Pastor K. Francis Smith, the lead pastor of Excel Church Worldwide, is making headlines for a crazy sermon illustration he put on a while back where he was making the point often made by prosperity gospel charlatans that not tithing ten percent of your income is like “robbing God.”
This teaching stems from a misrepresentation of Malachi 3 where God warns the Israelites that they will not be blessed if they don’t bring their tithes and offerings, and that they will be cursed with a devouring pestilence, mildew, and blight on their crops, fields and vineyards.
Yet, this warning in Malachi 3 specifically applies to the Israelites living under a theocratic system, where God was considered the ruler of the nation and the temple and its priests were the means by which the people worshiped and made offerings to God.
This illustration that Smith and his co-horts put on while preaching is absolutely mind-numbingly crazy and absurd, and is meant to evoke some kind of fear in his congregation for not giving him more money. In this illustration, he has two men come on stage to simulate a robbery, pointing a gun to his head, and attempting to connect this illustration to his point about “robbing God.”
Join Us and Get These Perks:
✅ No Ads in Articles
✅ Access to Comments and Discussions
✅ Community Chats
✅ Full Article and Podcast Archive
✅ The Joy of Supporting Our Work 😉
It is hard to fathom the logic behind such an illustration, which seems to be intended to evoke fear in the congregation, implying that not giving money to the church would result in divine retribution. The absurdity of this kind of illustration, which misrepresents scriptural teachings and manipulates congregants’ fear and guilt to extract more money, is beyond belief. It calls into question the intent of such teachings and the true nature of the prosperity gospel.
Whenever you do not tithe, it’s like you are robbing your father. Can you imagine yourself robbing your father? You rob God who gave you life. Who provided for you. Gave you opportunities. And you tie his hand so that he can’t do anything that he desires to do for you. “Son, I had a plan for your life. Son. I’ve provided for you. I had a plan. Why would you rob me?
Of all the people (you) could have robbed, why would you rob your father?” And you tie the very hands of God and now God’s hands are tied. You got what you think you wanted, but what good is it without your father? What good is it without the one who designed you and created you. When you put back into God’s hand (what) was God’s, then you untie the hands of God.