The first one is by pastor Charlie Campbell of The Bridge Church of Jacksonville. In the sermon excerpts you'll hear below, Pastor C uses the story of Jacob and Esau in the Old Testament to tell his congregation if they aren't giving 10%, they are "heel grabbers" and "supplanters", just like 'ol Jacob was. He takes that passage totally out of context, applies it directly to Christians under the New Covenant.
"Jacob" means "heel grabber", or "trickster" or possibly "swindler". Yes, now a preacher is using the Old Testament story of Jacob stealing Esau's birthright to convince people who don't tithe that they too, like Jacob, are swindlers...but not of a man, but actually swindler's of God Himself.
You really have to hear this to believe it. It is on par with Ed Young's sermon from last October. Pastor Charlie's sermon is a grueling hour and 10 minutes, and can be listened in its entirety here. Below are audio excerpts, but here are a few choice quotes:
"If you ain't doin' your money God's way, what do you think you're doin' but heel grabbin' and supplantin'?"
"You need to trust God. You need to get your paycheck, look at what the amount is, take a multiplier, times 0.1, whatever the answer is, write it out, don't think about it, and put it to the local church. You do it with FICA, and you don't complain about them. Or you do, but you don't do nuthin' about it 'cause you can't do nuthin' about it. And if God was just as aggressive you might be blessed. I don't see you calling up Obama asking for your money back."
Then he threatens to put people out of the church if he knew what each individual gave.
"'I'm not a heel grabber. I'm not a supplanter. I don't lie and cheat and steal.' You lie and cheat and steal when you don't trust God and do what he says....'God, I don't got 10 percent'. OH GOD KNOWS YOU GOT IT. You may not be heel grabbin' me, but you're heel grabbin' Him. And I'm sorry, you might heel grab me and get away with it, but when you grab the heel of the 'big man upstairs' he don't like that too much."
"'How do you know I'm not doing what I should?' Because I see the finances of this church....If I saw what each one of you all gave, I would get up in your stuff and I'd say 'don't you dare call my phone'....I'd call you out when you start worshippin' the Lord. I'd say, 'stop the music, come here John, sit down, that's all the song you get, you get half a song'.....aren't you glad I don't look at the finances...I would be so upset I would talk about you from the platform."
It gets worse than that. Listen to the complete audio.
Ironically, this church right now has a huge media blitz in our city advertising their Easter service where they will be giving away to 8 attenders a month's payment for their electric bill. They're on TV, billboards, YouTube video, even a special website.
Yes, they want to get you to their church with the idea that you might get free utilities. Perhaps you'll visit their church, and you join their church and maybe accept Jesus, even win a couple of hundred bucks in a raffle. But eventually you'll be presented with the terrible news they won't tell you in their TV ads or in the Easter service: you're a liar, a robber, a heel-grabber, unless you give 10%. Jesus died and rose again, but gosh darn it He needs your 10% and the secret is: Jesus wants you to give it to Pastor Campbell's church.
This quote is sad, from the local news story on the church's raffle:
That is the bait and switch. Does Pastor Campbell really want to ease strains on people's wallets in Jacksonville? Or does he want to entice more people to his church using a raffle and a gimmick so he can eventually convince them to be tithers for the sake of Jesus?"Campbell spends every Sunday on a stage giving people hope during tough times by preaching faith. 'The church is about reaching people, and it's about getting something to people to help them where they are,' he said.And on Easter Sunday he is hoping to do just that through his sermon, and by easing the strain on your wallet."
God help us. Please deliver us from churches who are infatuated more with the money in people's pockets than they are with the needs of people and the souls of men.