John Oliver, Televangelists & Tithing
John Oliver has a point in this parody of a very sad situation. While most of these televangelists will be written off as “prosperity preachers,” what really saddens me is that the same scriptures and tactics they use are used week in and week out from the pulpit of many churches in the world. Sure, just a handful of pastors are buying jets, but many aspire to build multi-million dollar cathedrals when they can barely fill the ones they currently occupy, and the congregation, staff and volunteers are run ragged and financially strapped. I know, people have excuses of “not at my church” & “some churches are really helping people.” That’s fine but what I have a problem with is the way “tithing” has been preached to coerce people into giving billions of dollars each year to unaccountable organizations. “If you give you’ll be blessed, if you don’t give you’ll be cursed” is the basic message and the guilt/promises attached to it is what keeps these corporations going. I am ALL FOR generosity. I am ALL FOR asking people to support your cause (I want people to give to our cause.) But one of the reasons I left a 16 year career in institutional corporate religion was because I could not continue to live with the notion that my paycheck was coming from coffers of money that were filled by telling people that they owed God money and He’d curse them if they didn’t pay up.
For more on this: