"...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

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Ministry We Could Do if 90% Would Stop Robbing God

Below is a video of Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring (yes, one word) Church in Anderson, SC. No, that is not Conan O'Brien having a flat hair day.

I like to listen to Perry Noble. He is a gifted speaker. He is funny, and he has no problem speaking what's on his mind. He is the pastor who declared in his pastor's conference earlier this year that critical bloggers are "jack asses". Hee haw.

In this sermon he spends 10 minutes telling his church members that they are obligated to give 10% of their money to his church. Because, he says, it is in the Old Testament, and no gift recorded in the New Testament was less than 10% (which is false), and because his members signed a "membership covenant" that says they WOULD fork over 1/10 of their income.

But they aren't forking it over, and Perry ain't happy.

Perry admits his church is checking the finanical records of its members. He says only 10% of his members are tithing. He says he knows "because we looked". Why don't these churches just require a 10% automatic withdrawl from the members' checking accounts - it would be so much easier!

And Perry is like so many in the modern church: they whine about how much ministry they COULD do if only the recalcitrant sheep would stop "robbing God" and give their money to Jesus - and "giving to Jesus" means only giving it to their 501(c)3 and no one else's. "Giving to Jesus" is not putting your kids in a good school, buying a safe car for your teen, or saving money for your kids' education...or giving it directly to another charitable cause. "Giving to Jesus" only counts when stroking a check to the church. Perry claims that if his church members tithe the state might be able to reject bail out money because the church would be able to help so many poor people. Really? Or would that extra money be used to purchase advertising, hire more professional ministers with comfortable salaries and bennies, build a new building, and open more satellites?

Finally, something very interesting about Perry Noble's sermon is that immediately after he got done hitting the tithing doctrine, he went into a 20 minute tirade ridiculing the modern church (that is all churches but HIS emergent church) - I mean he bashed everything from deacons, to lay leaders, to Sunday School, to Church Training, to bible studies, dress shirts with long sleeves, men's ministries, Sunday luncheons...according to him, its ALL bad, but HIS church has it right.

Funny how the emergent church rejects just about everything from the traditional church...all of the traditions are out the window and trashed...but by golly not the tradition of requiring the sheep to fork over a tenth of their income.

That tradition is still alive and well, even in the emergents, apparently. They absolutely cannot let that tradition go because they need to rake in millions and millions and that tradition helps them toward that end.

video

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Corrie ten Boom said it best when I heard her speak: "God would rather have one righteous dollar than many unrighteous dollars!". God no more needs or money than he does our praise. Remember the rocks!

Anonymous said...

Unbelieveable!!! How sad. How can we expect people to get saved today? What an embarassement to God.

He looks like he has just EMERGED from cleaning out his garage or maybe doing yard work. Could he not respect God and His word enough to at least dress neatly?

I could not be dragged into any "church" (?) like this, much less put one thin dime in it. Can you spell CULT? Pitiful. My opinion! Give me that old time religion, tradition and all. At least, we HONORED and respected God and His Word!!!!

Keep looking up and toward the Eastern Sky, people, JESUS is coming soon. Because the church has definitely fallen away!!!

Anonymous said...

Now if we could just mix Calvanism with the Emergent Church, we would have a cult like you have never seen. Instead of John 3:16 banners everywhere, there could be Malachi 3:10 banners everywhere. Instead of "Thus saith the LORD" you could have thus saith the preacher(?). Instead of "Saved by the Blood of the Lamb", you could have, the first thing of importance in joining this church is not that you be saved, but that you TITHE! Makes you want to join right now doesn't it. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

"Why don't these churches just require a 10% automatic withdrawl from the members' checking accounts - it would be so much easier!"

Don't think this has not been discussed in mega circles. It has,ad infinitim.

But my all time favorite are the computer kiosks where folks can stop in and charge their offering on the credit card. Of course, this is encouraged even though the Dave Ramsey seminar is being promoted at the same time.

It is ironic that when one strips away the differing doctrines that the one doctrine they can all agree on is tithes and how to get it out of the members.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Now if we could just mix Calvanism with the Emergent Church, we would have a cult like you have never seen. Instead of John 3:16 banners everywhere, there could be Malachi 3:10 banners everywhere. Instead of "Thus saith the LORD" you could have thus saith the preacher(?). Instead of "Saved by the Blood of the Lamb", you could have, the first thing of importance in joining this church is not that you be saved, but that you TITHE! Makes you want to join right now doesn't it. Very sad.

January 24, 2010 8:44 AM

The errant teaching of storehouse tithing has nothing to do with doctrinal stances. They teach this across doctrinal lines. It has more to do with keeping the money flowing than it has to do with any doctrinal stance such as Free Will, Calvinism, Landmarkism, Emergent, Seeker, etc.

Most all teach it because they need the money to continue.

In Calvin's day, the "tithe" was treated like a tax just as in the Theocracy of Israel. The magistrate collected and you paid whether you agreed or not. The government and the church were merged when it came to enforcing many laws. You also baptized your baby whether you wanted to or not. Tithing was not an option.

Even the Puritans brought these rules and Old Covenant theology/merged government to the Free World. It is one reason they eventually died out.

Matt

Annett NeSmith Hernandez said...

Dear Sir, we were told about what had happened at First Baptist Church after our move to Jacksonville in June 09. We're military folk and have yet to find a church. I started doing research on the internet and came across the various news articles and your blog in regards to what happened to your family at FBC. I must say that it doesn't surprise me but that it saddens me greatly. There are always two sides to every story and I think that you were doing what you felt was right, as did the church, but neither is right and neither is wrong.

The way the entire situation has blown up and out is discouraging to me as a stay-at-home Mom trying to find where our family values are and to nurture that through a church environment. We have been all over this country and have come across many church scandals. It makes me question what the motives of "mega churches" are and if they truly are following God's heart. I would have to say they are not.

We attended a "mega church" on Fleming Island on the way to Green Cove Springs and they are in the middle of expanding their sanctuary and are in debt, asking for tithes so they can pay for the building. We don't go there anymore but decided that after attending for 6 months, when no one is really interested in talking to you or getting to know you as a family, why bother attending? It was such a huge disappointment to us to have visited 7 Sunday School classes and not one group was really interested in making a connection. They now have 4 services and are using the Carmike Theatre.

Where do we go then? I don't want to label our family as Baptist's or Methodist's or Presbyterian. My husband and I want to attend and be part of a church that follows God's teaching and that isn't still in the stone ages. Is there such a church in this city? We've visited 5 and will keep going but would really like to have some suggestions. Where do we go?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I won't be a critical "jack ass" blogger as this "preacher" says we are, but say something nice, which is nothing more to say how much I appreciate this blog.

I've learned a lot from those who blog on here and now I've been introduced today to a new preacher today that I had never heard about. Not very impressive!

Even Pope Benedict XVI,is urging his priests to be more involved to use all multimedia tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel and engage in dialogue with people - that the use of new technologies must reflect theological and spiritual principals.

So "thank you" WD for using your blog to keep us informed about preachers like this one who is so misguided in his presentation.

Today I'm being "home churched" and tomorrow my $$$$ is going to the mission field!

Lydia said...

My sister in law stayed with some Lutherans in Germany about 10 years ago and was stunned to learn they pay their "tithe" to the government who then takes a percentage before giving it to the church.

Anonymous said...

Megas, emergents, fellowships, communities...I'm pretty much done with the organized church because it has drifted so far from knowing Jesus. Just give me a rich Bible study with trusted friends and I'm good for the week.

Anonymous said...

Annette - I have lived in Jacksonville for over 20 years, and I can tell you, so far I haven't been able to find even ONE real church that is truly concerned with "continuing the ministry of Christ." Unless Christ's ministry is building a nicer building for us and our family to sit in each week. Their goal is their own legacy, leaving behind a building for us and our kids. Their only real and obvious passion is for the people to give more and more to their insatiable budget appetites, not so they can feed more poor, or clothe more naked, or shelter more homeless, or help more unwed mothers, or more widows! NO! Their passion is like the WD points out "if you folks would "step up" we could give ourselves raises, add more staff, get softer chairs and build a better building...all with "God's money" that you are robbing him of.(You work for it, your boss pays you, but it is "God's money" and therefore, it should be going to their budget.)

And it matters not what size the church budget is. I have heard the exact same thing from a church with a $600,000 budget, another with a $1.5 million dollar budget, and another with an $18 million dollar budget. ALL say the same thing. NONE have a passion for those in need.

I would suggest you "continue the ministry of Christ in faith, hope and love in the community and the all the world" by giving directly to folks in need, or to organizations like crisis pregnancy centers, International Justice mission, World Vision, missionaries who are on the field and need funds for outreach, and others that are more concerned with showing the love of Christ than they are gettting people to give money to a church budget, serve one another at a local church, and leave their only legacy as a building that someday will be either torn down or put on a historic register as a museum.

We can't tell you where to go, but we can sure tell you where NOT to go. And keep doing your research. Google the church and its past leaders and founders and see if you want to go where there are and were child molestors, adulterers, and charlatans. But don't give up. God is Good. Jesus is real and loves you. And many are waiting on you and me to minister to them in his name, no strings attached, no guilt trips. But we are all too busy going to church and giving to the church budget, someone else will have to help them. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Matt: I am referring to the Calvanistic and Emergent church in general not just the tithing issue.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of this guy, and never heard him preach. Not inclined to take the time right now.

His biggest problem, if what you have reported is true, is not necessarily his view on giving and what he believes the Bible teaches.

The problem is in the claim (or admission) that he and others in the church checked the giving records to see who is giving and how much.

We have had a rule since the founding of the church that neither pastor nor the other elders examine the giving records of individual contributors.

This rule is blessing to the pastor and other elders. We can look at each member and minister to them based on what the Bible says and their needs, and how we treat them and what we say to them is never based on whether or how much they give. They can always tell us what they give, if they want to.

I cannot imagine why any pastor or elder would want to place a burden on himself that would come with looking at the giving records of the members of his church.

Plus, I can see no benefit to it at all.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Right on Matt.

The Church and state have been at odds for hundreds of years. What we have today is the Church trying to merge with the Roman Church, and preachers trying to be youth directors. aka Bill Hybells, Rick Warren etc.

Alvin Reid dresses like a youth dirctor on retreat, at least he doesn't pretend to be a preacher. I'm convinced his heart is right. Even if he is Purpose Driven.

There is a war going on here. The Devil is trying his best to drive Christians apart. It is amazing to me why the likes of FBCJAX does not see that they have jumped on the Devils wagon and are takeing their church twords distruction.

Wake up Jacksonville! Look around, Rick Warren even said not to model your church after his.

Is it not true that the Lord will build the Church? Why in the world do you continue to believe that Maurillio and RW will?

For you folks going to the Pastors Conference, don't bother. Stay at home. Get your people together, have a prayer meeting, pray the Holy Ghost to begin again to lead your church, then get back to preaching the Word. Hey, could you get a group of your people to go out and visit a hundred homes a day, five days a week. Homer Lindsay, when in Miami, as I recall, visited five days a week for years. I can't recall how big his church was when he left to come to Jacksonville. Did they grow by 3000 or was it 4000?

You can do it your way. But please don't ruin your church by turning it into some YOUTH DIRECTOR GATHERING. That has already been done.

The Father, Jesus, Holy Ghost and you CAN DO IT BETTER!!!

Dr Who said...

CULT

What else can an intelligent person say?

Falls right in line with the Baptist messages we have all heard and are hearing from those within the Baptist Mafia.

CULT CULT CULT CULT CULT CULT

New BBC Open Forum said...

"He looks like he has just EMERGED from cleaning out his garage or maybe doing yard work. Could he not respect God and His word enough to at least dress neatly?"

Amen. He doesn't even look clean, and I assume he's not homeless. "Neatly" doesn't always have to mean a suit and tie. But for heaven's sake, if nothing else, have a little self-respect!

New BBC Open Forum said...

What I'd like to know, because I've heard Steve Gaines at Bellevue say the same thing ("we check tithing records") is how, pray tell, do they know whether someone is tithing or not? Unless members provide their income figures or the church is somehow getting their hands on members' tax returns (which is doubtful but not impossible, I don't guess), then how do they know if someone who is giving is giving 10% of his income? Regardless, it's creepy!

Anonymous said...

New BBC Open Forum:

You are right. It is creepy.

As I said above, why would any pastor want to do that or admit to it.

To many preachers, like lots of professions, become accustomed to seeing things the way other people in their profession do. In a room full of preachers, maybe it sounds good to check giving records. Just as in a room full of lawyers few of them recognize how goofy some of the claims they make are. But when the lawyers get before a group of common sense jurors (not the limited groups one can find in certain areas of the country), and the arguments fall flat instantly.

The preacher class just doesn't get how creepy it sounds when they say they check giving records.

But the bigger scandal is that too many good lay leaders in the church won't pull the pastor aside and tell them how bad that is and sounds.

Louis

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Louis and Newbbc - in defense of Perry, he didn't say that HE checked, he said "we", so it is possible that he does not personally look at giving records. And perhaps by "looking" he means they examined not names of people but did a statistical analysis on what percentages of givers given x dollars per year, what percentage give between the next higher range, and so on. Churches DO that, as I'v heard pastors talk about that from the pulpit.

However, on the other side: it seems as if Perry WANTS his congregation to think that their giving is being watched and tabs are kept on members who are tithing and who are not. If it was someone else who checked, and they were just doing a statistical analysis of the data, why say it in almost a bragging, threatening way, "We looked, we looked" as if to say "you're busted, we looked at your financial records"...and then he assumes his listeners wouldn't like that, and he tells them that they agreed to it by signing a membership covenant. Really? And the finger pointing. And notice he calls signing the membership covenant as "committing to God" that they would give 10%. Its all very cultic and "creepy".

But you know, the point of this post was simpler: its amazing that as different as the emerging church pastors are from the "traditional" pastors, and as much as the emergents take pride in stripping away all the church system and traditions, the one thing they do NOT jettison is the tradition of storehouse tithing. Same jargon, same "robbing God" misues from the OT. same 10% demand is put on people's money, same beliefs that "giving to Jesus" is equated with stroking a 10% check to the church.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of those who preach storehouse tithing actually give their 10% gross to the church, undesignated of course. I highly doubt that they tithe on their gross. Most of them think that housing is not part of their salary. Also bennies such as health insurance, long-term disability, vacations...er conferences/conventions, and books probably do not count.

Dr Who said...

We all know, according to those within the Baptist Mafia, that if you do not give AT LEAST 10% or more of your family income (including the wife), your not going to get through those gates...

GOD will not let you in...

A C S and other Accounting software is very easy for a pastor to access and check someone's tithing history...

Just ask your Pastor is he a user or admin of the Accounting software.

Watch them change the subject, cause there is ONLY one reason for this....

Baptist Mafia and those wonderful DR.'s gotta know... whose heading to heaven?

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine why any pastor or elder would want to place a burden on himself that would come with looking at the giving records of the members of his church.

Plus, I can see no benefit to it at all.

Louis
___________________________________

Louis - the benefit of it is that they can keep otherwise well qualified and experienced men and women from any position of leadership since they are not tithing. They can overlook and rationale adultery, past divorces, smoking, drinking, etc. But if you are not tithing. FORGET IT! You are not welcome to serve in any meaningful way.

Also, by knowing who is and isn't tithing, it helps them "target" various groups of men in the church during their sheep beating.

They need more money for salaries, bonuses, chairs, bigger buildings, and family on staff...so they have to identify and get after anyone who isn't giving the first fruits, their best, the whole tithe.

But all they are do is draining the faithful givers even more. The rest of us see through this crap. They need to trust God. Get back to preaching the gospel and let God provide. They tell us to trust God, they need to try it themselves. Preach the word and trust God to finance the ministry. Don't put family and friends on staff and then cut ministry while asking for more cash. Please.

Thy Peace said...

Barna Group > New Study Shows Trends in Tithing and Donating [April 14, 2008].

chadwick said...

Noble used to pass the plate at the end of the service to 'cut against the grain of traditionalism's mid-service plate-passing.' However, he changed the plate-passing back to the mid-service 'traditional slot' because too many people were 'by-passing' the plate at the end of the service.

--chadwick

Dr Who said...

"Robbing GOD".............

If your Pastor uses this term, RUN, RUN, RUN....!

Those within the Baptist Mafia have this one quote down pat!

People, please stop the insanity by thinking these men have you and your families best interest at heart, because they do not. They really do not.

If any pastor has said this to his congregation, I personally believe he is Satan's puppet.

No Christ centered minister would allow such words to be spoken from his lips.

Intimation is not a Christ trait!

Anonymous said...

"We have had a rule since the founding of the church that neither pastor nor the other elders examine the giving records of individual contributors. "

Louis, most mega churches have this well known and communicated policy. It is usually scheduled to be mentioned in a sermon at least 4x a year.

And I can promise you, most of the elders knew who the large amount givers were, when they gave and when they didn't. But they were smart enough to never discuss it outside the elder meetings.

As a matter of fact, the standard op was for wealthy members to contact an elder to recieve the check instead of putting it in the plate or mailing it.

So, if your elder board really has no idea who the really big givers are, it would be a first.

Matt

Anonymous said...

J.N.'s dad in his latter days was giving about 80% of his income to the Lord's work. Up till this past year the average guy on the street was working till May of the year,paying taxes, before he earned money for his family. My understanding of the new taxes, and the end of the Bush Tax program, the average family will be working till June before he starts taking home money. That looks like a tax{ local,state, federal} of 40%. Oh, let us just say 30%. In any case we are giving to the government a TON of money. So we tithe 10%. It is a lot of money. I know that. What I am getting at is that you serve the Lord and you support your country. This, to me is a heart thing.

The problem begins when the giving to the church is demanded of its members. This is becoming more and more adopted in these MODERNIST CHURCHES. Have you looked at these new COVENANTS that new members are required to sign when they join these churches? It's right there, you are REQUIRED TO TITHE. { Even at FBCJ, the Deacons are required to Tithe. That is right, the Deacons sign a statement that they agree to various things, among which one is the agreement to tithe.} For the privilege of uniting with these churches you are EXPECTED TO TITHE. To me this becomes a fee, like joining a country club.

Giving is a heart matter, Titheing is an example to guage how your giving is going in your family. Foremost, the Lord expects men to take care of their families.

These new COVENANTS are far more problematic than a tithe.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which is the biggest hurdle for these money hungry preachers:

1) convincing people from scripture they are obligated/expected to tithe

or (2) if they do convince them of (1) above, how do they convince these folks that their budget needs = "the Lord" in the sentence "the tithe is the Lord's." So even if it is to be given, WHY should I give it to THEM? Undesignated?

They are not "the Lord." They do not get to receive and then budget "God's money" just because they were hired on a church staff. And particularly if any of them have hired friends and spouses to take some of that money. They have no credibility to spend God's money, and no accountability. Guess what happens. They manipulate your love for God so they can get you to give more money to them, and they in turn, take bigger salaries and bonuses. All right in front of our noses. But boy, we really love our "pastor" who is "God's man."

Wow.

Anonymous said...

Matt:

We don't know who the biggest givers are.

A first!

We have a few wealthy people, but not super wealthy. And we don't know what they give.

I could make a smart aleck comment - Jesus said the widow who put in the mite gave the most. So I guess we never know.

But we don't even know in terms of raw dollars.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:35 Jan 25. You are absolutely correct. Some of these organizations are COUNTRY CLUBS!!!
The problem is that some of the members know it, while others are just beginning to realize what is happening to their church.

Anonymous said...

Organizations are Country Clubs....You are absolutely right! And they don't even serve dinner when attending. At least you can get dinner at a country club. Just kidding, but really what do you "get" from a country club church? The "well, I just go to worship and to serve" comment won't wash. How do you worship and serve a country club. Preachers take your money and join country clubs. They get to eat dinner on your dime. I am beginning to feel cheated!

As to whether they know if you are tithing? Well, you can tell if they looked at the books. If they are "glad handing you", and smiling at you....you are probably tithing and they are happy with you. If you get the "cold shoulder" and the "stealy stare" then you probably are not, and they know it. Been there done that, both ways. You can also tell if they are happy with your tithe if they LET you serve and if they give you a job with a title!!! And if you get to be "chairman" of something or other, your really "IN". And when you walk by people can say there goes, Mr.So and So or Mrs. So and So, and you just know they are "somebody". You can be sure they are "big givers". Completely different than Jesus did while on earth. He ministered to the down and out, the sick and infirm, the widow and orphans. He died on the Cross for us who didn't deserve it. Wonder what money invested in the "country club churches" and the country clubs preachers belong to, could do for a REAL ministry like Jesus had while on earth? God help us to have the wisdom to see what's happening and do the right thing. Granted there are people that do not make a show or who tithe/give large amounts that don't appear obvious about it. Some of these people have not yet figured out the "game", they have good motives in giving. They just don't know that "real church" is over, and there money is maybe being used for things they would not approve of. Like trips, country club lifestyles, fancy cars, when the poor person trying to tithe 10% is driving a "clunker" that keeps breaking down because he can't afford a decent car. Something about that scenario is just wrong. What about the senior widow that has to chose between food/medicine and tithing. But,is being put on a guilt trip by a sheep beating pastor. Wouldn't want to be in those shoes. The widow needs the money/help not the pastor. So you don't get a new bldg., or new whatever, or waste money paying for publicity gurus to "market" the church. How did the real old time preachers do it? THEY PREACHED THE WORD, in season and out of season. And people GOT SAVED. Is that important to anyone anymore...peole getting SAVED? Don't hear to much about it. Where is the visitation, witnessing and caring about the lost?

I got "encouraged" out of my church because I wasn't anybody. I stopped tithing because I finally understood it to be an OT doctrine. They found out about it, I am sure. They found another excuse they used, but you can be sure it was the money. But, you know what...I think I am glad. At least I am not tied to an organizational country club. Now the only One I follow is Jesus. Praise the Lord*******

Anonymous said...

Louis,

That is a first.

Matt

Anonymous said...

This young man looks like a leader of a tadpole group.