So in keeping with the time of the year, I wanted to share a quote from a Rick Warren article entitled
"8 Reasons Believers Give to Your Church" that appeared on the Pastors.com website October 24th, 2013. Rick Warren is probably the one man that most evangelical pastors look to for guidance on how to grow their church. If you wonder why your pastor this Sunday is going to be illogical and manipulative in discussing what the bible says about tithing read this gem from Rick to his fellow pastors:
Doesn't this explain why pastors lie to their congregations about a non-existent 10% Old Testament tithe (it really is 23 1/3%) that applies to Christians in order to avoid a "devourer"? The pastors want you to NOT use reason - they want you to have "faith" and give by "revelation". And where do the pastors want this "revelation" to come from? From your pastor standing in a pulpit and telling you that Malachi 3:10 means you are robbing God unless you tithe, and that the devil (or God, depending on the verse they use) will steal the tithe from you anyways. Or that it's not your money anyways, or that your money needs to be "redeemed" by giving the first fruits, etc. etc. That is not revelation, it is lies and manipulation.
How far has modern evangelical Christianity fallen that we are just flat out telling people to not use reason in important matters like giving? One place a father, a mother, a husband and wife - or a young person just starting out - must use logic, reason, and planning, is in the area of their finances. But Rick Warren turns this upside down suggesting to use reason in figuring out how much to give to one's church is to have a LACK of faith. It is not "trusting God" to give by revelation instead of reason - it IS trusting your pastor, and your pastor is wrong if he is telling you this nonsense.
I say pastors who preach this manipulative nonsense are the ones without faith. They don't trust their God to provide the resources for their salary and their church by being honest to people about what the bible says regarding finances.
So have some faith, pastors. God will provide, right?
By using reason, and planning, and careful discussion - looking for the immediate and future financial needs of your spouse and children, you THEN determine how much you can give to your church. Do NOT give by "faith" - meaning don't give the first 10% and think you're being super spiritual waiting for God to give you the rent and electric by month's end. That is illogical, unbiblical, and just plain stupid.
If your reason leads you to being able to give 10% or more, and you purpose in your heart that this is what you want to give to your church, give it. If it is 1%, or 0.5%, then give it cheerfully and don't feel bad. I hear stories every day of people's homes in foreclosure, they've been unemployed or underemployed for months - and these are very decent, honorable Christians who are suffering. Yet their pastor will put a guilt trip on them about robbing God, or worse yet that they are in the financial shape they are in because they didn't tithe.
And pastors, by the way: when we use reason in determining what we give, that does glorify God. God gave us brains, and he gave us the ability to reason.
And God gave us the reasoning ability to detect religious nonsense from a man of God.