God Always Needs Your Money: A Lesson in Financial Literacy

God Always Needs Your Money: A Lesson in Financial Literacy

Some may say that the Bible doesn’t teach you about financial literacy.

They would be wrong! According to the Church, financial literacy is wrapped around the Tithe.

In June 2022, Pastor Creflo A. Dollar confessed that his teachings about the tithe were wrong. He used to teach - like many Churches - that the tithe is an important part of serving God. He then apologized and said you should throw his books about the tithe away. He didn’t give back even a percentage of what he received from the congregation.

Same go as far as to say to ‘increase God’s blessings in your life, you need to tithe’. ‘You are robbing God’. ‘Keep the Devourer away from your door’.

If your ass ever sat in a pew, you have heard this before.

If you were ever a churchgoer, you know that the tithe is a tenth. In the Old Testament, there was a priesthood from the tribe of Levi that God commanded his people to give a tenth of their grains and crops to support them. This was to come out of your bounty. In other words, if you had a good year, you would give 10% of that. In turn, God promised to bless them with prosperity. He would make sure that nothing would touch The crops.

Of course, as humans want to do, at some point they just stopped.

This is where the prophet Malachi said the famous verse “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. Test me, and see if You don’t bring your tithe if I wouldn’t pour down a blessing upon you”. This is the famous quote that every Baptist knows like their social security number.

Somehow or another that came to be translated into the present. We aren’t supposed to come to the church with a bucket of potatoes,
Or wheat. My mom was on a zucchini trip and grew a ton of zucchini in her backyard. She wasn’t supposed to bring that to the church.

The only vegetable the church wanted was lettuce. The dairy product was cheddar and the modern-day pastor milked the congregation for all they could get. The modern church needed money. Like that famous George Carlin skit ‘God loves you. And he…needs. MONEY!!!’

In the New Testament, it changed to giving what you can.

The New Testament says that God loves a cheerful giver! And, of course, who doesn’t want to be loved by God?

Generosity is subjective. If you only had $1000 to your name and your rent was due, you were to give a part of that money to the church and trust that God would bless you. Keeping that money meant you weren’t trusting God to meet your needs. You were robbing the Lord. God needs that money.

He always needs money.

For the sake of clarity - I don’t care if the pastor makes millions of dollars. I know that there are tons of pastors who make less than $50k a year. If a pastor of a megachurch is providing a service that people value, I don’t believe he needs to be dirt poor. You aren't closer to God if you are dirt poor.

I don’t have a problem with a pastor having a jet. I have a problem with a pastor having two jets. One jet is fine if he has a global ministry.

Two jets are a sign of greed.

I have a problem with his congregation being poor. I have a problem with people manipulated into choosing between meeting their responsibilities and pleasing God. There are churches where people are constantly giving time to the church when they could be working somewhere else. People give their last dimes while simultaneously trying to figure out where their next meal is coming from.

Why can’t the church forbid you to give if you are broke? They obviously can’t police the whole congregation, but I don’t see why they can’t give a disclaimer.

Ramit Sethi is the writer of I Will Teach You to Be Rich and has created a school that teaches people how to start their own businesses. Ramit won't allow you to take any of his courses if you are in credit card debt.

The church could do the same.

Consequently - tons of people put themselves in debt believing that God would take care of them.

You would only hear stories about how the person got the job they wanted or how a check mysteriously came through the mail. These stories were proof of the power of God that you should tithe.

You never heard from the people who got threats from their landlords. You never hear from the people who are still paying back payday loans.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t tithe. If you want to tithe and you believe it’s the right decision, then Rock on.

There is an inherent blessing in giving. Giving that makes you feel good. It's empowering to feel like you are making a difference in your world. Deciding on regular support of your place of worship is a noble ambition. The focus on your budget can help you become more in control of your money.

Manipulating and guilting you into a better person or a better believer is another issue altogether. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. If you can’t give because you have bills to pay, pay your bills. If you have a budget and are saving towards an important goal - then save.

It's fine.

You won't be any more blessed if you tithe and have to take out a payday loan. God isn’t providing if your landlord forgets to send you the eviction notice.

There is no blessing in guilt trips. I would think God would want you to pay your bills on time.

He probably doesn’t want to bail you out anymore.

Read more of Anthony's work here.

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