Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Mercy Christian Counseling

NCCA Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counseling with Temperament

Counselor's Corner

Counselor's Corner

The Prickliest Topic in Christianity

Posted by mercycounseling on July 9, 2019 at 7:15 AM

The Prickliest Topic in Christianity


Part One: Than Came Grace


It came to me in the still of early morning darkness, as I roused from sleep. A question floated into my consciousness, a gentle whisper: Why are you willing to spend $20 on lunch with a friend, but you only put $10 in the offering plate at the church you are visiting? As I mused on this, I didn’t feel shamed or guilty, but I realized it was a valid question I needed to consider. Tithes, offerings, and gifts—they’re all relevant to the question—and these became the subject of my inquiry.


To tithe or not to tithe, that is the disputed question. 


The concept of tithing belongs to Old Covenant law. When God brought the 12 tribes of the children of Israel into the promised land, he divided that land among 11 tribes; but for the tribe of Levi no land was given. Levi was the priestly tribe, and because there was no inheritance in the land for them (thus no way to make a living), the Lord commanded that all the other tribes contribute one-tenth (a tithe) of their increase to the Levites for their living and so that they could make the offerings mandated by law. The Levites, in turn, were commanded to give a tithe (one-tenth) of their income to God’s treasury. (Numbers 18:26)


The tithe was mandatory under the Mosaic law, but are Christians bound by it? The answer is “No,” as supported by New Covenant scripture.


With the New Covenant entered a new High Priest—Jesus. He is not of the tribe of Levi but was born into the tribe of Judah. No such commandment was ever given under the Old Covenant to give tithes to Judah. (Hebrews 7:14)


Under the New Covenant, giving is indeed encouraged; but when to give, to whom to give, and how much to give are left to the discretion of the giver. Most notable among these scriptures is Paul’s recounting of the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). In the early church the people were described as living a communal life, selling all their possessions and laying the proceeds at the Apostles’ feet (however, this was not mandatory). Then the wealth was distributed to each according to need. Ananias and his wife Sapphira colluded to sell their land and keep back part of the proceeds but pretended they were giving it all. Peter confronted them for lying to the Holy Spirit and they both were struck dead. Here are the words of Peter that punctuate the notion of free-will offering:


“Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” (Acts 5:3-4)


In the New Testament, the word “tithes” is only used five times, and it appears only in the context of Old Covenant giving. The concept of mandatory tithing is converted to a system of voluntary giving, as the word is changed from “tithes” to “gifts and offerings.” This makes complete sense! Under the Old Covenant, there was no guarantee of eternal salvation. The people were shackled under a system of works that had to be repeated again and again. God demanded of them their tithes. But under the New Covenant, God guarantees eternal salvation by offering a gift—His Son, Jesus Christ—who died for our sins and rose from the dead to pave the way for us to live forever. It is through faith in Jesus Christ alone that we are saved. We no longer have to give, we only have to receive. This is grace!


Part Two: Substantive Realities 


Being freed from the law in Christ, then, there is still much to consider about our pattern of giving. Note especially 2 Corinthians 9:7,


“Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.”


What Paul is saying is that no one should give because he feels coerced or because he “has to.” There is no “has to” anymore. Rather, we are free to give because we want to; and this is pleasing to God. As always, God is interested in your heart, not your pocketbook. 


Coerced giving leads to many kinds of sin. If you give begrudgingly, your heart will not be in agreement with the action. You, however, may not feel free to express your disagreement. This leads to passive-aggressive behavior in which you allow anger or fear to fester, causing you to live a lie. The one(s) who coerce you are also sinning, because they have broken one of the great commandments: love your neighbor as yourself. Arm-twisting manipulation is always a sin.


Setting aside these negatives, let’s go on to consider a fact: it takes resources to support the church. Even if a few people meet in someone’s living room as a house church, there will be expenses. To my thinking, keeping a right conscience toward your church (and God) includes contributing to keeping the church going.


In closing, I want to encourage you to take time to meditate on this prickly, though important topic. Why do you give the amount you do? What are the emotions you feel concerning it? Are you able to give freely and joyfully? If not, why not? If not, how can this be resolved?


The decision to give and how much is yours alone. Whatever you do, just own it. Is not the money in your own hand? (2 Corinthians 9:7) God has blessed you with the right to choose how to spend your resources. I pray that you will honor Him not only with your hand, but also with your heart.


Categories: None

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

2577 Comments

Reply golden goose
12:22 PM on December 1, 2022 
I truly wanted to construct a small word to be able to say thanks to you for those great strategies you are posting at this website. My particularly long internet investigation has now been compensated with sensible suggestions to write about with my family and friends. I would believe that many of us readers are very endowed to be in a decent network with so many wonderful professionals with very helpful points. I feel somewhat blessed to have encountered your entire webpages and look forward to so many more excellent minutes reading here. Thanks once again for a lot of things.
golden goose http://www.goldengoose.us.org
Reply kawhi leonard shoes
9:45 PM on November 30, 2022 
I want to express my thanks to this writer just for bailing me out of this particular challenge. Just after looking throughout the world-wide-web and getting recommendations which were not beneficial, I believed my entire life was gone. Existing without the presence of approaches to the problems you have sorted out all through your good guideline is a serious case, as well as ones which may have negatively affected my entire career if I had not discovered your web site. Your actual talents and kindness in touching the whole thing was vital. I am not sure what I would've done if I hadn't come across such a point like this. I'm able to now relish my future. Thanks a lot very much for this impressive and amazing guide. I will not be reluctant to refer your web blog to any person who desires support on this problem.
kawhi leonard shoes http://www.kawhileonardshoes.us
Reply RodneyGag
8:58 AM on November 30, 2022 
trazodone buy
Reply AnnaEmema
9:38 AM on November 29, 2022 
generic advair from canada
Reply dostindian
7:52 AM on November 29, 2022 
pittsburgh pirates new era mlb clubhouse jersey pop 9fifty snapback cap tiffany puzzle ring purdue rondale moore jersey hazard away jersey white formal dresses
dostindian http://www.dostindian.com/
Reply MarkEmema
7:08 AM on November 29, 2022 
priligy usa
Reply mobilfonn
4:55 AM on November 29, 2022 
cuddl duds softwear with stretch long sleeve crew linen sleep dress shining wish ring pandora men nike oakland raiders 16 george blanda elite white nfl jersey sale womens pink red sox hat utah boyfriend lebron 12 nsw lifestyle low black and green
mobilfonn http://www.mobilfonn.com/
Reply koteiko
1:11 AM on November 29, 2022 
silk bonnet before and after
koteiko http://www.koteiko.com/
Reply RobertMut
11:14 PM on November 28, 2022 
dapoxetine 60mg in india
Reply relatorioap
7:31 PM on November 28, 2022 
air jordan spizike schwarz patent leder polo dress plus size flutter sleeve wrap maxi dress floral cotton dresses with sleeves country gilet womens ysl monogramme small grain de poudre envelope wallet
relatorioap http://www.relatorioap.com/
Reply technotizie
5:48 PM on November 28, 2022 
sun shirt with hood mens misfits long sleeve dunk high x ambush cosmic fuchsia stockx phone purse cover mens alexander mcqueen trainers sale puma sf fanwear baseball cap
technotizie http://www.technotizie.net/
Reply frozenmojo
4:41 PM on November 28, 2022 
pandora halo earrings lfc away for cheap charming dressy san francisco giants hat cheap air jordan 4 triple nero new york yankees hat toddlers union ar
frozenmojo http://www.frozenmojo.com/
Reply eolziwf
3:08 PM on November 28, 2022 
half sleeve polo high neck lace wedding dress with sleeves disney pixar pandora charms size 7 red bottoms national championship jerseys womens hyalite down hooded jacket
eolziwf http://www.eolziwf.com/
Reply fullxd
2:47 PM on November 28, 2022 
red dress korean style samsung s20 plus gucci case lakers 2020 championship merch turkey headband thanksgiving hats supreme north face rtg jacket new dior b22
fullxd http://www.fullxd.com/
Reply Ricmen
1:13 PM on November 28, 2022 
best price for lexapro generic cost of benicar cialis 100mg online paxil pill plavix drug
Reply etuvcihazi
12:22 PM on November 28, 2022 
jordan 1 melo blanc air penny white long lehenga for 13 year girl tanjina mixed print pleated dress jovani pageant dresses pittsburgh pirates boonie hat orange
etuvcihazi http://www.etuvcihazi.com/
Reply kozeis
10:39 AM on November 28, 2022 
michael kors suri bucket all red jordan 11 gown with shirt tiffany fleur de lis bangle oakley milestone 3.0 replacement parts chanel quilted glasses
kozeis http://www.kozeis.com/
Reply adlimeira
6:49 AM on November 28, 2022 
red dress korean style samsung s20 plus gucci case lakers 2020 championship merch turkey headband thanksgiving hats supreme north face rtg jacket new dior b22
adlimeira http://www.adlimeira.com/
Reply wpmashin
4:36 AM on November 28, 2022 
tottenham grand slam polo for cheap alie saddle karrimor gilet ladies new york mets 47 brand hat pattern dallas mavericks new era cap for uk navy blue mermaid dress
wpmashin http://www.wpmashin.com/
Reply kozeis
4:13 AM on November 28, 2022 
new balance 501 mens black nike air max 1 black suede waterfowl hunting beanie big wayfarer sunglasses jotaro hat nike manoa boots sale
kozeis http://www.kozeis.com/