Tithing Deception


Tithing – What the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teaches about tithing and why it is wrong.

tithing deceptionBefore I get started I must premise this section by telling you that this is one of the most dangerous and destructive false teaching of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination. Teaching tithing is absolutely unbiblical and nothing more than mind control manipulation. There has been a lot of good information on the truth about tithing made available online and I will provide some links at the bottom of this page to web sites that I have read and agree with. The purpose of this page is not to go into a lot of detail about tithing. I would simply like to point out the false teachings of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination in this area and touch on some of the important points about tithing that show why it is wrong.

When I recently asked an Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination minister about tithing this was his reply was: “When men will not tithe, (1) God’s work on earth is hindered, (2) the non-tither is robbing God, (3) God will withhold His blessing, even chastening the non-tither. However, God has categorically promised to bless those who will so honor Him. Even other people would perceive God’s blessing upon them as they returned to tithing.” 

  1. False Teaching #1: Tithes vs. OfferingsThe basis of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teachings for tithe is a distinction between “Tithes” and “Offerings”. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teaches that there is a difference between the two. Basically Tithes is 10% of your monetary Gross (before taxes) income and Offerings is anything over and above the tithe. They further teach that a person is commanded to tithe to the “Local” or “Home” church (the church with which they consider their permanent place of worship). They teach that if you wish to give over and above the tithe you can do so by giving more to the local church or to another ministry. They further teach that if you give your tithe to another ministry then it doesn’t count as tithe but offerings and you are still “robbing God” if you don’t give your tithe to your home church. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination used such verses as Deuteronomy 12:6,11; 2 Chronicles 31:12; Nehemiah 10:37; Nehemiah 12:44; Nehemiah 13:5; and Malachi 3:8 for the basis of their teachings. The offering isn’t required, however, the tithe is required.
  2. False Teaching #2: The “Devourer” – Curses for Not TithingThe Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination uses Malachi 3:10-11 to teach that if you don’t tithe, the “Devourer” (Satan) will come and destroy your property as a punishment so that you will incur more financial burden. They teach that if you tithe God will protect your property and your finances through Divine Intervention and not allow bad things to happen that take up your resources such as cars breaking down and leaky roofs.Here they spell out specifically that God promised that He would “rebuke the devourer.” The word so translated as (lka awkal) literally means “the eater.” The reference was to hoards of voracious insects which had destroyed their crops. Further, God promised that their vine would not prematurely “cast her fruit before the time in the field.” The word translated as cast her fruit (lkv shawlol) has the sense of a “miscarriage.” What had happened was that God had sent bad weather which caused the grape crop to be pre-maturely blown on the ground. It may have been by high winds, hail, or a combination of them. God had gotten His tithe. Israel, however, had missed God’s blessing and had in fact paid the penalty for not tithing.
  3. False Teaching #3: Blessings for those that TitheThe Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination wrongly teaches that tithing opens the door for God’s blessings and when we don’t tithe we are robbing from God and we will be cursed by God withholding His blessings from us. They sight Proverbs 3:9-10 and Malachi 3:7-11 for this belief.They teach that the degree of giving was based upon how “God hath prospered” which they will say clearly implied proportional giving. In other words, we ought to give in direct proportion as God has blessed us. And of course the universal proportion throughout the Scripture is ten percent as the tithe. They think that Paul clearly is not referring to the tithe regarding the offering for the impoverished Judaean churches, the principle lies just beneath the surface here.They will bring you back to the Israelites and tell you that as Israel began to tithe (even upon their greatly diminished crops) God promised that He would “open the windows of heaven.” They say the reference is likely to sorely needed rain. (The phrase “the windows of heaven” is found three times in the Bible. Notably in the time of Noah it clearly referred to God sending rain. See Genesis 7:11, 8:2. It also is alluded to in II Kings 7:2,19 in the time of Elisha and the siege of Jerusalem. There it also likely was a reference to needed rain.) God prompted them to “prove me now herewith.” In other words, “Put me to the test, and see if I will not bless you in return.” God promised that as they began to once again tithe, He would pour out blessings for them such they would not be able to receive it all.
  4. False Teaching #4: If you don’t tithe you are branded a ThiefIf you don’t pay tithes the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination considers you a thief. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teaches that it is the members’ responsibility to support the church financially. They use Mal. 3:8-10 to support this and they call the withholder of the tithes and offerings a thief. They even extend this fallacy to the New Testament claiming that I Corinthians 9:1-14, especially verse 14, obligates believers to support the church in precisely the same way that the Tabernacle was supported – by tithes and offerings.
  5. False Teaching #5: Tithe Must come from the Gross IncomeThis is a huge deal for the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination. They teach that if you don’t tithe from your gross income then your tithe doesn’t count because in II Proverbs 3:9-10 the Lord tells us to “Honor the Lord with Firstfruits” which they interpret to mean that one should set aside the tithe FIRST and that it should come out of your gross income, before all other bills and expenses. They teach that if you leave the tithe until last, God usually misses out.
  6. False Teaching #6: Storehouse TithingThe Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teaches that tithing is to be “storehouse” tithing. Storehouse tithing means the giving of the tithes into God’s appointed place. In Old Testament days, the storehouse was the Jewish temple.In the Old Testament, The storehouse mentioned was the treasury or warehouse adjacent to the Temple. The economy of the day was largely agriculture and trade was commonly done by barter. It was the practice of the Israelites to bring their tithe to the Temple in the form of the actual commodity (grain, figs, wine, etc.) These then were stored in a warehouse-type of building called the storehouse which was a part of the treasury of the Temple. (Interestingly, Paul used the equivalent Greek word translated as store in I Corinthians 16:2, referring to the local church.) As they did not tithe, the work of the Temple, specifically in the provision of the Levites food, was damaged.In New Testament days, the storehouse is the treasury of one’s local or home church. They use Acts 4:35, 37 5:2 to justify these teachings. According to Acts 4:35,37 and Acts 5:2, the Christians brought their tithes and offerings to the Apostles’ feet. They also point to both Malachi 3 and Paul’s mention of the “storehouse”. According to 1 Corinthians 16:1,2 the Christians at Corinth were to collect their tithes & offerings and bring them to their local church at Corinth, or ‘lay by him in store’ on the first day of the Week, Sunday. They believe that I Corinthians 16:3 indicates not only that the storehouse is the church treasury, but that the church body collectively has the responsibility to designate where God’s money is to be spent. The collective belief among the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination is that in this day and age the STOREHOUSE for your tithe is your LOCAL CHURCH. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination does not believe that it is not God’s plan for you to give your tithe wherever you decide.If you ask them WHY ARE WE TO PLACE OUR TITHE INTO OUR CHURCH? they will respond with what simply amounts to a guilt trip. They will tell you that your tithes and offerings are for the support, upkeep, and ministry of your Church. Tithes should never be designated by the giver. They are to be left for use as the Church body decides. As mentioned previously they teach that offerings over and above the tithe can go to other deserving ministries, but God says your tithe should go to your local church. They teach that if everyone gave their tithe to worthy ministries outside the local church, the local church would die and they take 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 out of context for this belief.The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination is very good at telling the word translations from the Septuagint. They believe that the word translated as in store (yhsaurizw thesaurizo) is the same word used in the Septuagint for “storehouse” in Malachi 3:10. The greater point is that the local church of the New Testament has become the “storehouse” for the giving by God’s people even as the Temple was during the time of the Law.
  7. False Teaching #7: Tithes must be given on the First day of the Week – SundayThe Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination will present to you I Corinthians 16:2 where Paul directs how giving ought to be done. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” They will say that this is a clear indication to the day of the week on which the gentile church assembled. It no longer was the Sabbath on Saturday. Because of our Lord’s resurrection on the first day, the early church began to assemble thereon. They will also point to Acts 20:7.They will convince you by stating that some claim Paul was admonishing them to personally and privately set aside funds to this end each Sunday until Paul arrived. However, that neither makes sense nor meshes with the context. But they argue that if that were the case, why not lay funds aside on payday which probably was Friday or some other day? The fact that Paul directed this be done on the Lord’s day, when the church assembled, lends direct credence to the position of giving in the church service (i.e., putting it in the offering plate or whatever device they used). Furthermore they will tell you that Paul made clear that he did not want to be involved with taking such an offering when he arrived. It therefore follows that each Sunday, they were to take a special offering to be duly set aside toward the day of Paul’s arrival.

So what’s wrong with the above? you ask… Well it would probably be easier to answer the question, What’s NOT wrong with the above? However, I would like to touch on some of the most important reasons why what the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teaches about tithing is WRONG.

First of all it’s important to understand that Tithing is a Biblical principle, however, it no longer applies because tithing was commanded under the Old Covenant. Tithing is no longer a relevant principle. Tithing was a command under the Mosaic Law, a series of laws that we are no longer obliged to follow. The Mosaic Laws were specifically for the Israelites during that time period. The Old Covenant was only meant for the Israelites until the New Covenant began at the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.We can see by reading Numbers 18:20-21 in context what the tithes were for. Numbers 18 is cataloging the duties of the priests and the Levites and showcasing what was done to support them as they worked in the Tabernacle. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination makes that mistake of stopping at verse 21. If you continue reading in that chapter you will see that tithes were food products from the land of Israel which were to be used to compensate the Levites for serving God in the Tabernacle as a replacement for their lost land inheritance rights in Israel (see Numbers 18:31). Every mention of tithe there after, is a reference to that law.Since tithing was a part of the Law of Moses under the legal economy of Israel. It does not apply to the Church today, since we are under grace and not under the law (Romans 6:14; 10:4). The New Testament teaches proportional giving according to what we have, not what we don’t have (see 2 Cor. 8:12). The New Testament also teaches that we are to “make up your own mind as to how much you should give and don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure” (2 Corinthians 9:7). The Lord doesn’t want us to give under compulsion or under a belief that we have to. The Lord wants us to give because we want to. Nor does the Lord care how much you give. The Lord is more concerned with your heart attitude and your motivation for giving.

Second, I have never heard a tithe message where Malachi 3 wasn’t used. The problem is, however, that churches that use Malachi 3 to support tithing ignore five important Bible facts.

  1. Malachi in context is part of the Old Covenant and, to my knowledge, is not quoted in the New Covenant to validate tithing for us.
  2. Malachi is very clear in addressing what the curses were for. The curses were for dishonest priests because they had stolen the best offerings from God (see Malachi In 1:6; 2:1 and 3:1-5). The “curse” of Malachi 3:9 is the curse of the Nation of Israel’s breaking of the Old Covenant. Malachi’s audience had recently re-committed themselves to fall under the blessings or curses of that Old Covenant Law. Voluntarily placing yourself under any one part of the Law, such as tithing, obligated you to keep all the Law perfectly. (see Deuteronomy 27:26 and Nehemiah 10:29).
  3. In Malachi 3:10-11 the tithes mentioned are still referring to the food brought to the tabernacle NOT money (Lev. 27:30-33).
  4. The assumption is made that Malachi is addressing everyone. The truth is that only landowners and herdsmen inside Israel were required to pay tithes not everyone. Others only paid free-will offerings
  5. “Storehouse” does not mean “treasury”. In Malachi’s time, the government was involved in collecting and redistributing the church funds. Storehouses were considered the property of the theocratic state which received political aid to collect its tithes. Storehouses held food and sacrificial animals which were used to provide food for the poor, fatherless, and orphan in the land. It had nothing to do with bringing money to pay the salary of the Pastor or church leaders or for up keep and expansion of the Church building.

So as you can see, The truth of Malachi is completely different from what the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination teaches today about tithing. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination has taken Malachi out of context, twisted and manipulated it to fit their doctrine, and are using it in an abusive way that is very different from what it was intended to be used.

If Malachi 3:10 really worked for New Covenant Christians they way that the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination claims it works, then millions of poor tithing Christians would have been blessed with a blessing far above anything that anyone has ever imagined. There is no evidence that the majority of “tithe-payers”, whether poor or wealthy are ever blessed financially merely because they tithe (see Heb. 7:18, 19; 8:6-8, 13).

To confirm this, during my 25 years in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination I give my “tithe” faithfully just as instructed by the leaders. I have never received the blessings that they claim that one will receive if one tithes. They will claim that I didn’t tithe with the proper motivation or that I gave begrudgingly and that is the reason I haven’t been blessed. No, that’s just another lie of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination to guilt a person into paying tithes and to cover themselves from the liability of their false teachings.

Third, as stated earlier, tithing is not Taught in the New Testament. The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination uses Matthew 23:23 to support the idea that Jesus taught the New Testament Church to tithe. If you look at the context carefully, however, you see that the New Covenant began at the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus NOT his birth (see also Gal. 3:19,24,25). When Jesus discussed tithing in Matthew 23:23, he was only commanding Jewish obedience to the Old Covenant Law which he endorsed and supported until Calvary. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus told his followers to obey the scribes and Pharisees “because they sit in Moses’ seat.” Yet He did not command Gentiles whom He healed to present themselves to the priests and obey the Law of Moses. To my knowledge, there is not a single New Testament Bible text which teaches that New Testament Christians are supposed to continue tithing.The Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination will also try and convince you that tithing was taught by Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:14. Yes I agree, taken by itself verse 14 clearly indicates that those who preach the gospel should be supported by those who benefit from it. HOWEVER, the MESSAGE OF THE CHAPTER neither begins nor ends there. The entire chapter is the continuous thought of Paul. You can’t just take one verse, pull it out and draw your conclusions from one single verse. By looking only at verse 14 you are only seeing one part of Paul’s thoughts on the topic. You have to look at it in the context of the entire thought. I will talk about this passage more next.

Fourth, as stated earlier, tithing is not supposed to be for bringing money to pay the salary of the Pastor or church leaders or for up keep and expansion of the Church building. The FIBD uses the 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 passage to teach that church leaders should be supported with tithes “in the same way,” “following the same principles” that were used to support Old Testament priests and that is why 1 Corinthians 9:14 begins with “even so” – to connect it with 9:13.Again, I agree, taken by itself verse 14 clearly indicates that those who preach the gospel should be supported by those who benefit from it. As I indicated earlier, the MESSAGE OF THE CHAPTER neither begins nor ends there. The entire chapter is the continuous thought of Paul. You can’t just take one verse, pull it out and draw your conclusions from one single verse. By looking only at verse 14 you are only seeing one part of Paul’s thoughts on the topic. You have to look at it in the context of the entire thought.If you keep this passage in context, you will see that Paul’s message is not about tithing in the way that we know of it today at all. First of all, verse 14 has nothing to do with money. Verse 13 states: “those who work in the Temple get their MEALS from the FOODbrought to the Temple as OFFERINGS…” then in verse 14 he states “in the same way…” so Paul seems to only be referring to food provided as meals to the Temple workers it has nothing to do with money.Secondly, if you Read verse 12 If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ. and continue reading after verse 14 15 Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. 16 Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News! 17 If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust. 18 What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News. you can clearly see that it wasn’t Paul’s intention to communicate that the OT principles should be followed. In fact he was stating the exact opposite. If you maintain the context of that chapter, however, it’s clear that he is against church members paying to support his preaching. According to this passage, a preacher has a certain right to request money for payment but Paul is saying that he shouldn’t use that right. For Churches to guilt the congregation into paying tithes so that the pastor is supported is pure manipulation.Also, if you think about the relationship between the Pastor/Church Leaders and the congregation, common sense will tell you that a congregation paying the salary of the church leaders creates a very precarious ethical dilemma of a dual relationship. Paying the leader’s salaries opens the door for individuals, especially those who pay a lot to the church, to control and manipulate the church staff. It invariably changes the relationship between the leaders and the congregation from one of fellow believer meeting together for worship, to one of payment for services rendered, which creates all kinds of problems.

I’ve heard stories about the rich person in the church who gives so much money to the church that he threatens to stop giving if the church doesn’t do things his way. Of course the Pastor and staff are pressured into giving the individual what he/she wants so that the money keeps coming in.

Fifth, churches under the New Covenant were never meant to be a “storehouse” or even a building. The false teaching is that Christian buildings called “churches,” “tabernacles,” or “temples” replaced the OT Temple as God’s dwelling place. God’s Word never describes New Covenant churches as “tabernacles,” “temples” or “buildings” in which God dwells! God’s church, God’s dwelling place, is within the believers. Believers do not “go to church”! Believers “assemble to worship.” Also, since OT priests did not pay tithes, then tithing cannot logically continue. Therefore it is wrong to call a building “God’s storehouse” for tithes. (1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 6:19, 20; Eph. 1:22, 23; 2:21; 4:12-16; Rev. 3:12). For “storehouse” compare 1 Corinthians 16:2 with 2 Corinthians 12:14 and Acts 20:17, 32-35. For several centuries after Calvary Christians did not even have their own buildings (to call storehouses) because Christianity was an outlaw religion.

The following is an excerpt from “Should The Church Teach Tithing” – By Russell Earl Kelly which can be downloaded FREE by Clicking Here

Finally, we can see from history that tithing did not actually even become a part of the Church until A.D. 777. The false teaching is that the historical church has always taught tithing. The earliest Christian assemblies patterned themselves after the Jewish synagogues which were led by rabbis who, like Paul, refused to gain a profit from preaching and teaching God’s Word. There are many books on Jewish social life which explain this in great detail.From Christ’s death until Christianity became a legally recognized religion almost 300 years later, the great majority of church leaders took self-imposed vows of poverty. This can be historically documented! They took Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler in Luke 18:22 literally “sell all that you have, give it to the poor, and follow me.” Most church historians agree that these early church leaders for at least the first 200 years worked for a living and were self-supporting. How could a Christian leader tell a Roman census taker that he was a full-time preacher? That would almost guarantee his death!Clement of Rome (c95), Justin Martyr (c150), Irenaeus (c150-200) and Tertullian (150-220) all opposed tithing as a strictly Jewish tradition. The Didache (c150-200) actually condemns traveling apostles who stay longer than three days and ask for money. And travelers who decided to remain with them were required to lean a trade. These early opponents of tithing are not quoted by modern tithe teachers.Cyprian (200-258) tried to impose tithing in Carthage, North Africa around A.D. 250. At his conversion Cyprian gave away great personal wealth to the poor and lived under a vow of poverty. His idea of tithing included equal re-distribution to the poor. And we must remember that his ideas of tithing were not adopted. When tithe teachers quote Ambrose, Chrysostom and Augustine as so-called “church fathers” they conveniently leave out the first 200 years of church history. Even after Christianity became legal in the fourth century for over a thousand years the greatest spiritual leaders almost all took vows of deep poverty and preferred to live unmarried lives in monasteries. If these tithe teachers are quoted, then the church should also be told what kind of lives they usually led and how they redistributed the tithe to the poor.Tithing was not always in the church. While disagreeing with their own theologians, most church historians write that tithing did not become an accepted doctrine in the church for over 700 years after the death of Christ. According to the very best historians and encyclopedias, it took over 500 years before the local church Council of Macon in France, in the year 585, tried unsuccessfully to enforce tithing on its members. It was not until the year 777 that Emperor Charlemagne legally allowed the church to collect tithes. And even then it was to gain favor with the Pope. That, my friend, is the history of tithing found in the Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Americana and the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia for everybody to read.

For more information about tithing please visit the following links:

www.shouldthechurchteachtithing.com
Tithing Frequently Asked Questions
www.nomoretithing.org

A curious reader writes:

You have overlooked a very important detail about tithing, the fact is it was before the law ever was. Way befroe [sic] God commanded the tithe under the law Abraham tithied [sic] a tenth of all he had to the high preist [sic] in his day, according to this then tithing was before the law and is required now according to Gods word.

I have over looked this detail, but only in the sense that I didn’t include it on this page. Since this person brings it to my attention allow me to add this to the page.

The verse this person is referring to is Genesis 14:20. The first observation is that we need to keep Genesis 14:20 in context so it would be better to refer to Genesis 14:16-24 for the complete story. When we do that we see that Abraham was NOT tithing as we know of it today and therefore can not be an example of the tithing that is preached in Christian churches in today’s church age.

Abraham’s tithe actually has nothing to do with religion or even God. It has no connection with tithing as we know it for several reasons. (1) He gave a tenth of the spoils of war, this wasn’t income that he was giving nor were they his possessions. The spoils of war belonged to the Pagan gods. Abraham was honoring the line of Levi by giving a tenth of the spoils of war to Malchizedek. (2) It wasn’t money it was loot. (3) It was a traditional part of the Pagan system to give a tenth of one’s spoils of war the the Canaanite King. (4) Even though this even took place before the Mosaic law it was still a requirement under the laws at the time.

Read Hebrews 7 for more information. Also refer to the sites mentioned above. Russell Kelly can explain this topic far better than I can.

Jes Writes:

“Abraham was honoring the line of Levi by giving a tenth of the spoils of war to Malchizedek.”

Abraham was not honoring the line of the Levitical Priesthood because Levi had not been born yet!

Thanks for your keen observations Jes. We actually don’t know if Levi had been born during this tithe offering that Abraham gave mentioned here, but he probably was. Abraham lived long enough (175 years) to see his great grand children (Levi was Abraham’s great grand son) so it’s certainly possible that Levi WAS alive during this time when Abraham gave his tithe as talked about in Hebrews and most scholars believe he was.

Even so, it’s important to understand that “the line of Levi” talk about here was his future line NOT his past line. The birth of Levi was anticipated and Hebrews 7 (see verse 10) indicates that Abraham’s one-time tithe was in anticipation of the Levitical priesthood – the future priesthood of Levi.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 at 11:07 pm and is filed under Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, Tithing . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

109 Responses to “ Tithing Deception ”

  1. Spanking | says:

    [...] is that ALL 36 references in the Bible to the “rod” are in the Old Testament. As with Tithing, it’s important to remember that we are no longer under the Old Covenant. To my knowledge, [...]

  2. Danni Moss says:

    I noticed something interesting the other day. First, I have to preface this with the statement that I’ve been studying in larger scope, the apparent problem that modern Christianity appears to be stuck at the foot of the cross, with our salvation assured, but then attempting to tack grace onto the Old Covenant. We don’t seem to have appropriated the resurrection power for supernatural living of the NEW Covenant. Nor have we embraced the fact that Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant, so there is no need to keep harking back to it. We have a new one!

    I’m reading in Acts at the moment and it jumped off the page at me where it says the first Christians “had all things in common” and no one had any need as a result.

    And I realized – there is no need for a tithing “rule” under the New Covenant. 10% is 90% too little! Under the New Covenant, empowered by the Holy Spirit, they joyfully held it ALL with an open hand.

    But there is a second part to that. Under this New Covenant way of life, the church was a tool to redistribute this provision to those within the body who had needs. There was no judgment, condemnation or finger-wagging at those in need. And there were no pocket-calculators at work to figure out 10%. In our time, the church takes all that is given FOR ITSELF, and occasionally begrudging gives it back out to those in need. Usually, any money for the needy must be designated above the 10% as “benevolence” offering.

    So the present model of giving in church is missing the boat in two ways. First, giving is to be open-handed, with joy, as the Holy Spirit leads (underscored by the story of Ananias and Saphira) and not limited to a percentage number, AND the church is to be a tool to redistribute those resource to those WITHIN THE BODY who are in need first.

    What a novel concept.

  3. Sisterlisa says:

    Interesting article. I think you could write an entire page on Building Programs too and the debt a church incurs because of it.

  4. Michelle says:

    Why do I give to the church, anyway? What am I giving to? In my church, I didn’t see very many new converts. I only saw other IFB members switching churches. Most of the people who did get saved, left the church- too wierd for them, or too judgmental. The money appears to go to building things, remodeling things, or to evangelists who drive expensive trucks, have nice RV’s AND nice homes to live in when they are not on the road. My husband wanted to give our “tithe” to a couple in our church who lost their job. At first I felt guilty. Then I realized that was so stupid. We would actually be meeting a genuine need. I have seen people come to the pastor and ask for money for food. He told them, “If you come back Sunday, I’ll think about it.” Something about that does not seem right. I know people take advantage of generous people, but I don’t know….this is a confusing one for me.

    I think a huge problem in most churches today is greed. I’ve known a pastor to drive a Lexus. Why does he get to drive a Lexus and the man who MUST show his faith by giving his 10% can’t even afford an oil change in his clunker? Something does not add up. How does having a nice building reach the culture? I never cared about what the church building looked like. I just needed some truth. Do they really want to “reach” the culture, or do THEY want a nice building? Why are we required to be content with what we have and not be these bad people living above our means, but when they want something they cannot afford- like new sound equipment, they can do something we cannot do- they can take up a special offering? Isn’t that living outside of your means? Isn’t that wanting more than what is already given? Why does a church with 100-200 people need sound equipment? Something just doesn’t sound right. It is not just the mega churches that suffer from greed….it is a lot of American churches. I’ve heard pastors blame us people for the judgment God is bringing on our economy- we bad people have lived outside of our means and have been covetous. But what about our leaders? Are our leaders blameless in the area of finances? Why do I hear them condeming our actions and telling us to repent, yet I have not heard any of them mourn over their lack of stewardship or covetousness? Why aren’t they repenting? I guess you could say I’m really struggling with the leaders of our churches these days. I know I’ve been taught revival in the home starts with the parents….well, doesn’t revival in a community start with the leaders? Why are the preachers preaching harder about tithing and asking us to sacrifice more? Why don’t they decide it is time for them to sacrifice or do without some things? Why don’t they realize it is time for them to accept, “This is what God’s people have given, this is God’s will, so with this, we will trust God and follow His leadership as to how to use it? Why is there a double standard. It just doesn’t add up.

    Back to my original question…. even though I don’t get a monthly statement that says I have faithfully given my 10%, isn’t God just as pleased with me anonomously giving money to those I see who may have a need? In the new testament, isn’t that what they did- shared their money with those who had needs? It’s so hard to give these days without feeling, “Shew! God is happy with me, and pastor isn’t talking about me this time!” or “Aren’t I the good one! I have faith to tithe my 10%.” or “How is God going to reward me for this one- this was over and above my regular offering!?” I have a hard time fighting those thoughts. Or what about when that yearly statement comes in, “Wow! Look what I gave! Yeah me!” Am I the only one who struggles with that kind of pride? Doubt it. I like the idea of a box in the back, cash only so noone knows who is giving what. If they know who is giving what, how do they NOT show favoritism? I would think it would be human nature!

  5. D. Myers says:

    Giving, to the church, to the poor, to one’s family, to one’s favorite ministry, or to one’s favorite charity is very definately a principle that comes directly from God. There IS much scripture to back that up. Having said that “no one”, let me repeat “no one” should ever give purely because a church doctrine or person or someone elses belief tells you that you MUST give. Giving must come from the heart to experience true blessing. If one’s heart is not leading one to give then they SHOULD NOT give but they SHOULD always pray that God shows them what He wants them to do in the way of giving and trust that He will never ask one to give out of guilt, but rather out of joy. There is no recipe as to how to get to that place but its an amazing place to get to. God will show you how to get to that place if you simply ask.

  6. Jes says:

    “Abraham was honoring the line of Levi by giving a tenth of the spoils of war to Malchizedek.”

    Abraham was not honoringthe line of the Levitical Priesthood because Levi had not been born yet!

  7. Site Admin says:

    Thanks for your keen observations Jes. We actually don’t know if Levi had been born during this tithe offering that Abraham gave mentioned here, but he probably was. Abraham lived long enough (175 years) to see his great grand children (Levi was Abraham’s great grand son) so it’s certainly possible that Levi WAS alive during this time when Abraham gave his tithe as talked about in Hebrews and most scholars believe he was.

    Even so, it’s important to understand that “the line of Levi” talk about here was his future line NOT his past line. The birth of Levi was anticipated and Hebrews 7 (see verse 10) indicates that Abraham’s one-time tithe was in anticipation of the Levitical priesthood – the future priesthood of Levi.

  8. Betty says:

    I am a member of an IFB church, however, I support much of what you say about tithing, especially the part about what is in one’s heart. I am wondering about the following point: “•Fifth, … Also, since OT priests did not pay tithes, then tithing cannot logically continue…”
    If I am reading Num.18:26 correctly, it would seem that the Levites were expected to tithe from the portion they received.
    I look forward to your comments.

  9. Steve says:

    @Betty
    Betty, I’m not sure what you are getting at. What do you mean by “Fifth”?

    I also don’t understand your connection with OT priests not paying tithes and the discontinuation of tithing. Do you care to expound on your thoughts?

    Reading the verses of Numbers 18:20-29 in context will help this become more clear to you and help you understand what the Levitical tithe was that this passage is talking about. The Levites were forbidden to own land since this was a time that God gave the land to the Israelites. Therefore the Israelites were required to pay a portion of their land’s growth and development to the Levites so that they would have food and be able to eat (the Levites were responsible for the legal and spiritual well being of the citizens of Israel at that time – this was essentially their “payment for services rendered”).

    The first thing to notice is that this tithe was FOOD not money. The second thing to notice here is that the Levites were to pay a tenth of the tithe they received. This was only a tenth of the tenth that the Israelites paid equaling only 1% not 10%. Third, no one knows for sure why the Lord commanded the Levites to give him a tithe of what they received. This was a time when the activities in the Tabernacle were secret and unknown to everyone except the Priests and Levites (see Numbers 18:1-7). Finally, this was under the OT covenant laws of Moses. These laws were abolished when the New Covenant began during the Life and Ministry of Christ.

    • Ron Robey says:

      The “fifth” that Betty is referring to may be the fifth part added thereto when one redeemed the crop tithe in Leviticus 27:30-32.

      One must understand that one could not just take money to the Levite and say, “Here’s my tithe!” No, the tithe was to be taken to the Levite… even if the farmer or wanted to keep it. The Levite would assess the value of the tithe, and if the farmer wanted to buy it back, he could at a 20% over the value rate.

      In other words, if the tithe was worth 10 shekels, the farmer could buy it back, if he so chose to do, for 12 shekels.

      Hope that helps.

  10. Bessie says:

    Your problem is not the IBF Churches or people, sadly to say it is you.
    You need Salvation, you need a relationship with Jesus and only then will
    your eyes and understanding will be open to god Word.

  11. Adam says:

    So in saying that the OT law does not matter anymore. You are saying that there is no need to follow the Ten Commandments? I think anyone who does not follow the bible by OT and NT needs to seriously look at thier walk with the Lord.

    • Steve says:

      No, that’s not what I’m saying. Please refresh your memory on the difference between ceremonial law and moral law in the OT.

      Tithing was a ceremonial law under the Mosiac covenant. Ceremonial laws were abolished when Christ established the New Covenant.

      The Ten Commandments are Moral law and still required for NT Christians.

      Also, I’m not sure what you’re getting at with II Timothy 3:16. Care to expound?

  12. Adam says:

    Also 2 Timothy 3:16- All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness.

  13. Tbinkley says:

    AMEN BESSIE ! It is severly obvious this author knows NOTHING of which he speaks . He also has not read thouroughly the N.T. verses on Tithing. But THAT is ALL a side issue at this point. SOmeone needs to show this person the plan of salvation.
    And AMEN Adam ! The N.T. CLEARLY gives MANY verses on the fact we ARE to use the O.T. as an EXAMPLE ! By grace we ARE free from the law BUT BY grace we are to DELIGHT in the LAW !
    Michele ,We are NOT to lean on our OWN understanding ! PROVERBS 3:5-7 this is where people GO astray these days ! IT matters not what YOU or I think . BUT WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAYS ! STUDY IT PLEASE !

  14. peter tomaro says:

    first of all I have studied this thing for along time. the best sermon on this is by James Knox of Deland florida, he and his church are soul winning team there Independent Baptist. You can get the tape freehttp://www.jamesknox.com/ Brother James nails it down also many should read Dr John R rices article on this. http://cnview.com/on_line_resources/storehouse_tithing.htm these articles are awesome and also oliver b greene has a sermon on it. Just remember the curse was gone at the cross many pastors better stop saying your under a curse or God robber thats false. study it for your self.One thing I learned after many hours of studing the storehouse is not the church. humble your self and admit “Iam wrong ” thats the problem pride gets in the way with many issues and we will not be honest enough to say I been taught wrong.my family has left all the legalist trash and we are closer to Jesus thatn ever before.

  15. EBR says:

    I changed my mind.

    A ministry which is national and perhaps even international has a greater responsibility to its adherants, alumni, patrons, and to the public as well. More are affected by the actions, especially the highest levels of leadership and administration.

    Many occupations require state licenses and also many licensed and board certified are often members of professional organizations that have ethic standards of their own. There is an expectation from the public and members that one will follow certain ethical codes of conduct expected by licensed professionals and those in certain occupations. Confidentiality is one of the requirements. If one wants to discuss something discussed in confidentiality, one must ask the person for permission in advance to discuss this unless it is a crime which becomes public knowledge.

    Many churches will have farewell services and receptions for those who are leaving to go on to other positions and/or supported ministries or to thank those for their involvement in a congregation or parish. Also they will have some type of tribute and even publish articles.
    If a person leaves without the support of a church, they leave quietly. I think the discipline which involves individuals occurs by an individual and group confrontation in humility prior to the presentation to the board and the entire body. I think this applies for those in leadership positions within the church body and its extended ministries. Many positions have terms and some of the other opportunities are annual. People may withdraw from participation for personal reasons voluntarily. The discipline occurs if they don’t. I’m not sure “blacklisting” is necessary and believe it is harmful in situations where people have already left an organization. A church is not required to financially support somebody in another ministry outside that body. But I’m not sure ministries should condemn these people. They don’t have to provide an extra letter of reference. They may say they may not financially support the person as a group. I think when a person is condemend outside the church body unless this is a highly public figure in criminal activity, it not only hurts the church body but hurts others involved. Often this can be handled privately. Members and even alumni and supporters and even parents and others affected by the actions of ministries do have the rights to make public comments. The difference is that we don’t have witch trials, stocks, burnings at the stakes, hangings, and the other punishments used at other times in world history. Many times they can be kept confidential.

    A church is not a nightclub with a comedic monologues or dialogues even if they occur as social activities. I don’t believe this belongs in the religious services. The purpose of the church is to instruct, to encourage, and worship, and uplift, and train. I think comments are applicable when they degrade others in or outside the ministry. It’s one thing to provide constructive criticism.

    I think a church can say that a person will be missed for their involvement and that a body is sad to see a person leave a congregation, parish, and supported ministries. But before churches condemn an indivdual, I think they need to contact lawyers who understand employment law. Companies are wise to bad exit reviews when a person has done relatively well up to that point. Also if a church condemns a current or former member publicly, they make the person defensive and may even cause this person harm in future endeavors. Even if a person is not condemned publicly, the actions of members in a highly publicized ministry can affect the lves and careers of those involved and can really enhance or destroy the effectiveness and credibility of a ministry.

    My posts that I have mentioned refer to a period in my life between the ages of 18 and 22.

    I hope that positive changes will occur. I don’t know whether or not they will. I personally thinik those who have taken the time to write posts are people who are concerned about the welfare of churches or the lves of those who want to still remain Christians. I like this post better because those who have made comments have taken great care to make them overall whether they are those defending the organization and or those criticizing them. I am only mentioning the two for which I actively participated and not others. While I am not as strict as the Gothard Seminars, I’m not condemning those as I know many from mainline denominations who also attended those. I don’t agree with everything but I did feel they were worthwhile for the sessions I did attend. I didn’t see any himility in the practices and this was my reason for commenting on the post. They are also continuing and are very well known. I know in both though, there have been some improvements and while I do not support the ministries anymore, I am thankful for positive changes too.

  16. Ryan says:

    @ Steve and Paul.
    I am going through this essay point by point, and so far completely agree with points 1 through 5. I’m working through point #6
    One thing about the test Paul gave, the opening paragraph concerns me, for I believe it speaks to the innate selfishness and covetousness of man.
    “Why do I want this? Well, if your income averages $50K a year, after fifty years, you will have given a quarter
    of a million dollars to the local church!”
    I think when people read that, they go into ‘oh crap!’ mode and immediately think about all the good times they missed out by giving their money away.
    As for point # 4, I’m with you (and I’m IFB) that things have changed and we are no longer under the law. The new dynamic however is one of eternal rewards (whatever those may be)
    I Tim. 6:19-20 gives us the same paradox as Mt. 6:19 that we lay up in store by giving it away.
    No questions here, just thoughts.

  17. Paul says:

    @Ryan
    Hello Ryan, My story. The tithing issue is just where I began to QUESTION. It could have been somewhere or with something else that the questioning could have begun. The following is a little more of my story. This is where the egg began to crack. Because I began to question and study and read and study….. My views of something that I had held and promoted for over thirty years began to change. After approximately three months of researching, praying, and digging into the scriptures. I wrote the following letter to my pastor. I carried this letter with me every time I went to church waiting for when he would call me on the carpet concerning it. See, the witch hunt had began. Once he would have promoted tithing by saying that he did not know who was or wasn’t tithing. But that everyone should be. It was now, I’m looking at tithing records and I know who is or isn’t tithing. With my changing view on the subject I no longer put a check or money in a tithing envelope – cash only in the offering plate. It was nobody’s business but mine and God’s. It was over three months after I had written this letter that it was delivered. I could take no more. Statements like, “I know we’re not under the law, but I believe you have to keep the law in order to be blessed” were coming from the pulpit just before the plate was passed. I’ve change just a couple of small parts of the letter – name of church / location. You will have insight as to some of those with whom I associated. I am doing a cut and paste so what I have highed will not come through. Sorry about the length. Again this is what began the crack in my belief system that was later to be totally reshaped. Paul

    October 2, 2006

    Dear Pastor,

    It is with deep distress and sorrow of heart that I write this letter. I’ve known for some time now that we have been on a collision course of disagreement. I just didn’t know when and how it would come to head. But I see that it is now inevitable.

    Within recent months, I have heard things from the pulpit in two areas that have troubled me. The first area being that of tithing.

    I remember, I believe it was around the time of John R. Rice’s death, Dr. Hyles discussing his relationship and love for Brother Rice. He told of the years that they had spent preaching together across this nation. Bro. Hyles told how he loved Bro. Rice and if he saw him wearing a suit that was frayed or shoes that were worn he would replace them with new. He told the First Baptist church family that night how that John R. Rice never knew that he did not agree with him concerning storehouse tithing. He mentioned that he was a pastor of a Church and Bro. Rice of course had the Sword of the Lord paper and a radio ministry to support. I wonder, if men like John R. Rice would be able to survive in many fundamental circles today. I see meanness and harshness in our churches today and wonder if we’ve become so dogmatic in our own positions that there is no room for disagreement.

    I have always tithed and have never questioned this practice until recent days because of what would seem to me some bizarre statements concerning tithing. Because of this I have spent numerous hours searching and studying the scriptures to find, not what I may choose to find, but rather what I believe the Bible teaches and what God would have me learn concerning this. I have not looked for or desired a position that would take me away from a practice that I have been involved in for now close to three decades. I have and will continue to listen to your preaching concerning your beliefs on tithing. However, currently I find myself in disagreement with what you are teaching. This will be the discussion of the remainder of this letter. I will not attempt to cover every area and facet of what I have studied. This would be too lengthy.

    I have spent time in the books of Genesis, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers – particularly chapter 18, 2 Chronicles chapter 31, Hosea, Nehemiah (chapters 10-13), of course the book of Malachi, and the entire New Testament. The questions I have sought to answer would include the following: what is tithing, who tithed, when was the tithe given, where was it given, to whom was it given, the purpose of tithing, the requirement of tithing, and is tithing a requirement for New Testament Christian?

    It is your teaching that according to Malachi 3:7-12 if a church member does not give 10% of their gross income and increase they are cursed by God. They are a God robber. They have no place of position in the ministry of this Church – “Get Out” I find this a gross misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what the scriptures teach. (message 10/1/06 pm).

    Malachi 3:7 begins by stating, “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them (my ordinances). Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts (return where, how – to my ordinances – one of which is tithing…). But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Vs.8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offering… In this passage someone has gone away from God’s ordinances by not giving God the required tithes and offerings. I’ll not discuss who I believe this passage is talking to (please note that there are three curses mentioned in Malachi – to whom is God pointing his finger at in each instance and why?). In Ephesians 2:13-17 the Bible states, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” Colossians 2:14, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

    The John R. Rice reference Bible, page 991, footnote on Malachi 3:8 states, “…Jews, under law, were required to bring tithes. N.T. Christians, under grace, are to recognize that all ten-tenths belong to God. The N.T. Scriptures do not command the tithe, and it is mentioned only when Jesus commends Jews who tithe (Matt. 23:23)…”

    The Scofield Reference Bible, footnote – pg. 1235 states: “In 2 Cor. 8.,9 the apostle sums up the Christian doctrine of giving. It may be thus summarized: (1) It is a “grace,” i.e. a disposition created by the Spirit (8 .7). (2) In contrast with the law, which imposed giving as a divine requirement, Christian giving is voluntary, and a test of sincerity and love (8. 8-12; 9. 1,2,5,7). (3) The privilege is universal, belonging, according to ability, to rich and poor… (4) Giving is to be proportioned to income…. The O.T. proportion was the tithe, a proportion which antedates the law (Gen. 14. 20) (5) The rewards of Christian giving are (a) joy (8.2); (b) increased ability to give in proportion to that which has been already given …(c) increased thankfulness to God … (d) God and the gospel glorified…

    Do I believe a Christian should GIVE – absolutely (100% to God)! Do I believe a Christian should support the ministry of the local New Testament church – absolutely! Do I believe a Christian should support their pastor and those who minister the Word of God – absolutely! 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” Amen and Amen! Do I believe that tithing taught in the Old Testament is applicable to New Testament Christians as a REQUIREMENT imposed upon them? – absolutely not!

    I find nowhere in the New Testament where tithing is required after Calvary. Nowhere in any of the Epistles, although Acts chapter 15 would have been a perfect spot for the Apostles to mention this if it were to continue. The only place in the N.T. that tithing is mentioned, outside of Mathew and Luke (where the Pharisees were addressed), is the book of Hebrews. Here we learn that the old covenant must be done away – Heb. 7:11-12 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

    Galatians 3:10-13 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Why would Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law (tithing included) only to place us back under that curse again. Shame! My Savior did better then that!

    I have only covered a tithe of what I have studied in the past couple of months. So we disagree. And yet I wish we didn’t. However, until my thinking changes on this subject, I cannot violate my conscience and go against what I believe the Bible teaches. Every man will give account of himself to God. In taking this position, I realize that it is not in alignment with what you are teaching and what many if not most at this church believe. I wonder how many have done an exhaustive study on this topic or are we turned about with every wind of doctrine? (Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.)

    Upon entering into the position (that I held at the church) and teaching an adult Sunday school class, I was never required or requested to agree to any church standards or requirements for those ministering in such positions (as I have been required to agree upon by other churches that I’ve attended). I was accepted at face value and given the opportunity to minister. Never a peep about whether I would abstain from worldly practices i.e. – smoking, drinking, rock music, … Never asked to agree to any church dress code… Never asked to agree to tithe. While, had I been asked to concur (at the time), I would have agreed. It seems somewhat backwards to learn of these requirement after the fact.

    I believe this could cost me my ministry here (which I dearly love), my Sunday school class, and could possibly drive us from a church and Pastor that we love. We will be misunderstood and misjudged and might I add for my own comfort – we (my family and myself) will stand dumb before his shearers. This has drained me and hurt me yet strengthened me. Yet, has given me a fuller understanding of the scriptures and strengthened me spiritually.

    I apologize for putting you in an awkward position. I find myself in one also. I am not against you or this church. I love both you and this church. I will continue to support my pastor and this local church. If I am allowed to continue in my avenues of service I will follow the leadership of my Pastor. I will continue to support this work and its Pastor. If unable to continue in any or all areas, I will endeavor to hide our differences in an effort not to hurt yourself or this ministry.

    I have often told others that there are many churches that we pass on our way from (where we live to where the church is located). The reason has always been because of the man behind the pulpit. I see so many good things about you and this church. However, this oppressive unscriptural stance on tithing and its O.T. curse is not one of them.

    All my love,

  18. Ryan says:

    @ Paul.
    To tell you the truth, as a pastor, that is the type of letter I would hope to get if there was a disagreement.

  19. Paul says:

    Continued…

    Disillusioned
    It had been over three months that I has carried that letter. Every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Then in mid January of 2007, during a Sunday night sermon, I’d had enough. Statement during the sermon had made me livid. I scribbled down my concerns on a piece of scrap paper, resigning my Sunday school class, and other position I held in the church. When the invitation was given, I left the auditorium. Note and letter in hand with family following I headed for the Pastor’s office where I left both the note and my letter and headed home 45 miles away. The next day the phone call came. It was one of the deacons. He stated that he was shocked when he read my letter. The pastor must have showed it to at least him. He told me that he was in the same place that I was about tithing. He said that he was even considering writing a book about it. The next phone call was from the Pastor. He told me that he wanted to meet with me and the deacon board after the upcoming Wednesday night service. Sorry, I wasn’t going to be ganged up on. I told him that I didn’t need the deacon’s permission to resign the positions I held in the church. He continued by telling me that I was wrong about tithing. We exchanged a few lines of disagreement then he laid the golden egg. “Well brother, what you need to do is get under the authority of the man of God,” he stated. Oops! I already had a Lord and he wasn’t it. That’s when and where I cut the conversation off. Said I would have to go now and said goodbye. I haven’t talked with him since. Looking back, if he has said that he would like to meet with me in a neutral location and talk this out, I believe I would have been more than willing.

    Needless to say we did not return that this church. Now began the search for another place to attend. After all, I believed as a husband and father that I should have my family in church. I was a Fundamental Baptist by choice and I knew the religious landscape and still considered myself a Fundamentalist. So we began to look for another IFB church. Distance was not an issue because we were already driving 45 miles and that was only after we had recently moved 25 miles closer. So off we went. One church after another and each was too close to what the other was. Sure there were differences. But all were lead by a single one man show and the sense of needing to follow that man was always prominent. And of course, all taught tithing in a way that I now felt was unscriptural. We visited a couple of off brand churches. But that wasn’t who I was and visible areas where I would disagree seemed to surface. I researched to see what we could learn about the house church movement. Thinking maybe this was where God wanted us to be, but too much told me “no” to this also. I was still involved at the county jail in our area, ministering to the inmates. Here I had gotten to know some men from other area churches. One of these was a Pastor of a General Assembly of Regular Baptist church. He loved the Lord and was a good Bible teacher. We had visited his church a couple of times during our search. It was here that we finally chose as the best of the worst. We began to attend but still remained at arms length because 1) I didn’t want to be trouble and 2) They were enough of a different flavor that I didn’t want to bite too deep. But even at arms length I found myself on the church platform singing special. Still crying to God, and searching for where He wanted us to be. WE WERE DISILLUSIONED with the institutional church. dis- a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force… / illusion – something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality. God was distancing us from our illusion of reality. What we had believed to be so right about the institutional church had become only an illusion or reality. And we were continuing to find out why.

  20. greg says:

    Paul

    I went through some similar things. I’m presently in a small (15-20 on Sunday) Baptist church, and love it. Boy when you quoted your pastor saying that you needed to “get under the authority of the man of God” brought back some memories. You may want to take on for your next study the actual responsibility of the “Pastor” in the new testament church. I think maybe we have been bamboozled on that one as well. I don’t believe anymore that the pastor is supposed to “reign” over the assembly like we presently practice in most of our baptist churches, particularly in ifb churches.

    Brother Paul I can see your heart in your writing and I know it can be somewhat scary and definitely disillusioning, but I also can tell that you wish to serve the true and living God and He will absolutely bless you as you continue to find where you and your family can “fit in” I believe that God will be showing you many more new things as you continue on your journey.

    I’ll close out with some humor, come to think of it you may not really be ready for it but here goes. What’s the difference between a southern baptist and an independent baptist? The southern baptist thinks everybody’s going to hell, the independent baptist also thinks everybody’s going to hell, especially the southern baptists!

    Just want to let you know that I have prayed for you, and wish you well.

    In His Grace,
    Greg

  21. Paul says:

    continued

    Learning to Dance

    A friend tells the story of his daughter’s wedding. She had asked him to dance with her at the occasion. Neither he nor his wife could dance so off they both went for lessons. After affirming with the instructor that neither he nor his wife could dance, the instructor simply stated that all that was needed was for him to learn a couple of simple moves in order to lead. The instructor then took his wife and danced with her. He was in full control and did things with her that made it look as though she had been on the dance floor all her life. She was being lead by a master and everything fell into place.

    As an IFB, I had always frowned on dancing. Preaching or teaching on music, I had used the following to illustrate. I had told those listening to give it the volume test. Turn your music up load. Does it make you want to sing or dance. Singing was lifting your spirit. Dancing was moving your body / flesh.

    So my family and I were disillusioned with the institutional church. I had run smack dab into “religion” at the church we had left and had discovered that I too was covered in it. God was inviting me into the reality of whom He was. God always invites us into new spaces; he never forces us to go their. It’s our choice. Tithing had cracked the egg. Now I was questioning everything.
    The KJVonlyism was being questioned and I was finding huge holes with this view that I had previously chose not to see. Dress, standards, the church, the position and function of the pastor……were all being questioned. And God was faithful to give the answers at the right time and in the right way. We were attending a church where we knew we didn’t fit. Continual study and searching took place. The World Wide Web had become a great resource of information. In my old IFB church, we had always been discouraged to go online. It was a doorway to the world and all of its filth (Oh well, I work in IT and am on the computer all day). I continued to study and question the tithing issue. It was October of 2007, one year after I had written the letter to my former pastor that I came across a book that could be downloaded online. I know I had seen this in my prior journeys but had chosen to bypass it because I was not interested because of it’s title – “So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore.” That hadn’t been me. But that day I opted to download and began reading. I was reading words that were expressing what I had been feeling in my heart. I was on about page 60 when I thought about emailing the .pdf download to my wife. I hesitated, thinking that maybe I should read more as she might not have the same take on this that I did. I sent it anyway. Later that night I found her as excited about what was being read as I was. This book was resonating with us big time. By the time we had finished reading we both knew we had found the answers for which our hearts cried. God has been faithful in providing all the answers to the questions that we have asked. They haven’t always come immediately but they have always come just at the right moment. Our lives would make a dramatic change. That was 2 years 10 months ago. In that time, I would have to say one thing that I have learned the most. Man, can God dance! He has swept us off our feet in our relationship with Him. Our marriage began to thrive. We were growing more in the past year or two than we had grown in decades in the IFB churches we had attended. We had outgrown the box that others had sought to define God by. Life is good. It still has it’s challenges and struggles but it’s God dancing us through our most difficult times and that makes all the difference.
    Now I’m not suggesting that everyone or anyone follow the direction that our lives have taken. Chances are that it will look different for others. It’s not about going to church or not going to church. It’s about breaking free from the tyranny of religious obligation and coming into the relationship God has always wanted with you. Can this take place in an IFB church? It can, but the make up of just the institution will seek to smother that relationship by becoming an illusion of what God desires.
    In the past couple of years, I have been introduced to the movie “The Matrix.” The leading character, Neal, has for sometime felt that there was more to the life he had been living. At one point in the movie, he was offered to take one of two pills. The red pill would open his eyes to what was really there; the blue pill he would continue living just the way he always did. He chose the red pill and was awakened to the falseness of the illusion of reality that he had been living. In that illusion, life seems so very, very real and fighting for that reality is futile because it’s just an illusion. To hold to an illusion only hurts yourself and others. Can I offer you my red pill –
    http://prayershack.freeservers.com/PDF/JakeColsen-SoYouDontWantToGoToChurchAnymore.pdf

    God Bless in your relationship with Him,
    We have a Father that loves us like no one on this planet ever has or ever will.

  22. EBR says:

    I will be the first to admit that it’s nice to attend a candlelight banquet where the tables are covered with linens, floral centerpieces, real silverware and expensive chinaware. Sports events are fun too. Who doesn’t like to attend a well performed theatrical or premier cinematic production? This was actually one of the areas where the private institution excelled too well. We had pizza parties after mid-terms. We decorated our rooms for the holidays and exchanged Christmas and birthday gifts.

    In making a decision that may affect one for the rest of one’s life, one has to get beyond this though. Anytime there is a major event on a college or university campus, any institution will want to impress the public, and many recognize that these events can become potential recruiting tools whether or not there is an attempt to personally confront a visitor about future enrollment. They want the person to visit once, then again, and keep coming back. This doesn’t necessarily even have to be academic. It may be a sports tournament, competition, exhibition, guest speaker, conference, too. It’s anything that gets the public onto the campus. The goal is to have visitors want to return as often as possible for as many events as possible and hopefully someday part-time or full-time enrollment or perhaps even employment and participation in a ministry. Many institutions will attract guest speakers by offering a vareity of gifts, recognitions, and honorary doctorate degrees. I’m not saying that a person may not deserve regootion from an accomplishment gained through experience. I like to know when I’m dealing with an honorary degree as opposed to a doctorate earned by traditional postgraduate education though. Whoever this person is, especially if attendance at an event is mandatory, this person is important to the administration and faculty and student body. After the excitment is over and life returns to its daily routine, just take time and go search the library or internet for biographies and news event privaetly. Try to learn as much as possible about guest speakers. I don’t mean just the wonderful information.

    At many colleges and universities, attendance for guest speakers is not always required and in some cases might even be restricted or require purchase of tickets or some type of background security check. At most colleges and universities, the administration and faculty do not elevate themselves to deity. The focus must be God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, not a particular name. Of course, a person can elevate oneself to deityat any public or private campus also. Does the school allow for questioning among its faculty and administration and student body and patrons and visitors? If the answer is no, this is a clue that a problem might exist. The biggest mistake I made is that I didn’t stop and do further research and wait. I resent the pressure that was placed on me to make a decision in favor of this particular institution at the exclusion of others that could have been good options. I also resent the pressure to go to a non-regionally accredited institution as opposed to options which were regionally accredited. This doesn’t just mean regional accreditation, but also checking to see programs have professional accreditations and are established. The reputation of an institution will follow one for the rest of one’s life. one will be forever associated with one’s alma mater whether or not one wants by others. That can help or hurt an individiual much longer than one can ever imagine at the ages of 18-22. I say this because I think this age group is probably more vulnerable due to lack of experience. A mistake made at an early age can really close opportunities in the future. I know that many are taught that this is a time to just do on and do what one pleases. I know in many high school and college circles, the parents are not really given much weight except to pay the bills. This is the time of independence. It’s the great adventure of moving on.
    But people care.

    I think it’s sad when a parent doesn’t give a child a choice. There are options with colleges. One can even stay at a church and ministry near home. But many churches have ministries near colleges. There are also campus ministries. Many times a person does have a choice. In many schools, one is welcomed to make the choice but not harrassed when one doesn’t make the choice. It’s optional. Also in many schools. there are a lot of choices in respect to religious fellowships. I was told there was only one choice and as I look back, that should have been a clue.

    I am not anti-Baptist. I am not in opposition to Christian organizations. I am only commenting on my own personal experience and on two specific ministries which are not regionally accredited.

  23. Daniel says:

    Yes i agree the titheing concept is sevearly abused by the IFBC. First off the bible clearly says that in order to collect Tithes they must be a priesthood and have the Temple…the IFB has neither. Second the Tithe was never income based but rather it was agrarian based{of the land} meaning that it was the 10% of the fist fruits of crops livestock ect…not money, it was never based on money…as a matter of fact YHWH hates federal reserve notes, he wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole beacuse FRN’s are usuary notes of debt and plus they have the seal of the Illumaniti{Satanic orginization} on them. Finally the titheing principle was a part of the 612 jewish ordiniances that were abolished at the cross. It is true that IFBC teach that non tithers are thives and even frauduantly liken non titheing to embezzlement. By the way that the IFB pushes the titheing principle it would cause one to think that the IFBC must believe that the power of YHWH is bound by money and that their FRN’s uphold the body of Christ{the church}…but the bible tells us that YAH provides for all of our needs by his riches power and glory…not the other way around. Truth is that the IFBC is just another corporate money grabbing system of greedy snakes who lie to their congrigations and steal from them in the name of God…this is criminal activity…yes the tithe concept is one of the most widely abused doctrines that the IFBC has twisted around in order to perpertrate crimes on the unwitting people.

  24. Preacher Ron says:

    This article is founded on a false premise. The article uses the term “Independent Fundamental Baptist Denomination”. This phrase contains two words that are contradictory to one another Independent and Denomination. The word Independent describes these churches as not being part of a denomination, how can they be unattached to an outside governing body and be a Denomination? Wikipedia defines Christian Denomination as “an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity.” These churches function under the belief that each church is it’s own governing body. The only common denominator between these several thousand or more churches is that they hold to several common fundamental Doctrines like Virgin Birth, Bodily Resurrection, Salvation by Faith, Church not Denominational government, and so on. These churches have as many different beliefs and practices as they have pastors and to lump them all together is to practice the same deception you claim they are practicing. Lu 6:41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Are these churches perfect? No. Is there a perfect church? No. Does all of mankind have a free will to believe what they wish? Yes. Do most people use this free will to seek God and His will for their lives? Sadly no and herein is the problem. Encouraging people to think for themselves is a greater work than attacking and bashing something that has obviously wounded you in some way when you were growing up.

  25. greg says:

    Preacher Ron,

    While you may be technically correct that the IFB’s aren’t a “denomination” I’m sorta failing to see your point. Just read the responses from folks all over the U.S. on this site and see how similar their abusive experiences are, mine included. There are colleges/bible schools that the preachers of these IFB churches encourage their “preacher boys” to go to and most of them hold to a pretty set pattern of IFB “standards” that they teach to these young men and women and they graduate and then continue to infect the churches that they go to with the same ol foolishness that they were taught. So although I wouldn’t call these IFB churches a denomination, they are somewhat connected and support each other. They also hold to alot more “doctrines” than what you alluded to above. First and foremost holding to one 17th century translation, that being the kjv, now there may be ifb churches out there that don’t hold to only the kjv but I have never heard of one. Another “standard/doctrine” is not to question “authority” which is the pastor or his chosen few. What to wear or not to wear, what kind of music is acceptable, who you can associate with, and on and on. I do agree with you that most folks don’t use their free will to seek God and His will for their lives, but that doesn’t mean that the ifb’s should move in and spiritually abuse folks.

    I apprecaite this site and this fine man that was wounded by this movement like I was and thousands of others. It is very therapeutic to be able to talk about our experiences, and I feel that this site does help people to think for themselves. So I think God has his hand in this ministry and I applaud this great work.

    Because He Lives,
    Greg

  26. David Courchesne says:

    Tithing was set up for the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament. This consisted of money, animals,etc. All the other tribes of Israel were given land but not the Levites, God was their portion. The tithe was set up as a support system for the priesthood and thier famlies… not to support the church. Abraham tithed before the law was introduced but it was not commanded that he tithed. Tithing is not biblical! Those who who reject this should really study the Old Testament… its pretty clear.

  27. gemienyl says:

    then why Jesus tithes if it is not really needed. My friend look onto the brighter side of which..yes we are under grace so lets fulfill things under what God wants us to do.there is no command in the new testament not to tithe. . our Lord Jesus Christ never mentioned anywhere in the new testament not to give our 10%. so let not others be deceived by what u are saying. and criticize other churches..don’t mislead other people who want to give to God their 10% anyway they are not reluctant in doing so. Stick to what you believe in anyhow tithing is not unbiblical.
    ..my friend there are lots of doctrines which other churches are doing which are not anymore supposed to be practice; example in the context of gifts, and in the music ministry (rock gospel), why dont you enlighten them about these rather dwell on the topic of tithing which I believe is still biblical. . . . God bless!

  28. greg says:

    Hi gemienyl – Tithing is biblical, just not christian. The same could be said about animal sacrifices. There are many things Jesus didn’t mention, are we then allowed to do all of them as well, does that mean that I can ride my unicorn naked around the block on Tuesday evenings between the hours of 5:00 and 7:00 pm? I am being silly, but do you see my point?

    Just because Jesus didn’t say you can’t do something, we certainly can’t “assume” that it’s ok to do them, that is a very dangerous way to “interpret” scripture.

    I am guessing that you are in a legalistic church where someone who doesn’t know any better is teaching this false teaching.

    Ask your “teacher” if he can show you one biblical reference to a “tithe” being money, old or new testament.

    God Bless

  29. rusureuwant2know says:

    What makes me sick about the tithing deception is that you see the poor giving theirs and then having to go back to the church at the end of the month because they gave what they needed to live on. It never made any sense to give it and then have to go back after it. (And please don’t anyone get me started on the story of the poor widow – Jeus was not praising her – he was condemning the Scripes for “devouring widows’ houses. She was his example)

    • greg says:

      resureuwant2know – God bless your heart! I didn’t get light on the poor widow until last year, and what a wonderful truth I finally saw. How many stupid sermons by uneducated men did I hear about this pitiful widow, it sickens me to think of it.

      I have noticed if you get a bible that breaks down the scriptures into subject and paragraphs, instead of each little verse, you are far more likely not to take things out of context like the fundies have done to this poor widow.

  30. Melanie says:

    Two questions:
    1. So how do you think a preacher/pastor/whatever should be paid? Do you think they should all work day jobs and preach and shepherd the church for free?
    2. What if you WANT to tithe? Let’s say that your church doesn’t require it, but you choose to, because it’s an easy way to make sure that you give each month, and that you give that tithe with a cheerful heart. Is that wrong?

    • greg says:

      Hi Melanie – I think its fine for good pastors to be compenstated by the parshioners. I think it is also fine for them to have day jobs, as it is now, particuarly in the IFB, these pastors have become little king dictators with too much time on their hands. But I know there are wonderful servant shepherd overseers, who work long and hard studying and preparing sermons and visting the sick and being the shepherd they are supposed to be, so I would have no problem compensating these servant shepherds.

      Well if you want to tithe, you have got some problems. Do you know any Levitical Priests? You’ll have to find one because that’s who received the tithe in the OT, also I’m still waiting for anyone to give me a verse that demonstrates that money was ever given for a tithe, all I can find that was given for a tithe was agricultural products from the land.

      Probably never heard of stuff like this in your IFB did you? That’s because most of these poorly educated IFB pastors don’t know any better and are just spouting the same old dogma that they heard from others, and if they do know better then they are being deceitful, neither says much good about IFB pastors.

      And now abideth faith, hope and Love, but the greatest of these is love.

      • Susan says:

        Greg Wrote: “I think its fine for good pastors to be compenstated by the parshioners.”

        Susan’s Reply:

        I disagree for reasons Steve already talked about in his post above. He stated:

        “Also, if you think about the relationship between the Pastor/Church Leaders and the congregation, common sense will tell you that a congregation paying the salary of the church leaders creates a very precarious ethical dilemma of a dual relationship. Paying the leader’s salaries opens the door for individuals, especially those who pay a lot to the church, to control and manipulate the church staff. It invariably changes the relationship between the leaders and the congregation from one of fellow believer meeting together for worship, to one of payment for services rendered, which creates all kinds of problems.

        I’ve heard stories about the rich person in the church who gives so much money to the church that he threatens to stop giving if the church doesn’t do things his way. Of course the Pastor and staff are pressured into giving the individual what he/she wants so that the money keeps coming in.”

      • Melanie says:

        Greg, I am a little offended that you think I go to an IFB just because I had questions about this and think differently than you do. I have never been an IFB member in my life, and my only experience with them was attending a college friend’s IFB church a few times ten years ago. I didn’t have another church to go to at the time, and I left it pretty quickly when I saw through the legalism and judgement that they preach. My friend didn’t believe I was saved because I wasn’t an IFB member. Just because someone doesn’t look at these issues exactly the way you do doesn’t make him/her IFB. I am a member of a different denomination.

        • greg says:

          Melanie – Very sorry, I see that I did do that assuming thing.

          Go ahead and give me my licking, but hurry up my backs hurting bending over this desk. (smiles)

          • Melanie says:

            LOL, no problem, Greg, though I suggest you make a confession of your bondage temptation. ;-)

            I’ll be specific about how I ended up here and why I was asking these questions. A friend of mine mentioned the 20/20 special on facebook and I got interested when I remembered that my college friend’s church was IFB. As I read about their deceptions I was questioning the practices of my own church of a different denomination, so I wanted to hear your thoughts on them. We do pay a full time pastor, but he lives what in our area qualifies as a middle class life. I personally would leave any church I was attending if I saw clear evidence that wealthy members who did a lot of giving were receiving preferential treatment.
            Our church refers to our weekly offerings as “tithes and offerings”, and has given some lip service to the modern tithing idea of giving 10% of one’s gross income, but they definitely do not require it or shame anyone for not doing it. It’s more of a suggestion as a way to determine a good way to give. I think if you asked our pastor and christian education minister they would tell you that it’s just an idea, and that what ultimately matters is that you give according to what you are called to give. I think there are a lot of denominations/organizations/teachers that teach this sort of modern tithing idea, though I’ve not heard too many of these people say that it’s a requirement, just that it’s a good idea. For example, my husband and I learned the idea from Crown Financial Ministries, and I don’t think they are at all affiliated with IFB.

    • Susan says:

      1. Free will offerings, donations, grants (churches are non-profit organizations after all), a second job, spouse working, etc.

      I know many pastors who work a secular job and are pastors as well. They take no income from the church. I also know pastors who work in the church full time but receive their salary from grants and donations. They don’t take their income from tithes or offerings.

      2. Tithing is wrong period. If you are wanting to give each month that would be a free will offering. Forced tithing of a 10% of one’s income is not biblical and is a dangerous, manipulative misinterpretation of scripture.

  31. greg says:

    Hi Melanie – I’ve given my story in other places on this site, but briefly, I came out of an abusive IFB, and they taught the non-christian concept of tithing (tithing is biblical, just not christian, my opinion) and that it was supposed to be from your gross, not net. I was one who read, studied and pondered over the scripture, not just blindly follow the leader, at least not always, but when I would find verses like 2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” I could never square verses like that with what I had been taught, to mandatorily give 10% from my gross. It’s funny but in th IFB you would always hear the last part of that verse (God loves a cheerful giver) but you didn’t often hear the first part. How could I give cheerfully if that giving was going to cause me to not be able to pay my utility bill? Step out in faith brother! God will meet that need. No I believe God expects me to consider the costs and pay my bills on time.

    Anyway I gave thousands of dollars a year to that last little church, I did wish to contribute and still do, but here again, going by some uneducated pastor’s standard that had nothing to do with bible new testament giving. Which is the main problem with the IFB.

    I left that IFB about 3 years ago, I am in the process of helping a friend start a new work, and it is great, no OT tithes teaching going on here, its not perfect, but I am enjoying the ride, and grace is taught here.

  32. Matt says:

    The Lord Jesus Christ has given the ultimate sacrifice for us. Ten percent of the earnings He has given us seems like a small thing to give. Shouldn’t we all want to do our very best for the Lord? Think of Romans 5:8 and then think about whether 10% is a big deal or not. It is the same with respect to dress. Shouldn’t we all want to dress our very best to go to the house of God? God has given us eternity, should we quivel about our “three score and ten” (Psalm 90)? Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
    We should do our absolute best in all things, which include giving financially and of your time, dress standards, WITNESSING TO THE LOST.
    Is it “legalistic” to want and expect the very best for the Lord? Does 1 Peter 2:9 still apply to us today?
    I am in the ministry myself and really don’t make much money in the world’s terms. I still give at least 10% of my earnings, not because I have to, but because I want to do my very best for the Lord. It is the least I can do. After all He took me, a miserable drunken wretched sinner, and saved my soul.

    • greg says:

      Hi Matt – You didn’t say if you were in the IFB or not, but most IFB’s claim to strictly follow the bible. If you are in the ministry you should be able to give some scriptural support for some of these things you claim we should be doing. Where does it say in scripture where any NT christian is supposed to pay a mandatory tithe? If you can find it I will do it. “Let every man give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” I heard almost verbatim from my pastor your view about clothing, of course my question, same as above, where is the scriptural support? Can I tell you something, Our Lord cares waaaaay more what’s on the inside than what’s on the outside. Can Jesus be any more specific than in Matthew where he says “you guys look great on the outside, but on the inside you are full of dead men’s bones.”

      It’s time for people to quit playing games with God and develop a deep personal devotion, and quit trying to please him by dressing up the outside.

      I’m gonna go there and be a bit judgemental, your comment represents to me a very “shallow” christianity. Come on out of the baby pool and venture into the deeper water. God has wonderful things for you if you will just grow up and put away childish things!

  33. EBR says:

    A person should give freely from their heart as and when one can afford. There are also different ways of giving including time, foods, clothing, etc… I don’t think one should feel pressured or intimidated to give. It should be a matter of prayer. Some also give in the form of envelopes while others are more private and give unmarked donations. If a person wants to tithe, I will not stop or discourage one. On the other hand, if a person is unable to tithe, I will not judge the individual either. This is a personal issue.

  34. greg says:

    it would be especially tough to tithe now, because I don’t know where one would find a Levitical priest.

  35. Mark says:

    This is so strange…I go to an “IFB” church, and they have never pushed or preached any of this. I should tell my pastor to come read this blog so that he knows what he should be preaching…You paint with very broad brushes; maybe a little too broad…

  36. greg says:

    Hey Mark – Glad you chirped in. If you haven’t noticed I give scripture to support my beliefs, as well as does the site owner, you are certainly welcome to your opinion, but to talk about someone that paints with broad brushes, and then runs off w/out giving any scriptural support for their beliefs, well you leave us all wondering if its not you who is painting with broad brushes, you are also fitting the IFB stereotype.

    I welcome your pastor to comment as well, especially if you don’t feel comfortable with your level of biblical knowledge.

  37. Katie says:

    @Mark

    Mark :
    This is so strange…I go to an “IFB” church, and they have never pushed or preached any of this. I should tell my pastor to come read this blog so that he knows what he should be preaching…You paint with very broad brushes; maybe a little too broad…

    Actually, Mark, it’s not so strange at all. Most people involved in a cult are blind to the dangers of it. The reasons are many. I would recommend you open your mind to the truth.

  38. John 10:10 says:

    @Katie

    Katie,

    I’m going to kindly disagree with you.
    You said “Most people involved in a cult are blind to the dangers of it”.
    I don’t think that the IFB is a cult like you and a lot of other people on this site think. I think if you call The IFB a cult every other denomination would have to be considered a cult as well including Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc.
    I used to read the NLT version of the Bible and Paul was accused of being in a cult.
    “We have found this man to be a troublemaker who is constantly stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the cult known as the Nazarenes.” (Acts 24:5) Thats from the NLT.
    “But I admit that I follow the Way, which they call a cult. I worship the God of our ancestors, and I firmly believe the Jewish law and everything written in the prophets.” (Acts 24:14) Thats from the NLT again.
    I no longer use the NLT but I remembered that from the NLT. I think the maker of this site uses the NLT from what I remember.
    Again I’m just kindly disagreeing and posting some bible verses I rembered when I was reading the NLT.

    The Lord loves us all,

    A brother in Christ

  39. Katie says:

    @John 10:10

    I admit that the definition of the term “cult” is a bit ambiguous, however, it’s easy to see how the IFB and it’s distinguishing beliefs, traditions, values, etc. are far different from other traditional denominations and those distinguishments push the IFB towards the definition of a cult more so than other denominations. I guess a better term would be “cultish” or ” cult like”, but her again we play a semantics game. This issue of defining terms only serves to distract from the current issues presented on the site IMHO.

    If memory serves, Steve talks about this on the site, although the exact article currently escapes my memory.

    I’m not sure why you are mentioning the verses about Paul being accused of being in a cult. Can you share more about that?

  40. Steve says:

    The ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association) has some good articles related to the definition of a cult. It may be worth a read for those who are confused about the terminology.

    http://icsahome.com/infoserv_respond/faq_whatisacult.asp

  41. bob says:

    When mans authority is placed where only God’s authority should be, you have a cult. When man takes the place of setting down doctrine or making decisions that differ from God’s clearly revealed will, that is a cult. The pastor is not the authority in the church, God’s word is.

  42. John 10:10 says:

    Katie,

    Thanks for the polite reply. Steve posted a good link with some information on cults. From reading the website, I’ll admit I was a little wrong on the definition of a “Cult”. Please forgive me for this wrong. I thought “Cult” was something a little different from what I read on Steve’s Website. Also thanks Steve for posting the Website it cleared up some misunderstanding.
    Also from reading the website I concluded that all denominations and all Christians can be viewed as a cult.
    From the article “On Using the Term “Cult”” The author states that “More recently, the term (Cult) has taken on additional connotations: 5 a. great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work…b. a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion.” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, 1994)”
    All of us Christians can be viewed as a “Cult” because of our great devotion to the person of The Lord Jesus Christ. All of us Christians can be viewed as a cult because of our great devotion the Christianity Movement.
    From the article “The Definitional Ambiguity of “Cult” and ICSA’s Mission” the author states that a cult can be defined as “ Fanatical religious and political groups, regardless of whether or not leaders exert a high level of psychological”

    All of us Christians can be viewed as a “cult” because we are a fanatical about Jesus Christ. We are fans of Jesus.

    Also from the article the author states the a cult can be defined as “Any group embraced by a family member whose parents, spouses, or other relatives conclude – correctly or incorrectly – that the group is destructive to the involved family member.”

    I think us Christians can be viewed as a “cult” because I can picture a young girl growing up in a Muslim family and later converting to be a Christian and her Muslim Parents unfortunately concluding that the Christian group is destructive to this Young Christian Convert. \

    From reading the website I think that all of us Christians can be viewed as being a “Cult”. There are so many definitions for a “Cult”.

    I posted the Acts Scriptures because I remembered those verses when I was using the NLT. I no longer use the NLT. I thought these scriptures would be interesting to share for whatever reason. When I read those verses in the NLT I had a negative view of the word “cult” so I was kind of mad that those people accused Paul and Christians of being in a “cult”. But now I see that a “Cult” has so many definitions and meaning to it.

    The NLT is the only translation I found that used the Word “Cult”. Others have the word “group, faction, sect, etc. Maybe the NLT translates the Word “Cult” correctly and the others should be translated “Cult” as well. Maybe.

    The Lord loves us all,

    A brother in Christ

  43. Katie says:

    @John 10:10

    All of us Christians can be viewed as a “cult” because we are a fanatical about Jesus Christ. We are fans of Jesus.

    The problem I have with that line of thinking is that I’m a fan of the New York Yankees. I’m fanatical about the Yankees, but no one in their right mind would consider me in a cult related to the Yankees.

    I guess there would be people who use the label of “cult” on Christianity in general, but this, perhaps, is where the terminology gets “fuzzy” (to use a word from the ICSA article).

    I wouldn’t consider Islam to be a cult, but I would consider those fundamental extremest, the ones who are brain washed into thinking that using their own bodies as a bomb is a good thing, to be in a cult.

    The same would be true of Christianity. There are sects or factions of Christianity that are far more cultish in practice and beliefs and traditions and behaviors that others and I think that is where the line can be drawn. Not “does this anger me so I label it a cult in an effort to gain some power and revenge” but “this is an extremist position and as such has cult like practices, therefore may be considered a cult”.

    See the difference?

    Regarding Acts 24 – it’s important to understand the context here. This was a legal trial of Paul where the Jewish leaders were trying to keep Paul in prison and they accused him of being a “troublemaker…inciting the Jews throughout the world to riots and rebellions against the Roman government….trying to defile the temple…” (see verses 5 and 6). This wasn’t a philosophical debate, but a legal trial. This is an important distinction.

    By the way, my NLT uses the term “sect” rather than “cult”. The NLT I have was published in 1996. I’d be curious to know if yours in a newer or older publication?

  44. greg says:

    Well said!

  45. John 10:10 says:

    Katie,

    Thanks again for the polite and considerate response.
    I am a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide but I’m a fan of Jesus Christ so much more.
    Yeah, I see the difference you are talking about and I do believe there is a lot of fuzzy terminology when referring to a cult. I also believe the word fuzzy is kind of fuzzy because when I think of the word fuzzy I think of fur.
    I think its kind of a little bit of an oxy moron to call the IFB a cult. I would still consider them Bretheren even though they might be abusive and manipulative.
    I agree with the maker of this site when he sais-
    “Although I understand that good things still happen in IFB churches and that many people are brought to the Lord and salvation, I still believe that the IFB operates much like a cult. Afterall, God can use a cult to bring people to him.”
    I would agree with his statement in that they operate much like a cult but I think it would be an oxy moron to refer to them as a cult because a lot of them are brought to the Lord and Saved and thus they are bretheren. It just doesn’t make that much sense to me to refer to specific members of the body of Christ as a Cult unless the Whole body of Christ were referred to as a cult.
    When referring to the body of Christ scripture states “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26) Thats from the NIV.
    “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Thats from the KJV.
    I think the Whole body of Christ would have to be considered a cult If specific members were considered a cult. I could be wrong though as this is just my opinion.
    I’m not expert in scripture though as I am just a babe in Christ growing on the milk of the Word (1 Peter 2:2).
    Greg, would this be an appropriate scripture reference? I am no expert in scripture.

    The NLT I have is the second edition. It was published in 2004. Even on biblegateway in uses the word cult. I posted the link with it below.
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%2024:5&version=NLT
    biblegateway.com uses all the new and updated versions from what I’ve seen for the specific versions. The NASB for it is the NASBU (u for updated version). For the ESV they use the ESV 2007 instead of the 2001 version. For the NLT they use the 2004 version instead of the 1996 version. etc.
    I think the Maker of this site uses the NLT as well from what I remember. I don’t know whether he uses the 1996 or 2004 edition though. His name is Steve, I’m pretty sure of that.

    The Lord loves us all,

    A brother in Christ.

  46. bob says:

    John 10:10,
    The reason I say that IFB churches are cult-like, is because they raise human authority above the word of God. Roman Catholic churches do the same thing. It doesn’t mean that none of them are saved, ( I am talking about the IFB) it just means they elevate pastoral authority and certain traditional teachings above what the Bible teaches. The bottom line is that some of these churches operate with human authority above the word of God, so many people in these kinds of churches are following mans teaching, not God’s. The examples of unbiblical teachings are kj-onlism, tithing, strict adherence to church attendance, dresses only for woman. When these teachings are enforced with authority ( not Biblical authority), people are following man made rules and traditions, not Christ’ teaching.

  47. John 10:10 says:

    Bob,
    Thanks for the polite and considerate reply.

    Let me just say first, since we are on a tithing page I don’t agree with tithing as well and I think the maker of this site (Steve) made a good article about the issue of tithing.

    I agree with you that the IFB is a cult. I would also say that all Christians are a cult as well. I would also say that just about every group you can think of would be considered a cult. There are so many definitions of a cult that just about every group can be viewed as a cult. According to the website Steve posted one article said that a cult can be defined as “great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work.” With this I definition I could form a cult of people with the great devotion of the idea of just sitting down and doing nothing. I could form a cult of people with the great devotion of the idea of standing up eating donuts. I could form a cult of people with the great devotion of the idea of drinking lemonade with our eyes closed. The list can go on and on. Pretty much every group of people can be viewed as a cult.

    Also from the article someone defined a cult as being “Any group embraced by a family member whose parents, spouses, or other relatives conclude – correctly or incorrectly – that the group is destructive to the involved family member.” My parents could conclude that my algebra study group is a cult for whatever reason they want. My parents can conclude that my Friday Night basketball group is a cult. I’m an Alabama Crimson Tide Fan but I am a fan of Jesus Christ so much more. If my parents were Auburn Tiger Fans they would most definitely conclude that my Alabama Crimson Tide Football watching group is a cult. The list can go on and on with this definition as well.

    I agree with Katie though when she sais “I’m a fan of the New York Yankees. I’m fanatical about the Yankees, but no one in their right mind would consider me in a cult related to the Yankees.” I don’t think much people in their right mind would consider the above examples that I gave to be a cult. I think that by definition everything I listed above is a cult including the IFB and all Christians in general. But in my right mind I don’t consider these things to be a cult. When people think of a cult they probably do not think of the definitions I gave above.

    When people think of cult today they probably think more like these definitions-
    “The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.”

    “The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).”

    I can see how you think the IFB is a cult as concerning the above definitions.

    You said:
    “The bottom line is that some of these churches operate with human authority above the word of God, so many people in these kinds of churches are following mans teaching, not God’s. The examples of unbiblical teachings are kj-onlism, tithing, strict adherence to church attendance, dresses only for woman” I agree with you on this in that I don’t agree with KJV-onlyism, tithing, Church attendance all the time, and dresses only for women. I think they go a little bit too far with all this as well.

    I’ve heard people call the Church of Christ denomination, SDA denomination and Catholic denominations all cults. The people’s reasons for calling them a cult was they considered their Church to be the only true Church. I’m not sure if the IFB considers themselves the only true church. I’m not really sure what all their doctrines are except that Catholics worship Mary or something like that. Although I do not really know all their doctrine that much I would not really consider these cults as well. By definition they are all cults but in my right mind I do not consider them to be cults.

    I think this whole thing of being called a cult comes down to matter of opinion (in your right mind). If I was in a more abusive IFB church I might consider the IFB to be a cult as well. Maybe. I guess it all just comes down to experience and opinion. I can now see how all former IFB’s would consider them to be a cult. I respect their opinion for that and now I see things differently then what I used to. I will now not be surprised or disagree if someone calls the IFB a cult.

    The word Fast is an opinion. Take for example overweight people that are some of the slowest runners in the world. For the absoulte Slowest runner in the world he would probably consider these people to be fast because they run faster than he does. But to me and you these runners would probably be slow. So you see fast is an opinion. Just like Cult would be considered an opinion (in our right minds).

    In conclusion I think just about every group there is a cult by definition. But in my right mind that is not the case. In my right mind I still do not consider the IFB to be a cult unless all Christians would be considered a Cult. It still does not make sense to me how members of the body of Christ can be viewed as a cult. I will not disagree with what others think on this matter and I will be respectful of their opinions. This is a good website. Even though I did not attend an abusive IFB I still consider this website to be therapeutic and Like AA, like Greg said. I guess you can call it IFBA.

    The Lord loves us all,
    A brother in Christ

  48. bob says:

    John 10:10
    Inherent in the idea of “cult” is that the group deviates from orthodox Christian doctrine. A church that functions Biblicly is not a cult because it doesn’t deviate from the truth. God’s program is called the church, the pillar and support of the truth.
    I am not the one who makes the final judgement as to wether a certain type of church is a cult, God does. However, christians should have enough godly discernment to recognize false teaching and corrupt leadership and call it what it is.

  49. John 10:10 says:

    Bob,
    Thanks for the polite and considerate reply.
    I don’t mean to be harsh but it seems like were going in circles here. By definition pretty much every group and Church would be considered a cult. There is no virtually no way around this. But, like I said before In my right mind I don’t consider these to be cults. A definition give for a cult is “Any group embraced by a family member whose parents, spouses, or other relatives conclude – correctly or incorrectly – that the group is destructive to the involved family member.” By definition Every Church can be a cult based on this definition whether or not they are extremely holy or 100% true to the word of God or extremely Zealous for the Lord. My Parents could think the Church I attend would be destructive for me and Thus by this definition it would be a cult. This could apply to any Church there is. Another definition for a cult is ““great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work.” I assume every Christian Church would be devoted to the person of Jesus Christ. Thus, be this definition every Church would be considered a Cult whether or not they are 100% complete to the word of God. Jesus Christ is God (John 10:30) and he is the truth (John 14:6). God cannot Lie (Titus 1:2). Thus I would conclude that since God is the Truth and cannot lie I would think that by these definitions God would conclude all Christian Churches to be a Cult. It doesn’t mean that Christian cults are bad it just means they are cults be these definitions given. What better cult could there be than the Christian cult or the Jesus cult? I couldn’t ask for a better cult to be a part of.
    In my right mind though I do not consider Christian Churches to be a cult. And In the Lord’s right mind I don’t think he would consider Christian Churches to be a cult as well.
    You said:
    “A church that functions Biblicly is not a cult because it doesn’t deviate from the truth. God’s program is called the church, the pillar and support of the truth.” I agree with in my right mind. But according to the definitions listed above I would disagree with you. I don’t know how much more clearer I can be.
    You said:
    “I am not the one who makes the final judgement as to wether a certain type of church is a cult, God does.” I agree with this statement as well. But I think according to the above definitions God Would consider Christian Churches to be a Cult. But in God’s right mind I don’t think he would consider Christian Churches to be a cult. A cult doesn’t necessarily mean the group is negative according to the above definitions. According to the above definitions Christians are a cult and they are the best Cult to be a part of.
    You said:
    “However, christians should have enough godly discernment to recognize false teaching and corrupt leadership and call it what it is.” I have a question for you though. How much false teaching would there need to be in order to call a church a cult? I’m going to guess there is false teaching in every Christian Church there is and I don’t think any Church completely lines up with the Word of God 100%. This is one of the reasons why I think you have to call all Christian Churches Cults if you just refer to one particular denomination a cult (I’m speaking in my right mind and not be definition). It’s to my understanding that Presbyterians/reformed denomination believe in predestination salvation. Most other denominations believe in Free will. Only one of either predestination or free will salvation can be right so there is false teaching in one or the other. So Presbyterians/reformed denomination would be a cult or all other denominations would be a cult. Pentecostals/assemblies of God believe speaking in tongues is for today. Most other denominations do not. So either Pentecostals/assemblies of God are a cult or all other denominations are a cult. Do you see my point? Just how much false teaching does there need to be? This is why I think it comes down to matter of opinion and experience.
    I have nothing against you or anyone else for think the IFB is a cult. I just simply disagree (in my right mind). Steve provided a good website that cleared up some confusion I had with cults.
    By the way the lead singer (Mark Hall) of Casting Crowns attends a church. His Church teaches tithing. I disagree with tithing. Would this make his Church a cult? I love Casting Crowns but I love Jesus Christ so much more.
    This is a good website and I plan to post every once in a while, Lord Willing.
    The Lord loves us all,
    A brother in Christ

  50. bob says:

    John 10:10
    False teaching alone doesn’t necessarily make a cult. It has to do with leadership that twists the Scriptures for their own purposes. A cult is a distortion of what New Testament church should look like.

  51. John 10:10 says:

    Bob,
    Thanks again for the polite and considerate reply.
    You said “It has to do with leadership that twists the Scriptures for their own purposes.”
    I don’t think the IFB is twisting scriptures for their own purposes. I believe they are sincere in their beliefs. Most IFB’s believe in tithing, KJV-only, woman not wearing pants, Hymns-only, etc. I think that the IFB is sincere in their beliefs and I don’t think they are twisting scripture for their own purposes. I think they are wrong on these beliefs but I don’t think they are twisting scriptures for their own purposes. Again this is just my opinion but I could be wrong.
    The Lord loves us all,
    A brother in Christ

  52. greg says:

    2 Corinthians 9:7 say “Each man shuld give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

    This sums up new testament giving pretty clearly. I think it would be very safe to say that there would have to be some incredible scripture twisting to teach the false doctrine of tithing to folks under the new covenant. IFB’s do it all the time. Of the 613 OT laws we are only to follow one, tithing! I don’t think so.

    Tithing is biblical, just not christian.

  53. bob says:

    John 10:10,
    Just because someone is sincere, that doesn’t mean they are not accountable for what they teach.
    I think the main problem I see in IFB churches is some evil men have worked their way into leadership and are using their “authority” for their own selfish purposes. Some of these men are not shepherds like Christ, but are self-willed, self-promoting and I question wether some of them are even saved. These men are easy to identify because they will not be accountable to Scripture, but they rule by their own authority.

  54. John 10:10 says:

    Bob,
    Thanks again for the considerate and polite response.
    You said”Just because someone is sincere, that doesn’t mean they are not accountable for what they teach.”
    I never mean to imply that they were not accountable for what they teach. I’m guessing all Christian Churches have some sort of false teaching in their Churches. I don’t think IFB Churches (or any other Christian Church) would beleive something and then teach just the opposite in order to push their own agenda. I think most of them believe what they teach. Although I don’t agree with all their beliefs.
    Anyways Mark Hall (lead singer for Casting Crowns) attends Church. His Church teaches tithing. His Church will have to be accountable for this as well. I still love Casting Crowns but I love Jesus Christ so much more.
    The Lord loves us all,
    A brother in Christ

  55. LN says:

    @Jes
    What about if you work for the church, you are not paid what you were promised, and then the Pastor comes and asks you about your tithe! I am hearbroken and disgusted!!

  56. LN says:

    @greg
    What about churches which pay their daycare and school employees the bare minimum so they have to be on government assistance to live. The Pastor sits on his butt most of the week living on the income earned for him by the flock he is supposed to be taking care of. He relaxes in his nice house, doing very little, but enjoying spending money on building projects, expanding his empire on the backs of his serfs!!!! He should get a real job!!!

  57. greg says:

    LN – I think all church “employees” should be paid good, living wages. I also believe in supporting your pastor. Btw I’m still working through the one Man of God (MOG) standing in front of the group always being the one to lead, with no one else having anything to say. I am starting to lean towards a “group” of elders leading the local body of believers, there is less chance of going over a cliff this way. It just seems like that much authority leads to abuses.

    “There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it” Lord Acton’s Axiom

  58. Norman Silva says:

    Paul’s account of his experiences is so typical of IFB churches. From this thread on “Tithing deception” a lot has been revealed about the MO of the IFB churches.

    Tithing is just one of the symptoms of the “sickness” in the IFB movement. The whole structure of the IFB system is unscriptural. Before you IFBrs start getting your blood pressure up, red faces and bulging neck veins (that’s normally what happens when someone disagrees with you) let me explain.

    The one pastor system is unscriptural – a church should be Elder run – the pastor being one of the Elders.

    Church membership – nowhere in scripture.

    Tithing – that’s why we’re here.

    To save time, I am going to cut and paste a section from a Facebook page….enjoy

    You know what I’m talking about. You went to an IFB (Independent Fundamental Baptist) church three times a week. The Christian school you attended was connected to your church/cult, or you were home-schooled. Your church was committed to the “Doctrine of Separation” and strong discipline. You believed Billy Graham was the “bad guy” and that all other churches and religious organizations were/are disobedient and in “sin” (i.e. you were taught even the Southern Baptists were/are “compromising liberals”). Your church also controlled nearly every aspect of your life. Your family may have even needed to get permission from the pastor before going on vacation (if you dared leaving in the first place). If you are female (heaven forbid), you most likely wore long skirts and the IFB clothing item known as “culottes” most of your life whenever you went in public (you even went swimming in them).

    You’re familiar with most if not all of the following:

    “Bus Ministry”
    “Soul-winning”
    Gospel tracts
    King James Onlyism
    “The Bible says, ‘Touch Not God’s Anointed’ and that means ME!”
    “Let me tell you something big boy, you rebel against your parents and you go down across town to that Southern Baptist Church and let me tell you something, you’ve stepped out of the will of God! You hear me? You just want to hear that mamby, pamby preaching from those preachers who water down the gospel of Jesus Christ and that is nothing more than your rebellious heart crying out in your SIN!”
    “Pants on women is sinful!”
    “Christian Contemporary worship music is demonic!”
    “Rock music played backwards tells you to kill your parents!”
    “Going to the cinema is a sin!”
    “Billy Graham has done more damage to the cause of Christ than any other man alive! He’s a heretic!”
    Screaming, ranting, and raving pastors
    Hellfire and brimstone sermons
    You used to enjoy reading the book, “Me, Obey Him?” and thought the points made about wifely obedience were spot on.
    “Women are to be in submission and obedient to their husbands at all times!”
    “Women are to keep silent in the church.”
    “A woman’s proper place is pregnant, barefoot, and in the kitchen.”
    “I don’t care if she says she was beaten and molested. She’s just BITTER!”
    “Well, good, godly men get accused falsely of molestation all the time now-a-days by people who hate what they stand for.”
    “I don’t care if she was 15 and he was 50, she was well known for wearing provocative clothing. And how do we really know who is telling the truth”?
    “Black people have the ‘mark of Cain’.”
    “What do you mean we’re racist? We just ban interracial dating/marriage and use the Bible as our proof text to do so. That’s not ‘racism,’ that’s the BIBLE!”
    “Any counseling by a professional psychologist is of the devil! I don’t care if they claim to be a Christian. If they are licensed and not a part of our group, they are not godly counselors. They are secular humanists ready and waiting to accuse every good man of doing something wrong. They want to see the destruction of the true church!”
    You walked the church aisle approximately 15 times to become “born again, again.”
    You spent tens of thousands of dollars for a college degree that means nothing in your professional field, but you console yourself with the idea that you walked away knowing how to make your bed, take out the trash, hang up your clothes, wear sharp suits and talk a good game.
    You were beaten bloody, but your “will was never broken.” As a matter of fact, your “will” is stronger now than it ever was and you’re happy about it.
    Tent/revival meetings
    The prohibition of dancing (It’s carnal, you know!)
    Your parents inscripted Bible verses in the wooden “rod” they used to beat you with.
    Annoying choirs, and special music
    That damn organ…
    Alter Calls
    Tithing…”If you aren’t giving 10% of your income to the church, you’re stealing from the LORD!”
    The Sinner’s Prayer
    Street Preaching
    Protests/picketing with signs that urged people to repent.
    “College is so much more than getting a degree for a professional career. College is about experiences and learning discipline and training, and who better to train you than us”?
    “No good Christian needs to learn about things like psychology and feminism! Those are devilish movements!”
    “We don’t need the governments approval (but, shh, don’t tell anyone in the group that we’re taking their money!).”
    “Santa is really Satan in disguise!”
    “Halloween is Lucifer’s day!”
    “Old Church Hymns only!”
    “We refuse to allow the ungodly music of those Southern Baptist Liberal Convention churches into our house of worship!”
    “The King James Bible is the perfect, inspired, literal, inerrant word ‘a God, and there isn’t a single translational mistake in it.”
    “If you aren’t in a King James Bible-believing, Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, you are on your way to hell.”
    You attended what you thought was a University, then realized you got a bogus degree and were shocked to learn that it was nothing more than the “Jones’ Family For Profit Business.”
    You have an unaccredited “college” degree, which means nothing in the “real world.”
    “And who cares if the rest of the world goes to college to get a professional/usable degree? If the rest of the world jumped off a bridge, would you want to do that too”?
    Large families/no birth control
    Phony Ph.D.s
    “If you’re gay…get out of here! We don’t want ‘your kind’ around our kids!”
    Your father/family member has an honorary doctorate from the college/university or institution he works for.
    Lowest salaries in the US for employees in the IFB. As a matter of fact, now that you think about it, the employees in the IFB make less than the missionaries to Africa that you are currently supporting.
    Being told, “You’re just bitter” and “not right with God” when you leave.
    Getting ostracized by your family and friends for leaving the group.
    You were a guy/girl beaten mercilessly in an unlicensed group home.
    You ran away from one of these group homes.
    You were one of the girls sent to a group home for “rebellion,” but all you really wanted was to simply wear a pair of pants.
    No mixed swimming.
    Culottes
    Chick Tracts
    Patch the Pirate
    Character Sketches
    “Steve Green is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
    Patriarchy…keep that woman in her place!
    You could make four times less than you are making now, while doing four times the work if you decided to go back.
    You had nightmares as a child from the overused “Left Behind” videos in your church.
    Dating parlors and super slides (while wearing culottes).
    and much, much more!

    You may also fit into the group well if you once attended or were reared/trained under materials available through:

    Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC)
    Pensacola Christian College (Pensacola, FL)
    Hyles-Anderson College (Hammond, IN)
    Advanced Training Institute-Bill Gothard
    Quiverfull
    Vision Forum
    Above Rubies
    Creation Research Institute
    The Wilds Christian Camp
    The Bill Rice Ranch
    The Roloff Homes
    No Greater Joy

    Your spiritual gurus at one time in your life were most likely:

    Bob Jones Jr.
    Bob Jones III
    John R. Rice
    Arlin Horton
    Jack Hyles
    Jack Schaap
    Bill Gothard
    Doug Phillips
    Kent Hovind
    Lester Roloff
    Sam Gipp
    Bob Gray
    Peter Ruckman
    Michael Pearl
    Ron Comfort
    Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
    Stephen l. Anderson
    Fred Phelps
    or any other man who received a phony doctorate from one of the “colleges/universities” in the IFB.

    Your Christian school or homeschool curriculum was from:

    Bob Jones Press
    Abeka Books (Pensacola Christian College)
    Advanced Training Institute (Bill Gothard)
    School of Tomorrow (ACE)

    Independent Fundamental Baptist Girls and Boys Group Homes:

    Anchor Character Training Center (Iowa)
    Calvary Boys Ranch, Boarding Academy (Oklahoma)
    Haven of Hope Girls Academy (Maryland)
    Happiness Hill Home (Texas)
    Heritage Boys Academy (Florida)
    Hephzibah House (Indiana)
    Joshua Scott Boarding School (West Virginia)
    Jubilee Home for Ladies (Texas)
    Lighthouse Children’s Home (Missouri)
    Marvelous Grace Girls Academy (Alabama)
    Reclamation Ranch (Alabama)
    Shenandoah Boys Ranch (Tennessee)
    Shenandoah Girls Haven (Tennessee)
    Shining Light School for Boys (North Carolina)
    Victorious Valley Homes (South Carolina)
    William Seth Rochester Home for Children (South Carolina)
    Willow Valley Boarding Academy and Camp (Ohio)
    The Ark Youth Shelther (South Carolina)
    New Bethany Boys Home (Alabama)

    Below is a list of websites dedicated to exposing the radical beliefs, as well as the sexual, physical and spiritual abuses within the IFB:

    http://www.baptistdeception.com/
    http://www.freedomfromabuse.net
    http://www.jeriwho.net
    http://dannimoss.wordpress.com/
    http://independentspirits.net/
    http://www.formerhephzibahgirls.webs.com/
    http://reformatvictory.com/
    http://www.healingspiritualabuse.com/
    http://nolongerquivering.com/vyckies-story/
    http://www.batteredsheep.com/gothard.html
    http://www.midwestoutreach.org/
    http://www.stufffundieslike.com/
    http://www.hephzibah-girls.blogspot.com/
    http://xatigirl.wordpress.com/

    Pl

  59. John 10:10 says:

    Norman,

    I checked out your list and when I was at my old IFB I was probably familiar with at most half of those things you mentioned. My IFB was probably one of the more liberal ones.

    you mentioned in your list “Women are to keep silent in the church.” My old IFB church was not like this at all. However the scriptures do say that Women are to keep silent in the Church.

    “the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.” (1st Corinthians 14:34). From the ESV.

  60. Charles says:

    @John 10:10

    John,

    I’m curious to know how you contrast I Corinthians 14:34 with 11:5 where women are encouraged to speak in public worship and all through chapters 12-14 where we are told that women are given spiritual gifts and encouraged to use them in public worship?

    It’s funny to me how the IFB can take ONE verse and ignore the other verses and even ENTIRE CHAPTERS that are contradictory to the one they cling to.

  61. John 10:10 says:

    Charles,

    From what I gather, 1 Corinthians 11:5 does not necessarily have anything to do with women speaking in Church. By the Way, I did a quick scan in the ESV through chapters 12-14 and I did not see the word “Women” mentioned except for the verse 14:34 which I quoted earlier.

    By the way, why is it “funny” to you that the IFB can take one verse and ignore the other verses and even ENTIRE CHAPTERS that are contradictory to the one they cling to? Wouldn’t a more appropriate word for a Brother be “Concerned” instead of “Funny”? just some thoughts.

    By the way the Word of God is not “contradictory”. If the Word of God was “contradictory” the Lord would be a Liar. It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18).

  62. Charles says:

    Uh, John, you must not “gather” much from your reading of the Bible then because the entire book of I Corinthians is Paul’s first letter addressing the Corinthian CHURCH – duh.

    Within the letter we see that the entirety of chapters 11-14 are Paul’s instructions on public worship for the Corinthian church. Chapter 11 verse 5 tells us clearly that women prayed and prophesied in public worship. The rest of the passage addresses other aspects about worship for the Corinthian church. Paul was addressing the entire church not just the men of the church (an example, I think, of scriptural context, if I’m not mistaken – something that the IFB throws out the window).

    No I think funny describes it pretty well… That wasn’t a misstatement. I’m concerned too, but I just think its funny currently.

    I never said the Word of God is contradictory. If you follow the teachings of the IFB there will inevitably be contradictions though because of what they teach. Your post is a good example of that. If the IFB is correct that “women aren’t to speak in church” then there would be at least one contradiction.

  63. John 10:10 says:

    Charles,

    I still consider myself to be a Babe in Christ. Because some things in Paul epistles are hard to be understood I might be a little bit unlearned and unstable wresting and twisting some of the scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). I am sincere and it is not my intention to do so. Besides Jesus Christ, I have no one else willing to help me and guide me through the scriptures. Besides Jesus Christ I’m currently looking for a man in my area like Philip to help me with scripture understanding (Acts 8:31). Problem is there is no man like Timothy who will naturally care for my state (Philippians 2:20). Too many people seek their own and not the things of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:21).

    Your statement “Uh, John, you must not “gather” much from your reading of the Bible then because the entire book of I Corinthians is Paul’s first letter addressing the Corinthian CHURCH – duh.” Was kind of offensive. I believe that I do “gather” a lot from reading a lot from reading the Word of God but I will agree that I am probably not correct on everything.

    You said “Within the letter we see that the entirety of chapters 11-14 are Paul’s instructions on public worship for the Corinthian church. Chapter 11 verse 5 tells us clearly that women prayed and prophesied in public worship. The rest of the passage addresses other aspects about worship for the Corinthian church. Paul was addressing the entire church not just the men of the church (an example, I think, of scriptural context, if I’m not mistaken – something that the IFB throws out the window).” Ok, if that’s the case then what is verse 14:34 talking about then? You can make the case that all other Churches out there that are allowing women to speak in Church are ignoring this verse? What is 14:34 talking about?

    You said “No I think funny describes it pretty well… That wasn’t a misstatement. I’m concerned too, but I just think its funny currently.” Ok I still don’t see how its funny to you how people misuse scripture. The Catholic Church uses James 5:16 to justify Priest Confession. I believe they misuse scripture there but I don’t think it is funny at all. I’m not laughing at this nor thinking its funny. It’s the furthest thing from funny to me. In Galatians 1:6-9 when people were moved to another gospel which was not another Paul did not think it was funny at all. He seemed to be more angered and concerned and thought those gospel twisters were perverts. I don’t think he thought it was funny at all. I can’t find one example of a believer thinking its funny that someone else misuses scripture in the Word of God. If you can find one please let me know so I can look it up.

    You said “I never said the Word of God is contradictory. If you follow the teachings of the IFB there will inevitably be contradictions though because of what they teach. Your post is a good example of that. If the IFB is correct that “women aren’t to speak in church” then there would be at least one contradiction.” I never said you said that either. It was implied that you said it. At least I got that implication. You said “It’s funny to me how the IFB can take ONE verse and ignore the other verses and even ENTIRE CHAPTERS that are contradictory to the one they cling to.” When you said that it implied (at least to me) you thought the Word of God was contradictory. Forgive me for that wrong. I don’t think you going to find a Church that is 100% in line with the Word of God anyway. Also I don’t think your going to find a Christian Brother or Sister that agrees with you 100% on every little detail on The Word of God. I don’t think I’m right on everything, your right on everything or Steve’s right on everything. Only Jesus Christ is right on everything.

    I’m no longer associated with the IFB because of Steve’s website. Any Church that promotes Santa Claus in contradictory. They knowingly lie about the existence of Santa Claus. I don’t necessarily think he is Satan in disguise but I have no problem with the IFB exposing this fake Chump.

  64. Charles says:

    I’m not trying to be rude. It’s just such an obvious oversight to me that I just couldn’t resist a hardy “duh”. You don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to see that one. I’ll cut you some slack, though, since you’re coming out of the IFB :-)

    I’m using the Life Application Study Bible and this is what the commentary says about I Corinthians 14:34: In the Corinthian culture, women were not allowed to confront men in public. apparently some of the women who had become Christians thought that their Christian freedom gave them the right to question the men in public worship. This was causing division in the church. In addition, women of that day did not receive formal religious education as did the men. Women may have been raising question in the worship services that could have been answered at home without disrupting the services. Paul was asking the women not to flaunt their Christian freedom during worship. The purpose of Paul’s words was to promote unity, not to teach about women’s roles in the church.

    This would be an example of cultural context in scripture. If we keep this passage in context – both scriptural AND cultural – we can easily see that women are allowed to talk in church in today’s society.

    I meant funny as in “curious; strange; peculiar; odd”. I guess “strange” would be a better term to use. Although funny as in “amusing, comical” would fit too. I used to let it get me so upset that it would literally keep me up at night, now I just have to laugh about it since there’s not really anything I can do. So I do see it as both strange and comical.

  65. Tim says:

    Another interesting thing that was taught in the IFB that I grew up in was not only the 10% tithe, but in addition to that a 10% offering because you love God, and then also another 10% for faith promise missions giving. So by the time you’re done giving for the month you have given 30% of your income, which is gross not net. Also add to that building project giving and love offerings for evangelists and it’s a wonder you have any money left to provide for your family. And where is faith promise mission giving ever found in the Bible anyways.

  66. bob says:

    Hey Tim,
    If the second 10% was given based on love for God, what was the reason for giving the first 10%? I attended an IFB church several years ago, and I thought that this kind of giving that you mentioned was an obvious example of legalistic standards.

  67. greg says:

    Hi Tim – Never was anyone under the new covenant compelled to tithe. Tithing was for Jews under the law. If I’m wrong, don’t think I am, would love to see the scriptures to support otherwise. The tithe under the “law” was given to a Levitical Priest and then went to the storehouse. I love the somersaults that the IFB’s do to try and make their little cinderblock bldg, the “storehouse.” Also the tithe was never money, I challenge anyone to show me where a tithe was ever money. If anyone can, I will apologize right here on “Baptist Deception” The tithe, as far as I can tell was always agricultural products from the land, never money! That ol fundamental Baptist preacher, with his basement bible college degreee, will shout to the heavens about giving that tenth of your paycheck, gross not net, only trouble is, no one can show where a tithe was ever money, and I thought these Baptist folks only followed the scriptures? KJV scriptures, that is.

    So supporting and giving to good churches and causes is absolutely scriptural and necessary. Someone trying to twist your arm with OT verses about robbing God and placing curses on you and your family, pathetic.

    “Let every man give according as he has purposed in his heart to give, not grudgingly or under compulsion, (why) because God loves a cheerful giver.” This is NT giving.

  68. Tim says:

    Another interesting thing that was taught in the IFB church that I grew up in was not only the 10% tithe, but in addition to that a 10% offering because you love God, and then also another 10% for faith promise missions giving. So by the time you’re done giving for the month you have given 30% of your income, which is gross not net. Also add to that building project giving and love offerings for evangelists and it’s a wonder you have any money left to provide for your family. And where is faith promise missions giving ever found in the Bible anyways.

  69. Tim says:

    @bob
    There never was any actual scripture given for the addition 10% love offering other than the other verses already covered above. I think it was just another way to get additional revenues for the church.

  70. Tim says:

    @greg
    I would agree with everything that you wrote. I find it amazing that the majority of IFB members accept it without question.

  71. Tim says:

    Here is another unbelievable but true story concerning giving. The IFB church where my parents currently attend are meeting in a school. They decided that it was time to purchase some property with a building on it, so the church started a special building savings fund. Keep in mind that this church has a total of around 100-120 members or so. They found a very nice location with a church building already on the property for around 1.2 million dollars. The current owners wanted a nonrefundable down payment of $50,000 if for some reason the transaction did not go through and gave the church three months to come up with the rest of the money. The pastor used the money saved in that special building fund(close to $50,000) for the down payment and told the congregation that the church would rely on God to supply the rest of the funds for the building. I believe they were hoping that a certain christian organization that supplies church loans to congregations that place their faith in God would provide the rest of the money. Amazingly everyone in the church voted to go along with this extremely unwise plan. I believe due to some of the issues raised already on this site of the pastor being “God’s man” and can basically do no wrong. Needless to say the rest of the money did not come through and the church lost its $50,000. What I find to be shocking is that the members including my parents simply say that it must have been God’s will for it not too work out. No accountability for the lost money and nothing happened to the pastor. For this church $50,000 was a lot of money and I cannot believe that nobody questions anything. To this day they are still meeting in a school believing that at the right time and place God will supply their needs. Maybe it’s just me but I believe that God helps those who help themselves, or in other words make wise business decisions.

  72. greg says:

    So sad to hear stories like that, and they go on all the time. The huge problem with IFB churches is a lack of oversight on the MOG (man of God) The MOG gathers around him a bunch of “yes” men and away we go, whatever the Pastor wants, he gets, and he answers to no one, oh yea, only God, right! Where in the KJV scriptures do they find this setup? This is the point that so upsets me, they yell the loudest about they follow only the scriptures, and yet look at the structure of their little man-made kingdoms and there is nothing at all scriptural about it.

    Power corrupts, and abslolute power corrupts absolutely.

  73. Kelly Kuntz says:

    It sad to see the liberal depravity on this site!

  74. greg says:

    Kelly – Please point out any “depravity” you see.

  75. greg says:

    Kelly – How about alittle Bible test for you. I was taught in my old IFB church that God required a tithe (tenth) from my income, and that this was from my gross, not net salary. This is fairly common teaching in the IFB, and if this is what you were taught, then here is my question.

    Show me anywhere in the Bible, old or new testament where a “tithe” was ever money?

  76. Crystal says:

    @greg
    A tithe is basically what we have. It’s pretty much common sense to me about your earnings. Way back then, people used their cattle and things like that. Times has changed and it’s what we bring home, which is our paycheck! Our earnings. We are to bring our tithes to the storehouse, as the Bible says and it’s just common sense to me. God has a plan for the Church which is the gathering of Believers. That’s why when we join a True Bible Believing Church we are to support it so the electric bill can be paid and any other bills. There are missions to be supported, which by the way is what we as a Church should do! The list goes on and on! I don’t understand why people can’t comprehend the part about tithing! It just amazes me!! The Bible might not say Crystal clear as my name, but you study and just know that that is what tithing is. Now the part of where you talked about gross and net salary, I have never heard such a thing! I have only been a member of one IFB Church, but there must be some corrupt ones out there, especially after reading some things from this site! I just want to tell people, ALL THIS STUFF BEING SAID ABOUT AN IFB CHURCH, IS NOT TRUE FOR THEM ALL!! Friend, to me a tithe is 10% of what you bring home! It’s what we earn and to me, that would be the net salary!

  77. Crystal says:

    @greg
    IF THE MAN GOD APPOINTED TO WATCH OVER YOUR SOUL IS LIVING RIGHT, PREACHING RIGHT, AND LINING UP WITH THE WORD OF GOD, THEN THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY PROBLEMS! THAT IS WHY PEOPLE NEED TO READ THEIR BIBLES AND JUST SEE WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY ABOUT IT! I DON’T KNOW WHAT ALL WENT ON IN YOUR FORMER CHURCH, BUT MY IFB CHURCH DOES NOT HAVE THESE ISSUES AS Y’ALL ARE TALKING ABOUT! YOU DO HAVE TO KNOW WHAT THE PASTOR IS TEACHING AND BE AWARE OF THE SURROUNDINGS. OUR PASTOR WILL EVEN TELL YOU THAT! HE TELLS US ALL THE TIME, GO AND READ YOUR BIBLE AND SEE IF I’M TELLING THE TRUTH! WHICH WE ARE AS CHRISTIANS TO DO SO! SEE IF THAT MAN OF GOD IS LINING UP WITH GOD’S WORD! YOU HAVE TO DISSECT GOD’S WORD AND SEE IF IT’S BEING TAUGHT THE RIGHT WAY! MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW IF THEIR PASTOR IS TEACHING RIGHT, THEIR BIBLE SITS ON THE SHELF FROM MONDAY-SATURDAY!

  78. greg says:

    Hi Crystal – You are very correct about the expenses of the church.

    I have found that most IFB’s (I agree they are not “all” alike) are adamant that they preach from the bible, and I am assuming that your church does as well, but they do much preaching about tithing and I don’t find tithing at all for new testament believers under grace in the “new covenant.”

    I asked only one question “show me anywhere in the bible, OT or NT where a ‘tithe’ was ever money.” You have now posted twice, one in CAPS, and have still shown not “one” verse where a “tithe” was ever money!

    I encourage you to ask your pastor for a scriptural reference, and come on back. There are many things taught in “most” IFB’s that are completely wrong regarding the OT Jewish practice of tithing.

    You don’t have to mention that you were on the internet, if your pastor doesn’t allow it, (many IFB pastors don’t) just tell him it came up in conversation, and that’s the truth.

  79. Wayne says:

    @Mark
    I go to a IFD church as well.In the last few years of going I have never heard a sermon on tithing.I also had a one on one discussion with the pastor on this matter and while he does believe in tithing he said its between me and God.

  80. Wayne says:

    @Norman Silva
    WOW I go to a IFB church and this is what I have found.99 percent of the women do wear dresses or skirts.My girl wears jeans and if someone their doesnt like it they can get over it.My church is against the cinema but I enjoyed a saturday with my kids watching MIB 3 once again if someone in my church doesnt like it they can get over it.My experience is that no one will ever agree with 100 percent of what their church believes.
    If this seems like a random response it is I am just writing as things come to mind.
    We do believe and I agree with the KJV only.BUTTTTT I and my church absolutely does not think that anyone reading a niv nasb or other versions is going to hell.I and my church believes that people who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour putting their trust in him and in him alone go to heaven no matter what denomination it is.As far a Billy Graham I still dont understand the whole Graham thing if someone wants to bring me up to speed let me know.Oh and we believe in eternal security.

  81. Tim says:

    @Wayne
    Your IFB church is definitely the exception and not the rule. As an evangelist’s son I have been in hundreds of IFB churches since I was a kid. Many of the things you mention would cause a member to be a removed from the church. At the very least you would be shunned and gossiped about to the point where you would leave the church. The pastor would not allow that type of influence on the rest of the members. The KJV issue is I believe the most “sacred” truth held to by the IFB. I have personally been in many IFB churches that believe that you cannot lead someone to Christ with one of these “perversions”.

  82. greg says:

    Just Venting, hope it’s ok!

    My gospel bluegrass group played today at a Southern Baptist church, we have a standing date here and play the last Sun of every month, and have for years. I’m very familiar with these folks and love them and the place has a very loving/giving spirit. The teaching is fairly light (as in very little deep teaching) and the pastor is about 85. They are not KJV only but do teach tithing, and as already mentioned, they don’t venture into it very deeply, and also regularly talk about filling the pews. I always feel the same way. Well I’m here and so are the rest of us so why don’t we concern ourselves with the ones that ARE here, and not worry so much about those that aren’t.

    Anyhoo, my mother sometimes goes with us, when we play there, so I picked her up and she mentioned that she would like to sit close to the back because she was on medication and might have to slip out to go to the bathroom, mom’s 78. So she and my wife found a nice seat on the back row. About the time for services to start the pastor’s wife came to the aisle and grabbed something from where the hymnbooks are kept, mom asked her, Did we get your seat? She said “I always sit here” Mom offered to slide down and let her have her seat, and the pastor’s wife ignored her, and walked off in a huff!

    The previous month when we had played here I had sat through a very tedious sermon about tithing from an associtate pastor, who is a friend of mine, and whom I have known for the better part of 20yrs. The sermon was void of Scripture, and I knew before the sermon was over that my friend would be getting a letter from me. I mailed him a very nice letter discussing the biblical concept of tithing, and basically demonstrated from the scriptures that NO Christian was EVER compelled to give a compulsory tithe. I told him to share the letter with anyone he wanted to and that I would be happy to discuss it with him at anytime! I happened to notice that the pastor made no effort to speak with me, and then when preaching made specific ref about tithing, and how even though it had been for Jews under the law, that we were still supposed to tithe, but gave no Scripture. He said that in the OT the tithe was brought to the storehouse, and then asked the congregation what was the storehouse now? Attempting to elicit the congregation to say the church, which it is not, and is completely false teaching! So it seems that my friend must have shared my letter, of course I don’t care! Maybe in their attempt to answer some of these issues I brought up, it will hopefully lead someone to look into the matter and actually learn something about OT tithing and NT giving!

    I told my wife today that having some knowledge about biblical issues can make things abit difficult, at least in my personal circle. I will not sit still for foolish teaching about KJVonlyism, tithing or anything that is not biblical. I won’t make a scene but I will, when given the proper time, point out the errors!

    Tks, I needed this!

    • Jamey says:

      Greg,

      I don’t mind your venting. I have a need to vent a bit myself. My SBC pastor preached a sermon on tithing yesterday morning. I was VERY uncomfortable as I sat there. He of course, used an OT passage and also had “commitment cards” in everyone’s bulletin. He wants everyone to commit to tithing this next year and also if we choose to, to commit to giving above the tithe. We were asked to sign and date our cards, as well. Everyone is supposed to put their commitment cards in the offering plate next week. Let’s just say that I know of at least one person who is not going to be putting her commitment card in the plate. I give when I choose to, and not because I’m being made to. I also give of my time when I can’t give any money. There is more than one way to give to a church.

  83. greg says:

    Jamey – I have heard nearly the exact same sermon, except it was for “faith promise giving” and not tithing, but it doesn’t surprise me that a MOG would “borrow” from that false teaching and apply it to “tithing” I don’t know how long you have attended this church, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you got a call or visit form the MOG next week, wondering where your committment card is.

    Just have a biblical look at NT giving in 2 Cor 8:1-13 Paul is commending the Macedonians for their “free will” giving. Note v-3 that no gifts were coerced, but the gifts were given “entirely on their own, they even pleaded with Paul to be allowed the “priveledge” of sharing. v-5 says they first gave themselves to the Lord. In v-11 Paul says to go ahead and complete the gift which they were eagerly wanting to do, and pls watch, they were to give “according to your MEANS” v-12 “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, NOT according to what he does not have.” Notice “according to your MEANS” v-12 for the gift to even be acceptable the “willingness” must be there. You don’t give and just hope God is going to pay your bills miracously!! In fact may I suggest this passage speaks against such foolishness! Paul is telling these folks to give according to what one has, not what one doesn’t have.

    There are many examples of what NT giving looks like, and this is just one of many. But how can the MOG stand in front of simple, faithful folks and preach the type of legalistic drivel that you sat through this Sunday, you see I would read the word, and then hear the preacher, and they were vastly different! It would confuse me.

    Let me finish by adding that if God speaks to anyone about giving anything, you always should listen to the voice of God. There are examples of God acting and compelling folks to act in particular situations, in very strange ways, always listen to the Spirit. But having said that, clearly the regular, normal teaching of God is to give freely of your own free will, certainly not to give so that you are unable to pay your utility bills, that’s foolishness. And if you have been blessed financially and want to give vastly more than 10%, I believe God WILL bless you, if the gift is from the heart.

    • Jamey says:

      Greg,
      I’ve been going to this church for a little over a year. Every sermon that I have heard has had a Gospel presentation within the sermon. Sunday morning’s sermon was the first one I have heard, where the Gospel was not given. This was also the first sermon that I have heard where money was the main topic.

      I heard some of the same arguments that I used to hear in the IFB. He told us that he believes when a person gives their tithe, God keeps other major expenses from coming up. That doesn’t sound right to me. For one thing, I know people who have lost their house because they couldn’t afford the tithe and the house payments. I also know people who have faithfully tithed, but major medical expenses still came up. Just because a person gives money to the church, does not mean that God automatically takes away all extra expenses.

      I also think it’s wrong to obligate God to perform a certain way just because someone is giving money to the church. What happens when God doesn’t work according to the plan? Do I blame God for the extra expenses, or my pastor for telling me that God would do certain things if I gave? I don’t think it’s right to try to strike a bargain with God.

      • greg says:

        It’s sorta funny in a way. The IFB is getting over into health, wealth and prosperity teaching with some of this stuff.

        You make a very good point that they seem to be preaching that we can “manipulate” God into doing stuff for us if we will but give. God really is pretty clear in the scriptures “each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”1Cor9:7 (so Jamey strictly speaking, you don’t have to give anything “each man” smiles, isn’t that the way IFB’s treat scripture?)

        Clearly we live in a world where folks have needs, and Christians should try to meet as many of these legitimate needs as feasibly possible! There are many wonderful things to give to!

  84. gemienyl says:

    Jamey,

    Your observation maybe true in some point but let me share with you that when a person tithe then He is obeying what the Word of God is. And God is rewarding His children who obeys Him. In Psalm it says there Obedience always brings blessings…Those Words written in Malachi are not words of men but Words and promises spoken by God…so there is no way we can comment on that.. and by so doing we are just as if saying we don’t believe or trust God.

    In matters that obedient people of God who are tithing and yet still experiencing some medical problems will not alter the truth in Malachi or shall falsely accused those promises but rather we can put it in the balanced truth that God is Sovereign and God is Omniscient, He knows what He is doing to His children…It is for the children of God to obey rather see things in different perspective. Faith involves your heart not your mind. Let us believe with our hearts and not with our minds…because God focuses in the condition of our hearts…God bless

    • Jamey says:

      Gemienyl,

      Something very great happened to me today. I got a job. I haven’t had a job since June. I wasn’t looking for this particular job. It literally came about quite suddenly. If I had put that tithing commitment card in the offering plate this past Sunday, then people would say that because of my obedience, God is blessing me. But that’s not the case because I have not been tithing. I didn’t put that card in the plate.

      Instead of telling people that if they do x then God will do y and bless them, shouldn’t we tell people that God blesses who He wants to when He wants to? My getting a job had nothing to do with me. It had nothing to do with a commitment that I was supposed to make to God and put in the offering plate so my pastor could see it. (I have a major problem with that anyway. I don’t have to let anyone else know if I make any kind of commitment to God. That’s between Him and I.) He might have just blessed me with a job because He wanted to. He might have taken away my former job so that I would be available to do this one. I don’t know all the answers. But, I’m not going to try to second-guess God or bargain with Him to try to get Him to do things for me.

      This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever give monetarily. I have no problems with putting money in the offering plate. I do have a problem with being told that I have to do it and how much is the minimum percentage that I have to give. I prefer to give “not grudgingly or of necessity,” but because I’m happy to do it if I have it.

  85. gemienyl says:

    Mr. Greg,

    Sad to say that tithing for your information is very biblical..don’t be tempted to disregard this. You, if even then, are mentioning this tithing is for Old Testament times, why then the Lord Jesus Christ did not say then.or rebuke this lesson on tithing but in His words He said when you tithe then don’t forget other things which are important….Obedience always brings blessings.and disobedience to His Words are ignorance of who God is in His life…..God bless you and may the peace and knowledge of God be with you as you go to Church every Sunday … SBC has a deep rooted teachings on the Word of God…

    • greg says:

      gemienyl – Not to pick, but your comment was a bit hard to understand. Jesus never told anyone to tithe, in fact, never in the NT was any Christian EVER told or compelled to tithe. Tithing is indeed biblical, (for Jews under the old covenant)

      It seems like you are referring to Jesus speaking to the Pharisees in Luke 11:42 Jesus said “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” This would have been a perfect time to tell Christians that we also need to tithe, and remember, these Pharisees were still under the law,because Christ was still here! Then you have Matthew 23:23 which is a parallel to the one above, and the only other time our Lord ever mentions tithing, I think, is at Luke 18:12. That was where the Pharisee was bragging to God about how great he was and bragging about his tithing, and then the tax collector was humble before God and said “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

      So there you have the extent of what Jesus had to say about tithing, very little, and never hinted that Christians under the new covenant should be compelled to pay a tithe. Let me ask you something, are there any other things that you think Christians should be doing according to the law/old covenant? Or just the tithe?

      Tithes were never money, never! Tithes were agricultural products from the land. How can pastors tell folks to give a tenth of their gross pay and this is somehow a tithe?

      Jews brought tithes to the “Storehouse” We have no storehouses now! (Pastors often teach that is the church, but that cannot be found in the NT scripture)

      Jews gave the tithes to Levitical Priests. Do you know where any of those are? Because if you want to tithe like the OT says, your tithe must be given to a Levitical Priest!

      Jesus says quite abit more about giving in the NT than tithing. Frankly I believe many of us could and should give much more than 10%, in fact I think many churches lack because they teach falsely about tithing!

      Pls share anything you would like, but pls use Scripture if you would like to discuss this further. But clearly tithing was for Jews under the Law, I see nothing to suggest that somehow any Christian is compelled to give a tithe!

  86. gemienyl says:

    Sir,

    Whatever thousands reasons you may say so in regards to giving and tithing the truth of this cannot be altered. May you continue studying these in context and not by the rational mind. There are so many lessons on this that will enlightened this topic to you….don’t be deceived by those defying words relating the biblical text on tithing and giving…sort out and trust God’s Words .. .

  87. greg says:

    Jamey – Congratulations on your job! Comes at a great time at the Christmas season!

    Yes there have been many IFB pastors that have stood behind pulpits all across this coutry telling folks about this vengeful God that will zap you if you don’t give a tithe! I heard it told one time when someone inquired about “Why was Mr Smith in the hospital” and the old pastor said “God’s getting his tithe back” Frankly I don’t see that God in the Scriptures!

    God gives us gifts and blesses us (your job) because He loves us, and looks out for us. He’s not Santa checking some list to see if we are deserving!!

    Update on my letter to my friend, the associate SBC pastor. Remember I told him to share the letter with anyone, and apparently he did. My good friend is a member there, and he said that last Sunday another associate pastor was talking about “storehouse giving” and spent several minutes talking about it. My friend is getting me a recording of the sermon.

  88. gemienyl says:

    Greg,

    Sorry Greg that you find hard to understand my comment..Thanks for still allowing me to share but with biblical texts…Im saying that the Lord Jesus in anyway did not tell us not to tithe…so there’s no big deal about it…if you believe that tithing is not for Christians since it is only for Jews and you believe that we have to give more than 10% there’s no arguments about that……anyways, what i have mentioend can be read in the bible…surely if you feel tithing is not of necessity int he church today then its up to you…anyway this is not hard to understand and to stand…if you feel not giving, its your choice..it has nothing to do anyway with our Salvation..God bless

    • greg says:

      The Lord did not tell us to do many things. For instance Jesus said nothing about flying kites on Wednesdays. I know that’s silly, but I’m attempting to get you to understand that seeking to find out what Jesus did not tell us to do, is probablynot the best way to discover what Jesus does want and expect from us! Does that make sense?

      I certainly believe in giving as the NT prescribes “Let everyone give according as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion (WHY?) Because God loves a cheerful giver”

  89. Brian says:

    I understand I am going to enter a firestorm here. :-) And, please do not take my statements as me telling you what to do with your finances or how to walk in your faith. This is strictly my personal mini-story

    OK, I understand that IFB and regular churches use the above scriptures in support of the tithe and others that find scripture (or, the omission of scripture) that support no tithe for the NT church. For me, I give to my church and use the 10% as an easy estimate of what to give, like using the same formula to tip my waiter/waitress. It is never exact and there are days I have given plus or minus an exact 10%.

    I have had blessings when I would give money to my church and I have had no blessings when I would give money to my church. I have never agreed with the theory of “Jackpot Jesus”– putting money in the church for the expectation of multiple blessings and money multipliers in the future. I agree that a pastor should not use the tithe scriptures in the OT as a guilt trip. My favorite story (and one of my foundations of why I give) is in the New Testament. Its where the Jewish man gave a ton of money and was boastful and the widow that gave 2 mites, but she had a heart for God. And, Jesus said she was more honorable in God’s eyes.

    I have given to churches (whether it was Baptist, IFB, non-denominational, Methodist, etc.) in my past and I give to my current church because of what God has given me– FREE WILL. My wife does not believe in giving to a church, because she said she will not have enough money at the end of the month if she does. I do not make a lot of money as a bus driver and pizza chain cook, but I can tell you that I have not missed a bill and have not missed the money I have given to my church. Yes, I have been in some financial pinches and at times have not made a tithe offering, but I would pray about it and give what I could. I put my faith that the money I give to my church is going to where it needs to go. If the pastor uses some of the money for a Michelin Star gourmet dinner or a deacon is a thief and takes some of my tithe money, I do not lose any sleep over it. When they come face to face with God, He will take care of the justice. This is an argument that my wife has used for not giving to the church. I still remember as a kid that my dad would give me a dollar bill where I could put it in the offering plate. I did it out of habit as a kid, now I do it because I enjoy the privilege of sharing a financial form of love.

    Along the way, I give to people in need and buy a pizza for someone at the supermarket next to our restaurant at times. FOR ME, it seems like the more I give, the more I get in return where I can give more to others. At my church, they have a box for tithes/offerings, but it is not rammed down the throats of the congregation each week or a plate passed in front of you with people looking to see if you are putting an envelope in it.

    It is a PERSONAL decision between you and God what you do with your money. Everything on this earth (food, water, money, dirt, our bodies, etc.) belongs to Him and we have it on loan.

    I am amazed at the amount of research y’all have done and applaud you for it. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. :-)

    • Brian says:

      ADDENDUM: My pastor was in 2 Corinthians 8 today. He teaches chapter by chapter, not topic by topic. Amazing how I was just reading this article… his message was a mirror image of the points made here. It clicked in my heart and I could feel the chain of bondage just snap! It was the best feeling!!!! Even as I was a cheerful giver at 10%, it was I setting the standard of where and how much to give, when it should have been God guiding my heart in giving. The first order of business is for someone to give their heart to God FIRST. Then, as He works in your life, He will guide your heart where your giving will be a blessing to His glory. Praise God for little miracles!! :-)

  90. Gregory says:

    Just a question ormtwo regarding tithing and the difference between an agricultural community and one using representational currency. When I work an hour for a wage, I’m exchanging one hour of life for money. If its an equal exchange, as economists say, where is the increase? If I give 10% of what I receive in exchange for one hour of life, am I not valuing what I traded at zero? In other words, am i not counting what i received as 100% increase? Does valuing what God gave me…life itself…as worthless until I trade it for paper hold water in any theological tradition?

    • Steve says:

      I never thought about it like that. It’s an equal exchange, time for money so there really isn’t an “increase” is there. The IFB churches I’ve experienced would simply say that it ALL belongs to God anyway so 10% is just our way of “trusting God in obedience” or I’ve been in churches that would say something like “we aren’t supposed to just tithe money, but our time, talents, relationships, etc. so if you don’t have money to give then give your time by volunteering”. They have an answer for any objection to tithing.



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