Posts Tagged 'first fruit'

A Gentle Reminder…

Ahhh…spring is in the air here in Atlanta.

The trees are budding new blooms, the weather is warming up nicely, the pollen is beginning to aggravate delicate sensibilities…

…and the pimps are tuning up their annual giving scams.

I’m starting to see some traffic from folks Googling “first fruit”, specifically those inquiring about the practice at a local church club, so I thought I’d provide a gentle reminder about the first fruit scam:

First Rotten Fruit

Every year between January and Easter, pulpit pimps begin to lick their chops as they look forward to flogging the sheep into giving to their absolute favorite pyramid scheme of the year – the “First Fruit offering.”

Unlike the tithe scam (where the pimp puts a gun to the back of your head every Sunday and Wednesday by threatening holy wrath upon you and your descendants for “robbing God”), the “First Fruit” scam is a 1 day cash windfall for the pimps.

Click the article’s title to read more – and keep reading your bible to avoid being taken in by dubious characters with even more dubious intentions.

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What If…?

I have a process-oriented mind, so I have a hard time thinking creatively. My mind logically flows from point A to point B and so on – I get nervous if I’m asked to jump from A to Z back to F and over to P…you get my point.

As a Christian, I understand that I have to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) – and that is my daily prayer – but I also understand that God gave me a sound mind to make wise decisions (2 Timothy 1:7).

Which brings me to the point of this post. What if the wolves and charlatans in the Body of Christ made it tougher for me to do my job (blogging to expose the truth to counter their lies about God)?

While this blog does allow me to channel my frustrations with pimps and their pimpery, I’d be happy to go read a book or play Wii if they just went away.

In the meantime…


What If

  • …pastors aspired to preach God’s Word, instead of  aspiring pimpdom?

As I’ve stated in earlier posts, it seems as though most pastors are either pulpit pimps, pimps in training (who are “spiritual sons” to super or alpha pimps), or wannabe pimps (longingly waiting for their day to “shine”).

We know what a pimp is, and what he (or in some cases she) does, so who would want to emulate that?

I understand that this can be construed as a general statement, but my perception (and what I’ve seen up close for the past 11 years) is my reality.

I’m only in my mid-30’s, but when I was growing up, the pastor had a full-time job, and he preached on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s because he was led by the Holy Spirit. My mother can attest to the same from her childhood (and she’s in her early 70’s).

Now, pastoring has become a fulltime “racket” that could be confused with any pyramid scheme out there today – except the product that’s being exploited is the Word of God.

While many pastors do labor in the Word of God so that believers will be matured in Christ (and you don’t generally see them on TBN, The Word Network, Daystar, or BET), others take one verse of scripture (out of context) and distort, butcher, & hoop it until it’s dead – while imparting nothing.

  • …pastors preached without compromising God’s Word?

It seems as though many pastors preach the Word of God from a perspective that furthers their own agenda. Worse, they seek the scriptures that will “illustrate” their point (again, out of context of course).

Anyone who has ever taken a Hermeneutics course knows the difference between exegisis and eisegesis. Exegisis is an interpretation or understanding of scripture based on the text itself. In other words, when you exegete the bible, you read scripture with an open mind and asking the Lord to impart His wisdom about His Word in you. 

Eisegesis, however, is an interpretation of an existing text that introduces one’s own ideas. When you eisegete, you have an idea in mind, and YOU interpret scripture to suit YOUR purpose. God isn’t involved at all.

When pastors preach about how we should accept homosexuality (because they’re in the closet themselves), or when they preach the prosperity gospel (because they want more of your money), or when they preach about salvation apart from belief and acceptance in Christ (because they don’t want to offend society at large) – and they use scripture to make you believe it – then they are guilty of eisegesis.

There are many in the body of Christ today who’d rather eisegete than study the Word, and recite it verbatim. Even Paul had to encourage Timothy to stand flat-footed and preach the true Gospel:

2preach (A)the word; be ready in season and out of season; (B)reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great (C)patience and instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2)

I guess it’s easier to please the crowd than to please God.

  • …pastors didn’t “shake you down” for money?

7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV)

If this is true (and I believe that it is), then why do pastors beat you over the head and drag you back into bondage by demanding that you tithe, give them a “love offering”, a “first fruit” offering, and birthday and anniversary money, etc. by distorting 2 Corinthians 9:6?

God commands that we care for the needs of those in our homes and communities, so why are you “cursed” if you focus on giving to the mission field vs. giving to the “man of God”?

Also, in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul clearly talks about putting aside some of your earnings to give to the saints.

We should practice what I call “grace giving” – giving what the Lord leads you to give to whom He leads you to give it to.

When we “pay God” because of the pimps extortion, then we begin to resent Him when He doesn’t give it back to us “30, 60, 100 fold).

Note: Melvin Jones over at Pulpit Pimps did an excellent thesis on the error of tithing, and Independent Conservative took a closer look at “first fruits” – one of the fastest growing scams in the church. You did know that the “first fruit” offering goes DIRECTLY to your pastor, didn’t you? 

  • …pastors didn’t intimidate you into staying under their “covering”?

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the pulpit pimp is an expert at making you think that you need him in order to hear from God. You can’t possible seek God unless you’re “submitted to them” or “under their covering”.

I never understood how insecure people use their insecurity to try and convince you that you can be secure with them. It’s maddening. If your pimp was truly preaching God’s Word, then the Word would speak for itself.

He wouldn’t have to twist it to make sense to you. In fact, if he believed what he was preaching to you, then he would “allow” God to move your heart – he wouldn’t rely on threatning you so that you stay (“you’re cursed if you leave your covering”; “I’m God’s mouthpiece, you can’t hear from Him if you don’t listen to me”, etc.).

There are many more things that I can point out (and you’re welcome to leave your comments and add your own “what if’s”), but I could go on forever.

The bottom line is that Christ died on the cross to redeem us back to the Father. He didn’t die so that pimps could distort His image and sell His Gospel for earthly gain.

Listen to Peter describe the role of elders (pastors) in the church, and see if your leader is a pastor…or a pulpit pimp:

Serve God Willingly

 1(A)Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your (B)fellow elder and (C)witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a (D)partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,

 2shepherd (E)the flock of God among you, exercising oversight (F)not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and (G)not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;

 3nor yet as (H)lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be (I)examples to the flock.

 4And when the Chief (J)Shepherd appears, you will receive the (K)unfading (L)crown of glory.

 5(M)You younger men, likewise, (N)be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with (O)humility toward one another, for (P)GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

 6Therefore (Q)humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time (1 Peter 5:1-6)  

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