What do fear, shame, and embarrassment have in common? You experience all three in most churches across America during the giving part of the worship service.
We have all heard Malachi 3:8 used during the giving part of many church services, but it’s never exegesis during a bible study. Why is it that the people of God are made to feel fearful during the giving part of the service? The leaders want you to be cheerful, but when the element of fear is used to convince you to give, all of the cheerfulness leaves. Imagine beings called by God into the fellowship of believers; God chooses you from the world (sanctifies you) fills you with His spirit and then demands 10% of your income and if you don’t pay up, takes your health, causes you to lose your job, with holds blessing from you and even sends you to hell! And that even if you miss a payment! Wow, the worst the banks will do is garnishment!
Why do we allow church leaders to inject the element of fear into the giving services? Why…because we allow it. Why else? Because we don’t know what the scripture says about tithing and giving. Who was the prophet Malachi speaking to? The Church or the priest? What is a Levite? What was their function? Most tithers in the church can not answer these questions. Was tithing under the law? If so what does scripture say about not following the entire law? (More than 633 laws) Can you choose the ones that you want to follow and omit the rest? That is what you are doing when you tithe! How can you build a doctrine from Malachi 3:8 when you do not start at Malachi 1:1 to get the proper context of the story?
Fact: Any nonscholar who does a close examination of the scripture as it pertains to tithing, will learn some very important facts about Malachi, and these facts are not properly represented in most churches.
- The storehouse is not and was not the church!
- The meat in the storehouse was not the word of God or the preached word, but the real livestock used for sacrifices.
- God was being robbed because the priests were taking the best part of the sacrifices for themselves. After all, the nation was not tithing. The tithe was to take care of the priest because the priests were not allowed to own property, or have jobs; their jobs were in the temple as God’s representatives to the people, the teach them and make sacrifices.
Preaching and telling the people of God “you will go to hell” for not tithing “IS NOT STATED IN SCRIPTURE”. If so Jesus Christ Himself would have made mention of it as a condition to keep up and secure your salvation! As well as the Great Apostle Paul would have stated! Okay, you want scripture? You are on the right track!
Romans 3:20 – because by the works of the Law, no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:22 “Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
King James Bible Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Giving: 2 Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. ( Why is it, this scripture is used for giving an offering and not for tithing? ) The Old Testament is used to exact a tithe from you (according to scripture, the tithe was for the Levite!) There are no existing Levites today! They all died off!
I am not advocating “non-giving” every believer should give, it’s a part of your new nature, it’s God-like. We should be led by the spirit of God in our giving, not coerced into giving under the pressure of fear, the threat of being ashamed (because you don’t have it nor do you believe it) and embarrassed before the congregation, this sort of giving is wrong.
But, don’t take my word for it! Study to show yourself approved unto God…not man! Examine the scriptures for yourself.
Going Against The Grain
Nathaniel Lewis invites you to visit Going Against The Grain at: http://www.GoingAgainstTheGrain.org where you will find hundreds of thought-provoking and inspiring articles.