As I was going through my routine of reading blogs on tithing, I came across the New BBC Open Forum. Here the writer shares a story of receiving an automated phone call to remind him to tithe this upcoming Sunday.
“Today was “Prove the Tithe” Sunday at Bellevue. Yesterday every Bellevue family received an automated, pre-recorded phone call from Brother Steve saying (paraphrased but close), “Tomorrow is ‘Prove the Tithe’ Sunday at Bellevue Baptist Church. God says, ‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’ Whether you already tithe or not, we’re asking you to take one-tenth of what you make in one week and give that to our church in the form of a tithe. Blah blah blah.””
Here is the link to ‘prove the tithe day‘ on Bellevue’s website. I’m curious . . . just curious, if any members have received automated phone calls about praying for a missionary, or serving at the homeless shelter? Why do churches (small ‘c’) have such a push for money? The answer is simply found in Matthew 6:21. It’s a pretty sickening cycle to get yourselves in a position to spend more money to get money isn’t it?
I’m all for accountability, but this isn’t the right kind of accountability. Regardless of your belief on the requirement of tithing, if you don’t give frequent reminders about other things as well, there is no reason to remind someone about giving you money.
Our priorities are all messed up. The order is Jesus – Others – You. I applaud (sarcasm) Bellevue for setting the example here. I’m not saying it’s wrong to challenge others to give or be sacrificial with their resources when you are directly involved in benefiting from it. We can see that Paul challenged the Church numerous times on providing for himself and others. What i think could be wrong in this situation is overflow of accountability that churches provide when it comes to giving, but all other accountability is so barren. Do me a favor. Look directly in the seat in front of you next Sunday, and pull out the information in the back pocket. Ask yourself, besides giving, ‘What else are they trying to remind you of’?
Maybe a GOLD offering plate disrupting a service is not a big enough reminder.
Faith Daley says
I saw you comment on the The Old Black Church about the same subject and just had to say AMEN. Thanks for spreading the word that the WORD is not just about tithing, curses, and obtaining blessings for ourselves.
New BBC Open Forum says
Thanks for the shout out. The only automated phone calls that I’ve ever received have been related to money, pumping up attendance (which has sharply declined in recent years), reminding everyone to set their clocks forward or backward for DST (which is related to attendance), or when they’re announcing the church closing due to bad weather. There’s always one the night before the annual “Love Offering” Sunday which is usually in November. “Prove the Tithe” Sunday is a new wrinkle, but one which I’ve no doubt will become a tradition. It’s yet to be seen if they’ll publish the offering amount from Sunday. If there was a significant increase we may hear something about how “God’s people obeyed and the storehouse was filled.” If there wasn’t, it won’t be mentioned again.
You focused on what I believe to be the most important part of that post. In the grand scheme of things the trailer is minor, but the unrelenting drumbeat of “tithe if you want to be blessed” is getting into prosperity gospel territory.
You can hear Steve Gaines at http://www.uu.edu/audio/speaker.cfm?ID=15 in a sermon entitled “Preaching Points: Ministry of Encouragement, Session 1” where at the 19:30 mark he tells a group of seminary students how “we” (at his church then, Gardendale FBC) check to make sure anyone in a leadership position tithes. Of course, only a few people in the inner sanctum know his compensation. In fact, that whole sermon and the 2nd and 3rd parts as well are quite enlightening. It was a preacher “talking shop” to other preachers and future preachers.
New BBC Open Forum says
I look forward to following your blog. This is the first time I’ve seen it.
New BBC Open Foum says
I thought I’d provide an update re “Prove the Tithe” Sunday. It was a rousing success. The church budget is exactly $20 million this fiscal year, and they usually claim near the end of the year that they’re a little behind and encourage people to dig a little deeper.
Today Steve Gaines, unable to hide the giddiness in his voice, announced that receipts last week were $641,252. This represents “potential annual giving” of $33,345,104 and was met with loud applause. Gaines responded, “I’m glad you’re clapping, but tithe, okay? Heh heh heh. I… I saw a bumper sticker years ago that says, ‘If you love Jesus, tithe. Any old goose can honk.’ All right. Okay.” (Hint: When he stutters, laughs nervously, and says “all right,” he’s usually “embellishing.”)
So either “God’s people” haven’t been forking over 10% of their income, undesignated, to the church budget, or some of the rich congregants decided (perhaps were “encouraged”) that “Prove the Tithe” Sunday would be the week they’d pony up that extra tax deduction.
Joan Washington says
Actually, God does not really mandate his people to give tithe. What if a man is incapable because of financial needs, would the church still ask him to provide?
The Guy from Knoxville says
No, what would happen is that a man/women/family is incapable because of financial needs they would be chastised, ridiculed and preached at informing them that the reason for their situiation of being needy financially is because they aren’t tithing or aren’t giving to God through the church they attend. Folks, I’ve had guilt trip after guilt trip after guilt trip laid on my and the two congregations that I’ve been memebers of (SBC churches btw…..) regarding tithing, finances an things related and the sole reason is my/our bad choices financially and not tithing to/through the church. Something is definitely amiss in all this tithing/financial preaching, financial seminars and people are being beat over and about the head (so-to-speak) in churches and it’s only going to get worse given the economic situation here in the USA as these churches feel the pinch financially and if you’re in a high profile mega church with a celeb pastor and staff…… well – well…… what do you say – you’re really in trouble because not only do you have to fund ministry but you have support, what is becoming more the norm these days, a lavish lifestyle for the senior pastor and his staff. God help us….. what have we done? What have we come to??
@Joan Washington . you right god never mandate his people to give tithe.
All the Churches wants your money! and it is accordance and mandated by the bible and Clergy (Priest, Monks, Imam, Etc.) that you must sacrifice or give something.
If He is truly a Creator of this universe, He doesn’t need. He doesn’t feel insecure, De doesn’t jealous. wew
Brenda Wilkinson says
Maybe its good to change the word “tithe” into “donation”.
Tithes is not a compulsory to anybody, maybe you give a tithes or not.
@Patrice. i strongly agree with you , because we can not force people to give tithes,
@sherilyn.. you right sherlyn we cannot force people to give their tithes.
@Sherilyn. you must very right we cannot force people to give a tithes, and also me i didn’t give a tithe in church.