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Page One, Part Seven On Tithing:

What Are The Comments Other Folks Make Concerning Giving ?

1. Televangelist Oral Roberts once announced that God would call him home if he didn't raise 8 million dollars during a fund drive. Pastors roundly bashed Roberts for his dramatic plea, but plenty of them routinely use such manipulative tactics to squeeze money from their Congregations every week. Incidentally, the people displayed the names of those who gave the largest contributions. Forcing people to march to the front of the Assembly to hand out the offering has become a custom of many ministers. These pastors announce every big-ticket appeal with a "God told me we need to raise this money," and those are just some games many pastors play.

2. These money-raising tactics fail to make headlines like Roberts [Roberts reached his goal a week before his deadline when a Florida dog-track owner pledged more than one million dollars]. But they have become so ingrained in many traditional Assembly services that few people even question them. Yet some pastors and scholars worry that such practices violate the Lord's commands on giving anonymously and freely.

3. The chancellor at mount Pisgah United Methodist Church in Alpharetts, who frequently gives seminars on fund raising to Churches stated: "There's a hundred different ways to hold a person or a Congregation hostage to emotional appeals for money. Several Atlanta- area Pastors, scholars and Assembly members offered their perspective on how Pastors should ... and should not ... ask for money. The issue is so sensitive that some Assembly members felt uncomfortable naming the Pastor or Assembly that was guilty of pushing too hard during the offering.

4. A lady member of Mount Paran North Church of God in Marietta, says one way Pastors should not ask for money is by having too many offerings in a service. She says she visited a church where she was continually asked to march forward with money for "the missionary offering," the "general offering" and the Tithing offering." She stated that she spent a good part of the service in getting up and marching around most of the time before she even got to the sermon, and made clear that she was only use to one offering in a service.

5. A lady senior Pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, says asking for money is one of the most delicate tasks a Pastor can take on. "Giving is one of the most difficult things to teach people because money is so personal. People become very quite when you mention finances, but when you speak on the subject of sex, that turns the congregation on, and their voices become very loud."

6. Even the Lord recognized how touchy the subject of money is, says the Pastor of Cannon United Methodist Church in Snellville. "Jesus talked more about money than faith and prayer. He knows the power it has in our lives. In the era of the maga- Church, where Pastors double as CEOs, it's easy for a Pastor to go too far. You feel the pressure that it's up to you to make sure a certain amount of dollars are raised," the Public vs. private giving."

7. The issue of giving may be complicated, but Christ's teaching on the subject seems clear, religious scholars say. For example, in the Lord's teaching of the sermon on the mount, He rejected ostentation's giving "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, to be honored by men." ... Jesus stated in {Matthew Ch. 6}: "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret." But many Assembly's prefer to let their congregations know who's giving and who's not.". [Could it be that this is done purposely to embarrass those who fail to contribute?].

8. The director of the black Assembly studies program at Emory University, says black Assemblies often use ushers to summon members from their pews for a march to the front of the congregation for the offering. Any person who decides not to give is left alone in the pews, visible to the Pastor and the rest of the congregation.

In other Assemblies, a Pastor will extract more money from the congregation by standing up during the offering and announcing, I'm holding a $50 dollar bill and I need ten more people to give. Other ploys include Pastors who literally stand over the collection table during the offering. To me, it's a form of manipulation, he said. The idea of coercing people is incompatible with a God of grace and mercy."

9. "The writer of this message has attended several Primitive Baptist Assemblies, who have the congregation after the service, to form a line to the pulpit and shake the ministers hand, and while the hand shake is taking place, the people place money into the preachers hand. Naturally when visitors attend or even when some members are present who have very little money with them, they are embarrassed if they fail to respond by not going forward and paying the minister at least something so that they will not be left siting alone on the pew." The Primitive and the Hard-shell Baptist do not believe in passing a collection plate, which they say would consist in taking up a collection. But, on the other hand they are really doing the same thing by forming a line to both shake the Minister's hand and pass money to him as a free will offering. Therefore, would these folks please tell me that this approach isn't the same as taking up an offering as any other group does?

10. This writer also attended an independent Baptist Assembly where the Pastor would have the offering taken, and then tell the people that there wasn't the required amount given to pay the Assembly bills. He would then walk down the aisles and tell the people to get that money out and give till there would be enough to pay everything off. Sometimes he would name a person and say you John or Bill let me have $20.00 or $10.00, and as a usual thing the person would do as he was ask. Had the person not given he would have been embarrassed, so he gave even though he may not have had enough to pay for the food his family needed to eat the following week. Even though this - as other ploys seems to work, where in your Bible do you find such texts that teach this type of manipulative tactics mentioned?

11. A lady member of Faith Christian Center in Smyrna, says that she has seen a Pastor simply hold a church hostage. She states that she was attending a service at a "Church of God in Christ" when the Pastor launched the offering by asking if anybody would stand up and give $100. He kept on asking until he received the desired amount, "It took 45 minutes." She said that she arose from her seat and left the Assembly. She stated "If I'm going to give, it's going to come from my heart."

12. Other's Pastors offer another incentive for people to give: "fear." They refuse to offer financial assistance to a needy member if that member does not consistently tithe, by giving at least ten percent of his or her income. I think that's pretty pathetic, one Minister said "we're turning God's grace into God's law: it means that mercy somehow doesn't belong in the Church."

13. The president of the Trinity Foundation Inc.; a Dallas-based group that serves the homeless and exposes fraudulent tel-evangelist, stated that Pastors can use another standby to raise more wealth when the others don't work. They just say, "God told me we needed to raise this money." "Jesus was God's only Son and the Bible says that God spoke to Him audibly only three times; "these Pastors say God spoke to them virtually every Sunday."

What About Building Programs?

14. Another source for fund-raising abuse is the Assembly building program, scholars and Pastors say. The desire to build a bigger Assembly building causes some Pastors to look aggressively for more money from their congregations. Some Pastors encourage members to give by promising to inscribe the names of generous donors on bricks built into the new Assembly building, He made clear that he is leery of big Church building programs. He points out that the most universally admired Church ... the first century Church depicted in the book of Acts ... met in individuals' homes and rarely had more than 20 members. If they went beyond 20 members, they moved to another house." "That's how communities were formed, the bigger the Assembly size, the more difficult it is for people to be genuine. There must be some vulnerability; otherwise, you just act and you put on your Sunday best. We tell them here, put on your Saturday night worst, God wants the real you."

15. Another Pastor agrees: "A building program can be idolatrous. Sometimes you need a new Assembly if your Assembly building is falling down or you've out grown it. But oftentimes that seems the last consideration rather than the first. It's often about the prestige and making sure that we're being held up in good esteem by the world around us."

[Dr. R. B: ... Who knows whether this above Pastor is right or wrong? there are many questions and many answers].

16. The Pastor of one of the largest Episcopal Assemblies in the country, agrees with the above mentioned Pastor. He is the dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip, a Buckhead mega-Assembly, with more than 5,000 members. It also has one of the most majestic sanctuaries in the metro Atlanta area. He stated "If there's a sense that a Congregation retreats into itself and saw a building only as their building and not a place to minister to the world, that would be idolatrous." He also acknowledges that a large congregation makes a community more difficult. Though St. Philip has thousands of Church members, the Assembly is actually a collection of "15 to 20 Parishes" who meet for prayer and helping others. You do need intimacy, there's no question about it. Every person of faith needs a smaller group to be with."

And Then We Have The Prosperity Gospel:

17. Perhaps the most common method Pastors use to raise money is preaching the prosperity gospel. The doctrine is akin to selling religious lottery tickets. "They teach that the more money people relinquishes, the more God will financially reward them. Prosperity theology is a spiritual danger because there's the belief that if I give, God is going to give back to me in tangible and measurable ways," says the Methodist minister. "Giving becomes a means to prosperity rather than a response to grace, It's giving to get. Pastors who teach the prosperity goal, however, say generous giving benefits the giver. They point to their own opulent lifestyles as proof, and cite O.T. Scriptures that link piety with prosperity. Some even suggest that Jesus was rich because one of His disciples ... Judas Iscariot ... was a treasurer.

18. So how should a Pastor ask a Congregation for money, and in what spirit should they give? Most Ministers teach that giving money is a response to God's goodness, and they emphasize that one should give by "Tithing." Naturally, there is debate, though over whether "Tithing" should be mandatory. "Tithing" is one of the most sensitive issues in the Bible. According to the Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, "Tithing" appears throughout the Old Testament. Yet "Tithing" is seen differently in the New Testament, the evangelical Dictionary says that Jesus refocused attention on inward attitudes and criticized those who thought themselves accepted by God because they "Tithed." Nowhere in the New Testament is there a requirement that Christians "Tithe," only that Christians give voluntarily and in great joy.

19. A woman, who Pastor's Ray of Hope Assembly, teaches that Assembly members should "Tithe." Her Assembly is in the middle of a campaign to raise $7 million dollars in the next 5 to 7 years to pay off the Assembly's new building. She said "I tell them 'Tithing' is a faith issue, and when you give 10 percent to God, that's saying that I trust you, God, to handle the responsibility of life and living."

20. The Pastor of Cannon Methodist mentioned above, stated that Pastors can encourage people to give simply by not being too aggressive. If you've got to browbeat, arm-twist and manipulate people on a regular basis, you're turning people off to the gospel.

21. The man who is considered the Methodist authority on fund raising, offers advice to encourage giving: he says "to Keep financial records open to Assembly members, keep individual donations confidential, and let the Congregation know where every cent of the offering goes. Ultimately, giving money shouldn't be about giving in to guilt or manipulation." Jesus stated: "Where your treasure is, there your heart also will be," he also said: "I've never known a miserly saint. Giving and generosity are part of spiritual maturity."

22. The Apostle Paul knew that Christians should support the Lord's work, and he worked until the day he was taken up into Paradise to be with the Lord. His heart's desire was to lay hold of what Christ had called him to achieve. Although he had not apprehended, like the runner who can see the finish line {see Philippians 3:12-14}, he was striving for the goal that was set before him. Paul finished the course set before him, he was confident that the Lord would richly reward him. Beloved, are you running to please men or the Lord?

23. Finally, Paul uses the farmer, who plows the field, to illustrate another aspect of the Christian experience.

24. Scripture: "The husbandman that labors must be first partakers of the fruits, {2- Timothy 2:6}."

25. If there is one thing the farmer is known for, it's hard work and long hours. The day begins before dawn and doesn't end until dusk. The farmer must till the soil, sow the seed, fertilize, and water. But farming requires something else ... patience, a lot of patience. The crops cannot be harvested until the fruit is mature.

26. Like farming, the ministry is hard work and long hours. It is not uncommon for a Pastor to put in ten or 12 hour days. Then there are those times he's called out on an emergency hospital visit at two o'clock in the morning. As we know, there's a law of nature in farming ... whatever you sow is what you reap. The same is true of the Lord's work. If a Pastor sows the Kingdom Gospel for this age, he's going to reap sorrow at the Bema seat. On the other hand if a man of God sows Paul's Gospel of the Mystery, he will reap the praise of God.

27. Scripture: "Even so has the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel, {1- Corinthians 9:14}."

28. In short, the workman is worthy of his hire. If God has blessed us with a knowledge of the Mystery Gospel, then do we not have a responsibility to support those who faithfully proclaim this truth? Sadly, dedicated Pastors and missionaries struggle to make ends meet, while some in our congregations support well-known denominational preachers and missionaries who openly reject Paul's Gospel and continue to teach Israel's old Kingdom Gospel for this age, how sad! Shall the Lord be well pleased with us at that day if we aid and abet confusion in the Body of Christ? There was more than one Gospel taught according to Scripture. [Read our messages "The Bride And Body Of Christ" In 9 parts, this will give the reader a much better understanding of the Gospel message for today!"

29. While I do not fully agree with the doctrine of many denominations, I know firsthand that most of them are very dedicated and generous Believers in Christ. Denominational Assemblies only support their own Assembly groups and causes, that is why you find them in many different places. I am a firm believer in supporting the Denomination of one's choice, that is the way it should be. On the other hand if an assembly fails to teach Paul's Gospel, and if you believe in the gospel of the Mystery, should you support those who teach another gospel?

30. I am aware that I'm about to step on many toes when I say that the average Assembly teachers teach the Kingdom commission in Matthew and apply it to us today! I also know that those same Ministers are in most cases still teaching the Kingdom Gospel that Christ and His Apostles taught when they were alive. These folks do not realize that we are under a different Gospel and commission in this age of grace. We are not under the old Kingdom order of the past age, but under the age of pure grace as Paul teaches in his Epistles! Therefore, what are you going to teach, and who are you going to support? This is a perplexing question isn't it? One thing you should do, teach the Bible and shy away from Covenant Theology. Are you going to reap rewards in Heaven, or loose blessing you could have obtained?

31. Scripture: "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase," {1- Corinthians 3:5-6}."

32. Patience is the watchword when we are doing the Lord's work . People want to see results, so the world measures success in numbers. Sadly, the Body of Christ has fallen victim to the same philosophy. God however, is more interested in faithfulness. Historically, He has passed by the multitudes and has accomplished His greatest work through what some would call insignificant ministries. As we see from above, Paul left the end result with the Lord. He's the one who gives the increase. It's far better to gather with a small group of Saints standing for the truth, than a large assembly that's all too willing to sacrifice the truth on the altar of compromise.

33. Farmers need plenty of help on the farm. It's simply too large a job for one man. Once again the same is true in the Lord's service. Christian leaders must learn to follow Paul's example here as well and delegate authority to others. Paul planted, Apollos watered, some weeded, God gave the increase, and others harvested the fruits of their labor. We are all co-laborers together with God. These are the things that should characterize faithful men who minister the gospel. So then, we are to be committed to the cause, committed to the battle, committed to the rules, and, last but not least, committed to the task at hand! May we, too, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus to the praise of His glory.

Salvation: Are You Ready For Heaven?

34. It is possible that your heart [mind] has been running from the Lord and rebels against Him. The Word of God calls this "sin." The Scriptures state that every one of us are sinners in the flesh, and everyone have in the past sinned:

35. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, {Romans 3:23}."

36. But despite your sin, God loves you and wants to save you from sin, and to offer you a new life of hope.

37. Scriptures: " ... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly, {John 10:10}."

38. To give you a gift of salvation the Lord made a way through a Saviour Jesus Christ.

39. Scripture: "But God commands His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, {Romans 5:8}."

40. You receive this gift not by trying to be good enough to get to Heaven, but by just believing in Jesus Christ and trusting His Word.

41. Are you and your loved ones ready if death overtakes you? God is ready. Christ has prepared a home for you in Heaven. He wants you there. I believe that you want to go there. The Word of the Lord states:

42. Scripture: "He, that [who] being often reproved [and] hardens his neck , shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy, {Proverbs 29:1}."  [If you will not listen and believe before the Resurrection of the Body of Christ, look what the Lord says about you] ...

43. {V. 10} Scripture: "And with all deceivableness of [unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception to] unrighteousness in them that perish [and are going to perdition, perishing]; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [They refused to believe the truth of God's Word].

44. {V. 11} And for this cause God will send them [a working error of] strong delusion [a misleading influence, of some type of idol worship], that they should believe a lie [of what is false, "idol worship"].

45. {V. 12} That they all might [be judged and] be damned [condemned] who believed not [and refused to adhere to trust and rely on] the truth, but [instead] had pleasure in unrighteousness, {2- Thessalonians 2:10-12}."

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46. {V. 6} Scripture: "Now we command you brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition [true doctrine] which he received of us.

47. {V. 7} For yourselves know how you ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you, {2- Thessalonians 3:6-7}."

48. {Vs. 6-7} above paraphrased: ["Now we warn you, brethren, in the name and on the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, that you withdraw and keep away from every brother [fellow Believer] who is slack in the performance of duty and is disorderly, living as a shirker and not walking in accord with the traditions and instruction that you have received from us. For you yourselves know how it is necessary to imitate our example, for we were not disorderly or shirking of duty when we were with you ... we were not idle]."

49. In order to be positive of your own Salvation, we would ask you to "Please" read and pray the following prayer and if you really believe and accept in your heart [mind] what you have read and have spoken these words in this prayer with a contrite mind to God the Father, you will have become a Child of God!

The Sinners Prayer:

50. Heavenly Father, I know that I'm a lost sinner and that I cannot save myself by good works. I believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son Who came down from Heaven and took on a human body of flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary. I believe that Jesus shed His blood on the cross of Calvary and died paying the price for my sins with His death so that I can receive salvation because and through His sacrifice. I believe that after Christ's sacrifice and death, He arose from the tomb after three literal days and nights. That Jesus ascended into the third Heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. I believe that Jesus will return for all Saints who belong to the Body of Christ in the Resurrection [Rapture] according to His own promise!

51. I know that I have been up to this time a lost sinner and deserved to go to hell. So I beseech you Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit at this very moment into my Heart and save me for Jesus Christ sake as has been promised me by Your Holy Word. I am receiving Jesus Christ at this very moment as my personal Saviour, my Lord and as my only blessed hope for salvation. Thank You Lord for now I am saved by Your wonderful grace. Amen!

52. Scripture: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved, {John 3:16-17}."

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53. Scripture: "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast, {Ephesians 2:8-9}."

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54. Scripture: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them to us by His [Holy] Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God, {1- Corinthians 2:9-10}."

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In regards to our readers, we would deeply express our thanks to those who will re-copy this message and pass it on to others that they too may find Salvation and knowledge from it.

End.

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