The Demand for Money
One of the characteristics that marks the Wayman O. fellowship is the demand for money. The fellowship puts new converts through a process they call "locking them in." There are several things involved in the locking in process. First is getting the convert to subscribe to the idea that they need to be in church whenever a service is held. Right behind this is getting the convert to believe that they must give money to the church, at least 10% of any money they get by any means, or they will lose their salvation. Essentially this teaching states, "Pay your tithes or burn in hell."
To support this teaching, Wayman and his pastors use various out of context Scriptures. There are two that they link up to support the idea that those who don't tithe will burn in hell:
Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Based on the idea that Malachi quotes the LORD as saying that those who failed to pay tithes and offerings, according to the Law of Moses, were robbers, or thieves, and the fact that Paul says that thieves will not inherit the kingdom of God, Wayman and his pastors smugly declare that those who fail to pay tithes and offerings to their Potter's House church will burn in hell.
What they conveniently leave out is that Christians are not under the Law of Moses, and therefore the Scripture in Malachi does not apply to them. They also leave out all the Scriptures that talk about how the money and resources which were collected by the priests and Levites was supposed to be used. A great portion of it, probably most of it, went to the poor of the land. Wayman and his men abhor giving to the poor, and use the money that comes in the offerings as they please. Their "ministry" resembles that of Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of the High Priest, Eli.
1 Samuel 2:12-17
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD and the custom of the priests with the people. When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand. Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw." If the man said to him, "They must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire," then he would say, "No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force." Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD.
Wayman's teaching on the subject of giving money is such that money is demanded from the people in the churches. Just like Hophni and Phinehas would demand offerings from the people, in a manner contrary to the Law of Moses, so do Wayman and his men demand tithes and offerings from the people in a manner contrary to the teachings of the New Testament. When people in Potter's House churches aren't giving enough to satisfy the pastor, they will be blasted with a sermon on giving. Money will be demanded of them, with the threat of the judgment of God if they fail to give enough. And somehow, it seems, it's never enough.
George Potkonyak, of Australia, got into serious trouble with his Potter's House pastor when he did his own Biblical study on tithing. By simply reading what the Old Testament has to say about tithes and offerings in context, he put himself in the line of fire. As it is in those churches, there was no room for debate. George was told to either recant his study, which he had printed up, or get out of the church.
George recently gave us some links to his updated study:
Since George did indeed refuse to recant his study, he was tossed out of the church. This shows that these "pastors" are very threatened by anything that would disrupt their corrupt teachings on demanding money from church members.
One of the parts of George's study that was very illuminating had to do with the fact that the LORD, through Moses, commanded that the Hebrews spend their tithe money on feasts to the LORD, two out of three years. This gives a completely different picture of tithing. It was not money that was demanded of the people for the benefit for some elite group of preachers, but was to be enjoyed by the person paying the tithes. On the third year they would give the tithes to the Levites to support them, and to be distributed to the poor. But two out of three years they were to take the money and resources and enjoy a feast before God.
You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. You shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, so that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. If the distance is so great for you that you are not able to bring the tithe, since the place where the LORD your God chooses to set His name is too far away from you when the LORD your God blesses you, then you shall exchange it for money, and bind the money in your hand and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses. You may spend the money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. Also you shall not neglect the Levite who is in your town, for he has no portion or inheritance among you. At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.
Now, if there is anything that is an abomination to a bunch of expoitive, parisitical men, it is this Scripture read in context. They don't mind using the first part, "You shall surely tithe," but they really hate that part about the people who are tithing taking the tithe and spending it on a feast before the LORD. They want that money for a feast for the "pastor" and the "evangelist." It would be good for people in Waymanland to read over this passage about 50 times. Memorize it. Then listen to how these men get up on stage and berate you for not giving enough money, or not paying tithes, and how you are going to burn in hell unless you get with the program. Doesn't match up with the Scripture, does it?
Here's something you can do for fun, if you are still in the fellowship. Print up George's tithe study and start to give copies to people in the church. See how fast you get called into the pastor's office. They want to control even what people read. If the study is in error, then passing it out should pose no threat. Everyone will see the errors. But if the pastor forbids you to pass it out or even read it, don't you think it is odd that they have to engage in information control? You're going to let them tell you what you can read? Better yet, email the link to George's study to the people in the church. That's even more effecient.
One of the most distorted uses of Scripture that they employ comes from Matthew 23:23. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others." Jesus is speaking to Hebrew teachers of the Law. Of course they should have tithed. However, to try and make this into a commandment for the New Testament church to tithe is the height of absurdity. The New Testament church is not under the Law.
Another inconsistency in Wayman O.'s tithe and offering teaching has to do with the promise of blessing on those who comply. There are people in the fellowship who have been "giving until it hurts" for years, and who are struggling financially. Based on Malachi 3, Wayman and his men promise the people in the church that if they will obey Wayman's tithe and offering teaching, God will open the windows of heaven and pour them out a blessing that they cannot contain. How many people have followed Wayman's teachings on tithes and offerings and gone broke? How many have lived for years in financial struggle?
Why would people continue to believe this teaching when it is obviously a lie? The trick is that Wayman and his men keep convincing people that they haven't quite given enough. It even got as absurd as Wayman saying that people who tithe and give offerings weren't blessed because they forgot to ask God for the blessing. So Wayman just keeps putting that carrot in front of their faces.
Oh, and another cheap shot that they take is if you don't give then they won't be able to send forth the gospel into the world, and those people who would have gotten saved will now perish, and their blood will be on your hands. More like, if you don't give, the top leaders won't get to live the lifestyle that they crave, and go out for a fine dinner on your ticket.
So, if you do want to tithe, why not do it the Moses/Potkonyak way? Save up your tithe for two years out of three, and use it to go to fine dinners with friends and family, and celebrate your knowledge of God. On the third year, find some worthy charity to donate the money to. You know, one of those that feeds poor, undernourished people. See if you get a greater blessing from Jehovah. If the God of the Bible is real, I would suspect He would bless you far more than He would for giving the money to a band of religious lords.