Tithing or God’s Grace. Which Prospers You?
A lot of preachers are dogmatic about biblical tithing but most of what is being taught in Christian churches across North America about a believer’s prosperity is just flat out erroneous. This is a huge topic so I am going to address one false doctrine to the next and make this a series. The words of the prophets are subject to the prophets so I invite you to scrutinize what I say with the word and God’s holy spirit in you.
The church keeps wanting to find little formulas for prosperity when God is looking for relationship with us. If I told you there is no curse on you if you don’t tithe and no automatic vending machine blessing if you do you’d probably say that flies in the face of everything I have been hearing. The truth of the matter is there is a ton of false doctrine floating around out there. It is time for the church to grow up and stop feeding on baby food. The problem is we seem to want to lift bible verses out of their setting. When we do we can make scripture say anything. “Judas hung himself” and “go and do likewise” are 2 verses in the bible. You get my drift.
So there you are in church and it comes around to offering time. Johnny from bible school has been asked to take up the offering. Up he bounds to the podium like a gazelle, opens his bible to Luke 6:38 and blurts out ” Give and it shall be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” The worship team bursts into song as Johnny smiles proudly having finally enlightened us all.
There is only one problem. Luke 6:38 has NOTHING TO DO WITH A CHURCH OFFERING. It never has and it never will. Just try to find anything about an offering in the preceding verses. What it is talking about is loving your enemies and forgiveness and the beatitudes which start over in verse 20 and end at verse 50. It is talking about how to treat the guy who hates you and is trying to take your stuff. As a child of God who understands his or her position in Christ and that he has given us everything we need to be Godly we are to give to this person what he is demanding of us. Why? Because we care about his eternal destination more than our stuff. If we do this then God will give back to us what went to this guy pressed down, shaken together and running over. It is not referring to the money you plunk in the bucket on Sunday. If you think you can continue hating your neighbor, treating your spouse poorly, ignoring Jesus daily and whatever other secret sin you may be involved in and somehow God is obligated you’d be mistaken. God does not bless us according to our puny little tithes he blesses us according to the cross. Make 2 Corinthians 8:9 your new foundational scripture. We can add nothing to the finished work of Calvary.
In the old testament you were under the law. There was no salvation in the law and God basically said you do this and I’ll do this. There were curses and blessings in Deuteronomy according to what Israel did. Today we are “Born Again” and we have the holy spirit within us. We have the covering of the blood and God sees us just as he sees Jesus. That’s why paul said in Galatians 3:25 “now that faith has come we are no longer under the supervision of the law”. Earlier in the same book he says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Right and wrong is written on our hearts. Now we are sons of God not just servants like the old testament saints were. God treats his Sons a whole lot different than his servants. We are joint heirs with Jesus. Salvation, healing, relationship with God, and prosperity on every level has been restored to us this side of the cross.
Yet preachers are still trying to marry old testament law with new testament Grace and invent formulas. Everything from the plastic wallet that supposedly never goes empty to holy water from the Jordan to silly little pieces of cloth they prayed over. It is all so ridiculous and they will say and do anything to get your money.
As I said earlier I am going to do this one false doctrine at a time so that is enough for now. Stay tuned for part 2 and next time anybody uses Luke 6:38 at offering time you can now walk up to podium and shout “THAT’S NOT TALKING ABOUT A CHURCH OFFERING” and then open your bible and properly WHACK him across the ear!
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