"...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

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dave Ramsey on Tithing - I Did It All the Way Into and Out of Bankruptcy

Dave Ramsey, the very popular personal finance guru who appears frequently on the FoxNews Channel and teaches church members how to manage their finances, seems to advocate that Christians should continue the practice of tithing under all circumstances, even when their finances become tight...and get this....even when facing bankruptcy, or even if they are IN bankruptcy.

First of all, I like Dave Ramsey and he has done much to help people better manage their finances. I take nothing away from him on that. But he gives some very eye-popping advice on tithing that I think Christians should be aware of, especially since Dave makes the rounds in evangelical churches teaching Christians how to manage their money.

Here on the "Ask Dave" portion of his website, the following is asked:

"Janelle in Sacramento wonders if they should cut their tithe in order to help them get out of debt more quickly. Dave explains his spiritual take and that he wouldn’t stop his tithe or reduce it."

OK, so then Dave (or the writer of Dave's response) answers with the following:

"No, I wouldn’t stop my tithe. I wouldn’t reduce it. It’s a tenth. I tithed all the way into bankruptcy court and all the way out. These are a loving Father’s instructions for His kids."

The above is the last paragraph of his answer, I'll deal with the others below. So he is saying that even if times are tough, whatever you do, DON'T REDUCE YOUR TITHE! I find it hard to believe that a credible financial expert would tell people this. There are a myriad of circumstances in which a Christian may need to reduce their charitable giving. People that have made poor choices and amassed serious debt very well may not be able to tithe and care for their families. Not to mention it may be downright immoral for a Christian to fork over 10% of their income to a church when they have creditors who are not getting the money owed to them.

And then he throws in that he has tithed all the way into bankruptcy court and all the way out. This reminds me of Mac Brunson's words that he's never seen a tither go broke. Well, apparently Dave Ramsey did. I wonder how court appointed bankruptcy trustees will take to a Christian who seeks bankruptcy protection from the courts, and the trustee sees that the person is continuing to give thousands of dollars to their church but not paying their creditors. Is that even legal? Is it moral to write checks for 1/10th of your income to your church at the same time stiffing your creditors and going to the government for protection from those creditors?

Now the rest of Dave's response:

"By definition, an evangelical Christian is someone who believes what the Bible says. That’s where we need to go for our answers, not some guy on the radio. However, I can help you with that. I’m not your authority; God’s word would be."

Sounds very good, so far.

"As I’ve studied Scripture, the word 'tithe' literally means tenth. Deuteronomy says to give a tenth of your net increase—a tenth of your income. About 1,200 years of Protestant Christian teaching has been that the tithe goes to the local church because the local church is the New Testament representation of the Old Testament storehouse. The Old Testament storehouse took care of the Levites. The church in your community is supposed to be doing that. That’s an evangelical Christian definition of it.

Here's where the problems start. I think he should have stopped after paragraph 1 - this paragraph proves his thesis of not being an authority on tithing in paragraph 1.

Some comments:

- The "storehouse tithe" concept is not a 1200 year old protestant teaching...in fact, last time I checked we've only had 500 years of "Protestantism" (Martin Luther hung his 95 theses in 1517, so that would be 493 years). But maybe Dave is confusing the tithe with the Catholic indulgences which do stretch back 1000 years or so.

- the "storehouse tithing" doctrine has been taught in American evangelical churches for about 100 years. Its not a 1200 year old, church teaching as Dave says.

- not sure which Deuteronomy reference he is making, but it may very well be the tithe to the poor described in Deut 14:28-29. Only problem is that was a tithe to be given every third year, and was primarily intended for the poor and needy. So this would be 3 1/3%. There were also two other tithes in the Mosaic Law (the Levitical tithe and the festival tithe - bringing the total to 23 1/3% annually, not 10%).

- Dave has one thing right: "The church in your community is supposed to be doing that", referencing caring for the poor. He knows by and large very little of the 8 billion dollars going to Southern Baptist coffers each year make it to the poor and needy, or even to world evangelism.

- I know of no place in the bible where the "local church" is the representation of the "Old Testament storehouse". The New Testament "church" was not a building or a storehouse. It was a collection of believers.

Dave continues:

"When does it occur? As I’ve studied it in Scripture, it’s real clear that it’s off the top as it says in Proverbs. That’s before anything else occurs. Having said all of that, there’s enough toxicity in Christianity and misinformation, so let’s back up from that. God loves you whether you give money to the church or not. He doesn’t love you more if you give. We’re not going to get into performance-based legalism. We’re just doing this because we love God and that’s what He’s telling His kid to do. I’m going to follow that."

- reference to Proverbs must be Proverbs 3:9-10, where we are told to bring to the Lord "the firstfruiuts of all thine increase" (KJV) or "the first of all your produce" (NASB)...so yes, we are to bring the first of our crops.

- Kudos to Dave, as he does have it exactly right that God doesn't love us more if we give more.

Finally, I wonder why Dave would be so firm on this, that he would recommend someone to not reduce their giving below 10% under any cirucmstances? I'm assuming that its not a deeply held biblical conviction, as he misses the historical length of Protestantism by about 700 years, and doesn't know the tithe to help the poor in Deuteronomy is only 3 1/3 percent per annum. Is it really out of conviction? Would any serious financial consultant recommend a Christian to tithe even when they are facing financial trouble, even bankruptcy?

Its no secret that a portion of Dave's market for his services is derived from evangelical churches. Probably every WD reader has seen an advertisement at their church to attend a Ramsey seminar or simulcast.

How popular do you think Ramsey would be with the evangelicals, especially of the Southern Baptist ilk, if he were to admit that sometimes a Christian has to reduce their giving in certain life situations, or to admit that to be a generous giver might not mean 10% for some Christians?

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do not care what anyone says.

Nowadays, it is a whole different ballgame within those church walls.

This is not our grandma's church folks. From time to time The Baptist have a motto tagged to a pastor going to a new treasure field ( what we used to call church) which says;

" It is a new day here at xyz Baptist Church!"..... Just as it is for us at times with having bad days, sometimes that "new day" can be a bad one for that "xyz Baptist Church".

It was at my former church!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

On Dave's website, there are some other quotes on tithing that are worth reading, and perhaps clarify his views:

In response to a person claiming they can't tithe because they have credit card debt of $3000 per month and only earns $3200 per month, Dave responses:

"We don’t do the church tithe because it’s a salvation issue or to make God like you more. He is already crazy about you. Don’t do tithing to secure your place in heaven. Tithe from a positive motivation. Your Heavenly Father said in the Bible to tithe before anything else, but it’s because he wants you to be a giver. That’s His primary motivation in wanting you to tithe.

You won’t lose favor with Him if you stop for a little while to get this mess cleaned up. Do what you can do, but don’t keep a $15,000 car and tell me you can’t tithe a year from now. Get a $5,000 car, pay cash for it, get the credit card paid off and the rental property sold. The tithe is the natural thing that will happen."


When Dave is asked if a person should tithe on a sizeable inheritance, he says:

"There’s no indication in Scripture that you tithe on inheritance. I think if you give money on an inheritance, it would be considered more of an offering. It never hurts to give. But I don’t think you have a biblical mandate to tithe on an inheritance. Scripture seems to indicate that the “tithe” is on the money that you earn."

When asked about whether a person should tithe on the gross or net, and put 15% of their gross into retirement, of 15% of what's left over after the tithe is paid. Dave says:

"It’s all about the gross. If you make $60,000 a year, you would tithe and do 15% on that. The idea is that you invest a healthy amount. Tithe on the gross as a Christian and the 15% is just calculated on you annual income."

Lin said...

I am reading a bio of George Muller to my daughter. He is the pastor in England that started the Orphanages and never once asked for money. He just prayed and God provided. Millions were given over a span of 60 years to build many Orphanages and run Sunday Schools (back then they were for both basic education and theological education) for thousands of children.

He never asked for money because he wanted to show people what God would do. Not what man could do and that only God would get the credit.

He kept track of every penny given and kept track of every single prayer request and when it was answered. He had no salary. He depened on God for rent and food every day.

If someone gave him money that he knew was in debt, he returned it. He refused it. He would tell them to pay their creditors first.

Please read his book to your kids. It is one of the hero's of the faith series.

http://www.amazon.com/George-Muller-Man-Faith-Heroes/dp/1577481771

Lin said...

Also, here is a free e-book by George Muller. He was very reluctant to write about his experience but we are blessed he did.

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/20379

Anonymous said...

Does Dave use any New Testament scripture references such as this one: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (King James Version) Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Or put another way: "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Or my favorite from The Message paraphrase: "I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving."

And my personal translation, the "Layman's Version" (LV) - "What you give is between you and Jesus. It is not what the full time paid preacher who makes his living off of your donations says you have to give. Give whatever amount you want to give. Don't believe them when they twist scripture and tell stories to guilt you into giving more. Because God loves you and wants you to give for the right motives."

Anonymous said...

Nowadays, it is a whole different ballgame within those church walls.
==================================
Just as the education system, so goes the failure of the gospel teaching to the next generation.

No longer are we teaching that we are to be in the world, but not of the world.

Christians can use the system & file for bankruptcy - pay their tithe, but not their debt - divorce their believer mate,and still serve as a church deacon(or even be a preacher), drink their booze, of course in moderation and can still be a leader for the young people. Oh yes, don't forget the molested children and able to return to the ministry.

Right - it is a different ballgame that Christians now accept as being the normal - right again, this is no longer our grandma's church.

Ramsey, Bortz and Beck - all products of bankruptcy telling us how to manage our monies. Don't think so!

Arce said...

WD:

It is common for financial advisors to recommend that people give away ten percent to charitable activities and put away ten percent (some say 15%) as savings toward retirement. The ten percent to be given away is a total for charitable purposes.

The courts have ruled that if you have been giving a set amount or percentage to the church, you can continue to do that in bankruptcy, provided there is a religious motivation and basis for doing so.

I have been in churches that suggest a tithe as a guideline and consider tithing or an effort to increase giving toward tithing as a qualification for being nominated to be a deacon, council member, etc. OH, but those are congregationally governed churches with freely elected personnel committees and budge committees that set compensation and benefits for staff.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, show me where it is demanded in the NEW TESTAMENT that a person tithe. It isn't there. And according to Dave, you tithe on what your gross earnings are. Ok, here is a scenario: Suppose one inherits several million dollars (I wish) and one never works for any money. Dave says there is no scripture speaking about one having to tithe on inheritances. If so, then one could inherit loads of money, never work and not be required to tithe. See how stupid some of these tithing issues are. Once and for all man gives to God, that would not be to an organization that does nothing for humanity but make themselves richer. Jesus always helped the poor. His love was toward all of us sinners. If it was so important, why do we have no scripture where JESUS SPEAKS in regard to tithing. It certainly did not help anyone in the Old Testament to tithe. Jesus still had to go to the Cross to pay for the sins of all, TITHERS AND NON-TITHERS. Tithing didn't really matter did it!!!! We are under GRACE not the law.

Anonymous said...

Dave Ramsey is OVER-RATED

Anonymous said...

Think about this folks;

Dave Ramsey is big into the Church scene for conferences (both video and live) and appearances to promote his format "theology" of debt reduction.

Pastors scratch his back by giving him the audiences and church stage, he scratches their backs by promoting "the 10% or better tithe" given to them...oops I mean the church!

Hmmmmmm, just think about it.

why are so many so blinded....

Anonymous said...

" Ok, here is a scenario: Suppose one inherits several million dollars (I wish) and one never works for any money. Dave says there is no scripture speaking about one having to tithe on inheritances."

Good point. This is what comes of preaching the law.

As to this idea of tithing on the gross, this is another place it becomes Talmudic to teach the law of tithe in the New Covenant. Gross idea comes from the concept of first fruits. (Tithing operated like a tax in the OC for the nation of Israel)

Think of all the scenerios that could become problematic. If our President gets his way, there will be very little "net" left on the gross. And couple that with rising inflation and one could be in big trouble with a gross tithe. (pun intended)

Dave does make a good living with seminars and selling books in churches. I know of one church hosting his seminars while they were experimenting with ATM like stations around the church where folks could pay their tithe with credit cards.

Don't they call that cognitive dissonance or something like that? Maybe hyopcrisy is a better word.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Dave Ramsey is hoping to get on the Church Speaking Circuit, or is that the Good Ole Boy Circuit.

And they have the nerve to suggest they are speaking from a Biblical Perspective.
They should heed the warning that God will hold the teachers and the preachers especially accountable for what they do and teach.

Anonymous said...

I heard one of these tv speakers, I truly cannot call him a pastor talk about "Financial Authority" today. It was such a sham. No more sickness, just more money flowing into your bank account, perfect children, no more problems for you ever, and you are sowing seeds that bring back many times their fruit. Disgusting and totally untrue.

CWM said...

In the years that I have been in the ministry, I have never seen a time when there was such animous against pastors in general. I fully recognize that there are "hirelings" in the world. The fact however remains that not all pastors are hirelings, nor are all pastors that believe, preach, and teach the tithe rigthly divided from the scriptures, are ill motivated crooks.


I for one am sad that this is a "new day."

Anonymous said...

I would like to see more pastors and staff members practice real Christianity...Be ye kind one toward another. I find a lot of big time pastors and staff treat others as stupid, ignorant, or just do not like their personality. Yet, if that person tithes maybe all the above doesn't matter, huh? Anyway, that would be a real change to see these individuals actually "POSSESS" real Christianity rather than just "PROFESSING" it as it does make a difference. Possibly thats the reason WHY a lot of pastors leave the ministry...their hearts are not into it!!!

Anonymous said...

By giving a tithe on the gross amount earned, I would say many Seniors that continue to give generously on their Social Security income may be tithing twice. What say ye? Sometimes my contributions exceeded the expected 10%. I do believe "God loves a cheerful giver" and perhaps a generous one also.

Anonymous said...

Pastor of 5:22 March 2. You are correct, however, in the last days men will be lovers of themselves which unfortunately some men just happen to be pastors which love filthy lucre. Fortunately, they are given a second chance to repent of this sin and change their ways. Humility of course comes into play. This fruit (meekness) is key to a pastor's ministry. For without it there is little hope in ones ministry being productive for the Lord.

I believe in prayer and hope that all who read this blog will pray for these men who have lost their first love and repent. They are not only serving their own self interest but are "idle shepherds" and are stumbling blocks to the members that they are to build up in the faith. God bless you and the other pastors who are carrying their crosses.

Anonymous said...

You seem to equate tithing with other "charitable giving". If that is your stance then it seems short sighted. The Biblical discipline is not just "chritable giving" it is a Biblical mandate.
johnny

Anonymous said...

CWM said...
In the years that I have been in the ministry, I have never seen a time when there was such animous against pastors in general. . .
=================================
May I just say that in all the years I was a member of FBCJ I never once heard a negative thing said about the Senior Pastor prior to the one that is there now.

What happened has been well documented on this blog why people are fed up with the corruption of pastors in the ministry.

For example members are not impressed when monies was spent for the "Queen of Sheeba" to have a royal draped banner saved just for her when she arrives in church - then to hear the pulpit husband speak about her love for shoes, manicures, pedicures.
shopping and travel expeditions, and on and on.

What a lifestyle they both are priviledged to live off of the fruits of the storehouse givers. There is no humbleness in either - just testimonies of how hard they know life is for "some of us' but the church needs another million from us!

As you say "I for one am sad that this is a "new day."

It's sad that the "greed" of these Pastors, and their lifestyles has stained the good work of the real pastors in the ministry.

What I don't understand is how Pastors put up and stroke the backs of these fakes - the ones who don't are genuine and never have blogs written about them. They may not make the big bucks, but what they have is worth far more which is RESPECT!

Anonymous said...

"For example members are not impressed when monies was spent for the "Queen of Sheeba" to have a royal draped banner saved just for her when she arrives in church - then to hear the pulpit husband speak about her love for shoes, manicures, pedicures.
shopping and travel expeditions, and on and on"




Don't forget her personal trainer. Mentioned in a sermon here in Dallas. To see such materialism in a pastor's wife is disgraceful and immature.

Anonymous said...

"For example members are not impressed when monies was spent for the "Queen of Sheeba" to have a royal draped banner saved just for her when she arrives in church - then to hear the pulpit husband speak about her love for shoes, manicures, pedicures.
shopping and travel expeditions, and on and on"




Don't forget her personal trainer. Mentioned in a sermon here in Dallas. To see such materialism in a pastor's wife is disgraceful and immature.

Arce said...

On Bankruptcy

Many bankruptcies result in the entire debt being paid, but without the excessive interest rates, fees and charges that the credit card companies and other creditors try to collect along with the legitimate debt. It keeps the creditors from seizing the assets and putting liens on homes and having them sold out from under people to pay not only the original debt, but also the high interest, late fees, and attorney fees that can total 2-4 times the original debt.

In bankruptcy, the creditors must prove up the original debt, and the bankrupt person puts together a budget, reviewed and amendable by the court, showing income and minimum but reasonable current living expenses. The difference is used to pay off the debts over 3-5 years. The high interest and fees disappear. All secured creditors get paid first, and if they cannot be paid off, can negotiate over whether the debtor keeps the securing property on a new payment schedule or the property is liquidated to pay the secured creditor(s). Unsecured creditors get paid off to the extent of the available money on a pro rate basis.

Given the behavior of many creditors, with excessive fees and interest rates (often more than 29 percent), bankruptcy may be the only way to fiinancial solvency for many people.

Anonymous said...

In the years that I have been in the ministry, I have never seen a time when there was such animous against pastors in general. I fully recognize that there are "hirelings" in the world. The fact however remains that not all pastors are hirelings, nor are all pastors that believe, preach, and teach the tithe rigthly divided from the scriptures, are ill motivated crooks.


I for one am sad that this is a "new day."

March 2, 2010 5:22 PM


animous? I think you mean animosity?

Friend, lets look at this a bit deeper. You are probably concerned because you make your living as a pastor. So, your reaction is to rebuke the Christians here who are quite concerned with what is passing for Christian practice out there. And rightly so.

You also make another assumption that the tithe is 'rightly divided' from the New Covenant writings. That is a form of rebuke instead of engaging in a discussion how that is true. Can you show us how the tithe is commanded for the New Covenant Body of Believers? No one here, to my knowledge,has spoken against giving. I urge everyone to give to brothers and sisters in need. That is the New Covenant model.


I can understand why you are defensive and your first reaction is to rebuke... but to many ears here, it is just more of the same. A person who thinks they are in a position of authority rebuking the "lay" people. (Even though there is no such thing as laity in the Body of Christ)

Why are so many people concerned about the behavior and doctrine of many pastors now? Because they are rebellious? (I bet you think that, right? Many do in your position, do)

The answer is that the situation has reached a boiling point. There are many buildings and staff out there that have to be maintained and paid for. And people who make their living off others who give are very scared.

To be honest, the first 20 years of my life, I hardly ever heard about money at church. I heard the Gospel. The next 20 years, money icreasingly became a main topic.


In the mega category, you could set your clock to the tithing series. We had spread sheets showing dips in giving months going back 10 years. We knew the trends and planned accordingly.

How much of the Holy Spirit do you think was involved in that? Zilch.

I am praising God that folks are questioning what they are seeing going on out there. And I encourage them to go and study on their own to know truth of the Word. The Holy Spirit, if sought, is the best teacher and interpreter.

Matt

Anonymous said...

lesteWhen people are unemployed, especially for long periods of time, the only way out is bankruptcy. Some file chapter 7 which completely wipes out all debt except for the home and car. The mortgage company and bank can work out a plan whereby the individual can stay in the home and still maintain the automobile. If the auto is paid for and an older model it can be kept by the owner since the person will use it in going to work. The referee can in bankruptcy allow them to keep it. What this economy needs is jobs and the sooner the better.

I would suggest that paying tithes sometimes adds to a persons problems financially particularly when that 10% could have been used to buy health insurance or food on the table. When the insurance lapses it might just be impossible to get health insurance again if there is a precondition. Just wait until one loses their job and then see how they begin to struggle with finances. Then they will feel differently about bankruptcy. There have been some pretty good people and corporations which once were fairly well off that had to file for bankruptcy. Its no shame, its just part of life for some of the unfortunate among us. This is one area the church has forgotten or chooses to overlook. They prefer traveling overseas, building more buildings which are half occupied and even unused. Thats the real problem which some just sweep under the rug. Sort of like the good Samaritan. Its not their problem. Walk off and leave them bruised, bleeding, suffering pain, and no one to give them a caring hand.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that megas always without exception circle the wagons whenever one of them is discussed in an open forum? The reason why pastors have lost their vision is due to their preoccupation with raising funds.

First, they fail to bring the membership initially onboard with just a select few making all the decisions which oftentimes spells disaster. Then they have to "beg,beg, and beg some more" in order to put forth their agenda.

Secondly, they totally ignore the Holy Spirit having anything to do with the church programs...its all man centered regardless of what terminology they use.

Third, they are leaning more toward Calvinism which does not allow for dissent in any form. It also is a deterrent to winning souls for Christ.

Fourth, they refuse to accept the idea of "priesthood of the believer". The reason for this is they cannot and will not be told anything other than what they predetermine as factual...sound familiar?

Finally, we are in the Laodicean Church age. Therefore, old things have to be done away with so that the One World Government and the anti-christ can ascend into power. If you can't see this read the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation.

Anonymous said...

Most of you are wrapped way too tight! From what I have heard listening to Ramsey is that when you do obtain financial freedom you will probably be making gifts substantially more than a tithe. From my point of view, you are led by the spirit to give a percentage of your income and you do everything you can to give that percentage. If it means a cheaper car, smaller house etc then so be it. The focus is that you DO NOT decide how much to give based on what is left over after you have spent what you believed you needed to spend.

Anonymous said...

"From my point of view, you are led by the spirit to give a percentage of your income and you do everything you can to give that percentage."

I find this sort of thinking very confusing in light of the NC model.When you say give a percentage you are talking about giving to the non profit corporation that is called a church, right?

What do you say to a brother in need? The Holy Spirit told me to give a percentage to the non profit entity and I have done my duty. Or do you say, I can only give you x% because that is what was decided on a long time ago.

This is the major problem with tithe teaching. It is basically leading us away from being led by the Holy Spirit in the moment, day in and day out in giving. I am not claiming to live that way is easy. It is not. It could mean 20 bucks today and 1000 tomorrow. It means being in constant prayer about every transaction we make.

The tithe percentage becomes a work. And what is worse, we end up feeling prideful because we did our duty about the work. And we might even be sinning by giving to something the Holy Spirit is not leading us to give to such as a building and not a brother who just lost his job.

Matt

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 10:17, what do you mean by:

"For example members are not impressed when monies was spent for the "Queen of Sheeba" to have a royal draped banner saved just for her when she arrives in church - then to hear the pulpit husband speak about her love for shoes, manicures, pedicures.
shopping and travel expeditions, and on and on."

Can you elaborate on what you're talking about? Thanks...

Anonymous said...

Tom, It always seems to be about money with you. What is your obsession with this area? I think there is a big underlying and unsettled issue of Lordship with your finances.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:35pm. Don't you know the root of all evil IS MONEY. The secular world has been corrupted on MONEY. Hollywood, sports, drugs, governments, entertainment, coveting cars, planes, boats, shoes, fur coats...duh..its MONEY!!! Now its in the CHURCH. If you have a job what do you work for? What do you take to the bank? What RUNS to world???? GOT IT NOW???

Anonymous said...

10:35 PM: "Lordship of your finances".....I know WD can defend himself, byt, I would just like to say that is isn't Tom that has the obsession about money! IT IS THE CHURCHES/PREACHERS. ESPECIALLY THE MEGAS AND THEIR CELEBRITY LIFESTYLES!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Can you elaborate on what you're talking about? Thanks...
================================
Watchdog!
Because you asked I will answer.
Should I apologize for saying what I did? Okay, I will apologize for probably being too catty!

I'm not impressed with hearing week after week about the lifestyles of the Brunson family.

Most men on the clock talk about their work - not on a constance theme of their family home life.

As for the banner comment:
Mrs. Vines always said that saving seats was a sin and anyone was welcome to sit beside her. Mrs. Lindsay, one never knew where she would be sitting, as she was a people mixer. Then when Mrs. Brunson came for whatever reason a sparkly banner was placed in recognition of special seat just for her and the VIP's, and of course placed in a very friendly camera environment.

As for the Pedicure/Manicure's:
Members often heat comments about the preacher being forced to go on shopping trips, baby sitting while his honey goes for her pedicures & manicures.

Lastly:
We hear week after week got 2 plud years their many world wide travel expeditions. (river trip cruise comeing up soon)

BTW:
Wasn't aware about personal trainers until the one blogger made that statment. And BTW, I myself get pedicures, manicures (no personal trainer) go on traveling expeditions, and member of social clubs. so no jealousy on my part.

So hope that give you some inside with your elaboration question. Ouch, I must have hurt someone's feelings about critizing this dear first lady! If only they knew, how many do behind their backs.

Truthfully, the real annoy's at this church is that they had no reason to bann your wife - they began shoving MONEY constantly beat the sheep to give more to support this wealthy preacher, paid wife & son - I no longer go to FBCJ.

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Don't you know the root of all evil IS MONEY."

Actually the Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. Money, in and of itself, is not evil. The problem we're seeing with Ed Young, Jr. and his peers is the love of money.

CWM said...

Matt 4:24 p.m. March 3rd.

No Brother, I meant animus.

It is a noun, and it means "ill feeling" or "hostility" I did not spell it correctly, but I did use it correctly. It is the root word for "animosity."

Now as to your diagnosis of my statement.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be worried about the Lord providing a living for my family. My "living" does not ebb and flow with the giving in our church. It does not go up or down with offerings, and is not affected by whether people tithe or not. In fact most people in "tithe-teaching" churches do not tithe, and the ministry still marches on.

I for one rarely preach or teach on giving. The Lord pays for what He orders. I have never believed that "fundraising is to masquerade as a stewardship sermon." Yet there is such a thing as Biblical stewardship.

Now as to my comment. I have never seen such animus toward the office of pastor in general, from congregations like I am seeing and hearing now days.

I have always conceded and will always concede that hirelings exist, and must always be exposed and rejected. But the sentiment now seems to be that most pastors are hirelings, and unworthy to be viewed as having a divine calling of God.

Now the fact is that not all who teach tithing are teaching it from a greedy heart. Just as you and others accuse pastors of teaching it out of a greedy heart, the coin can be flipped to say that some "reject" the teaching of the tithe from a greedy heart. I do not nor will I put that accusation on any one person, but the fact is that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

There are those who will never see that the New Testament Christians are to tithe, because they do not want to see it. So I will not waste my time. I have made my case on my blog for it, and maybe will again.

What I am tiring of greatly is that hostile labeling, and the attempt to quicly define and cast those who hold this as a Biblical conviction, to be crooks, and evil minded.

Yes in fact this is a sad day.

Anonymous said...

You seem to equate tithing with other "charitable giving". If that is your stance then it seems short sighted. The Biblical discipline is not just "chritable giving" it is a Biblical mandate.
johnny
___________________________________

Where is it mandated? Good luck with that. :)

Anonymous said...

If it means a cheaper car, smaller house etc then so be it. The focus is that you DO NOT decide how much to give based on what is left over after you have spent what you believed you needed to spend.
___________________________________
This sounds good but is not logical and is not being honest. You assume I need a cheaper house and cheaper car to give what God is leading me to give. First, this is much different than saying the Bible teaches I must give 10% of the gross undesignated. Second, how do you know I don't already live in a smaller house and drive a smaller car already so that I can support my family? And third, has the church ever considered using a smaller building, and letting their staff live in smaller houses and driver smaller cars so more of the donated money can go to real actual ministry?

Anonymous said...

And we might even be sinning by giving to something the Holy Spirit is not leading us to give to such as a building and not a brother who just lost his job.
___________________________________

Amen! That pretty well sums it up for me. Even IF, I believed tithing was mandatory, I still wouldn't give my tithe to build a building.

Anonymous said...

Here is why I am so concerned with how the money is spent. Pastors, listen carefully to this layman. It is because if I feel I am to give "to God" in obedience to scripture. Or if I give as I purpose in my heart. Either way, I must believe I am in fact giving "to God." When I see the pastor and staff exorbitant salaries and the colossal buildings and the marketing consultants and the advertising budgets and see ministries being cut and money constantly being aggressively raised...well I have to be honest with you, I don't feel or believe that God's money is going "to God" but to man. So yes, we have to look at how it is being spent if we are good stewards. God's man will spend God's money on God's work. Not on himself and his family and his luxuries. I don't care how talented he is or how long he has been in the ministry.

Regardless of what you believe about tithing, giving to these millionair pastors and to these mega church budgets is NOT "giving to God" but is giving to man. Out of love and respect for Jesus, I cannot and will not do it.

Anonymous said...

CWM - you make some good points. I agree not all pastors are hirelings. Just those that accept $307,000 land gifts two weeks after they accept the job; and who live rent free in an ocean front condo an hour from the church, and who put their wife and son on staff, and who cruise the Danube, and hire marketing consultants, etc.

However, when you state "There are those who will never see that the New Testament Christians are to tithe, because they do not want to see it" you sound just like those guys. Sir, with all due respect, the OT does not teach, nor does the NT teach, anywhere at any time, that followers of Christ are to give 10% of their income to the local fellowship of believers where the assemble together. It is just not there. And even if you could find something remotely related to it in the OT, it does not apply to Christians. (Unless you want to argue that we must be circumsized and obey the sabbath?) And even if it were in the OT and did apply to us in Christ today, there is no way we should be giving it to men who are controlling 501(c)(3) corporations to use to build buildings, and spend millions upon millions on operations while neglecting the ministry needs of others.

Layman

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

Layman I totally agree with your March 4, 2010 2:26 PM comment!!!

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Now as to my comment. I have never seen such animus toward the office of pastor in general, from congregations like I am seeing and hearing now days."

If only Algore had invented the internet 30 years sooner.... Have you asked yourself why this is? There's always been greed and abuse in the ministry. Certainly not all or even most pastors are like this. Most aren't. We don't hear about them very often which is a shame. It's just that we're hearing more about the greedy hirelings now because of the internet, and unfortunately there's guilt by association. Perhaps if their fellow pastors would speak out against the greed and power trips and man-worship we seem to be seeing so much of today they wouldn't be unfairly lumped together.

CWM said...

Bro. Layman,

I do not know of one single pastor that sets his own salary. Nor do I know of any pastor that demands, such and such a salary.

What I do know is that in the three churches that I have pastored in the last 20 years, is that I have kept my nose out of what the church paid to the best of my ability, and merely accepted whatever they provided.

Now that seems to be okay with you, as long as what they provide by vote of the congregation fits within what you deem to be acceptable.

I was criticized when I accepted $100/ week. I was criticized at $500/week, as well as $900/week. My point is that regardless of what the pastor is being paid, it seems that just the fact that he is paid is a problem point for many that I am hearing and reading today. Hence my statement about animus against the office of pastor, and full time ministry period.

It is strange to me that they want to offer it, and then get angry when it is accepted.

As to I give to God and not to man. Amen. As a church it is still their reponsibility to care for God's man. When you give to support VBS you are giving to God. When you give to buy Sunday School literature, you are giving to God. When you give to fund the salaries of missionaries, you are giving to God.

Now that being said, the tithe is in fact a Biblical principle. I can, have, and will defend that later on my own blog.

My concern at this point is that there seems to be a war on the office of pastor that is coming from within the churches.

Again, I say that it is a sad day.

Anonymous said...

" have always conceded and will always concede that hirelings exist, and must always be exposed and rejected. But the sentiment now seems to be that most pastors are hirelings, and unworthy to be viewed as having a divine calling of God."

CMW,

Brother, you still do not get it. Every single Born Again believer has a divine calling of God. There are no professional Christians. There is no specially anointed caste of Christian. Every single Born Again believer is given a spiritual gift(s) and called to exercise that gifting. Every single Born Again believer is in the Holy Priesthood.

Sadly, the present traditions inhibit the work of the Holy Spirit in the Body.


"There are those who will never see that the New Testament Christians are to tithe, because they do not want to see it"

Brother, I am always open to being corrected from the Word. Show me where the tithe is commanded in the New Covenant Body of Believers instead of continuing to rebuke us that we just do not want to see it. Rebuking is easy. Engaging us is harder.

Show it to us, please.

Again, for the record, I have not witnessed anyone here saying that Christians should not give.

Matt

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeff (CWM): you say:

"As to I give to God and not to man. Amen. As a church it is still their reponsibility to care for God's man. When you give to support VBS you are giving to God. When you give to buy Sunday School literature, you are giving to God. When you give to fund the salaries of missionaries, you are giving to God."

Fair enough. But I hope you agree that if I give to charities outside of a "church", ministering to someone's needs in the name of Christ, that too is "giving to God". And to say that my "giving to God" is confined to giving all of my first 10%, undesignated to a church, is not biblical doctrine, but it is greed.

At your blog you have used the word "principle" when it comes to a tithe. That tells me that you don't teach it as law required for Christians to obey, but you teach it as a "principle", that 10% may be a starting point for a Christian, but not a hard requirement, not a threshold between obedience and disobedience. You know on this blog I have been critical of those who are teaching the tithe as law, as a threshold below which a person is sinning. I think its wonderful if a person chooses to give 10% or more of their income to church if that is what they feel led to give, not under compulsion. I don't even have a problem with a person teaching 10% as a conviction that they have and encouraging others to share that conviction. But its not biblical for pastors to hang the 10% law around the neck of all Christians - and when they try to tell Christians it ALL must come to the "storehouse" (church) that is again, unbiblical. I don't think you teach that, if I understand your view. Maybe we're more in agreement on this matter than you think.

Anonymous said...

CWM - on this we can agree: "My concern at this point is that there seems to be a war on the office of pastor that is coming from within the churches.

Again, I say that it is a sad day."

I believe the "war" was started against millionaire pastors and their lack of transparency. Yes it is sad how these charlatans are insatiable in their appetites for power, money and celebrity. It hurts the entire body of believers in Jesus of Christ.

Let us know when your blog post defending tithing is up. I trust you will allow us to comment. :)

Layman

Anonymous said...

I do not know of one single pastor that sets his own salary. Nor do I know of any pastor that demands, such and such a salary.
___________________________________

When a pastor negotiates his relocation package, his first year of housing at the beach, accepts a land gift two weeks after he arrives, has the childrens building conference room renovated at a cost of $100,000 for luxury office suites for him and his wife and dogs, and when he adds his wife and son on staff...you can be sure, brother pastor, that he has also negotiated (ie: set) his own salary. Allow me to introduce you to Mac Brunson. And to steal a quote from Mac: "You don't know a pastor that sets his own salary? Well you know one now!"

Anonymous said...

When you give to support VBS you are giving to God. When you give to buy Sunday School literature, you are giving to God. When you give to fund the salaries of missionaries, you are giving to God."
___________________________________

Amen! That should cover the first million given. Now, what about the 15 million given AFTER those things that are not going to ministry? Is that also giving "to God" when Maurilio gets it? Or when the TV station gets it? Or when the Danube River cruise gets it? And what about the pastor, or God's man, is taken care of financially and is wealthy and set for life? Does the additional money paid to him on top of that qualify as going "to God?"

CWM said...

Tom, (WD)

I do hope that we have some common ground on the "principle" of tithing. Time is of the essence for me now, but later I will post a further defense of the tithing principle.

I do however believe that New Testament Christians are bound to live by the "principles" taught in the scriptures. Yet not because we have to, but because we want to.


As I have said, to "tithe" and not want to is a sin. The only way that anyone can be obedient to any aspect of Christ's law, commands, and principles, is for them to be the "want to's" of our hearts.

More later, but I do appreciate your concessional tone of debate with me over this issue.

I obviously do not agree with certain things that you've said, but my wife doesn't agree with many things I say either, and we still eat together 3 times a day. (sometimes more)

Anonymous said...

"I do not know of one single pastor that sets his own salary. Nor do I know of any pastor that demands, such and such a salary.
"

That is a sort of strawman argument. In many mega's that is approached in the same sort of way CEO pay is approached. In Ed Young's case, he decided what to keep for himself. In many mega's a few men decide not only salary but increases, perks such as a line item for buying books and going to conferences. Some would be shocked at the amounts of those line items.

Many mega church pastors are given down payments for their home as part of the package. Some are even given renovation money to build a nice home office. The list goes on.

It is not that the pastor "sets" his own salary. It is expected and delivered.

Matt

Anonymous said...

March 4, 12:15: What you are tired of etc....

What many of us are TIRED OF is those that take the tithe given by people that believe in it, and using it as their personal "stash" and living lavish lifestyles off of the church, tithers, and GODS MONEY!!!!

Anonymous said...

Integrity (doing the right thing when no one is looking) is missing in church leadership today. Discernment is missing among the average congregant today. Put the two together and it adds up to disaster. The culture is in the shape it is in because the church is no longer salt nor light to this world. The church no longer leads; it follows whatever the latest fad or gimmick is that comes down the pike. Instead of being a God-pleaser it is a pleaser of the masses. We are definitely in the days of the church of Laodicea; the days when people will no longer desire sound doctrine but will follow teachers who will tickle their ears. Sadly, the Southern Baptists have now gone the way of the once more liberal denominations. There are churches here and there with godly pastors who are teaching sound doctrine and are not living lavish lifestyles. But they are becoming fewer and farther between.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:17pm. You are so astute. This is the real reason baptist are losing their members. Many join other denominations or just stay home...who can blame them. When the rapture occurs where will those buildings benefit anyone. They eventually will all be burned up. Its a hopeless situation and we can thank the pastors and deacon boards for what they have accomplished.

Anonymous said...

What are you people talking about? I just read Dave's latest book and he NEVER mentions the tithe or even giving to a church? Are you suggesting he says one thing about getting out of debt and good financial management to a bunch of kool-aid drinkers and another thing to people that think rationally?

He does mention on 5 pages that "the third use of money" is giving. "not enough to turn our own lights off" but to the poor and to charitable organizations. He NEVER mentions giving to a local church budget. Hmmmmmm.

Disingenuous at best. Manipulative of God's people at worst. I wonder if those churches that promote him make sure (wink, wink) he will emphasize tithing no matter how bleak the situation is of God's people coming to his seminar for help.

Lynn said...

I was just reading a little on Dave's website re tithing. He says the tithe was instituted by God for us-I guess so we'll be givers and that's a good thing or something along those lines.

My question is how does Dave know this? Did God reveal it to him somehow? It truly amazes me all the people that go around explaining what God wants and why and God's thinking on everything. What could possibly be more ridiculous and arrogant than that? I mean people actually think that Dave Ramsey or anybody else has some secret connection to the mind of God!

Lynn said...

WD,

I already posted a comment then noticed some quotes you had from Dave's site:

"He is already crazy about you. Don’t do tithing to secure your place in heaven. Tithe from a positive motivation. Your Heavenly Father said in the Bible to tithe before anything else, but it’s because he wants you to be a giver. That’s His primary motivation in wanting you to tithe."

"You won’t lose favor with Him if you stop for a little while to get this mess cleaned up."

How do we know if any of that is actually true? Because Dave says it? And he doesn't say that it's his personal opinions. He talks as if he's stating facts.