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Game Show Theology with Jonathan Shuttlesworth - If the Tithe Is Right

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1. You are not giving to a charitable organization. Shuttlesworth's claim here is that you are not giving to a church but rather that the church is receiving the money for Jesus. Right. Perhaps if you were in a church where you trust that the gospel is being preached. I neglected to mention that the church Shuttlesworth is guest speaking at in this video belongs to Rodney Howard Browne. Yes. That one. Browne made headlines recently by claiming COVID was a hoax and refusing to shut his church down in defiance of state orders. This ironically mended a lot of fences with the dominionist crowd who rushed to his defense. Browne's heresies run far deeper, however. He was the laughing preacher before holy laughter was born. He referred to himself as the "Holy Ghost bartender", making people act like they were drunk on the power of the spirit of God. His heresies were utterly blasphemous. Yet when introducing this segment, Shuttlesworth gushed at Browne and declared that he believes in Browne's ministry "more than my own." Worse though, he declared that Rodney Howard Browne, the blasphemous Holy Ghost bartender, was a "gift to earth from heaven." If you think that giving at that church is being received for Jesus, I have a bridge to sell you.

2. The second point Shuttlesworth makes is simply egregiously destructive for the faith and lives of his listeners. He says that tithes and offerings guarantee no lack in your life. I kid you not. To prove this, he quotes Psalm 23:1, that because the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want as well as Malachi 3 saying that you will not have room to store the blessings that will pour out. To apply Psalm 23 to promising no lack in your life is scripturally criminal. That is obviously NOT what the psalmist was writing this for. Malachi, the entire book, was written to the priests, not the sheep. They were robbing God. More importantly, read Galatians! If we insist on adding any part of the law, circumcision or tithing, then we render Jesus useless! Stop for a minute and just apply the smell test. Do you honestly believe that everyone who tithed faithfully always had no lack in their lives? One sure sign a doctrine is heretical is what happens to it when you apply it to believers in other countries. How does this nonsense hold up for believers being martyred in Iraq? What about the underground church in China? There are not literal windows in heaven that God throws open over Jonathan Shuttlesworth's life but He closes for anyone who does not pony up the dough. This doctrine is insulting.

3. Tithing guarantees a blessing for children and your children's children. He will rebuke the devourer for your sake. As if this blanket promise was not absurd enough, he follows it up with a personal anecdote that should make your skin crawl:

"My daughter is sitting in the front row today and we registered her for preschool and not twenty minutes later the school called me up to say that someone had found out and called to pay the entire year's tuition for us. I could not have been less surprised. I would have been surprised if no one had called to do such. That girl will be blessed from the day she was born until the day she goes home to see Jesus." - Jonathan Shuttlesworth

It is disgusting enough that he would relate such a story so flippantly, as if he deserved the year tuition gift, if it even happened. What is worse however is the theology. Does it matter what happens to the daughter in her life? Doesn't she at some point have to her own faith in Christ in order to "go home to be with Jesus?" He is playing on the heartstrings of every parent, who of course wants nothing but blessings for their children. Look at the quid-pro-quo arrangement he makes on behalf of God! Just pay him your tithes and offerings and viola! Your children will never pay tuition again in their entire lives! This is not only false theology, but it is manipulative. God is not some mob boss looking for his tribute in order to make sure nothing bad happens to you and your family. His preachers are not game show hosts trying to lure you in with what riches might be behind door number one.

4. Not satisfied with promising no lack, he now declares that if you are overused and underpaid (and who does not feel that way), then God will correct that forever in your life if you just give Shuttlesworth, I mean Jesus, your cash. He literal statement here is that God will NEVER let you go unrewarded! He followed this up with a personal anecdote because there sure aren't scriptures to support it. Here is a paraphrase of that story:

"One day I was sitting in church with my wife. Third row, sitting in normal clothes, and I was not the pastor of that church. Someone came up to me after and handed me an envelope saying God told her to. Then another envelope came. The first envelope contained a thousand dollars and was the smallest amount of all of the envelopes given to me that day. That day over 23 thousand dollars was given to me. Not bad for one day." - Jonathan Shuttlesworth.

Uh-huh. Twenty-three thousand dollars given randomly by multiple people for no particular reason. This too can be yours if the tithe is right! Or behind door number two is a lifetime of free tuition for your children and you grandchildren! Jonathan Shuttlesworth is the biblical representation of a huckster. A hireling. A petty game show host playing with your faith to try and play with your money. The problem with playing with God like this is a game show is that in the end you probably will end up feeling like you got the Zonk from the old Let's Make a Deal show. That is because God is not playing a game beloved. You already won the showcase showdown with the devil because Christ paid for your sins. We give out of a generous heart and for all Christ has already done for us. Not the empty promises of snake oil salesmen like Jonathan Shuttlesworth. If you give to expect something from God, then you missed the point of what He has already done. Do not fall for it beloved. Mark and avoid.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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