This night, however, the pastor's familiar Bible message started to take on a different and even
opposite meaning to that contained in the Holy Bible. It became perverted. The pastor said:
"Now, if you tithe and that's all you do is tithe--you will never have the abundant lifestyle that
God wants you to have . . . And, you can never enter into the land of abundance by just paying
your tithe. . . ."Going on further, the pastor stated: "You will completely miss what God has
for you . . . in your finances. You'll miss it. You'll miss what God has predestined for you . . .
Now, you can't make it happen except by sowing. That's the only way that God has provided
for us to have mega harvest increase is sowing."
The essence of the pastor's message turned out to be that the people of the congregation (not all I
presume) were robbing God not only with their tithes but also with their insufficient offerings
(those, he suggested, are required of the people in addition to their tithe--for abundance). The
message was clear. The people were not giving enough money to the church in terms of both
their tithes and their offerings (giving over and above the tithe). Malachi 3:8 was used to teach
the people how they were robbing God withtheir offerings (the lack of or insufficient dollar
amount of that which is over and above the required tithe). However, in Malachi 3:8, "offering"
is a reference to the Levite's or priest's tithe as instructed by God in Numbers 18:26 [The
International Bible Commentary - F. F. Bruce]. The timing of this particular message was just
two days prior to a special offering banquet in which the pastor hoped to raised $100,000.
Immediately (after the service), I informed the pastor in front of one of his head ushers that the
message he had just taught the people did not square with what the Holy Bible said in Malachi.
Why does all this matter? Because the Bible is foundational to the reason many Christians attend
this particular ministry (church). If a ministry states that the Bible is its foundation and then
proceeds to pervert the Word of God for some self serving purpose -- then a lot of eyebrows
should start to raise -- not just mine! I stopped attending this church until I could get some
answers from the pastor. It took over four weeks to get a meeting which was held on DEC 23rd.
I had informed the assistant pastor that the senior pastor was perverting God's Word. That I had
no intention of returning unless I could talk, in person, with him. I wanted an explanation of
what he had taught. So, here is the scenario. A member of the congregation thinks you (the
pastor) are perverting the Word of God. A very serious accusation for a "Bible-based" ministry
whose very foundation has been proclaimed repeatedly to be the "Word of God."Most pastors
would be very concerned under these circumstances. They would want to clear up any
misunderstanding immediately. Wouldn't you? Well, not this particular pastor.