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.
Equal sacrifice — not necissarily equal giving.
I have heard more and more in the church that it is a reward based system you give money you get money. I finally did a study writing down every time money was mentioned in the New Testament...and well let’s just say Jesus compliments were higher on the side of the poor then the rich. Sure he loved the rich, but they had a whole lot more “issues” than the poor. I do believe in supporting the church, but the American church is becoming shameless in promise reward system. The American church should prepare for are you going to serve God when you lose your money because every indication is that troubled times are coming, and then the people who have faith will remain Christians in spite of difficult circumstances
Church operations are very expensive, as you know. People would be aghast at how much one prayer book or hymnal can cost, much less hundreds. With that said, I find that pastors dun the congregation for money much like the government covets taxes - to fund the myriad new “programs” they’ve dreamed up - which then can never go away.
Wait, you mean non-temple Mormons and non-Mormons do NOT get to live with Heavenly Father and be happy with Him forever, right?
IMHO your not running into this sort of thing before is the aberration.
The life of a Christian is difficult, but it is also rewarding, blessed, and full of adventure.
Agreed! You would be surprised at how many “members” in many medium to large churches do not tithe but a mere pittence, if at all, yet use the facilities. If they want a nice church, put something into the offering plate or move on. It is a simple fact of having a church.
I went to a church where the pastor lived in a huge McMansion, wore designer suits, sent his kids to the most expensive universities (and paid cash for it), but was constantly demanding the congregation give more. He took a spirit-filled church of 2500 and turned it into a spirit-dead church of a couple hundred. The new building that he was funraising for a solid year for, stands empty most of the time.
If God wants you to have that new building, he will lay it on the hearts of the people to give. There’s no need for 60 Sundays of “stewardship sermons” (read: fundraising demands.).
Let's see now, the true Christian church was not the Catholic church, established by Christ, on the Apostles, 2,000 years ago. The true church was established in 1609 in Amsterdam, by John Smythe.....O.K., but I'll stay with Jesus' church. Just an aside question....how many Baptists were there when America was discovered?? A/ (0)
Yes...(My error in failing to include the word "not")
Yes it would. The inquisttion, of course as you know, was far more a governmental situation than a church one. The church, of course, was not without fault. Think of yourself in charge. You are the only Christian church that ever existed and along come a group of dissidents who challenge your authority and the authority of the church itself.
As the ONLY protector of the religion, you might tend to react strongly against someone who is attacking Christ's church for fear that the church could be harmed. While the inquisition certainly was not, as we now know, a good thing, nevertheless the people at the time deemed it necessary and, indeed, critical.
You noticed, of course, that throughout my answer I referred to THE church....that's because there was only one....the true curch of Jesus, the Catholic church. Blame it if you wish, she was the only one there.
Your Pastor sounds like my priest b-i-l, in MS.
Reminds me a little bit of Glozell’s TTBN lady:
“Do you want someone who’s telling you what the Bible is about to only have 2 rings and I don’t have a helicopter?”
Yep. Couldn’t agree more and didn’t Jesus say swomething about where your treasure is your heart is also.
The Catholic church is Politics, and of the nastiest kind; it intertwines governance of population with religious belief, same thing we condemn in the Taliban and Al Queada. Rather than being a force to to propel government in the right direction, it seeks to become government, as it has historically. Were she to hold all the reigns of government, would she not forced populations to adhere not just to its religious principals but also its politics. Let the Catholic church be a force for good, but let her not govern, for surely, you'll loose your head just the same as if she were the Taliban, if you do not tow her line.
nonsense...the Catholic church was, early in history, the only game in town and of course became intertwined with politics. Stete positions were handed out by the church and church posttions by the state. Since everyone involved was both a Catholic and a Frenchman, or a Catholic and a Spaniard, it seemed logical at the time to comingle positions.After the protestant revolution, changes had to be made since there was now competition for the state positions. In modern history, no christian denomination , with the exception of the Church of England (protestant), has closely tied itself with the country's political establishment.Catholic president Kennedy did not make the U.S. subject to the demands of the Pope...
Identify the “Pastor” and “Church”.
You, my dear, are not only misled....but confused.
The New Testament didn’t totally negate the Old Testament; if so, it never would have been included in the Holy Bible.
It is in Malachi Chapter 3 that God, in the only such instance in the entire Bible, explicitly says “challenge Me on this one”.
You challenge Him all you want, sweetie. I’ll not cross Him one iota. If it’s that important to Him, it’s that important to me. Tithing is law, and it (or should I say, His word) hasn’t failed me yet.
What I especially like about the passage in Malachi is that God is not really "daring" the people to keep back their tithe and regret what He would do to them, but rather, to trust Him that you "can't out give God". He obviously doesn't NEED our money - he owns the cattle upon a thousand hill tops - but our money is often that which we hold most dear and letting go of it in faith that God WILL provide all our needs, is a major way that he grows our faith.
I had such a teaching lesson many years ago while in Bible college - one of many, BTW. I was working full time and also carrying a full load of classes (I paid my own way through) and was getting minimum wage ($1.50 per hour). I got paid on Thursdays and, seeing it was only Tuesday and I had $2.00 left, I was feeling the pinch of doubt. On Tuesday at chapel, the school took up a collection to help with expenses and I felt moved to give $1.00. That left me with only $1.00 and two days until payday. I ate lunch, which cost 80 cents (this was early 70's) and I had 20 cents left for bus fare to work but not back. I decided I was going to trust the Lord.
As I was walking out to the bus stop, I noticed students hovering around the mail slots - the mail had come early that day - and as I had a few extra minutes, I decided to check my mail. In the mail was a card from my Mom (no special occasion) in which she included a check for $20.00. Now, she did not know I needed that money, I didn't tell anyone and she had to have sent it almost a week before. But the Lord knew, and with that He taught me that I CAN trust Him. My faith was encouraged by this experience and I have shared it many times over the forty or so years since.
So, when God says "test me", I really do believe He wants us to learn he is trustworthy, that He does see our needs and when we give in faith with a cheerful heart, our faith grows and he is glorified. Sometimes, leaders of churches forget that the Holy Spirit is who moves hearts to give and that demanding and embarrassing their members into giving does NOT bring glory to God nor does it enrich the faith of the believers. It turns into resentment and that is NEVER how God wants it be.