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Gateway Church Makes Money Back Guarantee On Tithes With Pastor Steve Dulin – Mega Church in Texas makes a money back guarantee on tithes! What is the purpose of tithing? When did tithing start? Why is tithing important? Tune in today to learn the answers to these questions and more with Pastor Steve Dulin.
Air Date: 04/11/2022
Guest: Pastor Steve Dulin
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It is WallBuilders Live. And you have found the place where you will be able to hear a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective on all the hot topics of the day. We’re taking on all the hot topics, whatever the issue is, we’re going to say what does the Bible say about it, what can we learn from history and of course, what does our Constitution here in the United States say about it so that we as citizens of the United States, can operate effectively, a constitutionally, legally, peacefully, but also with a biblical worldview for how to do this for God’s kingdom. So we’re thrilled that you’re here with us.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator, and America’s Constitution coach. And I’m here with David Barton. He is America’s premier historian, our founder here at WallBuilders. And Tim Barton is with us. He’s a national speaker, and pastor and president of WallBuilders. All three of us, you can learn more about at wallbuilderslive.com. And that’s also the place where you can make your one-time or monthly contribution.
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Okay, we’ve got Steve Dulin joining us a little later in the program. Really interesting topic today. Can you imagine guys getting a money back guarantee on your tithes? So if you tithe, the Church says no worries, hey, if God doesn’t deliver for you and you don’t see that this has blessed you, money back guarantee. This is interesting.
It’s a really crazy thought that I kind of love. One of the things we know is true about Scripture is we know that God’s ways work. We know in Deuteronomy, God through Moses told the Israelites that everything God has commanded is for our good, for our benefits forever, that God said, look, I’m telling you to do things a certain way. We know that, for example, even in Ephesians 6, it says children obey your parents in Lord, which is the first commandment with promise, that it will go well with you, that you could live long in the land the Lord your God has promised you.
When you do things God’s ways, there are some conditional promises that come along with doing it God’s way. And there’s some great benefit to doing it God’s way. And I love that there is now a pastor in a church who’s kind of putting their money where the Word of God or where their mouth is, where they’re saying, hey, this isn’t something that we’re insecure about because we know this works. If you just do it God’s way, we will give you a money back guarantee. That’s a pretty awesome thought coming from a mega church here in Texas.
It’s interesting, when you go back into the scripture to even look at where the tithe gets started. It gets started back with Abraham. Abraham, when his family had been attacked and carried off by marauders, he got the remainder of his group together and went back and he actually got his family back and got everybody back, and then he defeated the five kings that had taken all of his family and all of his belongings and all those who were part of his group.
And so as he came back, he met a high priest named Melchizedek. And Bible scholars believe that…
Could I just interrupt you for one second, David? I just have to point out because I love that story, that it talks about how these were the men in Abraham’s camp that he had “trained”, which means he had brought these guys up and trained them in self-defense and being able to defend those that they loved. I just think it’s a great story. Okay, I know it’s our topic today. But go ahead.
It is a great story. He had his own personal army, so to speak, right out of his own household and they went after five kings and got everything back and defeated the kings. And so on the way back, he stopped and met the high priest, Melchizedek. And a lot of Bible scholars say, look, that was Jesus’s appearance in the Old Testament, that’s when Jesus was there and that wasn’t a high priest.
And at that time, Abraham took all that he had spoiled from the five kings, all the loot he had taken and gave a tenth of it to Melchizedek and Melchizedek blessed him for it. And so that’s where the tithe starts. And that became part of the law under Moses that you tithe. And I think is really, really instructive that when you get to Moses talking about the tithe in Deuteronomy 14, he’s talking to a group of people who have been slaves for 400 years, they’ve been in bondage for 400 years, and they’re trying to go out and set up a new way of living. Now, we want to do things God’s way. God’s given us 613 laws there on the mountain and here’s what we’re going to be doing.
And so at that point, Moses talks about the tithe. And he says, the purpose of the tithe is… Now, I think if you ask most people on the street today, why do Christians tithe? Oh, to fund the operations of the church or because they need more money, because they want to build some, whatever. There’s a lot of answers. But Moses said, the purpose of the tithe is to teach you to put God first. So this was called the first fruits: everything you made, you took it right off the top and gave God 10% right then. You didn’t wait till the end to see how much was left over. First thing you did was out of faith, you said God, this part’s yours.
And largely this was something that was very understood, not only in this kind of Judaism perspective, but even in Christianity that the tithe was merely returning to God a portion of what God had given to you, recognizing that all the things that we have benefited from specifically financially or in some cases whether it be with livestock, or whether it be with a garden or the fruit of the vine, whatever it might be, that you’re returning a portion to God because had it not been for God, you would not have been able to achieve or acquire any of this to begin with.
And so it’s not even something that was done as a thank you to God. It was literally what you owed to God. The tithe was God’s 10% of everything you had, that you made in that year went back to God. And so this was a tradition. Again, you mentioned Abraham goes back to Melchizedek. This is when it was started. But this was something that was very clear that God required from his people was that they were going to give him a tithe. And dad, as you mentioned, it was to help them maintain God in their consciousness on some level so they don’t forget who God is, they don’t forget what their life is about and how they’re supposed to live their life.
Because when you’re taking 10% and giving them to God, for those of us who live on budgets, we know that that’s a lot of money or a lot of whatever it is that you’re giving to God, it definitely keeps God in the forefront of what you’re doing. And again, recognizing that the tithe is not something that is really even optional for Christians, it’s something that you owe to God. And yet, like even as we are going to mention later with this article and certainly with the interview to Steve Doolin, even though the Bible is very clear on this notion of tithing, a lot of Christians do not live in obedience to this notion of tithing.
And I can even imagine right now there’s probably some people listening who, I mean, I can already imagine we’re going to get some emails on this one because people saying, well, we’re not under that old covenant or whatever else. Okay, we can have different conversation, that’s fine. The reality is that the tithe is something very clear in Scripture. And as a Christian, you really shouldn’t be confused about the fact that you should be taking 10% of what you have giving it to God. And that’s what you owe God. We haven’t even gotten to the offering, which is also a biblical notion and a biblical thought that you bring your tithe and your offering. You can go to Malachi 3, where it talks about that if you don’t walk in obedience in the tithe, that actually, there can be curses that come on your finances.
And so there was an adage that it’s better to live with a blessed 90% of your finances than a cursed 100%, because if you’re not obeying God in the finances, then there’s some negative consequences that can flow from that. But again, very clearly, this is an illustrated principle in Scripture at the tithe.
And it’s not true of everyone. But a lot of times people who say, well, that’s under the law, it’s just they don’t want to give up that 10%. Because recognized it’s God’s, He can take all of it. And if you want to think about it, logically, Abraham and Melchizedek, the law had not been given yet. They weren’t under the law. There was no law back at that time. That came generations later under Moses.
But the one that I really like is back in the book of Genesis, because Genesis is called the seed plot of the Bible. In the book of Genesis, you will find every major doctrine that appears somewhere later in the Bible, all comes out there at the beginning with God where He’s establishing everything. And I just want to read a couple of verses out of Genesis 4 and it’s the story of Cain and Abel, where that Cain slays his brother Abel, and a lot of people know that story generally. But look at what happened and what led to that conflict.
Genesis chapter 4, verses 2-5, it says now Abel kept flocks, was a shepherd, and Cain work the soil. It says, in the course of time, Cain brought some of the fruits of the soils and offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought her offering, he brought the fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering, He did not look with favor. That made Cain angry and he killed his brother, Abel.
But notice that with Cain, he said he brought it in. After the course of time, after some time had passed, he brought what was left. I’ve now had enough to feed me. I’m going to give God what’s left over. And it said that he brought in over the course of time, but it said Abel brought in the firstborn and fat portions from the firstborn. He took it right off the top. I’m going to honor God, first thing I do, and said God liked what Abel did, but it didn’t like what Cain did.
And this is really the foreground that lays the foundation for what tithe is all about. It’s not an aspect of the law. And so, the article that really caught our attention was when this article ran, it said, pastor makes a money back guarantee on tithers. So if you tithe and you don’t get the blessing out of it that God has promised, we’ll give you your money back. And that’s an amazing guarantee for any pastor to make. But it’s a great church, Gateway Church here in Fort Dallas area, and they’ve got a lot of other churches elsewhere.
But Steve Dulin is one of the teaching elders in that church. He’s a really good friend. We’ve known Steve for a number of years. And we call Steve say, okay, give us some insight on how this thing works out. Has this been a good deal and what’s happened to the church? It’s going to be fun to hear from Steve.
Steve Dulin, our special guest today. Folks, stay with us, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Many today assert that religion is something private, that it has no place in the public square and that it is incompatible with government. But the Founding Fathers believed exactly the opposite. They held that religion was absolutely necessary in order to maintain our free system of government.
For example, John Adams declared “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. And signer of the Declaration, Benjamin Rush, similarly affirmed “Without religion, there can be no virtue; and without virtue, there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all Republican governments.”
The founding fathers understood that limited government required public morality from the people, and that public morality was produced by the Christian religion. For more information about the founding fathers views on religion and public life, go to wallbuilders.com
Welcome back to WallBuilders live. Thanks for staying with us today. Steve Dulin back with us, he’s a founding elder over at Gateway Church and oversees their business leaders program. Steve, God bless you, brother. Thanks for taking some time to join us today.
Well, thank you so much for having me, Rick.
Well, I am loving this idea, money back guarantee on tithes. I mean, we should have been doing this all along. So tell us about your pastor talking about a money back guarantee on their 10% tithe.
Yeah. Well, I mean, Pastor Robert started this years ago. And it’s not something he says, every year, but periodically throughout the years, he might be teaching on tithing or giving or generosity or stewardship. And he’ll say then listen, tithing is returning of what is God’s, you don’t give the tithe, you return the tithe, because it’s the first, it’s the first tenth. And God says, the first part are mine, the first fruits are mine, of course, the Bible tells us to tithe. And so he says, when you return your time, you’re just obeying God. And when you obey God, then of course, He’ll bless that. He blesses obedience. So if you’re not happy after a year, we’ll give you your money back.
But Pastor Robert believes so strongly and we’ve seen and heard so many miraculous testimonies over the 22 years that Gateway Church has been in existence that we just see where God working in so many thousands of people’s lives through giving and offerings.
You know, it’s not some little country church with 50 people and nobody’s made a claim over the years. This is thousands and thousands of people. 22 years of offering this, nobody’s ever said no, didn’t work out for me, I want my money back.
Well, actually the funny thing is one person did.
Pastor Robert didn’t even know about it. Okay. So we had a guy, and he contacted one of our pastors and said, I’d like my money back. And so they said to him, okay, so they actually referred him to me because I oversee all of our business leaders at Gateway Church. And so I called him and said, hey, so you want your money back, tell me about it? He said, well, you know, I’ve tied faithfully and my business is not doing well. And I’ve given all this money, I want it back. I said, so what are you going to do with it if we give it to you? And he said, well, my business not doing well, so I’m going to use it in my business. I said, don’t misunderstand. He said, don’t misunderstand.
He said once my business does well, I’m going to give it back to you. I said, really? So what you’re really wanting is a loan? He said, well, what do you mean? I said, well, so do you still believe in the tithes? He goes absolutely, I believe in tithe. I just need the money back for my business. I said well, I don’t think your problem is the tithe. I think your problem is the way you run your business. Can I ask you a few questions? And so I asked him a few questions, and we talked about it.
I said, I think you need some help with your business. I said don’t think you’re running your business well, but trying to blame it on God. So we set him up with a couple guys. They met with him for the next, I don’t know, three or four months, got his business turned around. And guess what, he never asked for the money back again and he started tithing more because his business did…
Wow! Now, okay, Steve, that’s the way it’s supposed to work, right? I mean, that’s the way the church is supposed to work. You met him at his need, and gave him what he needed, which was business advice. Nobody goes to the church for business advice. I mean, you’re one of the few guys I know that has a pastoral position of business leaders. I mean, literally, like serving businesses and business leaders with biblical perspective on those things. Why don’t we do more of that? I love that
You know, we are trying. So we built a program at Gateway where we then have 1200 business owners in the program. And we have other business leaders. These are not just business owners. We have other business leaders that are consuming content online. And we have about a five other churches doing that now, the program, and we’re building the software for it. And actually, I don’t know, three or four months, the software will be done…
So we are doing more of it, is what you’re saying?
Well, we are. We’re actually launching it to churches all over the United States. And we’re actually helping churches. I had a conversation this morning with executive pastor of a church runs about 20,000 people, and they want to look at doing the program. So we actually are starting this, but it’s something we haven’t done. But when you start talking about money, you know, you’re talking about business people who generate the money and we want to help them generate money, not to get money for the church, but to help them bless their families and take care of their families. So we just feel God wants us to really help business owners, business leaders, be more successful and then build the kingdom.
I love it. I love it. That’s beautiful, beautiful. I’m looking on the website right now. at Gateway church’s website and business leaders section there. So folks that want to do that, I mean, we got listeners all over the country, if they’re interested in learning more about how they could bring that to their church, is that the place to contact you there?
Yeah, they should go to Kingdombusinessleaders.com, Kingdombusinessleaders.com. And we built a whole program. We have groups going at Gateway where business owners get together and they go through. We have a curriculum up to five years. And so you can join a group and and start going through this curriculum and get people around you helping you, help you give insights in your business and you can kind of run your business together, do live together in groups. And then we have events. And we had John Maxwell come to an event last year at 1,800 people, business leaders there. And so it’s just a program that we’re building to help really disciple business leaders.
Yeah, that takes marketplace ministry to a whole another level because you’re not just getting business people together and having a prayer breakfast once a year. I mean, you’re actually mentoring and helping them as you said, run their business better, which means they’re then going to have a larger ministry of their own to their family and to their employees.
And employees or employee’s families or vendors, their clients, their suppliers, absolutely. When you start really running your business well, it affects everybody in your business, their families, and everybody attached your business. So you know, you start affecting literally thousands and thousands of people.
That’s a beautiful thing. Kingdombusinessleaders.com to go directly to that particular ministry within Gateway Church. But you guys are doing it for people outside of Gateway Church as well.
That’s correct. Yeah. And we’re just starting to expand it. And we’ll actually be launching that in about three months where we’ll… We’re doing with churches now, you get started now, but we’ll be launching nationwide about three months…
Catch us up on Gateway, you guys have churches all over the DFW area and I think around the state now? Aren’t you all starting churches in other places as well?
Yes, we have nine campuses in the Dallas Fort Worth area. And before COVID, we were running about 35,000. But we also planted a church in Houston. And they’re doing construction on the building now. And so it’s Gateway Church, Houston. And then we have one up in Wyoming. And then we actually have a bunch of what we call campuses in prisons. And I don’t know how many thousands of prisoners we’re ministering to. And then we actually wants to do, called Gateway Gatherings where people can gather on weekends and watch the sermons together and then maybe even form a church Sunday. So yeah, we’ve been growing, God’s really been blessing.
Praise the Lord. Well, what’s the best place to go to watch on the weekends if people want to catch a Gateway sermon?
Yeah. So, gatewaypeople.com, gatewaypeople.com.
Gatewaypeople.com. We’ll have that in our website today as well at wallbuilderslive.com. Steve, you’ve always been a wonderful friend to the Barton’s and WallBuilders and all the things that we do. Thanks for what you’re doing with business leaders, not only within Gateway but around the country. That’s going to have a ripple effect for generations, huge impact on the nation. So thanks for all that you guys are doing. And thanks for spending some time with us on WallBuilders Live today.
Well, Rick, thank you so much for having me. And thank you for so much you all do. It’s amazing, the impact you’re having our nation, getting people to have a biblical worldview, and all the things you do in government and training people. So thank you. We bless you. We’re grateful for you.
That’s Steve Dulin. Folks, we’re going to take a quick break. By the way, all you biblical citizenship coaches out there, they’ve been a great partner to us on that as well. So thank you to Gateway and to Steve and all the folks out there helping us to raise up a generation of biblical citizens. Stay with us, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
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We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. And thanks to Steve Dulin for joining us today. Back with David and Tim. Alright, guys, so the money back guarantee. And he said he’s only had one guy out of all that time asked for their money back. And then once he realized what was happening in his life, he said no thanks, actually, God’s blessed me. I mean, that’s pretty remarkable for a large church especially.
You know, so many cool things about what Steve pointed out, certainly the fact that only one person out of the tens and tens of thousands of people they have in their church every single year. And by the way, that’s probably every single weekend more realistically. Because I think we’ve seen numbers that are up to like 70+ thousand people that attend in-person, that’s not mentioning who watch online, or whatever else. I mean, you’re talking about an incredible reach they have. And for them to make this promise and only one person has ever come and said they want their money back, that’s already a crazy number.
But then I thought it was so interesting that when Steve said well, let me talk to this guy, let me let me figure out what’s going on. Why do you want this money back? Well, my business is struggling. And he said, well, maybe the problem isn’t tithe. I think it’s interesting that sometimes we can look and I’m saying we, may be collectively society, but specifically, sometimes in Christianity, we can look at things that God has clearly laid out in Scripture, principles that are clearly right. Or sometimes things that are clearly wrong we shouldn’t be doing and when we don’t often get the results we want, it’s easy at times to point to God and say, well, this just doesn’t work. This doesn’t make any sense. I’m not going to do that anymore when the reality is what was broken wasn’t this principle like for in this case, it wasn’t tithing that was broken. It was you were making some terrible other decisions in your business, you’re making bad financial decisions elsewhere in life.
So it’s not that God wasn’t keeping His in the bargain, it’s that you need to fix some other things in your business practice. And I think this is really an interesting thought that in our life it’s easy sometimes to get caught up thinking that some things aren’t working the way they should. And sometimes there might be more factors in the equation than we’ve simplified it down to saying, God, you said if I would do this, or God, you’ve made this promise, and it’s not coming true. There could be more going on sometimes than we realize.
And it’s also where it’s so cool that gateway has so many ministries, to in this situation, right for business leaders going man, we’re trying to make it work and we’re just struggling and we’re trying to be godly in what we do, to have people that can come along and offer guidance and counsel and mentor, really where the church can be the church, where we can encourage and we can strengthen and we can mentor and we can disciple, just so cool on so many levels so much of what Steve shared.
And again, out of the millions of people they will reach in a year and for actually them to have made this deal on multiple occasions, it’s crazy. But it does reflect the reality that this is a principle clearly outlined in Scripture, and if you do it God’s ways, God’s ways still work.
And by the way, they’re the only a church I know that has a major business ministry. Steve heads that. I think there’s 3000 business owners from the church that are part of that business ministry. And just as you hear about the Fortune 10 companies or Fortune 50 companies or Fortune 500 companies, they have five tiers. And those business owners that are in tier one that have the really, really big successful companies, they mentor business leaders in tier two and business leaders in tier two mentor business leaders in tier three and tier three mentors tier four and tier four mentors tier five.
So as you become more successful and move up and you get a bigger and bigger company, you have guys you minister to but they’re really smaller groups that you minister to and this really is the discipleship concept. So they take that mentorship or making disciples and they put biblical principles of business into every one of these guys and they teach that through 3,000 business owners from the church that are part of that ministry. It’s a wonderful ministry they’ve got.
Well, friends, we are out of time for today. There is more at our website. If you go to wallbuilderslive.com, we’ve got an archive section so you can actually dial back into interviews from the previous weeks or Good News Fridays, foundations of Freedom Thursdays, all available for you right there at our website, again, that’s also the place where you can make your one-time or monthly contribution. Believe me, those dollars make a difference. You know, the Founding Fathers gave their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.
I used to encourage people to set aside 1-3% to give to candidates and causes and organizations like WallBuilders or Patriot Academy or some of these nonprofits out there that are doing essentially parachurch ministry, right, they’re doing the things the church is supposed to do in the culture. But now, man, we’re in a situation where we’re watching the American culture die right before our eyes. We have got to revive this thing. And that means we got to shift our focus. It doesn’t mean we have to despair. We don’t have to give up because we know what’s causing the problems. Bad leaders are doing bad policy, right? They’re putting in bad principles and that’s producing bad results.
Well, how do you change that? You got to get back to truthful principles. You got to get back to the principles of liberty instead of the principles of tyranny. And that’s what we do. And that takes a little fuel to make that happen. And that’s why lives, fortunes and sacred honor is so important. So at this point in time, when the culture is desperately needing that kind of input, I’m encouraging people, man, you got to start shifting the focus, you got to start spending more of your time, your money, your effort, all of those things, to help us save the nation.
So instead of 1-3%, I’m telling people, hey, man, figure out a way to start investing 10, 15, 20% of your income into all of these different organizations and candidates and all of these causes out there. So I just encourage you in that, start thinking about that, praying about that, pray for good candidates to give to, pray for discernment and where to donate. But your finances, your time, your effort, all of that will make a difference. Work the system, the system still works. God bless you and thanks for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.