I pastored local churches for about 30 years. I know how important money can become in the life of a church. I also know how easy it is to see people only in terms of their usefulness and what they can contribute, including financially.
The whole idea of tithing is rooted in an entirely different time, culture and religion. So when you hear someone like Pastor Ed Young berate his congregation of thousands that it is all about the money, and that if they don’t tithe they shouldn’t come to church, you might feel pulled back in time a couple thousand years. Or maybe not. Maybe just yesterday. For Young it’s all about the money only because he’s made it so. He’s created a kingdom that requires the sacrifice of its subjects. You can watch the video clip here. (Trigger warning: be prepared to get slapped around.)
My immediate thought was why would people subject themselves to this kind of nonsense and abuse? Then I remembered that even though Young has pushed the theological idea of tithing to its legalistic and vindictive extreme, the overwhelming majority of people seem to require and request rules, and the employment of shame, guilt, fear and intimidation to obey them.