Latest reports from the US confirm that this month, hundreds of Christians at a South Carolina mega-church were allowed to request a refund on all the money they've given as tithes since March. Yes, you can ask for your money if God fails to keep His promise, or answer your prayers.
But one might ask, why pay tithes in advance? Aren't tithes suppose to be something that appreciates God for grace already received.
Now that seems like some desperate people are trying to bribe God.
One of the churches, NewSpring Church, led by pastor Perry Noble, is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have offered 90-day tithing challenges.
In this way, you can tempt God or 'challenge' Him for a period of 90 days before deciding either to withdraw your money if needs are not met, or say 'thanks for accepting my money, God!'
Participants sign up with a commitment to give 10 percent of their income or more, and if “God doesn't hold true to his promises of blessings” after three months, they can request their money back—no questions asked. It’s the church’s version of “satisfaction guaranteed.”
According to one of the legal practitioners, no, I mean business preachers, “the challenge pulls inspiration from the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, which states:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it (Mal. 3:11, NIV).
“God literally says, ‘Test me out, see if I’m God,’” Noble preaches to the congregation. “You and I cannot out-give him.”
Reports confirm that about 440 Christians joined NewSpring’s most recent challenge. Of the more than 7,000 participants over the past four years, fewer than 20—that’s a fraction of 1 percent—have asked for their money back.
“Tithing is about being obedient, putting God first in our finances and training our hearts to trust him at his word,” church spokeswoman Suzanne Swift told CT. “It’s one of the hardest next steps for many people to take, and the 90-day tithe challenge is one way we can help people with that step.”
“The Bible says that when we do this God will bless us, not just materially, but God blesses us in more ways than we can imagine,” said LifeChurch lead pastor Craig Groeschel. “We will lead the way with irrational generosity because we truly believe it’s more blessed to give than to receive.”
Considering setting up a church right now? Meeting demands from the givers is the hardest part as it’s crystal clear, there’s no easy way to make money. Do you have a better idea?