He "gave" some to be....It is because of a spiritual indwelling not an office.

Matt

Jon G said...

Matt,

I would agree with you on your second point. I should not have used the word office, but instead "title" as gifted by the Spirit. And yes historically it has been men "ordaining or annointing" men into the local office of pastor/shepherd.

But I stand by my first point that there were local churches, buildings were believers gathered. Again, I will reference I Cor 11:18 for you (got to go to most accurate NAS, KJV) as going in the church. But I will also give you references like:

- Synagogue to Church: Public Services in the Earliest Christian Communities (Cambridge University Press 1992)
- The Emergence of the Church. by Arthur Patzia

Remember, Corinth wasn't in the heart of the Roman Empire, it was 700 miles and across the Mediterranean, thus persecution was not as intense there as it was under the 10 different Roman Emperors during the time of the Persecution.

just some Saturday thoughts for you

Jon

Anonymous said...

Jan.2-10:35: They don't care....it's not their shoes. Additionally, their shoes cost $300. They would never wear cheaper shoes, however some of them step into shoes that they can never fill!!!

Anonymous said...

Jon, Paul writes about taking an offering up for the persecuted Christians in Jerusalem. He writes about it quite a few times.

The timeline does not fit your premise. The seige of Jerusalem began in 66AD to 70AD destruction of the temple ending with their flight total destruction on Massada.

during these times Christians were thought of by the Romans as a subgroup of Jews. Many fled during the seige. Those that stayed suffered horrible persecution.

Before 70AD, the Talmud mentions something like 400 synagogues within the city of Jerusalem. If you have ever read about the seige under Titus it is doubtful any were left and if there were, I doubt Christians would have dared to use them.

Christians also contended with the likes of Caligula and Nero. Christianity was not legal within the Roman Empire until about 270AD.

And you are right, Corinth is a long way from the persecution of Jews in Jerusalem which is why I doubt they handed over their synagogues to Christians for meetings and worship. (wink)

Seems to me from reading teh Word that the party of the circumsized was one of Paul's biggest headaches. Think of the minute problems inherent in using a synagogue...the traditions and problems it would bring. It was alrady a big enough headache. And for the gentiles?

One thing that most folks miss is that there were many meeting in different homes. So, the church at Corinth could be many folks meeting in smaller groups in many homes. Letters passed around. It is hard for us to get our heads around this because we think in terms of organization and offices. The Body was an organism. Alive, changing, growing, planting, etc.

You might be confusing the fact that Paul and others witnessed in the synagogues all the time. They
were gathering places where one found people to witness to. In Jewish oral law there only needs to be 10 men to form a synagogue. So there were many.

There is one reference to Paul while in Ephesus taking a group of disciples to a 'school' of Tyrannus because the Jews were opposing him when he taught in the synagogue. Thought to be a school of a Greek rhetorician. He stayed there for 2 years. This only proves the 'place' does not matter a bit.

The early Christians were meeting as a Body mostly in homes because Christianity was not legal.

Continued..

Anonymous said...

Cont...

Our designated "church" buildings come from Constantine legalizing Christianity and turning many pagan temples into what we now think of as a church. Before that, pulpits, altars and pews were even thought of as inherently Christian.

Your first reference has this product description:

"This important work engages with a long historical debate: were the earliest Christians under the direction of ordained ministers, or under the influence of inspired laypeople? Who was in charge: bishops, elders and deacons, or apostles, prophets and teachers? Rather than trace Church offices backwards, Burtchaell examines the contemporary Jewish communities and finds evidence that Christians simply continued the offices of the synagogue. Thus, he asserts that from the very first they were presided over by officers. The author then advances the provocative view that in the first century it was not the officers who spoke with the most authority. They presided, but did not lead, and deferred to more charismatic laypeople. Burtchaell sees the evidence in favor of the Catholic/Orthodox/Anglican view that bishops have always presided in the Christian Church. At the same time he argues alongside the Prostestants that in its formative era the Church deferred most to the judgment of those who were inspired, yet never ordained."

I have not read the book but the description seems a bit tortured with some cognative dissonance thrown in.

The second reference looks interesting from the description and comments at Amazon. There is nothing in particular that I can find about Jews handing over synagogues to Christians. However, one commenter says that Patzia presents himself as an egalitarian. That is good news.

The bottomline is that we love our buildings too much. We love them more than the people in them and that breaks my heart.

Matt

Anonymous said...

"Before that, pulpits, altars and pews were even thought of as inherently Christian."

Correction:

Before that, pulpits, altars and pews were NOT even thought of as inherently Christian.

And please ignore all the other typos and misspellings.

Matt

Jon G said...

Matt

I think perhaps we are not communicating very well - because I was saying the same thing about the 70A.D+ Dispora...during that time only a handful of Jews went to Masada (maybe around 900!) and the rest went throughout the known world. Of course many stayed in Jerusalem, and were persecuted without mercy.
My point is that there were church buildings used by the early Christians, many of them vacated synagogues. But I 100% agree with you that many, if not most, were in homes. And we have put too much emphasis on a church building recently.
I have never read that synagogues in Jerusalem were used as churches, so again I would agree with you fully on that. But synagogues were all around Israel and surrounding areas.

Thanks for some interesting perspectives - I appreciate your great interest in history.

Jon G

Pastor Pryme said...

Well said, Matt... all of 'em.

And when I look at 1 Cor. 11:17 I see the word ekklesia, but the meaning is derived from the context. It simply means a gathering, and is the same word used for pagan gatherings in a couple other places in the NT. If we define it as a building, then pagans were meeting in the same places as Christians!

Rather, the phrase "meet in the ekklesia" means to meet together as a group, without regard for the place or time or purpose. Anyone anywhere could "meet in an ekklesia". And since the context here does not specify a place or time, we cannot add the meaning of a building. The greater context of course is to a body of believers.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman that the time had come for true worshipers to worship God "not on this mountain or in Jerusalem, but in Spirit and truth". He specifically emphasized the fact that the old ways of a special place were coming to a close, and replaced with the inner sanctum, the spirit, the heart. Paul added later that we as a group, and our bodies as individuals, are now the "temple".

So I agree with you, Matt, that "church" is not a place at all, but a gathering of "two or three in Jesus' name". And to do anything in someone's name meant to act as that person's representative, to act with their sanction. So when we believers gather together for spiritual reasons, we are an ekklesia in the truest and most accurate sense of the word. Stones and bricks and 2x4's have nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

"Jesus told the Samaritan woman that the time had come for true worshipers to worship God "not on this mountain or in Jerusalem, but in Spirit and truth". He specifically emphasized the fact that the old ways of a special place were coming to a close, and replaced with the inner sanctum, the spirit, the heart. Paul added later that we as a group, and our bodies as individuals, are now the "temple"."

Excellent point, Pastor. I forgot how much theology is wrapped around that exchange.

He was giving this despised half breed a glimpse of the future. She would never be allowed anywhere near a synagogue.

Matt

Pastor Pryme said...

And isn't it ironic, that God would choose a woman of purity and devout faith to be Jesus' mother, yet this very Jesus would choose such a despised and impure woman to be the one he'd reveal the very blueprint of the coming age to?

If that doesn't put an explanation mark on the contrast between old and new, I really can't imagine what would.

Anonymous said...

As information, review the term "his house". Whether it was Peters, Pauls, Judas, Simon, Lydia, Philip, Chloe, Stephanas,Onesiphoros, etc. Get the picture...the Bible is clear on this point that the house was mainly the place where believers met. If you check out Johnathon Edwards, John and Charles Wesley they met and held revivals in open fields. The established Church would not allow them to preach in "their buildings". Buildings is mostly a modern development and you will be hard pressed to find them in your Bible. This is why it is important for all of us to witness at work, school, at the store, mall, or anywhere else. I would recommend we start in our own families. Very few are getting saved in buildings currently. Fifty years ago stores were closed and church buildings were almost all that people attended or visited on Sundays. Not now. Sundays now are mainly for sports, the malls, some areas even have bars open. The universities founded in America; Princeton, Yale, Harvard, were basically religious. Today, you cannot bring up Jesus in a classroom as it is not PC. The tv preachers today are mainly liberal and have nothing to offer but humanistic philosophy. Your ok, I'm ok attitude. They also provide you a place to send your money. Lastly, the early Christians met underground for fear of being put to death. Fox's book of Martyrs provides ample proof as to what happened to professing Christians for hundreds of years. Sad to say but time is short. End of days is upon us. Study to show thyself approved, a worker that needeth not to be ashamed. Each of us is commanded to study the scriptures. No one has a "lock on understanding" regarding what is contained in the Bible.

Jon G said...

Actually Pastor Pryme, I think the context of I Corinthians 11:17-22 shows the difference between the ekklesia (a place of worship) and the oikia (a house).
And it is hard to discredit James's admonishment to the Christian that if a rich man walks into your synagogue (building) and you give him a special seat...
Lastly, when you read the familiar verse of Hebrews 10:25 of not forsaking the "assembly" - that is the Greek word for "synagogue" - a building where people gathered.
I really am not disagreeing with all that you and Matt are saying - I am just saying that it is irresponsible to say that there was no "church building" mentioned in the NT, when it is!
I do hope your Sundays go well, and that the Spirit uses you in powerful ways tomorrow Pastor Pryme.

Jon G

Anonymous said...

Jon, I think I see where the confusion lies. Much of what you are referring to are portraits referred to from that time which would include synagogues and what happened within them..customs, rules, laws, etc.

This is especially relevant to 1 Corin 11. The issue is headcoverings for women during worship. The Jews covered (both men and women) in the synagogue to show their sin before God. This became a bone of contention in the NT assembly.

In a nutshell, Paul is saying that men should NOT cover when worshiping because Jesus Christ paid for their sins. Whereas for women it was a whole other matter. Culturally they covered for reasons of modesty. Prostitutes did not cover. And an unbelieving husband could divorce if the women did not cover. So this could be a problem for a woman not covering. This passage is translated horribly but basically Paul is saying women can choose to cover or not in worship.

In Hebrews 10, the word is episunagoge and strongs lists it as especially a meeting place for Christians. it does not determine what kind of place as I can see from the context. (I do not always trust strongs definitions)

Here is something interesting about that word:

The Greek word under "assembling" in Hebrews 10:25 is “episunagoge”.
“Episunagoge” is only used twice in the New Testament, once in our passage, Hebrews 10:25 and in 2 Thessalonians 2:1.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1, it speaks
of our “gathering together” in the air to meet Jesus at the Rapture of the Church. (Hardly a building!)


Matt

Pastor Pryme said...

Actually Pastor Pryme, I think the context of I Corinthians 11:17-22 shows the difference between the ekklesia (a place of worship) and the oikia (a house).

Jon, as Matt pointed out, the words themselves are not their complete definition, as if they can only mean a literal place. It's easy to confuse, as we do even today with the word "church". But again, the emphasis is always on the spiritual "house", not the physical. What else was Jesus saying then? Why is the NT silent about how such buildings are to be constructed, especially since the OT is very meticulous about such things? Where are our instructions for something God would require of us? We don't even have rules for an order of worship, a style of music, or even a day or time or frequency of worship. Why not? The silence, IMHO, is deafening.

And it is hard to discredit James's admonishment to the Christian that if a rich man walks into your synagogue (building) and you give him a special seat…

It's interesting you should mention James. In 1:26 he mentions "religious" practice, which is more literally rendered, "rituals", and he defines it very differently from the common usage: instead of performing rituals he speaks of controlling the tongue; instead of fooling oneself with "vain" or useless religion he speaks of caring for the grieving and the widow, and personal purity; instead of prejudice and favoritism he speaks of treating everyone as brothers and sisters. That (2:2) is where we see the word "synagogue", which like our word "church", can mean either a place or the people meeting there. But the meaning of a sacred building is quite out of place, seeing that he led up to that point by contradicting all the usual ideas about worship. This is quite compatible with the simple statement of Jesus about "neither here nor there".

I really am not disagreeing with all that you and Matt are saying - I am just saying that it is irresponsible to say that there was no "church building" mentioned in the NT, when it is!

But Jon, that is disagreement, since we're saying that no place in the NT do we find such a strict and clear "sacred place". I rather think it's irresponsible to impose the meaning of a physical building for our gatherings. Again I ask where there are any details given about such places.

I do hope your Sundays go well, and that the Spirit uses you in powerful ways tomorrow Pastor Pryme.

That's very kind of you, Jon. Thanks, and I hope the same for you. :)

Richard said...

California pastor takes in $2.4M after donations plea

Evangelical pastor Rick Warren's plea for donations to fill a $900,000 deficit at his Southern California megachurch brought in $2.4 million, Warren announced to cheers during a sermon at the church on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Lets end this boring back and forth of what the church is... THE CHURCH is the BRIDE of CHRIST. The body of believers from every walk of life. BELIEVERS IN HIM AS SAVIOR, referred to in Rev. It is those that have accepted Jesus and His shed blood for remission of OUR individual sins. It is those that believe in His death, burial and resurrection, those that look for His return for THE CHURCH, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST!!! It is the body of born again believers, those dead in Christ (SAVED) and those believers (SAVED) who will be alive when Jesus returns. That's it. No buildings, no organizations, no programs, no other singular religions that may or may not think themselves as specially ordained. Just born again believers!!!! So can we now stop trying to show each other and readers how ecclesiastically smart we are. Thanks!!!!

Anonymous said...

It is my observation that too many pastors, in both large churches and small, equate the large building as proof that God is working in that fellowship. They even say if we have enough "faith" God will somehow provide the funds (ie: get the sheep to fork it over) and we will have this grand building with over a 1000 people in it. (Instead of the place we currently worship with about 700 in it.) This is actually the goal of some men who are leading congregations...give us millions and we will build a better building, have more members, and this will be evidence of our faith.

Never heard a pastor yet talk about how many folks they were going to feed, how many they were going to clothe, how many they were going to help get out of debt, find jobs, etc. No, all they ever "lead" us into is a bigger building that we pay for.

And then they add insult to injury by actually saying it is a measure of our faith in God whether we get the money for the building or not.

They just don't get it. And they don't get my money for that nonsense either. If I want a bigger congregation in a bigger building, I can drive less than 2 miles north or south. And better use "God's money" in ministry elsewhere. What is it with these preachers wanting bigger congregations and bigger buildings?

I know we should try and reach the lost, but that bigger building is not going to reach one person. Why spend millions on it when so much ministry could be done with those funds and more people reached and touched by the love of God.

And by the way, that bigger church will have higher overhead and require more sheep beating and less ministry. Its an endless cycle.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:19 You are so correct. Many of these mega churches have less than $50,000 in their budget to help those who have real financial burdens in their own memberships. Take a church of $20,000,000 or $10,000,000. This averages out to 0.25% or 0.50%. Really small potatoes when you consider housing, car, and travel allowances for the pastors and other staff!!! Their percentages are a lot more than all the charity $50,000 can provide.

Anonymous said...

From First Dallas member,
I don't know much about Warren but do not see anything wrong with his approach except the misleading statement that no one gave over 100.00. Just does not add up, but as far as sending the letter was just a Pastor telling his flock where they stood and letting them decide how to handle it instead of the high pressure approach of most of these guys. However the misleading statement does taint the entire thing in my mind, why do these guys always have to stretch it like that? It just shows me that they are eaten up with being bigger and better than the other guy.

I think alot of mega churches miss the boat when it comes to helping their own. We have a great ministry to the homeless we used to own and now continue to partner with. But the average member with a job loss or somehting similiar goes to the staff member that is responsible for that ministry and they are completely humiliated for asking.

Pastor Pryme said...

I don't know much about Warren but do not see anything wrong with his approach

Therein lies the problem. Not many people know much about Warren, and that is precisely why they don't see anything wrong with his approach. But deception is intrinsically hidden; it doesn't advertise its intentions, so we must dig and investigate, especially when the person in question has great influence. You might want to see the link I gave in the Warren thread for detail.

Anonymous said...

From First Dallas Member again.

Let me clarify.

I don't think a Pastor sending a letter to his congregation to let them know there is a short fall in and of itself is a problem. This blog has screamed for openess about the finances and this could just be a part of that in many circumstances.

Does not sound like that in this case. It sounds more like Warren lied about the facts of the raise and is also a high pressure God robber preacher. In that circumstance it's a different case.

I am a tither and believe it is right. But that is a interpetation and one of those cases I think everyone needs to work out between themselves and God.

The storehouse is really a leap and I think a underhanded way to grow revenues. I had a preacher as a kid that taught tithing was a great practice, he believed it was God wanted him to do but to seek God's will for my life in that area. He also taught that storehouse giving was not a command but requested we pray hard about it because bills had to be paid. Of couse coming from a Preacher that drove a VW and wore suits his wife made him because of how Pastors were paid in those days gave him credibility that BMWs and tailored suits don't.

I loved Mac but dang he could tick me off. I never will forget the Sunday when he stood in the pulpit and said before we buy the Beemer or Jag we better seek out God's will. On that very Sunday he had a Jag and Beemer SUV with paper tags in the lot.