A SCRIPTURAL BASIS REGARDING GIVING
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If you want to experience anger, dissonance,
or heated theological debate this is the topic
to broach. Giving is the bread and butter of
ministry. It is support for a man and his message.
It is the financing of the Gospel to world.
It is the support of both the local church
missionary outreaches. Because men and women
go forth with good intentions and have devoted
a large part of their lives to preparing for
"ministry" they proceed believing
that they are now prepared to live by the Gospel.
"The Lord hath ordained that those
preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel."
The concept of the clergy, professional ministry
is a well establish and unquestioned paradigm.
the power of paradigms.) The concept of
Ministry has been traditionally connected
to career or occupation. The concept of clergy
as a professional career extends into the dim
past of Christendom. The traditional church
operates in accord with, and is enabled because
of the professional clergy concept.
The question of institutionally accredited,
"professional ministry" appointed
to churches and church giving is something
that I believe each of us has to examine in
light of Scripture and draw our best personal
conclusion in the light of the Word. It is
not my desire to subvert a system that you
may believe in for your own best reasons, but
rather to encourage each person to strive to
know God as fully as possible and to experience
the potential of Christ's Gospel, even if it
means setting aside certain long held traditions.
Every person should support the Kingdom
of God as we judge it to be best expressed.
We need to see the life of God as a Divine
promise and a human potentiality. We need to
see ministers bringing others into this potentiality.
Once that criterion is met, we can go on to
other matters concerning Giving. It is not
my desire to subvert a system that you may
believe in for your own best reasons, but rather
to encourage each person to strive to know
God as fully as possible and to experience
the potential written of in the Gospel, even
if it means setting aside certain long- held
traditions. Every person should support the
Kingdom of God as we see it best expressed.
We need to see the life of God as a potentiality
and the people who minister bringing others
into it. Once that criterion is met, we can
go on to other matters concerning Giving.
Giving & Sharing is Blessed by God
There should be no laws (rules) for giving
in the Kingdom of God. God has set us free
from rules including rules about giving. Giving
is good. Giving supports the man of God and
also supports people who are not necessarily
"ministers" of churches but who God
wishes to bless through us. Various kinds of
worldly commitments which touch upon the Kingdom
of God need support, whether it be church buildings,
outreach expenses, travel or any of a wide
variety of needs which can only be met by others
sharing the cost. God wants his will to be
done through selfless sharing and contributions
of money resources. Yet we need to be able
to hear God leading us in these gifts so that
it is truly a work of God for the Gospel sake
and not just a worthy cause or charity. Jesus
recommends that those who follow him "give
to the poor, and you will have treasure in
heaven." So, it would seem that giving
to the poor is following God's intentions in
basic principles identified on the pages of
the Bible shed light on the subject of giving.
It is more blessed to Give than to receive
Give and it shall be given unto you
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven
Those who give to the poor lend to God
The Tithe is the Lord's - (Old covenant principle)
In the measure you give it shall be given to
Sow sparingly, reap sparingly
Give to the poor, and you shall have treasure
Give as you purpose in your heart,
Let no one give out of obligation
God loves a cheerful giver
above scriptures are a few of many references
to money and giving as introduced in the Bible.
With so many ministries eager to received our
contribution it is a challenge to be able to
discern who God wants us to support among the
ministries or servants of God. But I believe
we would miss God if we only gave to ministry
professionals and not to individuals and especially
the poor. God love is about giving. Ministry
is about sharing. Koinonia is also about mutual
support. This whole world thrives in the light
of a generous heart. "God so loved
the world that he gave -" "God
so loved the world that he gave -"
Christians who have a reborn, redeemed
nature do not resist giving and sharing. The
unredeemed do not want to let go of anything.
The world tends to think that their own well
being and survival are threatened by releasing
necessary assets and resources. Believers know
that when they give they are really investing
in the lives of others and that returns are
certain to come back to them, either now or
The doctrine of the tithe (a tenth of one's
increase) is taught in churches often not just
as a principle but as an obligation (law).
Very few congregations actually enforce the
giving of tithes by recording all receipts
and maintaining scrupulous records of the income
although some come very close to this. Mostly
what we hear is teaching which explains that
tithing is a practice pre-dating the Christian
era and the era of law. We find Abraham tithing
before the era of law in the Book of Genesis.
Thus with Abraham giving to Melchisedek we
have in typology giving all Christians should
wish to embrace, which is giving as unto the
Lord, an eternal king and high priest like
The Book of Malachi is used by those who teach
the obligation of giving to the local church
house. It argues the storehouse is the place
where you are fed (spiritual speaking.) This
passage remind's us of God's displeasure at
those who withhold the tithe. God calls it
robbing Him. "The Tithe is mine,"
says the Lord, therefore to withhold it is
to rob him.
describes the "storehouse" where
we are supposed to bring our tithe to God.
Pastors love to teach that the storehouse is
the local church, where all of the sheep are
fed. Remember that under the law the Levites
only lived through the use of tithing. They
were those apointed to minister as God's ordained
priesthood were sustained by the rest of the
tribes of Israel.
ascension of Jesus Christ into the heavenly
temple of God it is my belief that the nature
of the storehouse has changed as radically
as the priesthood.
At this time in the church age dispensation,
the people of God are supported and fed by
natural bread nor by the lambs and oxen of
sacrifices once given up to the Levites. Now
we are a different priesthood before God; we
give spiritual sacrifices unto Christ who is
now King and High Priest over all. (Read
Hebrews which explains the transition from
the old covenant to the new.)
us in the church age, this model has some problems
associated with it:
Is God there?
Is his presence manifested?
Is His Word being taught?
Is the Spiritual life demonstrated as a reality
and made accessible?
Are the needs of the poor and needy being met?
Are other important voices for the Kingdom
of God being supported, such as those who also
edify us individually through gifts of the
where do these blessings flow? From a heavenly
place. Unto whom are our sacrifices given?
To God in heaven. What is the sacrifice? It
is the sacrifice of our lips; both praise and
thanks giving. Who is the overseer who watches
over our gifts and measures a blessing today
and in the time to come? It is Jesus The Great
High Priest who accounts for those things given
in his name, whether money in a church collection
plate or food to a hungry child, or a visit
to an invalid or a drink to a thirsty man,
or a visit to a person sick and alone in a
God sees every act done and the motive of every
heart in which that gift is bestowed. God loves
a cheerful giver. The motive of the heart touches
faith. We know that Jesus sees our love and
kindness to another in need. Giving as one
giving to God that is faith. We know that he
will also meet any of our needs in a time of
lack because we did not withhold to others.
We do not give out of obligation. We are not
debtors to the law. We are free to give because
God is a giver. Giving is sowing seeds. We
sow bounteously we expect to reap bounteously.
We expect something to come from our planting.
Sower of seeds also believe in the crop which
will come at harvest time. This is surely a
part of giving to the Kingdom of God. God will
meet our needs at a future time because we
have planted. God stores up treasure for another
day in a heavenly place, because we have given.
as an Act of Worship
The giving of tithes is not just a simple token
gift placed in an offering plate or bag. Tithing
in the scriptural sense relates to act of worship
in presenting the "tithe" to God.
We find the act described in Deuteronomy
Chapter 26. "Therefore
it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given
thee rest from all thine enemies round about,
in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee
for an inheritance to possess it, that thou
shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from
under heaven; thou shalt not forget it."
"And it shall be, when thou art come
in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth
thee for an inheritance, and possesses it,
and dwellest therein;" (- 26:1-) "That
thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit
of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy
land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and
shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto
the place which the LORD thy God shall choose
to place his name there." (- Deuteronomy
26:2-15) Note this is during the dispensation
of The LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD.
Abraham gave a tithe to Melchisedek the King
Of Salem two thousand years before the Church
age and prior to the Age of the Law. This tithe
prefigures the law of commandments, giving,
as it were, to the King of Heaven who exists
outside of geneology forever. We give as unto
him. Jesus abides forever, as the high priest
Now regarding tithing as worship, it is not
my desire that you should memorize a ritual
it to recite as a rite. But it is good to have
a sense of the understanding noted in the Levitus
The giving of such a gift or tithe should be
something which touches our own understanding
of our previous "captivity" and God's
hand at work to take us out of that place of
bondage and oppression, want and sorrow. The
spiritual life acknowledges that we were also
taken out of bondage. It is a faithful saying
which needs to be spoken. Notice that all of
this tithing worship is spoken to God in the
place which has His name written upon it. Today
we are redeemed and the house of God is not
a special place it is the human house where
the spirit resides. The tithing worship reminds
us of God's covenant with us and how he is
taking further towards strength, blessing and
victorious living. Speaking these things tells
God that we know what he has done for us and
that we are truly thankful that he knows and
remembers us each and that he will continue
to be with us supplying good things.
The past several years has seen a great emphasis
on the Prosperity message. Poverty and lack
are seen as a curse throughout scripture. God
does want us without provision. The redemption
from the curse of the law also freed us want
and lack. We believe that "God shall supply
all of our needs according to his riches in
Glory by Christ Jesus." In gaging any
matter of doctrine we have to hold it up not
only to common sense and scripture but to discerning
what the spiritual life needs to be. Though
we should not lack nor want, God wants more
of us and not less of us. Therefore anything
which takes our focus away from God and places
it upon unfruitful things, those things which
only decay, is really a stumbling block for
a believer. Those who preach riches and wealth
are leading people away from intimacy unless
they are able to handle wealth and prosperity
more graciously than I. Many are able to assume
possessions of wealth and money and property
without being seduced away from God's presence.
But sometimes the aware of the futility and
the emptiness of wealth comes too late when
are already victimized by excesses, this was
the case of the writer of Ecclesiastes, Solomon
who realized late in life that with wealth
comes other griefs and spareness of the soul.
Gain is not Godliness, the apostle writes in
1Timothy 6:5, withdraw yourselves from such
doctrines. but Godliness with contentment
is great gain, (1Timothy 6:6) God wishes
to supply our needs, to bless us in our going
out and our coming in to make us fruitful in
body and in all of the pursuits of our life.
doctrine of prosperity has blessing
connected to it to be sure; but the negative
side of it is its link to selfish motives both
in the giver and the receiver. Many who preach
the prosperity message are in a position to
directly benefit by the unrestrained giving
that is encouraged in sermons and in seminars.
Some of those who preach the doctrine exceed
the Word of God by suggesting that gifts given
to their own ministries have the greatest return
connected to them. Of course faith is infused
into the process to insure a greater degree
of return, thirty, sixty or one hundred fold
according to scripture as is described and
taught as a consequence of giving. (There is
greater insight in the 30, 60 and hundred fold
metaphor than mere cash and assets. The prospering
of the soul is accounted above all, in Spiritual
richness.) Giving, according to Jesus, should
not be in the manner of the Pharisees who "sound
a trumpet" to give notice that they are
doing an alms deed. Jesus teaches to give in
secret and for the left hand not to see what
the right hand does. All of these teachings
address anonymous giving rather than a public
display in which people are applauding the
giver for his excellent generosity. The Lord
says of such people, they receive their reward
by the act of receiving public acclaim and
applause. It is far better to give when only
the Father who sees in secret knows. He will
be the one who insures a return in the best
possible time. Any man or woman can give or
contribute in any 'kind' or commodity. One
can give a gift of service another a gift of
a song. Another a gift of kindness. The same
principle applies when the motive is right,
God who is the author and overseer of every
good and perfect gift knows when our giving
is free from self exaltation. He will insure
description of Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship,
the cornerstone of a Christian life
Gospel Without Religion
E Book 2:
E Book 3:
in the Bible Index
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Understanding Home Fellowships
Frank Viola Interviews a typical church-goer
of Open Church)
Guest, George Barna
"Moving beyond the established church"
Interview 2/20/2006 http://www.sidroth.org
Tim and Katie Mather
Subject: Open Church
Author of Book: "Megashift, "
"Experiencing the fullness of God
outside of Institutional Religion"
Subject: Open Church
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