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How passing the plate becomes the 'Sunday morning stickup' (general)

posted by bibleprobe(R) Homepage, Mass., 06.14.2015

How passing the plate becomes the 'Sunday morning stickup'

Churches have devised all sorts of ingenious ways to use guilt and distort scripture to compel people to give, some say. They call it the "Sunday morning stickup."

No. 1: The myth of the mandatory tithe
Here's a challenge for all the Bible sleuths out there: Find a New Testament passage that explicitly declares that all Christians must tithe, or give 10% of their income.

You won't find it because it doesn't exist, says Lee.

Tithing is an Old Testament prescription for Jews, not a rule for Christians, he says.

"Jesus came to release us from the law; we are no longer bound by it," Lee says. Tithing is "not required."

How passing the plate becomes the 'Sunday morning stickup'
By John Blake, CNN

(CNN)David Lee had just opened his wallet for two successive offerings at a church one Sunday morning when a pastor walked onto the pulpit to pass on a request.

"You all going to think I'm crazy, but God says give again," the pastor said.

The congregation rose from their seats to march to the front as the church organist played a soothing melody. As they dropped off their offerings at the altar, the pastor urged them on with, "God says give everything; don't hold nothing back."

The organist then picked up the tempo, and the pastor shouted, "God says run!" The offering ended with people surging toward the altar like music fans rushing a concert stage.

"It was pandemonium. They weren't just giving money, but shoes, watches and diamond rings," Lee says. "There were people dropping alligator shoes on the altar."

Were these people cheerful or gullible givers? For Lee, a church elder who spent 30 years marketing and selling church products, they were victims of the "Sunday morning stickup" -- his term for manipulative tactics pastors and churches use to get your money.

"They bypassed their common sense," says Lee, author of "Sunday Morning Stickup," which examines church giving. "One lady took off her wedding ring and dropped it of on the altar. That's how charged the atmosphere was. People got caught up."

People widely condemned an Atlanta megachurch pastor who asked his church to buy him a $65 million private jet. Yet there is no condemnation for countless church leaders across America who have turned the Sunday morning offering into a form of spiritual abuse, Lee and other church leader says.



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