This is not going to be a full blown article, but rather an addendum to the one I wrote just a couple of weeks back about giving. I wanted that article to sink in and be ruminating in your heads. Now I want to clarify some things and expand. I am not, as some have been murmuring, a “prosperity preacher”, nor do I follow that line of thinking. If you read the scriptures, you will find Jesus talks about giving throughout the synoptics. He says to whom much is given much is expected. I believe this concept wholeheartedly. If you are wealthy, then you recognize that it’s a gift from God. God has blessed you for a purpose. There were individuals struck dead for not being honest in their giving. People were also admonished for not using their talents fully for the furthering of the kingdom.
I believe that everything I have ever received worth anything, every blessing and materialistic thing, I’ve gotten because of my relationship with Jesus Christ. It seems like when I need time or even money, it always comes through, usually at the last minute. I think the Lord “gives and takes away.” If God is sovereign in your life and you were “bought with a price,” then you are no longer your own person, and so what you have is no longer “yours,” it’s His.
Part of the problem that I see is that we have lost the concept of what a “slave” is in the Biblical sense. It’s become a dirty word and one that we don’t want to think about. But the apostle Paul used it quite frequently. He was a slave to Christ, a bond-servant. He was not his own anymore and if you read his writings you see this.
What does this mean to a Christian? Well, who is lord and master over your time? Who is the one that takes precedent in the budgeting of your money?
“Oooooo….he said money. We can’t trust preachers anymore, at least not any preacher talking about money. They have to be bad by default.”
So you are letting a few backslidden, fallen individual ministers and their ministries dictate your giving habits. And, yes, they messed up, but let him who is without sin cast the first stone. God is the one who deals with them, and I think they have had to suffer through their lumps.
I simply think it is appalling that we have to beg people to do things for the church. When you can’t raise several thousand for a mission trip, I really think there are some issues that need discussed. You couldn’t put a cap on the early churches’ giving. They sold everything and put it all together, when Jesus never even called for that. He just says to give what your heart tells you to and do it joyfully, sharing with the one that taught you. I would have added, because you are learning about the GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL from them. Shouldn’t we be happy to have money to give for a greater purpose, whether it is a little amount or a lot.
The amount is irrelevant to God. It doesn’t matter. God doesn’t need your money. He could speak any amount of money into existence He wanted. The bottom line is that he is giving you an opportunity to step out in faith and to do a good thing for the gospel. God does not change and His ways are not our ways. All I know is what the scriptures say about how it should work.
I also think money is a way to show “worthship.” You tip waitresses for good service, and also will pay a lot of money for an excellent meal, but you won’t give money for any of the things I have mentioned above. We show the value of things by what we pay for those things. The better the quality, usually, the more you pay. What’s the value of God’s word? A few cents? Churches should not have to beg and have all sorts of fundraisers to generate money for God’s work. The Church should be the one donating to causes. In the Old Testament tithing days, God says to bring all the tithes into the storehouse and He promises blessings. My old pastor believed that to still hold true. Regardless, the bottom line is that God expects you to pitch in. Not out of some ‘works’ based theology, but because that indwelling of that “dunamis” of God’s power. The same power that raised up Christ and that, so dwelling in us now, should be moving us to action.
Now, to let you know, we at Trinity Press will start having recurring monthly bills for this site as we expand. We need to update some equipment and purchase transcribing software. Also, we will be moving to a self-hosted site and will have to pay for that on a monthly basis, and this is only the beginning. God willing, we have plans to do more outreach, but are going to need more support to do bigger things. I urge you to help us move forward monetarily and with prayers for wisdom and guidance.
So, if this is where you are getting your spiritual food, then according to the Bible you pay where you eat. “Share materialistically with the ones that taught you.” If it is Mike, Josh or Doyle you are learning from then send an offering to them and not us. I will forever be upfront with anyone about what we are trying to do, and that is to simply take the gospel to a dying world, to adults and kids alike. I am simply asking, not begging – why not jump in and help?
I think Stellar Kart does a pretty good job of summing this up.
Grace & Peace,
The opinions, beliefs & viewpoints expressed by the various authors on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs & viewpoints of Trinity Press or The Truth Foundation.