Trust Him; He’s a Pastor

Pastor Ed Young isn’t just asking for donations at his church. Forget voluntary tithing.

He wants full access to your bank account:

Yeah… what could possibly go wrong there?

I don’t care if he is their pastor; how are some of these churchgoers so gullible that they’re willing to give someone else — anyone else — their bank account number?

If they feel like giving money to the church, then they can do it! But it’s crazy to allow anyone to dip into your personal bank account at their whim, regardless of what they say they’re going to do.

Maybe Fellowship Church just needs another jet:

… Ed Young — the pastor at Fellowship Church in Grapevine — may soon have to answer for the numerous trips by the leased church jet to resort locations. It’s luxury air travel that costs tens of thousands of dollars per trip.

For months, News 8 has requested interviews with Pastor Young. Each time we have been referred to a New York public relations firm for answers.

Yet they have declined to answer simple questions such as: “Who uses the jet, and for what?”

(via Jesus Needs New PR)

  • http://www.stumpanatheist.com Rev. Ryan Benson

    Ridiculous…

    I’m new too commenting here, so I’m not sure what the rules are regarding link shares, but this post is extremely relevant to the above.

    http://stumpanatheist.com/my-gems/item/30-%E2%80%9Cyou-claim-to-be-respectful-yet-you-sign-posts-rev-ryan?%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%93-question-box

    Trust me; I’m a Reverend. :)

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Wow! Just wow! Has there never been an incident of a pastor or church lying or stealing? Here was me thinking that they made all their money that way.

  • Cindy

    Ha! I’ve been to that church 3 or 4 times. Huge with all the mega screens, giganto gift/coffee shop selling art by Pastor Ed, etc. Their Christmas service was a sight to see with an ice skating rink onstage. (I had given up on Christianity by this time, but my daughter was going with a friend and so I went a few times. My daughter ended up getting baptized there at about age 12, but has since decided it’s all bunk.)
    Anyway, that Pastor Ed is one slick customer.

  • Carlie

    Holy cow. I’ve sat through a lot of tithing sermons in my life, and a lot of pretty pressure-heavy ones, but never anything even remotely like this. That is despicable in ways I can hardly even express.

  • Scottish Phil

    “…how are some of these churchgoers so gullible…”

    Oh come on, you can’t be surprised, surely?

  • muggle

    Is it just me or was that bit about our security cameras are watching you absolutely chilling?

    I don’t know what’s creeping me out more — his blatant attempt to directly access his account or the fact that they sat there silently, no one murmuring wtf, no one walking out even when he commented that when his back was turned gave them the perfect opportunity. I hope at least some of them took the suggestion to take it home and mail it in later then upon reflection fucking a, no way.

    And I hope at least one had the balls to fill it out with fuck you, pharisee instead of their account info.

  • Audge

    this makes me sick.

  • Audge

    And I agree with Muggle! xoxo

  • http://www.savingthrowtodisbelieve.com Mandi

    There are many things that are disturbing in that video – but automatic withdrawal for tithing isn’t one of them (to me, at least).

    When I was a Christian, I would have jumped at the chance to do this (in my church at least, where I trusted the pastor).

    I mean, really? Do you guys not use automatic withdrawals to pay any of your bills? Do you not give your routing number and bank account number out regularly when you pay for things online?

    This guy, however, comes across as a creepy used car salesman and everything about him does scream DON’T DO IT.

    But in general? I’m surprised more churches don’t offer this.

  • Jonas

    “If they feel like giving money to the church, then they can do it! But it’s crazy to allow anyone to dip into your personal bank account at their whim, regardless of what they say they’re going to do.” – H. Mehta

    I hate to say it, but I agree with Mandi – Partly – on this one. We use Automated withdrawals for our YMCA membership, granted they are trustworthy. — Others like City Taxes, and bills we have to give the routing # and account # when we pay on line. That’s just how the technology works.

    And to the luddites — What’s on the check you write out?

    In other ways though — Guilt, Extortion, Fraud let’s count the ways this pastor might be corrupt.

  • Robert W.

    As a Christian I am sickened by this sermon. Not by the call to tithe, or the belief that tithing as an act of obedience can lead to blessings ( I have personally experienced that) but by the manner in which this was conveyed. It is obvious that Ed Young is caught up in the trappings of a secular lifestyle and using the church to fund it. Like those televangelists before him who got caught up in the money. What a tragedy.

    Word of caution- when you attend a church where all you see is a picture of the pastor, that church is headed for trouble.

  • NoSpankYou

    This is the very thing that has turned me against “organized religion”. Does that mean that I don’t believe anymore? Absolutely not! I just know my God better than to think that He approves of this idiot for even a moment. In the end, this guy will pay for what he’s doing and what he’s done. These mega-churches all scare me…FYI, God’s never been in the money making business.

  • Tamburra

    Get with the times people. That donation basket is sooo last Sunday.

  • http://anthropogenesis.blogspot.com Hugo

    In situations like these, where believers have not only god on their side (as if), but money as well, I don’t even care if they get ripped off by this – let’s give him some credit here – smart scammer. Open your eyes first, then turn your back on church an never look back.

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    Please tell me that’s a joke!

  • ludovico

    Jesus wept.

  • Anonymous

    muggle-

    That’s exactly what struck me about it. Absolutely chilling. He is not asking, he’s demanding, and he’s using coercion to do it. This is a huge invasion.

  • Unholy Holly

    Absoutely frightening. My brother, a serious follower of christ, left his church when the board, of which he was a member, required tithing of the board members as an example for the churchgoers. My brother pointed out that the new testament does not specify tithing as a requirement (old testament law does). It is not even mentioned as a suggestion for the amount to give. But make sure you base it on gross, not net.

    Young explains it himself at 7:03 “I’m not that smart”. Now THAT you should listen to.

  • carrie W

    Great pyramid scheme or GREATEST pyramid scheme ever!?!?! He could at least act like he’s not excited to get free access to your accounts.

  • Angel

    “Don’t want to do it? That’s fine. Live under a curse.”

    Holy fuck.

    Pun intended.

  • Rich Wilson

    Another issue not touched on is that the amount your tithe is no longer anonymous. Pastor Ed will know how much you give, and you’ll know he knows.

    And I really don’t know, but are the church’s books completely open for public inspection? They should be.

  • Richard Wade

    You know you’re talking to a charlatan when he equates having complete faith in him with having complete faith in God.

    But then it’s always that way, isn’t it? When a preacher holds up the Bible and challenges someone about whether they will trust the word of man or the word of God, they still have to take the word of a man that that book is the word of God.

  • http://kaleenamenke.blogspot.com Kaleena

    ditto @Mandi

    Yes he’s a creeper, but lots of churches offer the chance of automatic withdrawal. (Similar to giving a monthly donation to npr or other non-profit)

  • Silent Service

    Young explains it himself at 7:03 “I’m not that smart”. Now THAT you should listen to.

    I caught that too. Nearly spewed Coke on my screen in laughter.

  • BlueRidgeLady

    Robert W-

    As a Christian I am sickened by this sermon. Not by the call to tithe, or the belief that tithing as an act of obedience can lead to blessings ( I have personally experienced that) but by the manner in which this was conveyed.

    Do you really believe that Jesus personally blessed your life because you gave money? Do you know what the money went towards, and how did that helped him? What specific “blessings” did you receive? Did nothing bad happen in your life after the donations were made (if bad things did happen, did you not also credit them to god?)? How much time do these installments buy you? How much does each blessing cost or go for?

    I’m not asking these things to insult you. You aren’t trolling, and I (and I feel other people) appreciate your perspective. I just think it’s easy to look back and associate good things happening to you with what you view as good deeds (aside from the satisfaction that most of us get when we do something we believe is right).

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  • Jeanette

    This is totally terrifying. “We have security cameras in here!” I mean WTF?? Also, “Don’t know your routing number? Ask your wife LOLOLOL!”…..I don’t even…..ugh.

  • Carlie

    Another issue not touched on is that the amount your tithe is no longer anonymous. Pastor Ed will know how much you give, and you’ll know he knows.

    Well, but that’s always been true too. If you want to be able to claim your church donations as a tax deduction (because you want to short the government the money you gave to the church, natch) you need a receipt from the church as to how much you gave. Most churches have finance committees that keep track all year and provide each member with a statement. You can donate anonymously, but most members who are serious about controlling their finances either use checks to keep track and/or donation envelopes with their names on them. Even 30 years ago my parents’ church would give out boxes of envelopes with space for names etc. to memebers to keep track more easily.

  • P. Coyle

    “I will make you phishers of men.”

  • Alice

    This is terrifying to me because I know how many people would do it and the kind of people they are. A couple of years ago when I lived with my parents we were going through a rough patch with money and my dad was working 7 days a week and coming home really tired. He would still go to church on Sunday mornings though and once I went with him and we heard a tithing sermon sort of like this where the pastor said if you give more than 10% god would bless you. I saw my dad write a check for $200. The church was huge, it didn’t need that money, but it was a lot to us. I almost snatched it out of his hands and ripped it to pieces. My dad is the sweetest man in the world and I know he would have filled out that paper and it makes me furious.

    Also, I do believe Jesus said to sell all of your possessions and give the money to the poor, not the church. 10% is Old Testament, you know, where good Christians don’t look for guidance anymore? Jesus didn’t say 10%, he didn’t say to the church, he said everything and to the poor. What the fuck book is this scam artist reading from when he says legitimate charities aren’t good enough?

  • http://secularshawshank.wordpress.com Andy

    In that seven minute clip, he used nearly every confidence-man tactic in the book. Anyone who is stupid enough to hand over their bank information to a man like that, deserves to get conned.

    Yeah, I pay my bills online. Yes, the electric company has my routing number and account number. So does the phone company. But the difference is really apples and oranges, people. T-Mobile, for all their dropped calls, is not smarmy the way our huckster friend is. The electric company didn’t have to guilt trip me into using automated payments. Comcast didn’t promise me supernatural “blessings” in exchange for my choice to go with paperless billing. The difference is huge. (Also, if you actually read all the fine print and legal disclaimers, companies like Comcast tend to make certain legal assurances that they won’t make unauthorized charges, and they allow you to dispute charges, and they only take whatever my bill is every month—not 10 percent of my freakin’ income!)

    As Hitchens said of Falwell “You can get away with the most grievous offenses to morality and to truth in this country, if you can just get yourself called ‘Reverend.’”

  • Robert

    We should trust the government though, because the new health care plan gives them access to our accounts under “certain circumstances”.

    (Yes it does!)

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    People should run, not walk, away from this church and any other one like it.

  • muggle

    And to the luddites — What’s on the check you write out?

    I don’t. I get a bank check or a money order. My account info does not appear on it. I authorize no one to access my checking account. No one.

    I give it only to those putting in — the State Retirement System and, hopefully soon, Social Security. I’ll authorize my tax refunds to go in also. I think I can rest fairly assured government agencies can be trusted with this. If not, we’re in much bigger trouble than not giving my routing info for direct deposit can protect against.

    No one else is getting my info.

    Let me repeat: NO ONE.

    when you attend a church where all you see is a picture of the pastor, that church is headed for trouble.

    Robert, you and I agree on this one. Even if there were a god, I’d think it’d be an insult to not use the brains he gave you and not see something wrong with that.

    Good one, P. Coyle!

  • Robert W.

    Blue Ridge Lady,

    Do you really believe that Jesus personally blessed your life because you gave money? Do you know what the money went towards, and how did that helped him? What specific “blessings” did you receive? Did nothing bad happen in your life after the donations were made (if bad things did happen, did you not also credit them to god?)? How much time do these installments buy you? How much does each blessing cost or go for?

    Yes I do believe that. It is my faith and I have specific events that have happened after I made the decision to tithe that I explain that way. For example, the week after I made that decision and followed up on it, I received a large amount of money that I was not expecting at all which allowed me to get married and take my family on a mission trip to our sponsored orphanage in Uganda. You may have a different world view but based upon my faith, I attribute those blessings to God.

    As for the bad things in my life I believe that God has a place in those as well. Most are caused when I fail to follow his word and direction.

    So its consistent- When I follow his word good things happen and when I don’t bad things happen. As an atheist I don’t expect you to accept that explanation but it works for me.

    And I know you were being sarcastic, but its not a dollar for dollar equation.

  • Reason

    So its consistent- When I follow his word good things happen and when I don’t bad things happen.

    That statement isn’t only incorrect from an “Atheist” standpoint but from a common sense one as well. Using the most basic of critical thinking skills would tell you that kind of logic enables you to justify anything to be “from God” or for that matter from any God of your choice, Zeus, etc.

  • CJ :)

    I live about five miles up the highway from that church and I know plenty of people who go there. Many see no problem with what is on this video.

    For those asking how I pay my bills…I use Bill Pay. Originates with me, I control what the bank sends on my behalf and no one has to have my routing/account numbers. I haven’t carried a checkbook in at least two years.

    Fellowship Church is so large it requires police officers (the church pays for their time) to route traffic. They actually close roads leading in and out of the church just like you would see happen after a ballgame or concert. I do not head south on highway 121 on Sunday mornings. There is nothing down there I need badly enough to get involved in that mess.

    A couple of news outlets around here have been doggedly after this guy for years. I keep thinking one of them will nail him soon – at least I hope so.

    The church says “FellowshipChurch.com” on the side and on the roof – it’s right next to DFW International Airport and on the approach.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Some people go to church and don’t tithe. My in-laws tithe and don’t go to church. They would like that automatic deposit… save them the bother of writing a check.

    I understand that in some countries in Europe, you can have automatic tithing set up as a pay-role deduction along with your other taxes. You just declare Protestant or Catholic. With these services, the churches get funded, the people get to buy themselves into heaven and no-one has to actually bother showing up. Win win (except for your depleted bank account).

  • Robert W.

    Reason,

    That statement isn’t only incorrect from an “Atheist” standpoint but from a common sense one as well. Using the most basic of critical thinking skills would tell you that kind of logic enables you to justify anything to be “from God” or for that matter from any God of your choice, Zeus, etc.

    If you believe in God then it makes perfect sense. As i said, as an atheist, since you don’t you would not see it that way. I know how i have lived my life and I know when i am following god’s word and when i have strayed from that. I also know the effect of that in my life. So it makes perfect sense.

  • Lena

    Robert, if the only way into heaven is to buy your way in, that is a false doctrine. Tithing is an old covanant practice that was rendered null with the death and resurrection of Jesus since the covanant was fulfulled. The New Covanant for Christians does not require tithing. If you choose to give, it should be with happiness and without compulsion. If you can’t give, then the love of Jesus in your heart is enough. God and Jesus isn’t about money or other worldly things, it’s about spiritual fulfillment. God is not a vending machine or a cosmic genie to vend worldly riches and that is where your church has gone very wrong.

  • BG

    Robert W.,

    You say god rewards you for following his word and punishes you for not following it, and this makes perfect sense.

    How does this worldview explain how good things happen to “bad” people. Before I was married, I regularly fornicated with my current wife. I never tithe to the church. I blaspheme on a regular basis. I work for an organization that condones planting more than one crop in the same field. I don’t go out of the way to avoid my wife one week every month.

    So how can you explain why my life is filled with what one may call “blessings”? In fact, the good FAR outweighs the bad. Does your god reward people who stick to their own personal moral code, even if it is not the one written in his book?

  • BlueRidgeLady

    Robert, thank you for answering my question and being honest.
    To me it seems that you are still using what the rest of us call a “conscience” when deciding what is wrong and what is right, even with regards to the bible.

  • Robert W.

    Blue Ridge Lady,

    You are welcome. Of course those of us who believe in God also believe that our “conscience” comes from Him.

  • Ivana

    Wow. Am I correct in hearing that Young said that if you don’t tithe you’re just a waste of God’s time? How abusive can he get?

    Just for giggles I went to his website and they have a downloadable version of that automatic withdrawal extortion form. On the fine print it says “I(we) authorize Fellowship Church it initiate withdrawals from my account. This authorization is to remain in effect until Fellowship Church has received written notification from me (or either of us).

    Yeah.

    I wonder how many written notifications will be “not received” or “must have been lost in the mail” or “this is not a proper notification.”

    Good luck trying to cancel that transaction.

    Aside: As for Robert’s assertion that he was “blessed” because he tithed, no. Just no. Jesus never said that anyone is special because they gave money and if you think some material gain was the result of a blessing from God, especially if you gave money for the expectation of such a thing, that’s just selfish and wrong.

  • Creationist’s Nightmare

    Please bring a blank check… sign it… and God will do the rest.

    Amen!

  • http://friedlyatheist.com Ed young is God

    Awsome sermon Ed!!! You really nailed it. Did you guys check out those screens in the back?? Imangine playing Call of Duty on those babies! Ed is living the white mans dream! He’ll be sitting in Gods lap playin find the quarter in no time. Keep up the good work Ed…me and Jesus are rooting for you!

    • paulalovescats

      Because there are no rich cheaters who are black or hispanic or asian…..damn, people.


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