"...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

Monday, October 11, 2010

"There's Gold in Them Thar Pews!!"

I read a recent blog post by Maurilio Amorim, a church marketer who was and perhaps still is a church marketing consultant for Mac Brunson and FBC Jax. Maurilio was describing the difficulty that Christian publishers are having in these days of digital media, and he made the following statement:

"With the digital revolution flattening the distance between authors and end-users, the church is literally a gold mine of opportunity for publishers. Every week, Christian content consumers look at their churches for guide [sic] in their search for resources."

"...the church is literally a gold mine of opportunity..." This is disturbing. This just makes me wonder - how many of our preachers and their ace church marketing consultants view their congregations more as a market with deep pockets to be tapped, than they do as the people of God to be fed and served and discipled?

And even more disturbing is the question: do they really want to reach the "lost" so they can help them find the truth of Jesus Christ, or do the "lost" represent to them an untapped market of potential storehouse tithers? Does the Southern Baptist Convention really want to make inroads to the northeastern United States for the glory of God, or IS THERE GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS?

I hope every pastor that reads this will stop and consider these questions - do you really want to reach the lost, or do you want to grow your church and expand your list of "giving units" to help you build your next building and hire another staff member to make your life easier? When you see a family visiting, do you see their hurts and needs and their potential for ministry, or do you see "benjamins" pasted on their foreheads?

And how odd that so many of these mega church pastors who utilize church marketers like Amorim also preach the false "storehouse tithing" doctrine abusively to their congregations! With the scriptural evidence that the tithing doctrine is absolutely not binding on New Testament Christians, we are left to wonder: do these storehouse tithing preachers REALLY believe the Bible teaches Christians are commanded to give 10%, or do they know it doesn't but teach it anyways to maximize their revenue?

But it goes way beyond the tithe. Mega church pastors become rock stars amongst their "giving units" and their own peers - thus they are magnets for gifts of gullible church members. Cars, clothes, and land gifts - people believe they are giving to "God's man". And not just gifts, the mega church pastors want their members to not only fork over 10% of their income, but they want them to also pay thousands to travel with them on cruises and Holy Land treks. They brazenly use the church website to SELL their trips! Funny, they don't use their power and influence to raise any money for the poor or downtrodden or the "least of these", but they will use their influence to advance causes that benefit them and their families. Gosh, even the NFL Jaguar football players have enough decency to do GOOD in their community for the sake of doing good and wanting nothing in return.

But the marketing extends beyond the Holy Land trips. We've seen at FBC Jax now how the Pastor's Conference has been transformed under Brunson and Amorim as a marketing bonanza, where ministries are encouraged to pay thousands and tens of thousands to get access to the eyes and ears of the attendees - who also pay a fee to attend and to hear - you guessed it - the mega church rock stars. They even now sell access to the pulpit, er I mean "stage". Mike Miller of NavPress was on the platform at last year's Pastor's Conference in an incredibly awkward moment congratulating Mac on his new book and showing a confusing Navigator's video. The marketing never ends. And I won't mention the Jim "Jesus" Caviezel infomercial at PC 2007.

And you know what? It is ALL on the backs of gullible Christians who are the source of these revenue streams. Like the federal government who wants more and more of our money each year and whose bureaucrats take a piece at every stage resulting in only pennies on the dollar actually making it to provide services to citizens, so it is now in modern Christianity. Only pennies on the dollar that we the people, the Christians actually give - goes to do real ministry or missionary work. The vast majority is wasted on salaries and buildings and maintenance and marketing and a myriad of other things that has nothing to do with "Kingdom work", as they like to say.

Yes, these pastors and their marketers are sucking on the teat of the church, milking it for all it's worth - and then to top it off: they have the bald-faced audacity to accuse their church members of "robbing God". Unbelievable. So brazen, all you can do is just sit back and admire it.

So who really are the robbers in this game? And how long will true Christians continue to support such a system? People are leaving the churches in droves because they no longer want to be a part of this system. They are finding smaller churches, or no "church" at all but gather with other believers in their homes.

Meanwhile we wait for some real preachers to step forward and put a stop to the marketing madness.

103 comments:

Lynn said...

Amen! I don't know if you're a businessman, but there are bound to be others from the business world who can plainly see how all this operates.

So, it's like drug reps wooing doctors and their staffs in order to get their drugs prescribed. The pastor is the guy that stands between the product and the consumers.


I hope more and more people opt out of the "system." The people truly have the power, if they'd only use it.

I like your comparison to the federal government. Our taxes get wasted in a million different ways along with the good that they do. We have to pay taxes, but we don't have to give our money to another black hole-a giant church that's actually a BUSINESS. Or you could think of it as a very inefficient charity.

Sheri said...

Dr. Dog-

This post is spot on! It's very sad to think our pastors would consider us sheep in this fasion.

And you're right about the percentage of what we give, going to salaries and buildings.

It's disgraceful that we have Debbie Brunson as a Trustee of the IMB, and FBC Jax is spending 4 million dollars on their own bldg. renovation!

Imagine how those millions could have funded real mission work, and how many churches could have been planted....but we will never know, because the Brunsons are so consumed with materialism....

Thanks to this blog and others, the sheep...er, giving units, are wising up.

Anonymous said...

There is an article on Zen's site with the same title that is pretty good.

If mega church folks ever wake up from their entertainment and social fix stupor...they might realize it is all about image and money.

Anonymous said...

"The vast majority is wasted on salaries and buildings and maintenance and marketing and a myriad of other things that has nothing to do with "Kingdom work", as they like to say."

Dog, you missed your calling. You should give our good friend Bobby your job and you go out, start a non profit, solicit funds from all of the sheeple, and stop all of this insanity. Why give BB your job you ask. When all of the gullible sheep stop giving he will need it to pay his taxes, gas, food, etc.

It is a bit hypocritical to rail on Southern baptists though. The real perps out their on teaching dogmatically tithing 10% starts with the Pentecostals, Independent Baptist Churches, and then the Mormons, all of which have more sheeple than the lowly Southern Baptists. See also TBN and all of the other Christian stations both radio and television. All these places do is beat up all us sheeple to buy gilded chairs to sit in and take trips to the Holy Land and gold plated cruises with the Crouch family and Joel Olsteen.

You could quit your dull, boring job, let BB have it, and replace your income by receiving donations from all of us unhappy, gullible sheep. We would all be willing to donate online to your non-profit. In actuality, you could be an international sensation appearing on cable and radio stations exposing all of the fleecing of us gullible sheeple. I bet you could triple your income in less than 90 days. Or better yet, you can do what the churches do not do. That is give the 2/3 surplus to local causes.

Let me know when you set up your donation line so that I can donate. Please make sure that you take American Express which is my card of choice.

As that guy Rick Scott says; "Let's get to work!"

X Prospect said...

Plain and simple, many Pastors know" Sinday" (yes I mean Sinday) is now used as their day to increase their personal wealth.

It is a business and gullible members are the clients and are used as the Marketing customer and these TARE Preachers are using "GOD" as the "marketing product" to achieve personal agendas and personal power.

However, My GOLD mine is closed to these vultures and have been for sometime.

Enjoy the deception you prospectors and those of you who "wet your pans" in churches seeking the meek, as weak. - NOT ME

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Yes, there is an article from Jon Zen about "Gold in them thar pews"....on tithing. I've been reading more from Jon Zens these days.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon 8:23 - I have to first find a marketing firm to help me. Know any good ones?

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

Dr.Dog said......"the church is literally a gold mine of opportunity..." This is disturbing. This just makes me wonder - how many of our preachers and their ace church marketing consultants view their congregations more as a market with deep pockets to be tapped, than they do as the people of God to be fed and served and discipled?"


Dr Dog I been saying this from day one,that these preachers who,remember are seminary trained with PH.D'S,and yet continue to teach tithing;
They know what they are doing!!!

And if they know what they are doing;and that teaching and forcing a tithe on the NT.Church is Biblically untenable.
Then they are by default intentionally deceiving people.

Now the next question is for what purpose???

The Bible gives us the answers to the inner workings of the hearts of these type of men in 2Pet.2:3.

"In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up."[NIV]

"In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money"[NLT]

"They're only out for themselves. They'll say anything, [anything], that sounds good to exploit you.
"[MSG]

"And in their desire for profit they will come to you with words of deceit, like traders doing business in souls:"[BBE]

"And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words."[NET]

"By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;
"[NKJV]!!!

As you stated in your opening comments Dr.Dog,people are a "GOLD MINE" to these men!!!

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy these words about the corrupt men who were plaguing the church of his day with this warning...

"And constant friction between men of corrupt mind,who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.[1Tim.6:5]!!!

Does'nt surprise me one bit what these guys are doing,it's not about "GOD",or His People;
it's about "MAMMON"!!!

YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THEIR "FRUIT"(their habitual actions)!!!

In Love!!!

Anonymous said...

YOU WILL KNOW THEM BY THEIR "FRUIT"(their habitual actions)!!!

In Love!!!

October 11, 2010 8:55 AM
===============================

The fruit trees at First Baptist Jax are thinning out. The migrates are leaving downtown to where the crops are plentiful.

Ditto! In Love!!!

Anonymous said...

Sinday? Really? That's a pretty cheap shot. Once again, a blog on tithing. Are you ever going to write on anything else? Are you ever going to have anything positive to say about pastors. I know you don't believe it but there are a lot of us out here that are actually decent people. BUt I am sure you don't care about that. Your only concern seems to be your personal vendetta.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I guess I'm missing the reference to "Sinday", what does that mean?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon pastor, yes, another post on tithing! Imagine that! But that is what we are saying in the pews: "Another sermon on tithing?" Or we say "Again you are telling us we are robbing God by misusing scripture?". Or we say "Are you REALLY going to tell us once again that the faltering U.S. economy is God's judgment because Christians will not tithe?"

So yes, another post on the tithe, and a few more to follow. Actually more than a few, so if this is strikes a nerve you might want to tune out for a while.

And pastor, this is not an indictment of all pastors. If you are not beating up your people over a false tithing doctrine, and you look at people as people and not nickels and noses, then you are exempt from this criticism.

I know there are many fine pastors out there. I've actually met a few in the past two years that have ministered to me and my family. And we have a gracious pastor here on the blog who ministers to us, John Wiley.

Anonymous said...

WD,

ANON 9:59 was referring to this comment;

X Prospect said...

Plain and simple, many Pastors know" Sinday" (yes I mean Sinday) is now used as their day to increase their personal wealth.

It is a business and gullible members are the clients and are used as the Marketing customer and these TARE Preachers are using "GOD" as the "marketing product" to achieve personal agendas and personal power.

However, My GOLD mine is closed to these vultures and have been for sometime.

Enjoy the deception you prospectors and those of you who "wet your pans" in churches seeking the meek, as weak. - NOT ME

October 11, 2010 8:42 AM

I liked it!

Josh from FL said...

As a pastor myself, I have to check my motivations. When I visit someone do I love them for them or am I more concerned how the church is going to pay the bills that month?
Maybe frustrations towards pastors stem from many of us putting on a front that we're "perfect" and "have it all together" and "have all the answers" then things happen that show we are just as fallen and sinful as the people we have been called to lead. We shouldn't be condescending. We should try to be more "among" our people than "above" our people.

Thanks for the post and keeping us honest.

Also, I believe there are great pastors out there that put a stop to the marketing madness, but as a result they have no one to market them so we don't hear about it.
;)

John Wylie said...

Watchdog,

Thank you for your kindness. Wow, I am humbled.

I just wanted to share with everyone from something that happened yeaterday. We had a representative from the Gideons present the ministry to the congregation. We did not take up a special offering,(BTW we never do) we gave him a standard honorarium that we would give any speaker. But as we stood at the back of the auditorium visiting with folks, our people privately gave him an additional $550. My point? Pastors you don't have to be a fund raiser or a promoter. Your dear people will give voluntarily to causes that they see the value of. If you have to brow beat the flock to get money out of them perhaps you have not made a very effective case for the need, or maybe you should reevaluate the need you are trying to present.

One of the many things I love about Springer Church is that they don't expect me to drum up funds. Every time that there has been a legitimate need our people have always been generaous. Maybe I'm naive but I believe that people of God are like that everywhere.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is these guys might agree with you that this nonsense has gone too far. But they blame the sheep. "If only you folks had more faith, and would give more, and stop robbing God, I wouldn't have to do all this fundraising." So they beat the sheep, and have disdain for the sheep. And it makes them angry.

And Jesus is sad because his sheep have no shepherd. Or are they even his sheep anyway? Didn't he say something about my sheep know my voice? What we are hearing from the pulpit is not the voice of Jesus. I recognize this when my pastor twists scripture and uses it to say we are not giving enough and our lack of giving more shows a faith problem. That is not Jesus' voice. Jesus says come unto me ye that are heavy laden and I will you rest. He says his yoke is easy and his burden is light. He says if you do it for the least of these (not for the pastors, or for the church) THEN ye have done it unto ME.

Will a man rob God? Yes he will. And he will do it from the pulpit. Who was that riding on the beast in Revelations anyway that shocked everyone who saw her? Could it be "the church?"

Anonymous said...

I know you don't believe it but there are a lot of us out here that are actually decent people.
___________________________________

Please let me know of ONE. I want to attend his church. And give my $400 per month there. :)

Pastor Wylie - do you have internet streaming of your sermons? I am in serious need of some good preaching of the text from a true pastor and would love to listen. I am sure others here would too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:39. Good points, however I question why are you still in a church where the pastor is twisting scripture. Get out and join one that is preaching the Word correctly. You arn't doing yourself any good staying in that sort of situation.

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

"One of the many things I love about Springer Church is that they don't expect me to drum up funds. Every time that there has been a legitimate need our people have always been generaous. Maybe I'm naive but I believe that people of God are like that everywhere."

October 11, 2010 11:25 AM

Agreed Brother Wylie.
We operate the same way in our ministry.
I know beyond a shadow of doubt,that if we teach people about Jesus Christ,and they come to know and love Him.
They will imitate Him.

My motto is that of John The Baptist, "I must decrease,and Christ "MUST" increase" in the eyes of the people!!!

No need to brow beat people with tithing!
And it never ceases to amaze me the response of people who know and love God!!!

John Wylie said...

Anon 11:45,

Thank you for asking, right now we don't do video or audio on the net. But there are a couple of really smart young people in the church who know a little bit about technical things so maybe in the near future.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 8:23 - I have to first find a marketing firm to help me. Know any good ones?"

You don't need any kind of marketing company. You have thousands of loyal fans on your blog. They would do all the marketing for free. Kind of like community organizing! Look what that got for some no name Harvard Law graduate who has never had a real job and was educated for free compliments of the U.S. taxpayers.

All you need is a way to receive credit card information and a tax free corporation.

As Captain Jean Luke Picard would say; "Make it so!"

Thy Peace said...

Pastor Wade Burleson has an excellent sermon series: The Difference Christ Makes. Please check out this sermon: The Difference Christ Makes in Me > Christ Gives Me the Spirit to Guide Me.

Anonymous said...

Just finished reading "Pagan Christianity." Man, what an eye-opening book. Most of what we do in the modern day church comes from the 3rd and 4th century pagan culture of Rome. That's when we first got off track.

The first century church was nothing like what we have today: no pastor, no division between clergy and laity, no church building, and no tithe.

That's right for the first 700 years of the Christian church no one gave a tithe. They each gave "what they had decided in their own heart with no compulsion."

The idea for the Christian tithe was borrowed from 8th century pagan land leasing laws. 10% was the going rate. The church adopted it and used the OT laws as proof texts.

And gullible Christians have been feeling guilty for over 1300 years.

WishIhadknown said...

I was thinking, I know it’s a dangerous thing, but I was thinking maybe we should publish some guidelines on when a church has enough.
Some guidelines I can think of are:
A church has enough when you drive by the church grounds and the church looks more like a sports complex than a church, then that church has enough.
The church has a sport and fishing show every year, then that church has enough.
The preacher belongs to one of the most exclusive country clubs in the community, then that church has enough.
The leadership chooses the preacher over three to four thousand members, then that church has enough.
The preacher flies around in a private jet, then that church has enough.

Any others?

These are totally unscriptural, of course, but I think they meet a standard I like to call “common sense.”

WishIhadknown said...

Did anyone ever answer my question in the other topic, if so I did not see it. So I’ll ask it again. Why is 10% the magic number? Why is 10% the difference between the wrath of God and the blessings of God?

WishIhadknown said...

WD said,
“But he is good at math.
He did say last year that he was "tithing on the tithe", which is 11%.
I believe we should tithe on the tithe on the tithe, which would put us at 11.1%, or a tithe on the tithe on the tithe on the tithe, which would require oodles of faith, at 11.11%.
Math at church can be fun.”

More fun math. If you itemize deductions on your tax return, then to give 10% of your income you have to give between 13% and 15%, depending on your tax bracket.
So you 10 percenters out there, stop stealing from God and bring the whole tithe into the storehouse! Amen!

Anonymous said...

"And it never ceases to amaze me the response of people who know and love God!!!"

Frankly, I find that the people that give anything are those like Bro.Rod said. I don't care how much you "brow beat" folks-they are not going to give anyway and will find a way to justify their decision.

At the end of the day the money is coming from "people who know and love God!!!" according to Bro.Rod and not from any of the beaten!!!!!!!!!!!

Even Tom said he never gave more than 2-3% although storehouse tithing was taught from the pulpit since 1940 at FBCJAX. Does the fact that he gave less than some and more than most make him any less spiritual or more spiritual than others. NOT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

As a pastor, I am sickened by Maurillio's phrase "Christian content consumers".

While I am the first to admit that many who come to church are just "dabbling" because it makes them feel good, I am horrified that those offering advice to our pastors have no concept of spiritual things and simply look at those in the pew as dollar signs. They cannot see that what a lot of us are doing is attempting to impact eternity, not the church coffers.

Kyle

Lynn said...

I keep trying to figure this out. The people must want all the fancy stuff or they would stop giving.

Why? Because surely they can see that "the church's work" has nothing to do with a fancy building and equipment.

A friend told me that it's like a pyramid scheme. Everybody's giving money, the people at the top are the ones benefiting, but the top people tell the givers that blessings are coming their way too-just keep giving and believing. Plus you need more and more people coming in to give more money with the hope of some blessing from God, etc.



Is that not like a pyramid scheme?

And for the record, I'm sure there are plenty of sincere pastors out there who just want to serve God and people. All pastors aren't all about the money.

Also isn't this like someone who has a very large, fancy house and two luxury cars? That's a lot of money they've got to come up with each month to maintain it all. We'd say they could downsize. So why can't the church downsize instead of guilting people constantly to keep it all going?

TheLearningPastor said...

I find this to be a very hard thing to wrestle with. I am a youth pastor who has at times found myself overlooking the ones in front of me because I was trying to figure out why our numbers were down. I've even had to catch myself from saying things like, "Where are all of you?" in response to a smaller group than I was hoping for. The truth, as one of my students bluntly told me a few weeks ago, is that they are all right there, in front of me.
It is a little different for a youth pastor because we aren't considered the "Man of God" in the same way the Senior Pastor is. However, I still feel the trappings of trying to market my ministry to attract more and more students to come so that I can sit on my bragging rights of having the largest, coolest, funnest, and oh yeah...most active group. I really do struggle with this because everything about our culture says we ought to produce so that's what we do.
But when you think about it why does a church of any size need a marketing plan much less a consultant? Isn't the gospel attractive enough? Isn't Jesus appealing enough? The great commision is the only marketing plan our churches need right? Just the humble opinion from a learning pastor.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ever answer my question in the other topic, if so I did not see it. So I’ll ask it again. Why is 10% the magic number? Why is 10% the difference between the wrath of God and the blessings of God?

October 11, 2010 1:15 PM

It cannot be answered. The NT tithe adds up to about 23% of produce, harvest and animals.

Some take that figure from the 10% Abraham paid to Mel. But that was a ONE TIME event and from the spoils of war.

When you think about it, we really are dupes for buying into that at all. 10% is NOTHING for someone wealthy but a burden for someone poor.

Part of the tithe system of the OT (which was a tax) was to care for widows, orphans and foriegners. Funny how that part is not mentioned today.

Anonymous said...

"Is that not like a pyramid scheme?"

Most mega's are like Amway conventions in not only the way they operate but in their "sermons", too. So, the answer is yes.

Anonymous said...

Young Pastor;;; Just preach the Word. Tell your young people how good God is. Visit the young people in their homes. Tell them to bring some of their friends with them next week. Keep bragging on Jesus and holding Him up and your class will grow, grow, and grow.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:39. Good points, however I question why are you still in a church where the pastor is twisting scripture. Get out and join one that is preaching the Word correctly. You arn't doing yourself any good staying in that sort of situation.

October 11, 2010 11:47 AM
___________________________________

I am patiently waiting for the right time to do that. There are other concerns besides "doing myself any good." Besides, they do preach the word correctly in every other area, as far as I know. So I shake my head and think "shame shame shame" when they start this financial abuse.

Also, I do really like my pastor. I feel sorry for him. He is under pressure to raise these funds.

So, first my contributions left, then I will follow at the right time. I also keep praying and hoping these guys will wake up and stop the nonsense. Hoping they will realize that what they have done by adding staff members, cutting minitries, and beating the sheep was not of God, but of man.

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

The Learning Pastor...I to struggled with a lack of growth in my minisrty as well.
Because just as you stated,in a pastors mind he believes that something is wrong when people are not joining.
You are then vunerable to temptation to try some scheme to grow your church!

But as I began to grow in the knowledge of Scripture,and as I recalled the stories of Christ and His encounters with people.
And how the people responded to His Words of Truth,I came to understand that its not about quantity,but about quality!!

For instance one of my favorite passages that helped enlightened me about numbers,was in John 6.
At the end of that chapter,even after Christ had performed such an astonishing miracle as miraculously feeding 5,000.
The Bible states that the majority of the people could'nt tolerate what He was saying to them,and the "MANY" walked away.
Christ then turned to the "FEW" and said "will you leave also"? The inference was that the message is the same for you as it is for them.
Truth is the Truth for all!!!

Then Learning Pastor I began to concentrate on faithfully teaching Biblical Truth,and honoring Christ,and let Jesus add to the Chruch such as should be save!!!

Your Master is Christ and none other.
You will have to give an account to Him,and Him "ALONE".
And not to sinful.fallable humans!!!
If you will just teach those people in your care,the unadulterated Truth of the Bible.
You will have a "peace" that surpasses all understanding!!!


Hope that helps.

In Love!!!

Anonymous said...

Youth Pastor: (enjoyed reading your post)

Ungodly men view success by the numbers. Godly mature believers measure success by obedience to their calling.

God says in 1 Corinthains 12:6 says that God the Father is responsible for the results of our obedience to our calling.

When you think about that GOD is responsible for the growth of any ministry it takes the pressure off man to be successful in the eyes of other men.

Satan has used the sin of jealous over numbers to corrupt God's ministry.

When it is about numbers then it is no longer Gods ministry but only mans.

Anonymous said...

Question for sincere pastors: What if there was a group of 800 people who just needed a loving pastor shepherd? And that group called a humble pastor and shepherd and he ministered to that group faithfully for a few years and everyone was happy. (as much as that is possible) There was plenty in the budget for staff and ministries and the economy was booming. Couldn't that guy keep ministering to those 800 and to whomever else God sent his way? Then if it grew, they could enlarge the seating, their ministries, their staff, etc as needed?

So why then, if that pastor hires his buddy from Bible college (most likely at the same salary level) AND his buddies' wife, and then the economy tanks, they have to lay off other staff, cancel missions trips, cancel community outreach opportunities, and beat the sheep constantly, and the giving remains about the same, why can't that pastor realize that maybe, just maybe, God called HIM to minister to that flock that needed a shepherd and did NOT call him to to hire his friend and build bigger buildings and try to go into more debt to build bigger buildings to attract more people. Why not realize God is not in your decisions, get rid of the new pastor and his wife, and use that $100,000 for real ministry and set back and watch God bless that fellowship?

Preach the word preacher. God will give the increase. Not your administrator you hired.

Anonymous said...

"Did anyone ever answer my question in the other topic, if so I did not see it. So I’ll ask it again. Why is 10% the magic number? Why is 10% the difference between the wrath of God and the blessings of God?"

Perhaps Les (is more) Puryear can answer your question. He was involved in a spirited debate about the tithe (on this site) a few months ago.

At that time, he promised to answer the question of why the Israelites paid 23% and we are only responsible for 10%.

As a matter of fact, he promised to write a research paper on the subject.

You know like: Research and Return.

I would have imagined that a pastor who has been teaching the tithing doctrine for most of his adult life should be able to explain his position from scripture immediately, but apparently he is is not unprepared at this time.

Keep searching Les - it's gotta be in there somewhere.

WishIhadknown said...

Thanks for the replies and Anon 5:36 PM, that is what I am seeing. My problem is, if so many are preaching titheing like it's the 11th commandment shouldn't there be a quick and easy response to my question? Shouldn't scripture support their position that we are saved by grace and titheing?

Anonymous said...

It was in 1991 that I realized that "marketing" being done to Christian music fans was being done in a subliminal and anything but holy way, and it was all to sell. Once money got tied to the Christian world, things just went to hell. I suppose the methods used in marketing music are also used in marketing to the church. The same methods that "sell" in the "world", have been used on unsuspecting Christians for decades. This is why you have idolatry of people and its such a huge problem in the church nowadays. Anything to get you to think about people, and not God, right? These people don't think they are doing anything wrong, by using the most unholy of methods to sell to Christians. And a lot of them don't care, either...as long as the bottom line is met. This marketing stuff is about "money" and your Mega Pastors, church "stars", musicians are a commodity. They themselves are being sold to people like a prostitute. I said this last week on a christian music forum, and you would have thought I had insulted God himself...but here's the thing...how insulted do you think God is by people exalting "celebrities" over HIM? (i dedicate my life to making people see whats really happening to them as opposed to what they "think" is going on. WAKE UP people...who do you think wants people exalted above God? Who do you think wants money worshipped as the most important thing? That would be satan. Marketing...another word for mind control. (cindy t.)

Anonymous said...

This Dog post really hit me. It is all numbers. We are awaiting the final tally for our building fund drive here at a mega. I was really crushed when reading through the website of the consulting firm employed by our church that they guarantee (this is not our church specifically, but what they advertise) the commitment over 3 years to be equal to x amount of times the annual budget. There is a reduction of consulting fees if the guaranteed amount is not met. I guess God is predictable and can be captured in an excel spreadsheet!

WishIhadknown said...

Lynn said, “I keep trying to figure this out. The people must want all the fancy stuff or they would stop giving.”
That’s kind of the point. If they were giving because they “want all of fancy stuff” is one thing. It’s voluntary and not under compunction. It’s the way that scripture is misused to guilt people into giving that is wrong. Or the way people laud it over everyone by declaring “look at me I give the full tithe, 10%” without regard to scripture. As you have seen from the discussion the full tithe is not 10%. Therefore, once you commit to fulfilling the law you must fulfill it completely or you fail as miserably as those of us who give nothing. Thank God for grace because without it where would I be.

Anonymous said...

I may be totally off base here, but having lived through the birth of the 'contemporary christian music' era, I seem to recall several of the early artists who tried to cross-over into the secular field failed. At least a couple of them failed miserably, at times both musically and morally, perhaps in part due to secular marketing. It seems that the church would have watched what happened and fled from such worldly tactics?
Is 'marketing' something that a lot of churches are doing these days?

WishIhadknown said...

The opposite is also true. Secular artist, unable to make it in the mainstream market, crossed over into the Christian scene to make a fast buck.

New BBC Open Forum said...

So I guess in addition to "giving units" we'll now have to read about "consumer units."

Anonymous said...

It seems that the church would have watched what happened and fled from such worldly tactics?
Is 'marketing' something that a lot of churches are doing these days?

October 11, 2010 9:03 PM

I almost spewed my coffee when I read this one. You need to get educated. The SBC is totally involved in marketing tactics. For just a teeny tiny window into how bad it is, you need to read Mary Kinney's book about her time at NAMB and the millions spent and lost there on marketing ideas. Warehouses full of chinese made bracelets that have the wrong date on them, etc. Upper management writing programs so they could get the royalties off them when churches bought them from LIfeway. Oh, the list is long and that is just NAMB. (Don't believe for one minute it will change under Ezell. The system is entrenched. They might make little changes here and there but the bottom line is now they will have even MORE money to waste)

And that is just a tiny window. The state associations are just as bad with marketing campaigns aimed at getting folks to come to church. Of course they sell these materials to the churches for folks to put on doors, do mailers,put up banners, etc.

It never occurs to folks to just go and witness. That has nothing to do with it anymore. Now it is about consumer units in the pew as a result of a marketing campaign.

Anonymous said...

"Anything to get you to think about people, and not God, right?"

BINGO. And Satan is delighted.

" These people don't think they are doing anything wrong, by using the most unholy of methods to sell to Christians. And a lot of them don't care, either...as long as the bottom line is met. This marketing stuff is about "money" and your Mega Pastors, church "stars", musicians are a commodity."

Actually, it is called "Branding". And yes, "people" are "branded" and marketing like any grocery store "brand" of soap. I know because I was involved in this side of Christian marketing for years.

Think through what it means to be a 'brand' and how that brand is developed, marketing and the image protected at all costs.

Now, remember what we are to be about in the first place. The Cross, the resurrection and eternal life. And you can see how dangerous this is to the souls involved...mainly the pew sitters. That that want to be a "brand" were set out for condemnation long ago according to scripture.

Lynn said...

Maybe since a church is sorta like a social club, they could just charge dues right up front.

When people want to join, they must first pay their yearly dues.

Or I think I read that the Mormons have someone who's over a certain smaller group, and that person actually visits your home and talks about your giving. If this in not correct, someone can correct me.

But anyway that approach would be more private, and the pastor wouldn't have to devote a sermon to putting people on a guilt trip. The people would clearly know what is expected. If this is true of Mormons, why do so many Mormons go along with it? What makes them toe the line?

I'm just saying if these huge churches need all this money, they could try methods that work for other groups. I've never heard a Mormon sermon. I wonder if giving is ever addressed, or it's just part of the deal and everybody knows that, so it's never an issue for a sermon.

Or the Amish. How do they go about this? Or the Muslims? Do the Muslims have a preacher up there ranting and guilting? I don't know. Seems very undignified though.

Lynn said...

Or there's the Godfather approach. He didn't rant and rave. You simply knew that if you didn't pay, there WOULD be a consequence. Maybe these pastors need to come up with a consequence.

Anonymous said...

We already have the Godfather approach. Mac teaches if God (the Godfather) doesn't get his protection money (your tithe) then he will ruin the economy, you will have holes in your pockets and your washing machine will break.

Anonymous said...

If I am very wealthy, and someone tells me I need only give 10% (maybe 11% if I am as committed as Mac and Debbie), that is good news. I can easily give that to be in good standing with God. If I am poor, and da book tells me to give 10%, that is bad news and a huge burden and I may have to "go away sad." Fortunately, it does'nt work that way. Jesus told the rich young ruler to give all he had to the poor, then come and follow him. That man went away sad. Lost. How many of our preachers are like that rich young ruler and are not giving anything to the poor but are giving 11% to their own self serving employer's budget? And they hold themselves up as examples of giving to you. And you are buying it. Wake up.

Anonymous said...

"Shouldn't scripture support their position that we are saved by grace and titheing?"

The problem is that it doesn't, and it is not hard to see that if you take the time to study the subject.

So, why would a pastor stick with a doctrine that he knows is not Biblical?

a) pride - not wanting to admit that you have been preaching unbiblical doctrine from the pulpit

b)lack of faith - in the Holy Spirit to move people to give what they should and of the people to respond

c) greed - the pastor's salary and benefits are directly tied to giving

So, why would a pastor stick with a doctrine that he knows is not Biblical?

Pride, lack of faith, greed - in a word - sin.

When a pastor like Les Puryear is confronted with the truth (on a web site like this), he has two options: bend his will to scripture or stall for time (by claiming to write a research paper) and hope that everyone forgets.

This issue is not going away Les.

Anonymous said...

On the lighter side:

Sunday's Dennis the Menace Comic

with the punch line:

"it's a no-brainier, You only have to work ONE hour a week"

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

Dr.Dog,I was just thinking and meditating last night,about how much I have learned about the goings on in so-called christendom from all the various inputs of many of the bloggers(those supportive and critical).

I as a Minister/Pastor never saw to this extent,just how bad things really are in our churches and christian organizations!!!

I am now ever so grateful for your web site and all of the conscientious input of so many!!!

It has now made me more determined to distance myself,and avoid these types of abuses and pratices;
And like a laser beam,focus on serving and honoring Christ to the best of my ability thru the Power of the Holy Spirit!!!

You know Dr.Dog your misfortune at the hands of FBCJ,was meant for your bad.
But in reality your misfortune was the providence of God for the good of the many;
We bloggers(especially I think me)it woke us up!!!

Thanks Dr.Dog for being the warrior that you are!
Believe me,you are in no way a coward as Soud stated.
For cowards run and hide,or capitulate our of fear or ignorance!
But a warrior stands and fights the for truth!!!

Keep up the noble task;
Believe eyes are being opened!!!

In Love!!!

Anonymous said...

"When a pastor like Les Puryear is confronted with the truth (on a web site like this), he has two options: bend his will to scripture or stall for time (by claiming to write a research paper) and hope that everyone forgets."

Do you not see the cognative dissonance in your comment?

A PASTOR is shown TRUTH. I thought he was paid to KNOW truth. So what is the pastor who is teaching a tithe being paid for? Preaching a lie?

Anonymous said...

in my opinion, (i only say that to legally cover myself) did you know that to "sell" they use subliminal graphics on "christian" material, and they write words like sex, and those other subliminal trigger words on the literal faces and hair and bodies of those they are trying to sell along with other stuff, and thats how they "sell" people to other people. I'm not talking about the eat popcorn subliminal stuff. Im talking about far more advanced techniques that the "world" uses. You wouldn't believe it. They sell the holy with a whole lot of unholy. Did you know that thats how they make a "celebrity" of someone. And its been going on in the Christian community for multiple years. It goes on everywhere, but what do you think of selling "christian" stuff that way? I guess they think they have no choice since its so completely the way this culture is run. You will see your favorite christian singer sitting in a chair pointing right at their penis or see them standing there doing the same...then there will be subliminal graphics all over the picture. You people think I lie, I'm telling you the Gods honest truth. Back about 20 years I confronted some people about it, and you wouldn't even believe what happened to me. trust me on this. Its been going on for years. Its all a whole lot worse than a lot of people have ANY idea. (you gonna print this watchdog?) lets see.....I promise you these techniques are far advanced to what they were 20 years ago. And the christian community is neck deep in it all. Oh, and if you feel uncomfortable reading this...its because you know like in your subconscious mind whats happening but its hard for people to get it out of the subconscious to the conscious. Like I said, you wouldn't believe.

WishIhadknown said...

Actually Anon, I think the answer is more: d) if you are told a lie long enough you will come to accept it as truth. I know I did until I was challenged to read Genesis 14 in its entirety and putting everything in context and then study what the word actually says about tithes and offerings. Oops, 10% is not nearly enough!

Anonymous said...

faithful servants of god you need to hear these truth no mader how difficult they seen. We need to be careful what is feed to us. If your a child of god the truth will come to you.

Thanks to Dr. Dog for having the will to disseminate the truth.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Thanks for the kind words Bro. Rod. I'm no warrior, just standing up for the truth, using my circumstances as best I can to make something good come from what was meant to be bad, just as you say. Thanks to you and the many others who contribute here on both sides of the issues that participate in civil debate - although it does get a little heated and personal sometimes!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Brother Rod would be a great witness at a trial...

Anonymous said...

"Do you not see the cognative dissonance in your comment?"

"A PASTOR is shown TRUTH. I thought he was paid to KNOW truth. So what is the pastor who is teaching a tithe being paid for? Preaching a lie?"

Brace yourself - this may come as a shock. The pastor is paid to preach the truth but failed to do so.

Probably not the first time that tradition has won out over truth.

Most pastors repeat what they were taught in seminary. And as most Baptists already know, the tithe is the unofficial 11th commandment.

A respected pastor can preach for years without being confronted by the sheep on a doctrinal issue. Especially on an issue that is so well ingrained like tithing.

And if one rabble-rouser does dare to question "God's man," he can be made an example of and the rest will fall into line.

My point (that you missed) is that Les Puryear was forced to face questions that he couldn't answer about the tithe (probably for the first time) on this web site.

His only out was to say he might have an answer sometime later.

That was his best shot.

That should tell you something.

Ben Patrick said...

"So, why would a pastor stick with a doctrine that he knows is not Biblical?"

Its not biblical because you say so. Not everyone agrees with your interpretation.

Some great biblical scholars and mighty men of God would disagree with your interpretation.

If you are right then:

Dr. Rogers, Dr. Vines, Dr. Criswell, Drs. Lindsey,RG Lee, Dr. John Bisagno... were at best deceived, at worst, liars.

I find this difficult to believe over someone who won't divulge who they are.

John Wylie said...

One does not have to be a liar or a heretic to be in error on the subject of the tithe. I have members who were so ingrained in the tithe doctrine, that inspite of me teaching them for the last number of years otherwise, they still practice tithing. If they do this as an act of worship to God, I believe He accepts it.

What I'm trying to say is that I believe that many people and preachers sincerely believe in tithing. They are not purposely trying to deceive anyone, they are just teaching what they believe is right. Now, I believe they are in error and lack the basic understanding of the N.T. believer's relationship to the O.T. scriptures, but I would not call them liars or heretics. Many posting comments on this blog, no doubt, at one time believed in tithing. That didn't make you a heretic. If you've grown at all in Christ you have probably changed your interpretation of certain scriptures, were you a heretic before you did so? I don't think so, if it did not involve an essential doctrine of the faith.

So Ben Patrick, I can only speak for myself, but I never looked at Dr. Rogers, Dr. Criswell, Dr. Vines, Dr. Lindsey, or the others you mentioned as heretics. Their preaching has blessed me, I just disagree with them on this particular issue.

Anonymous said...

"What I'm trying to say is that I believe that many people and preachers sincerely believe in tithing. They are not purposely trying to deceive anyone, they are just teaching what they believe is right. Now, I believe they are in error and lack the basic understanding of the N.T."

Basic understanding? What else are they in error about? That is what is so problematic. If your paid job is to study the Word and you cannot get this obvious doctrine right...the folks should be very concerned

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

Ben Patrick said...."Dr. Rogers, Dr. Vines, Dr. Criswell, Drs. Lindsey,RG Lee, Dr. John Bisagno... were at best deceived, at worst, liars.

I find this difficult to believe over someone who won't divulge who they are."

October 12, 2010 4:31 PM


As much as I admired Drs Lindsay and Rogers,they were sincerely wrong!

When it comes to instituting a tithe on the N.T.Church;
it is absolutely unteneable.
And that is not my opinion,that is a fact!!!

There is "No" sound Biblical,contextual,rational way of forcing the tithe on the Church!!!

In Love!!!

John Wylie said...

Anon 5:49 am,

I understand what you're saying, but a lot of people misunderstand our relationship as believers to the O.T. Like the Jews of Jesus's day, many people have trouble letting go of past beliefs.

What else are they wrong on? I'm not sure but I've never heard any of those men get it wrong on any essential doctrine. I'm not at all defending the tithe doctrine, but I'm just saying surely there is room for disagreement here. People have been taught this for about 2,000 years of church history.

Just my opinion, I'm not trying to be disagreeable.

WishIhadknown said...

“Basic understanding? What else are they in error about? That is what is so problematic. If your paid job is to study the Word and you cannot get this obvious doctrine right...the folks should be very concerned”
Go to the scripture and read for yourself. See what others have written on the subject but let God’s scripture be the determiner of what is true and holy.

Anonymous said...

Believing is one thing KNOWING is quite another. I've heard some preachers say that the OT saints were saved just like those in the NT. I've heard pastors claim that they were looking forward to the cross. Well if that is correct, which I do not believe, why were all the Jewish leaders fooled? There eyes were closed by the Lord Jesus Christ and thank God otherwise we Gentiles would have never had the opportunity to get saved. Yes, some preachers practice what they have been taught but it is not correct. We as fellow believers have to find the truth out for ourselves. Remember we are all commanded to study the Bible ourselves. Most of the great Bible expositors have told their congregation to check them out for themselves. Its a learning experience and sometimes it takes 30 years or 50 years before something hits you in the face that you really thought you knew but didn't. Most of us memorized John 3:16 as the first verse in the Bible either as RA's or in SS, but until we knew what born again really meant that verse was just part of our memory. Like someone said it missed by 18 inches from their head to their heart. Keep shining the light and the darkness will depart. The Bible is so full of MEAT an entire lifetime of 100 years is insufficient to totally master and understand most of it. There is no one that knows it all but JESUS since He wrote it.

Anonymous said...

Ben Patrick thanks for your analysis. Most of those are now deceased, however Jerry Vines is still with us. Do you have any documentation on his understanding/belief of the tithe for a Gentile Believer? Thanks.

WishIhadknown said...

Dr. Rogers was not a perfect man and he was the first to admit it. I heard Dr Rogers speak many times on tithing and giving over the years. He never, never, ever inferred or stated that the tithe was in any way a part of salvation. Nor did he even suggest that the tithe had anything to do with God blessing in a material way. He did preach that 10% should be the minimum goal of all believers and realistically I do not have a problem with that. But he did not make it sound like we had to by God off in order to not face God’s wrath the way so many are preaching about giving today. I actually heard his successor say one Wednesday night before Dr. Roger’s left that if you’re not tithing you’re not saved. He quickly tried to take it back but that little slip revealed his true thinking. That’s so very sad in so very many ways.
Here’s an important lesson I learned when I was 18. If you need something ask. Don’t threaten. Don’t demand. Don’t make false promises. Don’t berate. And most of all don’t think you have to buy off God, you can’t.
If you will just ask you will find God’s people extremely generous. Show the need, pray and ask. God’s people will respond, I promise.
Tactics like we see today do nothing but remind people of the terrible times we live in. Instead of easing fear they are creating fear. They make me think everything is totally out of control even beyond God’s ability and it’s not. We will get through this, I promise.
God’s grace is sufficient. God’s mercies are sufficient. God is sufficient.
Why do we want to keep going back to an obligatory law that event the Jews could not obey? Even if you give 10% you are not obedient. We are not able to in any way obey the law.
Man says I have not committed adultery because I have not been intimate with anyone but my spouse but once adultery is defined God’s way we all pretty much fail.
Man says I have not murdered because I have not killed anyone but once we see God’s definition do we not all come up in need of a Savior?
The answer is always Jesus. Jesus is our only answer there is no other way.
Sorry for rambling but why so we make this so very hard?

Anonymous said...

W D,

Do you really think anyone one outside of these 20 bloggers who continuously post here on everything you write, CARES?

It is a waste of your time and efforts......

Lots of time lost for those like you who are attempting to expose truths. There answer? I G N O R E .

Lynn said...

Anon 5:49

Even Bible scholars-smart, educated men-disagree on major doctrines in the Bible.

There are bigger issues than tithing that they can't agree on.

If I were a church member, I'd give what I thought best to give, according to my situation and if I approved of what my money was going to be used for.

I would not let a pastor make me feel afraid or guilty. I'd trust my own good sense.

Anonymous said...

Look at water baptism and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the NT. After Acts 7 it probably never happened. Cornelius, Phillipian Jailer, etc. As a matter of fact Paul didn't baptize very many himself. What we have with scripture is revealed truth appearing over a period of time. Then we have Paul claiming "my gospel" and stating it was a "mystery". It was a mystery since Jesus spoke to Paul verbally and allowed him to pen most of the NT. The scholars had the Bible right there in front of them yet they failed to recognize the prophetic words of Isaiah, Daniel, and others regarding the first coming of Christ. Today, we have all scripture yet there are a lot of people who misinterpret verses, doctrines, what pertains to the Jew, Gentile, and the Church. Unfortunately, this will not be sorted out until we all get to Heaven. Maybe its best this way then no one can claim "they are the authority". I haven't met one yet and I'm still reading, studying, and learning.

Kenneth said...

Two suggestions:

1. Will you blog something positive sometime? I'd love to hear how you became a Christian and then maybe we could all share our testimonies. No Brunson, No tithing, no Caner, or anything else for a few days. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!"

Just a thought.

2. When you talk about giving, tithing, whatever you want to call it. Everything we have and everything we are belong to God. Let's not argue on percentages. Let's give all we have to the only one who is worthy!

Anonymous said...

You do know that there are some churches that believe you have to be baptized in order to be SAVED. They believe this sincerely, however they are entitled to their opinion even if they are wrong. There are some who hold church attendance of Saturday who are also entitled to their opinion and who sincerely believe their practice of worship is held on the correct day. Others believe in singing and using musical instruments while others do not. Some pastors wear suits and ties, others blue jeans and sport shirts. Some elders wear long robes. There are so many varied examples of how and why churches carry out their form of practices that none of us could ever agree. The use of the tithe in the OT was for the Jew and only for the Jew. There is no basis for anyone in the NT requiring a Gentile to go back under the Law in order to be provided Grace and salvation. If you want to give 10% up to 90% do it but do not call it a requirement of God. For the best illustrations of the OT saints and how God was pleased read the 11th Chapter of Hebrews. Notice I said Hebrews not gentiles. God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

10-12-10 @ 8:41
"Do you really think anyone one outside of these 20 bloggers who continuously post here on everything you write, CARES?"


Obviously from the thousands of hits documented here on the blog there are a lot of people who are reading this blog and "DO CARE" what the Watchdog has to say.

If this blog wasn't so popular people from so many states and countries sure wouldn't be reading it.

Ben said...

"If this blog wasn't so popular people from so many states and countries sure wouldn't be reading it."

Popularity = truth

You've made it, you are now one of the popular kids at school. How does it feel?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ben - your point is well taken.

Popularity most certainly does not equal truth.

That is why I say...just because a popular preacher, or many popular preachers tell us that God commands that we give 10% minimum, in an undesignated fashion to our church else we are going to suffer or have God punish us, just doesn't make it so.

Popularity most certainly does NOT equal truth. Thanks for that tongue-in-cheek reminder.

Concerned Layman said...

Ben Patrick - If you are right then:

Dr. Rogers, Dr. Vines, Dr. Criswell, Drs. Lindsey,RG Lee, Dr. John Bisagno... were at best deceived, at worst, liars.

I find this difficult to believe over someone who won't divulge who they are.
___________________________________


If those guys are right on their salvation doctrines, then all the Popes, bishops, cardinals, priests, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Alan Keyes, Bill Bennett, Urban Meyer, Billy Donovan, Mother Teresa, the Catholic church over the centuries, ALL, ALL, ALL have been at best deceived, and at worst, liars. Should I believe them over some baptist preacher, or someone who uses the screen name Ben Patrick who I don't even know? I find your logic difficult to believe.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think anyone one outside of these 20 bloggers who continuously post here on everything you write, CARES?
___________________________________

Unfortunately, Soud and his discipline committee cared. And Robert A. Hinson and Asst SA Seigel cared, and the JSO cared, and Mrs. Brunson cared, and the deacons who voted for an anti-criticism resolution cared. And those that read this from all over the world (see the little red dots on the site counter graph on this web site) care. And now the Federal judge hearing this case cares. And those that live in Jacksonville and read the front page article where Mac called WD a sociopath care. And all the other bloggers who have written on what is going on care.

Boy, if only it were 20 people... But Mac and Soud couldn't ignore it. Their arrogance and pride would not allow even 20 dissenters. They had to shut it down. But keep living with your head in the sand and believing this blog is read by 20 people who can be ignored. :)

Anonymous said...

Everything we have and everything we are belong to God. Let's not argue on percentages. Let's give all we have to the only one who is worthy!

October 12, 2010 9:13 PM
___________________________________

Please show me ONE person, past or present, that did this and I might consider it. Show me by example please. And if it belongs to God, why is it in your garage, or your house, or your pocket? Or why must I give it to the church budget if it belongs to God already. Are they God? If so, don't they own it all too. And if they own it all, why must they keep asking for it? And if God owns it all, shouldn't preachers be asking God for what is already his and not keep asking us, since we don't own it anyway. You confuse me with your church speak nonsense.

Your logic: God owns it all, but God wants us to give it to God, who already owns it all anyway? Really? How do you know I haven't already given it all? That car in my driveway, it belongs to God right? That money in my pocket, it belongs to God right? So what's the problem. It's all already his. Oh, wait, you want me to give what is already God's to some local church budget then it will be God's? Wait it already is so how does who ends up with it effect whether God owns it all?

Church speak. Love it! Have you been washed in the blood of the lamb?

Anonymous said...

Popularity = truth

You've made it, you are now one of the popular kids at school. How does it feel?

October 13, 2010 9:05 AM
___________________________________

Ben - it doesn't really feel that great since I was always popular in school. (That used to matter in the 8th grade and during high school so I don't know why you would bring it up now. Hmmmm, are you still in that age group?)

And by the way, I used to pick on and beat up on some unpopular nerds who many it seems are now standing up in the pulpits and strutting around getting their revenge by abusing people, and who now love their own popularity and title as "God's man" and who love being a celebrity. I even smacked around a few guys named Ben I think. How does it feel to still be unpopular Ben? And to be worrying about whether some anonymous blogger is feeling good about his blog being popular with Christians who see the abuse and by pastors who are trying to understand the issues that concern their members.

If WD wanted to be popular he might write books and promote Holy Land trips with his family, and accept land gifts and...here we go again.

Anonymous said...

Ben - you sound like you are an unpopular person who wishes he were popular. Does popularity matter to you? How does it feel to be unpopular? If you are not one already, you should become a pastor. Instant popularity, instantly loved by the flock, then you can bully all those people that used to pick on you in high school.

Anonymous said...

"So, why would a pastor stick with a doctrine that he knows is not Biblical?"

"Its not biblical because you say so. Not everyone agrees with your interpretation."

Do you get your exercise that way? Jumping to conclusions. You must be new here. I have laid out the case many times before.

It's not because I say so - it's because the Bible says so. The case is clearly laid out in scripture.

Not everyone agrees on ANY interpretation - so that is not a good method for discovering truth.

One way that you can know for sure that your interpretation is wrong is when you interpret a verse and that interpretation contradicts another verse in the Bible.

Please try to harmonize the OT verses that demand a tithe (from the Israelites) and 2 Corinthians 9: 7.

Also please answer the question that no tithing advocate has been able to answer: why were the Israelites required to give 23% and we are only required to give 10%

It's not that hard to figure out.

What is hard is giving up tradition and letting the Bible be the final court of authority on the issue.


"Some great biblical scholars and mighty men of God would disagree with your interpretation."

You can say that about any interpretation including yours. Your point?

"If you are right then:

Dr. Rogers, Dr. Vines, Dr. Criswell, Drs. Lindsey,RG Lee, Dr. John Bisagno... were at best deceived, at worst, liars."

Stop worshiping men and learn how to interpret scripture.
2 Timothy 2: 15

Worshiping men is how the church got into the mess it is in today.

I find it amusing that you claim that - I say it is so - and then instead of appealing to scripture - you say it is so because men say it is so. I would suggest that you apply your logic to yourself.


"I find this difficult to believe over someone who won't divulge who they are."

This is what is known as an ad hominem attack. It's the oldest trick in the book. It is used by people who can't win with the facts so they resort to name calling.

When the facts are on your side pound the facts. When they aren't pound the table.

The anonymity issue has been dealt with many times on this site already. Perhaps you are new to the discussion. It has nothing to do with the truth of the issue. But it is prudent. You can ask WD about that.

Since there are hundreds of Ben Patricks in this world and your account is not linked, again I would suggest that you apply your logic to yourself.

As I mentioned earlier:

The idea for the Christian tithe was borrowed from 8th century pagan land leasing laws. 10% was the going rate. The church adopted it and used the OT laws as proof texts.

And gullible Christians have been feeling guilty for over 1300 years.

Source: Pagan Christianity

Anonymous said...

"So, why would a pastor stick with a doctrine that he knows is not Biblical?"

"Its not biblical because you say so. Not everyone agrees with your interpretation."

Do you get your exercise that way? Jumping to conclusions. You must be new here. I have laid out the case many times before.

It's not because I say so - it's because the Bible says so. The case is clearly laid out in scripture.

Not everyone agrees on ANY interpretation - so that is not a good method for discovering truth.

One way that you can know for sure that your interpretation is wrong is when you interpret a verse and that interpretation contradicts another verse in the Bible.

Please try to harmonize the OT verses that demand a tithe (from the Israelites) and 2 Corinthians 9: 7.

Also please answer the question that no tithing advocate has been able to answer: why were the Israelites required to give 23% and we are only required to give 10%

It's not that hard to figure out.

What is hard is giving up tradition and letting the Bible be the final court of authority on the issue.

(cont)...

Anonymous said...

"Some great biblical scholars and mighty men of God would disagree with your interpretation."

You can say that about any interpretation including yours. Your point?

"If you are right then:

Dr. Rogers, Dr. Vines, Dr. Criswell, Drs. Lindsey,RG Lee, Dr. John Bisagno... were at best deceived, at worst, liars."

Stop worshiping men and learn how to interpret scripture.
2 Timothy 2: 15

Worshiping men is how the church got into the mess it is in today.

I find it amusing that you claim that - I say it is so - and then instead of appealing to scripture - you say it is so because men say it is so. I would suggest that you apply your logic to yourself.


"I find this difficult to believe over someone who won't divulge who they are."

This is what is known as an ad hominem attack. It's the oldest trick in the book. It is used by people who can't win with the facts so they resort to name calling.

When the facts are on your side pound the facts. When they aren't pound the table.

The anonymity issue has been dealt with many times on this site already. Perhaps you are new to the discussion. It has nothing to do with the truth of the issue. But it is prudent. You can ask WD about that.

Since there are hundreds of Ben Patricks in this world and your account is not linked, again I would suggest that you apply your logic to yourself.

As I mentioned earlier:

The idea for the Christian tithe was borrowed from 8th century pagan land leasing laws. 10% was the going rate. The church adopted it and used the OT laws as proof texts.

And gullible Christians have been feeling guilty for over 1300 years.

Source: Pagan Christianity

Anonymous said...

Anon on October 13, 2010 10:13:

Your comment is excellent. Thanks for focusing on facts and reminding others that we do not follow men. And yes, even famous ones can be wrong. Martin Luther wrote horrible things about Jews and the much venerated Adrian Rogers preached a tithe for the NC that does not exist in the NC!

It would be awesome if Christians wanted to grow up in the Lord, but they don't. They want to grow up in other humans they substitute for the Holy Spirit. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how the NT tithing advocates always disappear when you ask them that one simple question?

Kenneth said...

Anon 9:35

I don't think you understood my comment.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, the father of lights"

"The earth is the Lords and everything in it"


do I need to go on? There is plenty of Scripture that show's we are not our own anymore, once we become a Christian.

And since we are talking about tithing. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus commended the Pharisees for tithing. It wasn't the main issue of course, but he still commended them for doing it. He had a perfect opportunity to say that it was not required anymore. But he didn't

Anonymous said...

"And since we are talking about tithing. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus commended the Pharisees for tithing. It wasn't the main issue of course, but he still commended them for doing it. He had a perfect opportunity to say that it was not required anymore. But he didn't"

That's because he was talking to Jews who were still keeping the OT laws. He was condemning them for keeping a lesser part of the (OT) law and ignoring more important matters. You have to interpret scripture in context - always.

I wonder why in all the times that the NT talks about giving that none of the NT writers ever said 10%.

Perhaps it was because the Jewish law required 23%. Or maybe it was because that is not the NT model.

2 Corinthians 9: 7

Kenneth said...

so He was condeming them for doing something lesser (tithing) by affirming them for doing it (tithing)?

And I do read the Bible in context, I was just asking a question. Thanks for the mini-lecture though..

Anonymous said...

so He was condeming them for doing something lesser (tithing) by affirming them for doing it (tithing)?
___________________________________

Kenneth - my understanding of that passage is this: He was saying "You legalistic lost pharisees are under the law that requires you to tithe, so do it, but don't ignore the other matters. Simply tithing to conform with the letter of the law is not what I am looking for"

Either way, Kenneth, if you are a pharisee under the law, then yes, I agree, you too must tithe. Does that interpretation make sense. Or is the better interpretation that whatever he told the hypocritical white washed tombs known as pharisees, who were trying to earn salvation through keeping the law...also applies to me? Really? Really Kenneth?

Anonymous said...

"The earth is the Lords and everything in it"
___________________________________

Amen! So can you please stop asking ME to give something that is not mine but is the LORD's. I cannot give you something that belongs to someone else. It is all the Lords. So please quit asking me to give it to you. Or if you are a preacher, stop telling me that God requires that I give what is already His, to Him, er to your budget. It makes no sense. "Hey, that car Kenneth is driving belongs to Kenneth. You must give it to Kenneth, since he owns it anyway. And you can get it to Kenneth by donating it to my 501(C)(3). And if you object to doing so, I will just tell you it already belongs to Kenneth anyway, so what is your problem. Are we to check our logic and intellect at the door of the church Kenneth?

Anonymous said...

Kenneth - a man came to Jesus and asked him straight up, man to man, "what must I do to be saved." Did Jesus tell him to give 10%. No. The man would have done that, for he was rich and 10% is nothing to him. But Jesus told him to sell all that he owns AND give it to the poor. Isn't that the clearest teaching, in context, directly from Jesus, about what must be done to be saved? And yet, no preacher, none, asks us to give anything to the poor, let alone 10% to the poor, or ALL to the poor. No. They want us to give it to their budget, undesignated. That doesn't concern you Kenneth?

Go and do likewise. Then, follow Jesus. Otherwise, quit pulling scriptures out of context. Thanks.

Ben said...

"And since we are talking about tithing. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus commended the Pharisees for tithing. It wasn't the main issue of course, but he still commended them for doing it. He had a perfect opportunity to say that it was not required anymore. But he didn't"

Great point. You would also think that Jesus, knowing it was going to be abolished would:

1 - Not have encouraged them to keep on, keeping on.
2 - Let them know about the coming kingdom where the tithe would not be required.

I think there is a reason for this, like the tithe still being the beginning point for NT believers.

Why should the other books speak on the subject? God didn't lead them to because Jesus settled it in Matthew. yes there are more important things, like knowing Jesus. The Jews had a handle on tithing, they didn't need the lecture but they did not have a handle on Jesus so that needed to be the main focus.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the church newsletter I just got for my 12 year old daughter in the youth division of FBCD. The title of current Sunday series....." The Best Sex Ever" . Wow great worship material for my daughter. And everyone worries about what public schools are teaching..... This is the only topic they could find for our youth? Marketing at work in our church.

Anonymous said...

"so He was condeming them for doing something lesser (tithing) by affirming them for doing it (tithing)?"

Nope - not what I said. He was condemning them for keeping the lesser law (OT Jewish Tithe) while at the same time not keeping the weightier matters of the law (justice, mercy & faith).

Matthew 23: 23

Jesus is teaching that He prefers it when people practice mercy and not blindly follow ritual.

If you had read this scripture in context, then the question would have been unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Ben - you are a wonder.

Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn occasionally. You would think that you would get something right at least once.

"You would also think that Jesus, knowing it was going to be abolished would"

"1 - Not have encouraged them to keep on, keeping on."

Only if you interpret the verse out of context and assume that scripture directed toward a hypocritical pharisee is also meant for you.

The OT tithes (there were 3) were used to a:pay the Levites (who were not allowed to own anything) b: help the poor, widows, and orphans and c: pay for the festivals that they were required to attend.

They acted as a tax to pay for civil government, welfare, and required civil duties. And by the way, they never paid money. It was always animals and/or harvests.

Jesus in effect would have been telling them to not pay their local taxes if he followed your suggestion.

"2 - Let them know about the coming kingdom where the tithe would not be required."

Since none of the NT writers did that why would Christ? Let's see if that logic works in reverse. During the dozens of times that the NT authors addressed giving, how many times did they say to give 10%? I'll save you some time - the answer is zero. Matter of fact, they said the opposite - that each person should give what they have decided in their own heart NOT UNDER COMPULSION. 10% or you are stealing from God is compulsion. So if you are right, the Bible contradicts itself. I think I will stick with the interpretation that doesn't cause the Bible to fall.

"I think there is a reason for this, like the tithe still being the beginning point for NT believers."

Where is this stated in the NT?

"Why should the other books speak on the subject? God didn't lead them to because Jesus settled it in Matthew."

But they did:
2 Corinthians 9: 7

Please harmonize that verse with the OT tithe.

And once again I ask the question to NT tithing advocates - not because I expect an answer but to show that they don't have one.

Why were the Israelites required to give 23% and NT Christians only 10%?

I've been asking that question for months. Still waiting on a reply.

Study the history of the tithe. You will find that for the first 700 years of the Christian church no one paid a tithe. They followed the instructions from 2 Corinthians 9: 7.

The idea of the NT tithe came from 8th century pagan land leasing laws. The going rate was 10%. The church incorporated that practice as a money raising tactic and used OT scriptures as proof texts.

Learn how to interpret scripture correctly and you won't be fooled by the traditions of man.

Anonymous said...

Only if you interpret the verse out of context and assume that scripture directed toward a hypocritical pharisee is also meant for you.

The OT tithes (there were 3) were used to a:pay the Levites (who were not allowed to own anything) b: help the poor, widows, and orphans and c: pay for the festivals that they were required to attend.

They acted as a tax to pay for civil government, welfare, and required civil duties. And by the way, they never paid money. It was always animals and/or harvests.

Jesus in effect would have been telling them to not pay their local taxes if he followed your suggestion.

(cont)

Anonymous said...

"2 - Let them know about the coming kingdom where the tithe would not be required."

Since none of the NT writers did that why would Christ? Let's see if that logic works in reverse. During the dozens of times that the NT authors addressed giving, how many times did they say to give 10%? I'll save you some time - the answer is zero. Matter of fact, they said the opposite - that each person should give what they have decided in their own heart NOT UNDER COMPULSION. 10% or you are stealing from God is compulsion. So if you are right, the Bible contradicts itself. I think I will stick with the interpretation that doesn't cause the Bible to fall.

"I think there is a reason for this, like the tithe still being the beginning point for NT believers."

Where is this stated in the NT?

"Why should the other books speak on the subject? God didn't lead them to because Jesus settled it in Matthew."

But they did:
2 Corinthians 9: 7

Please harmonize that verse with the OT tithe.

And once again I ask the question to NT tithing advocates - not because I expect an answer but to show that they don't have one.

Why were the Israelites required to give 23% and NT Christians only 10%?

I've been asking that question for months. Still waiting on a reply.

Study the history of the tithe. You will find that for the first 700 years of the Christian church no one paid a tithe. They followed the instructions from 2 Corinthians 9: 7.

The idea of the NT tithe came from 8th century pagan land leasing laws. The going rate was 10%. The church incorporated that practice as a money raising tactic and used OT scriptures as proof texts.

Learn how to interpret scripture correctly and you won't be fooled by the traditions of man.

Anonymous said...

Ben wrote: Great point. You would also think that Jesus, knowing it was going to be abolished would:

1 - Not have encouraged them to keep on, keeping on.
2 - Let them know about the coming kingdom where the tithe would not be required.

I think there is a reason for this, like the tithe still being the beginning point for NT believers.
___________________________________

Doesn't your reasoning apply then, not just to the tithe, but to the thousands of other Mosaic laws and commandments? Surely you don't believe such a thing and surely no one would ever teach that. So I must be misunderstanding you. (smile)

New BBC Open Forum said...

You people think I lie, I'm telling you the Gods honest truth. Back about 20 years I confronted some people about it, and you wouldn't even believe what happened to me. trust me on this. Its been going on for years. Its all a whole lot worse than a lot of people have ANY idea. (you gonna print this watchdog?) lets see.....I promise you these techniques are far advanced to what they were 20 years ago. And the christian community is neck deep in it all.

Anon,

Could you please provide a link(s) to some resources on this subject? I can't find anything pertaining specifically to subliminal messages in Christian music or advertising. I'd really be interested in learning more about this subject. Frankly, I don't think having the word "sex" embedded in print advertising is going to be a selling point for me. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Usually those who complain about tithing and claim that it is against the New Testament don't really give because they love the Lord. Are the ten commandments no longer valid because of grace? no, but they continue to remind of that sin is sin and we need Jesus for the forgiveness of sin and power over sin. If tithing was a command of God in the Old Testament, is it negated in the New. No, but it gives us a starting point and grace takes us farther because we love Him. We belong to Him as do all we possess, so we are to be stewards who flee sin. As a pastor, I encourage my people to give as an act of worship and to give like God who demonstrated His love for us by giving His one and only Son. As a pastor, I also give more than a tithe. Every time the church gives me a raise, I increase the percentage of what I give to God. I believe that 10% is the starting point and grace takes you way beyond. Those who want to save up treasure in this life I am sure disagree.