Check out this story. A ‘church’ in Brisbane requested the members to sign up for automatic payments of tithing to be debited out of their account. Yahoo News also stated that “under the church’s covenant members were encouraged to buy a $300 signet ring, stop buying coffee and give up Sky TV so they could give more money to the church.”
Here’s another excerpt from the News Herald in New Zealand, “Followers were told to ignore people who told them they were too poor to give money to the church. ‘They’ll tell you and try to get you to believe you are too poor and that you have nothing to give. ‘What they’re trying to get you to do, do the opposite and you’ll always be on the right side [with God]. ‘ He spoke of opening up a ‘channel of giving’ to the ‘house of God’. ‘When they [followers] stop giving, the church is poor and it cannot fulfill its wonderful vision or its purpose for God.’
I think one of the saddest parts is that they believe the people and the church are actually separate entities. Notice the leader said, ‘When “they” stop giving’ – as if who ‘they’ are and what the ‘church’ is are actually different things?