Where God Guides, God Provides…Except When He Doesn’t

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133 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    A-men! Let me tell you what God provides.

    He provides you with the faith to remain faithful where He guides you…whether it looks successful to the world or not.

    Faithfulness is usually rewarded on the other side, not here.

    Here, you may be broke and broken, despised and discarded by most.

    You also may be doing something only you have been called to do for the kingdom.

    Be faithful…

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you, Paige. 🙂

  3. Jean says:

    This is very difficult for pastors today, who aren’t under ecclesiastical authority or in submission to the Creeds and robust confessions. They face both their own temptations but also parishioners who want temporal rewards and results. Very difficult.

  4. Michael says:


    Very perceptive and very true.

  5. Bob Sweat says:

    Can’t remember how many times I heard that phrase. I was being consider for senior pastor position at. CC a few years back. When I asked about salary, that is what I was told.

  6. Jess says:

    If number of adherents was the sure sign of God’s blessing, then the muslims and the hindus are the true servants of God LOL

  7. Michael says:


    That’s duplicitous in my eyes…using “holy talk” to avoid reality…

  8. Bob Sweat says:

    “You keep him humble Lord, we’ll keep him poor” is another expression that I heard.

    At every church where I once served as pastor, the financial package was clearly presented.

  9. Michael says:

    “You keep him humble Lord, we’ll keep him poor” is another expression that I heard.”

    That is sinful as hell…and people wonder why the good guys take up plumbing or animal husbandry…

  10. Bob Sweat says:

    Sorry to get off on finances. I just couldn’t resist when I read the initial quote. Compared with what I have seen pastors make today, I was paid very little. I never expected to get rich, the the rewards you mentioned in your post made up for my lack of financial reward.

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    AMEN and AMEN!!! From a not-so-died-in-the-wool Calvary guy.

  12. Sharon Dooley says:

    Thank you Michael for this post. It echoes what my own pastor said to me a few days ago.

  13. The Dude says:

    Paul the Apostle was a tent maker.He prefered to pay his own way …so money would never become an issue with the local churches he was planting and ministering to.

  14. Pam Kulwiec says:

    As the administrator I was part of the weekly “count” which the sr. Pastor was part of. He saw a rise in tithes as a direct correlation of God’s approval. A dip was something to anguish over and to start being suspicious that there might be sin in the camp.

    It was exhausting…

  15. Rick from Texas says:

    Great post Michael.

  16. Ms. ODM says:

    I just wish ambitious people in ministry would do what the Apostle Paul – Don’t quit your day job! Make tents and support yourself. Don’t be a burden on the church. Undergird your outreach – even if that means holding back from tithing to your church – tithe to your own ministry- but don’t be irresponsible and sink under mountains of debt.

  17. Judy says:

    Michael: That is a very American view of God. I don’t know how it would play with the persecuted churches around the world. Probably not so well.

  18. Plucked Brand says:

    Hey Michael, RE: #9, where I served if the congregation or elders/deacons didn’t feel the pastor was doing their will, they would get together and agree to withhold giving and then tell the pastor the money has dried up. It was called “starving” him out. This has been done to countless pastors, especially in smaller, rural communities.

  19. Steve Wright says:

    I think two things are being conflated here.

    My experience involved listening and taking notes to the entire 5000 commentary series of Gen-Rev, being in the congregation for years when much of the 7000 series was being given live..and listening to the man personally for an hour every week as a ministry student there for two years…..

    The context I heard Chuck say this, and yes on many occasions, was in various ministries within the local church. Like a bookstore – a quaint concept now I realize – but back in the day churches wanted to have a bookstore and Chuck would tell us that these things needed to be self-supporting after a season so that the church’s offerings would not continue to be poured down a rat hole that very well could be the delusion and pet project of the senior pastor. It was also said, again in the context of the local church and its work, of something like building expansion. A school would be another example.

    And it was always said in opposition to those who use guilt, pressure, and manipulation to pry money out of the congregation. Even the biggest hater of Chuck would have to admit that is one thing he despised. He was trying to teach that pastors don’t need to use those tactics, but rather should trust the Lord. (Making the unseemly and ungodly mammon fight taking place now after his passing all the more atrocious)

    I never once heard him say it in the context of big churches being a sign of God’s blessings and little ones not. That’s my experience and others may have heard otherwise at some point over the years…

    I have found in my ministry efforts, where resources are always scarce and we prayerfully do seek where to put the precious offerings of the saints, that this has been a wise counsel. We pulled the plug on our old bookstore using that principle and I think all would agree the church’s resources (in this case, space more than money) have been better served since.

    I would add that I seek to look if there is fruit from the ministry, even if it is not self-supporting or otherwise “blessed” …because a lot of time a church will put effort, money and sweat into something that really falls flat. But If there is lots of fruit, well, that’s a good investment for the kingdom.

  20. Steve Wright says:

    I just read the link. Here is what was said by the author.

    Pastor Chuck almost never discussed money. If he did, it was to tell the story about the church where they charted finances on a thermometer. In my head, finance thermometers indicated instant ungodliness. I love that our pastor, who managed hundreds of millions of dollars, never focused on the cash flow. He knew that if God called us to something, He would give us all that was necessary. I pray for more of that unshaken confidence in the provision of God.
    I think that pretty much is consistent with what I wrote above, and how I remember the years of serving at CCCM.

  21. Xenia says:

    I think “Where God guides, He provides” is very true. The only thing is, people misread what God is asking them to do. He will certainly provide all that is needed for the things He is actually asking a person to do.

  22. Xenia says:

    For instance, God might want you to drive your elderly neighbor to church. If that’s what he really wants, and if you are willing, the car and gas to complete the task will be available.

  23. Michael says:

    I think it’s a terribly abused cliche.
    I’ve heard it most frequently used to cut off support to missionaries in tough places, justify putting church “plants” next door to struggling,already existing ones, and a host of other nonsense.

    What God provides is often suffering and an opportunity to serve in it.
    I’m wondering how this canard would apply to martyrs and missionaries who plow hard ground with little result?

  24. Scott says:

    God has always provided for me, even when I’ve gone to places where he wasn’t guiding me. He’s merciful that way.

  25. Steve Wright says:

    Yes, Scott. There are plenty of promises of how God will always meet the needs of His children. That’s why I chimed in. That little Chuck saying is not related to that sort of thing at all.

    In seminary I wrote my exegetical thesis for Greek Two on those four verses in that Philippians passage cited in the above article – after we studied that book in detail, every (Greek) word, over the Fall and Spring semesters. Every student had to pick a different passage from Philippians for their thesis, and that passage was the one I chose and was allowed to write on…

    It is not at all related to the context or spirit behind Chuck’s little saying.

    It is ironic though, that Philippians in large measure is a thank you letter from Paul acknowledging how God met his needs through the loving gifts of God’s people….

  26. Steve Wright says:

    I never heard it applied to missionaries on the field, Michael. Not by Chuck.

    However I acknowledge that many people have cited those little quips in a different way than Chuck ever said them.

    I have a pretty decent memory when it comes to the guy who taught me a whole lot about ministry and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say “Chuck used to say” and they are just flat out wrong…because I know what he DID say.

  27. Michael says:


    I don’t really care what Chuck did.
    These saying and concepts filtered down through the ranks and through the years and took on a life and meaning of their own.
    The people who need to hear this word tonight have told me that they heard it…it was meant to minister to them, not argue with you.

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Half the Luther quotes you see on the internet was not him.

    But I think Michael’s point would be when some modern day pastor says that phrase what does he mean and is he actually trying to play the bully.

    I am sure Chuck used the context Steve have put out here … but the followers are probably abusive fools.

  29. Surfer51 says:

    Hey don’t forget,”The calling of God is the enabling of God.”

    Also lets not forget,”God doesn’t call capable men, He makes men whom He calls capable.”

    And while I am at it…

    “I would rather do something imperfectly than do nothing expertly.”

    “When in doubt, don’t.”

    I agree with Pastor Syeveon this topic, having sat under Chuck’s pulpit for decades.

    Chucks angle point was not the same one Michael is pointing out.

    Michael does indeed make a valid point, I t just was not how Chuck used the phrase at all.

    To paraphrase it simply would make It say, “Have faith, if God has called you to a task He will open the doors to accomplish what He is calling you to do.

    That is how Chuck quoting his phrase always came across to me in the pew.

    Being found faithful in that which you have been called is such a wonderful act of grace and mercy at work in us.

    Our calling is our job we do in Christ.

    He does equip us with exactly what we need and how we need it.

    “Mountain men will tell us that they have observed that the strongest and the hardiest trees always grow on the stormiest side of the mountain.”

    “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

    Ok I’ on a roll, put the iPad down now and just walk away…

  30. Nonnie says:

    I believe what Steve has said is the context in which I have always heard and used that phrase.

    If people misuse and abuse God’s holy word for their own purposes, we know people will twist the quote of a mere men and use it for their own purposes.

  31. Al says:


    Chuck Smith was a big fat liar on many things both professionally and spiritually.

    This is one of his greatest sins was spreading the b.s. narrative that “God’s BLESSING! and God’s ANNOINTING!” is measured in money and butts in seats.

    It has produced a crop of very rich very celebrity very idol-worshipped false profits who are worthless and disgusting and actually hurt the real name of Jesus and the real Gospel.

  32. Al says:

    Steve, you are still a blind apologist. But at least you aren’t repeating as many of the Chuck b.s. mistakes that some of your wealthier and more “anointed” peers are so you do have that going for you.

    You aren’t special, however, and you are no better or more anointed than the janitor scrubbing toilets at your CC franchise, in fact his reward may in fact be greater.

  33. Al says:

    How much did God provide for Jesus? In stuff terms, in money terms, in following terms?

    Hmm. Let’s think about that.

    Jesus didn’t even have a home to lay his head. He didn’t have money. He had a following for a little bit, then they all abandoned him.

    Wow, according to Chuck Smith’s narrative, Jesus was not “blessed” and not “specially anointed” or something.

  34. Al says:

    Steve, I know you don’t really believe the bible where it talks about doing things in Jesus’s Kingdom the OPPOSITE of how the world does….but I believe it and you have your reward already here in this existence. That janitor scrubbing toilets at your church? He’s more spiritual than you are. More of a servant.

  35. Larry Miller says:

    Home. Run. Drop mike and walk off stage.

  36. Babylon's Dread says:

    The most troubling aspect of this teaching is the implication that success proves veracity.

  37. Jean says:

    “The most troubling aspect of this teaching is the implication that success proves veracity.”

    That seems to be the political teaching this election season as well. BD, this would make another good one of your Facebook posts.

  38. Em ... again says:

    this thread has me thinking again on 1 C0r. 1 … don’t forget that God doesn’t have many wise or noble out there doing His work … in this nation today, if you dress right and have a good dentist people look up to you … course we have the other end of the spectrum also – if you scorn style and basic grooming you must be wise … sometimes i wonder if we hear anything that doesn’t come packaged to our liking 🙂
    maybe that tells us more about our hearts than we want to face … maybe that’s why so many Jews were able to walk right past God when He walked among us

    just going back to basics this a.m. – too much for an old brain to handle

  39. Michael says:

    Let’s start from the top.
    This thread wasn’t about Chuck Smith.
    The saying wasn’t unique to him, it’s just where I heard it and as the link shows it’s become part of CC culture.
    This thread was to encourage some people who are barely keeping the lights on, the kids fed, and the car running.
    it was for some people who don’t know how the hell they are going to get through the month,but believe God has called them to the task at hand.
    It was a reminder that even Paul went hungry, that were were seasons of poverty, sadness and pain for even an Apostle.
    You hang on anyway.
    You finish the course.
    I needed to remind them…and myself.
    Next time, I want to encourage someone I’ll close the damn comments…or use another graphic.

  40. Papias says:

    “The most troubling aspect of this teaching is the implication that success proves veracity”

    And by success, they mean nickels and noses…..in case you didn’t know. 🙂

  41. Babylon's Dread says:

    But I still have not distanced myself from knowing that God cares for us and provides… except when he does not.

  42. Xenia says:

    or use another graphic.<<<,

    Well, that's probably why people went off on Chuck tangents.

  43. Michael says:


    I though the second sentence followed by the rest of the article would cover that…

  44. Xenia says:

    Oh, you know this crowd better than that!

  45. Michael says:


    I should…
    We’ve kind of turned the crowd over again…lots of new readers without any real connection or understanding of CC.
    I find it liberating… 🙂

  46. Papias says:

    The hard part is knowing that when God does not provide…that doesn’t mean that He does not care.(Double negative, but you get the point.)

  47. Papias says:

    Then there’s us hangers on that if we were to tell all the CC stories we’ve covered over the years, no one would believe us.

    Not that they ever did in the first place. 🙂

  48. covered says:

    Michael, not sure why you get so frustrated with some when you post something as simple as what you posted here. There will always be the faithful dove flyers who will defend Chuck no matter what the truth is. You spoke the truth and there is absolutely no reason to let the kool aid drinkers and wannabe scholars ruffle your feathers.

    As a side note, the transformation that we are witnessing with both Al and MLD I believe can be partly attributed to your willingness to stand in the truth with this site. These 2 men along with Dread, JTB, Xenia, Em and a host of others have used this platform that you provide to help many learn the truth.

    I appreciate this place.

  49. Em ... again says:

    #43-it’s the picture that i focused on, i’m afraid, sorry – the thousand words principle, perhaps 🙂

    somebody should make a movie about the modern church and climax with all the O.T. prophets walking down the center aisle right in the midst of the expensive praise production…

    today’s post of the planned exposition of “The Lord’s Prayer” reminded me of the petition therein for daily bread… for some reason when i come to that i’m always reminded of John the Baptist’s diet and realize again that it was enough – God’s supply for him to do what God wanted him to do…

  50. Michael says:


    I get frustrated when my intent is misunderstood.
    As one doing the communicating, that is my fault.

    I had just spent some time debunking what this saying has come to mean to many and trying to encourage a family in the labor the Lord has given them.

    I thought it might be helpful to put out a piece quickly for others to keep their head up as well.

    It turns into a debate about Smith.

    I’ll know better next time…

  51. ( |o )====::: says:

    Change the graphic, re-post in 1 week,
    the opening comments will be about Smith,
    then quickly shift to Pokemon Go

  52. Duane Arnold says:

    I’ve heard the quote for forty years and I have come to the conclusion that it is yet another unique expression of American Christian/Culture. It would be hard to imagine saying it to believers living in the Third World, those living under the threat of persecution, or even those struggling to minister to those on the edges of our own society with little support from the rest of us.

    Nicely said and, it’s not about Chuck… it’s about us.

  53. Andrew says:

    I never once heard him say it in the context of big churches being a sign of God’s blessings and little ones not. That’s my experience and others may have heard otherwise at some point over the years…

    Steve, I am not sure if he ever said it but it sure was implied with the original affiliation agreement to become a CC church. One of the requirements was that you needed to resemble a larger congregation and not something more typical of a small home fellowship. Chuck made a conscious decision probably from a pragmatic point of view that small home fellowships are not churches but larger ones can be. Problem is this kind of American pragmatism doesn’t work so well in persecuted countries.

  54. Papias says:

    A posted thread that goes sideways? Who da’ thunk it would happen here? LOL

    Its one reason why I stopped being an admin.

  55. Al says:

    Michael, there was no misunderstanding on my end, I know that is your position and motive. I am my own person and interjected my own thoughts and opinions on the subject of Chuck Smith.

    It’s an “also and”….I agree with your comments in this thread…AND I agree with what I stated above.

  56. Al says:

    I don’t think it went sideways at all. It’s gonna be a great thread. It’s a great. It’s going to be the best thread ever. You should see this thread. (in best Donald Trump voice) LOL

  57. Owen says:

    Michael #45…..

    Have to say, the more I read here, the more I’m appreciative of the fact that I have no real connection to or understanding of CC…. but there are many here I have come to appreciate.

  58. Jean says:


    You and I are in exactly the same boat. It’s kind of like being at a cocktail party and overhearing a conversation that I know nothing about.

  59. Owen says:

    Yep, Jean… and I often just sit here shaking my head while keeping my mouth shut.

  60. Owen says:

    Although I have to sheepishly admit that occasionally I feel the urge to grab a bowl of popcorn and a soda…. 😉

  61. Steve Wright says:

    There will always be the faithful dove flyers who will defend Chuck no matter what the truth is. You spoke the truth and there is absolutely no reason to let the kool aid drinkers and wannabe scholars ruffle your feathers.

    (Appreciate MLD and Nonnie backing me up in agreement, though obviously they were not included as targets of the above wisecrack)

    Nonnie wrote exactly what I was going to write…about how if God’s pure, perfect word can be used deliberately for nefarious purposes, certainly the cliche of a mere man whose name people often liked to reference as a Catholic might the Pope.

    Anyway, I tried to be “irenic” and share from my experience…I think it is a pithy truism that has a definite context where it makes sense, and that is the context Chuck used it in the many times I heard him over the years. Looks like from the wannabe scholar crack I copied that CC pastors aren’t the only ones who take pride in a lack of education to the point of ridiculing those who have made, and continue to make, a lot of sacrifices in money and time to be better teachers of the word.

    Believe it or not, spending two entire semesters, a few hours each week, dedicated to the study of one particular book, in a formal educational setting with homework, class participation, defending your views before the professor etc, DOES advance one’s understanding of said book.

    I would never, and have never, looked down on someone who has not had that same opportunity (for whatever the reason) or discounted their views, but it is ludicrous for one to deny that the more intensely you study a book, especially in the original language – the more you understand it.

    If anyone wants a copy of my Greek thesis on those 4 verses, just email me. I think I still have it in word doc.


  62. Steve Wright says:

    You know what would make for a good discussion (as its own article), and maybe our denominational friends could contribute…is when is it time to shut the doors. It seems like every denomination closes churches from time to time….what is the criteria for doing so? What SHOULD be the criteria for doing so? Should the church start paying the rent and electricity with the credit card if the funds dry up.

    I knew a guy whose church became one person, a dear senior citizen who wanted to stay loyal – his own wife stopped coming and bringing the kids. He was insistent that God called him to preach and should never stop as long as even one person was coming…..

    My Dad knows a lady in a dead old Oklahoma town (population in 2013 – 282 people) who was petitioning hard upon the Methodists to keep another little church that has a few senior citizens still coming (but no expenses, guest traveling pastor etc). It was my Dad’s parents old church (which is how we heard about it). He used to give them a few bucks each Christmas to help them with any repair bills.

    These things break my heart, and there is no easy answer, but either closing the doors or keeping them open is a choice that someone in leadership up the chain has to make…what should they use, tangibly, to guide them?

    I find it interesting that the “call” to preach in denominational circles is typically connected to finishing a formal seminary program for that denomination (and of course passing the evaluation of the professors and dean etc, not just getting the degree). That is a tangible “thing” their future church can look to to try and discern God’s calling.

  63. Duane Arnold says:

    Steve, the criteria used by denominations varies widely. There are conferences in the Methodist Church where the average Sunday attendance is 40. The same is true of many dioceses in the Episcopal Church. On the other hand, last year the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis closed three parishes, because they “only’ had between 400-600 parishioners on the books and were deemed not to be economically viable. With the rapid decline in most major denominations, there will most likely be a tsunami of closing churches in the next decade.

  64. Em ... again says:

    “I find it interesting that the “call” to preach in denominational circles is typically connected to finishing a formal seminary program for that denomination (and of course passing the evaluation of the professors and dean etc, not just getting the degree). That is a tangible “thing” their future church can look to to try and discern God’s calling.”

    Perhaps God has used the denominations with their doctrines and requirements within His Church to keep us alive and seeking Truth? i do not believe that there is a single institution that is able to properly steward/pastor us all – it is just the nature of mankind to become static or disorganized… it takes the Holy Spirit to bring life into any of our congregations and, like the wind, He moves where He/God wills … no matter who has or holds onto the most Truth … should say that religious enthusiasms are not always indicative of God moving, however

  65. Andrew says:

    These things break my heart, and there is no easy answer, but either closing the doors or keeping them open is a choice that someone in leadership up the chain has to make…what should they use, tangibly, to guide them?
    Steve, closing the doors in a church is really jumping to the conclusion that the church is a building first and foremost. Nothing is farther from the truth and it would behoove all of us to step back and ponder what church really is. When you talk about leadership, I always get so confused. The leader in the above situation would be the owner of the building and not necessarily the elders in the church. We really shouldn’t conflate the two. But I know in CC they are one and the same. But I know in most membership churches, this is a congregational issue not solely a leadership one.

  66. covered says:

    Steve, just for clarification, you are only partially right. The faithful dove flyers was intended for you. The kool aid drinkers and wannabe scholars was meant to offend others.

  67. Steve Wright says:

    Thanks Duane for the input.

    And thanks, covered, for the clarification. Love you, brother.

    Andrew, I am using “church” in a straighforward way and not looking to delve into the great theological depth of the Body of Christ. Nobody here thinks the church is the building but the discussion is telling “the church” to find another “church” to worship the Lord.

    On the one hand we have a guy like Noble saying, Gosh, I was so busy serving the Lord and trying to reach 100,000 people with all my satellites that I became a drunk and screwed up my marriage…

    But then we have a somewhat unrealistic commentary on (as was said) “the nickels and noses” – as if those two things are completely irrelevant to whether the Lord (for it is His church) would want that church to continue on, or would the greater cause of the gospel be served by the remnant joining forces with a somewhat larger, but still small, growing church, and being part of that family?

    Or maybe those churches who just badger people regularly to give more, and invite more people to services if they REALLY love Jesus are doing it right after all. 🙂 (that was sarcasm folks)

  68. Xenia says:

    One of the parishes of my jurisdiction (Russian Church Abroad) recently closed. They were down to two families and one of them was the priest’s. No financial way they could continue.

    But this parish wasn’t really a full-blown “church” yet, it was a mission in the depths of the Louisiana swamps, more of an experiment than anything. Churches plant missions and if they succeed, they are elevated to the status of “church.” I guess no one in rural Louisiana was interested in the peculiarities of Russian-flavored Orthodoxy.

    But it was sad. I know the priest; he’s a lovely man with a sweet family. The one remaining family was Rod Dreher’s, of American Conservative fame. I think they are moving to a bigger town where there’s an established parish.

    So…. was this a case of people not reading God correctly? God didn’t guide so He didn’t provide? You can’t spend your life trying to second-guess God. Sometimes you just have to try things out and see what develops. I guess if the mission was a success and all the Duck Dynasty types in the area converted to Orthodoxy we could say God was on board with the plan, who knows. But even in the face of an apparent flop, some remarkable things took place the few years it was in existence. Nothing is wasted. All that God intended to accomplish was accomplished.

  69. Xenia says:

    Actually, I misspoke. The mission didn’t close; they just don’t have a priest. Whoever’s left can still do reader services.

  70. UnCCed@UnCCed.com says:

    I always found it interesting that non profit exemption given to “the church” by US lawmakers way back did so because the church did A LOT for the community, poor, etc., and now its used more as a tax shelter – ministers requiring higher salaries than their area’s median income (how God is providing for everyone else), outrageous A/V systems, etc., and yet the church continues to pervert this God-given benefit for its own lusts.
    I’m not saying all churches abuse the non profit entitlement, but its WAY too often abused by the very men teaching others to “trust God.”

  71. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, with the encouragement of many, I planted a new church. 2 1/2 years later, with the agreement of others, I closed that church. I see no reason to think of it as a ministry failure or success but rather a sweet time of service and worship and many good things happened. However, by closing it made me available a couple years later to be the pastor of where I am now. And all that was associated in time. Finances and families involved. The Lord does guide.

  72. Steve Wright says:

    Here’s another wrinkle….more and more churches are facing issues of foreclosure, not because they were reckless with debt and building expansion, and not because they are so poor that they can’t make their mortgage payment.

    Rather, the new challenge stems from Dodd-Frank regulations that the banks must follow, and the unique way that church loans are financed shortterm and rolled over. We have had to deal (and overcome) with this issue and I spoke to an accountant who does a lot of churches and he told me the issue is becoming a major problem for more and more churches.

  73. Andrew says:

    Or maybe those churches who just badger people regularly to give more, and invite more people to services if they REALLY love Jesus are doing it right after all. ? (that was sarcasm folks)


    Steve, You don’t have to badger folks to get them to give. CC does it their own unique way by passing the KFC bucket around for offering. I know this isn’t just a CC thing; however, what some may not know is just how incredible offensive this can be to certain folks especially those new to the faith. I have yet to see a CC that would just put an offering box outside the sanctuary for those who wish to give. Maybe some CCs do it this way but I am not aware of it and I would be delighted to be proven wrong. If CC wants to reach folks for Christ, why would they do something so offensive to some people? I grew up with the offering plate being passed around so I am not offended by it but I am speaking of many others that have not had this experience. The only answer I have for churches that pass the bucket or plate around for money is that this gimmick works and gets more folks to give.

  74. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Several Lutheran churches in the mid west have one pastor that pastors 2 or 3 churches. Many are in rural areas that used to have good population.

    I know that Pastor Donovan Riley was sent to a church with about 10 people to decide what the church should do. They are now up over 300 – 400 people in 7 years.

    But I think a church knows – you turn the assets over to the district and go become a part of another church nearby.

  75. Michael says:


    I’ve been in a lot of CC’s for a lot of years…and I’ve never seen either a KFC bucket or a piece of chicken.
    Probably half simply had a box in the back for offerings.

  76. covered says:

    Andrew, the only time that I have ever seen a KFC bucket be passed around was in the day when CC had the Men’s conference at the Anaheim Convention Center. I have visited over 100 CC’s and other churches as a guest teacher between 2004-2009 and never once saw a KFC bucket during a church service.

    Also, there are several CC’s who do exactly as you say and have what they call an Agape box in the back for giving. As far as being offended, that’s ridiculous. I think that 99% of the people that attend church expect an offering plate or some form of tithes. It also happens to be a form of worship.

    You may be offended that a church receives gifts and offerings but I assure you that it is rare that people who attend or visit a church have to sit through this part of the service. If it is offensive, then don’t give.

  77. Andrew says:

    covered, I am not offended at all at the offering plate but I know some that are deeply offended. Of course no one is making anyone give but to some it is considered badgering for money. By the way most of these folks are non believers and new to the church and have seen the hypocrisy with folks like K.P and GFA in the evangelical church . I guess we can tell them not to come so they don’t feel pressured when the offering plate is shoved down the line in front of their face but I think a better approach is the Agape box that you mentioned above. I am encouraged to find out exactly what you are saying is happening in other CCs. However, I doubt that any of the larger bigger box CC franchises do this but rather this is confined to smaller faithful ones. There is probably just way to much $$ for CC to lose.

  78. Michael says:


    I call bulls..
    You come on my blog, make a ridiculous allegation that makes me look bad and hurts the credibility of my site, then move on like you didn’t say it.

    I will not put up with it…you damn well better produce some pictures of chicken buckets full of money or retract the statement.

  79. Michael says:

    “However, I doubt that any of the larger bigger box CC franchises do this but rather this is confined to smaller faithful ones.”

    That’s how the biggest ones in my state did it…

    You have absolutely no credibility…churches have been passing the plate in every denomination for centuries.

    If you don’t like it, leave your wallet and your cheap ass home.

  80. Andrew says:

    Michael, the KFC buckets was just my experience with the church in philly. I have also heard it make fun of in sermons many times. It doesn’t matter if its buckets or silver lined plates that we used in the Presbyterian church I grew up in. The point I was making is that it is offensive to some people to have some collection type passed down the isle asking for money. The folks that were offended were non believers and from a different ethnic origin than being born in America. If making this point it discrediting your blog, I am really not sure what to say.

  81. Michael says:

    Andrew…news flash.
    Church is for believers.
    If some get offended hand them some Kleenex that they may weep quietly into it.
    Perhaps you can gently lead them to their cars while applying a cold compress.
    Most if not all of the churches in my town are making it week to week.
    They need to collect what they can, when they can, and it is, as covered said, an act of worship.
    If someone objects to giving in a good, Gospel centered church, the problem is theirs, not the churches.

  82. Andrew says:

    Michael, we live in American but a point that has been made over and over again on your blog is the problem with the American evangelical church. The offering plate has never been offensive to me since I grew up with it. Others from other parts of the world don’t see it like this at all. When you make comments like leave your wallet and your cheap ass at home, you really don’t have any sensitivity towards other cultures and you are being part of the problem with the American evangelical church.

  83. Michael says:


    Blow it out your hindquarters.
    If someone is so very sensitive to biblical practice and so resistant to assimilating to this culture, then they need to take your wallet and your cheap ass and go back home.

    How’s that for sensitive?

  84. covered says:

    Andrew, I was just in Iraq and visited 3 churches. All of them received tithes. In Israel 4 months ago. Went to 2 Russian churches and a couple Evangelical churches. All received tithes. When I go to Haiti (at least every 6 mos) and they have received tithes every service including the mid week study.

    In Sudan, every church I taught at and visited received tithes. In Indonesia every church received tithes. In Sri Lanka every church received tithes. What the heck are you talking about? Most of the countries I named don’t have a pot to pee in and they still gave and were not offended.

  85. Michael says:

    Andrew got caught (again) with his mouth overloading his bowels.
    Thus, he tries to make it about cultural issues.
    Really, it’s all about Andrew and I’m done with it.

  86. Andrew says:

    Good night Michael. You make my point better than I ever could!

  87. Andrew says:

    Covered, I go to a Chinese ethnic church. You obviously don’t know a thing about their culture.

  88. Michael says:

    Why should he have to know about your church?

    Does the Chinese church now set the tone for the rest of us?

  89. Andrew says:

    Michael, I am not really sure why you are so antagnostic to me. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. I’ve tried to participate and give another view point. Obviously my viewpoint or opinion is not wanted here. I am fine with that. I was responding to covered when he/she said

    “What the heck are you talking about? ”

    If I can’t even answer the question without being attacked than something is desperately wrong.

  90. Michael says:


    Spare me the tears.
    You made a ridiculous statement that was nothing more than taking a shot and guaranteed to produce strife.
    When called on that statement with testimony from others, you fail to retract it and double down on “cultural” issues.
    I have more than enough stress in my life presently and do not need this kind of “participation” here.

  91. Andrew says:

    Michael, What ridiculous statement did I make? I live and breath the Chinese culture. I don’t mean to impose this culture on you on your readers. There are a lot of problems with the culture as is the typical American culture. I just had a baby daughter a week ago that is mixed race and she will be bi-ligual. She is half Chinese and half Caucasian. I know none of this is important to you but for me its everything. Sorry to cause you stress. God speed.

  92. Em ... again says:

    May God bless the new baby girl at Andrew’s house, but i have to note that i seriously doubt that you, Andrew, “had” the baby 🙂
    i spent a bit of time fellowshipping within the Local Church movement and they do see a lot of things differently, yet are dead serious about the Faith…
    but in the example under ‘discussion’ here – IMV, they must learn to be gracious with our western collection plates (the way they chopped up a chicken was offensive to me LOL )

  93. Andrew says:

    Thank you Em! Being a father for the first time is absolutely amazing to me.

  94. Kevin H says:

    KFC shaped buckets (but not literal KFC buckets) are used at CC Philly and as far as I know, they have always been used. With that said, pushing for money or giving or tithing has never been an emphasis at CC Philly. At least in the years I have been there.

    Also, I have attended services at probably 30-40 different churches over my lifetime with only 1 of them being a CC. I cannot recall a single one that did not pass an offering plate of some kind. Passing an offering plate is long engrained in the American church culture (and I would venture to guess many other cultures, too) and it has nothing at all to do with CC, except for those CC’s which participate in this already long established church practice.

    On a lighter note, congrats, Andrew, on your daughter.

  95. Andrew says:

    Kevin, thanks for the congratulations! . And I agree with everything you wrote. It maybe a peculiar Chinese idiosyncrasy. Because it is the only church I have been too that didn’t pass the offering plate. Anyway, it got me to challenge the long American tradition that I have been accustomed too.

  96. Steve Wright says:

    Well..this thread took a turn.

    From Justin Martyr “First Apology”

    Chapter 67. Weekly worship of the Christians

    And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.

  97. Steve Wright says:

    Andrew…A simple yes or no. Does your church have an offering box somewhere in or near the sanctuary that people place offerings in on Sundays?

  98. Andrew says:

    Yes we have an offering box. I had to ask where it was the first few times since I was expecting the plate to be passed around during the service. But I kind of like it this way. People that want to give will find out where its at and give generously as the Lord leads. Maybe it doesn’t make much business sense but I like the idea.

  99. Babylon's Dread says:

    I see the food fight prevailed

  100. covered says:

    Andrew, I honestly don’t like questioning your comments but you should think before you post. The last sentence of your last post is nonsense. Giving and tithing when done with the right heart is an act of worship. For you to imply that gifts and offerings are done for the purpose of business is wrong. Not every church in America or anywhere else in the world receives tithes for business reasons.

  101. covered says:

    Here’s a way out Andrew, if you are saying that tithes and offerings are used for the business of helping those in need then I will back off. If you are implying that every church receives tithes for the purpose of financial gain then you are indeed wrong. Again…

  102. Steve Wright says:

    Well…you might have mentioned it earlier in the thread. 🙂

    Now, you wrote ” I have yet to see a CC that would just put an offering box outside the sanctuary for those who wish to give. Maybe some CCs do it this way but I am not aware of it and I would be delighted to be proven wrong”

    If that is truly your delight, just google “calvary chapel no offering plate” and scroll through the many FAQS from various CC church websites that will explain how those churches do not pass a plate. There are many that do.

  103. Andrew says:

    covered, I guess I should have put 🙂 (that was sarcasm folks) at the end very end. I agree that giving (not tithing) is an act of worship. Tithing, although, a long established church tradition almost to me sounds legalistic. Some folks call that a church tax. One thing I can commend about CC in philly and I am sure Kevin would agree is that they don’t emphasize the tithe at all. They emphasize giving which I think is the biblical NT model and not tithing. Anyhow, there are more than enough examples that have been presented on this blog that makes my point that many churches operate more in a business model and less of a family model. This is not the way church should be but unfortunately it happens more often than not.

  104. Andrew says:

    Steve, I am delighted to hear this about CC. But are any of them of substantial size of 2000 or more folks. Just curious.

  105. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well giving in the church as part of the liturgy is very important.
    1.) it makes it part of the worship service
    2.) it is an encouragement to give – just as the sermon is an encouragement to whatever the topic is.
    3.) we pray over the offering after it is taken – I would guess that the offering box folks never have the congregation pray over the Lord’s money in thanksgiving.
    4.) it teaches the kids the joy of giving. When the plate is passed, I see almost every family with kids have the kids put the money in.

    I don’t understand why a church like Andrews wishes to rob the service of one aspect of worship – but hey people can do what they want.

  106. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Andrew – does your church have a bank account or do they keep the church funds in a bag like Jesus and his guys.
    Bank accounts sound so business like.

  107. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “They emphasize giving which I think is the biblical NT model and not tithing. ”

    Any church that I have been around that emphasizes ‘giving’ always follows that up with “and 10% should just be the beginning.”

    Folks who say tithe or tithing are just using sloppy language – and they just mean giving.

  108. Andrew says:

    MLD, we have a bank account. And giving is part of our worship service, we just don’t give it its own line item on the program bulletin. We aren’t as liturgical as the Lutherans but more so than CC. We kind of lump the prayer for the offering in with our congregational prayer which happens towards the end of the service.

  109. Andrew says:

    Folks who say tithe or tithing are just using sloppy language – and they just mean giving.


    I think these folks know what they are saying when the use the word tithing. If covered meant just giving and is using sloppy language you would think he would correct what he just wrote.

  110. Steve Wright says:

    I agree 100% with MLD. (and covered @100) – and for that matter Justin Martyr. Giving is an act of worship as part of the worship service.

    Actually, because there ARE so many CCs that don’t receive an offering, I have on rare occasion gotten static from someone asking why we do receive one (who may have experience elsewhere)

    Of course it is part of the worship service. No hype or manipulation is ever associated with it, though prayer always is.

    At Costa Mesa the exact same sentence was said at each offering – It’s been 15 years but I believe it was “And now the ushers will come forward and receive the morning tithes and offerings” That was it.

    I heard a story that one young guy once said “we will now take the morning offering” and Romaine read him the riot act afterwards. We don’t TAKE an offering, we receive an offering!

    My point is that giving as unto the Lord, in worship, is viewed very seriously so there is zero manipulation. CCs who may collect on Sundays still don’t have one every time the doors are open (like my old Baptist church used to) And by the way, we use (and so did CCCM) offering BAGS, so there was zero chance anyone next to you could see what you gave unless you waved it around….you could even deke someone and stick your closed fist in the bag and just drop air in. 🙂

  111. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well as I said the “giving” folks have always said 10% is the starting point.

    But check it out – to properly tithe you would have to give 23.3% – and i don’t think that anyone who says tithe expects people to give 23.3%

  112. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I like the open plates – it’s easier to make change for your $20 🙂

  113. Andrew says:

    MLD, not all the “giving” folks say 10% is the starting point although I agree most probably do. You sound like a “giving” kind of guy MLD. How about you? Is your starting point 10%?

  114. Ixtlan says:

    Another “Chuckism” that was really bad theology that men of little understanding have taken and and ran with.

    It is a good thing that God blesses in spite of us and our understanding…..

  115. Andrew says:

    The really super spiritual guys supposedly reverse tithe. The give 90% away and keep 10%. 🙂 (sarcasm)

  116. Steve Wright says:

    Apparently Andrew’s pastor sees giving as part of the worship since he incorporates it into the prayer during service.

    Once more, Andrew, if you were just forthright up front, instead of looking for something you think is unique to CC that you can then criticize….

    Your church is no different whatsoever than a large number of CCs when it comes to offerings. Period. End of sentence.

    I hope you can sleep OK tonight in that new knowledge. 🙂

    (As to the mega church question – I have no idea if any have the box, but by definition a mega church would need multiple boxes scattered all over the sanctuary, and multiple guards, and I have no idea the logistics of when and how the count would be made to assure accountability…..but there is nothing spiritual about a Disneyland line bottleneck as 1000 people try to empty out one door to file past one box. In fact it would likely be an issue with the fire marshal if that was the norm week after week.

    You ever seen how many people hold up the offering while they finish writing out their check? I can’t imagine the nightmare of what Costa Mesa would have been like – it took us 5 minutes to file out of the sanctuary through the foyer on a good day even with five supplemental exits on the sides. There already are people that would be filing INSIDE that wanted to (or had to) sit outside for the service, or in the gym, on the patio to place an offering in the box.

    Good grief, we have three exits just at our place (and one box) as to the main sanctuary.

  117. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    If I can save 5% then I would say I give 95% to others in their vocation. If i go buy shoes there is a guy there fulfilling his vocation by making the shoes for me.

    I especially love to help the owner at the malt shop fulfill his vocation by giving to his business.

  118. Andrew says:

    Steve, in my very first comment I said this wasn’t unique to CC but since I was responding to your comment I mentioned CC.

    Now for this comment: “Apparently Andrew’s pastor sees giving as part of the worship since he incorporates it into the prayer during service. ”

    Actually, this is more of a congregational prayer which is usually lead by someone in the congregation that is not the pastor. Sorry to inform you but the pastor isn’t the most important person on Sunday morning. (sarcasm)

  119. Steve Wright says:

    And your second post had ” I think a better approach is the Agape box that you mentioned above.” – which would have been the ideal spot for YOU to tell US how the Chinese do things….

    instead I had to drag it out of ya… 🙂

  120. Steve Wright says:

    I’m off now.

    Andrew, the reason why I said my #119 is because, since I am not familiar with the Chinese church in America, I was truly wondering to myself, “well how does this church collect the money it needs to function?”

    My mind was imagining people mailing their checks, or dropping them off during the week…or maybe, since it is China after all, there was basically 100% online giving.

    I don’t know if I was alone in these wonderings, but if I had known that your church simply does what a lot of CCs have been doing for over 40 years (and what more and more churches of all groups are doing more of these days)….I would not have wondered.

  121. Michael says:

    You, know, I’m really, really irritated.
    I wrote this for the guys that bust it for the Lord and are worrying about how they are going to pay the bills and care for their families and still serve all the people who need them.

    I know a lot of those guys.

    I know covered…and he’s not in it for the money.
    I know Steve…and while he and I don’t particularly like each other I would never accuse him of being motivated by money…because that would be a lie.
    A damned lie.
    I know lots of guys who pay a price for serving…as do their families.

    So I get stories about chicken buckets full of cash and offended foreigners and blah, blah, blah…

    Let me tell you something sunshine…you couldn’t do what these guys do for a week…you have no clue what the strains actually there are in being an honest God fearing servant of the Lord.

    You should be ashamed…and I’m going to shut up before I sin greatly.

  122. JD says:

    Evidently, some ministries have degenerated into minus-threes by espousing “When God guides, Ceasar provides”.

  123. Andrew says:

    Let me tell you something sunshine…you couldn’t do what these guys do for a week…you have no clue what the strains actually there are in being an honest God fearing servant of the Lord.
    Michael, I assume this comment was for me. I think I understand you much better now especially with your recent Miss Kitty article. However, if you took the time to understand me which you haven’t, I hope you would calm down your rhetoric. I’m not sure what I am supposed to be ashamed at. I greatly admire servants of God and I understand much more about the struggles of ministry than you would ever know or care to appreciate. I don’t expect to get an apology from you Michael but if you go back and see how you trashed me in this article you should be ashamed. I love the diversity in this blog but apparently the diversity I bring is completely unwelcome. If I bring up cultural differences I am immediately shut out. Your comments to me are some of the most hurtful and I would say hateful things I have ever heard from a fellow Christian. Anyway, Michael I hope God provides for you where he guides you.

  124. Michael says:


    You showed back up here taking shots and making snarky comments.
    When confronted, you changed the context of your remarks without owning them.
    Very much like it took us months to find that the reason you were bent the last time was because you weren’t allowed to cruise the young singles group.

    You don’t like CC’s.
    I get that…I get it better than most.

    I simply won’t put up with hit and run comments or people not owning and defending accusations.

    Having said all that, I do apologize for allowing my annoyance to become sinful and rude.

  125. Jeff Rodrigues says:

    In light of earlier discussions in the thread about the phrase “When God guides, God provides,” and in light of discussion as far as how Chuck Smith used that phrase, I thought that it would be appropriate to provide quotes from him that show the context of how he used that phrase over the years. These quotes come from his weekly studies through the Bible, some between 1979-1985 (the C2000 recordings), and some between 1985-1999 (the C3000 recordings). Without me adding comments about them, I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves. Here they are…

    (From C2072 – 1 Chronicles 12-17) “Now I do believe that the church is guilty many times, or parachurch organizations are guilty many times of trying to use worldly methods for doing the work of God. Now that which we seek to do is right. We seek to bring men to Jesus Christ. But we get a bunch of suede shoe-Madison Avenue advertiser men and we say, “Now set up a program for us.” An advertising program and all, and we’re trying to use worldly methods to do the work of God. Now you’re trying to do a right thing. You want to get men to Jesus Christ. But you’re doing it in the wrong way. God didn’t say that we were to get fancy advertising schemes and all of this kind of stuff to bring men to Jesus Christ. A lot of work for God, legitimate work that should be done is done in a wrong way. And so because we have been doing things in a wrong way, then we got to raise funds to support the wrong way method of doing things. And we make a travesty of God by the way we get up to raise funds. It is a shame the methods that people use to extract money for the so-called work of God. I am embarrassed as a Christian of the junk that goes on on television in their fundraising efforts and methods. It, to me, is an absolute embarrassment. And they are motivating people the wrong way. Now David, or Moses had to raise funds for the building of the tabernacle. What did he do? “All of you that would like to contribute to the building of the tabernacle just bring it in and dump it.” He didn’t go around, you know, getting pledges or jumping up and down and running around the place, putting on a show. And the people started bringing in the funds, until finally, they had to stop. And they said, “Stop, stop, we’ve got too much. Quit! No more. You can’t give any more. Didn’t make it? That’s too bad. You’re out of luck.” Now Paul the apostle tells us in the New Testament, writing to the Corinthians, he said, “Now every man as he’s purposed in his own heart, so let him set aside for the Lord” (II Corinthians 9:7). But don’t let your giving be out of constraint. Never should your giving to God be pressured giving. It is wrong to seek to pressure people to give to God. And yet, how many times we notice that the whole tactic is that of pressure tactics. Professional letter writers to write the appeals. And all kinds of idiotic gimmicks are used by these people to raise funds. When a person has to degrade to those type of efforts, then something’s wrong with the work that they are seeking to do. I am thoroughly convinced “when God guides, God provides.” And if you tell me that you’re not getting the money to do this great program God has laid upon your heart, I’ll have to say God didn’t lay it upon your heart. When you have to resort to worldly ways and do things after the pattern of the world, it’s not of God. It’s not of the Spirit of God.”

    (From C2076 – 2 Chronicles 14-18) “Hey, far from going bankrupt, God has provided, because we’ve acknowledged the lordship of Christ. We acknowledged the fact that it’s His church and we acknowledged that when He sends the funds, the surplus funds in, that we have the obligation before Him to spend those funds just like He wants them spent for whatever purpose and plan He has. And really, the greatest burden upon the board is the proper expenditure of the funds that God has so lavishly bestowed upon us here. And that’s why we went into the radio ministry. In order that we might have. We felt that this was an excellent way to, more or less, multiply across the United States what God has done here. Because what God has done here has been the result of the teaching of His Word and the people becoming strong in the Word. Knowing God and becoming strong in the Word, God has expanded and blessed the work here, because people got turned on through the Word of God. As they really begin to know God, they could relate to God and have these meaningful relationships where God has begun to work and change their lives. And we see the fruit of the Word of God, and so we felt the best way to multiply this across the country is to go on the radio teaching across the country. And the interesting thing, every time we take a step and appropriate a little more money for the radio and we expand the radio ministry, God sends in more. We can’t keep up with Him. We can’t spend it all. So we’re in the process of expanding the radio ministry again. We’re looking into television. Outreach in television. We’re looking into several different interesting outreaches to sort of invest that which God has given to reach the lives of people across the country. We’re thinking in terms of financing a huge Bob Dylan concert at Anaheim Stadium just to reach the people. It will cost us some bucks, but we’ll be able to reach thousands of people and have an impact on young people all over this area. And so we are looking for ways to wisely invest those funds that God has placed in our hands in order that we might expand the work of God throughout the world. And when God guides, God provides. And when God provides, God guides in where it should be used to expand the kingdom.”

    (From C2255 – 1 Corinthians 3-4) “Some of the Calvary Chapels that have sprung out of our church here, in their desire to develop buildings, facilities and all, have gone to fundraising techniques: fundraising dinners, pledges, marathons, telethons, phoneathons, phonythons, and it hurts. It really hurts. Because I have sought to teach them to walk in the Spirit and to trust in the Lord to provide for their needs. For when God guides, God provides. And if you get ahead of God, then the provision isn’t there and it’s because you’ve stepped out ahead of God. Wait upon the Lord. He not only has the plan, but the method by which the plan is to be accomplished, and the funding. And we don’t have to lean upon man, nor do we have to turn to worldly schemes or devices to raise the funds for the work of God. And to see them getting involved in pledges and getting involved in promotional dinners and things like this, it really hurts down deep. They have not so learned, Jesus Christ. But you know, others have come along and say, ‘Hey, this is the way it’s done. This is the way you’ve got to do it.'”

    (From C2269 – 2 Corinthians 9-10) “It’s, to me, an extremely embarrassing thing to have your name or whatever used as the tool for raising funds. A few years back, I was over in Hawaii speaking at a Bible conference, where I’ve been invited to speak at this Bible conference. And so the first night, when the fellow went to take the offering, he took about ten minutes, and you know, “We have asked our brother Chuck to come over here, and it cost, you know, the money and all to get him here. And we want to make sure that he’s well taken care of and all, and so we want you to really give tonight to provide for our dear brother Chuck’s needs.” And all this kind of stuff. And I sat there on the platform just embarrassed silly. And so when I finally got a chance to get up, I said, “I appreciate what this brother said about your poor brother Chuck, but I want you to know, I’m not going to take one penny for being here. For I have an extremely wealthy Father who takes care of all of my needs, and I don’t have to depend upon people to provide for my needs, because my Father so adequately takes care of me. Gives me a generous expense account and supplies all of my needs. And so, if you want to take up offerings here, that’s fine. If you want to give, that’s good. But don’t give for poor brother Chuck, ’cause he’s not going to take a cent from you. I’m here to give and not to receive.” And I was just really embarrassed. I don’t like my name used as the goat or the gimmick or whatever to get people to give. I do trust in my Father to supply my needs, and He does, and He’s very good about it. He’s very faithful in that. And so, really, I sort of modeled myself after Paul in this regard. I have always been disturbed over the emphasis that churches so often place upon giving. And that is why I, perhaps, gone the other direction in the pendulum and say so little about giving. That is why we never mention to you any needs that might exist, because we’re not looking to you; we’re looking to the Lord to supply for the work of the ministry. And when God guides, God always provides. And I always look a little ensconced at these who have been led by God into some great program, and the whole thing’s going to fail unless you bail God out. I somehow don’t conceive God as being on the brink of bankruptcy every other week and ready to fold His whole program because people don’t come through and rescue Him from financial insolvency. ”

    (From C3091 – 2 Samuel 1-2) “With you — I am quite concerned with what’s happening today: as far as the scandals that have come to some of the national TV personalities who have been broadcasting Christian style of programming. I hardly know where to personally stand in the issues; except that I do feel that it is manifestly wrong to, number 1, beg people for money for the work of God. I don’t think God is broke, and I don’t think God is going to allow His program, His work, to die for a lack of financing. I believe that when God guides, God provides. It is wrong to beg people to give to God.”

    (From C3125 – 1 Chronicles 12-14) “You will discover, and we have discovered, when God guides, God provides! You don’t need finance committees, you don’t need the professional fund-raising techniques. You don’t need men to come in, and to make the demographic studies of the city, and tell you how to build the church of God! But God has got a program, and if we seek the Lord, He’ll guide us in accomplishing the things, that He wants accomplished. So just the desire to do something for the Lord isn’t sufficient. We must do them in the way that the Lord would have them done. Now, that always is the way that will bring glory to God. When we do things with man’s methods, it may be that we get the job done, but because we’ve done them with man’s methods, then man gets the glory. This professional team puts your name in their advertising, and they tell how they went to this little community, and the church was just five hundred people, but after they inaugurated their program, now there is twelve hundred members, you know, and they are taking the glory for what has been accomplished there in that community. “We helped this church raise seventy thousand dollars to put in their new education unit”, you know and they’re always telling what they have done, and man is getting and taking the glory. But when we wait upon God, and seek God, there’s no pressure, there’s no hype. We just let God work, and seek God to do His work, then only God can get the glory! People come around and they want to know, “Well what kind of a program did you use?” “Well, we don’t have any program.” “Well, how do you account for what’s happening?” “Well, it’s the Lord!” “Ah, come on now!”, you know. They’re always looking for some gimmick, some secret, but it’s just seeking God for the way that He wants things to be done. Letting God be in control. God has a work that He wants to do, but there’s the right way of doing it, and the wrong way of doing it. The right way will be blessed of God, and led of God, and continues then, to be a blessing, because it brings such glory to God.”

  126. Em ... again says:

    with all the roasting that a preacher is subject to (rightly or wrongly), i’m glad that i never asked God to make my son a preacher… that said, critiquing is not wrong as they are, after all, just the same frail flesh as the rest of us and most are doing the job because they either love the Lord or just have the right personality/qualifications for the role… but we need to learn that they are us – not prophets come down from heaven, non the less… (& so do they)

  127. Andrew says:

    Michael, I don’t hate CC. I have said this many times on here. If anything I don’t like the mega churches of which some CC’s but obviously not all espouse to be like. My comments were in line with the spirit of your own blog post. I am not sure what snarky shot I took that got you so bent out of shape this time and last time. The last time you shut me out after sharing about how my wife and I have had 5 miscarriages in a row. It got you so irritated and instead of having the least bit of compassion you totally condemned me for how I felt. Then I mentioned my wife was pregnant again and I was considering being part of the young family fellowship at our church, you almost went crazy, like why the hell would I want to do that. Now that I have a beautiful daughter and I am a father, instead of congratulating me like others have, you ripped me to shreds. We plan on trying again and we may have more children. By the way, I am part of the young family fellowship at my church and we also try to reach out to the singles the best be can. Both my wife and I have a heart of singles since we both were single for so long. I do accept your apology but you seriously need to look long and hard how you treat certain folks. I will do the same.

  128. Michael says:


    Again, you deflect and distort
    It would be better for both of us if you moved along.

  129. Andrew says:

    Michael, I am fine with moving on. Maybe I’ll stick with your miss Kitty articles even though I hate cats because that’s when I see the best of you. Or maybe I’ll just leave permanently. I really shouldn’t put myself in harms way with a person that has such deep and lasting problems of being so incredibly rude and insensitive. You can take this any way you want Michael but I admire you so much for all the good you are doing but at the same time when you treat me like your Miss kitty kitty litter, it hurts more than you would know. Bye for now.

  130. Papias says:

    Jeff – Thanks for your #125.

    How do you see the quotes as indicated from their context? What do you think was Chucks point with using that phrase in the context?

    And while it may not have been Chucks intention that the phrase was misused and maybe even misunderstood, the fact remains that some have done so.

  131. Jeff Rodrigues says:

    Papias, in answer to your question, I’d rather not comment on the quotes but let them speak on their own. This is for the sake that I don’t misrepresent what Chuck Smith said in each of these instances. I think there’s enough context within each of them to explain how he used the phrase mentioned in this thread.

  132. Nonnie says:

    I’ll sit down my glass of Kool Aide and type something else about how my husband and I have always interpreted the quote of this thread.
    “Where God guides, He provides”….when things are tough, when I want to throw in the towel, God PROVIDES the needed grace, strength, and hope during difficulties. I truly believe that where HE has guided us, HE has provided for us. I don’t see it in terms of merely $$.
    For Hubby and myself, God has guided us and HE is the one that provided even the ministries we have had the privileged to be a part of. It is all from His hands and it doesn’t belong to us.
    All we are responsible for is loving Jesus and loving the people He places in our lives.
    Now I’ll go pour myself another glass of Kool Aide.

  133. Col46 says:

    Amen Nonnie, it’s not just about finances, it’s about Gods abundant goodness and grace toward us!

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