Thursday, March 15, 2012

Steve Gaines Twists Scripture Again

FBC Jax Watchdog >> Misusing Scripture to Scare Christians: Gaines Suggests Non-Tithers Could Be Killed by God Just as Ananias and Sapphira

There are no words....


Straight Path said...

Having been a member of Bellevue in the past, I am not surprised that Steve Gaines is more interested in tithes than he is in souls.

New BBC Open Forum said...

That clip was just a sample of the scripture twisting that went on in that sermon. There's more to come.

I wouldn't say SG isn't interested in souls, but sometimes I get the impression that "soul winning" is about adding notches to his belt and little more. Nickels and noses.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Yes, this whole sermon was one big tithing sheep beater. This guy has no shame. I believe these pastors get drunk on their own words. They really think they are such great orators that they can pretty much interpret scripture any way they want and people will just blindly believe it.

And perhaps they are right.

Or as one commenter said at my blog, maybe people just go to church for other reasons and they simply tolerate the nonsense from the pulpit.

Barry said...

I occasionally watch Gaines on streaming. Now this fall he said he, Donna, and 10 or 12 are going to Cambodia and Vietnam to teach preachers how to preach. At first class all the way, that will cost us poor sheep at least $250,000. What is he trying to accomplish anyway. This could be done via electronic communication. Plus, with his illness and taking steroids, it seems this very long trip would be dangerous healthwise. I don't understand it, but then again I am just one of the sheep.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why it's so offensive to "believers" that SG is preaching about a New Testament principle. The Church has functioned from the tithe of the believers since Acts. Sounds like the Spirit is convicting a few of you about your wallets. After all, where your treasure is, your heart is. Check yoself.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I just love it when commenters, especially anonymous ones, refer to fellow Christians as "believers" (with the quotes) as if they're saying "you so-called believers -- we 'real' Christians know you're not." Can't you just feel the love?!

Others have repeated this ad nauseum, but I'll outline it for you again in case you missed it. What Steve Gaines is preaching is an Old Testament principle and not an accurate portrayal of that. The OT tithe was 23 1/3%, not 10%. That was of your harvest and livestock, not your money, and it was given to support the Levitical priests (who were not permitted to own land), the poor and widows, for the annual festival, and the 3rd-year tithe which was to be distributed to those in need. Tithes were not paid to fund the priest's trips to "priest conferences," Holy Land trips and Mediterranean cruises for him and his extended family and friends, wasteful temple spending programs, or to pay the "priest" more sheckels than 99% of the givers will ever make (much of which is exempted from being rendered unto Caesar)... all while the "priest" hops on the big winged chariot to travel to preach at other priests' temples for more sheckels while being paid to preach at his own temple. (That's double dipping, and for someone who claims to ♥ Memphis as much as Steve Gaines does, he certainly jumps at every opportunity he can to get out of Memphis.)

Here's my bottom line. If someone feels led to give 10%, 23 1/3%, 2%, 5%, nothing, 90%, or whatever amount s/he is able and led to give, I have no problem with that nor do I know why anyone else would. It's none of my business or yours what anyone else gives or to whom they give it. Many of us give to kingdom work, I dare say many of us more than 10%, but it's not necessarily to a corporation and it's not even always in U.S. currency. I might question the wisdom of allocating one's money to a "temple" that isn't being a good steward of it, but again, it's your decision how much and to whom you choose to give the money at your disposal, not Steve Gaines'.

New BBC Open Forum said...

What I do have an issue with is someone and his family living (in high style) off the very tithes and offerings he's "encouraging" people to give to his church/corporation having the unmitigated gall to claim that God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead because they didn't tithe 10% of their income to a 501(c)(3). In my __+ years (lots) as a Baptist, I've never heard that interpretation of that passage, and there's a reason for that. It's because it's... well, excuse me, but it's just plain stupid! Do people really believe this stuff? Does Steve Gaines really believe it? Logic tells me no one is that gullible, but experience, P.T. Barnum's observations, and watching the likes of Robert Tilton and Benny Hinn tell me otherwise.

For all we know A&S gave 10% of the money they received for the land. The Bible doesn't say, does it? I do think the Bible is pretty clear that what God struck them dead for was lying about the amount they gave. So if you give 10% or even the full 23 1/3% "tithes" but claim you gave more, beware. One might even extrapolate that warning to include being intentionally deceptive about the interpretation of scripture. But not giving 10% of your gross income to the "storehouse" (another contortion of scripture) is not going to bring down the wrath of God. It'll just make Steve Gaines continue to twist scripture to suit his needs and wants and throw hissy fits from the pulpit. As giving continues to decrease and staff are cut and programs postponed, scaled back, or eliminated, watch out. Because he's only going to crawl farther and farther out on the big limb. It's fascinating to observe. Every time I think he can't out-bizarre himself, he does!

By the way, the New Testament does have something to say about judging the state of another's soul, namely, "don't."

Alexis said...

I was listening on streaming when Steve gave the Ananias and Sapphira spiel. I almost fainted when he said he, Donna and 12 or so more were going to Vietnam and Cambodia. And at first class that is bound to be more than quarter of million $$. I think he just wants to get out of preaching and see another part of the world at the expense of us sheep. As someone said, they have TV's and radio who present the gospel Also, I think he wants to be elected president of the SBC and he may believe these trips help his cause. Anyway, the trip will not cost them one thin dime and if he can swing it, he may even make money on this trip, as he has made money leading trips to Israel. I am flabbergasted and don't know what to think about this man.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I have not heard SG comment about going to Vietnam or Cambodia. Not saying he didn't, but I don't believe it was during the "God will strike you dead for not tithing" sermon (if that's what you were saying).

Alexis said...

NASS....Steve said twice that he and Donna were going to Cambodia and Vietnam in the fall. Other pastors from the SBC are going and the trips of course are free. He even put maps of these 2 places on the screen and explained the % of Christians, Buddhists, etc. living there. I think this was 3 or 4 weeks ago.

New BBC Open Forum said...

You're correct. He's been going through a "pray for the nations" thing on Sunday nights now for several weeks where he puts an outline of a country on the IMAG and gives a breakdown of the percentages of various religious groups in that country. Although I missed Cambodia at the time (March 18th), I specifically remember Guinea and India. I was just clarifying that the comments about the trip to Cambodia and Vietnam were not made during the same service as the Ananias and Sapphira sermon which was a Sunday morning service in February.

Here it is. This was the night they had some good music. I doubt many of the under-40s on stage were familiar with the music of John W. Peterson.

Steve: "Lord willing, Donna and I will be in Cambodia... uh... this fall. We're going to Vietnam and we're going to Cambodia. I... I... believe it's Cambodia. I... I'm pretty sure that's right. And we're going to be teaching and training pastors there." [Oops! Can't have those wimmins teaching the menfolk!] "I'M going to be teaching and training pastors there. Donna will be doing women's ministry there."

Note how he used this "missions education" opportunity to remind people to give, tithe, give, tithe, give, tithe, and give more.

I do hope he figures out where they're going before they board the plane.

John K. said...

What drives me absolutely crazy, is seeing Christians denouncing a man's preaching all because he is in the public eye. He is in the public eye because of the size of the church that he preaches to. He would not even be involved in the dicussions of this forum if he was the preacher at some backwoods church off the beaten path. Why is it that no one cares what a pastor preaches about from these churches? If you're wondering, yes I am a member of Bellevue Baptist Church, and yes I have attended other churches, some of them with only a few hundred members. Let me remind all of you that these small churches preach about tithing. How many of you attend these churches, and how many of you are giving obediently to your church? And of course Bro. Gaines is paid by Bellevue Baptist, but he also tithes to the church just as he preaches. If anyone really needs to go back and review that sermon, he speaks of this point also. If you don't like Bellevue just because it's a bigger church, then fine...but your opinions about the church that I attend are not needed by you or anyone else. Maybe if you spent more time in the Word of our Lord you wouldn't have the time to sit around and worry about what my pastor is preaching about. I found this forum by chance, if anyone was wondering, as to why I am even on here. I saw the heading on a google search that I came across and was completely offended.

Let's not forget that tithing isn't just an Old Testament practice, it is throughout the Bible, and should still be practiced. What relevancy does it have to which Testament the act of tithing come from? The Ten Commandments came from the Old Testament...Does that mean that we should not obey our God's commandments? I'm sure that if I went out and stole something from someone, or murdered someone it would be viewed as wrong, would it not? So someone PLEASE tell me why tithing is wrong, or preaching of tithing is wrong in ANY church?? The Bible IS what we as Christians live by, and by the Bible only should a good Baptist pastor preach from.

1 Corinthians 9:13-14 ESV
Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food form the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

Leviticus 27:32 ESV
And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdman's staff, shall be holy to the Lord.

Bill said...

This is in reference to the previous comment.

Thanks for the long remarks. It helps to explain why (even though about 1/2 have left since he took over) there are so many people still attending BBC.

Here are the logical flaws in your arguments:

Excusing bad behavior (in this case bad teaching) by pointing toward other bad behavior (see Bill O'Reilly). It is a defense tactic usually employed by liberals to avoid personal responsibility.

Stating as fact that which you have no evidence for: You have no way of knowing how much Gaines gives unless you have receipts.

Speaking for everyone: "your opinions about the church that I attend are not needed by you or anyone else."

Failure to understand that you can do more than one thing at a time: "Maybe if you spent more time in the Word of our Lord you wouldn't have the time to sit around and worry about what my pastor is preaching about."

Ignoring some OT commandments while holding on to others: "The Ten Commandments came from the Old Testament...Does that mean that we should not obey our God's commandments?"

Unless you are stoning adulterers and only wearing single fabric clothing, this is a double standard.

Proof Texting:

1 Corinthians 9:13-14 ESV

No mention of the tithe in these verses.

Leviticus 27:32 ESV

This verse mentions flocks not money. The OT tithe was always food or flocks. There was a 20% penalty for paying in cash and there were 3 tithes in the OT.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I wrote a long response the other night, but my computer ate it. So, instead of taking the time to reproduce it, I'll just post a couple of quotes from comments on the FBC Jax Watchdogs blog which raise some interesting questions. Perhaps John K., if he's not too offended to come back, would like to respond.

1. Where in the Bible did anyone, ever, Old Testament or New testament, give 10% of their earned wages to a local 501(c)(3) budget? And even if somehow I am convinced to give 10% "to God", who is to receive these funds on God's behalf? The poor, widow, orphan? No, God receives it unto himself through the budget of the local 501(c)(3). And finally, dear, since the Bible is clear we are to stay out of debt, where in the budget do we cut this 10% from? Our kids school? Our car maintenance? Our health insurance? Our taxes? Our entertainment budget with our family? Our retirement? Our kids' college funds? In other words, who will pay the price, make the sacrifice, so that the 501(c)(3) can buy more chairs, build that building, pay its overhead, or pay the staff Christmas bonuses?

2. God is being robbed when people give 10% "to God" and then the local 501(c)(3) steals it all (keeps 90% of it) to pay overhead and salaries and the "least of these" get relatively none of it. Why would God want me to give "his money" to these budgets where those in real need will never see a penny?" Did Jesus say "I have come so that there will be beautiful churches, well staffed, with great programs, on every corner? You are being deceived if you let these men "rob God" of the tithe you are giving to them instead of to God. Give your tithe to God, not to church budgets. Please.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Here are a few thoughts of my own:

John's "logic" is like a parent telling a kid to eat everything on his plate because there are starving children in China. One has nothing to do with the other. I can't write about SG because I'm not writing about every preacher at every small church who's twisting scripture? I can't possibly have time to comment on a blog occasionally because I'm not busy "in the Word." Typical meaningless strawman argument. (Actually I have plenty of material to blog about, but I'm busy with life right now.)

How do you know "Bro." Gaines tithes to the church? Just because "Bro." Gaines says he does? Since no one knows how much the sheeple pay "Bro." Gaines or how much he gives, how do you claim to know this? Do you know if Steve is still getting advances on his salary? Or how much of what he receives is a tax-free housing allowance or other "allowances"? Or how much the church is paying his family members? Does "Bro." Gaines tithe on just the taxable salary part or on the whole package? How many other perks is the church handing him and his family? It would probably shock even me to know that.

Look, I don't care what anyone else gives to a 501(c)(3). (I like that term. Makes it as cold and clinical as it actually is. "Church" is too warm and fuzzy anymore and, of course, like "Sunday School," it's outdated anyway.) That's the giver's business, not mine. What I don't like is seeing someone "in the public eye" twisting scripture the way SG does. You'd have to do some serious mental gymnastics to take the story of Ananias and Sapphira and liken it to "not tithing."

Why do people pluck tithing out of the OT and ignore all the other OT laws? The Ten Commandments are a no brainer. Almost every person is born with the basic knowledge of right and wrong. Everyone knows it's wrong to murder, steal, lie, or commit adultery. I doubt you follow OT dietary laws or would refuse to wear a garment made of wool and linen. I doubt if you'd stone a disobedient child. I bet you enjoy that good old Memphis PORK barbecue! Do you give the full 23 1/3% "tithe"?

New BBC Open Forum said...

If you're going to pick and choose which OT laws you're going to keep, at least keep the ones you choose as they were written. Don't make up some arbitrary version for your convenience. Preachers have been preaching the 10% tithe for decades because it's simple to move a decimal point, and they know they couldn't get by with telling people they need to fork over 23 1/3% of their income. That would never fly. So they've taken the word "tithe" (I don't know which of the two annual tithes they're ignoring), saying since it means "one-tenth," that you'll be obeying God if you give 10% of your income (money) to a man-made organization they conveniently call the "storehouse."

Never mind it was a tithe of crops and livestock. (Try paying your preacher in chickens or eggs or grain today and see how that works for you.) They make no distinction between those who can afford to give and those who can't. They don't care if people are unemployed, don't pay their bills or lose their houses, have health insurance or healthcare, or for that matter eat, just as long as the "storehouse" gets theirs. Preachers like Steve Gaines and Charles Stanley (and plenty of small-church preachers as well) have the gall to stand in the pulpit and tell people that if they give at least 10% to the 501(c)(3) that God WILL provide it and will then provide more so they can GIVE MORE -- and they won't be wanting for anything. Mac Brunson said he's never seen anyone who tithed go bankrupt. Really? What does the Bible say about paying your debts?

Now, if you can find someone who really needs it, say directly supporting a missionary or someone worse off than you, that's fine, but my days of supporting a self-entitled "man of Gawd" and an organization that can waste more money than most people can imagine (or realize) are over. There are ways to "give to God" that don't involve money. You can give of your time, too. After all, they say time is money.

Your "logic" is like saying it drives you crazy to see people denouncing the POTUS because he's in the public eye but not criticizing every politician in local government. The only thing you're right about is that SG is in the public eye because of the size of the church. So what? Bellevue has the money and the connections in Memphis to command TV time. Steve throws himself into the public eye as often as possible, too. Just let city or county government think about passing some pointless law protecting people from discrimination based on sexual preference and Steve will be there before the news crews show up to cover it. That just means he influences more people and makes him fair game in my book.

So what if other churches preach tithing as a NT principle? Old traditions die hard, and with the economy the way it is, the coffers of many churches are getting shallow. That's why we're hearing so much emphasis on tithing today. It's desperation. They don't want to give up their "programs," and they sure as heck aren't going to take a pay cut. So they have to come up with new ways to twist scripture to guilt people into giving. What happened to free, cheerful giving as each person determines in his heart? Who needs the Holy Spirit when you've got preachers to tell you what to believe and do?

The other day someone said a certain preacher's "raw, in-your-face brazenness" was what slapped sense into him. I'd never thought about it quite like that, but that's exactly what SG has done for me and why I continue to watch him! It's like watching a train wreck, but I still watch sometimes. Now I understand why. I'm learning from him but not what he thinks he's teaching me.

Anonymous said...


Preach it Sister

Barry said...

The only thought I have at this point is that Steve and Donna must have saved up 2 or 3 million $ by now. He makes money leading trips to Israel, speaking engagements, etc. I think (with perks and salary) he must make $750,000 per year. I think we are in the wrong occupation; all BBC preachers live in large mansions, much like the shysters on TBN, who skim $ off the top, all the while beating the sheep for more, more, more.

Bill said...

"Maybe if you spent more time in the Word of our Lord you wouldn't have the time to sit around and worry about what my pastor is preaching about."

John K. - perhaps if you spent more time in the word you would know when your pastor is preaching non-sense.

Anonymous said...

No need to "denouncing a man's preaching" tonight as Steve shut down the evening service again!

No holiday evening services?, and then again he doesn't preach Wednesday nights, so whats left after his vacation Sundays , etc?

Preaching is too hard for this (sick, old) man?

And to think they made Adrien Rogers retire because they said he didn't reach the younger generation, ha, he could preach a sermon at the drop of the hat.

Barry said...

I try to listen to the streaming services on Wednesday and Sunday nights. How surprising that Sunday night, Mother's Day, the church was closed tight as a drum. I am pretty sure most churches remained open this night. And it is so disappointing to hardly ever hear an old standard such as "Old Rugged Cross", but instead hear some recently written song with no melody that sounds like all the other ones written mostly by Ryan Wingo. Ah, yes there have been many changes made.

Bill said...

"Maybe if you spent more time in the Word of our Lord you wouldn't have the time to sit around and worry about what my pastor is preaching about."

So, when Steve criticizes other preachers from the pulpit, does that mean that he should be spending more time in the word and and not worry about what other pastors are preaching?

Bob Smith said...

I was raised in BBc. As got older I saw how pastors will take your money but when you are in need, you can't find them. And many live in bigger homes than the members. I
feel they began worshipping the pastors instead of the Lord.

Barry said...

Regarding (the ??? from above)about Adrian Roger's salary and perks. I have no idea, but I am sure it was huge. At least Adrian preached on Wednesday nights, which Steve does not do. I remember once when Adrian's mother died, that he flew to Florida for the funeral and was back the next night for the Wednesday service. Also, I remember Adrian saying this about the music ministry: He said he let the music minister alone and did not interfere. Two differences in Adrian and Steve is that Steve does not preach on Wednesday night and he WAS involved in the music and fired Jamie Parker, music minister, who had been there for about 20 yrs.

New BBC Open Forum said...

The Steam Tunnel >> Tithe or You're Dead

WishIhadknown said...

You all do know that Adrian Rogers is dead don’t you? And no longer the pastor of Bellevue, right? Also, Joyce no longer attends Bellevue, so nothing about them is relevant to any discussion about Bellevue. Even if it was, and you were somehow able to tie them to Gaines, two wrongs still does not make one right.

WishIhadknown said...

I think it is you who needs to spend more time studying the word. First the word “tithe” only appears twice in the New Testament relative to giving. Once during a rather scathing rebuke by Jesus of the Pharisees and Sadducees recorded in Luke and Matthew and the other describing the faith of Abraham giving 10% of the “spoils” to Melchizedek.
You also need to check out church history. Tithing has not been practiced in the church since Acts as you proposed. Rather it is first brought up around the fourth century and does not become a part of church teaching until the seventh century when Constantine has the pagan temples converted to churches.

WishIhadknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New BBC Open Forum said...

Give it up, CP. You're not welcome here.

Barry said...

Jamie Parker has been at Belleuve a total of about 20 years. He was there as assistant music minister and then went to Gardendale with Steve for several years and then back to Bellevue with Steve for about 4 years, which makes about 20 years in all. I think (just an opinion) Jamie was fired to keep all the employees and pastors of BBC on their toes and to never ever cross him, or else they will be canned too.

Anonymous said...


New BBC Open Forum said...

Eddie Struble