Archive for the ‘greed and waste’ Category

This has to be one of the worse sermons I have heard in a long time. Perry Noble twists the Scriptures so far out of context in order to support $tithing$ that it’s sickening! People in my community need to wake up and see Perry Noble for what he really is…

You can listen to the series Upgrade week 2 Greed here: http://www.newspring.cc/series/upgrade/

Here are some blogs about the tithe and why we do not tithe today:

Does God require me to give a tithe of all I earn?

We are not under the law of the OT tithe

Why Tithing is wrong

*The image and sermon Upgrade:Greed is ©2011 NewSpring Church. I’m using this information as defined under the Fair Use section of US copyright law.

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With our US economy looking worse each day and the likelihood of another great depression on the horizon, I cannot help wondering how this will effect the church. How long will it be before many churches are in the red because of wasteful spending, over-regulation, and taxation by our federal, state, and local governments?

The question that keeps going through my mind is this: what will churches – like NewSpring Church – that spend millions per year to employ entertainment do when they can no longer support their way of doing services?  These types of churches depend on entertainment as the tool to attract new members and to keep current members happy. Entertainment is not cheap. What will these types of churches do when they can no longer afford entertainment for the grand expensive services they are used to? Will the church leadership beat the money tree even harder? Will they expand preaching the 10% tithe lie (See: Why Tithing is wrong, We are not under the law of the OT tithe, and Does God require me to give a tithe of all I earn?) by claiming that tithing is like a “winner every play” Vegas slot machine because God always blesses the 90% you keep? Will we see them go full steam ahead with proclaiming the more that you give the better and bigger your blessings will be? What will the solution be? Before I go any farther with this topic, let’s take a look how entertainment became such an important part of church culture.

The core problem

Sometimes a church’s statements of faith are in total contrast to the church’s actual actions, so we must observe the church’s actions and how it uses its funds to advance the Christian faith. I really hate to be talking so much about money, but money is the root of this problem.  These churches build foundations upon man-centered gospel designed to attract and entertain the unchurched. Instead of focusing on discipleship and teaching people how to spread the Gospel, these types of churches are focused on expanding their numbers, setting number goals concerning salvation and baptisms, and they focus their vision upon popular culture as an engine to draw people to their church. This obsession with numbers and culture gradually moves them away from sound doctrine to straddling the fence in order to expand membership. As this ideology progresses, the Bible regresses in its importance and final authority concerning church government and standards.

They must be entertained

In order to expand the church market and find ways to lure people to church, the idea that the church must be excellent has emerged over the decades. Excellence in everything the church does has taken the church to a place that God never intended it to go. This slogan of “Excellence in Everything” has turned the simple church that is described in the NT, to one that is very close to the one John saw in Revelation 3:14-22! When the leadership and pastor speaks about doing everything “excellent” for God, what they are really saying is they will be spending a ton of cash on luxury and entertainment vs. using the funds responsibly. Because of this belief, we have seen churches built upon worship and music (When does worship become sin?), nice expensive buildings, in-house coffee shops, and just about any other technological luxury item that we can imagine all in the name of “excellence for Jesus.” All this is used to create a church culture that rivals the world’s counterparts. Their belief is that if the world can have these types of luxuries, then why can’t we do better for Christ! What many of the churches have built is a culture that supersedes much of what the world has to offer. They successfully add the words “Jesus,” “God is moving,” and “worshiping God” to everything the church does while maintaining a mirror image of the world. These leaders have successfully built a new church standard based upon business models that are very successful. The question is can these types of churches continue to support their current expenses?

The shake down

When the money coming in that funds these excellent entertainment-driven ministries starts to dry up, we will start to see more emphasis on tithing and giving. Because of the financial burden created by this ideology, these snake oil salesmen will promise their congregations all kinds of blessings and supernatural financial help. More time will be devoted to personal confessions of giving “X” amount  to the church and getting “X” plus “Y” as evidence of God’s blessings. The ultimate goal is to convince the congregation to give more so that the church can continue the same way it has for years. Some may even make token changes as a way to counter the congregation’s concerns for financial responsibility, but the goal is to keep things running the same. If this fails to generate the desired cash flow, then this will force some change. One thing for sure is that these pastors will do everything possible to bleed the people dry before they admit the church needs to change. I fear that change will start with their community outreach programs instead of cutting the real waste and church leadership’s salaries and benefits.

If entertainment is sacrificed, then controversy may arise

What will happen when these types of churches start losing money? What will these churches do when the tithe shake down fails? I fear that some of these pastors will become more bold with their sermons, isolating the traditional church as out of touch with real life. An easy and cheap way to employ entertainment is by doing controversial sermons that are deemed offensive by the traditional conservative church. This method can be very effective, but ultimately it forces the leadership down a path where they must always top the previous antics in order to avoid boring the people. When this starts to happen, the services will be nothing but a modern day soap opera performed in the name of Jesus.

The big crash and exodus

If the United States dips into another depression, I fear that many people who are currently captivated by all the glamorous and wasteful spending of churches like NewSpring Church will find themselves in for some disturbing changes. They will either watch the service start to downplay entertainment and/or they will witness their leader focus more and more on giving. Either way, they will be exposed to a change that will certainly be a culture shock. For years churches like NewSpring Church could spend money like it grew on trees because people could give. Now, because of our economic collapse, people no longer have the means to give the same way they gave years ago.

The effect of a bad economy has a silver lining

It’s not only the mega-churches that are wasting and abusing funds. I have no use for what I call the “stained glass crowd” who waste money to beautify the church while their communities/members are in need of financial assistance. Many churches in America have forgotten the simple outline that Jesus left us with about managing our churches. The hardest hit churches will be the ones who waste the most money on luxuries and excessive entertainment. Maybe, just maybe, this economic crisis will wake us all up to what is important concerning the House of God and how we as Christians should use what God blesses us with.

What I think will happen to some mega-churches

What I see is many of these types of purpose-driven seeker-sensitive churches using more outrageous tactics to generate cash and/or downsizing. I believe that some will shut down because their members are no longer able to be entertained. I’m not saying that all of them will go away. It would be nice if they actually started rethinking their direction and relying upon the preaching of the true Gospel to lead people to Christ rather than their man-centered antics and circus shows. The truth is that many people will leave these types of churches by the masses to seek entertainment. One thing for sure is when our economy rebounds so will these types of entertainment-driven churches. Where there is a dollar to be made, we can rest assured that these greedy glory seekers will construct another Seeker-Sensitive Purpose Driven Church for the Carnal Nature of Mankind.

So in conclusion, it’s best to adhere strictly to how the Bible instructs us on how to spread the Gospel and run the church. Churches must learn to live within our means without building huge church debts. In hard financial times, a church grounded in the Biblical ways to run a church will be far better off then a church in debt because it is not obsessed with luxury and entertainment.

My prayer is that the churches who are teaching the biblical Gospel will learn from the mistakes of greed that are seen in many mega-churches today. The only way to stop the purpose-driven seeker-sensitive cancer that has invaded many churches is to cut off the money supply. Maybe God is trying to tell us something with the pending depression that is facing the United States of America.

Contemporary Christian Music: Why do you want to look so much like the world?

The Problem with Megachurches

The Seeker-Sensitive Movement: The blunt truth

The blunt truth about the gospel and the false god of purpose

The twin whores of “Excellence and Relevance” are needy harlots!

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. – Crystal Cathedral, the megachurch birthplace of the televangelist show “Hour of Power,” filed for bankruptcy Monday in Southern California after struggling to emerge from debt that exceeds $43 million.

In addition to a $36 million mortgage, the Orange County-based church owes $7.5 million to several hundred vendors for services ranging from advertising to the use of live animals in Easter and Christmas services.

The church had been negotiating a repayment plan with vendors, but several filed lawsuits seeking quicker payment, which prompted a coalition formed by creditors to fall apart.

“Tough times never last, every storm comes to an end. Right now, people need to hear that message more than ever,” Sheila Schuller Coleman, the Cathedral’s senior pastor and daughter of the founder, told reporters outside the worship hall decked with a soaring glass spire.

“Everybody is hurting today. We are no exception,” she said.

The church, founded in the mid-1950s by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller Sr., has already ordered major layoffs, cut the number of stations airing the “Hour of Power” and sold property to stay afloat.

In addition, the 10,000-member church canceled this year’s “Glory of Easter” pageant, which attracts thousands of visitors and is a regional holiday staple.

The church was founded at a drive-in theater and attracted congregants with its sermons on the power of positive thinking. Its worship hall opened in 1970 and remains an architectural wonder and tourist destination.

The “Hour of Power” telecast, filmed in the cathedral’s main sanctuary, at one point attracted 1.3 million viewers in 156 countries.

Church leaders said the Crystal Cathedral’s Sunday services and weekly-telecast “Hour of Power” will continue while in bankruptcy.

Other megachurches have also suffered from the downturn and reduced charitable giving.

Crystal Cathedral saw revenue drop roughly 30 percent in 2009 and simply couldn’t slash expenses quickly enough to avoid accruing the debt, said Jim Penner, a church pastor and executive producer of the “Hour of Power.”

Vendors owed money by the church formed a committee in April and agreed to a moratorium to negotiate a repayment plan with the Crystal Cathedral. But after several filed lawsuits and obtained writs of attachment to try to collect their cash, it was difficult to keep the group together, Penner said.

Now, the church is avoiding credit entirely and spends only the roughly $2 million it receives each month in donations and revenue, Penner said. The church still hopes to pay all of the vendors back in full, he said.

“What we’re doing now is we’re trying to walk what we preach, we’re paying cash for things as we go,” he said. (source)

Just another example of more double talk and scripture twisting coming from Perry Noble.

*When you join NewSpring Church here is one of the cd’s they recommend you pick up as you leave the class:

In their membership class, they will tell you that NewSpring does not need your money out of one mouth, and with the other mouth they tell you to give a 10% tithe.

Here are some questions that everyone who gives money to NewSpring Church should ask Perry Noble and his board of directors:

What did NewSpring Church do with the money they took up in 2007-2008 for the Greenville Campus building fund?

Why can you not simply buy a building instead of renting the Carolina First Center?

*Why did NewSpring Church waste the money (possible millions) to completely remodel the old Bi-Lo building on Roper Mountain Road when it was rented instead of being purchased by the church?

Why do you subject your volunteers to such a weekly task of setting up the Greenville campus when NewSpring Church is bringing in millions of dollars per year?

Why do you waste money on stuff link renting the Bi-Lo Center (See http://www.newspring.cc/ten ) vs. providing a permanent building for the Greenville Campus?

I guess the people of Greenville are subjected to these things so the Pastor CEO Perry Noble can see who loves Jesus the most while he checks their tithing records and volunteer service. Kinda strange that Noble and NewSpring’s inner circle wants to check your tithing records for possible jobs, but NewSpring members/financial givers cannot check Perry Noble’s salary/benefits or the church’s financial records to make sure their money is not being abused and wasted.(source)

We are not under the law of the OT tithe

Does God require me to give a tithe of all I earn?

Why Tithing is wrong

*This membership book and the cd “God & Money” are being used under the Fair Use section of US copyright law. This book and cd are from the membership class I attended in 2008.

I found this over at Lane’s Blog.

Hirelings like Ed Young bring shame upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord of lords and King of kings could have came to earth as a wealthy popular man. Jesus Christ could have taught from the nicest temples. He could have been a king of such wealth that even Solomon would have been amazed. Instead our Lord was dirt poor and homeless.

Matthew 8:20 (NASB)
20 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

I think it’s time we followed one of Jesus’s examples and remove these merchants from the temple.

John 2:14-16 (NASB)
14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.
15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;
16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

See: The greedy hireling Ed Young

This seems to be the forgotten sin of the South. Gluttony represents the inability to control oneself which is often manifest in one’s waist size. I just want to remind everyone that not every glutton is large.  I know firsthand that gluttons do not need to be overweight because at one time I was under weight glutton.

Proverbs 23:20-21 (NASB)
20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

2 Peter 1:5-7 (NASB)
5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

Galatians 5:22-24 (NASB)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.