"...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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Brunson Defends Tithing Doctrine, Impugns Authors' Financial Motives

Note: the first version of this article assumed Brunson is referring to Frank Viola in his criticisms of an author he does not name in his sermon. However, after further reading it is entirely possible that Mac Brunson is referring to George Barna, and not Frank Viola, or perhaps to both who authored Pagan Christianity. I have made minor edits to this article reflecting this.
-------------

It is not very often that a pastor from his pulpit will impugn the motives of another Christian with whom they disagree over tertiary doctrinal matters, but that is exactly what Mac Brunson did last Sunday in his sermon defending the tithe doctrine.

While Brunson didn't name the author he spoke of, it was quite clear that it was either Christian author Frank Viola or George Barna. A stronger case could be made for the latter, but that is not the intent of this article to determine which. Brunson can clear this up by publicly stating who he was referring to if he wishes.

Mac Brunson said:
"This week I read an interesting statement by a very popular writer who has made multiplied millions of dollars selling his books to churches and Christians and pastors and denominations. I mean MILLIONS of dollars. He's written tons of books. And now having given the church advice over the last 20 years of what churches should be doing and why churches are not doing it and why churches aren't doing what they should be doing and he's given all this correction - he now no longer believes that tithing is biblical. Not only that he no longer believes that there should be a church staff, pastors or staff and he no longer believes there really should be church buildings. That's really convenient after you've made millions isn't it? Made millions off the church and then all of a sudden I'm just gonna decide 'Well you know what, I don't have to tithe all this'.

And this is what he said: 'Tithing is Jewish, but it is not Christian'. I thought Christianity was built on Judiasm. I got a Jewish Savior. Most every one of these guys that wrote this book is Jewish."
This is shameless on several levels.

First of all, why not give the author's name? Isn't that quite cowardly to not give the name of whom he speaks, so that people listening could go check out the author's book themselves and not take Brunson's word for it? From Brunson's description above he probably is referring to Christian authors Frank Viola and/or George Barna who have written the book "Pagan Christianity". If I am wrong, and Brunson was referring to someone else, I apologize in advance. But I don't think I'm wrong here.

Secondly, if he's going to call into question the author's arguments against tithing, why not accurately represent them? In the book Pagan Christianity, Viola says: "Tithing does appear in the Bible. So yes, it is biblical. But it is not Christian. The tithe belongs to ancient Israel. It was essentially their income tax." Viola and Barna go on to address the very arguments that Brunson used in defending the Christian tithe, including Abraham and Melchizedek in Genesis 14, and then the often abused verses in Malachi 3.

Thirdly, why call into questions the authors' motives as being financial? If the argument is that we should discount the author because he made "millions" off of the church and had a financial incentive to write against the tithe, what does that say about how we should view a mega church pastor who himself has made millions directly off of tithers, and has a financial interest in convincing people to give 10% of their income to his church? Let's face it - for Christian authors like Viola and Barna these days to come out and speak AGAINST the tithe will actually cost the author readership and speaking engagements in evangelical circles! Even their publisher, Tyndale, had to put a disclaimer at the front of the book. Read the foreward section of "Pagan Christianity" written by Viola, and the introduction written by Barna, and you will see they have a heart for Christ and His church and the gospel, and desire for Christians to fully understand where the current church practices come from, including tithing. Brunson's argument discrediting the authors is terribly weak, and it is a cheap shot, in my opinion. He should be ashamed - disagree with their viewpoints, but to question their motives from the pulpit is a disgrace.

Fourthly, the statement Brunson makes: "That's really convenient after you've made millions isn't it? Made millions off the church and then all of a sudden I'm just gonna decide 'Well you know what, I don't have to tithe all this'.", this is classic. Who really has made millions off the church? An author? Yes, Viola and Barna have written books and have sold them on the free market and yes Christians are their primary readers. Viola is a popular author and is a strong voice for "organic church" in our culture. But to say either of them have made millions "off the church" is ludicrous, especially coming from a pastor who has, well, made millions himself OFF OF THE CHURCH. And I mean MILLIONS. Pastors like Brunson earn six-figure salaries, earn money from selling books themselves, earn income from speaking engagements at other churches, and advertise Holy Land trips on their church websites and travel the world with their families. So who is really the one that is "making millions off of the church"? Is it Viola and Barna, or the mega church pastors who teach the tithe?

Fifthly, if Brunson is referring to Viola, I'm not sure where Brunson gets the idea that Viola's views on tithing are something he has come to AFTER he has made millions, which is argument is based on. I don't see evidence of that. Viola's book Pagan Christianity was first published in 2002. I sure hope that Brunson is right on that, or he is carelessly misrepresenting Viola's convictions on this matter. If he is referring to Barna, well, Barna has a right to come to a different view, and if he does it doesn't mean his motives are impure, and for sure it doesn't say anything about whether he is generous or not in his giving as outlined in the New Testament.

I would like to close by giving you some quotes from Viola's and Barna's book. After reading these, you'll see why mega church pastors who hang the 10% tithe around the necks of their people don't like Viola and Barna's views.

"If a believer wishes to tithe out of a personal decision or conviction, that is fine. Tithing becomes a problem when it is represented as God's command, binding upon every believer."
"Under the Old Testament system, tithing was good news to the poor. However, in our day, mandatory tithing equals oppression to the poor. Not a few poor Christians have been thrown into deeper poverty because they have felt obligated to give beyond their means."
"They have been told that if they do not tithe, they are robbing God and breaking his command. In such cases, the gospel is no longer 'good news to the poor'. Rather, it becomes a heavy burden."
"Conversely, contemporary tithing is good news to the rich. To a high earner, 10 percent is but a paltry sum. Tithing, therefore, appeases the consciences of the prosperous without impacting their lifestyles. Not a few wealthy Christians are deluded into thinking they are 'obeying God' because they throw 10 percent of their income into the offering plate."
And there is more. I highly recommend my readers checking out their book "Pagan Christianity" from your library. I doubt you'll find it anywhere in your CHURCH'S library however! :) You can buy it from Amazon.com here. You can visit Viola's website here.

You can see from the quotes above, why someone like Mac Brunson would certainly not like these authors' views, and would take opportunity to go after them from the pulpit. But go to Viola's website and read his biography, and make up your own mind. Read about George Barna - read his introduction to Pagan Christianity for yourself - don't just believe your preacher's characterizations of their motives. Read for yourself.

I am glad to say that Viola and Barna are not the only voices exposing the false tithing doctrine. As far as I know neither of them is nor ever was a Southern Baptist. But as we'll look at in the coming days, there is another voice who is daring to expose the false tithing doctrine, and he is one of our own. He is a Southern Baptist. He earned a Ph.D. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and conducted his extensive tithing research under the tutelage of Dr. Andreas Kostenberger at SEBTS. This author's name is David Croteau, and we'll be discussing his recently released book on tithing as well.

I will return to look at more of Brunson's arguments for the tithe to give them a full hearing by my readers later. But if you want to listen to Brunson's sermon yourself in its entirety, go to this link:


It is the Sunday a.m worship service, dated September 12, 2010.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

Viola is a NT "ekklesia" planter and takes no salary from other saints to do so. He does write and sell books. But he is not writing on someone else's dime as do other pastors.

I recommend the following article to everyone. It is not about tithing but about the NT teaching on pastors and elders. If anyone can find false teaching in it, I would like to hear exactly what it is in context.

It is long. About 60 pages but might be the most important article you read to help understand more clearly what the NT teaches about the functioning of the Body of Christ.

Those paid for ministry work will not like it. Just as they hated Pagan Christianity and accused Viola of hating the church when he actually loves the true Bride of Christ.

I am not blindly endorsing Viola. But his teaching on what is the NT model of ekklesia is excellent. And it is life changing because most of us have been taught wrongly all our lives. We have been given proof texts but failed to look at the overall model.

Viola puts it all together in a book about the NT but this article is a synopsis and a place to start.

Some of us were able to see the inherent problems in the man made institution and search for the truth and freedom to function together as a true Body of Christ.

http://www.ptmin.org/straight.pdf

Matt

Anonymous said...

Also, I must add that Mac does not really know what he is talking about. Viola was virtually unknown in mainstream Christianity before he co wrote Pagan Christianity with George Barna, a well known name to many.

I really doubt the "millions" Mac declares. Even Most mega bookstores were scared to sell Pagan Christianity. So there really wasn't an instant market there.

Mac should have named names but then many would sneak and buy the book and be influenced. Do you think he was speaking of George Barna who probably has made millions but he is also not a paid pastor.

Matt

Anonymous said...

Re: tithing it is Jewish and was always Jewish. No gentiles were ever required to tithe. The tithe was also "first fruits". Who changed first fruits to first ten dollars of a hundred? Thats right someone who wants to make a buck off of you the member who doesn't know better. Keep your money and read your own Bible as it is the smart way to find the Lord. Going to church these days is a total waste of time, energy, and particularly MONEY!!!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Matt - I don't think it could be Barna. Barna coauthored the latest version of the book, but Viola authored alone the first edition back in 2002. And Viola's books on "organic" church are pretty clear about church buildings and professional clergy.

Maybe though, his slap was at Barna for coauthoring the book.

Since Brunson didn't specify, we can only speculate.

Anonymous said...

Lifeway carries this book!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dog -
Thank you for making us aware of Mr. Viola and his book. I have been in the SBC for over 25 years, and have struggled with years of guilt concerning tithing.
I can't wait to read this book. As always, keep up the great job, and the truth will set all of us free!

Anonymous said...

Possibly this unknown writer has come to his senses? When one alone studies the Bible and is truly Born Again the Holy Spirit can and will open their eyes. Thanks watchdog for this information and I for one hope it opens the eyes of others who have been in a quandry regarding tithing.

Anonymous said...

This pastor cannot be talking about Frank Viola, he has to be talking about George Barna.

First, Viola doesn't profit from his books and he gives away most of his written work for free. http://frankviola.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/inspirations-for-writing/

Second, he has less than 10 books in print by publishers, others are free ebooks, and none of them have sold nearly enough to even make one million.

Third, he's maintained that tithing is not a Christian practice for over 20 years.

This is all on his blog by the way as he's discussed these things at different times.

Barna on the other hand changed his views on the church not too long ago and has written over 40 books. Many people have made the same complaints as this pastor has about Barna, even though it's silly because we are all free to grow in our thinking. This pastor is making it evil and impugning his intentions.

There's a really good page where the authors answer questions about thew book at http://www.ptmin.org/answers.htm

You might want to change your blog heading and the original post to say Barna because that's who is speaking of.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - you may be right. Perhaps it was Barna. Brunson only leaves it to us to guess.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

The problem with the Barna theory is that I don't see where Barna has written against church buildings or church staff, whereas Viola has.

Can anyone confirm that Barna holds the views against church buildings and staff that Brunson describes?

Anonymous said...

This conversation proves why Brunson did not name the person. The last thing he would want is anyone reading Viola's books. They are too spiritual.

Viola is not dead set against buildings. Place is not that important to him. he is just as critical about home churches that become authoritarian. His focus is on the false teaching about authority within the Body. He sets people straight, using the WHOLE of scripture and not proof texting to show the NT model of church.

In the article that Matt linked, which is really his speaking to a group of pastors, he makes the point that we can make the Bible say just about anything if we proof text. That is so true!

Viola shows how LOCAL paid church staff is a hinderance to the functioning of the Body, spiritually. He is right when he says a paid minister becomes set apart from others. This is not a Body of Christ. He also shows where scripture says an elder is
someone spiritually mature AMONG the flock to care for and guard, NOT OVER IT.

These well paid pastors certainly do not want folks reading Viola!

Here is his website:

http://www.ptmin.org/

Anonymous said...

Wow! Read the linked article from Matt. Viola says that tithing was not taught in the early church. It can be traced back to 7th century. Paid clergy can be traced back to Constantine in the 3rd Century.

I knew that about paid clergy but did not know that about tithing being instituted around the 7th Century.

Please note that he is not talking about giving. Brothers and sisters gave to help one another.

Just wait. Someone will come on here and say Viola is against giving. And it will be a lie.

Tithing and giving are NOT the same thing.

Anonymous said...

"Second, he has less than 10 books in print by publishers, others are free ebooks, and none of them have sold nearly enough to even make one million."

Thanks for pointing this out about Viola.

Don't change your blog title. Let's hope more folks will read Viola.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Barna wrote that sacred religious buildings were not something the new testament endorses. He wrote this in Pagan Christianity. Remember, Barna is the coauthor of that book. So whatever is in it, he is saying too. It's not just Viola saying it. it's both of them as both authored the book. His name is on it which means he agrees with every word. There's a lot more added by Barna too in the tyndale version than what was is in the first edition.

It's obvious to me that he's talking about Barna as most all of his assertions would fit Barna but not the other author.

Anonymous said...

"The problem with the Barna theory is that I don't see where Barna has written against church buildings or church staff, whereas Viola has.
"

What makes you think Mac has his facts straight? Or even cares to have his facts straight? There is a history of this with him.

He simply expects the pew sitter to believe whatever he says without checking anything...which is why he did not name names. he does not want any fact checking done.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I will say this in defense of Brunson. He generally does a good job of checking his facts. But my criticism of him and any pastor is when they take pot shots at people and conveniently don't name them, when it really is quite obvious who they are referring to. Apparently they don't want the casual, gullible listener to go do any fact checking, so they leave off the details of names. Brunson did this with Sheri Klouda back in 2008, misrepresenting her testimony about the scriptural validity of her lawsuit against Paige Patterson and SWBTS, but didn't use any names when it was crystal clear who he was referring to.

This is one of the functions of blogs, readers. To hold the prominent mega church pastors who hold so much power and influence over our convention - holding them accountable for what they say in the pulpit.

Anonymous said...

"Apparently they don't want the casual, gullible listener to go do any fact checking, so they leave off the details of names. Brunson did this with Sheri Klouda back in 2008, misrepresenting her testimony about the scriptural validity of her lawsuit against Paige Patterson and SWBTS, but didn't use any names when it was crystal clear who he was referring to."

The gullible listener is responsible for what they believe. And if Bruson is not man enough to name names and deal with the consequences then the pew sitters should tell him to never mention another "anonymous" story again.

Comfort said...

I decided to watch the entire service from 12 September. I've always loved a good music ministry and I hadn't seen anything from FBC JAX. The music was good, but I was disheartened to see only a few people smiling and truly enjoying and embracing the joy of salvation. I couldn't help but compare the Hoppers rendition of "Yahweh" and this choir. They are talented, but I do believe the Bible says to "make a JOYFUL noise unto the Lord." I didn't see much joy. Then came the congregational singing. Very few people worshipping the majesty of the Risen Savior. If anyone wants to see a choir worshipping and offering pure praise to the Lord, I recommend the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

Finally, the subject of Mac defending tithing yet again. His voice drips with condescension as if he were speaking to a class of 5 year old children. The sheer hubris of a man who would go the lengths he did to discover who his anonymous critical blogger was, was stunning because he had no trouble whatsoever referring to an anonymous source. He does not proclaim the good news, he belittles and shames the very people who pay his salary (whatever that might be). I'm reminded of the moneychangers in the Temple. Just think, if the other 85% of the church tithed, he could run his own small kingdom and no one would dare to question him.

I believe that probably the majority of the FBC JAX members love the Lord. Too bad that they subject themselves to this bondage in the process.

I now attend a non-denominational church. I left the SBC because of the general mean-spirited nature of so many people, and also the lack of discernment regarding the simple things such as right and wrong. Rescuing serial liars, and knowingly allowing sexual predators to continue to damage lives.

Keep up the good work Watchdog. Your work is important and I appreciate it. If the SBC is ever to reclaim its credibility it will be because of the faithfulness of people such as yourself.

New BBC Open Forum said...

He simply expects the pew sitter to believe whatever he says without checking anything...which is why he did not name names. he does not want any fact checking done.

We see this all the time. Steve Gaines is notorious for not fact-checking his sermon illustrations.

Anonymous said...

While on youtube recently I decided to type in First Baptist Church Jacksonville to see if any videos existed and lo and behold someone has posted several videos of the choir singing during the Pastors Conference in the early 2000s and also videos of W A Criswells last sermon he ever preached at First Baptist. Also there are videos of Chip Dorton singing. Anyone who has never been to First Baptist or attended the Pastors Conference needs to check out those videos to see what our church use to be like when we had a real Pastor who use to encourage us instead of berating us.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Mac's history:

Mac's Illustrations: Poor Sermon Prep or Intentional Fibs?

Mac a "historian"? More Evidence of His Difficulty Telling the Truth

Bennett Willis said...

What is a "reasonable" level of giving? Personally, when I read the NT, 10% seems quite low. The teaching there regarding "stuff" (and money) seems to be, "It keeps you from having a right relationship with God and man unless you are very careful--so give it away."

You can argue that "being billed" for 10% to your church is inappropriate, but you need to consider what is appropriate for us prosperous people.

Dr. Brunson has no idea what the level of giving is that either Viola or Barna practice--at least I hope he does not. To imply that they oppose the tithe to reduce their giving amount is very wrong.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

How can a preacher make 38 statements about tithign and every single one of them be wrong? That sound deliberate to me. I have a point by point rebuttal in my personal blog but it is longer than 4096 words.

http://www.russkellyphd.blogspot.com/

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Russ - great analysis at your blog on the sermon.

I am going to post an analysis as well. Brunson covered just about every main false argument for tithing in his sermon that there is.

The part that I guess is the most sinister in this false doctrine is when its proponents mischaracterize the intentions of those who don't agree that tithing is applicable to Christians. When Mac implies that Barna or Viola take their views as an excuse to give LESS of their millions, that is ridiculous. People who disagree with the tithe, like MacArthur and Viola and Barna, Croteau and others....don't teach that people should give LESS, or nothing to their church. It is just that they believe to hang the 10% as the "starting point" of obedience for all believers - that 10% is the borderline between obedience and disobedience, is just not biblical. As Viola says, if a Christian out of conviction gives 10%, that is fine, but when the preacher puts the 10% as a rock solid measure of obedience, that is wrong.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

Thinkgs are popping. I was on National Public Radio last week. I will be on Chicago CANTV 4 times this week and have been invited to London, England when they can find somebody to debate me. Good luck with that.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I will be on Chicago CANTV 4 times this week and have been invited to London, England when they can find somebody to debate me. Good luck with that.

Have you invited Mac Brunson or Steve Gaines? Neither seems to often turn down the opportunity to travel, especially if the sponsor foots the bill. Both hold strong views on the subject of tithing and would be interesting and worthy opponents in a debate.

Anonymous said...

Brunson and Gaines debate the same way Caner debated all those Imams he bragged about.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic: I would encourage Watchdog readers to read Wade's comment here.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

They are looking for a local celebrity to debate me to draw a crowd. My expenses are being paid by a person other than the TV network.

Anonymous said...

WD-
Maybe you could get the JSO to subpoena who Dr. Brunson was talking about.

Thy Peace said...

Grace and Truth to You [Wade Burleson] > Pastors Are Among the People, Not Over the People

New BBC Open Forum said...

They are looking for a local celebrity to debate me to draw a crowd. My expenses are being paid by a person other than the TV network.

Well, if that doesn't work out, maybe you could invite them to debate somewhere closer to home or even an online, recorded debate. Maybe one of the seminaries would be interested in setting up something.

Brunson and Gaines debate the same way Caner debated all those Imams he bragged about.

LOL! I suspect that, but one can always hope for a surprise.

Anonymous said...

Brunson and Gaines know nothing about debate. Mac is a lawyer wannabe. Unfortunately for them, in the legal realm and in the real world, opposing views get equal consideration from a judge and jury and "God's man" does get a free pass on the crap he dishes out. No, Mac and Gaines can not defend their views when publicly or privately challenged. So they get up in front of churches built by men like Rogers and Lindsay, who COULD defend their views in the public arena, with their microphones and lighting and cameras rolling, and they yell and strut, and tell nice stories, and give good history lessons they found on sermon prep websites, and ultimately, if they can't even persuade the sheep more than a "coward blogger", then they tell you it is in "da book" and the crowd hoops and hollers and gives standing ovations. With all their influence, one solitary blogger can expose them as liars, challenge their views, and offer persuasive counter arguments. That must be very frustrating for them.

They have no interest in a debate. Their positions are indefensible when scrutinized. So they attack the person that disagrees with them. This is not new.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Les Puryear said that he was going to write an extensive thesis on why the Israelites were required to give 30% and we are only required to give 10? It word on that? Or was he just trying to stall for time hoping that everyone would forget? Every day that goes by, your credibility drops Les.

Anonymous said...

Brunson impugning author's financial motives...

Hmmm...if you all recall, Ted Haggard railed against homosexuality for years and years...and then was caught.

Could it be that Mac is railing against the very thing he has a big problem with? Financial motives?

He is in denial.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering why the reverend high potentate John Wylie has'nt weighed in on this subject?

Bro./Min.Rod H. said...

" Russell Earl Kelly said...
How can a preacher make 38 statements about tithing and every single one of them be wrong? That sound deliberate to me."



That's what I have been saying about Mac all along!

There is "NO WAY" that this guy does'nt know what he doing!

This guy is supposed to be seminary trained;So he knows the arguments for and against tithing.

Yet Mac continues to deliberately mis-lead people concerning the tithe.
Couple that with how he handled Dr.Dog and the Mrs,along with all of his other shenanigans.

Something is really wrong in this mans heart!!!

Anonymous said...

I believe the motive of such rash preaching is continued mind control of their subjects. they have plenty of money.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money.

How does Viola benefit from telling the church that the modern-day concept of the tithe is unBiblical? He doesn't.

As a matter of fact, he would have benefited much more by saying that it does, and his book would have been sold in Baptist bookstores all across the contry.

How does Brunson benefit from telling his church that the modern-day concept of the title IS Biblical? It pays his (and his famly's) salary and benefits.

So, who really has the motivation to tell the truth and who has the motivation to "stick with tradition?"

Anonymous said...

All I can say is AMEN! I have devoured Pagan Christianity along side my KJV and most of what we call Christian is NOT. We should be very careful to emphasize CHRIST and CHRIST alone....all else is wood, hay, stubble and falsehood.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who the Public Relations department is at FBCJ but that image of Mac Brunson in their present TV advertisement shows his personality - finger pointing, shouting, prancing up and down like the true controlling Baptist preacher he is. I turn channels every time it comes on - wonder how many others do as well?

And no, I'm not someone filled with anger or hate, but I do know when I see a poor advertisement and this is one that needs dropped.

Ben said...

"And if Bruson is not man enough to name names and deal with the consequences..."

And this from someone hiding behind anonymity. Thanks for the laugh.

Anonymous said...

Speaking about struting preachers, I would like to see some of them at Paris Island or Ft Gordon for 8 or 12 weeks either in the winter months or summer months taking boot camp, crawling in the mud or ice, taking 6 mile walks, on the firing range, and up at 4 a.m. and in bed at 11 pm. It would be worth the reinlistment just to see how some of these "tough" guys compare like some real soldiers or marines. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever noticed that when you write a letter to a mega pastor
and he disagrees with you he will not put what comments you are in error or provide any biblical basis for telling you WHY he disagrees. And some of you wonder why going anonymous is prudent. I challenge any of you to write a letter and challenge your pastor on the simplist of theology or doctrine and just see how long it is before you get a response. Try it.

Anonymous said...

The music was good, but I was disheartened to see only a few people smiling and truly enjoying and embracing the joy of salvation. I couldn't help but compare the Hoppers rendition of "Yahweh" and this choir. They are talented, but I do believe the Bible says to "make a JOYFUL noise unto the Lord." I didn't see much joy.

I have sang in choirs all across the country. It is very shallow to think that someone HAS to smile when they sing. Choir is not performance art. Most folks don't smile when they sing, even folks in the congregation.

And most choir members are not professionally trained to sing and to smile like they were on American Idol.

It says sing unto the Lord and make a joyful noise and does not say anything about smiling.

Anonymous said...

"And if Bruson is not man enough to name names and deal with the consequences..."

And this from someone hiding behind anonymity. Thanks for the laugh.

September 20, 2010 1:07 PM

That is the irony of it! Mac abhors anonymity on blogs and says it is cowardly but he was too cowardly to name names when he impugns someone from the pulpit!

What is he afraid of?

Anonymous 1

Anonymous said...

Speaking about struting preachers, I would like to see some of them at Paris Island or Ft Gordon for 8 or 12 weeks either in the winter months or summer months taking boot camp, crawling in the mud or ice, taking 6 mile walks, on the firing range, and up at 4 a.m. and in bed at 11 pm. It would be worth the reinlistment just to see how some of these "tough" guys compare like some real soldiers or marines. Think about it.

September 20, 2010 2:55 PM

Wait until the persecution comes...they will be making deals with the government. They would never give up their gravy train for Christ.

Anonymous said...

"How does Viola benefit from telling the church that the modern-day concept of the tithe is unBiblical? He doesn't."

True! He was not very known at all until Pagan Christianity was republished with Barna.

And Viola has a lot of free ebooks and does not charge to speak.

How many free ebooks does Mac have?

Some Lifeway stores carry Pagan Christianity because it became #11 on Amazon best seller list. But you won't see it in many mega church bookstores.

I recommend reading it. It is mainly historical in nature but extremely interesting. You will never look at "church" the same way. It is scary how many of our traditions come from either the Pagan temple or the Catholic church! And we think these traditions are holy!

Lydia said...

You cannot exercise control over a spiritual entity, but you can control totally a physical organization.

-John Reisenger

Lydia said...

http://www.wickedshepherds.com/ThePastorWhereDidHeComeFrom.html

Part of a chapter of Pagan Christianity on where the role of pastor as we know it today came from.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it self serving for a pastor to tithe to the place that pays him out of the tithes and offerings? Ironic? Hypocritical? If a pastor truly wants to "Give" the tithe, he should pay it to some other local church body, not his own. Think about it. He wants $100,000 per year salary. He gives $10,000, so now he only has $90,000. So the church pays him $110,000, he "tithes" $11,000 and basically has his $100,000. But worse, that $11,000 goes into the church budget which is used to pay...his salary, so he gets it right back.

Really want to show us your example of sacrificial giving pastor? Then give your tithe to a local church budget that is NOT your own church. How self serving and hypocritical is that?

Same with the members. If you give your tithe "to God's work" which basically is just paying your staff, buying you a better sound system, buying your more comfortable chairs, then you haven't "given" anything. You have just helped pay for what you are using and enjoying. Give your tithe where you don't attend if you want to be genuine and have no alterior motives.

Anonymous said...

Let's see. If I don't make "anywhere near" $300,000 per year, then that means my tithe is "not anywhere near" $30,000 per year. And since I received a land gift valued at $307,000, that means I won't have "given anywhere" near what I received if I tithe for the next 10 years.

Mac and Deb - let us know when you have actually given to FBC Jax an amount that exceeds the amount you received the month you arrived. You still have several years to go before you even start giving that first dime by my calculations.

Tell me how I am wrong on this logic. Anyone? And they think they are such great examples of tithers.

Anonymous said...

Same with the members. If you give your tithe "to God's work" which basically is just paying your staff, buying you a better sound system, buying your more comfortable chairs, then you haven't "given" anything. You have just helped pay for what you are using and enjoying. Give your tithe where you don't attend if you want to be genuine and have no alterior motives.

September 20, 2010 4:50 PM

Good point!

But how about giving it anonymously to someone needy in the Body as that would not directly benefit the pastor at all.

In a mega church I was in, the elders gve the pastor the 20% downpayment for his 400,000 home. I know this because my brother was an elder there. Very few people knew this.

The pastor made 250,000! Yet, there were plenty of needy members who did not even own a home!

I just do not understand this kind of thinking.

John Wylie said...

Anon 11:11
"Just wondering why the reverend high potentate John Wylie has'nt weighed in on this subject?"

What do you want me to weigh in about? I've already stated in previous blog posts that I don't believe the tithe is N.T. That was my belief long before I even heard of Mr. Viola. I teach the people I pastor that the principle of grace giving is N.T. Most of the passages that are misused by people when trying to promote the tithe doctrine were actually passages that deal with a benevolence offering to support believers at Jerusalem. To be quite frank with you I've often expressed to others my concern that God is not pleased with us sinking millions of dollars into buildings that we use 2 or 3 times a week. I'm a man who has a unique ability to be hated by both sides of this issue.

As far as paid elders, I have not completed the article by Mr. Viloa yet, but from what I've read so far we will probably have to just agree to disgree.

As far as waiting to respond is concerned, the truth is, I'm a little tired of people attacking me personally and questioning my motives when I simply state what I believe the Bible to teach. I love the "organized" church, I don't believe the house church model is the sum total of the N.T. church experience. I loved the "organized" church long before I was a pastor. I would post several scriptures here but I would just be accused of proof texting.

Anonymous said...

"Brunson Defends Tithing Doctrine"

SO DOES RUSSELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't see you blogging about that!!

Anonymous said...

I am sure people would gladly give 10 precent of there income if they seen results through giving. infact, If gods people seen results from giving other that higher paychecks, nice sound systems,and so on, the church would have all they needed to do their job and save people from the depths of not having god manifested in them. But I dont think this church really cares about people. Their campaign slogan is so we can reach jacksonville for christ. Does this church really think thay are reaching jacksonville with the way thay are acting.who is really pulling the strings.

FBC Choir Member said...

"The music was good, but I was disheartened to see only a few people smiling and truly enjoying and embracing the joy of salvation. I couldn't help but compare the Hoppers rendition of 'Yahweh' and this choir. They are talented, but I do believe the Bible says to 'make a JOYFUL noise unto the Lord.' I didn't see much joy."

That song needs a very dark tone. Smiling while singing causes a bright harsh tone. Whitmire keeps telling us to smile, but I just ignore him. I don't see how it's possible to smile and sing with good, tall vowel sounds. Whitmire doesn't even smile when he sings. I NEVER smile when I'm singing. I've tried and it kills my voice. Singing and smiling do not go together. If you smile when you sing, you should stop.

Secondly, I don't feel happy enough to smile when I'm singing in rehearsal or church. I'm mostly focused on the technical aspects of singing the song and remembering the words using my memory and Whitmire's hand cues. In rehearsal, I'm too busy reading the sheet music to smile. It's not easy to read notes and words at the same time.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Just wondering why the reverend high potentate John Wylie has'nt weighed in on this subject?

I don't think that was called for. While I don't always agree with Mr. Wylie, he's stated his views civilly and respectfully and goes by a name besides "Anonymous." We discuss abusive pastors who seem to think they're too good to interact with the common pew-warmer, then when one who seems to care about people and doesn't place himself on a pedestal tries to join the discussion, that's the way you talk to him?

John, I've read your blog. I agree with much you've written both here and there although we'll just have to agree to disagree on the egalitarian issue. I thought your arguments were weak on that one. But I appreciate the respect you've shown people here and respect your opinions.

Come on, people. Show a little class.

Anonymous said...

I hate to bring this subject up however it needs to be stated...tithing is not a doctrine!! The doctrines involve the Trinity, God, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost, Church, Satan, Angels, Hell, Sin, Eternal Life, The Bible, Prophecy and possibly one or two others but very definitely not tithing as it ended in 30AD. It was not a doctrine then it was a command for and to the Jew and to them ALONE.

WishIhadknown said...

Lydia
Thank you for your post in the previous discussion. I agree with your comments as I almost always do. Love ya

John Wylie said...

Thank you New BBC,

I really appreciate your encouragement. Thanks for reading my blog. As far as the egalitarian blog, I probably ought to stick to the scriptures and not refuting arguments, it probably was a little weak. I respect your views as well, and thanks for your honesty.

New BBC Open Forum said...

That song needs a very dark tone. Smiling while singing causes a bright harsh tone. Whitmire keeps telling us to smile, but I just ignore him. I don't see how it's possible to smile and sing with good, tall vowel sounds. Whitmire doesn't even smile when he sings.

That's true. I was wondering when someone was going to point that out... about Jim Whitmire always telling people to SMILE! That's like telling someone to smile while drinking a glass of water or keep their eyes open while sneezing. Awk-ward!

On a related note (haha), I've noticed a lot of the hot, new numbers the big (cough ** Prestonwood ** cough) choirs are singing lately require a "very dark tone." Why is that? A lot of them take a verse or two of scripture and sing it over and over and over in a haunting, pounding, rhythmic chant. Sometimes I feel as if I'm being drawn into something I really don't desire to be drawn into. It's like some kind of weird mind control with instrumentals more suited for the soundtrack of a horror movie than worship.

Oooh, maybe they've embedded subliminal messages into the music -- tithe, tithe, tithe, give, tithe, tithe, tithe, dig deep, tithe, tithe, don't hold back, tithe, tithe, tithe.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about. I refuse to listen to this again since when I heard it the first time it was stuck in my head for a week, playing in an endless, eerie loop, so listen at your own risk.

Revelation Song is another example.

I guess John W. Peterson's stuff just isn't relevant anymore. {sigh}

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anonymous 7:23,

I think I understand what you're saying and agree with most of it, but "doctrine" has several definitions.

doc·trine

–noun

1. a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government: Catholic doctrines; the Monroe Doctrine.
2. something that is taught; teachings collectively: religious doctrine.
3. a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject: the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

—Synonyms

tenet, dogma, theory, precept, belief

Here are over 26,000 occurrences of the phrase "doctrine of tithing." It seems to me the "doctrine" of tithing is a proper use of the word in this case.

Anonymous said...

Many of you on here are absolutely pathetic. Go start your own churches and quit tearing apart the ones you are in.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:33, who said we were in a church. I believe most have left the churches as they are half empty today compared to 40-50 years ago. By the way, the church is not necessarily in a building. Remember Paul & Peter met around wells and in other individuals homes. Likewise most of those converted by Jesus Christ were near wells, open areas around the Jordan River, Sea of Galilee, in homes as well. Think about it.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

When the earliest church fathers did mention tithing it was strictly a Jewish doctrine which did not belong in the church. It did not become enforced church law for almsot 800 years.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

The first Baptist Confession was 1649.

The 1925 SBC Faith and Message had no tithe texts listed. They must have had good reasons.

The first mention of tithe passages in the SBC Faith and Message was 1963 – over 300 years to change that DOCTRINE.

The word “tithe” does not yet occur in the SBC Faith and Message (but I am sure they are working on it hard).

The Position Paper which is only shown to SBC employees, writers and evangelists REQUIRES them to teach tithing.

Nice. Go around “We the people.”

Want proof? See the SBC web site.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

LIfeway sells many books which oppose tithing. I bought many there and quote them in my book. They just do not know what they sell.

Anonymous said...

NewBBCForum: Lets remember doctrines of the Bible are one thing, "secular" doctrines are quite another. Man does not live by bread alone but every word of God. Man can make anything a doctrine for himself I was only pointing out the REAL DOCTRINES OF THE BIBLE. Odd isn't it that the SBC has not made a point of placing the word tithe in their Faith and Message as Mr. Kelly states.

Bro./Min Rod H. said...

I for one really appreciate your input Brother Wylie.
Your knowledgeable and fair.

But remember this;That not everyone agreed or appreciated the Apostle Paul.
"Woe unto you,when all men speak well of you"!!!

"Clarity over agreement"

Keep up the good fight!!!

In Love!!!

Anonymous said...

"I'm a man who has a unique ability to be hated by both sides of this issue."

That is funny!

" I love the "organized" church, I don't believe the house church model is the sum total of the N.T. church experience. I loved the "organized" church long before I was a pastor. I would post several scriptures here but I would just be accused of proof texting."

It is not about a house church model. Viola points out that many of the authoritarian problems end up in house churches, too. Our sin nature always wants someone in charge except for Jesus Christ in the Body.

Anonymous said...

"Many of you on here are absolutely pathetic. Go start your own churches and quit tearing apart the ones you are in."

September 20, 2010 9:33 PM
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
I feel the same way about the MEN this blog is addressing - they are the ones pathetic, not the people who blog on here.

Note, it is not the church or the membership that is being discussed - it only addresses those leaders who have deeply wounded the very sheep they preach to love the people. They contradict what they preach!

The blog here in itself is a church where people gather to discuss scripture, agree, disagree and love one another - thus far, the FBC Jax Watchdog's membership has grown!

Sorry, but there are more of us who are "mature believers" seeing being this as being positive, not pathetic! :>)

Anonymous said...

John Wylie you need to quit being so thenthitive! You know we all love you for you are our brother in Christ.Does the Word not teach us to love our brother? If we hate our brother is the love of Christ in us?Just wondering.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

1925 The Baptist Faith and Message, #24 Stewardship:

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have s spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardsship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of teh Redeemer's cause on earth.

1925 Texts Under #24, Stewardship
Luke 12:42; 16:1-8; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 4:10; 2 Cor. 8:1-7; 2 Cor. 8:11-19; 2 Cor. 12:1-15; Matt. 25:14-30; Rom. 1:8-15; 1 Cor. 6:20; Acts 2:44-47.

[Note: As late at 1925, "tithing," "tithes," and "tithe" do NOT occur either in the quotations or texts listed in these very important REVISED documents. Evidently the committee under the leadership of E. Y. Mullins did not agree that tithing was an historical Baptist doctrine in 1925.]

1963 and 2000 The Baptist Faith and Message, XIII , Stewardship:
"God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.
Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

1963 and 2000: KEPT THE SAME STATEMENT AS 1925 BUT ADDED TITHING TEXTS.Gen. 14:20; Lev. 27:30-32; Mal. 3:8-12; Mt 23:23.

THIS WAS A CHANGE IN HISTORIC BAPTIST DOCTRINE SINCE 1644.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever noticed that some preachers take a sanctimonious tone when they preach against things/actions/sins, they are guilty of themselves. Talk about denial! I have heard preachers preach against so many things they are guilty of. But, then it is always easy for them to "stonewall" or point the finger to someone else. I wonder if any of them ever recognize SIN in their own lives? It would seem very difficult to approach the Holy God, and humble themselves and actually ask forgiveness for sin in their lives, when they are so arrogant and haughty, they don't think they are capable of anything wrong. Come to think of it, I have never seen a public repentance by a preacher of anything. But they will one day, it is called the Judgement Seat of Christ.....if some get there at all, as one must be SAVED before they can come before that Judgement Seat.

John Wylie said...

Anon 4:15 said, "Come to think of it, I have never seen a public repentance by a preacher of anything. But they will one day, it is called the Judgement Seat of Christ.....if some get there at all, as one must be SAVED before they can come before that Judgement Seat."

I have known a number of preachers who have publicly repented of sin. Most pastors I am close to are very sensative to their own sin. As far as the Judgement Seat of Christ statement, every believer will give an account on that day including you and I.

Anonymous said...

I do understand the Judgement Seat of Christ,....John. That's why I mentioned it. I have many years of Bible study, church service, attendance etc., in my past. By no means do I "know it all", but neither am I a novice to scripture. The Holy Spirit is my teacher, and before Him I am most humble. He is my only AUTHORITY. Good for you that you know repentant pastors. I am sure there are some. There are many fine preachers around that must contend with the "cloud" of frustration brought on because of unrepentant preachers. I have known genuinely good and faithful preachers in my past. That being said, I will never "walk two steps behind one". As I said "I" do not know nor have I heard of a publicly repentatnt one.

Lydia said...

That being said, I will never "walk two steps behind one". As I said "I" do not know nor have I heard of a publicly repentatnt one.

September 21, 2010 6:10 PM

Oh I have. But they are usually the so called "good/bad" sins
or the acceptable sins they talk about from the pulpit. As in 'I work so much I neglect my family' or 'I yelled at the kids', or 'watch too many sports instead of date my wife' or 'I speed when driving', etc.

When they commit really bad sins those are usually hidden from the pew sitters. It is not good for business or church growth.

BTW: If you noticed, Caner is trying to turn his lying into persecution.

Russell Earl Kelly said...

The news today is that Eddie Long, the mega church pastor in Atlanta has been having sex with boys. Ho Hum.

Anonymous said...

I purchased the "Pagan Christianity" book the other day. I'm reading it on my Kindle right now. Wow, that is an eye-opening read. As the author writes, take the red pill if you dare to find out where most of the modern-day church traditions came from. But be prepared for a big shock.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't that quite cowardly to not give the name of whom he speaks,"
All the uproar over Brunson not naming names from a bunch of people who refuse to give their names? Isn't it quite cowardly to not give your name when speaking of others--especially as critically as happens here? I have never been to FBC JAX, probably never will, and have no ties whatsoever with the church. But man this whole blog is just as horrible as it claims Brunson is. Of course in keeping with the theme, I shall remain anonymous as apparently that is popular around here

david said...

Just a comment on tithing. As far as I can see Biblically, the tithe is the first 10% which belongs to God. This is the floor you start at not the ceiling you stop at. What you give above and beyond that is your offering, which I am sure Jesus wants us to give. The church runs on the 10%; The Pastor(who is worthy of double honor(1Ti 5:17),heat and air,electric,literature,porter and so on to keep Gods church running. Above and beyond that pays for charity in the community and beyond,food pantry,donations, etc. I do not see what the fuss is about, as far as I can see God will get it out of you anyway, God will not be robbed( Mal 3:8).