Wednesday, July 20, 2005

# 26: God Demands More Than Our Money

Regular and systematic giving for the cause of Christ—especially to a church—can be very dangerous, if not deadly. The reason is that after a while, if one’s status of being saved remains the same, it is much easier to give regularly than to go out and actually do the work of Christ. Before the time of Christ, giving a tenth was a very minor part (merely a tax). The essential part was, and still is, a little more trying and time-consuming: “. . . justice, mercy, faithfulness and the love of God.” Matthew 23:23. Also see Luke 11:42 about the active part of Christianity: “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”

One CAN’T engage in these most important aspects of being a disciple of Christ while sitting in one’s easy chair or resting on one’s laurels. One might ask, “What is the cause or work of God?” As seen in John 6:29, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.” I put it this way: to continue exactly what He started, showing the lost world what He and His Father are like, and what He expects from those who take on His name. We are His feet, mouth, hands, and mind.

I am sure anyone who knows the contents of the New Testament can come up with at least a dozen or so seemingly legitimate excuses as to why the last statement does not apply to everyone. The most prevalent alibi would be: I don’t have the power which He had to heal the sick and raise the dead. That is the problem! Why not? Another more common excuse is that just about everyone has heard the gospel message and they don’t want to be bothered. This is true.

Can you imagine Jesus proclaiming the Good News without the power to do miracles? His message was so radical–ours should be the same—that they would have laughed Him back to where He came from. If one lacks the power of Christ, it would be better to stay home and think of a better way of spending one’s money and life. All I can say is this: the word “Christian” means Christ-like one, and “disciple” means to learn to live a disciplined life as taught by the Commander and Chief. End of argument.

10 comments:

Scott said...

Al,

I combed through the Bible today searching for teachings regarding Church attendance and giving to the Church in the form of tithing and to my surprise all of the Church giving was done in the name of need. Even in the Old Testament the Levites gathered for their need and the needs of others. There is Genesis 14 17:20 where Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of his spoils for a blessing though.

So my question to you is: The New Testament also talks about gathering with other believers for worship; Where do you meet? And how do they get by finically? I know Jesus wants us to be part of his body (I’m an introvert so I’m happy to be the small toe) but never the less, I’m part of his body.

Scott said...

Hey - I just remembered - you din't catch my Jim Jones Joke!

Roland said...

When you join with a righteous body of saints, then donating of your time and material possessions is a joy and blessing for all. However the situation is quite different when you are with a corrupt body of saints.

Roland said...

Jesus taught two lessons on tithing - first he praised the poor widow who gave 100% with her one little mite to the temple treasury. second - he commanded the pharisees (and us) - "render to Ceasar the things that are Ceasars (pay your taxes) and render to God the things that are God's (pay your tithes and offerings).

al thinker said...

Scott, thanks for your comments and question. Next, you’ll ask me for my social security # and my bank account # . What are you some kind of a con-artist who goes around ripping-off helpless little old ladies? Just being facetious. Even a serious person like me can be funny at times in response your personal question. Now for the serious stuff. I will answer your question with a question. Sit back and relax because this might be a long answer. The stuff I write is my own personal prospective on how I see God and the world; to some, possible yourself, it ain’t worth a diddle. Therefore, I will get out of the equation. What I desire for you to do is to read, which you probably already have, the # 2 post in “Religion’s Crime Against God”. That consist of nothing but hard-edged Bible verses. Make a copy of that post and then bring it to your place of worship. If you don’t have a place, bring it to a reputable “Christian” church in your area. Either way, ask the man/woman of the cloth to look at them and ask her/him what their opinion is of that list. If they respond positively, ask if weekly sermons can be preached on those verses until every one is examined throughly, leaving none untouched. If the church leader gives you some kind of mealy-mouth excuse, go to another religious establishment. Don’t stop until you find a “Christian” Church that decides to, not only accept them as Bible verses, but examine them openly and individually in their place of worship in front of their congregations. When you find one–I know you will–give me the name of the state, city and address and I will join that church. You see what I mean? I will not and cannot with a clear conscience before God, worship with any group who negates, waters-down or explains away those critical, active Bible verses. I think you know by now, that my main punch-line is that a person can easily accept Christ as their Lord and Savior as you did three years ago, but without actively living as those verses command, that acceptance of Christ isn’t worth dime. I would love to rub shoulders with a group of people who are truly serious about living as the New Testament dictates. That is a sad situation for a person to be in. But even sadder is that most if not all “Christian” churches have been corrupted. And those who support such churches have been so deceived for so long, that if and when the Bible truth is stuck in their face, they cannot and will not believe, because their lifestyle would have to be completely changed. That would be a extremely difficult to do, even if they truly desired to change. A person cannot live as usual and actively accept those verses. By those verses and a big bunch more of the same, Jesus Christ turned the world/establishment upside down. Who want to live upside-down? Only those who are crazy for Christ. That’s were I am at. And for the second part of your question, I would not only give a tenth–a pittance or tax--of my income to such a church, but all I have with exception of my meager expenses, if even that. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Any more questions?

al thinker said...

Roland, what I wrote to Scott also applies to you. This is a accurate way to tell if your church is pulling the wool over your eyes. Thanks for your continued comments.

Scott said...

Al,

In this blog, has you call it (what does that mean anyway?), you've poured out your heart based on your life experiences. In many ways I’ve open my heart to you and I’m strengthened by that and I need to thank you and even Roland who has followed the drama and as kept me on my toes. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, you and I are very much alike but I’ve held my tongue concerning many of your statements. In my walk with God, I never ever wanted to put God in a box. I’m open to different ideas, but they must match scripture. Otherwise false religions are formed and the bible plainly states you’re better off with a mill stone around your heck feeding fish. So let me go smoke my pipe. I’m not the greatest writer in the world and it takes all my energy to do so. My mind is racing and I just need to go spend some quite time with Jesus. More to come.

Roland said...

And what about all of the bogus charities such as United Way that siphon off huge amounts to employ fundraisers and six-figure salaries to their directors.

I think charities ought to be required to post their financials online so that people can see which honestly forward 100% of funds collected to help their cause.

al thinker said...

Scott, I can identify with what you wrote. Thanks

al thinker said...

B Hall, Thanks for your input, I totally agree with your comments.