"Did you catch that? There are a lot of people in Memphis today, the 'curse' is upon their finances and they think they can't afford to tithe when they don't understand that's a lie from the devil and they're in bondage and they can't afford not to tithe. They're doing the very thing that is cursing their finances because they're stealing from God....there are too many Christians living in stolen houses, they've stolen that money from God. They're driving stolen cars, they're eating stolen groceries, they're wearing stolen jewelry and stolen clothes, they send their children to school with stolen money. Don't steal from God." Steve Gaines, 5/22/11
----------When will the modern day mega churches stop lying to their congregations about what the bible says about Christian financial stewardship?
While Christians should be the picture of generosity to their culture, mega church pastors model the exact opposite behavior by greedily demanding 10% of the gross income of all parishioners, even the elderly on fixed income - and they have no fear of God in daring to use scriptures as a weapon against Christians.
The quote above, and the video below demonstrate just how shameless these preachers are getting. Have they no fear of the God they preach about? Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist Church doesn't even cut any slack for those on "fixed incomes", saying that it is fair that everyone, rich and poor alike, give 10% of their income. To the contrary, the lower the income, the deeper 10% cuts into the basic needs of the family. 10% to a poor family can hurt badly, while 10% of a rich person like a mega church pastor doesn't touch their basic needs. But Gaines himself being a wealthy mega church pastor, you wouldn't expect him to understand.
Gaines teaches what guys like Ed Young, Perry Noble, Robert Morris, and Mac Brunson teach: that the finances of Christians who don't tithe are under "the curse" placed by God, that God will send some sort of holy devourer - maybe God's angels named Moose and Rocco - to cause financial loss if you don't tithe. Gaines even says that people who are struggling financially are most often struggling precisely BECAUSE they do not tithe. Same nonsense that Paige Patterson preached to his students: I'm blessed because I tithe so much money, you college kids are poor because you don't. And they wonder why the secular media looks at Christians as though we are ignoramuses? They see our most prominent, successful preachers preaching illogical, non-biblical poppycock, and we tolerate it!
But this is the new trend these days with the tithing doctrine: to tell people that their money is cursed when they earn it, UNTIL they stroke a check to their local church, in the amount of 10% of their gross (not net) income to their church in an undesignated fashion.
It is a perversion of the gospel itself. The gospel says we are born sinners and we are under a curse, and we are in need of redemption, which is found at the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, then the curse is removed and we have a relationship with God and eternal life. You give yourself to God, and you have salvation. The new tithing perversion says that at the moment you earn money, it is cursed, and it needs to be "redeemed" to have the curse removed. How do you remove the curse? How is it redeemed?
It is redeemed by YOU....like you gave yourself to God, you give your money to God, and the curse on your money is removed.
But there is a catch - to give your tithe to God so the curse on the rest is removed, you must give it to the church. You can't give any of the first 10% of your charitable giving to any missionary, or to the Red Cross, or even to your struggling neighbor or relative. Nope, it all must come to the church for church leaders to dole out, else all of your other money is cursed.
As Frank Viola says, this makes the gospel "bad news" for the poor. Your soul was redeemed by Jesus, but the blessings God has provided in the form of money for you and your family is actually cursed. And you have to do the hard work of redeeming your finances by forking 10% of it over to your church.
Gaines tells his congregation how he counsels people who have financial difficulties:
"I talk to people all the time, and they're having struggles in their finances. The first thing I ask them: 'do you tithe to your church?'...almost all the time they say 'no' if they're struggling with their finances. I say 'that's where you start.' They always say 'I can't afford to'. I say 'you can't afford not to, because until you do, the curse is on your finances.' "Unbelievable. A pastor who is supposed to be a loving shepherd giving wrong advice, speaking of "the curse" that God has placed on their finances, blaming financial struggles they may have on their failure to fork over 10% to his church. This is a lie. It is not biblical, it is not even logical, and it is not borne out in anyway in the experience of Christians. Total rubbish, a ploy to attract more revenue from gullible people. It is a form of spiritual abuse.
The irony in all this: if there is any stealing from God going on in churches, it is the mega church pastors earning hefty salaries for themselves and their family members on staff (Gaines has multiple family members collecting paychecks from Bellevue) living lavish lifestyles.
Steve Gaines: look at yourself in the mirror, pal. You just might be driving a stolen car and living in a stolen car in God's eyes.
Here is a scripture for Gaines and the other tithing gospel teachers:
"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