Monday, July 21, 2008

Let's Buy Our Way Into Heaven... And Other Sunday Morning Garbage

Christ's blood can cover all sins... except one. Not tithing to the church. Did you know that. See, I didn't, but lucky me, I was enlightened last Sunday by a special speaker (that my tithe money brought in, money well spent, don't you think?).

He was a funny Southern man who was charming, made me laugh, and had great claims about his abilities to save well over 200 souls a year. So his claims seemed light hearted, but in reality, the guy was screwy, and legalistic, and lets not forget... totally full of himself. OK Karlie.... maybe the LAST comment was uncalled for, but I'm pissed... and lashing out a bit.

So what exactly did he say? Well, he said that there are no thieves in heaven, so obviously you can't get into heaven if you are not tithing, because you are stealing from God. I couldn't fail but notice that this man was fat. Hmmm, are there gluttons in heaven? So, if it is indeed a sin to not tithe (which personally, I do not think it is) then why can't Christ's blood cover it like the murder, adultery, etc?

Oh, but this sermon kept getting better! This man went on to say that if you don't attend church on Sunday nights, you might as well not attend Sunday morning, because the church only needs "devoted" people. Whatever. I think my Sunday nights are better spent with my family, or fellowship. Heck, I'd be all over Sunday night small groups, but the church refuses (so as not to compete with the empty seats at the 5:00 service).

This speaker was surprisingly speaking on evangelizing. All I could think was "I'm so glad I didn't bring a guest this morning". "Welcome to our church... all we require for you to join us in heaven is 10% of your income and every Sunday night and morning... otherwise you are a thief and not devoted enough to be one of us, and you can just rot in hell". That's gonna win LOTS of souls.

The thing that scared me was all the Amen's coming from the pastor and his wife as this man spoke. As I was praying during worship (before the speaker) God kept telling me that he just wanted me to delight in him. DELIGHT IN HIM! He didn't give me a long list of demands.... a level of performance he wanted me to achieve. I feel closest to him when I just love him. Ugh... I'm so sick of the churches standards! I want to follow Christ!

I must tell you, that the time I was most blessed financially was when we chose to give our tithe to the body... not the church. Each month we would pray over where to put our tithe, and each month, We'd watch miracles happen. GOD was in control of our money. We got to be an active part of the process, and it was beautiful. Now I think it's the responsibility of the body to make sure the pastor is WELL taken care of, that the church has enough money to keep lights on, etc, but since when is the church a building??? Isn't it the body? Just a thought. My church does not take care of the body, just the building, and the special speakers, and lots of fake flower arrangements. Somehow, I just don't think that's what God intended.

OK, I'm done griping.


Halfmoon Girl said...

wow. That sounds off. I appreciate that our church does not hand out offering baskets. There is a slotted box at the back and giving is between you and God. There is no portion of the service dedicated to taking up offerings.

javamamma said...

Sorry you didn't have a refreshing, restorative Sunday morning. Sounds sucky.

EEEEMommy said...

Amen!! I echo Javamamma! We had a guest speaker too Sunday, but I got to hear a retired firefighter teach about the law and how Christ fulfilled it and we're not bound by it and how we live under grace instead. We don't even have a Sunday evening service at our church, which is good by me because I remember how exhausting going back to church on Sunday evening was all those years. Sunday evening is a great time for family and fellowship and anyone who doubts my devotedness can get a sock in the nose. Oh and we have the slotted box in the back like halfmoon girl. Yep, I don't miss legalism at all! Can I get an amen?

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

One thing I am pretty sure of is that there will not be any white-washed tombs in Heaven either.

I hate legalism. I mean I really get mad and disgusted when I see it. Because it's the enemy's M.O. in order to defeat us.

I tell ya, Karlie... If I may be so bold.... I hope that you will discuss this with your pastor to see if he even remotely agrees with that (and I would even go so far as to gently ask him why he was "amening" in he says no)

And if he does agree... Man, this chic would be outta there like a shot.

Becky said...

Oh, man...that would gripe me, too.
I'd have probably walked out of there.

We did that once while looking for a church home, and found thechurch we visited singing "Arky Arky" (about Noah and the Flood) as part of their "worship" service, and later, the barefoot pastor preached while sitting on the "In Remembrance of Me" communion table. I don't like irreverence, but neither do I like staunch legalism. Ugh.

You're a wise woman to have the dicernment to see that was way off.

Anonymous said...

You are correct in calling that kind of stuff garbage theolgoy. Check out my web site to read my book and over 150 article opposing tithing. I have friends all over the world who agree. May God bless you.

Russell Earl Kelly

lexaboy said...

The face of the tithe of the land is the manna, the bread that came down from heaven. Tithing is about bread, OT. To replace the bread with money is a serious error.

Emily said...

Hey...I missed this post!
(btw: the girl's avatar in the comment above she Valerie Bertinelli?)

We once visited a church where the pastor....head pastor, required us to raise our hands. He made this huge thing about if you don't, you're not letting the spirit in blah,blah,blah.

Now, I raise my hands in worship all the time. I dance in my seat if I feel led...but I refuse to do what I'm TOLD is 'correct' worship. He had NO right to tell us HOW to worship an unboxable God.

The tell someone who would rather bow their head and weep, that THEY aren't worshiping right....p'shaw!

So, it sortof goes along with your experience.
We left that church, and haven't looked back. Freedom and Grace are much more pleasant a thing to wake up to on Sunday morning.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say but it's because of people like him that I don't go to church. And that doesn't make me any less a Christian

Anonymous said...

DISGUSTING...I fee very similar to you on tithing!
Also, counting souls...genious-LOL!
I ma sick of "religion" and politics, there are too many REAL people going to hell- we don't have time for this crap!