“Tithe for 90 days and God will bless you — or your money back!” and other scams

An old investment scam went like this: A stock tip would be sent to random people, but half the people would be told the stock would go up, and half that it would go down.  It was a free, no-strings-attached offer designed to build trust with whichever half got the correct advice.  This would go on for a few rounds until the remaining group thought they were getting advice from Warren Buffet himself, as in, “Wow, this guy has been right 6 times in a row!  Please take lots of my money and invest it for me!”  Of course that would be the last they’d see of their money.

I was reminded of that scam when I read about this:Texas Megachurch Promises 100 Percent Refund in Tithe Challenge if ‘God Doesn’t Hold True to His Promise of Blessings’.

Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, led by Pastor Ed Young, has launched a 90-Day Challenge, encouraging members of the multi-campus megachurch to put God to the test by “bringing their tithes and offerings to the House.” “Each of us has a unique opportunity to be a part of the incredible life change happening around us at Fellowship Church by bringing our tithes and offerings to the House,” reads a description of the 90-Day Challenge. “If you are not tithing already, the 90-Day Challenge is the best place to start. We commit to you that if you tithe for 90 days and God doesn’t hold true to his promise of blessings, we will refund 100 percent of your tithe.”

Think about it: If you feel extra-blessed during the 90 days, you’ll keep tithing, so the church will win.  And even if you don’t feel blessed and they return your money, there is no net loss for them.  You weren’t tithing before, right?  And think about how few people will actually contact the church to demand a refund even if they didn’t feel extra-blessed.  According to false teacher Perry Noble’s video, all you have to do is call God a liar and they’ll return the money, no questions asked.

Why don’t they just preach the Bible accurately and skip the gimmicks?

2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

There was no mention of a tithe there.  The only mention in the entire New Testament was where Jesus whales on the Pharisees for tithing on their garden spices but neglecting the weightier matters of the law.

My official stance on giving is captured in Thoughts on tithing: Something to offend everyone!, where I note that if God expected the poorest Israelite to tithe and more, then maybe 10% isn’t so unreasonable to aim at.  It is a nice round number.  In fact, most of the people reading this are in the riches 1-2% of people who have ever lived.  Yet I would never want to suck the joy out of giving, so why would I be legalistic and demand a specific percentage when Jesus didn’t do so?  These guys distract from the Gospel and make the church look foolish to non-believers.

It is pretty obvious who will really be “blessed’ by this tithe campaign.  My prayer is that those being challenged with the “90 day tithe” will take 2 Corinthians 9 to heart and give joyfully based on what they have decided in their hearts to give — but that they will give it to a ministry with sound doctrine instead of these 

Hat tip: Glenn

The morbid hypocrisy of pro-abortion peace advocates

Abortion is murder.  It is the opposite of peace.  Yet the most vocal of those advocating for peace are often pro-abortion*.

Here’s a recent example.  Chuck “Jesus is not the only way but He sure is a bigot” Currie of the UCC (Unitarians Counterfeiting Christ) is radically pro-abortion yet doesn’t recognize his hypocrisy when writing A Brief Word About Peace:

A Just Peace is grounded in God’s activity in creation. Creation shows the desire of God to sustain the world and not destroy. The creation anticipates what is to come: the history-long relationship between God and humanity and the coming vision of shalom.

Just Peace is grounded in covenant relationship. God creates and calls us into covenant, God’s gift of friendship: “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore” (Ezekiel 37:26). When God’s abiding presence is embraced, human well-being results, or Shalom, which can be translated Just Peace.

Note the references to creation, humanity and multiplying people.  Yet this guy supports the legal killing of any human being up through infanticide (i.e., partial-birth abortion) for any reason — and he wants pro-lifers to pay for it here and around the world with their tax dollars.

They also deny the Bible and naively think that we can completely prevent wars.  They deny original sin and every conclusion they draw gets progressively worse from there.  This is just one of many reasons that they are non-Christians.

More hypocrisy:

1. Support nonviolent direct action.

Abortion is extremely violent, literally crushing and dismembering innocent human beings without anesthetic.

5. Advance democracy, human rights, and religious liberty.

Abortion violates the primary human right: The right to life.

My default position is always non-violence. My own belief is that even with the best of intentions that use of violence always falls somewhere in the category of sin.

How ironic that a pro-abortion “reverend” could label others as sinful for knowing that the best hope for peace is through strength.

* If you vote for Democrats, you are now pro-abortion, not pro-choice. And not just pro-abortion, but pro-“partial birth” abortion (aka infanticide).  The references to the Hyde Amendment are a joke, of course, and Obama has proved beyond all doubt that he will look you in the eye and lying dozens of times.  From their platform:

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

It gets worse: Obama overturned the Mexico City policy so the Abortion President could increase abortions around the world with taxpayer funds.  That’s pro-abortion.

And Obama & Co. oppose the choice of medical professionals not to participate in abortions.  That’s anti-choice pro-abortion extremism.

If you want to require taxpayer-funded to increase abortions then you aren’t pro-choice, you are pro-abortion. Forcing pro-lifers to pay for abortions = pro-abortion. Wanting to increase the number of abortions = pro-abortion.  If you are pro-“partial birth” abortion then you are really pro-legalized infanticide.

Oh, and you the worst kind of racist, because those taxpayer-funded abortions will take the 3-to-1 ratio of black abortion rates to that of whites even higher.

False teacher Rachel Held Evans on World Vision

As painful as the LGBTQX debate can be, there is one significant benefit: It shines a light on who the sheep and goats are in the church.  While we don’t have a perfect view of the invisible church (i.e., the body of those truly saved by Jesus), issues like this certainly make it more clear.  While people can be “saved and confused” on some topics, for “Christian” leaders to be this far off the mark is great evidence against them.

Rachel Held Evans has had a lot of squishy, creepy, anti-biblical teachings for years, but she really came out of the closet on this one.  In Who’s this child sponsorship about, anyway?, she initially harangued existing World Vision donors to stick with WV even though they had (temporarily) taken an anti-biblical view on marriage.  Their love of the world was clear to many donors, including me.  Evans insisted that it was all about the kids and that donors shouldn’t move their funds.  But she was celebratory about the change.

Then, two days later, she went into full “Oh, the humanity!” mode and noted how “betrayed” brand new pro-LGBTQX donors must feel.  Oddly, she never thought about how Bible-believing Christians might have felt betrayed by the initial change.

UPDATE:

My sources are confirming that, after pressure from evangelicals, World Vision has decided to reverse their decision on employing gay and lesbian people.

Yes, we pressured them.  I let them know that I would finish my current commitments and then shift my giving to organizations that didn’t mock the word of God.

I don’t know what to say. I really don’t.

For those of you who donated, thank you. That money will be put to good use, I assure you. But I am deeply, profoundly sorry that I inadvertently rallied these fundraising efforts in response to a decision that would ultimately be reversed.

Is Evans so naive to think that WV did that without LGBTQX pressure?  If they caved to them, why wouldn’t the cave again when faced with the loss of funds?

Though I sincerely hope everyone who sponsored a child or made a donation will continue to support World Vision, I can see how this effort would make you feel betrayed, as though it were launched under false pretense. And I’m so, so sorry for that. I’m as surprised by all this as you are, but I take full responsibility.

Full responsibility?  She’ll be giving them their money back?

Yes, betrayal is a good word to describe the initial change.

This whole situation has left me feeling frustrated, heartbroken, and lost. I don’t think I’ve ever been more angry at the Church, particularly the evangelical culture in which I was raised and with which I for so long identified. I confess I had not realized the true extent of the disdain evangelicals have for our LGBT people, nor had I expected World Vision to yield to that disdain by reversing its decision under pressure. Honestly, it feels like a betrayal from every side.

No, we are just still trusting the word of God.  And we love homosexuals too much to lie and tell them to stay in that lifestyle.  But Evans & Co. love the world and their popularity more than Jesus.

Something has to change. And I’m committed to being a part of that change. But not today.

Today, I don’t know what else to do but grieve with everyone else who feels like a religious refugee today. This sucks, and I’m so, so sorry.

I hope you take some comfort in the fact that perhaps, as a result of our petty warring, some kids were sponsored today.

So it was no big deal to change to the pro-gay view, but a huge deal to switch back two days later.  Got it.

We’ve sponsored WV children for 16 years. I will continue until they are out of the program but will move my donations elsewhere after that. The local organizations do great work (we’ve visited our Kenya child 5 times and have been really impressed with the field office) but the worldwide organization is obviously troubled.  I have plenty of other organizations I can give to.

World Vision has made a big mistake: By trying to please the LGBTQX lobby and not anticipating the reaction of Bible-believing Christians, they’ve alienated both sides. That’s to be expected when you try to please the world and take anti-biblical stances.

But the good news is that no one has to wonder if Rachel Held Evans and the like are to be trusted or not.  They have made it crystal-clear that they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

When false teachers get preachy on sin . . .

. . . you know they are rebelling against God in some politically correct way.  They never preach on what the Bible calls sin, but on some politically correct made-up “sin.”

Hateful, libelous, pervertedradical pro-abortionist, false teaching, race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie is upset that some people in Arizona are fighting for the religious freedom not to participate in anti-God “same-sex marriages.”  Via Arizona’s SB1062 Is A Matter Of Sin:

Arizona’s SB1062, a law which would allow religious people to discriminate against LGBT people, is a legal decedent of Jim Crow.  This is not about religious freedom but about bigotry.

They were not born that way, and even if they were, sexual preferences do not warrant special civil rights. Skin color is morally neutral but sexual behavior is not.  The facts are that “not only is sexual orientation fluid, but many instances of change occur without any therapy or intervention. For example, a study from the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 68% of 15 year-olds with same-sex attraction had opposite-sex attraction (OSA) by the age of 21.* Again, these changes occurred spontaneously.”

But Chuck is a Romans 1 poster boy, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness and encouraging people to rebel against God via homosexuality and other perversions.

A generation ago people used the Christian faith to justify discrimination against African-Americans and interracial couples. That was a misuse of the faith and only possible because white supremacists superimposed their beliefs over those taught by Jesus.

But those marriages were of one man and one woman.

If Chuck really cared about blacks he’d oppose the genocide of abortion, which kills blacks at a rate three times that of whites.

Using faith today to justify discrimination against gays and lesbians is just as twisted.

By “twisted” he means “biblical” and “in accordance with the 1st Amendment.”

. . . I applaud faith leaders in Arizona, like The Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, conference minister of the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ, who have spoken out against this moral travesty. Love your neighbor, taught Jesus.

I’ll bet Dorhauer is also a pro-abort who claims to “love” his neighbor.

Discrimination is not love nor is it a hallmark religious freedom. Reach out to friends and family in Arizona and tell them that as a person of faith you oppose discriminate and embrace God’s love – a love that extends to God’s gay and lesbian children.

More bad theology from Chuck: God’s children are those who have repented and trust in Jesus: John 1:1 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.  If “Reverend” Chuck actually read his Bible he’d know that.

Steven Furtick = false teacher

Steven Furtick is a super-creepy false teacher.  He seems like a mean version of Joel Osteen crossed with a cult leader. This was going to just be a one-liner in a roundup post, but I kept coming across more things about this guy and rapidly growing Elevation Church.

His “Hey Haters” video is comical for its hypocrisy.

He trots out other false teachers like Perry Noble to preach sermons about how great Furtick is, all the while claiming that God gave him that text to preach about Furtick, not Jesus.

Poor guy only has a 16,000 sq. ft. house. It is sad that his “church” is growing so fast and taking in a half-million dollars in weekly donations.

His church has people pretend to want to get baptized so that it will manipulate others into doing so.

Then there is this coloring assignment for kids at the church.  Yes, it is real.  Yes, he takes a verse about government and applies it to himself.  Yes, it is cult-like.  This reminds me of the episode from The Simpsons where Homer joins a cult (“The leader is great . . .”).

furtick

Update: Furtick knew about the book and loved it.

Furtick_Tweet

He actively discourages Bible study (surprise!) so his followers probably won’t catch on any time soon.  If only they would open the book . . .

The Tiny Bible of the Theological Left: Read it all in 5 minutes!

I came across this from 2011 and wanted to re-post it.  It started off as a tongue-in-cheek exercise, but I just kept thinking of more and more examples until my fingers cramped from typing so much.  Seriously, the more you think carefully about what they teach and claim to believe about the Bible the more obvious it is that they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.  

—–

There used to be a video store near us that rented movies with objectionable parts removed so the whole family could watch them.  I remember thinking, “What a time saver — you can watch Pulp Fiction in 5 minutes!”

In the same way, you can read the Theological Liberal Bible in about that time, and that is barely an exaggeration (although in this case there are no objectionable parts — at least to believers!).  Thomas Jefferson famously made his own religion with his “Jefferson Bible.” Theological Liberals just go many steps further.  I’m pretty sure this post is longer than their Bible.  Seriously, think about all the things they have to leave out:

First, they must delete the many warnings against false teachers.  There are loads of those, even in the Sermon on the Mount that they think they like but don’t really understand.

Matthew 5:17–18 has to go from the Sermon on the Mount because it shows how Jesus fully supported all the Old Testament.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Then they need to delete various passages that warn not to add or remove anything from the word of God.

They must cut the 100+ passages passages explicitly or implicitly teaching that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  You can’t have that while you’re busy teaching that all religions lead to the one true God.

They must delete the ~3,000 verses and surrounding texts that claim to directly speak for God.  In their hypocrisy many will claim that God is still speaking to them – such as with the UCC slogan “God is still speaking;” – but they don’t believe the original claims made in the Bible.  They treat it as a purely man-made book.  Why should we believe He is speaking to them in a reliable way?  Are we to believe that God has always been a 21st century far Left politician and was just waiting until the culture drifted his way before He was brave enough to speak?

All the claims that the Bible is the word of God have to be cut.  Psalm 119?  Gone.  2 Peter 3:16?  Gone.  And so on.

The beginning of Genesis must go, because they worship Darwin more than God and they “know” how we really came into being.

The countless passages in the Old Testament commanding us not to worship other gods.  For those of you who have actually read the Bible, you know how hard it is to go more than a couple pages without that warning or without reading about the horrible consequences of disobeying it.

The whole book of Joshua, because they think it would have been genocidal for God to clear out the promised land — even if the Canaanites had sacrificed babies and committed other atrocities for 400 years.

The messages about Adam & Eve, Sodom & Gomorrah, Noah and Jonah have to go, of course — as well as Jesus’ unapologetic commentary on them and his treatment of them as real events.

The whole Exodus passage, because they can’t believe that those miracles happened or that God would judge Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  And most of the wilderness experience and the Tabernacle creation must be removed, because they don’t think God really did miracles like providing manna or gave guidance to the Israelites.

The whole book of Judges, because they think God wouldn’t really punish Israel for cycle after cycle of turning from him and worshiping false gods.

Psalm 139 is out, because it teaches how we were knit together in our mother’s wombs by God.  And the same goes for all the other passages acknowledging the humanity of the unborn, such as when John the Baptist kicks in the womb of Elizabeth when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, comes to visit.

All the do not murder / do not shed innocent blood passages have to be cut to support unrestricted abortion rights.

The book of Daniel, plus all other prophetic works, because their stunning accuracy leads theological Liberals to say they must have been written after the fact.  They seem to think that the proper Christian worldview is that Bible writers were big liars, so how could you possibly include those books?  After all, their god could never know the future like the God of the Bible.

Most or all of Paul’s letters, because they think he was a homophobic misogynist who could not have spoken for God.  There goes nearly half the books of the New Testament plus a big chunk of Acts.

The story of Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac, because they think God wouldn’t do that.

All the animal sacrifices, because PETA opposes those and God wouldn’t really command blood to be shed as payment for sins.

All the passages about God having the Northern Kingdom and then the Southern Kingdom taken into captivity for disobeying him and worshiping other gods, because the god of liberal theologians would never do that!

The beginning of the book of Acts, because it has Jesus there after a physical resurrection.

All the passages about judgment and Hell (that’s a whole bunch of the red letters, btw).

All the Gospel presentations in Acts, because they never mention how much God loves us unconditionally but they continually mention that Jesus died and rose again for our sins and that we are commanded to repent and believe.

1 Corinthians 15, because it claims that Jesus was physically resurrected.

Most of the passages about the crucifixion being God’s idea, because that would be divine child abuse.

All the claims for Jesus’ divinity.

All the claims for the virgin birth.

All Jesus’ miracles, because they “know” those couldn’t have really happened.

All the Gospel accounts of Jesus rising from the dead.

All the passages saying Jesus died for our sins.

All the passages about sinners and how humans can’t be good on their own.

All the passages about Satan and demons (there are more than you might think).

Most of the passages about human sexuality, marriage and parenting, because they view that version of God as homophobic, misogynistic and hopelessly politically incorrect.

All passages about God’s wrath.

They even have to take out Leviticus 19:18 (” . . . love your neighbor as yourself”) because they dismiss the rest of Leviticus with their flawed “God hates shrimp”argument.

Pretty much all of Revelation, and especially chapters 2-3 where Jesus addresses the faults of many churches.

And so many more!  Truly, they are the original Dalmatian Theologians, claiming that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots, or Advanced Dalmatian Theologians, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

Leave a comment with others I missed and I’ll update the post.

So what’s left? Roughly a dozen verses, which they take out of context or just plain misinterpret.  Examples:

  1. Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged. They don’t have time to read the next 4 verses that explain how He meant not to judge hypocritically – which, ironically, is exactly what they do when they use that verse in isolation to judge you.
  2. Matthew 5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. They use that to oppose capital punishment, among other things, even though it is hard to turn the other cheek if you are the victim of murder and to apply it would mean you’d oppose not only capital punishment for murderers but any punishment at all.
  3. Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ They love mentioning the least of these to justify asking Caesar to take from neighbor A to give to neighbor B, but of course that isn’t what Jesus meant.  And they ignore the other language of eternal judgment in the passage.  Oh, and they are pro-legalized abortion and pro-taxpayer-funded abortion, which means they are pro-abortion.  I can’t reconcile that with helping the “least of these” or with loving your neighbor.

Seriously, we have a precise, highly technical theological term for people who hold those views about the Bible: Non-Christians.  Run, don’t walk, from their “churches.”  Highlight their errors until your throats are raw and your fingertips are calloused.  It is the loving thing to do for scores of their church members headed towards Hell.  Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to ignore those who claim his name then lie about him.  He didn’t call us to be politically correct.

Spotting false teachers based on what they preached about today

I’m not a fan of letting Hallmark tell churches what to preach about (i.e., Mother’s Day / Father’s day sermons).  Just preach the word and the right themes in the right balance will come through.  But I certainly don’t object to anti-abortion sermons on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  The don’t murder / help the weak / forgiveness is possible themes are throughout scripture and are legitimate topics any day.  Taking a human life without adequate justification kills God in effigy and attempts to usurp his role as the author of life.  People who have been involved in the abortion process need to hear the good news that they can be forgiven for those deeds.  And we should always strive to help the “least of these” (and if the unborn about to be killed aren’t the least of these, then who could be?).

Not surprisingly, pro-abortion false teachers not only skip the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday theme, they worship man instead of God by preaching about Martin Luther King Jr. instead of Jesus.  Here’s a prime example by pervertedradical pro-abortionist, false teaching, race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” CurrieAnswering The Call: A Homily For MLK Sunday On Isaiah 49:1-7.  They didn’t worship Jesus (they never do), they worshiped MLK.  Did he do some good things?  Sure.  But he also did some very bad things.  And either way, he should not be the object of worship.  (Then again, neither should Charles Darwin, who the wolves also worship on an annual basis.)

Of course, Chuck left out the fact that King thought homosexuals could and should change.  The Left is busy trying to pretend that King would have changed his mind.  Isn’t that a great way to do history?!

Here’s a sample (you can go to his blog and see the program that actually had a picture of MLK).

In churches and synagogues and mosques…in schools and our houses of government…in community centers and union halls…the people of our nation gather this weekend to honor once again the legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

No, in real churches we gathered to worship Jesus.  My pastor had a fantastic sermon on Hebrews 10 this morning.

And who cares what they do in mosques and synagogues?  Oh, right, Chuck spreads the lie that all religions lead to God, in direct contradiction to what the Bible says over 100 times.

. . . Leading a non-violent revolution of social change, his words shaped the history of our time.  The walls of white supremacy could not withstand the reading of the Gospel message when preached by Dr. King.  Jim Crow, so powerful and full of pride, crumbled when confronted with the weapon of love unleashed by Dr. King and all those who participated in the civil rights movement.

King would probably never stop throwing up if he knew what wolves like Currie had done to make abortions legal.  Despite what Currie has falsely claimed, King never supported abortion, which kills blacks at a rate three times that of whites.  And that rate will go up if Currie’s dream of unrestricted, taxpayer-funded abortions becomes real.  Rich, mostly white, mostly male abortionists kill more blacks in a week than the KKK ever dreamed of.  As morally reprehensible as they are, the KKK is pro-life, so they are better than people like Currie.

. . . Those who are called to prophetic ministry often run from the task.  Moses did.  He argued with God.  I think you have the wrong person, he said.  There must be someone better.  Jesus himself was burdened deeply by his calling.  Like King, he knew his path would end in death.  At times he became frustrated and other times required solitude for reflection.

That would be funny if it weren’t so blasphemous.  Only a fake like Chuck would say that Jesus ran from his task.  Jesus was fully God and fully man.

Even if we are not called to be a Moses or a King we are still called to be followers of Jesus.

Chuck’s Jesus is not the real Jesus.

. . . We still need that sense of revolution today.  Some use that term and think of violence but we are called to non-violence.

Chuck & Co. are pro-abortion, the ultimate violence.

We need to be revolutionaries to make sure that everyone is free.  We know this is not the case.  The very voting rights that Dr. King fought for are under attack.

That is a lie.  Voter ID is one of the most common sense measures of all time.

Gun violence and domestic violence and political violence threaten too many the world over.

Especially in places with Leftist politicians putting restrictions on guns.

People are enslaved by poverty the world over.  Climate change threatens existence.

Another lie.  What really threatens existence is abortions, to the tune of 3,000+ per day in the U.S.

. . . At the same time, all of us should examine how we are living our lives.  Do our lives in this moment of history serve God fully?  If not, what changes can we make in what we do and how we act to better live out our Christian faith.

Maybe Chuck could start with not taking taking little girls to gay pride parades.

The only good news is that based on the pictures Chuck shows of his combined churches, there appear to be a couple dozen very old people attending.  Hopefully the UCC will continue to shrink (must be the ejector seats!).

Praise God that there are real churches for people authentically seeking Jesus and the Gospel!

P.S. Via An Addendum to my Pastor’s Sermon Today:

Despite the enormous work Martin Luther King Jr. did to free African-Americans, black babies are being murdered at an alarming rate under the guise of freedom.  Abortion is the number one killer of African-Americans.  I believe The Radiance Foundation puts it best when they say, “The inhumanity of slavery has been replaced by the inhumanity of abortion.”  79% of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in minority neighborhoods.