2 Samuel 16:9,11 - "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head...let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him."

Matthew 7:15 - “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11 - “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Christian, You Have Been Released from Servitude to God

Readers - below is a repeat of my 2nd post from July 2011 based on Wade Burleson's January 2, 2011 sermon.

These four posts - with the third and fourth coming in the next week, are some of my favorites.

I hope you enjoy!


"You and I are released from servitude TO God. In other words I rest from my efforts to produce for God...because I have been released from my servitude to God....'I thought when I became a Christian I became a servant OF God.' No, No....you became a SON of God" Wade Burleson
In part 2 of our look at Wade Burleson's January 2, 2011 sermon, we see above Wade tell us that we have been saved and been made sons and daughters of God, and we are not slaves or servants to God. Our debt has been paid and we can rest.

In Part 3, we will look at the concept of a "bond slave", and in Part 4 Wade explains his view on the tithing doctrine as an example of how Christians have been released from having to perform FOR God. What Wade says in Part 4 is so simple yet profound, and something that you just won't hear in most pulpits regarding the truth on Christian stewardship.

Stay tuned....
Part 1: "Christian, Jesus is Your Jubilee, and You Can Rest" - July 21, 2011

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jeffress Opens a Can on Tebow - Says Tebow "Wimped Out" - And Five Reasons Why Tebow Backed Out that the Press and Pharisees Both Missed

In a 10-minute response in front of his congregation yesterday, Robert Jeffress yesterday showed the world that Tim Tebow made the right decision to not speak at Jeffress' church, when Jeffress said Tebow "wimped out":

"I am grateful for men of God like these [Vines, Graham, Mohler, etc.] who are willing to stand up and act like men, rather than wimping out when it gets a little controversial and an inconvenient thing to stand for the truth. God bless men like that." 

Sorry, Robert. God bless men like Tebow. And shame on religious men like yourself who attack a young man who has lived out his faith in the most challenging circumstances, and a young man that has shown the world what a true Christian looks like. Robert and friends need to read my article from November 2011 in which I wrote about how pastors need to learn from Tebow on how to face criticism and adversity.

Watch the video of Jeffress for yourself here. After Jeffress said Tebow "wimped out" he goes on to mock those like Tebow who claim they are called to "preach the love of God", saying one can't preach the love of God without also preaching the judgment of God. Jeffress come across as a sniveling, whiny wimp who didn't get his way, and wants everyone to know all the Holy religious men of God are on HIS side and not Tebow's.

But the question still remains:  why DID Tebow back out of his FBC Dallas speaking commitment?  Was it over Jeffress' comments on homosexuality, Mormons, and Catholics? Probably not. After all, Tebow's own pastor came forward over the weekend to confirm there is not "a wisp" (Greek for "a bit") of difference between the theology of Jeffress' church and Tim's church.

Predictably, both the secular media AND the religious Pharisees missed what were legitimate reasons a person like Tim Tebow wouldn't want to speak at FBC Dallas. The religious Pharisees are so preoccupied with the issue of homosexuality, they assumed Tim caved to pressure - or as O.S. Hawkins said, Tebow "capitulated" - on this issue. Likewise, the secular media's darling issue is gay rights, so they also assumed Jeffress' stand on gay rights was Tim's primary reason reason for backing out.

I submit both the religious Pharisees AND the secular media have it all wrong.

To understand why Tim would have backed out, we have to answer the question: what ARE some  distinctive positions or characteristics of FBC Dallas and Robert Jeffress that would cause someone like Tebow to not want to speak there? These reasons are quite obvious - unless you are a religious Pharisee who constantly rails about homosexuality, or you are in the secular media and think all Christians are gay-bashing homophobes.

Here are the top five reasons why a Christian like Tim Tebow would not want to be associated with FBC Dallas and Robert Jeffress:

1.  FBC Dallas' Construction of $130 Million "Crystal Campus" - it is no secret that FBC Dallas is constructing the most expensive, over-the-top church facility complex ever conceived in modern evangelicalism. Perhaps Tim didn't realize the scope of this building program, and what a tremendous waste of resources this is. You see, Tim Tebow is not into raising money to build Crystal Cathedrals. Tim has consistently used his notoriety to raise money for sick children and needy families. Tim is into raising money for orphanages in the Phillipines. On the other hand, Robert Jeffress likes to manufacture his notoriety through outlandish and divisive statements, to help him raise funds for his new church building. That is NOT what Tim Tebow is all about. Here is an excerpt from the website of Tim's foundation:

"Unlike many other organizations, we pride ourselves in keeping our overhead costs as low as possible that way virtually every penny, of every dollar donated reaches the people that truly need it most. Together with your help, we will make a difference!"

2.  FBC Dallas Construction of Waterfall as "Architectural Invitation" to Jesus Christ:  As I blogged about here back in 2010, Robert Jeffress sold his church on the bright idea that to reach people for Jesus, they have to build a three-story high water fountain with computerized nozzles. Jeffress told the FBC Dallas peeps that they needed their church to be an "architectural invitation to the gospel". I don't think Tim is into glorifying spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for architectural invitations to Jesus. This was done all over Europe already - and at Tim's church back in the 1990's. Maybe Tim just isn't into this and doesn't want his name to be associated with it.

3.  Jeffress Fund-Raising Tactics:  As I blogged here, Jeffress preached a sermon to his peeps when he was in full fund-raising mode for his campus, in which he said:

"The greatest thing you can do for your spiritual health, would be to take a large chunk of your assets, and give them to this campaign. Just slice off a big hunk of 'em [as he slices with his hand] and give them to this campaign."

That is pure hogwash. Tim doesn't want to lend his name to the opening of a new facility built using these fund raising tactics, where the pastor says the greatest thing a Christian can do for their spiritual well-being is to take your assets and give them to a Crystal Cathedral-type building program. That is Bennie Hinn territory. Tim is a relentless fund-raiser himself - but he does it to help people, and he doesn't do it through manipulation and scripture twisting like Jeffress.

4. Jeffress' Divisive Political Statements: there is no mainstram evangelical pastor that was more  involved in the 2012 presidential campaign than Robert Jeffress. As I pointed out here, Jeffress once said he would never endorse a politician, either publicly or privately, yet he eventually endorsed Texas governor Rick Perry at the Voter's Value Summit in October 2011. Also, Jeffress' statements about Obama paving the way for the Antichrist - Tim likely doesn't want to be associated with divisive political rhetoric that alienates people that he is trying to live out the gospel before.

5. Jeffress' Over-the-Top Statements About Islam:  Jeffress has made statements that don't help to reach Muslims in this country with the gospel. As I wrote about here, Jeffress claimed that Islam "promotes pedophilia", and that "all around the world you have Muslim men having sex with 4-year old girls." Those statements are way over the top. Why does Tim need to lend his name to help promote the grand opening of a new church facility, where the pastor makes these kind of statements? That is not Tim Tebow's style.

So there you have it. There are others I could have cited, but these are probably the top 5 reasons why Tim Tebow doesn't want to be involved in the Grand Opening of the FBC Dallas version of the Crystal Cathedral.

And Robert, your comments about Tebow in front of your congregation show you to be a very small man. Tebow is too much of a gentleman to reply to you - but that is perhaps one of the few instances where we see Tebow is NOT like Jesus - else Tim would quickly declared about you, Jerry Vines, Jack Graham, and Albert the Pious, like Jesus said to the Pharisees in his day:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous....You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Matt 23:29,33)

But as I said, Tim is much too kind.

So the Watchdog said it for him.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Modern Day Religious Pharisees Now Criticizing Tebow

The evangelical Holy Men of God are hell-bent on showing the world that they are the modern-day version of the Pharisees in Jesus' day.

Case in point is the criticism being directed at Tim Tebow by men like Vines, Mohler, and Graham this week after Tebow announced he was backing out of an April speaking gig at the First Baptist Church of Dallas.

For the past several weeks Tebow has been criticized by many in the secular media for his decision to speak at FBC Dallas because of the controversy surrounding their pastor Robert Jeffress and his stand on issues of homosexuality, Catholicism, and Obama. For sure people in the secular media have used their influence to try to pressure Tebow to behave as they believe he should, that he should cancel his speaking engagement.

But now that Tebow - as his own man, for his own reasons, and presumably according to the dictates of his own heart and faith -  has decided to not go to FBC Dallas, the Holy Men of God are now doing exactly what they can't stand the secular media trying to do: trying to squeeze Tim Tebow to fit THEIR mold, and criticizing him when he doesn't do what they think he should.

I'm perfectly comfortable with Tim canceling his FBC Dallas gig. Why? Simply because I trust his judgment, as he has earned the right to be respected when he makes decisions such as this. Unlike many of the Holy Men now criticizing him, he has shown himself to be the real deal, a real Christian who HAS lived out his faith in the face of intense criticism the past 5 years with nary a complaint. He HAS used his money and influence to do many good works that Jesus would have him do. He has done mountains more to spread the gospel than all the mega church preachers put together. So guess what - I trust his judgment to do what he thinks is best as he lives out his Christian faith. He absolutely does not have have to bow to the whims of modern day Pharisees like Jerry Vines or Albert Mohler or Jack Graham.

And speaking of Vines: how sad - and hypocritical - is it that his former pastor, Jerry Vines, openly criticized Tebow via Twitter for simply deciding not to speak at FBC Dallas in April. Look at these Tweets from Vines, and the many "retweets" by Vines' followers:


What a hypocrite. What is Vines talking about? The "devil laughed" when Tebow canceled his speaking engagement? Really? I guess it makes sense that Vines has the inside track on what makes the devil laugh, since Vines doesn't have even 1/10th of the discernment that Tebow has when it comes to choosing speaking venues or choosing speakers. Vines was the one who gave Ergun Caner the pulpit in 2001 and nodded with approval as Caner lied through his teeth about being a trained terrorist raised in Turkey. It was Vines who first brought Darrel Gilyard to Jacksonville to preach and did nothing to warn people at Shiloh Baptist about Gilyard's sexual predation upon Gilyard's return to Jacksonville. It was Vines who went to preach at Gilyard's church in 2006 when Vines knew what a sexual pervert Gilyard had shown himself to be over and over while he was in Dallas - and Vines STILL went to speak at Gilyard's church knowing Gilyard tried to seduce one of Vines' own church members during a youth revival tour. Yes, Vines can only dream that he has a portion of Tebow's discernment.

Jerry, if the devil laughed over Tebow's decision to not speak at Dallas, then the devil must have had a month-long Mardi Gras over your decision to preach at Gilyard's church in 2006. The devil also has had a 10-year party while Ergun Caner lied in churches and to our troops. YOU started that, Jerry, when you failed to do your due diligence in 2001 - or worse, maybe you knew Caner was lying, but you didn't care. Which was it? We don't know, because you've been silent over Caner's exposure as a fraud, but you now are making a big deal over Tebow's decision.

But this shows the misplaced priorities of Pharisees - they are not so much interested in your good deeds, or what you do for God - or whether you are a habitual liar like Caner or the real-deal like Tebow - what they are most interested is whether or not you agree with their religious teachings, and if you believe exactly as they say you should believe and if you agree with their narrow interpretation of the bible.

Even Prestonwood Baptist Church pastor and former SBC president Jack Graham criticized Tebow for his decision, assuming he bowed to the pressure of cultural decay:

Perhaps the reason all of these Holy Men of God are so wigged out over Tebow's decision is that they know Tebow's home church in Jacksonville is no different than FBC Dallas. Maybe they're worried that the most influential Christian of our day who has earned the respect they never could - might actually be signaling that he is turning away from his fundamentalist roots. The Holy Men of God know how dangerous this is to their own religious power, as Tebow speaks with the real-life, living-out-his-faith kind of power the Holy Men of God don't have. He doesn't just stand in a pulpit bloviating and dictating on Sunday mornings, collecting a fat check from church coffers like the big wig Holy Men of God. No, Tebow is in the real-world, engaging real people and doing real good works to help hurting people.

Tim is learning the sad truth that in the fundamentalist world in which he was raised is that what is important to measure someone's faith by is NOT necessarily how much good they do, but it is whether you believe exactly as they do. Pretty sad.

All this time Tebow thought it was the secular media who was watching and waiting for him to fall - now he knows it was the modern-day Pharisees who were waiting and watching - not for him to sin but for him to somehow go against their strict teachings. What a loving bunch.

The Pharisees criticized Jesus for doing good on the Sabbath, because Jesus dared to break their rules and ignore their teachings, showing them to be hypocrites.

Now the modern-day Pharisees are doing the same with Tebow. I hope Tebow continues to show them to be the hypocrites they are.


"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 'The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.' " 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some Refreshing Words for the Weary Church Member: Jesus is Your Rest

Readers - I rarely go back and repost previous WD blog posts, but I feel I need to cover a few significant posts from 2011 that will be very helpful to WD readers - and thanks to longtime WD reader and commenter "Thy Peace" whose comment over at the Wartburg Watch prompted me to move in this direction!

I know what it is to struggle to find a church home, to find a place where you can take your family to worship God and hear a sermon that encourages you in your faith from the heart of a person who truly wants to help you and your family.  Over the past few years we've actually been blessed to be in several churches in our city where we HAVE found this - and where believers are not hung up on worshiping their pastor and their institution. But to make a transition is especially difficult when your family has had to leave a long-time church when the preacher has stomped on your faith with unloving, legalistic teachings and you've had to bolt. It is not easy to find a new church home as preachers are under tremendous pressure to preach sermons to keep the revenue flowing to prop up their institutions.

And so many church members I've heard from are just plain weary from the heavy burdens placed on them by their pastor, as the pastor has put forth a religious system of performance - you do this, and God will do this. You give this, God will bless you this way. If you don't give this percentage, or serve this way, or evangelize this many times, or attend church these days, God will only bless you in proportion to your obedience is the message of the day. And not only that, God will purposely hold back blessings and bring harm in proportion to your lack of commitment. This all is anti-Christian, yet it IS the overall message of the day in most churches.

If that is you, I offer you some excerpts from a Wade Burleson sermon that I featured on this blog back in 2011. What you will hear from Wade will actually shock you - because it is what you likely have never heard from any preacher before, and you will probably never hear it stated so honestly and emphatically from any preacher. But when you hear what Wade says, you will know that it is precisely the truth and lines up with what you have read in your bible. Wade says what you know to be true from your bible, but what your preacher will not ever freely admit.

Below is the first post on this Wade Burleson January 2011 sermon, and I will repost the others in the next few days. Enjoy.

"Christian, Jesus is Your Jubilee, and You Can Rest - Part 1" 
FBC Jax Watchdog Post 7/21/11

"You will have preachers tell you that this year should be the time that you commit more TO God, that you promise to do more FOR God, that you work the fields DOUBLE. And what the preachers will say to you is 'God will be very pleased with you if you do that.' Do you not see that they have missed the Christian message?"
Readers - over the next several days I want to share with you several excerpts from a sermon preached by Wade Burleson the first Sunday of January 2011. The short 2-minute video above is the first of about 4 clips I will show here on the blog.

On this blog we have looked at a number of mega church pastors over the past year or so that are really beating up the sheep during these tough economic times. Most of these mega church pastors are models for other pastors, their methods are emulated by other pastors who look up to them. These pastors load rules and regulations on the backs of their people. They use tactics of scare and guilt and shame, even ridicule and mocking, to get their sheep to bend to their will in the matters of service and financial contributions.

So it is time to take a step back and look at how simple the gospel really is that these men have complicated, and outright misrepresented.

In this brief sermon by Wade he explains how when you come to Christ, you can REST in your efforts to produce for God. You don't have to produce FOR God. You are not a slave to God. You are a "son" or "daughter" of God, and you can rest. When it comes to giving - you give generously as the spirit leads you. That is it. No need to have a man scare you, or pronounce curses on you and your family, or tell you that God collects it anyways through calamity.

The truth is we are free in Christ. Christ is our "Jubilee" as Wade preaches. Christians under the New Covenant are free, and are led by the Spirit. While Pastors use the Bible to create a holy sense of duty that Christians have to perform for God - and their pastor - to receive the blessings and favor of God, the truth is we can rest from our efforts to produce for God. Pastors are trying to say you "owe" God a tithe, that you have a debt that MUST be paid, else he will collect it by force and withhold blessings.

People, Jesus paid that debt, no matter how much the pastors point and stomp and yell to convince you otherwise.

I know many of those of you who regularly read this blog have endured much over the past few years from preachers who have spiritually beat you up and raked you over the coals. Some of you have had to leave your church, others have dealt with the conflict of leaving your church vs. staying and waiting. You feel tired and abused. You've had the bible used to beat you up over the head - that you aren't giving enough, you aren't serving enough, you're not faithful enough and that you will pay a price for your slackness. You've had pastors question your salvation, you men have had pastors question your manhood and your commitment to the Lord. You've given all you can but you've been made to feel it isn't enough, that still you can't enjoy the full blessings of God until you get to a certain level of giving. You've been yelled at, pointed at, lied to, and even mocked by the man in the pulpit.

And although I do focus on the mega churches on this blog because of their wide audience and influence of other ministers - these same antics happen in smaller churches. I know of one in particular in Jacksonville that is going through some upheaval and a church split over these same issues. It is so sad.

So enjoy these excerpts over the next several days from Wade Burleson. You will find them refreshing as you see a preacher who speaks the truth to the sheep about their position in Christ. He speaks the truth that so many pastors are afraid to preach these days, for fear that they won't get the results they need from their flock to keep the family business going.

If you want to see Wade's sermon in its entirety, go to his church's website here, click on the "Watch Live" button in the upper right hand corner, register for a login account, then go to his January 2, 2011 sermon entitled "Your Year of Jubilee".

Enjoy....more to come.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ergun Caner - the Lance Armstrong of Evangelical Christianity - Finally Returns to Prominent SBC Pulpit, Where Decade of Deceit Began

Sad to report, but Ergun Caner has returned to prominence within the Southern Baptist Convention, as Caner was granted the privilege on February 17th to preach once again in Jacksonville, in the same pulpit where Caner began his well-chronicled "decade of deceit" in 2001. At left he is grinning from ear-to-ear as he is being introduced to the congregation just before he preaches.

For a prominent SBC church and pastor to once again feature Ergun Caner - the evangelical version of Lance Armstrong - in a pulpit to preach to the youth choir and congregation is nothing short of a tragedy, and it is just an example of the sorry state of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Caner quickly became an SBC darling after his 2001 sermon in Jax - in which he claimed:
  •  to be "raised in Europe", coming to America at age 15;
  • that he spoke broken English in high school;
  • until age 15 he was in "Islamic Youth Jihad";
  • that he was a trained terrorist, "trained to do that which was done on 11 September";
  • that he wore full Islamic gear to high school, praying to Mecca;
  • that he was called a "sand monkey" and ridiculed for being a devout Muslim;
  • said "Jesus strapped a cross on his back so I wouldn't have to strap a bomb on my back";
  • that he knew how to speak Arabic, even using a phony dialect in his sermon.

The only problem is; Caner never was raised in Europe or trained in terrorism. It was all made up. Caner and his family moved from Sweden to Columbus, Ohio at the age of 3. All of the above lies and deceits were spoken in that one single sermon to dupe the entire SBC, with former SBC-president Jerry Vines giving nods of approval while Caner spoke. Caner fooled the entire congregation, including myself and my family who were at the service. Caner and his brother Emir leveraged that one single sermon to launch them to become authors and seminary presidents and Christian speakers. The whole mess is what James White coined the "Great Evangelical Cover-Up".

Why rehash all of this? Because I want the record to be crystal-clear, no re-writing of history by the SBC'ers: it was in Jacksonville that Caner set the groundwork, established his phony-baloney storyline that he would follow for the next 9 years, until he was finally exposed by bloggers - including this blogger - and Christian apologist James White. Caner's fibs even went so far as to lead him to lie to our military troops during 2005 training sessions in which Caner posed as an expert in Turkish culture - preparing our troops to engage the enemy's culture. Can you believe it? It is true - Caner put our fighting men and women at risk by posing as someone he wasn't, as an expert in something he at best had only read about.

So here Caner is back in the SBC - all is forgiven apparently, and he never has publicly apologized for his decade of deceit, or for the way his defenders attacked James White and others who tried to get Caner to come clean - sounds like Lance Armstrong, doesn't it? Caner's friends and defenders will tell you he has apologized for making a few misstatements of fact over 10 years. But it is just not so. In fact, after Caner was removed as president of Liberty University's seminary president in 2010, at one of his first public speaking engagements at a Bristol, VA prayer breakfast he said his troubles were due to "bloggers" and said they were just "frustrated people in their basement". He also said "it will take more than edited videos to take me down."

And to make matters worse, if they could be worse, the media outlets for the Southern Baptists and Florida Baptists never, ever had reported on the Caner scandal. Why? Because prominent SBC leaders who have authored books with Caner and have been involved in promoting Caner after 9/11, would be too embarrassed. Too much potential damage, so the Baptist Press and Florida Baptist Witness - who purport themselves to be Christian news organizations - pretend Caner's decade of deceit never happened. And now that Caner is back in a prominent SBC pulpit, Joni Hannigan, one of the editors of the Florida Baptist Witness, tweeted last night during the Caner sermon: "So blessed to hear my friend @erguncaner preach tonight...", and she tweeted photos of her beloved Christian hero, Ergun Caner.

In Caner's sermon last night, he asked an excellent question: after citing statistics that we have about 75,000 Baptist churches in America, with 55 million people claiming to be "born again Christians", Caner asked the following:

"...don't you reckon we [the church] would be further along? Don't you think we'd have a bigger impact on our culture?...We spend 8 billion dollars on church growth resources in America every year. What are we missing? We've got all the new programs, we've got more churches, with more land, more money, more members than in our history, so why aren't we seeing revival?"

Great question, Ergun. The answer to Caner's question, in part, is staring right back at Caner in the mirror. It is Caner himself, and those who have defended him and who continue to promote him, that are partly responsible for the ineffectiveness of the Southern Baptist Convention to gain new converts, and their failure to keep the young ones raised in SBC churches. Young people are growing up and seeing that their most prominent pastors and preachers have lied to them for personal promotion and financial gain, and the lies were mostly ignored and never dealt with openly. All of this causes people - especially young people who are prone to doubt during the early years of their faith journey - to question the entire validity of the Christian message.

You, Ergun, are the man. How ironic is it that one of the many books Caner has coauthored is entitled "Why Churches Die - Lethal Poisons in the Body of Christ" - when Caner himself, and those who promote him, are part of the lethal concoction infecting the Southern Baptist Convention today.

Thank goodness most professional groups or societies in our culture deal harshly and swiftly with known liars within their own ranks. They know the effectiveness of their cause and the validity of  their message can go down the tubes in a heartbeat with one prominent phony left unchecked. Unfortunately, Baptists haven't figured this out, and I don't think they ever will. As their numbers decline and their churches die and get snatched up by larger churches, they'll just complain that we are a "post Christian nation" and blame it all on the devil - and of course the Calvinists. And the bloggers.

I remember my former pastor Jerry Vines saying many times that Christianity is a faith that can stand up to the test of intellectual debate and inspection. He would say that a person doesn't need to check their brains at the church door to become a Christian.

Unfortunately with an unrepentant Caner still roaming SBC churches, being promoted by prominent SBC preachers, I'm not sure that is true anymore.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

18 Ways God (or Your Pastor) Has Changed Tithing

One of the arguments made by preachers who try to convince you that the "tithe" of 10% of your gross income is a Christian requirement, comes from their favorite tithing passage in the Old Testament, Malachi Chapter 3:
I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.  Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty." (Malachi 3:6, 7)
Then of course the pastor will explain that immediately after these verses God tells Malachi that people are robbing him (actually, God tells Malachi that the religious men of his day are robbing him, but that is another story) by not "bringing the tithe" to the "storehouse" - and that YOU, Christian, must also bring your tithe - 10% of your gross income to the church (today's "storehouse"). And then if you choose not to, God will poke holes in your purse, will cause your kids to turn out bad, and God will bring calamity to your family like job loss, wrecked cars, and God will actually "blow it all away" - that is the money that you did not tithe that was rightfully God's. Some say God might even kill you like he did Ananias and Sapphira. Oh, and if you don't tithe, you're helping to spread homosexuality.

So God does not change, thus the requirement to tithe is still in place, and thus preachers go to the most ridiculous and manipulative lengths to hang the burden and guilt of tithing around the necks of their members to keep church revenue up.

A friend here in Jacksonville who maintains the "Tithing.com" website, posted a masterful article yesterday on 18 ways the tithe HAS changed - either how God himself changed it within the Old Testament or between the Old and New Convenants - OR just ways that your pastor has decided to change the tithe to try to convince you to give 10% of your income to his church.

Read the article here to read about the 18 ways the tithe HAS changed. This is one of the best tithing articles I've read in years

I wanted to highlight and comment on a few of the 18 ways either God has changed the tithe, or preachers have decided to change it to "help" God:

The newest argument amongst the tithe-pushing preachers is the concept of "first fruits" - that the Old Testament teaches that God expects your FIRST and BEST - and thus your FIRST 10% of your income goes straight to the church. 

Yep, year after year, we must give. If the preachers believe the bible word for word, and they put the tithe on Christians, why are they not strictly adhering to what God said the tithe was and how often it is given? On what basis to preachers ignore the details of what God says in the bible regarding the tithe? Are they above God and can change God's standard for this tithe? [answer: apparently, yes].

The new, aggressive, "first fruits" tithing doctrine coming out of pulpits today contributes to the decline of people's church attendance drives people from their Christian faith: when they wake up to the fact that what the preacher is pushing as biblical truth concerning finances is not in the bible, and it is actually to their family's detriment - and pastor's use manipulative techniques to boot. The preacher's want you to put your tithe above your daughter's wedding, above your children's education, above the well-being of your family.

Make no mistake - to try to convince a church member through false teachings and manipulation that they MUST give 10% of their income to obtain the blessings of God and avoid the cursings of God is to convince a person that religion and institutions and religious holy men come before one's spouse and family - and that is about as anti-family as it gets.