Skip to comments.Church Shames Congregation Into Cheerless Giving
Posted on 05/06/2012 11:12:51 AM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
My wife and I have traveled back and forth across the country the past year. It has given us the opportunity to visit a number of churches.
We have felt the movement of the Holy Spirit in every service we have attended. That is, until recently, when he heard a message we found quite disturbing.
It actually wasnt the main topic of the pastors sermon. Rather, it was a sidebar at the end of his message.
It concerned the churchs finances.
He told the congregation that weekly collections had not met budget all year long. And he admonished church members that many of them were disobeying God by failing to faithfully tithe 10 percent of their weekly earnings.
Well, my wife and I believe it is our Christian duty to tithe. And we are mindful of the Scripture advising that God loves a cheerful giver.
Our problem is when pastors emphasize certain of Gods commandments like tithing while purposely ignoring other commandments for fear of offending the sensibilities of certain members of the congregation..
Indeed, I am certain the church we visited included couples who were living together outside of marriage. But the pastor didnt guilt them.
I am sure there were homosexuals in the pews that Sunday. But he didnt call them out.
And I suspect there may have been a few substance abusers in the church. But he didnt rebuke them.
Yet, the pastor took the congregations non-tithers to task.
I know most of you, he said, surveying the sanctuary. I know how much you make. And I know youre not tithing.
The pastors remarks fomented a palpable uneasiness among the congregation.
I believe it was because the church is located in an economically-distressed metropolitan area with one of the nations worst jobless rates, worst rates of home foreclosures and worst percentages of households without health insurance.
What made matters worse, as far as my wife and I were concerned, was that, despite the economic hardship afflicting many members of his congregation, the pastor declared that the church was moving forward with plans to relocate to a bright and shiny new building.
And he reminded the congregation that it needed to join him in raising $200,000 in so many months to put down earnest money with their bankers.
That was, of course, in addition to the tithes and offerings the pastor expected the congregation to put in the collection plate each week to meet the churchs ongoing operating expenses.
I understand that churches need financial support. But I believe the absolutely wrong way for a pastor to generate that support is to use his pulpit to make a hard sell; to shame his congregation into giving until it hurts.
They just might put more in the collection plate. But they will not do so cheerfully.
If one is tithing because its a commandment, its not a tithe.
If a leader is telling people to bring offerings that are not from the heart then he is not teaching the bible.
My wife and I briefly attended a mega-church in San Antonio. Not a Sunday went by without the congregation being hectored for more money, more so than any other church I’ve ever set foot in. The pastor was living pretty large too. In my view they crossed the line between asking for sacrifices for the glory of Gad, and squandering widows’ mites for the glory of Man.
This is what the Lord has commanded: 5 From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze; 6 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 7 ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather[a]; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
10 All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded: 11 the tabernacle with its tent and its covering, clasps, frames, crossbars, posts and bases; 12 the ark with its poles and the atonement cover and the curtain that shields it; 13 the table with its poles and all its articles and the bread of the Presence; 14 the lampstand that is for light with its accessories, lamps and oil for the light; 15 the altar of incense with its poles, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; the curtain for the doorway at the entrance to the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grating, its poles and all its utensils; the bronze basin with its stand; 17 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases, and the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; 18 the tent pegs for the tabernacle and for the courtyard, and their ropes; 19 the woven garments worn for ministering in the sanctuaryboth the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests.
20 Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses presence, 21 and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. 22 All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord. 23 Everyone who had blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen, or goat hair, ram skins dyed red or the other durable leather brought them. 24 Those presenting an offering of silver or bronze brought it as an offering to the Lord, and everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the work brought it. 25 Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spunblue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. 26 And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair. 27 The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 28 They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. 29 All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.
I went to a church that started in an old bowling alley that we converted. Within 10 years it was a mega church.
It went from a wonderful bunch to a nest of vipers that ran credit reports on members. I got a letter with a copy of my TRW enclosed from them admonishing me for more “love” donations for the new building.
Never set foot in there again. I still get fund raiser letters a couple of times a year and I’ve moved several times and to another state. Not a dime will ever be sent.
I have no desire to attend anywhere anymore.
The tithe is not required of a Christian. It applied only to the Jews of the time to support the temple. Paul does say to support the Church though.
I’ve seen a lot of guilt laid upon church members in order to obtain their cash. I am one of those who do NOT believe that the modern church is owed an attendance payment. I believe tithes were for the temple set up, and not for the modern day church.
Yet I’ve seen pastors who say that the 10 commandments are not for Christians today, who mock what they call ‘the law of Moses’ who then turn right around and draw upon Malachi 3 to run the guilt trip to get the cash!
Mal 3:8 Will a man rob Elohim? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith Yahweh of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing of sufficiency.
Taken out of context and used against people!
That’s not all I’ve seen, but it fits with the topic.
I know the feeling. I was the head usher at a church that grew from 300 to 3000 in 2 years. Being intimately involved in the collection of the offering, I became uncomfortably aware of how closely each individuals giving was being tracked. I saw how the wealthier members of the congregation were being cultivated and patronized.
What was once a spirit filled church became a business that seemed to seek little more than profits. I
“Guilt” is NOT a verb.
My pastor (Catholic) encourages the congregation to tithe our expendable income, if feasible given your individual situation.
That is so unfortunate. It seems to be ever thus.
This reminds me of 2 stories, neither one about Church but both about money.
A little historical society got together and wrote a book about their town. Everyone had a great time and the book turned out fine.
In fact, it turned out so well that it actually started to sell.
Then the fights began.
Also, there was a merger of a couple of firms. One person thought “if we make money, everyone will be happy”.
Then they did make money.
Then the fights began.
I’ve tried to keep the details vague here, but I assure these are both actual situations.
Big building projects are an extension of the ego of the pastor or church leadership in many cases. The biggest building is assumed to be the most prominent, regardless of how well the needs of congregants are met or the value of the church to the community (through charity or outreach).
I’ve seen churches focus on building while abandoning relief childcare for special needs children, less free childcare for women on job interviews and cutting back mission trips.
This is why we attend a church where we not only teach Dave Ramsey’s FPU course, but they have a “get out of debt” goal to pay off the church’s mortgage before building up a maintenance sinking fund.
Well, it doesn’t seem that unusual to me for a pastor or other church officer to bring up the need for “collections” or tithing. After all, it is the collections and donations which keep a church going and if there is a need it should be brought to the congregation. How else is a church to keep opening doors for worship. The alternative is for the church to no longer exist for the congregation. It’s up to the congregation. It’s their church.
The church I go to does not pass a collection plate and there are boxes in the back where you can quietly give your offering. It is also not talked about either in the service.
And they are doing very well !
That’s too bad, I hope you’ll not blame the Master for the deeds of His sinful subjects. Jesus died, so ‘you’ might have eternal life. Do not miss this opportunity over the reprehensible behavior of a fallen few. After experiencing ‘a near death experience’ I saw the Truth for the very first time. It’s shocking, because you learn quickly that everything you thought important is a huge lie. I hope you choose wisely. Can I please pray for you and yours Whirlwind?
You see Malachi 3 as a guilt trip? It’s a challenge, the one time in the whole Bible where God says to test Him.
I’ve taken Him up on it, and, so far, I haven’t been able to out-give Him.
So find a different church. There are still good ones out there. Shop around.
Those handpicked verses are referring to a single one time free will offering used for the construction of the Tabernacle. Its VERY clear the Jews were COMMANDED to tithe in the Old Testament.
But you won't hear that from pastors.
Yes. It is impossible to outgive God.