Posts Tagged ‘tithing’

Pastors – Legitimate or Not?

September 23, 2008

Usher: Deak, what are your thoughts on Frank Viola’s book Pagan Christianity? as it relates to the role of the pastor?  If a pastor’s role is simply pagan, and the church continues to practice mostly pagan rituals (including tithing), how does one go about justifying giving their lives to the pastorate? How does one continue to operate as a pastor knowing that Christ does not recognize the pastor as head of the church?  See page 181…

A further peril of the paid pastorate is that it produces clergy who feel “stuck” in the pastorate because they believe they lack employable skills.  “I (Frank) personally know a good number of pastors who felt convicted to leave the minstry.  All of their schooling and training had been dedicated to studying and preaching the Bible.  While those skills are noteworthy, they are of limited appeal in the secular job market.  The major hurdle they now face is forging a new career to support their families.  A friend of mine, an ex-pastor himself, is writing a booklet on how pastors can find employment and enter new careers after leaving the clergy system.  His ideas are not based on theory. ….. Even so, it is exceedingly difficult for many contemporary pastors to acknowledge the lack of scriptural support for their office simply because they are financially dependent upon it.  As Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”  No wonder it takes a person of tremendous courage and faith to step out of the pastorate.  Unfortunately, most of us are deeply naiive about the overwhelming power of the religious system.  It is a faceless system that does not tire of chewing up and spitting out its own.” – Pagan Christianity?  Frank Viola & George Barna

Deacon: How would you feel if you actually were in those shoes?  What would you say to your wife and kids when you came home with that conviction?  Would you claim that your choice was naiive and based on your knowledge at that time?  What would you do with the rest of your life?  Would you be willing to sacrifice all that you had worked for in exchange for a clean set of convictions?  What if you were 40+ years old and had no resourceful ways in which to figure out another method of providing for your family?

Usher: Maybe I’d just continue to take advantage of the poor and naiive of the church simply out of fear?  Is it any different from inheriting a fortune from my father’s moonshine business and then go on to become president of the United States.  Does that make the money clean or justify the actions of my father and how he obtained the riches?

Deacon: Careful, you’re stepping on the toes of a lot of powerful people with that one, oh provocative buzzard.  I’m not sure I want to be on the same branch of your tree when certain people read this post.

Usher: It still doesn’t make it right.  I feel for people who make choices based on limited knowledge or incorrect knowledge, but God knows and he allowed it.  How much more valiant would it be for a person to come clean and confess such a conviction?  What if it became a movement?

Deacon: If pastors came to terms with this issue, it would destroy the modern church.  Debate would incur and those against it would rationalize it away for fear of losing everything they had worked for.  I would venture to say that in any kind of volume it would bring massive disruption and in the end, major revival to the body (not the modern church), but the body of Christ, the believers.  But man will not do it, it must be brought about via calamity, hardship or both.

Usher: How refreshing it would be to know that gathering to share in our lives with Christ would be something other than listening to one man’s current interpretation of his one-sided relationship.  When will people truly figure out that it’s not following man, it’s following Christ together?  It’s a corporate experience, not an oratory!

Deacon: Relax Usher, you don’t have to get so trumped up about it.  Man has followed man since the beginning of time and will continue to want a king on earth, a leader to tell him what to do and someone to think on his behalf.

Shoulda’ Been a Youth Pastor

May 23, 2008

Usher: Deacon, What a rough day.  I had to compete with the roadkill truck today AND a do-good soccer mom.  There was a possum too heavy, still in one piece, and the truck picked it up before I could get 5 bites.  Then my buddy Norm called from town with a fresh coon and while we were on it, a soccer mom pulled over and picked it up and took it with her! Deak, she took it with her!

Deacon: Usher, sorry to hear that.  Tough day. Life ain’t easy.

Usher: I should have been a youth pastor Deak.  Such a life.  Go to school and have fun, get a youth pastor job at a big church and have fun.  Go on missions trips with a bunch of rich parent kids in the summer, build something for poor people and come back and boast.  Sit around at youth meetings, plan outings with lots of food and do a whole lot of nothin’ and just have fun.  AND GET PAID FOR IT! (All my school loans paid off in no time with rich people tithes)

Deacon: I think you got it wrong Usher.  Youth pastors have to work too.

Usher: Yeah, they have to preach once a year when they’re not having fun, while the other pastors are on vacation.  What a life!.  Babysittin’ rich people’s kids sure beats sniffin’ roadkill.

Gross Roadkill or Net Roadkill?

May 22, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, What’s up?

Deacon: Hi Usher – Just got back from a budget meeting

Usher: How was that? 

Deacon: Always interesting to see how everyone thinks about where the church tithe should go

Usher: Speaking of that Deak, tell me something – Do you tithe off gross or net?

Deacon: Why Gross for sure Usher.  I don’t want to slight God, after all he says first fruits and your very best

Usher: Help me out here Deak, If I get 100 pieces of roadkill, I give 10 to the church (uh,  I mean God), then I have to give 30 to those highway-robbing tax collectors who seem to always take my best roadkill before I ever get it, and that only leaves me 60 pieces of roadkill – how’s a poor buzzard supposed to make roadkill ends meat?

Deacon: God will provide Deak, God will provide,  Gotta fly Usher – keep tithing!

Where o where does my little bit of tithe go?

May 19, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak – where does all my tithe go?

Deacon:  You don’t need to worry about that Usher – you just need to give so God will bless you

Usher:  Yeah Deak?  I thought I was supposed to be a good steward?  What if God comes down and asks me if I gave my 10% to a worthy cause?

Deacon:  Like He’s going to do that.  So what’s your real question?

Usher: Well Deak, I’ve been thinking.  If my tithe goes to the church and the church spends nearly all its money on salaries, programs and utilities to keep buildings warm or cold for an hour a week, is there anything left for the lost?  And if so, what do we do for them?

Deacon: We do summer missions and give some of it to the food pantry

Usher: But Deak, every time one of those things comes up – pastor asks me to give more – above and beyond my tithe…how come Deak?

Deacon: Usher – gotta run to a committe meeting, pray about it…

Increase Your Giving!

May 15, 2008

Deacon:  Hey Usher – you hear the sermon on Sunday?

Usher:  Yeah Deak = Something about increasing your giving instead of your living..

Deacon: Did you tithe off your roadkill on the Pike?

Usher:  Come on Deak – It was only a field mouse!

Deacon:  Hey, you know the scriptures…

Usher:  But I only got two bites from that mouse!  An Audi flattened it before I got a third!

Deacon:  10% dude – it’s scriptural

Usher:  So Deak – what’s 10% of two bites?