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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...

Friday, August 29, 2014

You're invited to The Crossing Church!

You're invited to The Crossing Church!  Did you receive an invite card?  If you haven't, then be ready!  It's coming up on National Back to Church Week End.  This is the week end where churches try to get people (those bringing in the money) back from Summer vacation and into church.  Churches will have special events to entice people to come, maybe some food, possibly a bouncy house for the kids.  The Crossing Church uses its members to do hard core marketing through inviting others to church using invitation cards.

These are a few cards from previous years and their latest attempt is no exception.  As indicated in this tweet below, they are giving the Crossing people cards with the expectation to hand out and invite.  

I asked my son, who was 11 years old at the time, how he felt about the invite cards.  "I felt I didn't have a choice.  In addition to handing out cards to invite to church, I also was told we had to invite to youth group.  They even threatened us saying that if more people weren't coming we couldn't have the youth group.  Even though I could tell something wasn't right with what I was doing, the way they placed this obligation before us, it made it my main goal.  I had the weight of the world on my shoulders passing out those cards.  I felt I wasn't doing it right because sometimes I left it on a teacher's desk or slipped it in a locker and was too nervous to say it face to face.  The Crossing made it clear that I was risking people going to hell if I didn't invite them to church.  No matter how hard you invited it was never enough.  There would be a new stack of cards the next week and you had to start it all again."

The premise is that it was your fault if your friends and family went to hell if you did not want to invite them to church.  You're told you should want to do this.  But what if you didn't want to invite anyone?  What if you're shy?  Introverted?  Or simply didn't feel this was the best way to reach people?  The shaming was horrific.  Examples were made of those who got large numbers of people to attend.  Staff members were given quotas which they had to meet.  Glares of disgust were given to those who didn't stand up in church to say they would pass out all the invite cards on their chair.  INVITE! INVITE! INVITE!

I have to ask you Crossing Church; how big is your God?  Your loving God would allow his children to burn in hell just because someone didn't pass out an invite card?  Gee...not much grace on tap here.

Bottom line: more people coming = more money coming in.  This isn't a community of believers; it's business.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I Love My Church at The Crossing Church

So The Crossing Church just finished an "I love my church" series.  Well we've heard this bedtime story before (2011).  Though they seem to have learned their lesson from years ago, as this very series was the deal breaker for many, it's the same message simply tamed down and softened a bit.  

Lets compare:

2011 version - I love my church series told us: You will revolve your life, your time and your money around The Crossing Church or plan on being kicked out the back door.  (I walked out that back door freely which lead me to the alley - hence the name "Thoughts from the Back Alley")

2014 version: "I will do whatever it takes - money, time, talent", "the church of Jesus does whatever it takes", "what if you partnered with us...what if you were the Christian Jesus intended"

Oh my!  So to give of your money, talent and time to The Crossing Church is to be the Christian Jesus intended.  Churches are fabulous at subtle manipulation but this is one of the better ways I've seen.  Because flip it the other way; the insinuation is that if you aren't giving and serving is that you aren't being a real Christian.  Even in their new code (the old code)it says "Our staff and leaders go above and beyond to give sacrificially...We don't do this because we have to, but because we WANT to!" So what does it mean if you don't want to?  You aren't serving God correctly?  You aren't a Christian?  It becomes more about what's not being said than what is actually said.

The sermons were the usual Crossing dogma: lots of shaming on their congregants for wanting to be fed (learn), saying "we expect to live unselfishly" yet also talking about how they like half and half at the coffee shop (Jesus was all about lattes) and how this "reflects their personalities" (uh no..it's about controlling your empire), and of course the money shot "I will do whatever it takes, money, time, talent".  Money.  Time.  Talent.  Much more subtle this time but the same message of revolving your life around The Crossing Church....or you're not being the Christian Jesus wants you to be.  

So what can you expect next?  THE BIG GIVE!!  I'll predict that they will ask for another big money give in the next 4-6 weeks.  Church attendance in Minnesota gets low in the summer which means tithing is down so that means they'll need a special manipulative way to get those dollars rolling back in.  It will most likely be something about a Fall Kickoff (churches love Fall kick offs!) and needing more money so people can come to The Crossing and meet Jesus (because where the hell else could they possibly find him?)  Come on friends, million dollar buildings don't pay for themselves so you'd better open those wallets for Jesus just like Pastor Eric's mentor Ed Young tells you to!