On Joseph Prince & New Creation Church – Tithing and Prosperity

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Last Sunday (17-02-08), Pastor Prince preached his first ever Sunday service message on Tithing. That is, this was the first time in all his years at New Creation that he preached a whole sermon on Tithing in a Sunday service. He told the church this. While I haven’t listened in on every Sunday service Pastor Prince has preached in to verify the truth of what he said, I have no problems believing him. I’ve been to enough services at New Creation to know that money has never been much of a focus there. Sure, there’s talk about God prospering His people materially (and I’ll touch on this another time) and New Creation would identify itself as a Word of Faith church, but it’s not a church where the focus is on money. The preaching and services are extremely different from what one sees on many of America’s tele-evangelistic programs. If they were just a bit similar, I wouldn’t be in New Creation.

Many charismatic churches always have a mini-sermon on tithing and giving before the offering bag is passed around. By a mini-sermon, I mean that someone talks about what the Bible says about giving for about 5 minutes or so in order to motivate the congregation to give more. What is normally said is that God will tremendously bless those who give to Him and you can’t out-give God and all that stuff. I believe that the Bible says that. However, I also believe that a lot of people are sick of hearing that over and over again. It can be done – and is often done – in a way where people think that all the church is after is their money. It’s also often done in a way that makes us feel guilty for not giving more. Furthermore, constantly emphasizing that God will bless us 100 fold or that He will bless us tremendously as we give to Him sacrificially tends to promote greed and self-centeredness. The result is that while people may give sacrificially in such churches, a large part of the motivation for giving is wrong. They give to be blessed in return and that’s become main reason.

One thing I love about New Creation is that they don’t have a mini-sermon before the offering bag goes around. They hardly say much before the offering. And this is in keeping with their philosophy that they don’t want to pressure Christians into doing what they may not want to do. They don’t want to make Christians feel guilty or condemned for not giving more. Sit through any service and you’ll realize how much of a non-event offering time is. They don’t believe in manipulating people and I’ve never felt manipulated into giving when I’ve been there. In fact, once I heard one of the pastors who MC-ed during the offering say something like:

While there’s an element of truth that God will bless us back when we give, let our motivation to give be because of how much God has given us, and not because we want to be blessed!

Let me just state that I totally believe that God desires to bless us materially. And I believe that God blesses us as we give to Him. All this is true, eventhough it can be and has been taken to the extreme by many churches that preach about prosperity. I do believe that if your motivation to give is to be blessed in return, that’s not sinful as there’s a biblical truth to that. But I also believe that this is not the whole truth. I think most of the time we should be giving to God and other people out of love, not out of the desire to be blessed by God.

Something that Pastor Prince said on Sunday that really impressed me was:

I don’t want 100% tithers. I want people to tithe from revelation.

As you can see, he wants the members to have the right motivation, to have a revelation of why we tithe. It’s no use if everyone tithes in the Church but do it from the wrong motive and without understanding why they do so.

Another thing Pastor Prince said was:

If you have to ask whether you should tithe from your gross or net salary, then don’t tithe.

The point here is that if Christians are so picky about how much to give God, then we may as well not give anything because we give it with the wrong motivation. The church wants their members to give cheerfully, to give out of gratitude for all God has done for them. Not to give because of guilt.

The way New Creation doesn’t make a big issue about giving is all the more remarkable when you realize that they still have to raise about S$100 million for their new building. I mean, most Churches have huge fundraising events and plead with their members to give sacrificially when they’re raising money for their new building. But if you go to New Creation, you don’t face that at all. To me, that’s pretty amazing. For that to happen, the leaders must have real faith in God to provide. And I believe they know that the church’s calling is to preach the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that they can leave it up to the people to cheerfully and willingly give to God (without external compulsion from the church) as the church focuses on how much God has given to them in Christ.

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  1. Do you believe that without church calling the congregation to contribute to the new building, Lord in me has told me to tithe 10% and then 40% of my saving to the building.

    I tithe in obedience in the faith of the Lord. :D

  2. hey i read some of ur posts and im really impacted. ur analytical skills and objectivity make it easier to understand pastor prince’s preaching, what with all the doubts i have.

    anyway, i joined new creation church recently. but i’m still very confused abt the whole ‘grace vs law’ thing. wld love to meet up with u one of the sundays if u can. its hard to find someone in church who can explain things so clearly. i’ve tried asking a few leaders but never really got clear answers. am hoping that u may help me.it’d be great if u cld email me yup. btw do u happen to be active in the church – maybe a name wld ring some bells


  3. Hi ling,

    Thanks for your kind comments. I would love to meet up with you and even others who visit this site who I haven’t met yet.

    If I can be of help to you in any way, I’m more than glad to be. Though of course, as I always say on this site, I’m still learning a lot and don’t understand everything or have it all together :)

    No, I’m not active in New Creation so you wouldn’t know me :) I do hope to get a bit more active this year though.

    Will drop you an email. Cheers!

  4. It has been a while since I last read your blog. If I recall vaguely, you mentioned that there were levels of understanding christianity and that most churches catered to the masses and that it didn’t fit with your level.

    Am curious how your spiritual journey brought you to NCC. Will enjoy reading your blog from the time I left off to present to understand your journey.


  5. Mar 13:1 And as He went OUT of the temple(organized religion), one of His disciples said to Him, Master, see! What stones and what buildings!
    Mar 13:2 And answering Jesus said to him, Do you see these great buildings? There shall not be one stone left on another that shall not be THROWN DOWN.

    you are right to say you do not know enough.

    before nkf was disgraced, it was full of DOUBLE TALK. but when they follow the money trail, they found where the money went to other than helping the needy( good alibi).

    you can deny your lust for money, but you can’t deny the gold in your leaders banks or storehouse.

    in any case, it’s your money wasted. but don’t think it went to God’s poor and needy who are not helped.

    why? because they are spending on themselves and of course…on luxury buildings etc!

  6. Dear Chris,

    It’s good to hear from you. I just re-read our previous email exchanges. I believe the Church you were talking about in your email is NCC?

    My view of NCC today is pretty much the same as it was 1.5 years ago when we last communicated and 4 years ago when I wrote this article. As I have written in previous posts, I don’t agree with everything that NCC teaches. However, most of my posts so far have definitely been more positive than negative. That’s because I think NCC has been on the receiving end of a lot of unfair criticism. And in the most important aspects of the grace message, I agree with NCC – which I mentioned in my article 4 years back.

    My social conscience is still very strong and I’ll try to explain how that fits in with my positive view of NCC in future posts. I will probably write some critical posts in future, but I’m actually quite hesitant to do so because this is a public blog and I want to be careful as to what I say.

    Thanks for dropping by again and I do hope to hear more from you here. God bless!

  7. Dear Sword,

    I think if you read the rest of my blog and webpage, you’ll realize that both of us have very similar concerns. In future posts, I’ll touch on my view of prosperity, the purpose of prosperity, the poor and buildings.

    In my blog/webpage, I’ve written more about the poor and God’s heart for the poor than any other topic. Just go here. What is written in this particular article I still believe wholeheartedly and it’s been my life’s dream to live it out radically. I’ll write more on this next time. Cheers!

  8. at least you have the guts to engage and display unfavoring views unlike some of your cohorts (blogs i had visited) with itching ears.

    your church at best is preaching theocapitalism. it is still capitalism sugar coated. god’s kingdom is not ruled nor subscribe to the philosophy of ‘prosperity’ with an imperialistic capitalism (mammon) slant.

    your church in effect is serving mammon in the name of god.

    in every bit you are like the world. you supported the world’s agenda whereas Jesus separated Himself from the ROMAN EMPIRE!

    your church bow to CAESAR and serve his kingdom and his agendas.

    you were never called to be like the world to save the world.

    Joh 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world HATES you.

    the world (caesar) loves you that’s the reason why you guys can walking around in expensive suits, fly around the world for speaking engagement (holidays or vacations), live in private villas and drive nice cars while talking DOWN TO GOD’S POOR (peddle your gospel pills of disguised lusts so these poor disillusioned folks give of their pittance in hope to be ‘prosperous’ like your leaders which they will NEVER BE)

    shame on you or your leaders!

  9. Hi Sword,

    You’re right about the fact that I’ll welcome differing and critical views on this blog. But I think there’s a limit – at least for me and in my blog. I welcome them if they are fair and in the right spirit. I’m all for discussion and debate for the purpose of challenging each other to think through our views and how they line up with Scriptures. I’m not for unfair attacks written in an overly critical tone. From your response, you don’t seem to have read what I’ve written but only want to publish your accusations. You definitely don’t know what I believe in because I agree with a lot of what you said. It’s just that I do not agree with the way you said it.

    My advice to people like you is that you’d be better off not bothering writing all your accusations. I’m not sure what the motive is. Is it to build up or tear down? Is it to warn others of falsehood or just to prove a point? Only you know. But if you’re truly concerned about people who attend NCC and who read this blog, then I’d like to see your actions and the tone and spirit of your posts reflect that. If you’re truly concerned for truth, then you’ll listen too, and not just attack and accuse. It’s sad, because if you had read my reply and the articles I referred to that I’d written, you’d realize that I’m very much in agreement with you regarding the poor. And I’d very much like to publish your views for all to read. But I will not publish more of your comments if you continue to write in such a manner. There are other blogs who would accept your kind of comments and allow uncharitable and unfair comments to be thrown around that, in my opinion, simply do not aid the conversation and discussion at hand. My blog isn’t one of them. I think I’m responsible not only for what I write, but in a way also for what other people write here.

    I’m all for critical posts. But there is a good and proper way to do so. It’s sad that in Christianity, there are not that many models of Christians who disagree with each other strongly, yet conduct their discussion and debate of issues in a charitable way. And I think that’s the reason why we see such horrible accusations flying around the Christian world and especially in the blogsphere.

    So anyway, Sword, you’re more than welcome to post again. And I would sincerely love for you to do so because poverty is one of my favourite subjects and I’d love to read what you have to say regarding how a Christian ought to relate to the poor. But I won’t post it if I don’t see value in the comments for those who read them. Cheers.

  10. you say what you have got to say as honest as you know how.where you are welcome, you give a bit more. where you are not, you dust off your feet and move on. however, if your genial style suits you, that’s also fine. you seem to have that approach. this sometimes advocated by some due to years of conditioning in a repressive culture. wrath or anger at injustices do not not usually elicit reply in this country. the flip side of a calm, collected and clinical approach towards certain issues can sometime kill the spirit of righteous indignation. it makes humanity incomplete.

    we are usually not very tolerance towards intolerance you realized?

    in any case, i shall give your other posts a read. but yes, messages are not exclusive.

    your frank, honest and gracious respond deserve similar response too.


  11. Dear Sword,

    I know what you mean by righteous indignation. Trust me, I have a lot of emotions and anger in me when it comes to issues that are close to my heart. The two issues I can say that are closest to my heart right now are missions and poverty. The issue of grace follows close after. Whether these feelings are righteous or not, I don’t know. I hope so :)

    If you think I have no views or feelings when it comes to the extremities of the prosperity gospel or Christians ministers who live in luxury and riches, you’re wrong. Anyone who knows me closely will laugh at the thought that I am indifferent to such things. People who know me know that I don’t normally get angry easily. But when I do, it’s usually to do with issues of poverty, missions and injustice. Read my writings on poverty and missions and you’ll understand.

    How do I reconcile all my more positive writings on NCC with my other articles on poverty and missions? Well, I intend to touch on that in future posts. But if you were following some of the earlier posts, you would realize I’d written a long on NCC here 4 years ago, the last part of which would interest you as it relates to your view of prosperity and poverty. Go to the end and see what I have to say on prosperity and poverty if you wish. You may be surprised to realize how radically opposite my view is from the typical prosperity gospel teachings. Although, in a way it’s not that different. It’s just that I take the prosperity gospel’s teaching of “we’re blessed to be a blessing to others” and “prosperity with a purpose” extremely seriously.

    Cheers and I hope to see more of your comments in future.

  12. in John 12:7, ‘Jesus replied: ” It is intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”‘

    It’s good that Lord puts the desire of missionary and cares for the poor in you. How you get this part of the dream fulfilled?

    What the poor need is not just a one off material help. Give them the fish will lead them to depends on hand out. But if you teach them to fish, they can be independent.

    The poor need to know about the compassionate of Jesus wanting to love them and help them. Just like a fisherman in Indonesia said, “got Jesus, there is abundance.” His testimony said that fishes followed his boat. While others catch nothing, Lord blessed him with lots of catches.

    One thing needful of you is to be like Mary. Sit at the feet of Jesus and drink. Mary didn’t question Jesus. She just sit and believe all that Jesus have to tell her. The end result, she did the right thing in the right moment…anoint Lord Jesus with perfume before his death. The rest who came after His death did not managed to find Him.

    Don’t doubt what Lord say through Pastor Prince. Keep on believing and out of your belly will flow rivers of anointed water. When you are ready, Lord will surely open door for you into missionary. Then your dream can be fulfilled.

    If only you could understand the Grace of God on you. Then you will realised how Good and Loved are you by Daddy God.

    I pray that the eyes in your heart and your ears to be opened to receive the goodness of God. I command the disbelieve and doubting spirit to leave you in the name of Jesus! Amen.

  13. Add on:

    Bible said that those who believe are son of Abraham. The sons of Abraham will receive the Promise of Duet 28.

    Once you know how good is Daddy God towards you, you will flow in the Peace and Joy of God. It’s through faith of Jesus that the blessing of Deut 28 will come through. May you reach there as Duet 28 blessing is on NCC. That’s the message Lord had for NCC, you could read at NCC site.

    As for the other mega church you compared with NCC, I was pondering over it sometime back, after reading your post, Lord told me that He caters different churches for different people needs. That is why, go to the church you are comfortable with and dun wonder anymore.

  14. Hi, I just wanted to add that in John 12:8, “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

    This doesn’t negate the fact that God cares for the poor and our responsibility to the poor, as we can reference this to Deut 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

    You and I as Christians are the means in which God uses to bless the poor.

    In that light, it is as what stillhaventfound it talking about- blessed to be a blessing. In other words, yes God blesses us with abundance. But we who have experienced this abundance, should use it for His purposes to share with those who do not have.

    When we know God loves us, we will also respond in a like-minded manner, to love the ones whom He loves. The Old Testament is filled with laws to provide for the outcast, love the slaves etc etc. And the New Testament speaks of the blessedness of the poor.

    Heidi Baker (missionary to Africa) has this to say:
    “We need to be in that place. We’re prisoners of love. Some people say, ‘Oh, how noble. You’re a missionary’. I’m just a prisoner of love. I don’t have any choice. It is joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

  15. It’s extremely encouraging to hear pastor preach about tithing. Also consider it a joy that we are able to bless and contribute towards the church building’s fund.

    Can’t wait for the great day to arrive when we can shout “Glory, Glory” to Him in His temple!

  16. I know little about tithing and the blessings it brings. But I read numerous criticisms written about Joseph Prince and New Creation Church (sigh).

    Today, in my mid 50s, my entire is just $ 18.50 (I squandered millions on myself). This afternoon, I parted $5.00 out of my all into the blue pouch. In between, my stomach grumbled but my heart moved me to tithe because I received a revelation from Jesus through Pastor Lian’s message. Peace won and I believe Jesus is restoring all I had before very soon. In timeliness, I shall give Jesus by the millions because He loves me. This is all I care.

  17. I love going to places like new creation Church. It teaches me how to exchange money for blessings and speak god’s language, a mysterious form that is beyond understanding. Going to new creation church makes me feel so rich. I wonder when will I get the bmw god promised so subtlely During the sessions when I was hopping in a convulsive fit while the Holy spirit comes upon me again and again.

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