SUBTITLE: TELLING THE TRUTH IS THE LOVING THING, 4
2 Peter 2:1-3 “…In their greed these (false) teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.” Of course our minds are immediately drawn to the extravagant TV preachers who leach money from little old ladies. And that is sometimes true; but there are other ways. This is me talking – I’m just sayin’- I have seen about everything in local churches that do not evidence the spirit in which I believe we are to give our tithes and offerings—having everyone stand who will give $1000, $100, $10, etc; pledges, faith offerings, planning budget, matched offerings, person who takes offering shows his offering, all those pressure techniques.
I was sitting in the choir loft once upon a time when the preacher made a show of giving his check, then I believe he put the check back in his wallet. I could hardly believe my eyes; I doubt my own story but I think that’s what he did.
Some people claim “God gave me a message for you” then offer to sell it to you. I want to say, “if you worked your fingers to the bone for that message, you deserve money for it.” If God gave it to you for me, then you give it to me. I’d pay expenses if necessary. But if God really gave him/her the message for me, then he probably will help with the postage to get it to me!
Like me taking a gift to my neighbor, telling her God told me to give it to her, then ask for ten bucks for it! I know the “workman is worthy of his hire” and have no problem with preachers, singers, etc selling their wares. They researched, organized, typed, took lessons, went to school, preached the sermon, prayed, they deserve pay. Just don’t claim God gave it to you to give me, then charge me. Again, just sayin’.
And the holding money up in air with shouts of “joy?” So artificial! Preach what the Bible says about tithes and offerings, pass the hat, or install offering boxes, and trust God to meet the need the same way you tell the “lay” person to trust God to meet the need.
Many ministers want to expand their ministries beyond what God might plan for them so they are constantly in a “building” program. I’ve never known of one said, “Stop, we have enough, as Moses did (Ex 36:6); I think Solomon also. Anyone out there know the other time that happened in the OT? So they keep needing more until it becomes an empire and the preacher becomes an administrator rather than a minister/pastor. (That last sentence was not part of my caustic rant. I am dead serious about it.)
Preach scripture for tithes and offerings, not psychology. But I will admit Paul used psychology on some of the churches when raising money for the church in Jerusalem. (Romans 15:26) If Macedonia and Achaia did it, you should too! Oh well, that doesn’t make me like it! Still, just sayin’.
We laughingly tell stories of the radio preachers who say something like this, “All those who were standing outside” are making their way down the aisle giving the impression of great crowds while in truth it means the deacon, his wife, and kids are coming in – late. We jokingly call it evangelistically speaking. Inside joke for those in the “family” but in truth it is “bringing the way of truth into disrepute.”