You’ve heard the story by now: an Applebee’s diner signed her check “pastor” after scribbling out a suggested tip and writing “I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?” Well, she’s come forward, and possibly embarrassed the Christian Church even more. Here are 7 reasons why.
7. Making God accountable for an automated minimum tip. The pastor, identified as Alois Bell, wrote on the Applebee’s receipt: “I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?” — Would the Lord really begrudge a service worker a tip, so you can give him your tithe in self-satisfaction?
6. Bell had the nerve to write “pastor” on her receipt — as if this was to give her nasty note authority or weight. Instead, it showed that she is perhaps not qualified to be leading anyone, if the message she left behind is any indication that she might be thoughtless, ignorant and immature.
5. Pastor Bell’s flock of the faithful consists of 15 people and they rent a store front; plus, Bell is a mother of 3; also, she has a full-time job; and she used to be homeless. You can figure that one out.
[Updated Feb. 5, 2013] Since a number of readers have questioned my point with No. 5, let me explain. I hold the opinion that every single one of these aspects of Pastor Bell’s life – her small congregation, the fact that she’s a mother three times over, works full time while serving her church and was once homeless – would result in a person with a humble attitude and gracious heart. The note Pastor Bell left was devoid of both humility and grace.
4. But not for nothing, I’ve seen entire neighbors of these store-front churches…lined up right next to each other sharing walls. How much do you want to bet that God did not call anyone to open a church of 15 next door to a church of 7, across the street from a church of 9? I dare say if Paul or Peter saw something like this, they would tell them to have one house in common for worship.
3. While Bell insists that she did leave a $6 tip in cash for her Applebee’s server, she called up the restaurant to complain. And the waitress who posted the evidence of her sin reportedly was “immediately fired.” I understand, the waitress was thoughtless in not considering the pastor’s signature could be identified…although she edited the image of the receipt to cut that part out, her original photo post was already making the rounds online.
2. Pastor Bell presumably collects offering from her flock of 15 and pockets a portion of it as her pay. Offerings and tithes are voluntary offerings…and in this case viewed as donations to help support a minister serving God’s flock. So whose money really is she tithing to the Lord?
1. Atheists already think Christians are loopy, hypocritical, unreasonable and unkind — and this just gives them further “evidence.” Thank you, Pastor Bell, for leaving behind an excellent witness for Christ.
In addition to repenting for her unkind note, I hope Pastor Bell has apologized before her flock and informed them that she showed poor judgment that they are not to emulate. I also hope, while she was yelling at Applebee’s about her identity being revealed online, she found the time to apologize to the waiter for whom she left this awesome testimony note of God’s mercy and compassion begrudging nature.