I grew up in the southern baptist church, a loving environment where tradition, praise & worship, & the love of Christ reigned supreme. Although as a child I couldn’t fully comprehend all of the pastor’s sermons, I enjoyed the energy & enthusiasm displayed by the congregation week in & out. Not to mention the complementary peppermints & candy I would receive from the kind elderly women of the church. I distinctly remember the rattling of lipstick & other miscellaneous items as the “hand of glory” retrieved my treats. My anticipation, wide eyes, & open palms were undeniable to say the least. There was also one other thing I remembered as well, & that was tithe & offering time.
At the height of every sermon, like clock work the pastor would quickly shift his message to tithes & offering. I think this may have been the first time I experienced sensationalism, a powerful tool of persuasion. This was followed by a scripture “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year” Deuteronomy 14:22 NKJV. Followed by the quote “will a man rob God” To my recollection this was my first encounter with propaganda, a battle I lost. One after another the congregation would line up to “tithe their 10% to God” this included, but was not limited to my mother. I too was “swayed by the message” my mother always ensured I had a dollar “to give to God”
I continued to pay tithes up until my early 20s, convinced that God needed 10% of my monetary income as if my religion was some divine pyramid scheme. That is until I began to pray for wisdom, since then nothing has been the same. I began to question many traditions & beliefs that were instilled in me. I had to unlearn & use the sound mind God gave me, not regurgitate my preachers words & call it faith. I’m still “seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes”
One day I asked myself “what could God possibly do with my 10%” & “if I give God 10% of my time am I robbing God” I then realized I wasn’t giving wholeheartedly I was simply giving so I wouldn’t be the man who “robbed God” I was only giving with the expectation that I would receive something in return. This was a mind numbing paradox. However, after intensive independent research, a acquired knowledge of self & a little logical thinking I came to the conclusion that I would no longer pay tithes. I realized I do not serve a monetary God.
This was the day I decided to leave organized religion, cut the middle man off & pursuit spirituality. A work in progress, but nevertheless my progression is evident. My mother is no longer here & I am too mentally conscious to accept anything without investigation, confirmation, & logical thinking. I’m aware my quest for the truth could be a dead end, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I can’t fathom the thought of being lead astray because I was too passive to think otherwise. So I ask you now, will a man rob God? After all, money is the root of all evil
This post was not aimed to spark controversy nor am I questioning another persons beliefs. Its simply a testimony of one mans journey for the truth. God Bless & stay woke!! One fist!!!!