Featured Post

Where Does My Tithe Money Go? (Kelly takes a vacation)

When you give to a church it's usually understood that the money goes to support the church's finances and keep it running.  Being a...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Crossing Church's 10% Advantage or Gambling with Jesus - Part III

"Tithing in your poverty, gives you the supernatural possibility of moving to plenty." ~ Eric Dykstra

Unlike giving to a charity where you know your money goes to a good cause and you get nothing in return, pastors play on your desire for more when preaching about tithing.  They won't say you'll definitely have more money if you tithe but the implication is there the entire time.  

First the verses of "God's promises" (These are always Christian favorites.  These are the quotable verses, the ones you put on a special card or key chain.  I get it.  You sure don't want Deuteronomy 22:28-29 as a fridge door magnet!)

Jeremiah 29:11 - “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Never mind that this verse was for the entire nation of Israel and not special shout out to you.  Sure wouldn't want to read anything in context!

Philipians 4:19 - "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." First, there is nothing about tithing here.  Second, Paul is speaking to a church, not YOU!

After the verses, and more promises that God will perfectly take care of you (In the old school days a singer would belt into "His eye is on the sparrow" about now.) then comes some amazing examples.  The Crossing first told of a couple who tithed and God gave them a booming business (A huge storm hit Bloomington and their construction business hit the jackpot!  Yeah God!).  The next week was a story about a lady who prayed that if God gave her money she'd use it wisely.  She then goes to her daughter's shower, gets a scratch off lottery ticket and wins $100,000.  The parallels between her scratch off, and the money people put into the church in hopes God will shower them with blessings, is down right hysterical.  

All this plays with people's minds.  They want more money, they want nice things, they want to be out of poverty, and just like putting some money down on the blackjack table in hopes of winning, they do the same with giving to church.  It's all shrouded in grace, love and generosity but it still comes down to greed.  If it wasn't about the gamble of "you have to put something in to get more out" then the example stories wouldn't be needed.  

They don't show the stories of the people who gave and lost their jobs, lost their homes, got sick and died.  Tithing gives the illusion of security and protection.  People are led to believe that if they put in 10% plus then some supernatural voodoo will happen and they won't have financial issues.  This is also where shaming comes in.  If someone says they are broke, they are sick or they are down and out, the first questions are: "Are you tithing?"  "Do you have faith?"  "Have you put Jesus first?"  "Are you praying?"  Blah, blah, blah...  So if shit isn't working out then you'd better believe it's Your Fault!

Pastor Eric Dykstra - You are a prosperity preacher.  You might not like the name but you really need to own it.  You are using people for your own gain.  Again.  Just with the new tagline of "grace".  It's wrong.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Crossing Church's 10% Advantage or Gambling with Jesus - Part II

"If you are returning the tithe, and still not walking into more than enough, it's probably because you don't know where the other 90% went."  ~ Eric Dykstra

These are the 5 points that The Crossing Church says you need to do in order to live "abundantly".

1.) Return the Tithe
2.) Ask God how he wants you to budget his money
3.) Save
4.) Plan for the future
5.) Listen to the Spirit of God and be generous

You are obviously doing quite well Pastor Dykstra.  If you are able to have a savings, saving for retirement, saving for your children's college, able to buy a beautiful house on the river, buy your wife a new Dodge Charger, travel non-stop (Or are the tithes of your church paying for that since it's "church business"?) - then you are living large compared to the average person in your church.  How are you preaching about saving for retirement when you told your church in 2011 that you'd given your entire 401K to the building Samurai fund?  

I gave.  I gave the Full Tithe.  I gave much more.  I gave until it hurt and then I gave more.  What happened?  Nothing.  No random checks in the mail, no winning lottery tickets given to me, no bonuses at work.  Or was this a special character builder?

I saved.  No credit card debt, no payments except for regular bills and no "extras".  I gave ALL of my savings to the Crossing multiple times when they convinced me that if I "planted a seed", then God would take care of me.  What happened?  I no longer had a savings.  

I budgeted.  No car payment (high miles), thrift store shopping, coupons and eating leftovers.  No flat screen, no iphone, no bigger house, no new car.

Though I'm making fun of The Crossing's manipulative examples of people who tithed and then God blessed the living hell out of them, I really never expected any special thing to happen if I tithed  My charity giving (which is supposed to be above the 10% you give to the church) was because I cared and felt it was the right thing to do.  The tithe was because I'd been indoctrinated to fear what would happen if I didn't give.  I just didn't want God to hurt me anymore.  So funny that now Pastor Dykstra says the tithe isn't based on the law.  As always, "my yoke is easy and my burden is light" just doesn't exist in the church.  Especially not an up and coming mega church.  

Pastor Eric said, "Do you know what separates atheists from Christians?  Generosity."  That's bullshit.  All my atheist friends are insanely generous.  Generous because they are amazing people...not because they are looking to get something.  

I no longer tithe.  What happened?  Nothing.  Oh wait...I got a 10% income raise!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crossing Church's 10% Advantage or Gambling with Jesus - Part I

Pastor Eric Dykstra starts this series claiming "I'm not a prosperity preacher - I'm a grace preacher!"  You are most certainly, without any question, a Prosperity Preacher.  You are playing on people's emotions and giving them hope in their actions (tithing +) as a way for security.  

Some quotes from the series:

"Prosperity is not a bad word, it's a bible word."  So is humility.

"He'll richly provide us with everything for our enjoyment."  Is this how Jesus lived?  Or Paul?  

"If you bring the full tithe he'll take you to the place of no need."  So if you have need then it's your fault.  

"God says I would love to give you more but I've got to get more through you." Again, if your life isn't working then you just need to give more.  Favorite Joel Osteen quote, which Pastor Eric referenced, "If you have a need then plant a seed."  

"Tithing in your poverty gives you the Supernatural POSSIBILITY of moving to plenty."  So do slot machines.  They even go so far as to tell about a woman who was tithing, asked God for money and got a $100,000 dollar lottery ticket.  Hopefully her tithe from this big win will pay for most of their $15,000 Grand Opening fund.  Money well spent; it's not like there are people who are down and out and could use a hand.  Oh wait...those people should be tithing if they need help!!  Duh!

From Kelly Dykstra's blog: "We are drawn to bubble baths, fuzzy slippers, a crackling fireplace, pretty shoes, shiny stones, delicious food...because they represent the entitled life; the class for which we were created."  Really Kelly?  God wants us to live the entitled life?  We should be praying to get new cars?  I see the Dykstra's doing very well; constantly flying around the country, new Charger, fabulous dining out.  Living large!  Hey Crossing staff - is life this great for you?

"If you are returning the tithe, and still not walking into more than enough, it's probably because you don't know where the other 90% went."  

This entire series so far has been audio only.  Normally The Crossing loves to promote and look at themselves so this is extra interesting.  Reminds me of a previous time when they were also talking about tithing and money and didn't post the last sermon in the series.  So if everything you are preaching is good and about Jesus, then why the secrecy?  

There is so much more to say, and I will most definitely say it, but for now I need to go throw up in my mouth.