"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ECFA Webinar: "Unleash a Generosity Surge at Your Church" - NOT a Spoof

You think my April Fool's spoof and the Alec Baldwin video are over the line, or they are not realistic?

Well, today the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability (ECFA) has announced a "Growing Generous Givers" webinar this Thursday, April 7th, for only $35!! Notice the preacher's head and the backdrop of Benjamins and Jeffersons and personal checks. Perfect.

One of the tag lines of the conference: Unleash A Generosity Surge at Your Church in a Sluggish Economy.

The same group that Senator Grassley is hoping will encourage churches to be more financially transparent and thus avoid federal legislation in the area of religious organization fund raising - is actually hosting a webinar to help churches squeeze more money out of their people. And their logo has a pastor's head overlay-ed on top of a pile of money. I'm sure Grassley is going to love that! It would have been better to have him with a fist full of cash in his hand!

Who has ECFA hired for their webinar? Why none other than "bestselling generosity author" Brian Kluth, also described as "one of the world's leading authorities on charitable giving and generosity". Experts in generosity? Can't we just call it what it is: "fund raiser". We've had people for decades know how to "raise funds", but in the church that wouldn't go over well, so we call them "generosity consultants".

Click here to see Brian Kluth's "Maximum Generosity" website where churches can buy his resources on how to get your people to be more generous. Can't be too much longer and we'll see informercials on this.

If we have "generosity experts" marketing their wares to pastors, how long before the SBC seminaries start pumping out PhD's in "generosity"? Shouldn't every mega church have a PhD in "generosity", aka "fund raising"?

Look below at the blurbs from the ECFA website and blast email - while the speaker isn't using Alec Baldwin's "AIDA" approach, it is awfully close: the five I's: Instruct, Inspire, Influence, Involve, and Ignite!

And of course, he'll explain three things you can do, pastor, to increase giving 10% in the next 12 months.

Here's a strategy: how about preach the gospel, convert the lost, and then just let the Holy Spirit grow your church and let them give according to New Testament standards?

Nope, the gospel and Jesus aren't good enough anymore. We need more. We need to pay generosity consultants to tell our pastors how to tell us how to give more money and stop being stingy.

Preach Jesus, love people, teach people to love Jesus, and see what happens.

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

This dynamic webinar will provide your church pastor, staff, and/or committee members with…
  • Key highlights from 1,500+ Churches on the STATE of the PLATE Research on Giving/Budgeting/Generosity

  • Valuable insights from 1,400+ Families on the VIEW from the PEW Research on Finances/Debt/Giving

  • The 5 I’s: Proven Ways to INSTRUCT, INSPIRE, INFLUENCE, INVOLVE, and IGNITE people to greater generosity and increased giving

  • 3 Things Any Church Can Do to Help Increase Giving 10% or More in the Next 12 Months

  • $60 IN FREE BONUS MATERIALS: 50 Best Practices & 80 Best Websites to Increase Church Giving eBook ($29.95 Value) with a 12 Month Stewardship Planning Calendar Worksheet, State of the Plate Executive Summary ($14.95 Value), and View from the Pew Executive Summary ($14.95 Value)

  • Opportunity for Q&A

This webinar will encourage generosity in your church as we review the results from the State of the Plate and the View from the Pew surveys.

111 comments:

Jon L. Estes said...

It a shame when the church needs to do things like this to help them meet their financial obligations.

If God's people would just give what they should and I have come to agree that the tithe is not mandatory, but as believers we should not let an OT law be more generous to His work expressed through the church than we are.

If a person does not like the pastors salary, go to another church, most of them underpay their pastor anyway. Be willing to live without many of the ministries and be willing to be involved more than you probably are in a maga church.

Anonymous said...

"It a shame when the church needs to do things like this to help them meet their financial obligations."

Perhaps the financial obligations are the problem and not the people.

Ever consider that?

How much did Jesus spend on buildings and salaries and maintenance (much less extravagant housing or transportation)? And yet he was able to spread the good news and develop disciples that were much more effective than the ones we have today?

Today's Christian church brings in billions and what do they have to show for it?

Perhaps that is the shameful part.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Perhaps the financial obligations are the problem and not the people.

Ever consider that?"

Absolutely. I think it would be safe to say that the majority of churches do not over obligate themselves but want to be salt and light as an assembly to a very dark world. Therefore the argument about a churches financial obligations being to much is moot. God does tell His people (church) to assemble together and to do it often.

"How much did Jesus spend on buildings and salaries and maintenance (much less extravagant housing or transportation)?"

Apples and oranges. Jesus spent time in the temples (buildings). I am sure he helped give to the upkeep of these buildings. I am sure He tithed.

"And yet he was able to spread the good news and develop disciples that were much more effective than the ones we have today? "

The effectiveness has nothing to do with buildings. I think you know this.

"Today's Christian church brings in billions and what do they have to show for it?"

Please name one church that brings in billions? If you want to lump them all together to make your point then you have to be willing to say that many of the churches today are reaching lost people.

"Perhaps that is the shameful part."

For those which don't, yes shame. For those who do, PTL!

Do you still want to lump all churches together?

What percentage should a church see saved each year to be successful? What about those churches sharing faithfully but seeing few saved, are they successful?

Which churches are shameful and which ones are not? You lumped them all together. Just want to make sure if that is what you want to do.

Anonymous said...

"If God's people would just give what they should and I have come to agree that the tithe is not mandatory, but as believers we should not let an OT law be more generous to His work expressed through the church than we are."

Interesting.

Less than a week ago, you were chastising those who didn't believe in a NT tithe. You ignored biblical evidence that contradicted your position and eventually stated that you wouldn't discuss it any further because "neither one of us was going to change their mind."

You told me that I was wasting my time discussing it with you, but that wasn't really true was it?

The logic in the last part of your statement is flawed. 23% is what they paid in the OT. Only the very rich could afford to give that to the church in this economy.

That's one of the problems with setting a percentage. 10% (what most preachers are asking for even though it is not the OT standard) is too high for the poor. One of the tithes in the OT went to the poor. And that same amount is too low for the rich.

Perhaps that is why 2 Corinthians 9: 7 states:
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion

As Zig Ziglar would say: God's Way is Still the Best Way

Unfortunately most pastors don't have enough faith in God's people to do what the Holy Spirit is prompting them to do without preaching false doctrine and constant nagging from the pulpit.

Anonymous said...

How deliciously ironic: Opportunism on the Opportunists

Anonymous said...

"If a person does not like the pastors salary, go to another church, most of them underpay their pastor anyway. Be willing to live without many of the ministries and be willing to be involved more than you probably are in a maga church."

Most churches do not make the pastor's salary public. I wonder why that is?

Perhaps it is for the same reason that most of them preach an unbiblical NT tithe. Because they believe that if they did otherwise, less money would come in.

Your reasoning is beginning to remind me of the philosophy of our bloated federal government.

1) Money is the answer to all problems.
2) They never have enough.

Jesus set the example with almost no money and a handful of ordinary men who had a great deal of faith.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Less than a week ago, you were chastising those who didn't believe in a NT tithe. You ignored biblical evidence that contradicted your position and eventually stated that you wouldn't discuss it any further because "neither one of us was going to change their mind.""

At that time it was a true statement. I am humored that you find fault now, I guess it is more than the topic you dislike.

"You told me that I was wasting my time discussing it with you, but that wasn't really true was it?"

At the time you were. Since you like grace giving so much, do you let that apply to grace living?

"The logic in the last part of your statement is flawed. 23% is what they paid in the OT. Only the very rich could afford to give that to the church in this economy."

There's probably a non spiritual reason that this is true. It is possible that many people are living above their means.

So where is the line drawn financially so that a person could give 23%? That is your position right? At what level of income is a person unable to give 23%?


Is this really an income matter? A spending / budgeting wrongly matter? If so, then it has nothing to do with wealth but good stewardship.

Some anon, maybe you, criticized someone for getting 5000 back in taxes. so to some anon, budgeting is critical.

"That's one of the problems with setting a percentage. 10% (what most preachers are asking for even though it is not the OT standard) is too high for the poor. One of the tithes in the OT went to the poor. And that same amount is too low for the rich."

Maybe you are right that God's grace (that is how we are to give, right?) doesn't extend to the poor to allow them to give more by grace than by law. I just disagree.

"Perhaps that is why 2 Corinthians 9: 7 states: Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion"

If a man's heart is fixed on Jesus would he give by grace something greater than what the law requires? I think so. Isn't that the power of grace? God's grace on Calvary exceeded the law.

"As Zig Ziglar would say: God's Way is Still the Best Way"

Glad to see you following men now. TFPIC

And God's way is grace, that which is greater than the law.

"Unfortunately most pastors don't have enough faith in God's people to do what the Holy Spirit is prompting them to do without preaching false doctrine and constant nagging from the pulpit."

God's people, I guess you included, don't have enough faith to express a grace greater than the law. Therefor, what these preachers are doing is asking for the people to be more gracious.

I'm sorry the grace you express and experience is less than the law demands of us. really, I am.

Anonymous said...

"Absolutely. I think it would be safe to say that the majority of churches do not over obligate themselves but want to be salt and light as an assembly to a very dark world. Therefore the argument about a churches financial obligations being to much is moot. God does tell His people (church) to assemble together and to do it often."

This is poor thinking Jon.

You make an assumption with zero evidence, and then declare the point moot. We are once again back to you making a dogmatic statement and then not being able to back it up with anything other than a feeling.

Check the Barna web site. Their latest survey shows that churches spend the vast majority of their resources on salaries and buildings (over 75%).

And yes it is possible to assemble together without a special building Jon. The first century church did it.

Show me where Jesus, the disciples, or the first century church (our NT examples and foundation) built special buildings for worship (or had a head pastor for that matter), and the church members were asked to pay for it all and you will have made your point.

But I can save you some time. It didn't happen until the 3rd century when Christianity became accepted in Roman culture and the church started taking in the pagan culture of the day.

That's where we got off track and how we ended up in the mess we are in today.

Anonymous said...

"At that time it was a true statement. I am humored that you find fault now, I guess it is more than the topic you dislike."

No, it was just as false then as it is today, Jon. It's just that you finally realize that you were wrong before (even though you never admitted it and claimed that you would never change your mind).

What you mistakenly believed earlier has nothing to do with the truth or fiction of that belief.

And unfortunately we are back to your old habit of judging motivations of strangers again.

As I told you earlier, I don't take Biblical doctrine personally.

We are commanded to contend earnestly for the faith.

Because I am following that command does not mean that I dislike you.

That thinking comes from the culture.

Jon L. Estes said...

I agree, "moot" was not the correct word I should have used.

let me rephrase it.

"Absolutely. I think it would be safe to say that the majority of churches do not over obligate themselves but want to be salt and light as an assembly to a very dark world. Therefore if the financial obligations are the problem and not the people the argument about a churches financial obligations being to much is moot. God does tell His people (church) to assemble together and to do it often."

Anonymous said...

"At the time you were. Since you like grace giving so much, do you let that apply to grace living?"

No I wasn't. It was because of that discussion that you changed your mind Jon.

The equivalent would be witnessing to a person and they tell me I am waisting my time and then they make a decision for Christ in 4 days.

Would you say I had wasted my time?

Ridiculous right?

Same deal here.

Would grace living include admitting that you were wrong and thanking the person who pointed you in the right direction?

Anonymous said...

"Therefore"

Moot was a bad word choice. So was the word above.

Therefore requires that you make a case before using it. You have failed to do so.

As a matter of fact, the evidence points in the opposite direction.

Try reading the Barna article.

Jon L. Estes said...

Anon - whoever you are. You are not contending for the faith by arguing over me changing my position.

I have changed from a position which you once held, probably with vigor to one which mostly agrees with you and you still want to argue.

I have no intention of judging anyones motives. If I did that in this thread, please show me.

If you mean that we should demonstrate more grace than the law requires, that is not judging but seeking to live above the law by grace, not beneath it by comfort

You can have the last word.
Will be gone for a while need to pick up our Cuban visitor who is speaking for us tonight.

Anonymous said...

"There's probably a non spiritual reason that this is true. It is possible that many people are living above their means."

It could also be because we have a 10% unemployment rate, $4.00 a gallon gas, inflation, almost no economic growth, jobs being shipped to China, a government gone wild with spending, housing market bust, etc. Should I go on?

Oh, and how about a huge tax burden that claims a third of our income.

Perhaps that explains all the begging and tithe preaching and generosity consultants.

Why is the sermon always about more giving and never about less spending by the church?

Anonymous said...

"Anon - whoever you are. You are not contending for the faith by arguing over me changing my position."

I am contending for the faith by opposing your false teaching on a NT tithe. And I was successful in doing so.

For some reason, instead of being grateful for being liberated from your false view, you seem to be resentful.

Paul commended the Bereans for checking the scriptures against what he was teaching.

Anonymous said...

"I have no intention of judging anyones motives. If I did that in this thread, please show me."

You have done it with me several times. It seems to be your way of avoiding the topic.

This is the phrase I was referring to:

"I guess it is more than the topic you dislike"

There are lots of others if you would like me to go back and find them.

Anonymous said...

"I have changed from a position which you once held, probably with vigor to one which mostly agrees with you and you still want to argue."

Well, let me put it this way. I didn't argue for a week with the person who showed me the evidence before changing my mind (like you did) and then not acknowledge that they were right and I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

"If you mean that we should demonstrate more grace than the law requires, that is not judging but seeking to live above the law by grace, not beneath it by comfort"

Yep, I've heard that argument before. It's a way of keeping the law without any biblical support to do so. But it sounds better than saying that the law is still for today.

The NT says to give what the Holy Spirit tells you to give without compulsion. That has absolutely nothing to do with a percentage.

And wouldn't the same accountability that you demand out of a member apply to the church as well? I don't see much transparency there. Is that because the break down of spending would be embarrassing?

It certainly isn't close to what the first century church was doing.

Bojac said...

I wish this was an april fool joke. i am simple-minded enough believe that when God saves a person it is up to that individual to determine what he or she wants to give. I remind my church often I am not a fund-raiser. In my opinion a Gospel preacher should contaminate the message by always begging for more money. Bigger buildings and celebrity preachers are not advancing God's kingdom.

Anonymous said...

"So where is the line drawn financially so that a person could give 23%? That is your position right? At what level of income is a person unable to give 23%?"

That would be different for each individual.

23% was the amount that the OT Israelites paid in tithes. It was used to run their civil government, pay the Levites, pay for mandatory religious festivals and help feed the poor.

NT tithing advocates instead of using the tithe to help the poor want to further damage them by taking 10% of their income. Sadly that money is sometimes used so that the pastor can fly in a private jet. 75% is used for salaries and buildings.

Not coincidentally, most Americans pay close to that same amount to run our government.

Anonymous said...

"Is this really an income matter? A spending / budgeting wrongly matter? If so, then it has nothing to do with wealth but good stewardship."

I would say the same thing about the church.

Anonymous said...

"Some anon, maybe you, criticized someone for getting 5000 back in taxes. so to some anon, budgeting is critical."

Not me.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe you are right that God's grace (that is how we are to give, right?) doesn't extend to the poor to allow them to give more by grace than by law. I just disagree."

The poor didn't pay a tithe in the OT. The tithe was paid to them.

The OT tithes were always food (grain and livestock). That's why they were put in the "storehouse."

The poor received one of the tithes and were allowed to glean the corners of the fields.

Every seven years, the poor were allowed to glean the entire field.

NT tithing advocates flip this principle on its head.

Anonymous said...

"If a man's heart is fixed on Jesus would he give by grace something greater than what the law requires? I think so. Isn't that the power of grace? God's grace on Calvary exceeded the law."

That's the problem with defining grace as "more than the law."

All you have done is keep the law and up the ante.

Fortunately that is not the Bible's definition of grace.

Anonymous said...

"And God's way is grace, that which is greater than the law."

This is not the biblical definition of grace.

If that were the case, God would require everyone to give over 23% of their income.

You want to deliver that sermon next week?

cheezewhiz said...

Here's a strategy: how about preach the gospel, convert the lost, and then just let the Holy Spirit grow your church and let them give according to New Testament standards?

I like your strategy.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry the grace you express and experience is less than the law demands of us. really, I am."

And I am sorry that you don't have a proper understanding of biblical grace.

Much like you didn't understand the NT model for giving until I helped explain it to you.

Anonymous said...

"Apples and oranges. Jesus spent time in the temples (buildings). I am sure he helped give to the upkeep of these buildings. I am sure He tithed."

You are right about apples and oranges. Jesus did not meet in a "church building" that was paid for by the members like we do today. Neither did the disciples or the first century church. It happened when the church started importing elements of the pagan culture in the 3rd century. And you are suggesting that is model we should follow instead of Christ's?

Christ occasionally preached in the temple but didn't beg for money so that it could be maintained. It was run by the hypocritical pharisees.

As a matter of fact, I seem to remember him running the money changers out with a whip.

There is zero evidence for your last two statements. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary.

Feel free to prove me wrong with scripture.

Anonymous said...

"The effectiveness has nothing to do with buildings. I think you know this."

You missed the point. They did far more with far less. Money is not the main reason that today's church is failing.

Anonymous said...

"Please name one church that brings in billions? If you want to lump them all together to make your point then you have to be willing to say that many of the churches today are reaching lost people."

Please don't blame me for misunderstanding what I said.

The point stands. The fist century church did much more with much less compared to today's church.

Anonymous said...

"What percentage should a church see saved each year to be successful? What about those churches sharing faithfully but seeing few saved, are they successful?"

Still don't get it do you? God never intended for the church to spend 75% of all giving on salaries and buildings, and then have the temerity to try to shame people into giving more with false doctrine.

Anonymous said...

"Which churches are shameful and which ones are not? You lumped them all together. Just want to make sure if that is what you want to do."

The ones that do not follow the precedent set in scripture.

Anonymous said...

Make it STOPPPPPPPPPPP!

Please! These posts are so boring and pointless.

Anonymous said...

The "View of the Pew" is people sitting out there with their pockets turned inside out. That my friend is the "State of the Plate"! As the old saying goes, "you can't get blood from a turnip" no matter how much squeezin' you do.

Anonymous said...

"Please! These posts are so boring and pointless."

Not so sure about that.

Jon has changed his position on two issues recently.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Why is the sermon always about more giving and never about less spending by the church?"

Is it?

Jon L. Estes said...

"This is the phrase I was referring to:

"I guess it is more than the topic you dislike"

There are lots of others if you would like me to go back and find them."

My deepest apologies.

Jon L. Estes said...

"Well, let me put it this way. I didn't argue for a week with the person who showed me the evidence before changing my mind (like you did) and then not acknowledge that they were right and I was wrong."

You were right, I was wrong. I feel better.

Should we give less under grace than what was required under law? Not looking for an answer just throwing a thought out there in the form of a question.

Jon L. Estes said...

"NT tithing advocates instead of using the tithe to help the poor want to further damage them by taking 10% of their income. Sadly that money is sometimes used so that the pastor can fly in a private jet. 75% is used for salaries and buildings."

Is this whole discussion due to "sometimes"?

Jon L. Estes said...

"The poor didn't pay a tithe in the OT. The tithe was paid to them."

I'm so over the tithe. How about discussing grace giving.

Anonymous said...

"Is it?"

I've been going to church for 50 years still waiting to hear the first sermon on the subject of the church's spending or a examination of the vast majority going toward buildings and salaries.

Anonymous said...

"I'm so over the tithe. How about discussing grace giving."

Yes, but your definition of grace is "more than the law." So, you really aren't over the tithe are you?

Anonymous said...

"Should we give less under grace than what was required under law? Not looking for an answer just throwing a thought out there in the form of a question."

It's the wrong question. The NT model of giving is clear and has nothing to do with a percentage.

2 Corinthians 9:7

Jon L. Estes said...

"Still don't get it do you? God never intended for the church to spend 75% of all giving on salaries and buildings, and then have the temerity to try to shame people into giving more with false doctrine."

I get it completely. You are speaking of how many churches?

How many are using 75% on what you claim? Any source out there you can point us to? I truly would like to see these figures.

Not the church I pastor. We are at 32.8% for salaries and nothing on buildings except utilities and some upkeep. With just under 3% for that.

Anonymous said...

Is this whole discussion due to "sometimes"?

Once is too often.

Jon L. Estes said...

"It's the wrong question. The NT model of giving is clear and has nothing to do with a percentage.

2 Corinthians 9:7"

It's not about percentages but about grace. Grace should lead us to give more than the law demanded. If not, why not?

Anonymous said...

"I get it completely. You are speaking of how many churches?"

Any and all.

Anonymous said...

"How many are using 75% on what you claim? Any source out there you can point us to? I truly would like to see these figures."

I have already given you the source.

Anonymous said...

"Not the church I pastor. We are at 32.8% for salaries and nothing on buildings except utilities and some upkeep. With just under 3% for that."

That would make you the exception. Doesn't disprove the rule.

Anonymous said...

"It's not about percentages but about grace. Grace should lead us to give more than the law demanded. If not, why not?"

Once again you have made a pronouncement with no biblical support and then asked for proof otherwise.

It doesn't work that way.

You make the claim - you provide the evidence.

Where is the biblical support for your definition of grace?

Anonymous said...

"Grace should lead us to give more than the law demanded. If not, why not?"

So, should every Christian be giving more than 23% of their income to their local church?

Why do no preachers preach this sermon?

Why do they preach 10% instead?

I'm asking you because until recently you were doing this too.

How about the Sabbath laws? Or stoning for disobeying your parents?

Should the laws be stricter today under grace?

Anonymous said...

"If God's people would just give what they should and I have come to agree that the tithe is not mandatory, but as believers we should not let an OT law be more generous to His work expressed through the church than we are."

Jon, you put Bill Clinton to shame. I have nevr seen such blatent changing of positions in my entire life. I am now ready for you to say you have always thought this.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the financial obligations are the problem and not the people."

OH AMEN and AMEN. Give this commenter a special star or something!

Anonymous said...

"Apples and oranges. Jesus spent time in the temples (buildings). I am sure he helped give to the upkeep of these buildings. I am sure He tithed."

Jon, you are the most ignorant pastor I have ever seen.

Peter OBLIGED Jesus to pay the Temple Tax. Remember the lesson Jesus taught him about it when the coin was found in the fish' mouth to pay it?

The Sons are free!

Can you cite another example of Jesus "tithing" crops or livestock? After all, where was his property that produced crops or livestock? He had no where to lay his Head. Remember?

So, please base your comments on facts of the Word.

Anonymous said...

"At that time it was a true statement. I am humored that you find fault now, I guess it is more than the topic you dislike."

Jon, I hope your congregation can keep up with your shifting positions.

What a phony!

Anonymous said...

"This is poor thinking Jon.

You make an assumption with zero evidence, and then declare the point moot. We are once again back to you making a dogmatic statement and then not being able to back it up with anything other than a feeling."

Anon, I do not know who you are, but you have Jon pegged.

Jon is used to being believed because he has a title and stands on a stage. This is why it is so very dangerous to follow men instead of Christ. You might not even realize what a phony you are following if you dare not question everything they teach. But then most don't study enough to be able to do it and guys like Jon like that.

Just pay him to spout.

Anonymous said...

Study: Church Leaders Not Cutting Spending on Building During Economic Downturn


http://theaquilareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1490:-study-church-leaders-not-cutting-spending-on-buildings-during-economic-downturn-&catid=50:churches&Itemid=133

Anonymous said...

House church leader Ken Eastburn commented on the findings pointing out the hypocrisy of church leaders, "No church leader would ever say that their buildings are more important than their people or the mission of God, but that is exactly what their behavior communicates."

The study, conducted among 1,114 senior and executive pastors during the fourth quarter of 2009, found that only 3% of churches were making changes related to their facilities in an effort to adapt to the economy and save money. The most common change was reduced spending (21% of churches) while a very close 18% have also made cuts to staff. Another 4% reported reduced giving to missions or missionaries.

Anonymous said...

"Anon - whoever you are. You are not contending for the faith by arguing over me changing my position."

Of course Anon is. Anon is proving how shallow and arrogant pastors like you are. Anon is contending for the faith by pointing this out on many threads. People must be warned to be Bereans and not follow guys like you.

In fact, how do we know you have not only changed your position on this blog? Can you point us to a sermon where you have told the church where you pastor that the tithe is for the OC and the NC is about grace giving...and to the needy and not necessarily to a building?

show us proof. You have been a long time agitator here rebuking people for "touching thine anointed" as if that applies to anyone with a title in the NC.

You have spread false teaching for a long time, Jon.

Anonymous said...

"That's the problem with defining grace as "more than the law."

All you have done is keep the law and up the ante."

Boy have you nailed it here. That is exactly what they do.

Anonymous said...

I'm so over the tithe. How about discussing grace giving.

April 6, 2011 4:30 PM

The point is that "Grace giving" is none of your business. that is the rub of not teaching a tithe. YOU lose control and must depend on the Holy Spirit.

If the Holy Spirit leads me in grace giving to someone in need (and does often) then that money does not go to a pastor salary or building that month or week. That is what being led by the Holy Spirit means.

That someone in need might be a missionary on the field or a single mom struggling.

Grace giving could mean the pastor has to get a real job because people are so immersed in the Word and being led by the Holy Spirit they are now teaching others. They are no longer proud of their building or programs. Which can easily become idols.

The Body is fully functioning with each member exercising a spiritual gift. And baby believers are seeing the spirit at work in the Body of Christ and growing.

The problem with this spiritual model is the guys who want control over others, loses it. Best to keep people from growing spiritually so you can define "grace giving" for them which benefits you instead of the Holy Spirit.

As the pagans said of the early Christians: Look at how they love one another and take care of one another.

They are not saying that today of us. They are pointing to our fat pastors who tell single moms to "ante" up so they can please God. All the while they complain about how poorly they are paid.

It is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

B00bs

Slow to speak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
WishIhadknown said...

I was the one that pointed out that getting $5,000 back in a tax refund was poor tax planning. I was merely stating a fact. As Dave Ramsey and any other financial planner would tell you, you should monitor your tax situation throughout the year and only pay what is needed. The particular poster was trying to spiritualize how he had pledged $5,000 to his church and then learned he was receiving a $5,000 tax refund. This is nothing but spiritual hocus pocus. A wise man would have saved the money and given it from his savings not from a tax refund.

WishIhadknown said...

Jon Estes
I just want to thank you for continuing to hang with us despite the tone of some of your critics here. It’s not whether we agree or disagree that really matters; it is, rather that we study and learn the truth of God’s word together. At least we can all agree that Jesus is Lord! And thank Him for His sacrifice on the cross to save you and me from the penalty our sins justly deserve. Love you brother.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jon Estes - glad that you have seen that the light on the tithe.

Will you tell your church? Will you apologize to them for teaching them the doctrine of 10%?

We will continue to talk about the doctrine here, because we have a long way to go to get the sheep to open their eyes.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the Bible teach generosity?

Doesn't the Bible say "Give and it shall be given unto you."?

Doesn't the Bible encourage us to sacrifice?

Doesn't the Bible teach us that we cannot take that money with us?

Doesn't the Bible say that there is a "gift of giving"?

So....it is wrong to ask people to be generous?

Wow...what Bible are you reading?

Or is it just that you don't like Pastors?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Nothing wrong to ask people to be generous.

Probably not a good idea to take people's money given to the church for ministry, then to pay some of that money to an ex pastor, to teach your pastor, how to tell you, to be generous.

That is not telling people to be generous, because the way you tell Christians to be generous is say "please be generous".

What this guy does and other such consultants do is called "fund raising".

I think we might be able to fund more ministry if we would all sell Krispy Kreme donuts as a fundraiser, and then give that money to the church.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jon Estes' comment:

"God's people, I guess you included, don't have enough faith to express a grace greater than the law. Therefor, what these preachers are doing is asking for the people to be more gracious.

I'm sorry the grace you express and experience is less than the law demands of us. really, I am."

My response: we need some "circumcision consultants" who will counsel men on how they can go beyond the law, and get just a bit more circumcised. Why stop at just the OT circumcision, let's give a little more.

Jon L. Estes said...

Saddest comment

"and then not acknowledge that they were right and I was wrong."

It matters not if you were right and if someone told you that. It matters that God is right.

Yet, I was glad to tell you, you were right since you mentioned it had not been said to you yet. I hope it helped.

Jon L. Estes said...

"I just want to thank you for continuing to hang with us despite the tone of some of your critics here. It’s not whether we agree or disagree that really matters; it is, rather that we study and learn the truth of God’s word together. At least we can all agree that Jesus is Lord! And thank Him for His sacrifice on the cross to save you and me from the penalty our sins justly deserve. Love you brother."

Thanks Brother. It is good to discuss things rationally, even if there is a disagreement.

I am trying to figure out how changing my position on tithing is now something to try and fight about.

Jon L. Estes said...

"My response: we need some "circumcision consultants" who will counsel men on how they can go beyond the law, and get just a bit more circumcised. Why stop at just the OT circumcision, let's give a little more."

The way we are to give is spoken of in the NT and is shown to be an act of grace. The issue of circumcision is also spoken of in the NT and following its NT standard is an act of grace. no need for the knife because there is something greater that needs circumcised...the heart. (Col. 2)

Nice try.

Tom Parker said...

Jon:

What is your Biblical position on tithing? My thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

It matters not if you were right and if someone told you that. It matters that God is right.

April 6, 2011 11:09 PM

Jon, It does matter because you are PAID to teach the Word and get it right. That is how you make your living.

Anonymous said...

What is your Biblical position on tithing? My thanks in advance.

April 7, 2011 6:55 AM

He has made that clear in this thread. The tithe plus. He is now calling it "grace giving".

What is not clear is if he is using the 23% or the 10% as the base.

Jon is a great parser of words. Very slick. Gotta watch him. He was playing the parsing game way back on BBCOpenforum. Some things do not change.

Anonymous said...

"The issue of circumcision is also spoken of in the NT and following its NT standard is an act of grace."

Here is Jon trying to reframe what Tom said instead of dealing with the point.

Jon forgets that circumcision (literal kind) was a huge issue in the early church because of the Judaizers. In fact, we are told in one place, Galatians, that Paul wishes they would "cut it off".

But Paul also had the half Greek, Timothy, circumsized.

We do not see anything like the issue of tithing as we see on circumsizion in the NT. It was a huge deal.

And yes, Paul uses the metaphor of circumsizing the heart. I just hope Jon knows it is the Holy Spirit that "circumsizes" the heart.

But that is not what Tom was speaking of. He was using circumsizion to show how absurb these 'generosity" consultants are about the tithe. It is a works religion.

In other words, why would we think it is absurb to have circumsizion consultants but not "tithe" consultants?

From a theological point of view, they are both a work of the OC law.

Jon, stop trying to teach here. You have no credibility. Stick with your blind pew sitters who were taught the tithe. You HAVE admitted publicly to them you were wrong, right?

You never answered that.

Slow to speak said...

Tithing is in the Bible.

Being Stingy is a sin

Anonymous said...

"God's people, I guess you included, don't have enough faith to express a grace greater than the law. Therefor, what these preachers are doing is asking for the people to be more gracious.

I'm sorry the grace you express and experience is less than the law demands of us. really, I am."

I am only sad that more people do not see the HUGE problem with this from Jon. Jon is a sicko, a phony and a false teacher.

Note what he is saying...he is defining a WORKS religion and calling it GRACE.

The "Law" as in Mosaic law demands NOTHING of us. It is Jesus + nothing.

See how Jon keeps using the law as a baseline? Barnabas sold his estate! The Hellenistic Widows gave nothing!

He really has not changed his position at all. He is simply using the made up 10% "tithe" as a baseline and claiming if you have GRACE, you will give much more.

He is PLAYING games with everyone here. He has done this before on other blogs. You gotta read close...he is slick.

Anonymous said...

"Tithing is in the Bible."

Must you always be so pedantic? The bible is HUGE and has TWO covenants.

sts, you do sound like someone who has been doctrinally educated in a mega church.

Anonymous said...

"God's people, I guess you included, don't have enough faith to express a grace greater than the law."

Folks, read this statement, by Jon, over and over.

Think about what he is REALLY saying here about believers.

If people cannot see how wrong Jon is in what he teaches, then they do not even begin to know the Word. Jon counts on this. They all do.

Arce said...

Doctrinally MISeducated in a Mega church is more like it.

I have not enjoyed the petty back and forth here in these comments. Much of it sounds like a private argument.

If you say that grace is giving more than a tithe, that is still "Jesus +" position which is inherently heretical. Grace alone is sufficient. Accept it, turn away from sin, and live under the Grace offered by the sacrificial love of God for all humankind. Then live a life of love in the deeds you do. Jesus in Matthew 25 did not mention giving to or through the church, but did suggest that love for the imprisoned, the poor, the hungry, those needing clothes is necessary, because those are Jesus in the flesh. That is where we need to be generous -- with time, money and talent.

Whatever we give to an organization to support its operations is not sufficient unless those operations are primarily focused on those Jesus mentioned in Matt 25. Paying a pastor, building a building, utilities, etc., are not the works that will please God, if we are not doing more than that for the least of his children.

Arce said...

Recent article on tithing as a requirement. Survey SAYS most evangelical leaders do not believe it is a requirement. http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_17784132

Anonymous said...

"I have not enjoyed the petty back and forth here in these comments. Much of it sounds like a private argument"

Dealing with the false teaching on GRACE from a pastor is not petty or private. It is necessary. Jon teaches publicly in his church and here on this blog. He has a title of "pastor" which we all know impresses the impressionable.

Some of us have been through his parsing of certain doctrinal concepts before on other blogs long ago. We are simply warning folks and trying to get them to see what he is really saying or NOT saying.

once, a few years ago, Jon held to a certain position doggedly on Grace to You...rebuking and insulting people like crazy over it. Then he went back and erased all his comments when folks were pointing people to them on other blogs.

That is what we are dealing with. If you go back and read what Jon has said on this thread, you will see he is still teaching the law! He is just hiding it behind clever parsing.

WishIhadknown said...

Ya gotta wonder how many times we have to say you are perfectly free to give a tenth of your income or as you like to say a tithe. No one here is against you giving whatever. We are only saying believers are to give according to what the Lord has instructed them to give. Some should be giving far more than a tenth; others should not be giving anything at all. Why is it wrong for believers to seek the Lord’s will?

Anonymous said...

"Why is it wrong for believers to seek the Lord’s will?"

Who has said it was wrong to seek the guiding of the Holy Spirit in giving? Most of us have been teaching just that while Jon is presenting 10% as the baseline PLUS what he calls grace giving.

In the new covenant, there are no baselines. Where do we get the 10%? Where is that from? Abraham and the spoils of war? It is certainly not the tithe system in the OC. It is that sort of thinking that hinders being led by the spirit in giving.

And that is truly between the person and the Holy Spirit. That is why greedy "generosity consultants" are such an insult to the Body of Christ. They attempt to replace the Holy Spirit.

If they really believed what they were saying, they would not take a cut. They would do it for free. :o)

Josh from FL said...

I skimmed through the comments, and I'm wondering if I'm truly the only one to notice this:
Watchdog, there are no Jefferson's featured in the picture. There are, however, JACKSON'S.
Glad I'm here.
:)

Arce said...

Yes, I know Jon's history. And it is clear that I disagree. I am one who has practiced tithing to the church, and taught it as a guideline, in churches that pay reasonable staff salaries and have reasonable buildings, and, more importantly, send 20% to missions endeavors outside the congregation and also do missions activities within the church. Those include ESL classes, food pantry, clothes closet, a benevolence or Samaritan fund, recruitment of members to tutor in the local school or work at an inner city mission center, etc.

But a tithe is a guideline at best, and our standing with the church should not be based on our giving to the church, but on our commitment to carrying out the instructions given to us by Jesus, including what he had to say in Matthew 25.

Anonymous said...

"Some should be giving far more than a tenth; others should not be giving anything at all."

And that is NOT for us to judge. That is a whole other point.

I have a wealthy friend who has gone through agony and prayer over this but he has stopped giving to the institutional church. He gave for 30 years and his largesse was depended upon by the institution.

But he has been convicted that it is wrong to prop up a system that does so little for those in need within that body. The last straw for him was the 200,000 dollar sound system purchased when people in the church were losing their jobs in this bad economy.

He has directed his giving through prayer to certain organizations that exist to help others that are very accountable for the dollars, to individuals in need and direct to missionaries on the field and Christians in poor countries.

He is considered a very great sinner by the church leadership because he no longer gives the big amount to support the local church.

I reminded him that Paul took up a collection from believers all throughout Macedonia for the persecuted believers in the Jerusalem Body. That was not giving to the local church. Those who met in the local church were taking care of one another already. Not building fancy buildings, getting new rugs, paying a pastor salary.

Anonymous said...

"I am trying to figure out how changing my position on tithing is now something to try and fight about."

That's funny coming from someone who was fighting about tithing last week.

Arguing for a position and being wrong is not more noble than arguing for a position and being right.

The Bible teaches us to do the latter.

Don't confuse your wounded pride with being a victim.

Anonymous said...

"But a tithe is a guideline at best"

The "tithe" is 23%. Is that the guideline you are talking about? Or, the made up 10% that has no basis as the OC "tithe".

This another point that is important. People really believe the tithe was 10% because they were taught that untruth.

The "baseline" is the Holy Spirit and what He directs. Barnabas was guided to sell his estate. It is good he did not start with the "tithe" baseline. On the other hand, the Greek widows gave nothing but received...as it should be.

Anonymous said...

"It matters not if you were right and if someone told you that. It matters that God is right."

God is always right Jon.

The sad part is that you have been teaching false doctrine to your congregation for years.

Now that you have been enlightened, you want to pretend like it didn't happen.

You aren't fooling anyone but yourself Jon.

Anonymous said...

"It’s not whether we agree or disagree that really matters"

Not according to the Bible.

Anonymous said...

"I just want to thank you for continuing to hang with us despite the tone of some of your critics here."

I couldn't agree more. The longer Jon stays and discusses issues the more he learns and changes his position.

Which is great, because many of his teachings are unbiblical.

Unfortunately the only effective way of adjusting Jon's interpretations to align with a proper hermeneutic is to pin him to the wall with his own words.

Even then he never admits his mistakes and tries to play tricks to get around what scripture clearly teaches.

There is nothing complicated about 2 Corinthians 9:7. It's between the individual and the Holy Spirit what a person gives. Period.

With Jon, a certain tone is required to pry him loose from his word parsing and legalistic proclivities.

Anonymous said...

"Must you always be so pedantic? The bible is HUGE and has TWO covenants."

Last time I checked both covenants were still Scripture. Has that changed?

Anonymous said...

"Yet, I was glad to tell you, you were right since you mentioned it had not been said to you yet. I hope it helped."

So, why did I need to mention it?

When I was taught this lesson, I thanked the person right away and gave up my mistaken belief without trying to continue to hold onto it with rationalizations like "we should give more under grace than we do by the law." By the way, the law was 23% not 10%. Also the law required food (livestock and grain) not money. And it was given to the poor/widows, levite priests who weren't allowed to own anything and mandatory festivals.

The reason I mentioned it was not to help me but to help you. We all need to learn to admit when we are wrong and be grateful not resentful.

Just not sure why it's like trying to pull teeth to get you to do the ordinary decent thing.

I accept your admision although I'm still not sure that you are sincere since you write a mocking post later calling my comment sad.

I think it is sad when you can't take anything a pastor tells you at face value and can't trust his sincerity.

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked both covenants were still Scripture. Has that changed?

April 7, 2011 12:04 PM

Depends on what you mean by saying it is "scripture".

Do you mean the OC is binding on us? Do you interpret the OC as rules for today or pointing us to Christ?

Check this out:

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[e] 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[f] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[g] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[h] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Galatians 3

Or this:

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corin 3

There is much more, but I hope you are starting to get the picture. perhaps your veil has not been taken away, yet.

Anonymous said...

Here is my favorite comment from Jon when he was defending the tithe last week:

"I am OK with you thinking my interpretation is wrong. It won't be the first time people have thought that and were wrong themselves."

Four days later:

"I have come to agree that the tithe is not mandatory"

Anonymous said...

"Will you tell your church? Will you apologize to them for teaching them the doctrine of 10%?"

You are kidding right?

Yeah, I can see Jon getting up on the platform and telling the sheep that what he's been teaching them for 10 years about giving is wrong.He's reluctant to admit it here - where everyone saw it happen.

And now he's trying to save face by going from 10% to more than 10% or is it 23%? He never said.

I can promise you that will never happen.

Anonymous said...

"There is much more, but I hope you are starting to get the picture. perhaps your veil has not been taken away, yet."

Perhaps your own spiritual arrogance is blinding you. There's a reason Jesus quoted Old Testament verses. Other writers of Scripture did the same. Why? Because the Old Testament is still relevant. Do we live under it? No. Are we free from the law? Yes. Thus, should we ignore it? I hope not. But, no doubt your arrogance refuses to allow to acknowledge this.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps your own spiritual arrogance is blinding you. There's a reason Jesus quoted Old Testament verses. Other writers of Scripture did the same. Why? Because the Old Testament is still relevant. Do we live under it? No. Are we free from the law? Yes. Thus, should we ignore it? I hope not. But, no doubt your arrogance refuses to allow to acknowledge this.

April 7, 2011 2:56 PM


Are you familiar with what Jesus was quoting from the OT and why?

The OT is relevant because we can know the Attributes of God, Creation narrative, How sin entered the world, How God worked through His chosen people who were horrible sinners constantly turning their backs on Him and most importantly, in that it points us to Messiah Who redeems us.

"Do we live under it? No. Are we free from the law? Yes."

See, you admit the point I was making all along. Well done!

"Thus, should we ignore it? I hope not."

How are we ignoring it? It is all about context. You cannot lift out Leviticus and tell me it applies to me today.

But we can look at how corrupt the priests were in the OC and map it to many in the leadership of the Body of Christ, today. Some things do not change.

Can you possibly have a contextual, hermeneutical conversation? Is that possible for you or are you only capable of soundbites you heard from stage?

Arce said...

The word "tithe" means a tenth. There were three "tithes" in the OT, two collected every year, and one collected every third year, so that the total of the thitheS was 23.33%. However, that was not a tithe of all income, but of crops. There is evidence for a tithe of booty, but sometimes the requirement seems to be that all of it be dedicated (sometimes by its destruction!). There is also evidence for a requirement to give a portion of the increase of the herds.

So "a tithe" means a tenth or 10%. Complying with the OT law on tithings is another matter entirely and does not quite fit our modern, non-agricultural culture and economy.

That said, a "tithe" is a reasonable guideline as a starting point for giving for those who can spend at will for luxury automobiles and McMansions. One must realize, however, that the tithe in the OT had exemptions for a lot of people, particularly widows and the poor.

If all the church members who earn $50,000 a year or more gave a tenth to the church, that church would be awash in money. Of course, most would use it to hire more staff, pay the pastor more money, and make the country club look like a poor house by comparison.

Anonymous said...

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/07/survey-minority-of-evangelical-leaders-say-bible-requires-tithing/?hpt=C2

Should spark discussion on both sides.

Slow to speak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

God will get his money one way or another.

HE will not be mocked.

Be careful thiefs....Your frig will probably go on the brink or your car will have a flat.

HE will not be mocked

Anonymous said...

Jon: When Jesus was in the Temple He opened the Book never His wallet since He didn't have one. He never had any money Judas carried the pouch.

Anonymous said...

God will get his money one way or another.

BRUNSON SHOULD HAVE ON PROBLEM PASSING THE PLATE.

HE will not be mocked.

HE HAS NEVER BEEN MOCKED EXCEPT WITH THE PLATE

Be careful thiefs....Your frig will probably go on the brink or your car will have a flat.

BE CAREFUL FBCJ, TITHE IS NOT NEW TESTMENT

HE will not be mocked

BE CAREFUL FBCJ YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHO YOU ARE SERVING

Anonymous said...

It is all His.

So what is the big deal about 10%?

Sounds weird to me that a Christian would not want to give to God?

Did you earn it?

Did you deserve it?

Be careful...the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

You start loving that money you will do hurtful things like start Blogs that tear down Pastors.

Slow to speak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

BIG difference, giving to the church with a millionaire pastor vs. giving to God. DO NOT CONFUSE YOURSELF that tithing or any other form of giving to a church with a wealthy pastor is giving to God.

God is not mocked and wealth is a mockery of God, especially if it comes from the offering plate.

Anonymous said...

"Can you possibly have a contextual, hermeneutical conversation? Is that possible for you or are you only capable of soundbites you heard from stage?"

Apparently not with you. Hope you eventually see and deal with your arrogance, brother.

Anonymous said...

Apparently not with you. Hope you eventually see and deal with your arrogance, brother.

April 8, 2011 8:55 AM

Remember, Jesus said He sent the BEST teacher and that Teacher is not human. Study to show yourself approved. You simply parrot what you have been told with your soundbites.