Archive for the ‘Tithe, Offerings, and Money’ Category

The tithe is the point at which the prosperity gospel and the purpose driven churches meet and marry – ultimately because in each case what is being preached is that you make God indebted to you…and it lines the coffers to support all that high-end production. Ultimately, it would appear that the god being served – the way it’s being preached, at least – is a god of personal peace and comfort (Baal), and not the God of Heaven and Earth.- Barbara (source)

There is so much error and Scripture twisting done by Perry Noble in this small 3:13 minute video clip, I could easily spend many weeks rebuking it via this blog. This hireling will attack and say anything to general $$$$$ for his self-help center!

I challenge any Noble defender to look up all these passages CEO Noble referenced and simply read it in full context. Perry Noble depends on his people (you) being illiterate when it comes to the Holy Scriptures. It’s time for more of us to work hard studying the Word like the Bereans, instead of being lazy sheep who only care about getting a weekly dose of religion once a week from the pulpit/stage!

Acts 17:10-11

New International Version (NIV)

10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Here is a good article from In Weakness, Grace Abounds by Ron concerning tithing, Perry Noble, etc.

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.

I’m sure Jesus and the Apostles would have used this back in the day!

It’s sickening how these mooching mystics will spend $$$$$ on a “tithing kiosk” instead of using that money to help those in need. This is yet another example of what is wrong with Christianity today.

Why can’t these people teach what the NT said about giving? Did they forget the story Jesus told about the woman who gave from the heart? Did they forget about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector? No, the ones who teach the 10%  tithe are corrupt and their “god” is broke. The “god” of the tithe teachers is one that NEEDS man’s creation:money, in order to do His will. Every time the subject of tithing is blown out of the water by the NT, these people always run back to Malachi to twist and distort this beautiful OT book.

Here is a classic example coming from New$pring Church CEO Perry Noble:

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!

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

Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Exodus 25:2; 1 Chronicles 29:9
Code: QA144

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

Two kinds of giving are taught consistently throughout Scripture: giving to the government (always compulsory), and giving to God (always voluntary).

The issue has been greatly confused, however, by some who misunderstand the nature of the Old Testament tithes. Tithes were not primarily gifts to God, but taxes for funding the national budget in Israel.

Because Israel was a theocracy, the Levitical priests acted as the civil government. So the Levite’s tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33) was a precursor to today’s income tax, as was a second annual tithe required by God to fund a national festival (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). Smaller taxes were also imposed on the people by the law (Leviticus 19:9-10; Exodus 23:10-11). So the total giving required of the Israelites was not 10 percent, but well over 20 percent. All that money was used to operate the nation.

All giving apart from that required to run the government was purely voluntary (cf. Exodus 25:2; 1 Chronicles 29:9). Each person gave whatever was in his heart to give; no percentage or amount was specified.

New Testament believers are never commanded to tithe. Matthew 22:15-22 and Romans 13:1-7 tell us about the only required giving in the church age, which is the paying of taxes to the government. Interestingly enough, we in America presently pay between 20 and 30 percent of our income to the government–a figure very similar to the requirement under the theocracy of Israel.

The guideline for our giving to God and His work is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (source)

Why are so many churches following the purpose driven seeker-sensitive movement? I’ve seen several Southern Baptist churches go down this path as they seek to find ways to draw people into their churches. I’ve attended a few Southern Baptist Churches over the years, and I have family who have been in the SBC for decades. I’m not picking on the SBC only, but I will use it as my foundation (simply because I am familiar with it) to ponder why so many of churches have adopted Rick Warren’s way to grow a church. As I pondered, observed, read, and talked to many people who are involved in churches that have became purpose driven, I realized the true problem lies within the church leadership. These pastors and elders are the ones driving this shift. I believe the bulk of the problem falls upon the pastor because many members are just following his leadership. I’ve talked to many members who have good intentions and they are very sincere in their beliefs. So just to be very clear with everyone reading this blog, my main emphasis in on the church leadership. I do feel members of the church are responsible for speaking out against errors. I’m not giving them the pardon because they should be following the Berean example found in Acts 17:11. I believe many of these people are deceived by the lure of church growth. They buy into the belief of  “the end justifies the means” in order to spread the name of Jesus. With all that being said, I believe the answer to my question is a simple answer that is offensive and blunt because it hits the root of the problem. The answer is money.

Most of the churches that adopt Rick Warren’s methods to grow:

  • Pastors/elders from these churches are worried about money. They worry about how to pay their salaries, benefits, and bills.
  • These churches are centered around numbers. They are obsessed with numbers and memberships. Church growth is all that matters to them because they look at growth as God’s blessing.
  • More people = more tithes (See: Tithing ). Money is the driving force moving these churches toward the purpose driven seeker-sensitive movement.

1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)

10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

I believe many churches fall prey to Rick Warren’s poison because their eyes have fallen away from Jesus. They are being held captive by their own goals now as they gaze upon numbers and tithing instead of sticking to God’s way for growing the Kingdom of the Lord. They look around and compare themselves to these seeker-sensitive self-help centers, envying their numbers each week. This envy leads to making changes from within the church to compete with these new “hip” and “cool” modern day worship centers. The closer these churches draw to mimicking these seeker-sensitive self-help centers, the farther they remove themselves from sound doctrine and sola scriptura. This transition leads to a church that looks and acts just like the world, the only difference being the church adds the name of “Jesus” and “worship” to everything.

Some signs of a purpose driven takeover from within the church:

  • The church starts looking into marketing schemes.
  • The church starts heavily promoting the pastor’s vision vs. simply teaching the whole council of God.
  • The use of non-offensive terminology to replace words like  “sinner,” “Hell deserving,” and “total depravity”  in order not to offend sinners.
  • When your pastor starts talking about “life change” and how “Jesus wants to change your life” will lead to the false life change gospel that depends on yourself rather than Jesus Christ.
  • The formation of life groups as a way to kick start volunteer service and getting people to come to church.
  • Less focus is on Bible study and more focus on reading self-help topical books by Christian authors.
  • When your church starts sending out pamphlets advertising an event or guest speaker vs. promoting true discipleship.
  • When your church goes into debt for a worship leader, new big screen TV’s, spends money on billboards, pays for big name speakers, etc. instead of helping those who are poor and/or in need.
  • When your church starts looking at every body as an investment vs. a child of God.
  • When your pastor starts quoting Rick Warren, Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll, and other problematic leaders from the pulpits.
  • When your church starts doing sermon series based on relevant issues to help with today’s problem (series that are designed for the un-churched) vs. deep sermons designed to build up the body of Christ.
  • When your church starts programs on financial freedom, yet the church is still in debt and still spending money it does not have.
  • When your church starts placing heavy emphasis on music and worship while down playing deep Bible teaching from the pulpit.
  • When your pastor/elders start speaking against discernment and only wanting to focus on unity and love.
  • When you pastor/elders turn a blind-eye to doctrinal errors taught by many leading Christian authors like Beth Moore, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, etc. all in the name of church growth.

I feel one major problem that causes a church to accept the purpose driven dogma is putting too much emphasis on numbers. No church should be sending memos suggesting that the church needs to grow by “X” members this year and we would like to see “Y” baptisms take place. We should 100% depend on the preaching of the Gospel of Christ while depending on the Holy Spirit to draw people to Himself. We should be content with what the Lord gives us and not play a numbers game. I’m not saying that we should do nothing. On the contrary, I’m saying that we need to do more via the Bible’s outline and not Rick Warren’s business model. When we start looking only at numbers and dollar signs, then we are treading on dangerous grounds.

To avoid the snare of purpose driven seeker-sensitive gimmicks we should:

  • Depend on the preaching of the pure Gospel.
  • Always practice discernment and examine our beliefs with the scriptures.
  • Only use the methods promoted by the Word of God for spreading the Gospel.
  • Make disciples of new Christians and teach them how to spread the Good News.
  • Not worry about our numbers.
  • Understand we are not to be a mirror image of the world with “Jesus” attached to everything under the sun.
  • Not worry about money because the Lord will provide as He sees fit to provide for His people.
  • Not have a church that is in debt because a debtor is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

Please feel free to comment and add to this list. I know other reasons are applicable, but I believe that money is the root problem that causes many churches to sale out to the purpose driven false gospel.

Discernment is telling the difference between right and almost right

1 Cor 5:1-13 An unpopular teaching by today’s Christian standards

When does worship become sin?

The Seeker-Sensitive Purpose Driven Church for the Carnal Nature of Mankind

Proverbs 22:7 (New American Standard Bible)

7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

It’s so easy to get into debt, but so very hard to get out of debt. It seems our country and culture revolves around credit which has become a major problem for America and the church. We have been conditioned with the “buy now and pay later” mentality instead of living within our means.

I heard Christians say,”God has blessed me with X, Y, and Z“. Did God bless you with actually owning “X,Y, and Z” or did you borrow the money to buy these products? God does not bless us with debt, we curse ourselves with debt. The only thing that God did was bless you with the ability to acquire “X,Y, and Z“. This is a major problem within the church today and one of the leading reasons why the church is failing to help the poor. When a church goes into debt for whatever reason, then the church must pay the lender back first before anything else is paid. Because of debt sometimes the church must tell needy families that the it cannot meet their needs due to a lack of funds.

I believe many Christians and church leaders squander God’s blessings by getting into debt. Christians need to learn to depend on God for everything. Pastors and the church leadership should depend on God to meet their churches needs without taking out loans.

Philippians 4:11-13 (New International Version)

11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.