"...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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Even Emotional, "Common Sense" Tithing Appeals Make No Sense

Like all good salesmen, mega church pastors will try multiple approaches when selling the ridiculous doctrine of tithing to their church members, and we see this most clearly in the fall during pastors' emphasis on stewardship.

The first sales tactic is usually twisting Old Testament scripture (Malachi, Melchizidek, and the doctrine of first fruits and Jericho).

Pastors will then resort to misinterpreting and/or ignoring selected New Testament scriptures regarding stewardship.

Of course some will berate and scare the congregation - the best at this are Ed Young, Jr. and Steve Gaines.

But sometimes pastors will make emotional, seemingly "common sense" appeals to sell their tithing tonic to the peeps - and that is the topic of this post.

Here is how the more basic, common-sense argument usually unfolds - many of the readers here have probably heard something like this recently at YOUR church by your mega church pastor:

- pastors will equate "walking with Jesus" to tithing - that if you're going to walk with Jesus, you have to give 10% of your income to your church, undesignated, off the top, before you pay anyone else. No scripture, but hey, who doesn't want to "walk with Jesus"?

- your mega church pastor will try to tie your devotion to Jesus to devotion to church and tithing, saying something like:

"If you can trust Jesus with your eternal soul, surely you can trust him with your finances."  

Sure, I suppose I can trust Jesus with my finances - but Jesus doesn't own any banks, and Jesus doesn't work at Schwaab or Bank of America last time I checked. And Jesus never says to give 10% of your income to your 501(c)3 religious organization. I can't tell you how many times I've heard this rubbish - that a logical next step to "accepting Jesus" is to fork over 10% of your income to your pastor's church, that tithing is a matter of "trusting Jesus" with your finances.

- your mega church pastor will tell you that HE tithes, that his parents tithed, his dog tithes, and thus you should tithe too. That is great that he gives 10% or more to the church, but that doesn't mean it is a good idea for the others in the congregation.

- pastors will tell you that as a Christian, tithing is one of the greatest disciplines that you can develop in your life and will help you spend the other 90% wisely. What a nutty idea: let me donate more money than I can afford, to put myself under further financial duress to force me to better manage what is left. My new dieting strategy: let me binge tonight, so tomorrow I'll be more motivated than ever to eat less and lose weight.

- pastors will even go so far as to tell you that if you are struggling in your finances, one of the best things you can do to help your situation is learn to trust God and start tithing, that by tithing you demonstrate your faith in Jesus and he will then be able to help you more. They will tell you that the reason you ARE struggling financially is you are not tithing yet! Again, pure fiction, but it helps to increase revenue at the church.

This kind of rhetoric is why it is dangerous to give a man a microphone for 45 minutes - any man: a politician, a lawyer in a courtroom, or a pastor in a pulpit.  Dangerous thing for men to have access to your mind to spin their yarns and make their arguments with no rebuttal time or at least a question and answer time. Imagine if the Romney/Obama debates consisted of all the networks giving 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to each candidate.

It even gets worse when your millionaire mega church pastor lectures his congregation on their selfishness in owning too much stuff and being too focused on the material- even yelling that you don't need a raise, or barking that you're being stingy if you think your family needs extra income during these tough times - when they themselves and their family live the life of jet-setting rockstars off of the very money you contribute to the church. It is very, very sad.

If your pastor takes luxury cruises and uses your church to market luxury cruises to other rich people in the church - and brags about how many shoes his wife has in the closet - and then lectures you on being materialistic and selfish, you have a world-class hypocrite in the pulpit, and the people who continue to fork over their income need to lay off the grape-flavored Kool Aid.

Next, we'll take a look at some specific examples of tithing nonsense delivered here in Jacksonville during this fall tithing season. It ain't going to be pretty.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is also a form of replacement theology. Malachi 3:10 should indeed be taken literal as possible, though those who espouse one is not if they don't tithe. So are they saying that their church has replaced the Temple in Jerusalem and has become the New Storehouse. See how this is replacement theology

Anonymous said...

COUNTDOWN: 68 days

That's when we will find out if the TROLL's prayers are in God's will or not.

You're about to be exposed TROLL!!!

Anonymous said...

January 2 is 68 days away? What will be exposed? I can't wait!

Mark said...

Once again, Malachi 3:10 is talking directly to the priests who aren't using the tithe for the temple but are stealing for themselves! It's saying "Hey minister, stop stealing the tithe!" If anything, it is indicting the modern-day pastors who use the tithe to lease jet planes and live in multi-million dollar mansions and take trips to Disney World.

Anonymous said...

When you go to Wal-Mart you see on the wall it says "manager" with a name and picture. That means somebody in that store is in charge of somebody else's stuff. What would happen if that manager just decided one Monday morning that he wasn't going to open, and just started hauling off the stuff? Well, it wouldn't take Sam Walton long to show up in his green pick-up, if he were living, and put a stop to that. Why? It's not the manager's stuff. You see he's managing Wal-Mart, he doesn't own Wal-Mart.



In the 12th chapter of Luke, verse 35, it's about the evil servant. I found God's judgment came upon the one set in charge of God's business. And the Greek word there is the word "servant". It means manager or steward and God said "I'm bringing judgment to this one because he didn't handle my affairs correctly. I mean this was mine, I left you in charge and you blew it."

Well, let me show it to you again. In the 16th chapter of the same book, is the parable of the unjust steward. He said to his disciples, "He who is faithful in a little, is faithful also in much. And he who is unfaithful in a little, is unfaithful also in much."

If I give you $1000 this week and $100 belongs to God, it's a sacred thing, and if you don't take care of that as a manager or as a steward, what makes you think that God will trust you with something eternal? He won't.

And it goes on, God's judgment against the one's in charge of His money. 1 Corinthians, Chapter 4 - verse 2 says, "Moreover it is required"...that word required kind of burns in my spirit..."of stewards"...that's the same word we've been using ...or manager, ....it is required "that they have been found faithful."



Now how many of you know that when God says required, it is not a

suggestion. They're not the 10 suggestions. Theyre call Commandments. So God wants you to get hold of something that will set you free. I am totally convinced that when church members begin to understand their relationship with the money that God has put in their hands, revival is going to break out. I can tell you it really will. The move of God is coming.

Anonymous said...

what would happen to the church in America if every Christian who claims to be tithing, would start treating their tithes as a sacred thing? What would happen to the church in America if every Christian started to tithe? I can tell you. We would annihilate welfare. Folks would line up at the church to get help, not at some office downtown. And what an opportunity for the Gospel. Missionaries wouldn't be calling to say "My son's hungry, please send me some food." Some 20 percent of Christians in typical churches are tithers.

A church that understands that the tithe is a holy, sacred thing will prosper and grow. We don't teach our children the difference between what is God's and what is ours. We have to come to understand, that I'm not giving my tithe, it is not my tithe, it's HIS tithe and I'm responsible to God to see that it gets to the right place.

Moses Model said...

I think I have said before that I was a regular tither until I started as a college student running a negative bank account. I am in the black now, but I don't buy the argument that my wealth will grow if I tithe. It has never worked out that way.

One of the things I like about most forms of Islam is that they have a wealth cut off. Those that make below a particular amount are not required to give to the poor or go on Haj.

Still, any social club, the church included, needs funds to run. If you value your organization, you will donate. However, the Bible does not say that it must be 10%.

G. Casey said...

To that last Anonymous...So do you attend church on the Shabbat. Jax is trying to assert how many ministers try to say that tithing is a commandment whereas it is not at all. Nowhere is it restated by Paul, Luke, Peter, James, Jude, or John in their letters. The letters do do recommend to look out for he needs others and guard against greed. Pay check tithing is nowhere indicated in the program of the New Testament church and by the way not is it even in inferred in the Torah. The produce that was being sent to market was tithed and not to the neglect of the farmer's families needs.

Simon C. said...

My only real question is this: why would a pastor on a payroll even need to tithe at all. Their income is derived from other people's tithes (even taking into account the assumption that they are receiving compensation for preaching at other churches). What is the point in them tithing at all. The money is coming out of the church's treasury, going to his pocket...then part of it goes right back. I can understand someone arguing that monetary tithing is biblical, but I can't understand them preaching the tithe, then using your tithe to tithe.

Mimi B. said...


Anon 5:06pm

If everyone in America started tithing, there would still be welfare. Folks would not be lining up at churches for help. All of that tithe money would go for bigger buildings, larger paychecks, larger utility bills to heat/cool those bigger buildings.

Anonymous said...

"January 2 is 68 days away? What will be exposed? I can't wait!"

The TROLL stated (a while back) that he has been praying that God would shut down this blog by the end of the year.

So, we will find out by January 1st (now 67 days) if the TROLL's prayers are in God's will or if it is just the TROLL trying to get God to do his will.

Since the TROLL worships his pastor instead of God (and ignores what God has to say in his word), the answer should be clear even before new year's day.

Anonymous said...

COUNTDOWN: 67 days

That's when we will find out if the TROLL's prayers are in God's will or not.

You're about to be exposed TROLL!!!

Anonymous said...

"what would happen to the church in America if every Christian who claims to be tithing would start treating their tithes as a sacred thing?"

1 - they would not be following the NT model for giving
2 - poor people would put an undue hardship on their families (they received the tithe in the OT)
3 - churches would probably waste more money than they do now on extravagant lifestyles

The first century church won the world to Christ with much less than we have today.

Money as the answer to every problem is the culture's manta. It is not what is taught in the Bible.

Anonymous said...

You cannot find the word tithe after the book of Luke so it does not apply to the church which did not occur ubtil after the book of Acts.

Moses Model said...

The idea of the tithe as a voluntary gift is largely a recent one. In Germany, Catholics must pay a tax to the Catholic Church. In 18th Century Virginia, Episcopal Priests lamented that their parishioners may not come if they asked them for money.

American religious freedom has given us a model that our churches must be donor driven. We vote with our feet and with our pocket books. So while I don't think the Bible teaches 10% and I don't think that blessing and curses necessarily follow, I do love the model of donor driven worship. This should be brought up more often. The bills must be paid, if you like this, then contribute. This is the Biblical model.

Also, is it now 66 days? What timezone is the countdown on?

Anonymous said...

It amazes me the hatred towards the tithe.

The tithe has survived for 4500 years because it is ordained by God. It has overcome greed, envy, pride and even the works of the Devil.

Hate on it, blog against it, declare it is dead but thank God the tithe will survive.

My devourer has been rebuked and my windows are wide open......flow blessings flow.

Mark said...

The question everyone must ask is: if your preacher is wrong about tithing, what else is he misinformed about?

Anonymous said...

We all need to post links to blogs like this one on Christian Youtube videos, craigslist, facebook, etc. Together we can spread the truth about the religious scams and the extorting of God's people with the false doctrine of tithing. The religious system will not let men like us teach the truth inside of their "religious themed businesses". Just like during the dark ages where truth was supressed in unrighteousness, the people took Luther's message OUTSIDE of the church and it changed the world. Let us now do our part. Pray about how the Lord might use YOU to get His truth to the peope.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Charles Stanley preaches tithing.

Dr. Billy Graham preaches tithing.

Dr. David Jeremiah preaches tithing.

Dr. Adrian Rogers preached tithing.

Jesus and Paul preached tithing.

(Jesus) Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! YOU GIVE A TENTH of your spices — mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, WITHOUT NEGLECTING THE FORMER

Acts 20:33 [The apostle Paul said] I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold.
Tithing was a practice among believers before the Law of Moses, as well as during the time of the Law. Jesus reaffirmed the validity of giving tithes. God's word says that "the purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives" (Deut. 14:23, TLB).

Anonymous said...

I have done a lot of study in Hebrew, trying to see what God meant when he
used the word "tithe". We know that it means a tenth, we don't have a problem with that. But in this research, I found that the word tithe not only means ten, it also means to be rich. That means when you tithe, you're rich. And when you don't, it doesn't matter how much money you have, you're not rich, because you're taking a sacred thing and using it without God's permission.

Anonymous said...

You folks are not reading first grade English the word is tithe!!!!You still can't find it in the NT after Luke.

Anonymous said...

No bible believer hates the word tithing. It just does not apply to the Church...its OT law which we are no longer under.

Anonymous said...

anon Deut is Old Testament law not a grace verse!!!

Anonymous said...

Some folks say 'well I don't know what they ( the church) do with my tithe'. It doesn't matter what they do with it, it's not your tithe, it belongs to God. It's not your tithe. Remember, it belongs to the Lord. Some say "I'm giving my tithe", it's not your tithe, you're giving His tithe. You may say "Well, I work for it." Well, guess who enabled you to work. You understand what I'm saying...... God gave us the energy, and the abilities , whatever they are, to produce.

Money is just a thing of exchange. We can't eat money, and if you're lonely, it doesn't help you . Its just a thing of exchange. When you want to get married, you can't marry it. It can't have children. Can I tell you that it's not worth anything? It's just a thing of exchange.

But money represents you. You see, when you work for it, you invest your life (your time and effort), to get it. How you earn it, and how you use it, indicate your priorities to everyone, including God. And so, when you take ten percent of your money, you take ten percent of your life, and cut that out of your life, you're agreeing ' that is a holy thing and I dont have a right to put my hands on it'. Certainly , 10% of your life is not too much to set aside for God...the God who gave that life to you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the TROLL has been really busy this weekend commenting under several anonymous posts (often giving contradictory warnings). He must have a LOT of free time on his hands.

Notice how he always appeals to the judgment of men instead of scripture. He counts on ignorance of history and hurls vain threats and makes straw man arguments in place of reason.

Sad, ineffective and pathetic.

And by the way TROLL, your days are numbered until you are completely discredited and exposed.

COUNTDOWN: 63 days

That's when we will find out if the TROLL's prayers are in God's will or not.

You're about to be exposed TROLL!!!

Anonymous said...

"It amazes me the hatred towards the tithe."

It amazes me the hatred toward multiple weave fabrics.

Anonymous said...

"But money represents you."

That philosophy comes from the secular culture not the Bible.

Even in the OT when tithing was part of the law, the Isrealites were to give food never money.

So, what you are pushing doesn't even match up with OT teachings.

Stay away from cultural philosophy and hold to what the Bible teaches.

That will keep you from making such obvious mistakes.

Anonymous said...

"Jesus and Paul preached tithing."

Jesus addresses his audience at the beginning of the passage you quoted.

So are you a teacher of the law or a Pharisee?

Paul preaches grace giving not tithing.

II Corinthians 9:7

Mark said...

"Jesus and Paul preached tithing."

Until Jesus died on the cross, the old covenant, including tithing, was still in effect. Once Jesus died, the veil was rent in two and the old covenant was dead. Jesus fulfilled it.

Paul never preached tithing. Quite the opposite. If you keep the old covenant law you are under a curse. Your scripture has nothing to do with tithing.

Anonymous said...

If the tithe belongs to God, then why are the pastor and the music director and the rest of the hirelings using it to buy houses, cars, and cruises of expensive ships?
Because they are robbing God, just like the priests in Malachi were told they were robbing God. Yes Malachi was written to the corrupt priests of that day who are just like the corrupt tithing preachers of our day. Jesus never told his disciples to tithe. In Matthew 23 he was talking to JEWS who were under the law, He was NOT talking to His disciples. Why dont some of you Koolaid drinking protithers study in contaxt?

Victorious said...

Anonymous 8:15 a.m.

Sounds good, but in reality, it makes no sense. You see, God can't use money anymore than He can use our good works. He's a Spirit.

The purpose of the tithe was as support for the Levitical priests who were given no land as a source for their food/sustenance.

While the NT does encourage giving with a cheerful manner, it also encourages good stewardship. To ignore reckless spending on the part of church leaders and say we shouldn't care what they do with it, is comparable to saying we should cheerfully give to an alcoholic when he says he needs money when we know he will use it for his addiction. It certainly does (and should) matter where believers exercise good judgement about where monetary gifts will do the most good.

We are accountable for every decision we make.

Anonymous said...

Jesus taught tithing because he was under the law and he was without sin. It would have been sin for Him to NOT teach tithing.

The finished work of Christ on the cross fulfilled the law. We are no more required to tithe to please God than we are to offer animal sacrifices for forgiveness of sins.

We are to give cheerfully and especially when we see our brothers in need.

TAKE THE RED PILL AND WAKE UP FROM THE MATRIX!

Anonymous said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2225061/Church-pastor-killed-Rev-Danny-Kirk-Sr-beaten-death-electric-guitar.html

I hope that this incident gives pause to the rising tide of hatred towards pastors. Bloggers should be careful of the words that are used. Some characters take things a bit too seriously.

WishIhadknown said...

Still waiting for an argument that tithing is required by God of Christians that is not based on twisted scripture (Anonymous October 28, 2012 12:15 PM) or fleshly reasoning (Anonymous October 29, 2012 8:15 AM).

Now for some words based on Biblical fact, “…tithing, while Biblical, is not Christian. Jesus Christ did not affirm it. The first-century Christians did not observe it. And for 300 years, God’s people did not practice it. Tithing did not become a widely accepted practice among Christians until the eighth century!

Giving in the NT was according to one’s ability. Christians gave to help other believers as well as to support apostolic workers, enabling them to travel and plant churches. One of the most outstanding testimonies of the early church has to do with how liberal the Christians were to the poor and needy. This is what provoked outsiders, including the philosopher Galen, to watch the awesome, winsome power of the early church and say: “Behold how they love one another. “

Tithing is only mentioned four times in the NT. But none of these instances applies to Christians. Again, tithing belongs to the Old Testament era where a taxation system was needed to support the poor and where a special priesthood was set apart to minister to the Lord. With the coming of Jesus Christ, there has been a “change of law”—the old has been “set aside” and rendered obsolete by the new.

We are all priests now—free to function in God’s house. The Law, the old priesthood, and the tithe have all been crucified. There is now no temple curtain, no temple tax, and no special priesthood that stands between God and man. You, dear Christian, have been set free from the bondage of tithing and from the obligation to support an unbiblical clergy system.”

Anonymous said...

The future of the church in the US:
http://www.ccmag.com/2012_10/ccmag2012_10editorial.pdf

Anonymous said...

Anybody know what happened to Jim Whitmire.

Anonymous said...

COUNTDOWN: 61 days

That's when we will find out if the TROLL's prayers are in God's will or not.

You're about to be exposed TROLL!!!

WishIhadknown said...

Tithing or any kind of giving is a work; it is something we do. It is neither sacred nor holy. My question to those of you hung up on tithing as a directive is how does grace fit into your belief system?

Anonymous said...

Jim Whitmire is a very nice man but is out of touch culturally.

He still does things that worked in the 80's.

Choir robes and anthems are dead.

I am proud of my Church for using all that God has given us...moving lights, haze, lazers, HD Plasma screens, and projectors that can even do 3d.

Satan cannot have this culture anymore and we are taking it back by using all the tools of Vegas with some Jesus thrown in.

Move over U2 and the Blackeye Peas...Celebration Church will put on a show for Jesus this Sunday that will blow the Devil's mind!

Anonymous said...

"Jim Whitmire is a very nice man but is out of touch culturally."

The TROLL seriously has too much time on his hands.

Get some new material TROLL. We've seen this comment before.

YAWN

Anonymous said...

COUNTDOWN: 60 days

That's when we will find out if the TROLL's prayers are in God's will or not.

You're about to be exposed TROLL!!!

Just two months TROLL!!!

Mike said...

This is off topic, but just wanted to know when you were going to give the updates about Ergun Caner "I've got a few Ergun Caner updates to report that you will find very interesting,"(http://fbcjaxwatchdog.blogspot.com/2012/06/watchdog-nears-end-of-his-mega-blogger.html)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Whitmire is a great man of God.

He loves Jesus and loves people.

He was great in his day and it is a new day and a new move of God sweeping this nation.

People expect to feel God and be moved by God not just to sit and listen anymore.

Celebration is moving and it is a really nice house for God.

It is so interactive, you feel like you are there with God.

I thank God for a Church that understands that we need more than Choirs and hymns, we need to be touched in our eyes and our hearts.

Can't wait till Sunday, it will be off the hook for Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I know some are going to blast my comment. But here goes, in a world that requires money to finance endeavors, what is wrong with people tithing (money) for the financing of God's work. The church does have obligations such as utilities, upkeep, insurance, salaries, and the list goes on. My question, what is wrong with people tithing to support ministry???

Anonymous said...

I know some are going to blast my comment. But here goes, in a world that requires money to finance endeavors, what is wrong with people tithing (money) for the financing of God's work. The church does have obligations such as utilities, upkeep, insurance, salaries, and the list goes on. My question, what is wrong with people tithing to support ministry???

Anonymous said...

I like many of you are sick and tired of being ministers holding people hostage over money. But tell me how will the church finance ministry without givers? The truth is the church has to pay utility bills, insurance, property upkeep, vehicle maintenance, salaries, literature, benevolence... Without tithers where would that money come from. Someone please tell me.

Anonymous said...

How would the church finance ministry without tithers? There are many ministers that receive a very humble salary and live a meager life. It isn't fair to stereotype all ministers as money hungry thieves. The church has ministry expenses such as utility bills, insurance, building & vehicle maintenance, etc. Much like your househould budget. Could you pay your bills without income? I think not.

Carl Henderson said...

Anonymous - Nov 5 6:00pm

"How would the church finance ministry without tithers?"

With people giving freely as lead by God and in grace. With church leaders trusting God's provision for their plans and functions. If it is not provided for - it doesn't happen.

Not by exhorting and enforcing misapplied old covenant law and practices to new covenant believers - the bride of Christ.

Would things begin to be shaken out and not happen... most likely. But that may not be a bad thing.

Much done in the name of God and Christianity is NOT originated, sustained, and of God.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, do you anti-tithers give more or less than 10%. I would venture to say that most that oppose tithing give very little.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes more - sometimes less - always where there is a need, always in cash. Not deducted from taxes or recorded in church records. It's fun.

WishIhadknown said...

First take your time and read this very slowly so that you understand, reread it if you have to. We are not against tithing. Again, we are not against tithing.

If you have prayed and God the Holy Spirit has shown you that you are to give 10% then you are to give 10% and do so cheerfully.


What we do oppose is twisting and contorting and proof testing scripture and taking scripture totally out of context so as to make tithing an absolute requirement of all believers and to threaten believers with the wrath of an angry god if they don’t.

Your teaching that tithing is required by God, takes God from being a loving heavenly father and turns him into a puny pagan deity that demands its tribute to prevent calamity or to prosper. You may as well demand virgin sacrifices too!

Anonymous said...

I just heard on FBCJ this morning on the radio broadcast some of their tithing nonsense. Mac B. has also made us a nice little CD that they are handing out about tithing, and people can "listen to it on their way home" from church. I can't believe it. I have heard they they even try and have your tithes done as a payroll deduction from your paycheck--it this true?

Tony Myles said...

This is a valid discussion. For me, I appreciate that God owns it all... and I love Him. He's amazing!

It's also worth noting how the OT merges into the NT - as Jesus said, not to cancel it out but to fulfill it. So the patterns we see in the OT come to a greater fruition in the NT. There used to be priests (like the ones referenced in Malachi), but now we're all a part of the priesthood of believers. Sometimes we can learn something as "today's priests" by understanding the expectations of "yesterday's priests." When I read Malachi, I try to extract the values behind it and figure out what God is saying to me/us today.

Arguably, the 10% OT example is also meant to spur on more and not less. Tithing is the training wheels to a generous life. And stewardship is never just about personal stewardship but community stewardship. Even the Great Commission itself is evidence that we have a global calling that can begin right where we are.

The other thing worth noting is not everyone has realized this, including people in the church. So getting people to give at all is a challenge, let alone helping them see how if they don't give there are consequences.

If we were just arguing culturally, I like the metaphor of eating at a restaurant. Should I expect to have a dining experience and not pay the bill? If I'm the guest of someone, perhaps. But why would I expect that someone at the table next to me will always pick up the bill or that the owner of the restaurant will just exercise grace and not ask me to be responsible.

But we're not just arguing culturally. We're asking a deeper question... why am I even struggling with giving? Because I don't like how it was asked for, or because I'm looking for a reason not to give? Likewise, why are we so eager to give - because we think we have to please God or a church... or because we're so amazingly grateful that we want to say, "I love you, God. I want to build in a regular routine of making sure that the spiritual needs around me can be met, and I believe in Your Church like You do. So I'm in."

Thanks for letting me chime in. Maybe we can debate this some more, or maybe we can lean into God and say "Yes" to whatever He asks us to do with His stuff.