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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tithing

"Biblical Principles of Giving", by John W. Robbins, was posted by Bro. Hoyt Sparks on his e-mail discussion list. I especially liked how Robbins points out that "giving for the sake of giving" is not inherently good. Here is part of what he wrote:

"...there is no particular virtue in giving per se, as many people seem to think. It is only giving to the glory of God that is not sinful. Showing hospitality to false teachers, as John points out, is an evil deed. Furthermore, when the consideration is giving to the poor, rather than to teachers, it is not the giving of a cup of cold water that Christ commends, but the giving of a cup of cold water in his name. Even the simple act of giving a cup of water to a person in need must be done explicitly in the name of Christ. Even charitable giving — giving to the poor — must meet a doctrinal test in Scripture. Giving per se is not a virtue. Only giving to the glory of God is...The thinking of churches and churchgoers has been so corrupted by altruism that they think that giving is good and commendable for its own sake...This altruism, this notion that giving per se is good, is the result of a theological Liberalism that does not recognize the Biblical doctrines of private property, Christian self-interest, and doing everything to the glory of God.

Conclusion
This brief look at the Biblical principles that must guide a Christian's giving has brought several to light:


1. Each person actually owns his own property;
2. No church or religious organization has a claim to the property of others;
3. There is no moral duty to give merely for the sake of giving;
4. All giving, which is commanded by God, is to be done to the glory of God;
5. Only giving done in the name of Christ is commended by Christ; and
6. Giving to persons or organizations that do not teach the doctrines Christ taught is sin.

The entire article may be found here: Biblical Principles of Giving

5 comments:

Jim1927 said...

So, the good Samaritan was wrong to help the man along the way, pay for his food and lodging, and we should erase that passage from scripture. I am some people are so out of tune with the overtures of scripture they are of no earthly value.

Whilst the tithe is the Lord's, in my mind, there are a host of other ventures worthy of our support....medical research, child support in 3rd world nations, to name a couple.

Cheers,

Jim

R. L. Vaughn said...

I didn't agree with everything John Robbins wrote in the article, but I think his thoughts on "giving for the sake of giving" are a needed wake up call for "today's church". I have witnessed the idea in action, where people give without concern for the end result, finding pride and worth solely in the fact that they gave.

Jim1927 said...

Yes, I think we, in general, are too obsessed wth money and material things. I don't think scriptues teaches a legal obigation to tithe, but I do believe the tithe is minimum. We haven't started to give until we have tithed, and the tithe belongs to the house of God where we worship.

Then, I think we have obligations around our community and the globe to share our wealth to better humanities lot in life. Not to nurture laziness, but to truly help those in need through no fault of their own.

We don't gamble, but wife often jokes that is we won a million dollar lottery, I wouldn't see a penny, cos I wold have it all given away in a week. I guess that is all money really means to me, and yet the Lord has blessed us with decent wealth.

I don't gloat in that I give so much, but rue that I give so little. If each member tithed, the local church would never want for funds. I will always remember the young lad in England who gave every week from his allowance. One week he had none and literally stood on the offering plate. He said, "I have nothing left to give, so I give myself." I don't have a famous end to that story, but the story says so much in and of itself. Wot is that hymn we sometimes sing: "Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling."

Cheers,

Jim

Bro. Matt said...

It seems most people feel that if they give to any type charity or religious organization then they have done a great deed. Many are truly more worried about the actual deed of giving than the scripturality and use of the money. At least I see such thinking in some church members where I am.

Matt

Will Fitzgerald said...

An imagined conversation.

A rich young man came unto Jesus and asked what he must do.

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

But when the young man heard that saying, he waxed sorrowful: for he had great possessions, and said, How about a tithe? Wouldst thou say a tithe of my possessions sufficeth?

He said unto him, Thou of thy abundance wouldst cast in unto the offerings of God: but remember the widow: she of her penury had cast in all the living that she had.

The young man said unto him, Would it an help were I to ensure that every mite of my tithe would be given unto thy followers?

He said unto him, Remember how I warned the Pharisees: 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.

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.