Robbing God?


                                   By

                              Phil Scovell





                          Copyright (C) 1997/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



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          CONTACT INFORMATION

          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
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                           TABLE OF CONTENTS


          TITHING CLAIMS
          TITHING DEFINED
          SEMITIC SYMBOLISM
          NUMERICAL SYMBOLISM
          ROBBING GOD?
          ABRAHAM AND JACOB
          PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
          NEW TESTAMENT TITHING
          CONTEXT
          GREEK TERMS
               THE PROMISE
               THE PRINCIPLE
               THE PRODUCT
               THE POWER
                    REVIEW
          CONCLUSION






                              ROBBING GOD?


                                   By

                              Phil Scovell



               Seated  in one  of several  adult  Sunday school  classes, I
          prepared  to listen to the lesson for  the day.  It was the first
          Sunday following the  new year; thus I knew,  without hearing the
          announcements or reading the Sunday bulletin, the lesson would be
          on "tithing."  The morning message, of course,  would likewise be
          on "tithing."   One of  the first four  Sundays of each  new year
          always yielded messages,  either in Sunday school,  or during the
          morning preaching service,  on "tithing."   Once,  I recall,  all
          four  Sundays during  January were  on  tithing.   One thing  was
          certain,  at the  beginning  of  each new  year,  we were  taught
          tithing  and  at least  once  or  twice  in the  year's  balance,
          depending  on the  financial  condition of  the  church, we  were
          reminded of our responsibilities.

               Since  I   had  been  taught  tithing  from  childhood,    I
          immediately, upon leaving  home for Bible college,  began tithing
          from my earnings.  The first check my wife and I earned following
          our wedding, and every paycheck  thereafter, we tithed.  In fact,
          soon after marriage,  we squeezed our giving to  fifteen percent.
          Shoot!    Everybody   wants  to  be  blessed;  even  newly  weds;
          especially newly weds!  Later we even gave twenty-five percent of
          our income  to the church as  I traveled as  a Baptist evangelist
          holding revivals.

               I   do  not   want  to   mislead  the   reader  so   I  will
          parenthetically state from the beginning that tithing is not only
          unscriptural but simply not found in the Bible as a New Testament
          doctrine.  I will also state that those who teach that tithing is
          God's way  of financially  blessing His own  are being  less than
          Scripturally honest  and are  doctrinally inconsistent.   I  even
          challenge  those teachers of  tithing to  "put their  money where
          their mouth is" and cease from teaching something they know isn't
          Biblical I.E. tithing.

          TITHING CLAIMS

               Have you heard any of the following:  "Tithing is a command?
          You can't out give God!  If  you don't tithe, you're robbing God.
          Tithers are blessed of  God.  You can't afford not  to tithe.  If
          you fail to  tithe, God will get His  money out of you  some way.
          Tithing is  your God-given  responsibility.  If  you want  God to
          really bless you, give more than  the tithe.  Tithing is part  of
          your spirituality.   The spiritual  man will tithe and  go beyond
          the tithe.  God will get you if you don't give Him His tithe.  We
          only  teach  this  about  tithing  because  we  want  you  to  be
          blessed...you can't be blessed otherwise.   You can't grow unless
          you tithe."  Quite  a list isn't it?   I'm sure I left  some out,
          too.  None, however,  are  true, Biblical, or have any Scriptural
          bases.   It  makes for  mighty good  preaching, however,  and the
          offerings always increase  following such teaching.   My greatest
          concern,  however,  is  that  tithing  is  used  to  control  and
          manipulate  Believers.   In another words,  it is a  cheep way of
          exercising authority over others.

          TITHING DEFINED

               "Tithing" in both Old and  New Testaments means (tenth).  It
          was practiced, long before the Mosaic law was given by God to the
          nation of  Israel, to show honor  and respect, it was  invoked by
          God to provide for the Levitical priesthood as they ministered in
          the tabernacle.   The Biblical instruction was for  the first ten
          percent of  all  one possessed  and  earned to  be  given to  the
          Levites.  Such included monies, cattle, flocks, herds, crops, and
          the like.   Actually, the first born son of a family was given to
          the  Lord as  a  "tithe"offering,   but he  was  not, of  course,
          sacrificed  as  were  the  animals;  the  first  born  lamb   was
          sacrificed  in the son's place.     It, the offering of the first
          born son, was symbolic  of Christ, the Son of  God, being offered
          for us.  Abraham, you may recall, was commanded to offer his only
          begotten son, Isaac,  as a human sacrifice.  A  ram, however, was
          substituted  at  the   last  moment;  depicting  Christ   as  the
          substitute Lamb of God.  In short, the "tithe" was symbolic.

          SEMITIC SYMBOLISM

               The Hebrews  spoke in word  pictures similar to  many indian
          cultures of North America.  Often a single word carried with it a
          complexity of definition far beyond the value of the word itself.
          Thus their speech was often symbolic and spoken with preciosity. 
          Succinctly stated, when they spoke, it had meaning.

          NUMERICAL SYMBOLISM

               The  conscientious Bible student will, of course, attempt to
          gain  some  understanding  of Biblical  numerics  because  of the
          spiritual  insight  it affords.    The  number (3)  in  Scripture
          depicts  completeness  or  finality; the  Trinity  being  a prime
          example.   The figure  (5) often  reveals the  grace of  God; the
          number (7) perfection; the number (12) that which is chosen.  The
          figure (10),  on the  other hand,  often represented judgment  or
          testing.  The  ten plagues on Egypt, the ten kingdoms in the book
          of Revelation, the ten virgins  Jesus referred to in the Gospels,
          and the ten commandments, all demonstrated judgement and testing.
          The tithe, or giving of a tenth, also was symbolic of judgment or
          testing.  It was  a "judgment" or debt owed God by  His people to
          support His house  - tabernacle, and the ministers  thereof - the
          Levites.  It was a "testing" to bring conformity to His  law.  To
          violate  such a  commandment invoked  a  penalty for  sin for  it
          represented  a  (falling   short)  of   God's  requirements   for
          obedience.  The law  of God, by the way,  was not given to  prove
          one righteous;  it was to  demonstrate one was not  righteous and
          could  in no way make himself  righteous even by keeping the law.
          This is evident because of God's promise that a Messiah would one
          day  come and  fulfill  the law;  thus  no need  for  the law  to
          continue.  Seen in this light, the tithe was a sign that  one was
          keeping the law until the law 

          was  fulfilled  in Christ.    It was  one  of  many "laws"  which
          afforded one  rightness with God.   It was  literally one way  of
          personalizing one's responsibility for maintaining righteousness-
           right living before God.

               Let me stop at this point  and say that the practice of  New
          Testament  tithing is not unscriptural if one desires to exercise
          it as a principle.  It  is not, however, a command nor can  it be
          taught as a  Bible doctrine.  Tithing is no more a doctrine than,
          for example,  fasting.   Is it wrong  to fast today?   No!   Will
          fasting benefit one spiritually?  Yes!  I have fasted on numerous
          occasions and twice  for twenty-one days.  It  isn't commanded by
          God,  however, nor  do  I  have Scriptural  license  to teach  on
          fasting  as though it were a doctrine.  I can, on the other hand,
          teach it as a Biblical principle which yields  spiritual benefit.
          Likewise "prayer" is not a doctrine.  It, too, is a  principle by
          which one  can, and  should live, and  its benefits  are likewise
          numerous.  You will not, however, be forsaken by God, barred from
          Heaven, chastened by  sickness and disease, loose  your children,
          be turned  into a  pillar of  salt, ask  to sacrifice your  first
          born, be  burned at the  stake, loose your salvation,  succumb to
          warts, or suffer eternal condemnation if you don't pray, memorize
          Scripture,  read your Bible,  attend church faithfully,  fast, or
          tithe!   All such offer  spiritual provision for a  Christian but
          they cannot be substituted for  Bible doctrine no matter how hard
          one  may try.    You  will, on  the  other  hand, be  criticized,
          ridiculed,  called a heretic,  faithless, selfish, a  God robber,
          sinful,  crazy,  foolish,  dumb,  stupid,  back  slider,  unholy,
          unrighteous, stingy,  cheep, unorthodox,  and you  might even  be
          kicked out of church if you refuse to believe what some say about
          tithing, but that won't come from God; just friends.

          ROBBING GOD?

               The biggest question, and the  one I might add which strikes
          the greatest  fear, in the  hearts of most Christians  is Malachi
          3:8-10.   Here, we  are told by  those who  teach tithing  is for
          today, that we  are literally robbing  God if  we fail to  tithe.
          Many over look  that God said in this passage that those who were
          robbing God were failing to bring both tithes and offerings.  Why
          do most  tithing proponents leave  the offering out?   The answer
          is; it's hard enough just squeezing the tithe out of  people, not
          to mention offerings, too.  

               As I mentioned,  there is certainly  nothing wrong with  the
          idea of tithing  nor the practice of  it today.   It is when  one
          teaches it as  a doctrine and that  God will not bless  those who
          fail to tithe which is  the problem.  If one wishes to  tithe, he
          is not unscriptural, or in anyway, barred from doing so.  It just
          simply  isn't a New  Testament requirement.   Jesus fulfilled the
          law for us.   We  either walk  in that freedom  as New  Testament
          Christians or we do not.   If Jesus fulfilled the law, why  do we
          try to  restore the  law by practicing  it?   Do we  refrain from
          eating pork,  do we stone adulterers, do  we execute homosexuals,
          do we  stone sabbath violators,  sacrifice animals, or  leave the
          corners of our  fields for the poor to harvest?  If not, why not?
          As New Testament Christians we know why; Jesus fulfilled the law.
          Then why do we insist upon tithing?  The answer is fear.
               Churches need  money to  function because  they have  become
          businesses  rather than  ministries.   Pastors  are fearful  they
          won't be able  to pay the church expenses;  water, lights, staff,
          radio/television  programs,  monthly newsletters,  special  guest
          speakers, trips to mission fields, new buildings, improvements on
          the old  building,  staff  cars,  gymnasiums,  school  buildings,
          fellowship  halls, new carpet, commodes, air conditioning, and we
          mustn't forget the pastor's salary.  Do pastors worry about such?
          As a pastor, I can guarantee we do.

               There is fear on the Christian's behalf as well.  Let's face
          it!  Most of us are scared spitless that God isn't going to bless
          us for some reason.  Wouldn't you know it, God always hits us  in
          the pocketbook when He wants to punish us for something.  Malachi
          3:8-10 also  uses the word  "cursed."   God said His  people were
          cursed  for not  tithing and  giving offerings.   Now  be honest.
          Doesn't that kind  of spook you  when some preacher  is up  there
          pounding  the pulpit and telling you that you're cursed of God if
          you don't tithe?   Believe me, you are going to tithe if you hear
          that  long enough  and loud  enough  because nobody  wants to  be
          cursed of God.

          ABRAHAM AND JACOB

               One of  the biggest arguments  for New Testament  tithing is
          the Old Testament  reference to Abraham and Jacob.   It is stated
          that since  these two patriarch  tithed, they living  long before
          the Mosaic law, it is not, therefore, Old Testament law but God's
          law for  all time.  May I point out  that if you indeed are going
          to practice tithing  as these two great men of God, you will only
          need to tithe  once in your life  time of everything you  have in
          your possession at that moment.  Abraham did exactly that when he
          gave  a tenth  to Melchizedek.    Jacob,  who promised to  give a
          tenth to God,  apparently did so when he was faced with his angry
          brother.  No other reference  to tithing is recorded in Scripture
          by these  two men.   By today's standards, therefore,  they would
          not be  good tithers.   One may assume,  however, that these  men
          often gave  to others  of their prosperity  and it  perhaps could
          even be assumed they gave to those  in God's service.  There was,
          however, no levitical priesthood and no prophets of God as during
          the Mosaic law.   It would be Scripturally  unwise, therefore, to
          consider them as Biblical examples of New Testament tithers.

          PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

               I  really began  examining tithing  a few  years ago  when I
          recognized that what  I had been taught  was not working.   I was
          taught, and  I preached  it, too, that  if one  tithed, financial
          blessings would always dog me.  It never happened!  I was told if
          you didn't tithe, you would be chastened by God and He  would get
          His money out of you  somehow.  It never happened!   I was taught
          that if your finances were in disarray and you  were not tithing,
          that was the reason.  Of course, if that one was true, then those
          whose finances  were regular and consistent had to be tithers.  I
          knew unsaved  people who  had better  financial stability  than I
          ever had as a Christian and I knew they weren't tithers.


               On my knees  in my most desperate  hour, I cried out  to God
          and begged Him not to take away my desire for giving.   I knew it
          my heart it was  the one last thing I had  which obligated God to
          bless me.   I gave when  my family went  without food.  I  tithed
          when my house payments and rent were past due.  I tithed when the
          utilities were two months  behind, I tithed  even when I lost  my
          home  and nothing I  had been taught  on tithing proved  true.  I
          went for a four year period hardly giving a thing to the Lord.  I
          was not tithing,  I was not giving,  I did not give  an offering;
          except occasionally, and the truth was, I did  not have any money
          to  give.  Was I afraid.  You bet!   I knew God was going to kill
          me if I didn't start that tithing bit up again and, bless  God, I
          tried for four years to start tithing over and over and  over and
          over again.  Every single time  I tried, things got worse instead
          of  better.  Every single time I went to my knees and prayed over
          my dilemma.   "Why wasn't God's Word working?"   God continually,
          for that period of time, told me He didn't need or want my money.
          Right  in the  middle of the  whole thing,  God gave me  a house;
          providing  both the down payment and a  way of keeping my monthly
          payment to a  level I  was able to  afford.   How could the  Lord
          bless me when I wasn't tithing?  On my knees, therefore, I sought
          the Lord and beg for understanding.  

          NEW TESTAMENT TITHING

               The Greek  word for "tithe" and it's  related forms; (tithes
          and tithing). appears seven times in the New Testament.  Likewise
          "tenth" appears twice in reference to the "tithe."  In not one of
          these cases, as we will see, does the Bible teach tithing  is for
          today.  The practice of  tithing is conspicuously absent from the
          New Testament epistles; the letters  to the churches.  If tithing
          were to be taught to God's people, why would He forget to include
          such instruction  in the  letters He  sent to  the churches?   He
          didn't  forget...it simply  doesn't exist.    Something I  notice
          about those  who constantly affirm  that healing and the  gift of
          tongues isn't  for today  always make a  point to  say that  such
          doctrine isn't  taught  in  the  New Testament  epistles  so  why
          believe in  it?  Funny how many of  those same unbelievers of the
          ministry of  the Holy Spirit fail  to tell us that  tithing isn't
          once mentioned in the epistles but they are determined to make it
          a doctrine.

               In Matthew  23 and Luke  11, Jesus taught His  disciples and
          the  multitudes concerning hypocrisy.   He accused  the pharisees
          and scribes of  being exactly that.   One will  have to read  the
          account to  gain the full  impact of  His statements.   Our  Lord
          mentions,  however, that  these  hypocrites  are  tithers  (Matt.
          23:23).     He  says,   however,  they   tithed  even  the   most
          insignificant of herbs  to the Lord but totally  ignored the rest
          of the  law.  Some "tithe"  promoters use this verse,  along with
          Luke 11:42, to suggest Jesus  was confirming we should be tithers
          today.  "This also ought ye to do," refers to the part of the law
          they  were forsaking.  Read the account!  They were keeping God's
          law in many  areas but failed  to keep the  whole law.   In fact,
          these  Gospel passages, when  examined carefully, are  rebukes to
          the tithers  not blessings.   If Jesus were preaching  to tithers
          today, he would rebuke them  as hypocrites because they keep only
          part, rather than the whole, law.

               Another ostentatious reference to tithing is the story Jesus
          told concerning  the prayer  of the publican  and pharisee.   The
          pharisee  was a super  Christian.  Not  only did he  tithe but he
          fasted twice a  week.  Jesus  said, on the  other hand, that  the
          publican was  more honored  by God because  of his  humility; the
          publican wasn't a  tither.  Since he  wasn't a tither,  we cannot
          use him as an example of such.

               The only other New Testament  passage available to us on the
          subject of  tithing again has  absolutely nothing to do  with the
          practice of "tenth"  giving.  I will  not take the time  to quote
          the passage but suggest the reader stop and read Hebrews chapters
          (7) and 8).  If one fails to read both chapters together, it  may
          seem as though tithing is being taught.  In fact, such is not the
          case.

               The  writer  of  Hebrews is  illustrating  how  Abraham paid
          tithes to Melchizedek  and that this act included  the levites as
          those who  paid tithes being  yet unborn.  Likewise,  the passage
          confirms  that  the  levites  indeed  received  tithes  from  the
          children  of Israel  as  they  ministered in  the  duties of  the
          tabernacle.   If  the reader  is  careful to  interpret Scripture
          properly,  it will  be discovered  that the  entire point  of the
          complete passage is revealed in  Hebrews 8:6: (we have a Mediator
          of a  better covenant with  better promises).  This  Mediator, of
          course, is Christ the Lord.

               Now think back  to the covenant under which  the children of
          Israel lived.  For their covenant to function, they were required
          to offer sacrifices,  tithe, abstain from certain  foods, refrain
          from  Sabbath activity,  and a  wide variety  of other  such laws
          given by God.   Their firstborn was likewise required  but a lamb
          was vicariously offered instead.  Today the Lamb  of God - Christ
          Jesus  - is our  substitutionary sacrifice.   Literally, Jesus is
          our "tithe."  

               The  writer of  Hebrews  teaches that  as  the levites  paid
          tithes,  because  their father  Abraham  did so;  they  being yet
          unborn, paid tithes.  We likewise have sin's debt paid in Christ;
          we being  yet unborn  - unborn  again I.E.  lost in  sin.   Jesus
          Christ was,  and is, that fulfillment  of the law  in our behalf.
          In another words, Jesus paid the debt - tithe - for sin.  One may
          choose to tithe today as a token of ones gratitude, but he cannot
          teach it as doctrine.

          NEW TESTAMENT GIVING


                          II CORINTHIANS 9:6-9

               #6  He  which sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly;
               and  he   which  sows   bountifully  shall   reap  also
               bountifully.  #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.    #8  And
               God is able  to make all grace abound  toward you; that
               you, always having  all sufficiency in all  things, may
               abound to every good work: #9 As it is written, He hath
               dispersed abroad,  He  hath given  to  the poor:    His
               righteousness remains for ever.

               Tithing teachers agree that this passage is not in reference
          to the tithe.  They must, because the word (tithe) never  appears
          in the  passage.  They  will and do  say, however, that  Paul was
          trying to teach us that  to "give" to God is over  and above your
          tithe.  Funny, Paul, nor any other New Testament writer, said any
          such  thing. Any  time we  refuse to  interpret Scripture  in its
          context,  we  must substitute  conjecture, personal  opinion, and
          hearsay for the truth of God's eternal Word.

          CONTEXT

               If one will  read chapters 8 and 9 of II Corinthians, it can
          be   clearly  seen  that  Paul  was  instructing  the  Corinthian
          believers how offerings  should be collected.  In  fact, in these
          two  chapters, as  well as  I Corinthians  16:1-4, Paul  makes no
          reference to offerings  being taken for the support  of the local
          church but the  "collections" to which he refers is that which is
          collected for those who today would be considered evangelists and
          missionaries.     I  think  it  is  perfectly  within  Scriptural
          boundaries, however, to assume such teaching is applicable to the
          needs of the  local body  of believers  as well.   If not,  these
          offerings to which  Paul referred in this passage  cannot even be
          applied to teaching giving to support one's own local church.

          GREEK TERMS

               Let's  consider some  of the  key  words Paul  used in  this
          passage.     The  word  "sow"  or  "soweth" means  (to  scatter).
          "Sparingly" is  a word  which means (stingy).   "Reap"  means (to
          harvest).  "Bountiful" is a rather unusual word used by Paul.  It
          means (elegance in  word or speech).   The Greek word he  used is
          where  we  get  our  word  "Eulogy."    "Purpose,"  or  as  it is
          translated  in the King James;  "purposeth," means (to choose for
          oneself) or  (to intend).   "Grudgingly"  means (sadness),  or in
          this case ""not  grudgingly" meaning (without,) or  (no sadness).
          "Necessity"   is   (constraint),   "cheerful"   is   (merry)   or
          (favorable), and "sufficiency" means (self satisfied).

          THE PROMISE

               Verse (6) is  our promise:  If  we sow "sparingly" -  with a
          stingy attitude -  we will reap such a return.  Of course Paul is
          using farming as an illustration.   planting few seeds will yield
          a small harvest  but plentiful or an abundant  planting will reap
          [harvest] a greater return.  So far so good.

               The word  "bountiful" is  something which,  at first,  seems
          unrelated.  As  I mentioned, we  get our word (eulogy)  from this
          Greek  term.  If  you have ever  been to a  funeral, you can gain
          insight to Paul's usage of this  word.  Literally Paul is  saying
          if  one  speaks many  good  words, favorable  words,  kind words,
          pleasant words, he will reap [harvest] the same.

               We live next door to an elderly  lady who is often gruff and
          harsh when  speaking with  others.   I, on the  other hand,  have
          always spoken to her with respect and dignity; never talking back
          when she fussed, never rebuking her  rudeness, and never arguing.
          Why do I  hold to such  an attitude?  First  she is in  her early
          seventies;  making her  nearly twice  my  age, hence,  she is  my
          elder.  Secondly, I  was talk to respect my elders.   Thirdly, it
          is Scriptural; and fourth, I learned  very young in life that  if
          you speak kindly to others, they will speak kindly to you.   This
          is exactly  what Paul is  teaching us concerning our  attitude of
          giving to those  in full time service of God.  You reap [harvest]
          what you  so - you  receive in  kind what you  say.  It  is God's
          promise to those who give with the right attitude.

          THE PRINCIPLE

               The principle  of giving  is  clearly stated  in verse  (7):
          "Every man according  as he  purposes in  his heart,  so let  him
          give;" literally, according  as he (chooses in his  heart).  What
          if he chooses not to give?  No harvest!  Need I point out that it
          is stated "as he," the  giver, "purposes," not according to God's
          purpose/choosing.  Hence, it is voluntary.

               This  form  of giving  is  furthermore  done with  a  proper
          attitude;  (not grudgingly), or of (necessity), because God loves
          a  (cheerful) giver.   When  one chooses  to give,  therefore, he
          should do so without (sadness) or out of (necessity - constraint.
          In another words, he should never be forced to give unless  it is
          an act of his  own will.  Boy, we've missed the boat on that one,
          haven't we?  The principle concludes with making reference to one
          who gives (cheerfully).   If you are constrained  to give, if you
          are threatened  to give,  if you are  shamed into  giving because
          others are, or  if you give out  of fear of reprisal,  you cannot
          give with  cheerfulness - a  merry heart.   you instead  would be
          giving (grudgingly) - with sadness  of heart.  God never intended
          our giving to become a millstone about our neck to weigh us down;
          He gave  it in order that we might  reap a harvest blessing which
          would lift us.

          THE PRODUCT

               We indeed shall reap a harvest blessing if we give in  light
          of what has  already been  said:  "And  God is  able to make  all
          grace abound toward you; that you, always having all  sufficiency
          in all  things, may abound  to every good  work."  The  product -
          that  which is  produced  by  giving -  is  "sufficiency" -  self
          satisfaction.  It  is the awareness  that you have done  what you
          determined [intended] to do for the glory of God.  In which case,
          God  is "able" to  make all grace  abound toward you.   The Greek
          word for "able" contains the root word which is interpreted often
          in Scripture as (miracle).  In another words, the miracle working
          power  of God  comes  into play  in  your behalf  when giving  is
          natural to your relationship with God.

          THE POWER

               "As it  is written, He  hath dispersed abroad,  He hath
               given  to  the  poor:   His  righteousness  remains for
               ever."



               Giving is  an intimate  part of  our  relationship with  the
          Heavenly Father.  We have  the "power" of such spiritual intimacy
          because we possess  His righteousness.  This enables  us to share
          personally in His nature by  giving to support those who minister
          in our behalf to others.  

          REVIEW

               The promise is one of harvest:   we reap what we sow.  If we
          sow a little, we  reap the same.   If we  sow much, likewise  the
          return will be in kind.  I might add, if we so nothing, so  shall
          be our return.  Thus the promise is our (reward).

               Our attitude  of giving is  a principle, or rule,  we should
          follow   faithfully  and  consistently   in  order   to  maintain
          continuity in our  relationship with God.  Since  we already have
          favor with God through Christ, we should never practice giving to
          obtain favor  or attention.  Our  giving should be as  natural as
          our love for Him.

               The product, or result, of such a natural form of giving  is
          self satisfaction.   We have given  because we are  secure in Him
          and His grace is applicable to every thing we do in His name.

               Finally, it is our right - power - to give with such freedom
          and intimacy because  we possess the righteousness of  God as His
          children.  Since He has  therefore liberally given of His nature,
          we in turn have  the power to manifest that nature as  we give of
          our money in His name.

          CONCLUSION

               A  marriage IS  not confirmed  by  the number  of times  one
          confesses  love for another.  It is  how they live which confirms
          and completes their relationship.   As love, therefore is  common
          to marriage,  so giving  is in our  fellowship with  God.   If it
          isn't natural,  it isn't Scriptural.  Does  that make it wrong to
          give because you wish to be blessed?  We should only give because
          we are  blessed!  We are  blessed because of  Christ.  If  we are
          blessed of God, then giving will be natural.

               Paul makes it plane:  Our giving should be done as an act of
          our own  will.  We need to decide what we will give and it should
          be given  when the  Christians gather  as a body  weekly.   There
          should be no set amount  except by the one doing the  giving.  It
          should  be  a reflection  of  our  thankfulness  to God  for  His
          blessings to us.  We  should expect a harvest and do so by faith.
          We should  expect to experience God's grace in  all that we do in
          His name and  our giving should be  natural and not forced.   Our
          giving is not  a mathematical equation by which  we calculate our
          spirituality but rather an expression of our love for the one who
          gave Himself for us that we might be made rich.


                            End Of Document
Tithing - Fact vs. Fiction by Richard Wayne Garganta Go To HOME: The Zeneith Tube Website: RedWhiteAndBlue.org