"Young people, one of the reasons that you're poor, is because you've been cheating on God...I'm just saying many of you are poor because God can't bless you when you're stealing from him." Paige Patterson to his SWBTS Seminary Students in Chapel 4/5/11
Paige Patterson entered the tithing debate in his SWBTS chapel sermon from 4/5/11 on the 8th commandment "thou shalt not steal". And of course no self-respecting Southern Baptist will teach on stealing, without touching on the worst form of stealing: robbing God by failing to give 10% of their income to the local church. Let's all say the eighth commandment: "thou shalt not, not tithe."
Patterson told his students that one of the reasons they are poor, is because they're robbing God of the tithe. But of course, he goes on to explain how wonderfully blessed he is, because when he was 15 years old he made a vow to God that he would give 20% of his income to the Lord in exchange for a pulpit to preach in every Sunday.
Patterson even says at times he had to borrow money to keep his 20% vow to the Lord. Perhaps Patterson wants his students to be tithing on their Pell Grants and federal student loans. Should they tithe on their "increase" when dear 'ol dad sends a few hundred bucks for expenses?
You'll also see and hear in the video where Patterson puts the principle of the tithe on par with one of the ten commandments. Really - you have to see it to believe it.
Someone needs to remind Patterson that according to the Old Testament standard, he too is robbing God, because 20% is still short of the 23 1/3% annual amount specified in the bible. And I think Jesus said something to the rich young ruler about selling all of his possessions. But Jesus apparently smiles on Patterson's 20%, and punishes the seminary students with poverty for their stinginess.
I can't decide which is more disgusting: watching a wealthy preacher who has literally traveled the world and made millions off of the generosity of Christians his whole life, tell these same Christians that they are poor because they don't tithe....or the thought that his students at his seminary listen and believe him, and will then repeat this rubbish to their own congregations.
This message really does harken back to the Catholic church and indulgences: telling the poor to give their alms to the religious institution so that they and their seed may be blessed by God - while the religious leaders live high on the hog as evidence of how God has blessed them and not the plebe.
SWBTS seminary students, do you really buy this? And are you going to teach this doctrine to your churches?
Pastor search committee members: you might want to play this video when interviewing any SWBTS seminary grads and ask your prospective hire if they really believe this taught by their seminary's high priest.
Watch the video above and enjoy, as you watch legalism and prosperity gospel - Southern Baptist Style - in full display.