There is a methodology utilized in many churches that comes from an old Fairy Tale. Preachers employ the tactics of a beggar in the tale of Stone Soup to get people to part with their hard-earned money. They then, in turn, tell congregations that a financial miracle from heaven has taken place when in fact the money has been extorted from people who are not aware they have been bamboozled. When you are aware of the schemes, you will be less inclined to give away your money so someone else can live well while you struggle. When you understand what is taking place, you will be empowered to walk away and help others do the same.

The old Stone Soup tale

In this well-known fairy tale, a beggar stops at a woman's home asking for something to eat. She tells him she has nothing to give him and this is when he begins to trick her out of all she has. He lies that he has a stone in his pocket that can make a fantastic soup with only a pot of water. The woman is intrigued and admits she can at least put on a pot of boiling water. The beggar drops in the stone and then begins his manipulation. He says the soup would taste much better with a bit of carrot and the woman gets some carrots and put them in the pot.

The man then systematically asks for other vegetables and one by one the lady of the house gets onions, potatoes, a bit of meat, corn, peas and whatever else he asks for.

Eventually, they have a delicious pot of old-fashioned vegetable soup which they immensely enjoy. When the beggar leaves the woman tells all her friends how he made a tasty stew by only using a stone. This woman is oblivious to the fact that she provided all the ingredients herself. And unscrupulous preachers today trick church members out of all they have then say, "Look what the Lord has done." People need to be mindful of what type of gospel they are listening to.

The church version of the fairy tale.

Although 2 Corinthians 9:7 says believers should give what they have purposed in their hearts, is some ministries creative methods are employed to get parishioners to part with more than they bargained for. The Stone soup methodology works today just as it did in the fairy tale. First people are told they need to tithe, which is giving 10 percent of gross income.

Next church members are told if they really want a blessing they should give an offering in addition to the ten percent. Later it is mentioned that the offering should be equal or greater than the tithe.

They systematically extract the money from you the way the man in the story made Stone Soup with the woman's own food. The practice of "sowing a seed" comes next which is putting money in your spiritual leader's hand above and beyond his or her salary. Next is special occasions where church members may be asked for $100.00 apiece or more. These include Christmas, Father's Day, church anniversary/founders day, the pastors birthday and Clery appreciation in October. They tell you that your leader pleases the Lord and is being blessed with a miracle from heaven.

Guest preachers show up in these churches several times a year telling congregants that God said 20 people in the building can give the pastor $1,000 each, then they may say 30 people can give him or her $500 and they go down the line until you are told to empty your pockets. It is time for church folk to wake up and realize that they themselves are providing the nice house, vehicle and luxurious lifestyle their pastor is enjoying. You are providing the funds because you re being tricked out of all you have just like in the fairy tale. You can stop this form of embezzlement by not taking part in it.