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The ’90-day’ tithe challenge spreads across churches: Test God with 100% refund

The ’90-day’ tithe challenge spreads across churches: Test God with 100% refund
The ’90-day’ tithe challenge spreads across churches: Test God with 100% refund
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When this Christian TV Examiner reporter first heard about the so-called “90-day tithe challenge,” I perhaps looked at it with a slightly skeptical eye – but now the more I read and research about the endeavor seemingly begun by Pastor Ed Young of the Fellowship Church out of Grapevine, Texas, the more appealing it becomes. It no longer seems “gimmicky” in the worst sense of the word. It feels more like the epitome of that clichéd term “outside the box thinking” that is anything but milquetoast – and we sure could use non-boring stuff in the church world today.

After all, the movement is way opposite of the normally skewed viewpoint that church leaders would ever have at the thought of giving members or visitors a 100% refund on their tithes. This isn’t, church officials could reason; it’s your offering to God. Your “reasonable service,” as likewise actions are called in the New Testament.

One former pastor waved his hand up in the air, recounting his response to those folks who approached his church, inquiring about getting a loan against the tithes they’d previous given. “They are gone,” he told them. “Burned up in the ether – a sweet-smelling sacrifice to the Lord.”

That rationale makes sense to me. You’d have to be a church with a whole lot of faith, ingenuity, and a fast-moving cash flow account in order to guarantee that new tithers would receive a blessing within 90 days, or else get all their monies paid back. Hey, I just realized that interest can be made on the income in those three months, regardless of what happens.

And what exactly accounts for a blessing in this instance? Perhaps there are rules hidden in the fine print. Maybe the founders are banking on people being too embarrassed to ask for a refund. Better yet, maybe Pastor Young just got another great idea from heaven – (I mean, did you see that men’s ministry car show?) – and is running with it.

Either way, I’m biased on the side of tithing. Even though the debate rages on about whether tithing is actually biblical or not – and whether it’s an Old Testament thing no longer needed – it’s one thing this Christian writer hasn’t given up on. I might be a slightly modernized version of the “bedroom Baptist” these days – let’s call me a “living room leader,” watching Faith Family Church services streaming online most Sundays – however, our Maker has definitely blessed me to continually tithe since the year 2000. Recounting all the ways I’ve been favored before and after tithing is only a testament to God’s grace, and I’m grateful to continue.

Meanwhile, the Google suggestions that pop up when one begins to type “90-day tithe” prove that folks are looking for this form, either to join the challenge, or to create their own version for their church, as it appears places of worship are doing around the nation.

At least the 90-day challenge is bringing attention to the cause of Christ, and a least it beats being one of those Pharisee-types who sit around on the sidelines, judging and complaining and getting nothing accomplished on their own. Onward, Christian solider!