Friday, October 27, 2006

Tithes

Some Bellevue members have stated that they're taking the money they normally would give to the church and giving it to other Christian organizations or setting it aside until things at Bellevue blow over, so to speak.

Have you changed your tithing habits because of all this? If so, and only to the extent you wish to share, to what sorts of causes are you now giving?

103 comments:

whynotask said...

I have been putting my tithe envelope in each week with a message such as " I am withholding my offering until all business of the church has been resolved". I will save this until then. I know from experience in my business the best way to get attention from someone is to hold their money. It works very quickly. Try it!

JJ said...

While withholding money is a quick way to get attention - it doesn't mean it's the right way to approach this issue (ends do not always justify the means).

If you have reached a point that you no longer feel comfortable giving financially to the local body you attend - then it may be time to move on. God did not say bring your tithes to the storehouse as long as you agree with the preacher (and there were plenty of bad priests - just look at Eli's sons). It is pertinent to not only give to Christian organizations but to tithe to the church.

Using the methods of the world (boycotting) are fine to deal with worldly entities (Disney, etc); however, it is not the proper way to deal with a church problem.

I do not agree with the way the pastor had handled the matter (nor do I necessarily agree with the way savingbellevue has either); however withholding tithes is not the answer.

allofgrace said...

I have to agree with jj on this one. The tithe belongs in the local church. Remember there are people who do building maintenance, secretaries, etc etc...who have to be paid too. Believe me, God is more than able to watch over what belongs to Him...which by the way...the whole 100% belongs to him...not just the tithe.

BibleFellowshipTeacher said...

We are not tithing at this time. I don't believe it is proper to tithe to a church when the leaders are not being transparent with their financial oversight. God knows your heart and I believe you can give to another local church until the leadership decides openess and honesty is the only option. I'm sure all teachers are going to be checked out for tithing after this comment. At Gardendale, Steve Gaines had the church check all Sunday School teachers and people who sang solos for tithing. Bellevue is sitting on $25,000,000 in the bank tonight. How many members know how all of the money is being spent? There are finance committee members who don't have a clue how a lot of the money is being spent. At a recent deacons meeting, it was said that we are on target to take in $32,000,000 in 2006. As members, we had better demand accountability soon.

Bin Wonderin said...

I'm with JJ.

The the comment from above (italics below) - if true - just seems wrong.

At Gardendale, Steve Gaines had the church check all Sunday School teachers and people who sang solos for tithing.

I have had Pastors tell me they do not want to know who gives what because they do not want it to affect how they treat people.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Someone just left a comment on the CA poll...

"Note to pastor, deacons, finance committee, et al... Please always remember - A happy, well-informed congregation is a tithing congregation. II Corinth. 9:7b...'For God loveth a cheerful giver.'"

For the time being our tithes are going to a small church in an adjacent state that really needs the money as well as some extra to LWF.

NASS

whynotask said...

Since the average member does not have a voice in church matters, that can be our way of being heard. Yes, it is all God's money and it will continue to be. As far as moving on I don't think so. I have been attending Bellevue since 1978 and I am not a quitter. I SEEK THE Truth and only the Truth.
Dr. Gaines has said the attendance is up and the giving is up over the same time last year.Numbers are looked at whether we like it or not.

cjesusnme said...

Love Worth Finding is getting our tithes until this is resolved. I think to have ANYONE checking with staff members to make sure that they are tithing is TOTALLY inappropriate! That is between them and God, not the administration and the church body!

JJ said...

I think the leaders and the church should be financially transparent. Yes, even to the point that salaries are published in the budget.

Before anybody asks how I'd feel about my salary being known.
I work for the government so the exact salary for my job is published online for the world to see. It's only fair that the taxpayers should be allowed to see how the money is being spent - same thing with the tithers.

However, I hold again, that we are to bring the tithe to the local church we attend. The wrong actions of others does not relieve us of this responsibility.

I am not debating the effectiveness, just the appropriateness.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Does scripture tell us our tithes are to always go to the "local church"? I'm not aware of a verse or passage that does, but I'm not saying there's not. I'd really like to know if there is.

In the meantime, money talks, and money that walks talks loudest.

NASS

Anonymous said...

Hey NASS,

Thanks for all you're doing. Hope you have a restful evening. I left you a note under Financial Issues.

allofgrace said...

The thing is, as church members we are covenanted together in a common bond of commitment. That's not something to be taken lightly. Church membership carries with it privileges, but also responsibilities..tithes are the Lord's...we give our tithes TO Him, THROUGH the local body we are covenanted with. I don't think the Bible says anywhere that we are to give our tithes to para-church ministries or charities. That kind of giving is discretionary..tithing is not. Tithes should not be wielded as a weapon to achieve an end..since it is by nature a matter of obedience to God, not the pastor. IMHO the wise choice is to remain obedient to God in this, and trust Him to fight whatever battles must be fought. Do as you think best, but I still say it's not the way to handle this. I say all this in love and concern as a brother in Christ and fellow church member.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a Scripture somewhere giving God's opinion of toying with tithing?

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

Thank you, allofgrace. I don't think of it as a "weapon," but rather a way for us to be sure those with stewardship over our tithes use them responsibly. At the same time, we're (my family) helping a small congregation which needs the money and will most certainly put it to good use. It's the same church some of my family were members of many years ago, so it's still kind of like "home" to us. And LWF is almost like giving to Bellevue anyway. We have not "announced" to anyone inside the church, such as through messages written on offering envelopes, that this is what we're doing. That's between us and the Lord. (And I can talk about it here because you don't know me from Adam.)

You know, we don't have to all agree on this or any other matter, but I certainly respect your views, the loving, respectful way in which you express them, and can certainly see your point(s). It's been interesting hearing some varying opinions on this subject.

junior 5432 said...

I cannot find anywhere in the Bible where it says that your tithe must go to the local Church. I know it belongs to God and I personally have been asking God what He would have me do with my tithe. I got His answer a week or so ago and that is where my tithe is going. I know that my tithe is needed there and unless
God tells me differently I am going to continue giving it there.

Before anyone tells me that I need to leave if I can't give my money there I say to you. I have a great number of people who are depending on my to get the job done. I believe God still wants me to minister to those are still coming. I will continue there unless or untill God wants to move elsewhere. I am not trying to tell anyone what to do with their money,I am just telling you what God has said to me.

Anyway I don't think it is anyone's place to tell you what God wants you to. God can tell you Himself. He doesn't have to have self appointrd messengers, just willing sevants. I plan to stay in my place of responsibility until God changes His mind
where wants me.


I remember we had several sermons and Bible Felloship teachers teach about stewradship In January before any of this happpened. We jsut need to ask Gov what God what He wants us to do.

JJ said...

I am not saying this is one of those times, but if what you are doing is blatantly unscriptural - then perhaps someone can tell you what God wants you to do. Again, I'm not saying this is one of those times.

What is your scriptural reason for withholding the tithe? I will admit I can't think of a place where it says it has to go to the local church.

I apologize if you thought I was telling you to leave (I can see how it could have come across that way). I truly meant that it may be time to consider leaving, not that you should definitely leave.

Churchmouse said...

Wait a minute! Is not tithing a requirement of Old Testament Law?
We are no longer under the Law. Jesus died to free us from the Law. Why would we go back there?
We centainly are required to give generously, but not the OT 10% tithe.
I believe we often tend to blur the lines when it comes to Bibical Commandments and church tradition. I doubt that the early church kept records of membership. Did they? Are we not commanded to be good stewards? I believe we have the freedom in Christ to put our gifts in a ministry that is serving Him, especially in times such as these.
I have seen a reference to Ananias and Sapphira in another thread. The issue with them was not tithing. They made a pretence of selling land and giving the proceeds to the Apostles, when they had actually kept some of the proceeds for themselves.
During these difficult days we can give thanks that we are not under the Law, we are under Grace. I pray that our decisions will reflect Jesus in us.

byhisgrace4hisglory said...

We are currently sending our tithe to a mission church which we had a part in years ago. Our other giving will not be affected because it is not going to the local church. When we find another church home then our tithe will again go to our church.

(I can't tell you how grievous all of this is for me)

MOM4 said...

Jesus talked in the NT about OT requirements, one of which was giving and He stated that we should not only follow the OT ten percent, but go above that. The tithe is the Lord's money, not the church's money and not our money. Those in the church responsible for it will have to answer for the way it is spent.
While I believe that the above is true, I am still struggling with the issue. I have set aside the money every payday because it is the Lord's and not mine. As long as Steve Gaines is pastor, unless the Lord changes my heart and gives me peace, my tithe will not go to BBC.
I am praying for the Lord to give me peace about giving it to another ministry, most likely LWF. I am concerned about that only because of the position of some of the board members there, one being Mark Dougharty and the other being David Pardue who is vocal in his distaste for the opposition to Steve Gaines' behavior.
All of the above to say this, I believe the Lord looks on the heart. The intent of my heart is for the tithe and offering to be set aside for the Lord, and that I have done. Where it goes will be up to Him and He has not given me peace about giving it to BBC at this time.

I love my church said...

Churchmouse,

I agree with you. The tithe was required under the law. Dr. Gaines has repeatedly said you are stealing from God if you don't tithe your 10%. He is roughly 2000 years late with that message.

MOM4 said...

Churchmouse,
Ananias and Sapphira were punished for trying to deceive the apostles (and the Lord), and I did make reference to them in another post (somewhere in this maze). My point by using them was the fact that if Steve Gaines is not being honest, especially from the pulpit and before the Lord, then I would fear for the man.
On the tithing issue, what you do is between you and God. I personally cannot get past Matt 23:23 where Jesus notes the "hypocrites" do the tithe, yet omitted the weightier matters of the law which include judgment, mercy and faith. He goes on to say that they ought to have done the tithe AND the other matters of the law.
Like I said, it is a matter of the heart before God and between you and Him.
Steve Gaines has no business checking out who is tithing and who is not (although he should preach what the Bible says about it).
I understand he has checked records(or had them checked) to "make sure" all of the deacons are tithing - how would he know if they are giving 10 percent or 1 percent based on the amount the church received? So what could he gain by checking their records of financial giving?

junior 5432 said...

Sorry about the typing last night. I was tired and should have read it before posting.

When we had the emphasis on stewardship in January I came to realize that God tells us to test Him with our Tithes and Offerings and seee if He will not open the windows of Heaven to bless you with blessings that there will not be room enough to hold them.

I don't know about everyone else, but WHEN I get to Heaven I KNOW that I am going to find out that everything I learned as a Baptist was not exactly what God had in mind when He inspired the Bible. Now I do want to say I am assuredly not knocking Baptists because I have been one since I was 10 years old. I just mean that God is not only working thru Bellevue, He is working in numerous other places and churches. In that context I believe the storehouse could be LWF, the mission down the street, the Lottie Moon missionary, or anywhere else that God lays it on your heart.

I am not witholding the tithe. I have given it to another organization because I believe that God told me to, but I also told God that IF that was not where He wanted me to give it then if He would let me know that He wants me to give it to Bellevue then I will give an extra tithe to Bellevue. So far I have not had even the slightest notion that is what God wants me to do. God has taught me that in this life you can hang onto things too tightly especially in the area of finances and when you do it can ruin your life until you learn that it all belongs to Him.

I certainly have mistaken some things that I thought were from God and they caused me heartaches and I hope that I have learned that when God says jump, all I want to know is "how high."

Please don't anyone use my postings to to think I am trying to influence any of you to do what I am doing. I just want you to search your hearts and then let God guide you in what He wants you to do.

JJ

I did not take it that you thought I should leave. I also do not believe that what I am doing is blatantly unscriptural. I have read the Bible thru more than once and although I am no theologian, I can find nothing unscriptural in what I am doing. I believe the storehouse is anywhere God is doing His work, such as Life Choices.

New BBC Open Forum said...

If what you've said is true about Dr. Gaines checking (or having someone check for him) the giving records of certain members, then why does he not want anyone to know what the church is paying him? Just seems that would be a bit of a double standard to me.

NASS

cjesusnme said...

I heard from a very reliable source that tithing of staff members was being monitored per Steve Gaines. As NASS said, I think it is a double standard and I was really upset when a staff member told me this. Tithing is between the individual giving and God. This is when my family began tithing elsewhere (LWF).

MOM4 said...

NASS,
I agree! I have been told from a reliable source who is a long time friend, that it is very true, but facts on paper I do not have, mainly because it was a verbal command. The question I had to ask myself is whether I believe this long time friend who is honest beyond reproach or not.
I have also checked into the post from Carolyn (since removed) and have also learned that if her source stated that it was fact, then it probably was. These things need to come out and be cleared up. There are too many people from too many different venues that have similar stories. This needs to be documented by legal means if necessary and then put to rest so we can move on.

Bin Wonderin said...

If what you've said is true about Dr. Gaines checking (or having someone check for him) the giving records of certain members, then why does he not want anyone to know what the church is paying him? Just seems that would be a bit of a double standard to me.

Or seeing his credit card bills for that matter.

westtnbarrister said...

I disagree with the belief Christians are obligated to tithe. Here’s why

There is an obvious disjunction in the Scripture between the Old Covenant period and the New Covenant Period. I'm not referring to the division between Malachi and Matthew. That's merely a textual division. Jesus' entire life was lived under an Old covenant system even though the events of His life are recorded in the New Testament. Jesus initiated the New Covenant at the end of His life at the Last Supper, but it wasn't until Pentecost that it began in force. The theological disjunction, then, is pre-Pentecost and post-Pentecost, not Old and New Testament.

This doesn't justify throwing out the entire Old Testament. Rather, it informs our hermeneutic so that when we look at the Scripture we have to ask if our interpretation needs to take this disjunction into consideration. Are there some teachings, precepts, or promises that are strictly Old Covenant--meant for pre-Pentecost Israel--and are not meant to be directly applied to the Church today?

For example, the dietary laws of the Old Testament, the worship liturgy of ancient Israel, the animal sacrifice system etc. are obviously changed. The enduring moral precepts, however, have been repeated in the New Testament writings and are still in force.

What about tithing? Is the tithe meant to be applied to post-Pentecost, New Testament Gentile believers? Clearly the tithe-- the moral obligation to give one-tenth of one's income-- was an important part of the Mosaic Law given to Israel for specific purposes. Does it apply to the Church?

I think not, for a couple of reasons. First, virtually all of the support for the idea of New Testament Christian tithing comes from the Hebrew Scriptures in the context of the Old Covenant Law, not the New Covenant. Tithing was for the Jew under Moses in a theocracy, not for Gentiles in the church. The Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 made it clear that the burden of the Mosaic Law that was distinctly Jewish in nature should not be laid on the shoulders of the Gentile believers.

One rejoinder to my assessment is that the New Testament actually does teach the obligation of tithing. In Matthew 23:23 Jesus says, "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you tithe mint, dill, and cumin and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice, mercy and faithfulness. But these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others."

This seems to be a clear statement from Jesus that justice, mercy, faithfulness and tithing are all to be practiced by believers. This amounts to a direct command by Jesus to the church to tithe.
A closer look shows this won't work, though. Jesus' remarks occur before Pentecost. He was simply reinforcing the teaching of the Mosaic Law already incumbent on the Jews in virtue of the fact that the Old Testament economy was still in force.

You'll notice that virtually all of Matthew 23 consists of the words of Jesus. He is giving a continuous discourse to the Jews, including His comments on tithing in verse 23. Look closely at the beginning of the chapter, at the beginning of this very same discourse. In verse 2 Jesus says, "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses. Therefore, all that they tell you, do and observe."

When Jesus starts out a discourse giving the command that the listeners ought to do and observe everything that the scribes and Pharisees tell them by the authority of the "chair of Moses," is that command appropriate in a New Testament, post-Pentecostal context? The answer is clearly "no." We're not obliged to obey everything that the scribes and the Pharisees told the Jews to obey regarding the Law of Moses. We're in a new system.

If verses 2 and 3 don't apply to the New Testament Christian, then Verse 23, which makes the comment about tithing--another part of the Mosaic Law--seems to me to be suspect also. It's part of that larger discourse that is in an Old Testament context.

My point is that simply because Jesus commands tithing in this verse is not enough to show that Christians ought to tithe in the Church. One must give further New Testament justification, and none is forthcoming.

It doesn't mean that nothing in the discourse is useful in New Testament sense. Certainly much of it is. But with regard to commands, it's appropriate to ask whether these commands are necessarily part of the Old Testament context and don't apply to the post-Pentecostal context. Jews were to tithe and be just, faithful and merciful. Christians are commanded in other contexts to be just, faithful and merciful, but are not similarly commanded to tithe.

The second reason I don't think tithing is a rule for the church is that, when you look closely at the tithe of the Hebrews, it wasn't just ten percent. It was closer to 30 percent, because the tithe was given at different times of the year and for different purposes, sometimes for the priests and sometimes for the government. Actually, the priesthood and the machinery of government were tightly interwoven. One could almost think of the tithe as a civic tax, to some degree. If the OT law on tithing applies with equal force to Gentile Christians as to Old Testament Jews, then multiple tithes are required, not just the one-time 10%.

Third, the New Covenant teaching of Paul appears to replace the Old Testament tithe with a different directive. The new ethic explicitly states that we are not under obligation or under compulsion, but rather to give cheerfully as we purpose in our own hearts. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says God loves a cheerful giver. God is able to prosper us, but we are to set aside what we determine in our own hearts to give.

Instead of a legal requirement to tithe, we are offered the opportunity to give. One can decide for himself whether he should give five percent, 10 percent, or 25 percent. It's up to him, according to whatever he has purposed in his own heart as God has prospered him.

To put it in a very straightforward way, I don’t believe there is a moral obligation in the New Testament to give ten percent of one's income regardless of the circumstances. That was a provision given to Israel under the theocracy that is not repeated in the New Testament itself but, in fact, is replaced by a new ethic that we see in 2 Corinthians, chapters 6-8.

The next question that arises is to whom should we give? I think we should follow the guideline in Galatians 6:6. It says, "Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches." We have a moral obligation to support financially those people or institutions that are feeding us spiritually. For most people that would be the local church. For those who get their primary feeding from a "parachurch" organization, though, that group should be the main object of their giving. Keep in mind, even Christian organizations are part of the church in the New Testament sense.

Generally as a first order of priority, financially support the work of the local church that's feeding you on a regular basis. However, there is full legitimacy to helping other organizations that are also feeding you: Christian Research Institute, Thru the Bible, Focus on the Family, or whatever. If you're getting fed there, then it's fair and good--and also consistent with Paul's teaching--for you to support those organizations financially.
There is a different category of giving that might be called a charitable offering—giving money to send someone to the mission field, etc. In this case you're not giving back financially to those who have been giving to you spiritually, but rather you're offering help unilaterally. That's a separate category.

When I give money to the church, I consider these offerings -- gifts for food programs for the homeless, or for women in crisis pregnancy, etc.--as separate from my regular giving to advance the mission of the church that has been feeding me spiritually. I count them as charitable gifts, not as direct giving to my church. That should come first.

I recognize many others hold a different view and they may be correct, but I agree with those who argue Christians shouldn't "tithe," I think this O.T. legal obligation has been replaced by the New Testament moral obligation to give . . . and with a smile on your face.

bopen4once said...

Just wondering, who checks to see if the pastor is tithing?

New BBC Open Forum said...

"Just wondering, who checks to see if the pastor is tithing?"

That's none of your business, don't you know?

NASS

Truth Hunter said...

WTB,

You made some interesting points I hadn't heard before. Certain people in our church may not like your post.

choice_is_yours said...

Two categories cross my mind:
1) Charitable giving
2) Giving to the place where you are being fed spiritually.

I'll be honest brothers and sisters. I've been fed spiritually by what I see God doing with each of you. I want to give a part of my tithe to this community of believers.

I also see this as charity because I believe you have a lot of enemies out there in the forrest, bears and lawyers and such (I am absolutely saying this with a straight face).

Perhaps this money can go to finding a place to rent.

It is possible to do this with paypal, but we must form a committee to handle financial oversight. We need trustworthy Godly believers. But we are anonymous to be safe from the Memphis "Grizzlies."

Let's pray about this. Nothing is impossible for God. Perhaps in 12 months, if this community is still feeding people spiritually, we could have this conversation for real.


We should not hasten into a such a move. We should consider how to oversee such a move.

But I would have to say that we would have to put this Steve-Mark matter into it's proper place. I want to feed on the Word of God that I keep seeing here. We will soon put the current controvsersy behind us one way or another.

Note to all who say it is disrespectful to call Dr. Gaines just, "Gaines:"

It is just a disrespectful to call Deacon Sharpe just, "Sharpe,", or ex-deacon, or former deacon.

Prayerfully submitted in the name of Christ,
Choice

Truth Hunter said...

Choice is Yours,

There have been thoughtless and careless comments here. However, I agree with you. I have read many wise comments made here that ministered to me. I'm convicted I need to get into the Word as deeply as some of our brothers have. Sometimes something is posted that takes the blinders off. I admit I've had mine on far too long.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Rogers had a pithy way of putting the issue of tithing in perspective. I believe I'm quoting him accurately when I quote him thusly, and like so: "Why would I let a Jewish person under the Law do less than I do under grace?"

Something to consider.

Oh, and though no one else came up with it, I remember what God had to say about toying with tithing.

He calls it robbery. Something else to consider.

--Mike

Truth Hunter said...

Mike,

If I understand your point I think you missed the essence of what WTB said. I don't believe WTB was saying not to give and give generously. He was saying we aren't bound to a legalistic 10% requirement. Giving under the new covenant is about the heart, not about rigid adherence to a law.

If I misunderstood your point, please accept my apology (and elaborate if you will). Same to you WTB.

Thanks to all. This is an interesting discussion.

Anonymous said...

To WTB - thanks for your comments.

About 4 months ago I stopped "tithing". I've grown up in church and as far back as I can remember been faithful to tithe on the gross - since the government gets a cut I figured why shouldn't God Almighty receive at least the same reference.

Anyway, I've actually experienced greater joy and anticipation in looking for ways to freely give (as I freely receive) to people, projects and teachers who nourish me in the word. I am much more at peace and oddly more cheerful than I was before. He was right, His yoke IS easy.

Thanks again for your insights.

Loving you each.

Derrick Calcote said...

For the record, I'm feeling led of the Lord to be very limited in my posting on this forum.

That being said one major issue that I would like to challenge you all with is to stop repeating things "you have heard" without strong factual backing.

This is gossip, plain and simple. It happens here, and it happens on the "savingbellevue" site. While we tend not to take gossip seriously, God takes it very seriously indeed.

And qualifying your gossip with "I don't know if this is true or not," or any other such qualifier does not lessen your responsibility before our Lord that you are indeed committing the sin of gossip.

I urge for the sake of your own relationship with our Lord, not to dishonor Him by engaging in this behavior.

All that gets me to my point: As a deacon let me assure you, nobody is "checking up to see if I am tithing." Who ever says otherwise is misinformed, and is engaging not only in gossip, but also slander.

And also for the record, if you want to know what Dr. Rogers thoughts on tithing were, allow me share this with you. This is verbatim off the list of "qualifications for a deacon" that I was given while I was being interviewed by the prospective deacon committee under Dr. Rogers.

The deacon would be expected to give a tithe (one-tenth) of his income for the work of Christ through the local church. This is a standard for the entire church body but the deacon should be a leader in setting the standard. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10)

In His service and in yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

iwasthere said...

Derrick:
"As a deacon let me assure you, nobody is "checking up to see if I am tithing." Who ever says otherwise is misinformed, and is engaging not only in gossip, but also slander."

Brother Steve is the one who said it at the first deacons meeting he attended. I heard him say it and I assume everyone there did if they were paying attention. I do not know if he is in fact doing so, or even how he would do it, but he clearly said he would.

MOM4 said...

iwasthere, Derrick,
All you need to do is ask Mark Dougharty to find out for sure. He will tell you that all he has to do is to have the finance department staff to pull the specific report for any member he and Steve Gaines wishes to see, individually and/or a group.
You need to look him in the eye when you ask.
And I agree that it should be a requirement for a deacon, but it is still between the deacon and the Lord.

MOM4 said...

On another note, regarding reporting. How do you think Phil Weatherwax was able to check the attendance/membership records of Josh Manning?
They can check anything they want to and we would never know.

Derrick Calcote said...

To: I.W.T.

Let me assure you, "I was there" as well.

I've called several of my deacon brothers, as well as a deacon that just went through the interview process.

Nobody recalls that being said, and it was not mentioned to the deacon who just got interviewed.

And I can tell everyone here with 100% certantity that it is not happening.

allofgrace said...

I just want to give everyone a little food for thought concerning law and grace. This is Jeremiah's prophesy concerning the new covenant:
"The time is coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the Lord. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the Lord. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Jer. 31:30-34

mostlylurkin said...

Derrick:
"As a deacon let me assure you, nobody is "checking up to see if I am tithing." Who ever says otherwise is misinformed, and is engaging not only in gossip, but also slander."

"And I can tell everyone here with 100% certantity that it is not happening."


I can tell you believe this with all you heart but I'm afraid you are misled. Unless Bro Steve has done a complete turnaround in what he has preached in the recent pass, you and everyone else from ushers to Deacons to teachers to soloists are monitored by the finance committee. Paste this URL into your browser, listen to session 1 about 15 minutes into his message.

http://www.uu.edu/audio/spring03.htm

I love my church said...

Mostlylurkin has it right. I listened to a 10 mintue segment of Dr. Gaines message. He plainly said he had tithing checked at Gardendale.

He also talks about having the staff and all leaders sign a covenant before they can serve. Has anyone been asked to sign a covenant at Bellevue? The New Testament apostles signed no covenant, why should soloists and Sunday School teahers?

Further he said he believes this covenant should be a requirement for church membership. Since tithing is required under the covenant, he must believe tithing should be a requirement for church membership. We already have an extrabiblical class required for membership. I pray we never add a covenant and a verification of tithing.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Here's the link, lurkin:

I listened to about 15 minutes of that tape before I had to turn it off. It was affecting my blood pressure too much. This should be a must listen. The "tithing" statement you referred to is closer to 20 minutes in, but the 6-7 minutes leading up to it are just as enlightening.

So, at least 3 1/2 years ago at Gardendale, you had to sign a "leadership covenant" to be a deacon or any kind of leader, or even an usher or just to sing a solo. One of the things in the covenant was that a "leader" was expected to be at church on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights.

"It means when we have church you need to be there."

Hmmm... okay.

Miscellaneous quotes from this section:

(Speaking of staff), "If they can't support the pastor, they need to find another place to serve."

No argument there, on the surface of it, but when you listen to it, the implication seems (to me) to be, "If they can't support the pastor -- and never question anything he does or tells them to do, they need to find another place to serve." In other words, "It doesn't matter what the senior pastor might be doing. If you don't like it, go somewhere else."

"Want those people to act like sheep... "

"The personnel committee should not supervise the staff, nor should the deacons."

"The senior pastor should be allowed to build his staff, just as a coach should be allowed to choose his assistant coaches."

"The staff does not answer to the congregation. They answer to the senior pastor."

All those statements, taken in context, seem to be saying the senior pastor "rules the roost" and that there's no room for accountability to anyone.

Then, as part of the covenant, "leaders" had to tithe...

"We define tithing... 10% of income, undesignated, to the budget... and we check it. In fact, if they don't tithe, they don't even get asked to be a leader in our church. Now, I don't check it, but the finance committee does."

It sounds to me as if Dr. Gaines doesn't think he's accountable to anyone. He talks about the pastor being "God's appointed leader," etc., and while I don't disagree with that statement, it doesn't mean that "God's appointed leader" should be free to just roll over anyone who gets in his way.

The church isn't a football team either. It sounds like he's the head coach, the senior staff are his handpicked assistant coaches, the rest of the staff are the players and cheerleaders, and all the rest of us are the lowly fans. I'd ask of that analogy, "Who buys the tickets?"

As for "tithing," how does he know (or why should he know) where anyone chooses to give his "tithe" or whatever amount one wants to give? I agree one's tithe should go to the local church, but that's not my nor is it Steve Gaines' decision how much or where someone else chooses to give. There can be extenuating circumstances (remember those? -- in reference to the fence?) which may cause a church member to choose to give his tithe in another place for a time.

I wanted to think the Union City thing was a fluke. Perhaps it was just a slip, or a "mistake of the head," but to me this was worse. This was Steve Gaines telling who knows how many people his philosophy, if you will, of the role of a pastor and how he expects the flock to follow unquestioningly, dare I say, blindly. It's just another example of a pattern of arrogance and disregard for anyone who doesn't follow the long line of sheep in front of him.

One thing's for certain. God's going to have to change this man's heart because I don't see him ever changing on his own. I pray He does.

NASS

Derrick Calcote said...

While I can not speak for ushers, soloist, etc. I do know that there has been zero change in how deacon's giving is looked at.

The pastor/associate pastor do not look at the numbers at all.

Before you become a deacon and before an inactive deacon rotates back on as active, they do check with finance and if it is obvious the person is not tithing, then they aren't going to make it past the interview committee.

And while we didn't have to sign it (as I recall) we were given a list of deacon qualifications, that we had to agree to, and tithing is on that list.

And at the risk of belaboring the point, this is the way it was under Dr. Rogers, and the way it is today.

But no, the pastor and associate pastor don't personally look at giving. And no, deacons have not come under some added scrutinity whereby they their tithe is audited.

But deacons are expected to tithe and are told so, just as we were under Dr. Rogers.

And I do agree with the Pastor. You don't want someone in a leadership position who is robbing God.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

RM said...

I am not a member of your church but I was friend of Adrian Rogers. After reading this blog I would bet that he is turning over in his grace seeing the ungodly things that are said on this blog. You guys are absolutely amazing--and to think you actually think God can bless what you are doing.

Derrick Calcote said...

"And I'd like to say a word to our guests. When the offering plate is passed, please just place your guest card in there. Your tithe belongs in your church, not in this one. And to our membership, let me remind you; it is God's plan for God's people to bring God's tithe to God's house on God's day so that God's work may be done in God's way."

If I heard that once, I heard it 500 times.

ilovebbc said...

To Derrick Calcote . . . .

If Chuck Taylor doesn't serve another year as Deacon Chairman, I sure wish you be their chairman in the coming year. I appreciate all your comments so very much. God bless you for your courage!!

I love my church said...

Brother Calcote,

I appreciate your spirit and your service to our church. Whether or not Dr. Gaines has started having tithes examined yet, unless he has changed his beliefs, that is what he plans to do. He said it in his own words.

Also, I respectfully submit the standard should never be: "that is how we did it when Dr. Rogers was pastor. The standard should be: "what is biblical?" I love Dr. Rogers tremendously. Next to my father, he had more impact on my life than any other man. But he did not solve every problem within the SBC or at Bellevue. I think he would have been the first to admit that. There are seminal issues that must be addressed, including doctrinal issues.

Also, Dr. Rogers integrity was never questioned. Dr. Gaines may be charged unfairly. Even so, for the good of his church should be willing to "humiliate" himself just a little and be just as accountable as he expects the church to be. After all, Christ humiliated Himself for HIs church. Why can't Dr. Gaines answer qustions, turn over financial records, and be accountable for the good of his church?

I believe we moved away from the traditional governing structure of a Southern Baptist Church. That is why this has happened. Power is consolidated in the hands of too few and there is no transparency or accountability to the congregation. We have taken a major turn in direction, yet the congregation had no say. Many do not believe this was right. We can debate the rightness or wrongness of using the internet to communicate. That is a legitimate concern. Regardless of the mode of communication many of us would have major concerns.

I don't want to antagonize you, demean you, etc. Even though we disagree, I appreciate your willingness to speak out. While you are fighting the good fight, many deacons have their heads in the sand. I believe if they were speaking their minds this debate would have a different tone because I know many of them agree with the overriding concerns expressed here.

Thank you again. I will be praying for you during this tough time.

Derrick Calcote said...

ILoveBBC,

You are far too gracious. I am nobody special. Honestly I just feel blessed that our Lord is allowing me to be a deacon "in such a time as this."

I praise God for Chuck and pray for him daily.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

Derrick Calcote said...

ILoveMyChurch,

One thing you said that we can agree with 100% is that as much as I loved Dr. Rogers, he is not the standard. Our Lord is the standard.

That being said if Pastor Gaines wants to verify that people in various leadership positions are faithful to our Lord in a variety of different ways (giving being one of them) I agree with him.

And even if I didn't agree with him, I'd submit to him. He is my spiritual authority that the Lord has placed over me.

(Again referencing Dr. Rogers, but he taught us that in his series "Kindom Authority.")

My family and I saw the movie "Facing the Giants" tonight.

In that movie the preciptating act to revival for the whole school was a son giving his heart to the Lord, then submitting to his father... even though he didn't see eye to eye with him.

It is just a movie I know, but there was sure a lot of spiritual truth there.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

allofgrace said...

One more note on the tithe...the tithe predates the giving of the law. See Abraham's story.

Another thing concerning the law...Jesus said "Not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law till all is fulfilled." He set us free from the CURSE of the law..which was death..seeing that we had no power within ourselves to fulfill the standard of 100% obedience...see my earlier reference to Jeremiah 31:30-34. As far as I can see, the only law that was abolished with the New Covenant was the ceremonial law...which was only the shadow...Christ is the reality..God's moral law..the decalogue stands...unless of course God's standards have changed..which I think scripture plainly states that neither God or his standards will ever change. Just my 2 cents worth.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Derrick,

I don't always agree with you, but I appreciate your kind and respectful spirit.

Thank you.

mostlylurkin said...

Bro Derrick

I ditto all the good things that were just said about you. I know how hard it is to see and read some of the things going on here. Just don’t get caught up in the spin that spawns additional distrust.

“nobody is "checking up to see if I am tithing." Then you say “they do check with finance”

Nobody means NOBODY! It doesn’t mean “zero change” it doesn’t mean “The pastor/associate pastor” exclusively, nobody doesn’t mean “they do check with finance” to the exclusion of “they”. I’m sorry if it looks like I’m piling on because you have served this discourse well with love and a level head and I don’t want to see you impugned at your own hand. Semantics have played such an evil part in this entire matter; everyone seems to be waiting in ambush for the next person to use the wrong word.

Funny thing is, I wholeheartedly believe a Deacon should be the first person to tithe, right after the Pastor. I also wholeheartedly believe we should take his word for it and not have him sign contracts and then check the records to see if he lied.

lovestevegaines said...

there are so many things being said...some that i know to be true and some that i am certain are false...i believe that more love, not less, is required by all involved.....the Lord never asked us to put our trust in each other...He said we are to put it in Him...we also know that He came to do away with the wicked pointing finger...to set the captive free...to break the yoke....and to lift the heavy burden...it makes me so sad to see people tearing at steve gaines and at mark sharpe...i believe they both have a desire to please God and yet they are faced with the plight of being wrapped in flesh....the plight of us all..and yet God in his wonder has allowed it all for a purpose...may we all seek Him and ask that we be used as vessels to bear His beautiful fruit and may we never walk in fear.....when we see people operating out of fear we can know that love has not been perfected...the church does not need to fear this situation...the church needs to love and to pray that the very heart of God will be pleased....

Derrick Calcote said...

MostlyLurkin,

Without overstating the obvious, nobody in finance knows what I make so they would not know if I'm tithing or not.

But they could tell if I were blatently disregarding giving to the church. This is the same level of accountability deacons have had for many years.

If in the future Bro. Steve wishes to increase this accountability, I will support him in that. He is my pastor and my Lord has placed him over me by His providence.

I will honor my Lord by honoring my pastor.

I will not dishonor my Lord by dishonoring my pastor.

In His service and yours,

Derrick Calcote

rediculous said...

All of us believe in tithing. All of us believe in accountability. All of us believe in honoring the Pastor. All of us believe in honoring God.

Brother Deacon, do you want to modify any of your words (below)?

You and all of us have something in common: we have all fallen short of the standard set by Jesus Christ.

Let us pray together for an outpouring of grace, love, and mercy.


Derrick Calcote said...
For the record, I'm feeling led of the Lord to be very limited in my posting on this forum.

That being said one major issue that I would like to challenge you all with is to stop repeating things "you have heard" without strong factual backing.

This is gossip, plain and simple. ...While we tend not to take gossip seriously, God takes it very seriously indeed.

And qualifying your gossip with "I don't know if this is true or not," or any other such qualifier does not lessen your responsibility before our Lord that you are indeed committing the sin of gossip.

I urge for the sake of your own relationship with our Lord, not to dishonor Him by engaging in this behavior.

...

In His service and in yours,

Derrick Calcote
dcalcote@msn.com

4:00 PM, October 28, 2006

Churchmouse said...

New BBC Open Forum said:
"So, at least 3 1/2 years ago at Gardendale, you had to sign a "leadership covenant" to be a deacon or any kind of leader, or even an usher or just to sing a solo."

“ I also refer you to the Time magazine article in the March 29, 2004, issue, page 56, which states that Rick Warren’s own church requires its members to sign “strict covenants.” --Who’s Driving the Purpose Driven Church?, by James Sundquist.

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. –James 5:12

These required covenants are deeply troubling. Are covenants required at Bellevue?

blink07 said...

If you are not tithing to the church you are sinning plain and simple. It needs to go to the local church. If you cannot tithe to BBC GO SOMEWHERE ELSE YOU CAN. BBC does not need people with this type of attitude toward the teachings of scripture...and if you do not think that tithing to the local church is biblical why did you do it in the first place?

New BBC Open Forum said...

jcsuitt wrote:

"If you are not tithing to the church you are sinning plain and simple. It needs to go to the local church. If you cannot tithe to BBC GO SOMEWHERE ELSE YOU CAN. BBC does not need people with this type of attitude toward the teachings of scripture...and if you do not think that tithing to the local church is biblical why did you do it in the first place?"

What a kind and loving attitude towards your fellow Christians! (I think that's sarcasm... or satire... one or the other.) I don't have a problem with that being your opinion, but what might be a sin for you isn't necessarily a sin for someone else. (Before you say, "Sin is sin," I can give examples if you'd like, but that would start a whole new thread.)

But to answer your question, I can only answer for myself, but I've always tithed to my local church because I thought the leadership was exercising wise stewardship over it. Now I have reason to believe they may not be, and until things are resolved, my tithe is going to a struggling church in an adjacent state. That's in addition to what we've regularly sent them.

And we'll go somewhere else when and if the Lord leads us to, not when Steve Gaines or jcsuitt say to.

NASS

mostlylurkin said...

Lord knows we don’t need another issue taking our eyes off the main thing but this is huge…well kinda huge.

I suppose it would be possible for a liar, a cheat, a thief, and a deceiver to somehow find himself an ordained deacon at a church like Bellevue. By not tithing, he is accused and he must be guilty of the aforementioned sins. Ask yourself (more importantly, ask the leadership), what are the chances? How could this Godless person beat the system? If he's survived the process and you’ve searched his heart, why must you search his checkbook? If he confesses to you in the sight of God, that he will faithfully abide by the covenants of God, this church and its congregation, why would we ask him to sign a contract? Is his stroke of a pen more compelling than his promises to his Lord and Savior?

After hearing the words of our Pastor here http://www.uu.edu/audio/spring03.htm I can't imagine our Deacons, these unsung giants of faith, theses under appreciated generous men of God, not being hurt and insulted in the sight of God.

This to me smells of legalisms born of industry, politics or the IRS, to guard against the dishonesty of sinful man.

Derrick Calcote said...

"After hearing the words of our Pastor here http://www.uu.edu/audio/spring03.htm I can't imagine our Deacons... not being hurt and insulted in the sight of God."

Speaking for myself as a deacon I can tell you that I'm neither hurt nor am I insulted for a two reasons:

1) There has been no additional layer of accountability placed on me since Dr. Gaines accepted the Lord's call to be our pastor.

2) If in the future there were to be some added accountability I have no problem with submitting to my Pastor as unto the Lord.

RM said...

You guys are truly amazing! Who you do think posts your giving record each week?? Some real human has to enter it into a computer so "someone" actually knows if you are tithing are not--besides the Lord. Any church (or pastor) who is worth their salt will determine (by asking preferably) if a person tithes before they are put in a leadership position. Imagine having some on the Personnel or Budget Committee that didn't tithe and was entrusted with making these financial decisions for the church. Sounds to me like some people are a little touchy about their giving records because if the light was shone, they aren't tithing.

westtnbarrister said...

jcsuitt,
I don't understand your hostility. It isn’t helpful and it only serves to undermine your views. A thoughtful well-reasoned response might hold sway. Most ignore SHOUTING.

A foundational principle within the Southern Baptist tradition is soul competency. Soul competency is a belief that individual Christians are responsible to God for reading, understanding and living out God's word. It implies that no other human authority can dictate how an individual interprets Scripture or relates to God. E.Y. Mullins and Herschell Hobbs, Southern Baptist leaders of yesteryear, both said soul competency was the most distinctive belief of Baptists. Of course the Bible, not our own experience, is our final authority.

You have your view on giving to the church, others disagree. You believe it is sin not to tithe. I respect your opinion, but I disagree. After careful study on this matter I can find no New Covenant support for the concept of the “storehouse tithe.” I don’t think a legalistic 10% tithe is required in the age of grace. Instead, I believe we are to give freely as God has prospered us. Some theologians agree with my view, while others disagree. Neither view is radical.

Rather than simply call the beliefs of another “sin,” why not take the time to thoughtfully consider their viewpoint?

If you are interested, here is a link to a short essay on the idea of tithing by the Elliot Miller, editor of the Christian Research Journal (the publication put out by the Bible Answerman’s organization). http://www.equip.org/free/DT175.htm

One last thing, no one should tell anyone to leave Bellevue just because they hold a different view on non-essentials of the Faith.

New BBC Open Forum said...

rm wrote: "Sounds to me like some people are a little touchy about their giving records because if the light was shone, they aren't tithing."

Not to boast, but my record would hold up just fine if the light were shone on it, thank you. The point I was making earlier was that just because BBC's record might not show anything being given recently, doesn't mean plenty isn't being given somewhere else. Apparently it doesn't matter to Dr. Gaines if someone gives every penny he earns, if it doesn't go to BBC it doesn't count.

I agree it's preferable to give to your local church, but to me there can be extenuating circumstances which may cause one to feel led to give one's tithe elsewhere temporarily. There's no excuse for withholding one's tithe altogether, and I've never heard anyone here advocating that although the accusation has been leveled.

I think maybe some of us are using different definitions of "tithe" and therein lies some of the disagreement. Some seem to be defining it as the 10% you give to the local church only while others, like myself, are defining it as one's offering which should be at least 10% but which can be given to any SB church. Giving to charities, to me, should be beyond the 10% which you give to the church, but again, everyone has to decide that for himself.

My purpose in starting this thread was not for people to criticize each other over their giving habits but rather for people to state if they were sending their tithes to another church and/or charity, setting the money aside and earmarking it for their tithe, or not changing their habits. It wasn't meant to be a discussion of who is "right" and who is "wrong." If you have an opinion one way or the other, that's fine. By all means, express your opinion, but please refrain from lambasting people you don't agree with. You can disagree without being disagreeable.

BibleFellowshipTeacher said...

I can't believe the discussion here about Steve Gaines requiring anyone in leadership to tithe. Most of us agree that tithing is required. Whether or not it has to be to the local church or not, I can't say I can see 100% where the scripture says that.

The big concern for me is not about Steve Gaines requiring a leader to tithe but it's the fact that dishonesty should diqualify a person from leadership.
Listen to the counsel of Jethro, Moses' father-in-law.

"You shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these...as leaders of thousands of hundreds, of fifties and of tens" (Exodus 18:21)

Two of the four criteria for leadership selection dealt with honesty: "men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain." Shouldn't our church select leaders on the basis of these same character qualities?

Steve Gaines is putting these qualifications out and has been caught saying things that are not true on several instances. They are well documented items including his statements to the deacons concerning the fence issue, the dismissal of Jim Whitmire and David Smith, credit card usage, the famous information meeting on Sunday, Sept.24th, etc.
How can he hold others accountable when he is not willing to be held accountable?

This is the biggest problem I have. You can't hold others to a level of accountablility that you are not willing to be held to.

allofgrace said...

WTB and others,
I spur you again to search the scriptures concerning the tithe...the tithe predates the Law...Abraham tithed. Also, WTB, I think you are thinking man..I'd like to discuss with you sometime the "disjunction" you see in the scriptures...there's no disunity in God's covenants..let's sharpen one another on this sometime.

I haven't given the scripture reference to Abraham's tithe..that's on purpose...to tell you would make it too easy..be Bereans.

bewaretradition said...

If anyone would like some good, Biblical research on tithing, please see:

http://www.bible-truths.com/tithing.html

Anonymous said...

BibleFellowshipTeacher said..

"Steve Gaines is putting these qualifications out and has been caught saying things that are not true on several instances. They are well documented items including his statements to the deacons concerning the fence issue, the dismissal of Jim Whitmire and David Smith, credit card usage, the famous information meeting on Sunday, Sept.24th, etc."

I'm sorry if I'm a bit slow on this but could you please provide the specifics to the above references. There is so much information that is sometimes difficult to connect it sometimes.

Thank you.

westtnbarrister said...

Allofgrace,

This is an interest topic for debate. Most Christians just accept a 10% tithe is biblical because that is what they have been taught. I certainly was. I never questioned it until I decided to really study it for myself. The reason I began to study it is I have a particular disdain for the prosperity gospel that has millions in its grip. Prosperity teachers turn God into some kind of cosmic slot machine. Much of that teaching is built on the same verses I was taught mandate the tithe, including Malachi 3:8-10.

I agree the tithe predated the law. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek the spoils of war gained when trying to save Lot. He gave 10% of the spoils to Melchizedek and 90% to Sodom. He kept nothing for himself. There is no mention of Abraham giving of his own property. Nor is their mention of systematic giving year after year.

Please don't misunderstand me. I am NOT telling anyone not to give to Bellevue. I belive we should give to Bellevue according to how God has blessed us and purposed in our hearts. I even believe we should give during this conflict. So no one should take anything I say as a reason not to give. All I am saying is I can find no support for a legalistic 10% tithe for Christians in the New Testament after the opening of the age of grace.

When asked about tithing, Dr. John MacArthur said this, "Two kinds of giving are taught consistently throughout Scripture: giving to the government (always compulsory), and giving to God (always voluntary). The issue has been greatly confused, however, by some who misunderstand the nature of the Old Testament tithes. Tithes were not primarily gifts to God, but taxes for funding the national budget in Israel. Because Israel was a theocracy, the Levitical priests acted as the civil government. So the Levite's tithe (Leviticus 27:30-33) was a precursor to today's income tax, as was a second annual tithe required by God to fund a national festival (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). Smaller taxes were also imposed on the people by the law (Leviticus 19:9-10; Exodus 23:10-11). So the total giving required of the Israelites was not 10 percent, but well over 20 percent. All that money was used to operate the nation. All giving apart from that required to run the government was purely voluntary (cf. Exodus 25:2; 1 Chronicles 29:9). Each person gave whatever was in his heart to give; no percentage or amount was specified. New Testament believers are never commanded to tithe. Matthew 22:15-22 and Romans 13:1-7 tell us about the only required giving in the church age, which is the paying of taxes to the government. Interestingly enough, we in America presently pay between 20 and 30 percent of our income to the government--a figure very similar to the requirement under the theocracy of Israel.
The guideline for our giving to God and His work is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver."

About that disjunction, perhaps I used improper terminology. If I understand your point, I agree there is no disunity.

I will leave you with this thought:

If you choose by obligation to submit yourself to even part of the Law of Moses, you are obligated to keep it all. “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them” (Galatians 3:10)

Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”

I am not closed minded; I can be persuaded I am wrong. But for tonight, I still agree with Dr. MacArthur. I'll sow bountifully. I'll cheerfully give as God has purposed in my heart.

allofgrace said...

WTB,
I have to tell you brother, I don't really know you, but I love you..you're obviously a student of scripture..I like that about you whether we agree on any point or not..I don't have time at the moment to go into great detail on this with you...perhaps another time through another medium..but I want to leave you with this thought to ponder for a bit...I've always been concerned that many Christians today have a tendency to look at the Old Testament has having no bearing upon us at all..and also seeing the whole of the OT as "law". So let me give you this principle to think about...the New was in the Old concealed...the Old is in the New revealed.

ilovebbc said...

I have a question. On some of these threads, people have commented about how/why Brother Steve constantly mentions numbers - how many made decisions, goals for Sunday School attendance, giving, etc. In most churches I've ever been in except for the megachurches, they have weekly numbers posted on a board that usually hangs on one side of the choir loft or the other showing last week's attendance in worship, Sunday school, giving, etc. I've never felt like Brother Steve was bragging on himself but just wanting to give God the glory for what he's doing in our church. I've been at Bellevue almost 40 years and we've always had attendance goals, giving goals, i.e., Miracle Day, Feeding of the Five Thousand, etc. So what's the difference in him telling us how we did last week vs. having it posted on a board some place as they do in most smaller churches? This doesn't really have anything to do with tithing but I coudln't determine the appropriate thread to place my question. Moderator, feel free to move this post if you wish.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Not a problem, ilb. I was reminded of those old fashioned attendance boards, too, and I don't really have a problem with Dr. Gaines mentioning the "numbers" -- occasionally at least. I think maybe the problem some people are having with it, myself included, is that it sometimes seems like the old "the ends justify the means" or "if the numbers are up, that's all that should matter" excuse. Not saying that's what it is, just that it may seem that way to some. I think with the accusations that have been leveled and some of his behavior of late, that everything becomes magnified. It sometimes comes across as bragging whereas if he were a little more humble about things, it probably wouldn't seem that way.

westtnbarrister said...

Allofgrace,

I suspect we agree more than we disagree. I appreciate the "conversation;" you challenge me to think and study.

"the New was in the Old concealed...the Old is in the New revealed"...couldn't agree more. Human minds could never have conceived the Bible. It proves itself.

We need to get together so you can help me fully reconcile the doctrines of grace (and straighten me out on this tithing business).

By the way, if you are a fan of the writings of Francis Schaeffer, Covenant Seminary has two free downloadable courses on his life and ministry. I am going through the 25-lecture course on his later years now. They have lots of other excellent free courses as well. Anyone willing to spend the time can get a basic seminary education for free.

I began reading Schaeffer in law school and he dramatically influenced how I think. If you haven't read him, I think you would enjoy him. He opened my eyes to a much larger reality.

blink07 said...

New BBC Open Forum and westtnbarrister Let me clarify a few things:
1. All caps is not screaming it is emphasis
2. If you cannot support the local church you attend through giving then I believe you should go somewhere else. You have seemingly found no problem doing this in the past and because things are just as you would like now you change your giving habits. This is not the way to deal with issues.
3. You accuse me of not having a loving attitude towards believers using of all things sarcasm. In all due respect take the blinders off your eyes and read the material that is on this blog. I have a friend who is a new yet GROWING believer. I asked him to read some of what has been written and what he thought of it. His response was interesting. He observed that if that was what the church was really about he would have fled back into the bar. He said that when he had problems with friends and enemies in the world he handled it better. Then he said it was nothing more than cowards hiding behind screen names spewing filth with no positive outcome possible. His opinion and observation...yet in my opinion better than someone telling me that my post was not Christian like but all the other post...even his...somehow are perfectly fine and Jesus like.
4. I am well aware of arguments for and against tithing to the local church. I am not saying that you should be locked into 10% giving. The view of God in the Old Testament was that the one who did not give to the Lord was a thief and would be cursed with a curse. I agree the New Testament command does not seemingly point to a strict 10% but more.
5. MOST IMPORTANTLY (I AM NOT SCREAMING!!!! I AM SIMPLY EMPHASIZING) STEWARDSHIP IS THIS: MANAGING RESOURCES FOR AN OWNER AND ALWAYS ACTING IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE OWNER. Everything that I have read in this comment section has been "I, I, I" Ask the owner. Seek his face. It is NOT your decision. I can tell you with full assurance this is NOT the way to deal with these issues. I do not know what has taken place. What is true and what is not. I would say you DO NOT either. Don't act out of how you feel or what you think is right but seek the Lord...unless you see yourselves as the owner.
6. You are correct about soul competency...you will answer to God for your actions and your decisions...whether they be right or wrong.
7. It is a dangerous thing to cause dissent and strife within the body of Christ. This is why I believe anyone causing dissent and people who cannot support the pastor and leadership should leave. This is my humble opinion.

I would like to know what other pastors are reading this and are participating in the piling on of Pastor Gaines and the leadership of BBC. Are there any?

Josh Tucker said...

barrister,

That's very interesting info about the Schaeffer courses, I think I'll check that out. Thanks for posting that.

allofgrace, to echo barrister, How Should We Then Live is almost a must read.

hashbrown said...

If you believe that tithing is still in effect, then it goes to the storehouse, which has traditionally been interpreted as the general fund, undesignated.

Money should not be used for political advantage. Many church, perhaps some with less in the bank, has used money to starve staff out of a church.
.

ezekiel1824 said...

WTB
Well said. Reading 2Corinthians, chapter 8 is the closest thing that I can find to Paul's explaination for how offerings are to be handled and the use there of. It appears to me that Paul's idea of the offering was that we are to give as an expression of our love and from the abundance of our blessings. It was to be used to benefit our Christian brothers and churches, specifically the church in Jerusalem. It also outlines the carefull methods of handling and the extent that he was willing to go to assure the givers that the offering was handled properly. I have read the bible through this year and I agree with the Old Covenant/New Covenant relationship you have so well described. Jews tithed as a part of their set of sacrifices to atone for their sin. I am not Jewish and I recognize Jesus's death as the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. Why are we trying to crawl back under Jewish law? Can you imagine what Jesus thinks about that?????? Paul sets us free from the law in Galatians.

I just finished 3John today, I start Revelations tonight. I certainly do not consider myself an expert on the Bible but I can say that the first read has been certainly worth the time. I just can't wait to start all over again!

I grew up in the Baptist church as well, and I can certainly say that the teachings of God do not always line up with the things I have been taught in the Baptist church.

There are several references about being "taught of God" throughout the Bible and I think that points to a concern that He has that we get it right.....and how do we do that without reading His Word?

A lot of this problem today just would not be here if God's people would LEARN his Word. We hear a lot of sermons telling us how to live, how to give and how to serve. Grace and Mercy, your sins are forgiven, you are saved! Milk,Milk,Milk! When did you last hear a sermon on how to identify/avoid false teachers? 3John or Jude. When did you last hear a sermon on what happens when we (God's people) turn from righteousness? Ezekiel 18:24 or John 15:2 And by the way, We are God's people, we have been grafted in.

Somehow this Baptist has been taught tithe, Once saved always saved and several other things that I have come to sincerly question simply by reading my Bible one time. And before everyone gets too excited, I just said I am led to question these doctrines now. I sure plan to continue reading and I am sure the Holy Spirit, through the Word will answer those questions. I challenge everyone that does not read His Word daily, to do so rather than trying to set me straight. Your time is better spent in the Word.

I have said in other posts that God will be glorified through all this mess, one way or another. Wouldn't it be great if we all started reading the Word trying to fight with each other and wind up abiding in him more as a result?

I bet then we could give a lot more freely. Out of love and from our blessings rather than putting it in a storehouse that we have to guard over and treat for insects or vermin. (Not accusing nobody of nuthin here folks, but that is what we had to do to the store house on the farm). The rich guy that tore his store houses down to build bigger ones did not fare too well either.
I would think that 1st Methodist and the people she serves could use a building a lot more than I can use a prayer center or a theme park in kids sunday school........I can even do without the coffee selection on Sunday Morning. Some of our brothers don't even have Folgers..........

But to do that we might have to show some brotherly love and work with a sister..........

Truth Hunter said...

jcsuitt,

Everyone interprets caps as SCREAMING. Regular forum users knows this.

You addressed your post to two people. One of them is WTB. I know he is able to defend himself. I still want to say a few things. His posts are not divisive. He has blessed me over and over again with his thoughtful comments. His website is blessing me too. He writes about Bible principles instead of all these petty allegations. He wants to stay out of the fray. He made some calls so he could defend the pastor false rumors about stuff he did at West Jackson. I don't think you have seen him make any claims against our pastor. In fact, I emailed him about a rumor and asked his opinion. He advised me not to entertain it without proof. I read your post he was responding to. His response to you was reasonable. You probably did not like him challenging you. You should Know that he's not the only person who thinks you ought to be careful about telling people what they are doing is SIN and they should leave Bellevue. You can have your opinion, others can have theirs.

About NBBOF, she can defend herself too. She is tough but she is fair. I haven't emailed with her so I don't know her thoughts like I do WTB.

You are beating up on people trying to save our church, not tear it down. I bet others will agree with me.

allofgrace said...

WTB, Josh, Ezekial,
LOL...no guys..I'm not really trying to "straighten you out"...I just like to say things that make people think..and then dig..it's not important to me that you agree with me..I just love to see God's people eat up His word. I'm a teacher at heart that's true...but I always tried to teach in a manner that would give people a hunger for God's word. I was so blessed to have a mentor in the faith in those first few years of walking with Christ. I can still hear his words echo..."It's the word brother..the word the word the word..make it the last thing you put down at night..and the first thing you pick up in the morning...fill your mind with it..meditate on it till it becomes the warp and woof of who you are and how you think and see the world." Good and wise advice..man I miss that guy.

westtnbarrister said...

Allofgrace,

I have accepted all of your posts in the spirit in which they were written. Don't worry about offending me or challenging me. I know more than anyone that I don't have all the answers. I love to discuss the Word.

By the way, I am much the same way. Whether or not someone agrees with me, I want to encourage critical thought.

Maybe we ought to find a few more for a Bible study.

allofgrace said...

WTB,
I'm sure we could have some very good and edifying dialogue...as for the Bible study..I think that would be great. For you and Josh..Shaeffer is definitely on my "must eventually read" list...he's a great apologist and has been a great spokesman for those who hold to the reformed view..as evidenced by his broad appeal..thanks for reminding me. Ezekiel1824..never be afraid to reexamine what you believe...if it won't hold up to the light of scripture...it needs to go anyhow...keep digging, learning and growing brother. I describe my personal theology as "rigidly flexible"..whatever light God has given me I sink my teeth into like a pit bull..but my desire is to never hold on so tight that he can't take it back and refine or better define it for me..or eliminate it if it needs to be.

allofgrace said...

hahah...ok you got me ezekiel1824...(turns red and apologizes)....this is like the second time this has happened on this forum...ok..from now on i'll refer to you as "sister". Soooo sorry. (goes and sticks his nose in the corner)

ezekiel1824 said...

allofgrace.......
No need for the red face, you had it right the first time. That was a little sarcasm....I was referring to the female minister of the downtown church that burned the other day. First Methodist is known for helping people in Memphis starting way back with the Yellow Fever epidemic that nearly killed Memphis in the 1800's. I bet she could really use some of that store house right now. If Paul could ask the Gentiles to take up an offering for the Jews, why can't the Baptist's take up a collection for the Methodist's? I guess we just can't get past the female minister thing.......(more sarcasm)....Wasn't it Priscilla and Aquilla?...Please excuse my lack of word skill.



Bible study......count me in!

NBBOF.........thanks for your courage stepping in as you did. I can hear folks all over scrambling for their bibles tonight!

Lwood said...

How about using some of Bellevue's $25,000,000.00 to help the Church downtown that burned. What better way to show our love to our fellow christians than help. What if it had been Bellevue?????

MOM4 said...

lwood,
Bellevue's reserves are just that, reserves. While I applaude those who wish to help other churches, I can see why the reserves are set aside for similar situations within our church home. There were those who made verbal assaults on the man that donated the 3 crosses because they felt the money should have gone to the poor. Yet, those crosses have pulled truck drivers and others from I-40, thus there have been many who have been impacted by the statement that they make for our Lord and our church.
I feel that if our church, or any church wants to take up a love offering for the church that burned, that the Lord would bless it if it is His will to do so, but to deplete the reserves would leave Bellevue financially unstable. If we were to experience an earthquake, or a tornado, we need to be able to rebuild fast. The church needs to be open to be able to reach out to the community and its members, just like we were for the Katrina victims.
However, I most certainly do believe with all my heart that financial accountability is required and scripture demands it and we are sinning if we do not pursue it.

New BBC Open Forum said...

lwood wrote: "How about using some of Bellevue's $25,000,000.00 to help the Church downtown that burned."

Well, to begin with, they're... {NASS whispers}... Methodists. And they have... {gasp!}... a female pastor! Oh, the horror!

Note: This was satire... or maybe sarcasm.

NASS

john316 said...

Why dont we invest some of our $25,000,000.00 that BBC has sitting in the bank and help other out who need it?

john316 said...

I left this off but why do we have a love offering when we have this much money already? This is a very serious matter and I'm going to write or ask the budget & planning committee and the finance committee about this.

Josh Tucker said...

John3:16,

What's your source of the 25 million in the bank? I think you're gravely mistaken.

Bellevue has a large revenue stream, but most of it is spent on operational expenses, missions, etc. You can get your hands on the publically available budget if you don't believe me.

john316 said...

Josh

BBC has in excess of $20,000,000.00 on deposit and how do I know, I asked a finance committee member. Don't take my word for it,ask for yourself.

Josh Tucker said...

John316,

Did you check to see if the funds were a part of the Bellevue Foundation or were earmarked for future projects? Also, how much specifics from the finance committee member did you receive since your figure went from 25 million to roughly 20 million, unless that was a typo.

BibleFellowshipTeacher said...

The Bellevue Foundation has $5,000,000 of its own money that is kept apart from Bellevue Baptist money according to the last figures I saw.
The $25,000,000 in Bellevue Baptist money sitting in the bank is a good figure. I don't believe that includes a $5,000,000 CD that Bellevue has for reserves.

gopher said...

The last "990" for the Bellevue Foundation '04 indicated that it takes about $150,000 to administer and Bob Dawkins accounts for the majority of it. So much for using retirees . Board members include or have included Bob Sorrell, David Coombs, Mark Dougharty, and many others in the inner circle.

Also note that $500,000 of the BF assests include a deposit from Mid America Seminary (from their 990 '03)

If you think that LWF is exempt then you need to check their "990" '05 and see where twice retired Roland Maddox compensation is around $150,000, William Skelton around $140,000, retired Gene Howard is around $90,000 and Steve Rogers around $80,000 as well as others on the payroll.

Please remember when checking compenation that you include pension, medical, other employee benifits (auto, cell phone, travel , conventions, etc)

Anonymous said...

So now folks have carte blanche to anonymously criticize the Bellevue Foundation, MABTS, and LWF? And to publish alleged salary figures?

NASS, I would encourage you to delete that post.

--Mike

New BBC Open Forum said...

Mike,

A non-profit organization's Form 990 is a matter of public record. Salaries are a part of that form. You can go here and check the numbers for the last few years. I don't see exactly where some of gopher's numbers came from, but those salaries are a matter of public record. I'm also not sure if or why any of those organizations is relevant to the discussion at hand, but maybe gopher will elaborate. Gopher?

Anonymous said...

A non-profit organization's Form 990 is a matter of public record. Salaries are a part of that form. You can go here and check the numbers for the last few years. I don't see exactly where some of gopher's numbers came from, but those salaries are a matter of public record.

Having worked for a non-profit for a few years, I understand the availability of 990s and yes, obviously they are a matter of public record.

If someone's curious, he or she can chase down such information. Throwing it out in a public forum, though, is a different matter entirely.

--Mike

gopher said...

Isn't it interesting that MB complains about public information being posted here, but has been saying that MS and others have only made speculations while they have only been trying to find out the truth..

My point is that here are some facts related to financial information that can be documented. Like checking the board members and you may recognize familiar names. You may find that somewhere they are benefiting from one of the many related corporations ( I have not listed them all here) so perhaps this is why we can’t get to the bottom of the BBC information and get straight facts. It is such a tight ship and the high salaries benefiting certain individuals just makes it harder to realize what our true purpose on earth really is..

Even the newly released BF 990 '05 has monies “granted” to a insurance company for $1,436.91 for insurance for who? , $523,425.00 to ECS for what? ( this is as much as all the other grants given and David Coombs is on the ECS board). You will also find a variety of grants for Christian schools that change depending on what?

New BBC Open Forum said...

gopher,

Could you provide the link (if it was online) for the information you found? I went to the site linked in my previous comment, but the 2004 990 for the BF, for example, seemed to indicate that no one was being paid a dime. On the other hand, it's hard to believe anyone would work 40 hours a week for zero compensation which is what that form seems to indicate. There must be more information that I'm just not seeing. I really would like to see your source for the numbers you quoted.

gopher said...

It can be confusing as alot of corporations do not list them on the directors page but put it on page 2 of the 990 under "compensation of officers, etc" especially if there is only one. Then you need to add the pension contributions , other employee benifits, taxes, travel , auto, cell phone and then there is the "other salaries and wages" that would apply to maybe someone else , say a secretary or ?. Alot of cost when most of the money is handled in Nashville by the Tennessee Baptist Foundation found on page 16.


Remember the meat of the information is in the beginning and at the end of the 23 or so pages.

http://www.eri-nonprofit-salaries.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=NPO.Form990&EIN=621818929&Year=2005&Cobrandid=0

Anonymous said...

gopher said...
Isn't it interesting that MB complains about public information being posted here, but has been saying that MS and others have only made speculations while they have only been trying to find out the truth..


Tell me, precisely, how posting the presumed salary figures for Bellevue Foundation and LWF employees has anything at all to do with "trying to find out the truth," if you would be so kind.

--Mike

whyask? said...

The TITLE does NOT belong to you to choose what you do with it! It belongs to the Lord, and to do anything else with it is ROBBERY! If YOU choose to do anything else with it you are a THIEF!!!!!

whyask? said...

Let me answer "WESTTNBARRISTER" of Oct. 28th. Sure Tithing is OT. But I'll let you pick, OT or NT. Jesus taught to give it ALL!